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Sample records for climate molecular insights

  1. Climate Change Impacts on Soil Organic Matter: New Insights from Molecular-Level Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, M. J.; Feng, X.; Simpson, A.

    2009-05-01

    Natural organic matter is ubiquitously found in the environment and plays a critical role in several biogeochemical processes such as the regulation of atmospheric CO2, agricultural sustainability, and the fate and transport of problematic organic chemicals in the environment. Organic matter preserved within the sedimentary record also holds key information about early life on earth, insights into past climates, and the presence of specific organic matter structures is often used in the search for life on other planets. Despite the importance of natural organic matter in several disciplines, the vast majority of organic matter remains "molecularly uncharacterized" (Hedges et al. 2000, Org. Geochem. 31:945-958). The lack of organic matter structural information is mostly due to the complex nature and uniqueness of organic matter but also due to the lack of sophisticated analytical strategies designed specifically for the study of organic matter structure and environmental reactivity. Organic matter is a collection of compounds from various plant, microbial, and anthropogenic sources, all at various stages of oxidation (decomposition) and represents the most naturally occurring complex mixture on earth. Organic geochemists have long used biomarker methods to study the sources, structures, and stage of organic matter oxidation however biomarker methods only extract and measure a small fraction of the total organic matter composition. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), namely solid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy, has been used extensively to study organic matter structure but suffers from poor spectral resolution due to organic matter heterogeneity and strong dipolar coupling in solids. This presentation will highlight the development of molecular-level analytical methods for organic matter and demonstrate their utility in studying soil organic matter biogeochemistry with global warming. The use of biomarker methods with conventional and innovative NMR methods in tandem

  2. Surviving historical Patagonian landscapes and climate: molecular insights from Galaxias maculatus

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The dynamic geological and climatic histories of temperate South America have played important roles in shaping the contemporary distributions and genetic diversity of endemic freshwater species. We use mitochondria and nuclear sequence variation to investigate the consequences of mountain barriers and Quaternary glacial cycles for patterns of genetic diversity in the diadromous fish Galaxias maculatus in Patagonia (~300 individuals from 36 locations). Results Contemporary populations of G. maculatus, east and west of the Andes in Patagonia, represent a single monophyletic lineage comprising several well supported groups. Mantel tests using control region data revealed a strong positive relationship when geographic distance was modeled according to a scenario of marine dispersal. (r = 0.69, P = 0.055). By contrast, direct distance between regions was poorly correlated with genetic distance (r = -0.05, P = 0.463). Hierarchical AMOVAs using mtDNA revealed that pooling samples according to historical (pre-LGM) oceanic drainage (Pacific vs. Atlantic) explained approximately four times more variance than pooling them into present-day drainage (15.6% vs. 3.7%). Further post-hoc AMOVA tests revealed additional genetic structure between populations east and west of the Chilean Coastal Cordillera (coastal vs. interior). Overall female effective population size appears to have remained relatively constant until roughly 0.5 Ma when population size rapidly increased several orders of magnitude [100× (60×-190×)] to reach contemporary levels. Maximum likelihood analysis of nuclear alleles revealed a poorly supported gene tree which was paraphyletic with respect to mitochondrial-defined haplogroups. Conclusions First diversifying in the central/north-west region of Patagonia, G. maculatus extended its range into Argentina via the southern coastal regions that join the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. More recent gene flow between northern populations involved the most

  3. Polyolefin Miscibility: Novel Insights from Molecular Inspection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolak, Justyna E.; White, Jeffery L.

    2004-03-01

    We present experimental evidence for increased local entropy in a high-molecular weight polymer upon blend formation with a second, higher Tg polymer. Direct spectroscopic observation of conformational dynamics at or slightly above Tg by 2D solid-state NMR reveals an increase in the absolute configurational entropy of polyisobutylene when a miscible blend with polyethylene-co-butene is formed while no increase is observed for phase-separated blends. Static ^2H and ^129Xe NMR experiments support this conclusion. These results contradict traditional thermodynamic models where entropy of mixing for two macromolecules is assumed to be zero. Such models are inherently based on non-local polymer structures, and fail to account for specific dynamics at sub-Rg length scales. Our experimental results on saturated hydrocarbon blends, in which enthalpic interactions are small due to the identical chemical composition of polyolefins, indicate cumulative conformational entropy gains upon mixing. In a second manifestation of these new experimental insights, Adams-Gibbs theory is used to determine changes in the configurational entropy across the glass-transition temperature range.

  4. Molecular Epidemiology of Tuberculosis: Current Insights

    PubMed Central

    Mathema, Barun; Kurepina, Natalia E.; Bifani, Pablo J.; Kreiswirth, Barry N.

    2006-01-01

    Molecular epidemiologic studies of tuberculosis (TB) have focused largely on utilizing molecular techniques to address short- and long-term epidemiologic questions, such as in outbreak investigations and in assessing the global dissemination of strains, respectively. This is done primarily by examining the extent of genetic diversity of clinical strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. When molecular methods are used in conjunction with classical epidemiology, their utility for TB control has been realized. For instance, molecular epidemiologic studies have added much-needed accuracy and precision in describing transmission dynamics, and they have facilitated investigation of previously unresolved issues, such as estimates of recent-versus-reactive disease and the extent of exogenous reinfection. In addition, there is mounting evidence to suggest that specific strains of M. tuberculosis belonging to discrete phylogenetic clusters (lineages) may differ in virulence, pathogenesis, and epidemiologic characteristics, all of which may significantly impact TB control and vaccine development strategies. Here, we review the current methods, concepts, and applications of molecular approaches used to better understand the epidemiology of TB. PMID:17041139

  5. From Molecular Insights to Novel Catalysts Formulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolla, Eranda; Linic, Suljo

    First-principles methods can be utilized to obtain elementary step mechanisms for chemical reactions on model systems. In this chapter, we will illustrate how this molecular information can be employed to motivate novel heterogeneous catalyst formulations. We will discuss a few examples where first-principles studies on idealized model systems were utilized, along with various experimental tools, to identify alloy catalysts that exhibit improved performance in a number of catalytic processes. We will emphasize the role of molecular approaches in the formulation of these catalysts.

  6. Helicases as molecular motors: An insight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuteja, Narendra; Tuteja, Renu

    2006-12-01

    Helicases are one of the smallest motors of biological system, which harness the chemical free energy of ATP hydrolysis to catalyze the opening of energetically stable duplex nucleic acids and thereby are involved in almost all aspect of nucleic acid metabolism including replication, repair, recombination, transcription, translation, and ribosome biogenesis. Basically, they break the hydrogen bonding between the duplex helix and translocate unidirectionally along the bound strand. Mostly all the helicases contain some conserved signature motifs, which act as an engine to power the unwinding. After the discovery of the first prokaryotic DNA helicase from Escherichia coli bacteria in 1976 and the first eukaryotic one from the lily plant in 1978, many more (>100) have been isolated. All the helicases share some common properties, including nucleic acid binding, NTP hydrolysis and unwinding of the duplex. Many helicases have been crystallized and their structures have revealed an underlying common structural fold for their function. The defects in helicases gene have also been reported to be responsible for variety of human genetic disorders, which can lead to cancer, premature aging or mental retardation. Recently, a new role of a helicase in abiotic stress signaling in plant has been discovered. Overall, helicases act as essential molecular tools for cellular machinery and help in maintaining the integrity of genome. Here an overview of helicases has been covered which includes history, biochemical assay, properties, classification, role in human disease and mechanism of unwinding and translocation.

  7. Plant molecular stress responses face climate change.

    PubMed

    Ahuja, Ishita; de Vos, Ric C H; Bones, Atle M; Hall, Robert D

    2010-12-01

    Environmental stress factors such as drought, elevated temperature, salinity and rising CO₂ affect plant growth and pose a growing threat to sustainable agriculture. This has become a hot issue due to concerns about the effects of climate change on plant resources, biodiversity and global food security. Plant adaptation to stress involves key changes in the '-omic' architecture. Here, we present an overview of the physiological and molecular programs in stress adaptation focusing on how genes, proteins and metabolites change after individual and multiple environmental stresses. We address the role which '-omics' research, coupled to systems biology approaches, can play in future research on plants seemingly unable to adapt as well as those which can tolerate climatic change.

  8. Cardiomyocyte Death: Insights from Molecular and Microstructural Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Berry, Natalia C.

    2011-01-01

    Cardiomyocytes can die via necrosis, apoptosis, and autophagy. Although the molecular signals and pathways underlying these processes have been well elucidated, the pathophysiology of cardiomyocyte death remains incompletely understood. This review describes the development and application of novel imaging techniques to detect and characterize cardiomyocyte death noninvasively in vivo. It focuses on molecular and microstructural magnetic resonance images (MRIs) and their respective abilities to image cellular events such as apoptosis, inflammation, and myofiber architecture. These in vivo imaging techniques have the potential to provide novel insights into the mechanisms of cardiomyocyte death and to help guide the development of novel cardioprotective therapies. PMID:21298427

  9. Molecular architecture of the vanilloid receptor. Insights for drug design.

    PubMed

    Ferrer-Montiel, Antonio; García-Martínez, Carolina; Morenilla-Palao, Cruz; García-Sanz, Nuria; Fernández-Carvajal, Asia; Fernández-Ballester, Gregorio; Planells-Cases, Rosa

    2004-05-01

    The transient receptor potential channel vanilloid receptor subunit 1 (TRPV1) is a molecular integrator of physical and chemical stimuli in the peripheral nociceptor terminals. TRPV1 is an ionotropic channel that plays a critical role in both thermal nociception and inflammatory hyperalgesia. Structure-function relationships are providing fundamental insights of the modular architecture of this neuronal receptor. As a result, the molecular determinants that endow TRPV1 with its physiological properties, namely activation by heat, potentiation by extracellular acidic pH, and interaction with vanilloid-like compounds, as well as its permeation properties are being unveiled. This information can now be used to build up molecular models for the protein which, upon experimental validation, could be used as tools to thrust the target-oriented design of druggable TRPV1 ligands.

  10. Molecular dynamics insights into human aquaporin 2 water channel.

    PubMed

    Binesh, A R; Kamali, R

    2015-12-01

    In this study, the first molecular dynamics simulation of the human aquaporin 2 is performed and for a better understanding of the aquaporin 2 permeability performance, the characteristics of water transport in this protein channel and key biophysical parameters of AQP2 tetramer including osmotic and diffusive permeability constants and the pore radius are investigated. For this purpose, recently recovered high resolution X-ray crystal structure of` the human aquaporin 2 is used to perform twenty nanosecond molecular dynamics simulation of fully hydrated tetramer of this protein embedded in a lipid bilayer. The resulting water permeability characteristics of this protein channel showed that the water permeability of the human AQP2 is in a mean range in comparison with other human aquaporins family. Finally, the results reported in this research demonstrate that molecular dynamics simulation of human AQP2 provided useful insights into the mechanisms of water permeation and urine concentration in the human kidney. PMID:26489820

  11. Molecular dynamics insights into human aquaporin 2 water channel.

    PubMed

    Binesh, A R; Kamali, R

    2015-12-01

    In this study, the first molecular dynamics simulation of the human aquaporin 2 is performed and for a better understanding of the aquaporin 2 permeability performance, the characteristics of water transport in this protein channel and key biophysical parameters of AQP2 tetramer including osmotic and diffusive permeability constants and the pore radius are investigated. For this purpose, recently recovered high resolution X-ray crystal structure of` the human aquaporin 2 is used to perform twenty nanosecond molecular dynamics simulation of fully hydrated tetramer of this protein embedded in a lipid bilayer. The resulting water permeability characteristics of this protein channel showed that the water permeability of the human AQP2 is in a mean range in comparison with other human aquaporins family. Finally, the results reported in this research demonstrate that molecular dynamics simulation of human AQP2 provided useful insights into the mechanisms of water permeation and urine concentration in the human kidney.

  12. Insights on Antarctic climate variability from paleo-temperature proxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orsi, A. J.; Landais, A.; Stenni, B.; Severinghaus, J. P.

    2015-12-01

    Few direct meteorological observations exist in Antarctica, which limits our understanding of the modes of climate variability in this region. In particular, atmospheric reanalyses do not produce a coherent picture of the known warming trend since 1979. Here we analyze a suite of paleo-temperature proxies to gain insight into both the recent temperature trend and the multi-decadal climate variability in Antarctica over the last 1000 years. We present temperature records from two sites in Antarctica: WAIS Divide (79°S, 112°W, 1766 m a.s.l), and Talos Dome (72°S, 159°E, 2315 m a.s.l), reconstructed from the combination of inert gas isotopes from the ice core and borehole temperature measurements. Borehole temperature provides an absolute estimate of long-term trends, while noble gases track decadal to centennial scale changes. In addition, we use water isotopes to infer information about circulation changes. We find a strong warming trend in West Antarctica over the last 50 years (+0.23°C/decade), which is accelerating (+0.8°C/decade since 1980). The longer temperature record shows that such a trend has analogs happening about every 200 years. However, the study of other climate proxies suggests that the recent trend is due to a different mechanism than the previous events. We also find a long term cooling trend over the last 1000 years, which is stronger in East Antarctica (Talos Dome) than in West Antarctica (WAIS-Divide). At WAIS Divide, we find that "Little Ice Age" cold period of 1400-1800 was 0.52°C colder than the last century. Overall, both records are consistent with the idea that the solar minima and persistent volcanic activity of the Little Ice Age (1400-1850 A.D.) had a significant impact on the surface temperature in Antarctica. The feedbacks amplifying the forcing were likely stronger on the East Antarctic plateau than on the more marine-influenced West Antarctica.

  13. Insights into Buforin II Membrane Translocation from Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    PubMed Central

    Elmore, Donald E.

    2012-01-01

    Buforin II is a histone-derived antimicrobial peptide that readily translocates across lipid membranes without causing significant membrane permeabilization. Previous studies showed that mutating the sole proline of buforin II dramatically decreases its translocation. As well, researchers have proposed that the peptide crosses membranes in a cooperative manner through forming transient toroidal pores. This paper reports molecular dynamics simulations designed to investigate the structure of buforin II upon membrane entry and evaluate whether the peptide is able to form toroidal pore structures. These simulations showed a relationship between protein-lipid interactions and increased structural deformations of the buforin N-terminal region promoted by proline. Moreover, simulations with multiple peptides show how buforin II can embed deeply into membranes and potentially form toroidal pores. Together, these simulations provide structural insight into the translocation process for buforin II in addition to providing more general insight into the role proline can play in antimicrobial peptides. PMID:23022591

  14. New molecular insights into inflammatory bowel disease-induced diarrhea

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yueming; Forsyth, Christopher B; Keshavarzian, Ali

    2011-01-01

    Diarrhea is one of the common symptoms that significantly affects quality of life in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The clinical manifestation of diarrhea is mainly dependant on the type of IBD and the location, extent and severity of intestinal inflammation. Understanding the pathophysiologic mechanisms of diarrhea in patients with IBD will be beneficial to developing effective treatments for IBD-associated diarrhea. In recent years, modern molecular techniques have been used intensively to dissect the role of the intestinal microbiota, epithelial barrier and the host immune system in the mechanisms of IBD-induced diarrhea. These studies have significantly advanced our knowledge of the mechanisms of IBD-induced diarrhea. In this article, we focus on the new and critical molecular insights into the contributions of the intestinal microbiota, epithelial tight junctions, proinflammatory cytokines and microRNA as potential mechanisms underlying to IBD-induced diarrhea. PMID:21910579

  15. New molecular insights into inflammatory bowel disease-induced diarrhea.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yueming; Forsyth, Christopher B; Keshavarzian, Ali

    2011-10-01

    Diarrhea is one of the common symptoms that significantly affects quality of life in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The clinical manifestation of diarrhea is mainly dependant on the type of IBD and the location, extent and severity of intestinal inflammation. Understanding the pathophysiologic mechanisms of diarrhea in patients with IBD will be beneficial to developing effective treatments for IBD-associated diarrhea. In recent years, modern molecular techniques have been used intensively to dissect the role of the intestinal microbiota, epithelial barrier and the host immune system in the mechanisms of IBD-induced diarrhea. These studies have significantly advanced our knowledge of the mechanisms of IBD-induced diarrhea. In this article, we focus on the new and critical molecular insights into the contributions of the intestinal microbiota, epithelial tight junctions, proinflammatory cytokines and microRNA as potential mechanisms underlying to IBD-induced diarrhea. PMID:21910579

  16. Molecular population genetic analysis of emerged bacterial pathogens: selected insights.

    PubMed Central

    Musser, J. M.

    1996-01-01

    Research in bacterial population genetics has increased in the last 10 years. Population genetic theory and tools and related strategies have been used to investigate bacterial pathogens that have contributed to recent episodes of temporal variation in disease frequency and severity. A common theme demonstrated by these analyses is that distinct bacterial clones are responsible for disease outbreaks and increases in infection frequency. Many of these clones are characterized by unique combinations of virulence genes or alleles of virulence genes. Because substantial interclonal variance exists in relative virulence, molecular population genetic studies have led to the concept that the unit of bacterial pathogenicity is the clone or cell line. Continued new insights into host parasite interactions at the molecular level will be achieved by combining clonal analysis of bacterial pathogens with large-scale comparative sequencing of virulence genes. PMID:8903193

  17. Pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis: insights from molecular and metabolic imaging.

    PubMed

    Ciccarelli, Olga; Barkhof, Frederik; Bodini, Benedetta; De Stefano, Nicola; Golay, Xavier; Nicolay, Klaas; Pelletier, Daniel; Pouwels, Petra J W; Smith, Seth A; Wheeler-Kingshott, Claudia A M; Stankoff, Bruno; Yousry, Tarek; Miller, David H

    2014-08-01

    The mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis induce the changes that underpin relapse-associated and progressive disability. Disease mechanisms can be investigated in preclinical models and patients with multiple sclerosis by molecular and metabolic imaging techniques. Many insights have been gained from such imaging studies: persisting inflammation in the absence of a damaged blood-brain barrier, activated microglia within and beyond lesions, increased mitochondrial activity after acute lesions, raised sodium concentrations in the brain, increased glutamate in acute lesions and normal-appearing white matter, different degrees of demyelination in different patients and lesions, early neuronal damage in grey matter, and early astrocytic proliferation and activation in lesions and white matter. Clinical translation of molecular and metabolic imaging and extension of these techniques will enable the assessment of novel drugs targeted at these disease mechanisms, and have the potential to improve health outcomes through the stratification of patients for treatments.

  18. Managing U.S. climate risk through mitigation: Insights from the American Climate Prospectus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopp, R. E., III; Hsiang, S. M.; Houser, T.; Larsen, K.; Rasmussen, D. M., Jr.; Jina, A.; Rising, J.; Delgado, M.; Mohan, S.; Muir-Wood, R.; Wilson, P. S.

    2014-12-01

    The American Climate Prospectus (ACP), the technical analysis underlying the Risky Business project, quantitatively assessed the economic risks posed to the United States by six categories of climate change impacts: crop yield, energy demand, coastal storm damage, criminal activity, labor productivity, and mortality [1]. At a national level, measured by impact on gross domestic product, increased mortality and decreased labor productivity pose the large risks, followed by increased energy demand and coastal damages. Changes in crop yield and crime have smaller impacts. The ACP was not intended to conduct a benefit-cost analysis of climate change mitigation. It assessed the economic consequences of future impacts on an economy with a structure equivalent to that of the current economy, not accounting for socio-economic development and adaptation, and did not assess the cost of mitigation. One of its primary goals was to inform adaptation decisions that are conventionally considered 'endogenous' in economic analyses of climate change. Nonetheless, its results provide insight into the potential of mitigation to manage climate risk. Differences between RCP 8.5 (moderately-high business-as-usual emissions), RCP 4.5 (moderate mitigation) and RCP 2.6 (extremely strong mitigation) are not apparent until mid-century and become significant only late in the century. For all impacts except coastal damages, mitigation significantly reduces uncertainty in late-century impact estimates. Nationally, mitigation significantly and monotonically reduces median projected labor productivity losses and violent crime. Switching from RCP 8.5 to RCP 4.5 also significantly reduces median projections of mortality and energy demand, but the domestic value to the U.S. of further mitigation to RCP 2.6 is less clear. The marginal benefits decline in part because some regions of the country (especially the Northwest) may experience increased crop yields, reduced mortality, and reduced energy

  19. Molecular paleobiological insights into the origin of the Brachiopoda.

    PubMed

    Sperling, Erik A; Pisani, Davide; Peterson, Kevin J

    2011-01-01

    Most studies of brachiopod evolution have been based on their extensive fossil record, but molecular techniques, due to their independence from the rock record, can offer new insights into the evolution of a clade. Previous molecular phylogenetic hypotheses of brachiopod interrelationships place phoronids within the brachiopods as the sister group to the inarticulates, whereas morphological considerations suggest that Brachiopoda is a monophyletic group. Here, these hypotheses were tested with a molecular phylogenetic analysis of seven nuclear housekeeping genes combined with three ribosomal genes. The combined analysis finds brachiopods to be monophyletic, but with relatively weak support, and the craniid as the sister taxon of all other brachiopods. Phylogenetic-signal dissection suggests that the weak support is caused by the instability of the craniid, which is attracted to the phoronids. Analysis of slowly evolving sites results in a robustly supported monophyletic Brachiopoda and Inarticulata (Linguliformea+Craniiformea), which is regarded as the most likely topology for brachiopod interrelationships. The monophyly of Brachiopoda was further tested with microRNA-based phylogenetics, which are small, noncoding RNA genes whose presence and absence can be used to infer phylogenetic relationships. Two novel microRNAs were characterized supporting the monophyly of brachiopods. Congruence of the traditional molecular phylogenetic analysis, microRNAs, and morphological cladograms suggest that Brachiopoda is monophyletic with Phoronida as its likely sister group. Molecular clock analysis suggests that extant phoronids have a Paleozoic divergence despite their conservative morphology, and that the early brachiopod fossil record is robust, and is not affected by taphonomic factors relating to the late-Precambrian/early-Cambrian phosphogenic event. PMID:21535467

  20. Molecular paleobiological insights into the origin of the Brachiopoda.

    PubMed

    Sperling, Erik A; Pisani, Davide; Peterson, Kevin J

    2011-01-01

    Most studies of brachiopod evolution have been based on their extensive fossil record, but molecular techniques, due to their independence from the rock record, can offer new insights into the evolution of a clade. Previous molecular phylogenetic hypotheses of brachiopod interrelationships place phoronids within the brachiopods as the sister group to the inarticulates, whereas morphological considerations suggest that Brachiopoda is a monophyletic group. Here, these hypotheses were tested with a molecular phylogenetic analysis of seven nuclear housekeeping genes combined with three ribosomal genes. The combined analysis finds brachiopods to be monophyletic, but with relatively weak support, and the craniid as the sister taxon of all other brachiopods. Phylogenetic-signal dissection suggests that the weak support is caused by the instability of the craniid, which is attracted to the phoronids. Analysis of slowly evolving sites results in a robustly supported monophyletic Brachiopoda and Inarticulata (Linguliformea+Craniiformea), which is regarded as the most likely topology for brachiopod interrelationships. The monophyly of Brachiopoda was further tested with microRNA-based phylogenetics, which are small, noncoding RNA genes whose presence and absence can be used to infer phylogenetic relationships. Two novel microRNAs were characterized supporting the monophyly of brachiopods. Congruence of the traditional molecular phylogenetic analysis, microRNAs, and morphological cladograms suggest that Brachiopoda is monophyletic with Phoronida as its likely sister group. Molecular clock analysis suggests that extant phoronids have a Paleozoic divergence despite their conservative morphology, and that the early brachiopod fossil record is robust, and is not affected by taphonomic factors relating to the late-Precambrian/early-Cambrian phosphogenic event.

  1. Genomic and epigenetic insights into the molecular bases of heterosis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Z Jeffrey

    2013-07-01

    Heterosis, also known as hybrid vigour, is widespread in plants and animals, but the molecular bases for this phenomenon remain elusive. Recent studies in hybrids and allopolyploids using transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic, epigenomic and systems biology approaches have provided new insights. Emerging genomic and epigenetic perspectives suggest that heterosis arises from allelic interactions between parental genomes, leading to altered programming of genes that promote the growth, stress tolerance and fitness of hybrids. For example, epigenetic modifications of key regulatory genes in hybrids and allopolyploids can alter complex regulatory networks of physiology and metabolism, thus modulating biomass and leading to heterosis. The conceptual advances could help to improve plant and animal productivity through the manipulation of heterosis.

  2. Genomic and epigenetic insights into the molecular bases of heterosis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Z Jeffrey

    2013-07-01

    Heterosis, also known as hybrid vigour, is widespread in plants and animals, but the molecular bases for this phenomenon remain elusive. Recent studies in hybrids and allopolyploids using transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic, epigenomic and systems biology approaches have provided new insights. Emerging genomic and epigenetic perspectives suggest that heterosis arises from allelic interactions between parental genomes, leading to altered programming of genes that promote the growth, stress tolerance and fitness of hybrids. For example, epigenetic modifications of key regulatory genes in hybrids and allopolyploids can alter complex regulatory networks of physiology and metabolism, thus modulating biomass and leading to heterosis. The conceptual advances could help to improve plant and animal productivity through the manipulation of heterosis. PMID:23752794

  3. High Cholesterol Deteriorates Bone Health: New Insights into Molecular Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Mandal, Chandi C.

    2015-01-01

    Many epidemiological studies show a positive connection between cardiovascular diseases and risk of osteoporosis, suggesting a role of hyperlipidemia and/or hypercholesterolemia in regulating osteoporosis. The majority of the studies indicated a correlation between high cholesterol and high LDL-cholesterol level with low bone mineral density, a strong predictor of osteoporosis. Similarly, bone metastasis is a serious complication of cancer for patients. Several epidemiological and basic studies have established that high cholesterol is associated with increased cancer risk. Moreover, osteoporotic bone environment predisposes the cancer cells for metastatic growth in the bone microenvironment. This review focuses on how cholesterol and cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) regulate the functions of bone residential osteoblast and osteoclast cells to augment or to prevent bone deterioration. Moreover, this study provides an insight into molecular mechanisms of cholesterol-mediated bone deterioration. It also proposes a potential mechanism by which cellular cholesterol boosts cancer-induced bone metastasis. PMID:26557105

  4. Molecular insights into the terminal energy acceptor in cyanobacterial phycobilisome.

    PubMed

    Gao, Xiang; Wei, Tian-Di; Zhang, Nan; Xie, Bin-Bin; Su, Hai-Nan; Zhang, Xi-Ying; Chen, Xiu-Lan; Zhou, Bai-Cheng; Wang, Zhi-Xin; Wu, Jia-Wei; Zhang, Yu-Zhong

    2012-09-01

    The linker protein L(CM) (ApcE) is postulated as the major component of the phycobilisome terminal energy acceptor (TEA) transferring excitation energy from the phycobilisome to photosystem II. L(CM) is the only phycobilin-attached linker protein in the cyanobacterial phycobilisome through auto-chromophorylation. However, the underlying mechanism for the auto-chromophorylation of L(CM) and the detailed molecular architecture of TEA is still unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the N-terminal phycobiliprotein-like domain of L(CM) (Pfam00502, LP502) can specifically recognize phycocyanobilin (PCB) by itself. Biochemical assays indicated that PCB binds into the same pocket in LP502 as that in the allophycocyanin α-subunit and that Ser152 and Asp155 play a vital role in LP502 auto-chromophorylation. By carefully conducting computational simulations, we arrived at a rational model of the PCB-LP502 complex structure that was supported by extensive mutational studies. In the PCB-LP502 complex, PCB binds into a deep pocket of LP502 with a distorted conformation, and Ser152 and Asp155 form several hydrogen bonds to PCB fixing the PCB Ring A and Ring D. Finally, based on our results, the dipoles and dipole-dipole interactions in TEA are analysed and a molecular structure for TEA is proposed, which gives new insights into the energy transformation mechanism of cyanobacterial phycobilisome. PMID:22758351

  5. Molecular asymmetry in extraterrestrial chemistry: Insights from a pristine meteorite.

    PubMed

    Pizzarello, Sandra; Huang, Yongsong; Alexandre, Marcelo R

    2008-03-11

    The nonracemic amino acids of meteorites provide the only natural example of molecular asymmetry measured so far outside the biosphere. Because extant life depends on chiral homogeneity for the structure and function of biopolymers, the study of these meteoritic compounds may offer insights into the establishment of prebiotic attributes in chemical evolution as well as the origin of terrestrial homochirality. However, all efforts to understand the origin, distribution, and scope of these amino acids' enantiomeric excesses (ee) have been frustrated by the ready exposure of meteorites to terrestrial contaminants and the ubiquitous homochirality of such contamination. We have analyzed the soluble organic composition of a carbonaceous meteorite from Antarctica that was collected and stored under controlled conditions, largely escaped terrestrial contamination and offers an exceptionally pristine sample of prebiotic material. Analyses of the meteorite diastereomeric amino acids alloisoleucine and isoleucine allowed us to show that their likely precursor molecules, the aldehydes, also carried a sizable molecular asymmetry of up to 14% in the asteroidal parent body. Aldehydes are widespread and abundant interstellar molecules; that they came to be present, survived, and evolved in the solar system carrying ee gives support to the idea that biomolecular traits such as chiral asymmetry could have been seeded in abiotic chemistry ahead of life. PMID:18310323

  6. Molecular insight into conformational transmission of human P-glycoprotein

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, Shan-Yan; Liu, Fu-Feng E-mail: ysun@tju.edu.cn; Dong, Xiao-Yan; Sun, Yan E-mail: ysun@tju.edu.cn

    2013-12-14

    P-glycoprotein (P-gp), a kind of ATP-binding cassette transporter, can export candidates through a channel at the two transmembrane domains (TMDs) across the cell membranes using the energy released from ATP hydrolysis at the two nucleotide-binding domains (NBDs). Considerable evidence has indicated that human P-gp undergoes large-scale conformational changes to export a wide variety of anti-cancer drugs out of the cancer cells. However, molecular mechanism of the conformational transmission of human P-gp from the NBDs to the TMDs is still unclear. Herein, targeted molecular dynamics simulations were performed to explore the atomic detail of the conformational transmission of human P-gp. It is confirmed that the conformational transition from the inward- to outward-facing is initiated by the movement of the NBDs. It is found that the two NBDs move both on the two directions (x and y). The movement on the x direction leads to the closure of the NBDs, while the movement on the y direction adjusts the conformations of the NBDs to form the correct ATP binding pockets. Six key segments (KSs) protruding from the TMDs to interact with the NBDs are identified. The relative movement of the KSs along the y axis driven by the NBDs can be transmitted through α-helices to the rest of the TMDs, rendering the TMDs to open towards periplasm in the outward-facing conformation. Twenty eight key residue pairs are identified to participate in the interaction network that contributes to the conformational transmission from the NBDs to the TMDs of human P-gp. In addition, 9 key residues in each NBD are also identified. The studies have thus provided clear insight into the conformational transmission from the NBDs to the TMDs in human P-gp.

  7. Molecular insight into conformational transmission of human P-glycoprotein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Shan-Yan; Liu, Fu-Feng; Dong, Xiao-Yan; Sun, Yan

    2013-12-01

    P-glycoprotein (P-gp), a kind of ATP-binding cassette transporter, can export candidates through a channel at the two transmembrane domains (TMDs) across the cell membranes using the energy released from ATP hydrolysis at the two nucleotide-binding domains (NBDs). Considerable evidence has indicated that human P-gp undergoes large-scale conformational changes to export a wide variety of anti-cancer drugs out of the cancer cells. However, molecular mechanism of the conformational transmission of human P-gp from the NBDs to the TMDs is still unclear. Herein, targeted molecular dynamics simulations were performed to explore the atomic detail of the conformational transmission of human P-gp. It is confirmed that the conformational transition from the inward- to outward-facing is initiated by the movement of the NBDs. It is found that the two NBDs move both on the two directions (x and y). The movement on the x direction leads to the closure of the NBDs, while the movement on the y direction adjusts the conformations of the NBDs to form the correct ATP binding pockets. Six key segments (KSs) protruding from the TMDs to interact with the NBDs are identified. The relative movement of the KSs along the y axis driven by the NBDs can be transmitted through α-helices to the rest of the TMDs, rendering the TMDs to open towards periplasm in the outward-facing conformation. Twenty eight key residue pairs are identified to participate in the interaction network that contributes to the conformational transmission from the NBDs to the TMDs of human P-gp. In addition, 9 key residues in each NBD are also identified. The studies have thus provided clear insight into the conformational transmission from the NBDs to the TMDs in human P-gp.

  8. Sex Change in Clownfish: Molecular Insights from Transcriptome Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Casas, Laura; Saborido-Rey, Fran; Ryu, Taewoo; Michell, Craig; Ravasi, Timothy; Irigoien, Xabier

    2016-01-01

    Sequential hermaphroditism is a unique reproductive strategy among teleosts that is displayed mainly in fish species living in the coral reef environment. The reproductive biology of hermaphrodites has long been intriguing; however, very little is known about the molecular pathways underlying their sex change. Here, we provide the first de novo transcriptome analyses of a hermaphrodite teleost´s undergoing sex change in its natural environment. Our study has examined relative gene expression across multiple groups—rather than just two contrasting conditions— and has allowed us to explore the differential expression patterns throughout the whole process. Our analysis has highlighted the rapid and complex genomic response of the brain associated with sex change, which is subsequently transmitted to the gonads, identifying a large number of candidate genes, some well-known and some novel, involved in the process. The present study provides strong evidence of the importance of the sex steroidogenic machinery during sex change in clownfish, with the aromatase gene playing a central role, both in the brain and the gonad. This work constitutes the first genome-wide study in a social sex-changing species and provides insights into the genetic mechanism governing social sex change and gonadal restructuring in protandrous hermaphrodites. PMID:27748421

  9. Molecular Insights into the Biosynthesis of the F420 Coenzyme

    SciTech Connect

    Forouhar,F.; Abashidze, M.; Xu, H.; Grochowski, L.; Seetharaman, J.; Hussain, M.; Kuzin, A.; Chen, Y.; Zhou, W.; et al

    2008-01-01

    Coenzyme F420, a hydride carrier, is found in Archaea and some bacteria and has crucial roles in methanogenesis, antibiotic biosynthesis, DNA repair, and activation of antitubercular compounds. CofD, 2-phospho-l-lactate transferase, catalyzes the last step in the biosynthesis of F420-0 (F420 without polyglutamate), by transferring the lactyl phosphate moiety of lactyl(2)diphospho-(5')guanosine to 7,8-didemethyl-8-hydroxy-5-deazariboflavin ribitol (Fo). CofD is highly conserved among F420-producing organisms, and weak sequence homologs are also found in non-F420-producing organisms. This superfamily does not share any recognizable sequence conservation with other proteins. Here we report the first crystal structures of CofD, the free enzyme and two ternary complexes, with Fo and Pi or with Fo and GDP, from Methanosarcina mazei. The active site is located at the C-terminal end of a Rossmann fold core, and three large insertions make significant contributions to the active site and dimer formation. The observed binding modes of Fo and GDP can explain known biochemical properties of CofD and are also supported by our binding assays. The structures provide significant molecular insights into the biosynthesis of the F420 coenzyme. Large structural differences in the active site region of the non-F420-producing CofD homologs suggest that they catalyze a different biochemical reaction.

  10. Proton Transport in Carbonic Anhydrase: Insights from Molecular Simulation

    PubMed Central

    Maupin, C. Mark; Voth, Gregory A.

    2009-01-01

    Summary This article reviews the insights gained from molecular simulations of human carbonic anhydrase II (HCA II) utilizing non-reactive and reactive force fields. The simulations with a reactive force field explore protein transfer and transport via Grotthuss shuttling, while the non-reactive simulations probe the larger conformational dynamics that underpin the various contributions to the rate-limiting proton transfer event. Specific attention is given to the orientational stability of the His64 group and the characteristics of the active site water cluster, in an effort to determine both of their impact on the maximal catalytic rate. The explicit proton transfer and transport events are described by the multistate empirical valence bond (MS-EVB) method, as are alternative pathways for the excess proton charge defect to enter/leave the active site. The simulation results are interpreted in light of experimental results on the wild-type enzyme and various site-specific mutations of HCA II in order to better elucidate the key factors that contribute to its exceptional efficiency. PMID:19765680

  11. Molecular Insights into Fully Human and Humanized Monoclonal Antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Julian; Glasebrook, Andrew; Tang, Ying; Glaesner, Wolfgang; Nickoloff, Brian J.

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, a large number of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies have come to market to treat a variety of conditions including patients with immune-mediated chronic inflammation. Distinguishing the relative clinical efficacy and safety profiles of one monoclonal antibody relative to another can be difficult and complex due to different clinical designs and paucity of head-to-head comparator studies. One distinguishing feature in interpreting clinical trial data by dermatologists may begin by determining whether a monoclonal antibody is fully human or humanized, which can be discerned by the generic name of the drug. Herein, this commentary highlights the distinctions and similarities of fully human and humanized monoclonal antibodies in their nomenclature, engineering, and clinical profiles. While there are a number of differences between these types of monoclonal antibodies, current evidence indicates that this designation does not impart any measurable impact on overall clinical efficacy and safety profiles of a given drug. Based on molecular insights provided in this commentary, it is clear that each monoclonal antibody, irrespective of being fully human or humanized, should be individually assessed for its clinical impact regarding safety and efficacy. Going beyond the type of generic name ascribed to a monoclonal antibody will be an ever-increasing theme for dermatologists as more therapeutic monoclonal antibodies emerge to potentially treat a wider scope of diseases with cutaneous manifestations. PMID:27672407

  12. Molecular-level insights into aging processes of skin elastin.

    PubMed

    Mora Huertas, Angela C; Schmelzer, Christian E H; Hoehenwarter, Wolfgang; Heyroth, Frank; Heinz, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Skin aging is characterized by different features including wrinkling, atrophy of the dermis and loss of elasticity associated with damage to the extracellular matrix protein elastin. The aim of this study was to investigate the aging process of skin elastin at the molecular level by evaluating the influence of intrinsic (chronological aging) and extrinsic factors (sun exposure) on the morphology and susceptibility of elastin towards enzymatic degradation. Elastin was isolated from biopsies derived from sun-protected or sun-exposed skin of differently aged individuals. The morphology of the elastin fibers was characterized by scanning electron microscopy. Mass spectrometric analysis and label-free quantification allowed identifying differences in the cleavage patterns of the elastin samples after enzymatic digestion. Principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis were used to visualize differences between the samples and to determine the contribution of extrinsic and intrinsic aging to the proteolytic susceptibility of elastin. Moreover, the release of potentially bioactive peptides was studied. Skin aging is associated with the decomposition of elastin fibers, which is more pronounced in sun-exposed tissue. Marker peptides were identified, which showed an age-related increase or decrease in their abundances and provide insights into the progression of the aging process of elastin fibers. Strong age-related cleavage occurs in hydrophobic tropoelastin domains 18, 20, 24 and 26. Photoaging makes the N-terminal and central parts of the tropoelastin molecules more susceptible towards enzymatic cleavage and, hence, accelerates the age-related degradation of elastin. PMID:27569260

  13. Molecular Insights into the Transmembrane Domain of the Thyrotropin Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Chantreau, Vanessa; Taddese, Bruck; Munier, Mathilde; Gourdin, Louis; Henrion, Daniel; Rodien, Patrice; Chabbert, Marie

    2015-01-01

    The thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that is member of the leucine-rich repeat subfamily (LGR). In the absence of crystal structure, the success of rational design of ligands targeting the receptor internal cavity depends on the quality of the TSHR models built. In this subfamily, transmembrane helices (TM) 2 and 5 are characterized by the absence of proline compared to most receptors, raising the question of the structural conformation of these helices. To gain insight into the structural properties of these helices, we carried out bioinformatics and experimental studies. Evolutionary analysis of the LGR family revealed a deletion in TM5 but provided no information on TM2. Wild type residues at positions 2.58, 2.59 or 2.60 in TM2 and/or at position 5.50 in TM5 were substituted to proline. Depending on the position of the proline substitution, different effects were observed on membrane expression, glycosylation, constitutive cAMP activity and responses to thyrotropin. Only proline substitution at position 2.59 maintained complex glycosylation and high membrane expression, supporting occurrence of a bulged TM2. The TSHR transmembrane domain was modeled by homology with the orexin 2 receptor, using a protocol that forced the deletion of one residue in the TM5 bulge of the template. The stability of the model was assessed by molecular dynamics simulations. TM5 straightened during the equilibration phase and was stable for the remainder of the simulations. Our data support a structural model of the TSHR transmembrane domain with a bulged TM2 and a straight TM5 that is specific of glycoprotein hormone receptors. PMID:26545118

  14. New Molecular Insights of Insulin in Diabetic Cardiomyopathy.

    PubMed

    Westermeier, Francisco; Riquelme, Jaime A; Pavez, Mario; Garrido, Valeria; Díaz, Ariel; Verdejo, Hugo E; Castro, Pablo F; García, Lorena; Lavandero, Sergio

    2016-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a highly prevalent disease worldwide. Cardiovascular disorders generated as a consequence of T2DM are a major cause of death related to this disease. Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) is characterized by the morphological, functional and metabolic changes in the heart produced as a complication of T2DM. This cardiac disorder is characterized by constant high blood glucose and lipids levels which eventually generate oxidative stress, defective calcium handling, altered mitochondrial function, inflammation and fibrosis. In this context, insulin is of paramount importance for cardiac contractility, growth and metabolism and therefore, an impaired insulin signaling plays a critical role in the DCM development. However, the exact pathophysiological mechanisms leading to DCM are still a matter of study. Despite the numerous questions raised in the study of DCM, there have also been important findings, such as the role of micro-RNAs (miRNAs), which can not only have the potential of being important biomarkers, but also therapeutic targets. Furthermore, exosomes also arise as an interesting variable to consider, since they represent an important inter-cellular communication mechanism and therefore, they may explain many aspects of the pathophysiology of DCM and their study may lead to the development of therapeutic agents capable of improving insulin signaling. In addition, adenosine and adenosine receptors (ARs) may also play an important role in DCM. Moreover, the possible cross-talk between insulin and ARs may provide new strategies to reverse its defective signaling in the diabetic heart. This review focuses on DCM, the role of insulin in this pathology and the discussion of new molecular insights which may help to understand its underlying mechanisms and generate possible new therapeutic strategies. PMID:27148064

  15. Proteomic Insight into the Molecular Function of the Vitreous

    PubMed Central

    Skeie, Jessica M.; Roybal, C. Nathaniel; Mahajan, Vinit B.

    2015-01-01

    The human vitreous contains primarily water, but also contains proteins which have yet to be fully characterized. To gain insight into the four vitreous substructures and their potential functions, we isolated and analyzed the vitreous protein profiles of three non-diseased human eyes. The four analyzed substructures were the anterior hyaloid, the vitreous cortex, the vitreous core, and the vitreous base. Proteins were separated by multidimensional liquid chromatography and identified by tandem mass spectrometry. Bioinformatics tools then extracted the expression profiles, signaling pathways, and interactomes unique to each tissue. From each substructure, a mean of 2,062 unique proteins were identified, with many being differentially expressed in a specific substructure: 278 proteins were unique to the anterior hyaloid, 322 to the vitreous cortex, 128 to the vitreous base, and 136 to the vitreous core. When the identified proteins were organized according to relevant functional pathways and networks, key patterns appeared. The blood coagulation pathway and extracellular matrix turnover networks were highly represented. Oxidative stress regulation and energy metabolism proteins were distributed throughout the vitreous. Immune functions were represented by high levels of immunoglobulin, the complement pathway, damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), and evolutionarily conserved antimicrobial proteins. The majority of vitreous proteins detected were intracellular proteins, some of which originate from the retina, including rhodopsin (RHO), phosphodiesterase 6 (PDE6), and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). This comprehensive analysis uncovers a picture of the vitreous as a biologically active tissue, where proteins localize to distinct substructures to protect the intraocular tissues from infection, oxidative stress, and energy disequilibrium. It also reveals the retina as a potential source of inflammatory mediators. The vitreous proteome catalogues the

  16. Molecular Insights into the Transmembrane Domain of the Thyrotropin Receptor.

    PubMed

    Chantreau, Vanessa; Taddese, Bruck; Munier, Mathilde; Gourdin, Louis; Henrion, Daniel; Rodien, Patrice; Chabbert, Marie

    2015-01-01

    The thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that is member of the leucine-rich repeat subfamily (LGR). In the absence of crystal structure, the success of rational design of ligands targeting the receptor internal cavity depends on the quality of the TSHR models built. In this subfamily, transmembrane helices (TM) 2 and 5 are characterized by the absence of proline compared to most receptors, raising the question of the structural conformation of these helices. To gain insight into the structural properties of these helices, we carried out bioinformatics and experimental studies. Evolutionary analysis of the LGR family revealed a deletion in TM5 but provided no information on TM2. Wild type residues at positions 2.58, 2.59 or 2.60 in TM2 and/or at position 5.50 in TM5 were substituted to proline. Depending on the position of the proline substitution, different effects were observed on membrane expression, glycosylation, constitutive cAMP activity and responses to thyrotropin. Only proline substitution at position 2.59 maintained complex glycosylation and high membrane expression, supporting occurrence of a bulged TM2. The TSHR transmembrane domain was modeled by homology with the orexin 2 receptor, using a protocol that forced the deletion of one residue in the TM5 bulge of the template. The stability of the model was assessed by molecular dynamics simulations. TM5 straightened during the equilibration phase and was stable for the remainder of the simulations. Our data support a structural model of the TSHR transmembrane domain with a bulged TM2 and a straight TM5 that is specific of glycoprotein hormone receptors. PMID:26545118

  17. New Molecular Insights of Insulin in Diabetic Cardiomyopathy

    PubMed Central

    Westermeier, Francisco; Riquelme, Jaime A.; Pavez, Mario; Garrido, Valeria; Díaz, Ariel; Verdejo, Hugo E.; Castro, Pablo F.; García, Lorena; Lavandero, Sergio

    2016-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a highly prevalent disease worldwide. Cardiovascular disorders generated as a consequence of T2DM are a major cause of death related to this disease. Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) is characterized by the morphological, functional and metabolic changes in the heart produced as a complication of T2DM. This cardiac disorder is characterized by constant high blood glucose and lipids levels which eventually generate oxidative stress, defective calcium handling, altered mitochondrial function, inflammation and fibrosis. In this context, insulin is of paramount importance for cardiac contractility, growth and metabolism and therefore, an impaired insulin signaling plays a critical role in the DCM development. However, the exact pathophysiological mechanisms leading to DCM are still a matter of study. Despite the numerous questions raised in the study of DCM, there have also been important findings, such as the role of micro-RNAs (miRNAs), which can not only have the potential of being important biomarkers, but also therapeutic targets. Furthermore, exosomes also arise as an interesting variable to consider, since they represent an important inter-cellular communication mechanism and therefore, they may explain many aspects of the pathophysiology of DCM and their study may lead to the development of therapeutic agents capable of improving insulin signaling. In addition, adenosine and adenosine receptors (ARs) may also play an important role in DCM. Moreover, the possible cross-talk between insulin and ARs may provide new strategies to reverse its defective signaling in the diabetic heart. This review focuses on DCM, the role of insulin in this pathology and the discussion of new molecular insights which may help to understand its underlying mechanisms and generate possible new therapeutic strategies. PMID:27148064

  18. Molecular insight into bacterial cleavage of oceanic dimethylsulfoniopropionate into dimethyl sulfide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chun-Yang; Wei, Tian-Di; Zhang, Sheng-Hui; Chen, Xiu-Lan; Gao, Xiang; Wang, Peng; Xie, Bin-Bin; Su, Hai-Nan; Qin, Qi-Long; Zhang, Xi-Ying; Yu, Juan; Zhang, Hong-Hai; Zhou, Bai-Cheng; Yang, Gui-Peng; Zhang, Yu-Zhong

    2014-01-01

    The microbial cleavage of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) generates volatile DMS through the action of DMSP lyases and is important in the global sulfur and carbon cycles. When released into the atmosphere from the oceans, DMS is oxidized, forming cloud condensation nuclei that may influence weather and climate. Six different DMSP lyase genes are found in taxonomically diverse microorganisms, and dddQ is among the most abundant in marine metagenomes. Here, we examine the molecular mechanism of DMSP cleavage by the DMSP lyase, DddQ, from Ruegeria lacuscaerulensis ITI_1157. The structures of DddQ bound to an inhibitory molecule 2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid and of DddQ inactivated by a Tyr131Ala mutation and bound to DMSP were solved. DddQ adopts a β-barrel fold structure and contains a Zn2+ ion and six highly conserved hydrophilic residues (Tyr120, His123, His125, Glu129, Tyr131, and His163) in the active site. Mutational and biochemical analyses indicate that these hydrophilic residues are essential to catalysis. In particular, Tyr131 undergoes a conformational change during catalysis, acting as a base to initiate the β-elimination reaction in DMSP lysis. Moreover, structural analyses and molecular dynamics simulations indicate that two loops over the substrate-binding pocket of DddQ can alternate between "open" and "closed" states, serving as a gate for DMSP entry. We also propose a molecular mechanism for DMS production through DMSP cleavage. Our study provides important insight into the mechanism involved in the conversion of DMSP into DMS, which should lead to a better understanding of this globally important biogeochemical reaction.

  19. Estimating the limits of adaptation from historical behaviour: Insights from the American Climate Prospectus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jina, A.; Hsiang, S. M.; Kopp, R. E., III; Rasmussen, D.; Rising, J.

    2014-12-01

    The American Climate Prospectus (ACP), the technical analysis underlying the Risky Business project, quantitatively assessed the climate risks posed to the United States' economy in a number of economic sectors [1]. The main analysis presents projections of climate impacts with an assumption of "no adaptation". Yet, historically, when the climate imposed an economic cost upon society, adaptive responses were taken to minimise these costs. These adaptive behaviours, both autonomous and planned, can be expected to occur as climate impacts increase in the future. To understand the extent to which adaptation might decrease some of the worst impacts of climate change, we empirically estimate adaptive responses. We do this in three sectors considered in the analysis - crop yield, crime, and mortality - and estimate adaptive capacity in two steps. First, looking at changes in climate impacts through time, we identify a historical rate of adaptation. Second, spatial differences in climate impacts are then used to stratify regions into more adapted or less adapted based on climate averages. As these averages change across counties in the US, we allow each to become more adapted at the rate identified in step one. We are then able to estimate the residual damages, assuming that only the historical adaptive behaviours have taken place (fig 1). Importantly, we are unable to estimate any costs associated with these adaptations, nor are we able to estimate more novel (for example, new technological discoveries) or more disruptive (for example, migration) adaptive behaviours. However, an important insight is that historical adaptive behaviours may not be capable of reducing the worst impacts of climate change. The persistence of impacts in even the most exposed areas indicates that there are non-trivial costs associated with adaptation that will need to be met from other sources or through novel behavioural changes. References: [1] T. Houser et al. (2014), American Climate

  20. Emerging insights into the molecular and cellular basis of glioblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Dunn, Gavin P.; Rinne, Mikael L.; Wykosky, Jill; Genovese, Giannicola; Quayle, Steven N.; Dunn, Ian F.; Agarwalla, Pankaj K.; Chheda, Milan G.; Campos, Benito; Wang, Alan; Brennan, Cameron; Ligon, Keith L.; Furnari, Frank; Cavenee, Webster K.; Depinho, Ronald A.; Chin, Lynda; Hahn, William C.

    2012-01-01

    Glioblastoma is both the most common and lethal primary malignant brain tumor. Extensive multiplatform genomic characterization has provided a higher-resolution picture of the molecular alterations underlying this disease. These studies provide the emerging view that “glioblastoma” represents several histologically similar yet molecularly heterogeneous diseases, which influences taxonomic classification systems, prognosis, and therapeutic decisions. PMID:22508724

  1. The Formation of Molecular Clouds: Insights from Numerical Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heitsch, Fabian

    2010-10-01

    Galactic star formation occurs at a surprisingly low rate. Yet, recent large-scale surveys of dark clouds in the Galaxy show that one rarely finds molecular clouds without young stellar objects, suggesting that star formation should occur rapidly upon molecular cloud formation. This rapid onset challenges the traditional concept of ``slow'' star formation in long-lived molecular clouds. It also imposes strong constraints on the physical properties of the parental clouds, mandating that a cloud's structure and dynamics controlling stellar birth must arise during its formation. This requires a new approach to study initial conditions of star formation, namely addressing the formation of molecular clouds. Taking into account the observational constraints, I will outline the physics of flow-driven molecular cloud formation. I will discuss the relevance and the limitations of this scenario for setting the star formation efficiency in our Galaxy and beyond.

  2. The PICS Climate Insights 101 Courses: A Visual Approach to Learning About Climate Science, Mitigation and Adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedersen, T. F.; Zwiers, F. W.; Breen, C.; Murdock, T. Q.

    2014-12-01

    The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) has now made available online three free, peer-reviewed, unique animated short courses in a series entitled "Climate Insights 101" that respectively address basic climate science, carbon-emissions mitigation approaches and opportunities, and adaptation. The courses are suitable for students of all ages, and use professionally narrated animations designed to hold a viewer's attention. Multiple issues are covered, including complex concerns like the construction of general circulation models, carbon pricing schemes in various countries, and adaptation approaches in the face of extreme weather events. Clips will be shown in the presentation. The first course (Climate Science Basics) has now been seen by over two hundred thousand individuals in over 80 countries, despite being offered in English only. Each course takes about two hours to work through, and in recognizing that that duration might pose an attention barrier to some students, PICS selected a number of short clips from the climate-science course and posted them as independent snippets on YouTube. A companion series of YouTube videos entitled, "Clear The Air", was created to confront the major global-warming denier myths. But a major challenge remains: despite numerous efforts to promote the availability of the free courses and the shorter YouTube pieces, they have yet to become widely known. Strategies to overcome that constraint will be discussed.

  3. Insights from past millennia into climatic impacts on human health and survival

    PubMed Central

    McMichael, Anthony J.

    2012-01-01

    Climate change poses threats to human health, safety, and survival via weather extremes and climatic impacts on food yields, fresh water, infectious diseases, conflict, and displacement. Paradoxically, these risks to health are neither widely nor fully recognized. Historical experiences of diverse societies experiencing climatic changes, spanning multicentury to single-year duration, provide insights into population health vulnerability—even though most climatic changes were considerably less than those anticipated this century and beyond. Historical experience indicates the following. (i) Long-term climate changes have often destabilized civilizations, typically via food shortages, consequent hunger, disease, and unrest. (ii) Medium-term climatic adversity has frequently caused similar health, social, and sometimes political consequences. (iii) Infectious disease epidemics have often occurred in association with briefer episodes of temperature shifts, food shortages, impoverishment, and social disruption. (iv) Societies have often learnt to cope (despite hardship for some groups) with recurring shorter-term (decadal to multiyear) regional climatic cycles (e.g., El Niño Southern Oscillation)—except when extreme phases occur. (v) The drought–famine–starvation nexus has been the main, recurring, serious threat to health. Warming this century is not only likely to greatly exceed the Holocene's natural multidecadal temperature fluctuations but to occur faster. Along with greater climatic variability, models project an increased geographic range and severity of droughts. Modern societies, although larger, better resourced, and more interconnected than past societies, are less flexible, more infrastructure-dependent, densely populated, and hence are vulnerable. Adverse historical climate-related health experiences underscore the case for abating human-induced climate change. PMID:22315419

  4. Insights from past millennia into climatic impacts on human health and survival.

    PubMed

    McMichael, Anthony J

    2012-03-27

    Climate change poses threats to human health, safety, and survival via weather extremes and climatic impacts on food yields, fresh water, infectious diseases, conflict, and displacement. Paradoxically, these risks to health are neither widely nor fully recognized. Historical experiences of diverse societies experiencing climatic changes, spanning multicentury to single-year duration, provide insights into population health vulnerability--even though most climatic changes were considerably less than those anticipated this century and beyond. Historical experience indicates the following. (i) Long-term climate changes have often destabilized civilizations, typically via food shortages, consequent hunger, disease, and unrest. (ii) Medium-term climatic adversity has frequently caused similar health, social, and sometimes political consequences. (iii) Infectious disease epidemics have often occurred in association with briefer episodes of temperature shifts, food shortages, impoverishment, and social disruption. (iv) Societies have often learnt to cope (despite hardship for some groups) with recurring shorter-term (decadal to multiyear) regional climatic cycles (e.g., El Niño Southern Oscillation)--except when extreme phases occur. (v) The drought-famine-starvation nexus has been the main, recurring, serious threat to health. Warming this century is not only likely to greatly exceed the Holocene's natural multidecadal temperature fluctuations but to occur faster. Along with greater climatic variability, models project an increased geographic range and severity of droughts. Modern societies, although larger, better resourced, and more interconnected than past societies, are less flexible, more infrastructure-dependent, densely populated, and hence are vulnerable. Adverse historical climate-related health experiences underscore the case for abating human-induced climate change.

  5. Molecular Insights into Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus

    DOE PAGES

    Zivcec, Marko; Scholte, Florine; Spiropoulou, Christina; Spengler, Jessica; Bergeron, Éric

    2016-04-21

    Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is a tick-borne pathogen that causes high morbidity and mortality. Efficacy of vaccines and antivirals to treat human CCHFV infections remains limited and controversial. Research into pathology and underlying molecular mechanisms of CCHFV and other nairoviruses is limited. Significant progress has been made in our understanding of CCHFV replication and pathogenesis in the past decade. Here we review the most recent molecular advances in CCHFV-related research, and provide perspectives on future research.

  6. The structure of biodiversity – insights from molecular phylogeography

    PubMed Central

    Hewitt, Godfrey M

    2004-01-01

    DNA techniques, analytical methods and palaeoclimatic studies are greatly advancing our knowledge of the global distribution of genetic diversity, and how it evolved. Such phylogeographic studies are reviewed from Arctic, Temperate and Tropical regions, seeking commonalities of cause in the resulting genetic patterns. The genetic diversity is differently patterned within and among regions and biomes, and is related to their histories of climatic changes. This has major implications for conservation science. PMID:15679920

  7. Molecular Insights into Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Allosteric Modulation

    PubMed Central

    Gregory, Karen J.

    2015-01-01

    The metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors are a group of eight family C G protein–coupled receptors that are expressed throughout the central nervous system (CNS) and periphery. Within the CNS the different subtypes are found in neurons, both pre- and/or postsynaptically, where they mediate modulatory roles and in glial cells. The mGlu receptor family provides attractive targets for numerous psychiatric and neurologic disorders, with the majority of discovery programs focused on targeting allosteric sites, with allosteric ligands now available for all mGlu receptor subtypes. However, the development of allosteric ligands remains challenging. Biased modulation, probe dependence, and molecular switches all contribute to the complex molecular pharmacology exhibited by mGlu receptor allosteric ligands. In recent years we have made significant progress in our understanding of this molecular complexity coupled with an increased understanding of the structural basis of mGlu allosteric modulation. PMID:25808929

  8. Molecular Insights into Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus

    PubMed Central

    Zivcec, Marko; Scholte, Florine E. M.; Spiropoulou, Christina F.; Spengler, Jessica R.; Bergeron, Éric

    2016-01-01

    Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is a tick-borne pathogen that causes high morbidity and mortality. Efficacy of vaccines and antivirals to treat human CCHFV infections remains limited and controversial. Research into pathology and underlying molecular mechanisms of CCHFV and other nairoviruses is limited. Significant progress has been made in our understanding of CCHFV replication and pathogenesis in the past decade. Here we review the most recent molecular advances in CCHFV-related research, and provide perspectives on future research. PMID:27110812

  9. Integrating seasonal climate prediction and agricultural models for insights into agricultural practice

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, James W

    2005-01-01

    Interest in integrating crop simulation models with dynamic seasonal climate forecast models is expanding in response to a perceived opportunity to add value to seasonal climate forecasts for agriculture. Integrated modelling may help to address some obstacles to effective agricultural use of climate information. First, modelling can address the mismatch between farmers' needs and available operational forecasts. Probabilistic crop yield forecasts are directly relevant to farmers' livelihood decisions and, at a different scale, to early warning and market applications. Second, credible ex ante evidence of livelihood benefits, using integrated climate–crop–economic modelling in a value-of-information framework, may assist in the challenge of obtaining institutional, financial and political support; and inform targeting for greatest benefit. Third, integrated modelling can reduce the risk and learning time associated with adaptation and adoption, and related uncertainty on the part of advisors and advocates. It can provide insights to advisors, and enhance site-specific interpretation of recommendations when driven by spatial data. Model-based ‘discussion support systems’ contribute to learning and farmer–researcher dialogue. Integrated climate–crop modelling may play a genuine, but limited role in efforts to support climate risk management in agriculture, but only if they are used appropriately, with understanding of their capabilities and limitations, and with cautious evaluation of model predictions and of the insights that arises from model-based decision analysis. PMID:16433092

  10. Unveiling the molecular mechanism of brassinosteroids: Insights from structure-based molecular modeling studies.

    PubMed

    Lei, Beilei; Liu, Jiyuan; Yao, Xiaojun

    2015-12-01

    Brassinosteroid (BR) phytohormones play indispensable roles in plant growth and development. Brassinolide (BL) and 24-epibrassinolide (24-epiBL) are the most active ones among the BRs reported thus far. Unfortunately, the extremely low natural content and intricate synthesis process limit their popularization in agricultural production. Earlier reports to discover alternative compounds have resulted in molecules with nearly same scaffold structure and without diversity in chemical space. In the present study, receptors structure based BRs regulation mechanism was analyzed. First, we examined the detailed binding interactions and their dynamic stability between BL and its receptor BRI1 and co-receptor BAK1. Then, the binding modes and binding free energies for 24-epiBL and a series of representative BRs binding with BRI1 and BRI1-BAK1 were carried out by molecular docking, energy minimization and MM-PBSA free energy calculation. The obtained binding structures and energetic results provided vital insights into the structural factors affecting the activity from both receptors and BRs aspects. Subsequently, the obtained knowledge will serve as valuable guidance to build pharmacophore models for rational screening of new scaffold alternative BRs.

  11. Chalcone Scaffold in Anticancer Armamentarium: A Molecular Insight

    PubMed Central

    Manna, Kuntal

    2016-01-01

    Cancer is an inevitable matter of concern in the medicinal chemistry era. Chalcone is the well exploited scaffold in the anticancer domain. The molecular mechanism of chalcone at cellular level was explored in past decades. This mini review provides the most recent updates on anticancer potential of chalcones. PMID:26880913

  12. From quantifying historical LULCC impacts to optimizing land management for climate mitigation: Insights from climate modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davin, E.; Lejeune, Q.; Seneviratne, S. I.

    2015-12-01

    Human activities have profoundly transformed the land surface through land use/land cover change (LULCC). The consequence of this transformation is twofold: First, the conversion from natural to anthropogenic systems exert a direct forcing on climate (through both biogeochemical and biogeophysical processes); Second the transformed ecosystems may modify land-atmosphere feedback mechanisms thus modulating the response to climate change or to specific weather events. The first point will be illustrated by reviewing recent modelling results, including LUCID and CMIP5 model intercomparisons, to shed some light on the relative importance of LULCC versus other climate forcings. Given the importance of LULCC impacts at the regional scale, some recent efforts to improve the representation of land processes in regional climate models [1] as well as a regional assessment of the impact of amazonian deforestation [2] will be presented. The second point will be discussed through two examples. First, the fact that LULCC may modulate certain modes of variability will be illustrated based on model experiments highlighting the regional interplay between ENSO variability and amazonian deforestation. Second, we will show that peak temperatures during heat waves can be strongly influenced locally by the type of land cover or land management practices. In particular no-till farming, by increasing surface albedo, can lead to a substantial attenuation of hot temperatures during heat waves, in part due to a more efficient radiative cooling effect during cloud-free conditions [3]. References:[1] Davin, E.L. and S.I. Seneviratne (2012), Role of land surface processes and diffuse/direct radiation partitioning in simulating the European climate, Biogeosciences, 9, 1695-1707, doi:10.5194/bg-9-1695-2012.[2] Lejeune, Q., E.L. Davin, B. Guillod and S.I. Seneviratne (2015), Influence of Amazonian deforestation on the future evolution of regional surface fluxes, circulation, surface temperature and

  13. Polycystic liver diseases: advanced insights into the molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Perugorria, Maria J; Masyuk, Tatyana V; Marin, Jose J; Marzioni, Marco; Bujanda, Luis; LaRusso, Nicholas F; Banales, Jesus M

    2014-12-01

    Polycystic liver diseases are genetic disorders characterized by progressive bile duct dilatation and/or cyst development. The large volume of hepatic cysts causes different symptoms and complications such as abdominal distension, local pressure with back pain, hypertension, gastro-oesophageal reflux and dyspnea as well as bleeding, infection and rupture of the cysts. Current therapeutic strategies are based on surgical procedures and pharmacological management, which partially prevent or ameliorate the disease. However, as these treatments only show short-term and/or modest beneficial effects, liver transplantation is the only definitive therapy. Therefore, interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in disease pathogenesis is increasing so that new targets for therapy can be identified. In this Review, the genetic mechanisms underlying polycystic liver diseases and the most relevant molecular pathways of hepatic cystogenesis are discussed. Moreover, the main clinical and preclinical studies are highlighted and future directions in basic as well as clinical research are indicated.

  14. Molecular insights into regulation of JAK2 in myeloproliferative neoplasms

    PubMed Central

    Hubbard, Stevan R.

    2015-01-01

    The critical role of Janus kinase-2 (JAK2) in regulation of myelopoiesis was established 2 decades ago, but identification of mutations in the pseudokinase domain of JAK2 in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and in other hematologic malignancies highlighted the role of JAK2 in human disease. These findings have revolutionized the diagnostics of MPNs and led to development of novel JAK2 therapeutics. However, the molecular mechanisms by which mutations in the pseudokinase domain lead to hyperactivation of JAK2 and clinical disease have been unclear. Here, we describe recent advances in the molecular characterization of the JAK2 pseudokinase domain and how pathogenic mutations lead to constitutive activation of JAK2. PMID:25824690

  15. Coagulation and inflammation. Molecular insights and diagnostic implications.

    PubMed

    Lipinski, S; Bremer, L; Lammers, T; Thieme, F; Schreiber, S; Rosenstiel, P

    2011-05-01

    Overwhelming evidence has linked inflammatory disorders to a hypercoagulable state. In fact, thromboembolic complications are among the leading causes of disability and death in many acute and chronic inflammatory diseases. Despite this clinical knowledge, coagulation and immunity were long regarded as separate entities. Recent studies have unveiled molecular underpinnings of the intimate interconnection between both systems. The studies have clearly shown that distinct pro-inflammatory stimuli also activate the clotting cascade and that coagulation in turn modulates inflammatory signaling pathways. In this review, we use evidence from sepsis and inflammatory bowel diseases as a paradigm for acute and chronic inflammatory states in general and rise hypotheses how a systematic molecular understanding of the "inflammation-coagulation" crosstalk may result in novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies that target the inflammation-induced hypercoagulable state. PMID:21152678

  16. Molecular Insight into Gut Microbiota and Rheumatoid Arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiaohao; He, Bing; Liu, Jin; Feng, Hui; Ma, Yinghui; Li, Defang; Guo, Baosheng; Liang, Chao; Dang, Lei; Wang, Luyao; Tian, Jing; Zhu, Hailong; Xiao, Lianbo; Lu, Cheng; Lu, Aiping; Zhang, Ge

    2016-01-01

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic, inflammatory, and autoimmune disorder. Gut microbiota play an important role in the etiology of RA. With the considerable progress made in next-generation sequencing techniques, the identified gut microbiota difference between RA patients and healthy individuals provides an updated overview of the association between gut microbiota and RA. We reviewed the reported correlation and underlying molecular mechanisms among gut microbiota, the immune system, and RA. It has become known that gut microbiota contribute to the pathogenesis of RA via multiple molecular mechanisms. The progressive understanding of the dynamic interaction between gut microbiota and their host will help in establishing a highly individualized management for each RA patient, and achieve a better efficacy in clinical practice, or even discovering new drugs for RA. PMID:27011180

  17. Interaction of peptides with cell membranes: insights from molecular modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zhen-lu; Ding, Hong-ming; Ma, Yu-qiang

    2016-03-01

    The investigation of the interaction of peptides with cell membranes is the focus of active research. It can enhance the understanding of basic membrane functions such as membrane transport, fusion, and signaling processes, and it may shed light on potential applications of peptides in biomedicine. In this review, we will present current advances in computational studies on the interaction of different types of peptides with the cell membrane. Depending on the properties of the peptide, membrane, and external environment, the peptide-membrane interaction shows a variety of different forms. Here, on the basis of recent computational progress, we will discuss how different peptides could initiate membrane pores, translocate across the membrane, induce membrane endocytosis, produce membrane curvature, form fibrils on the membrane surface, as well as interact with functional membrane proteins. Finally, we will present a conclusion summarizing recent progress and providing some specific insights into future developments in this field.

  18. Improving Public Engagement With Climate Change: Five "Best Practice" Insights From Psychological Science.

    PubMed

    van der Linden, Sander; Maibach, Edward; Leiserowitz, Anthony

    2015-11-01

    Despite being one of the most important societal challenges of the 21st century, public engagement with climate change currently remains low in the United States. Mounting evidence from across the behavioral sciences has found that most people regard climate change as a nonurgent and psychologically distant risk-spatially, temporally, and socially-which has led to deferred public decision making about mitigation and adaptation responses. In this article, we advance five simple but important "best practice" insights from psychological science that can help governments improve public policymaking about climate change. Particularly, instead of a future, distant, global, nonpersonal, and analytical risk that is often framed as an overt loss for society, we argue that policymakers should (a) emphasize climate change as a present, local, and personal risk; (b) facilitate more affective and experiential engagement; (c) leverage relevant social group norms; (d) frame policy solutions in terms of what can be gained from immediate action; and (e) appeal to intrinsically valued long-term environmental goals and outcomes. With practical examples we illustrate how these key psychological principles can be applied to support societal engagement and climate change policymaking.

  19. New insights into nucleation, life cycle and climate impact of contrail cirrus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voigt, C.

    2015-12-01

    Current growth rates in aviation demand a profound scientific data base in order to accurately assess the aviation impact on climate. A major contribution results from contrail cirrus and their radiative forcing is suggested to outbalance aviation CO2 and NOx effects. Direct observations of contrail cirrus throughout their life cycle are scarce and prone to substantial ambiguities currently limiting our understanding of the climate impact by aviation. Here, we give new insights into the nucleation, growth, life cycle and climate impact from contrail cirrus based on results from suite of aircraft experiments. NASA's ACCESSII mission focusses on aircraft emissions and initial stages of contrail formation. Nascent contrails were detected at cruise altitudes near 100 m distance to the engine exit. Contrail growth to 10-min contrail age is investigated during DLR's CONCERT campaigns. Finally, the objective of ML-CIRRUS with the HALO research aircraft is to study the life cycle and climate impact of contrail cirrus with a novel in-situ/remote sensing payload. The contrail measurements are related to previous observations and discussed in the context of recent developments in contrail modeling. Highlights include the quantification of the effects of aircraft type, engine technology and alternative fuels on contrail microphysics and climate.

  20. Improving Public Engagement With Climate Change: Five "Best Practice" Insights From Psychological Science.

    PubMed

    van der Linden, Sander; Maibach, Edward; Leiserowitz, Anthony

    2015-11-01

    Despite being one of the most important societal challenges of the 21st century, public engagement with climate change currently remains low in the United States. Mounting evidence from across the behavioral sciences has found that most people regard climate change as a nonurgent and psychologically distant risk-spatially, temporally, and socially-which has led to deferred public decision making about mitigation and adaptation responses. In this article, we advance five simple but important "best practice" insights from psychological science that can help governments improve public policymaking about climate change. Particularly, instead of a future, distant, global, nonpersonal, and analytical risk that is often framed as an overt loss for society, we argue that policymakers should (a) emphasize climate change as a present, local, and personal risk; (b) facilitate more affective and experiential engagement; (c) leverage relevant social group norms; (d) frame policy solutions in terms of what can be gained from immediate action; and (e) appeal to intrinsically valued long-term environmental goals and outcomes. With practical examples we illustrate how these key psychological principles can be applied to support societal engagement and climate change policymaking. PMID:26581732

  1. Buckling of microtubules: An insight by molecular and continuum mechanics

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Jin; Meguid, S. A.

    2014-10-27

    The molecular structural mechanics method has been extended to investigate the buckling of microtubules (MTs) with various configurations. The results indicate that for relative short MTs the shear deformation effect, rather than the nonlocal effect, is mainly responsible for the limitation of their widely used Euler beam description and the observed length-dependence of their bending stiffness. In addition, the configuration effect of MTs is also studied and considered as an explanation for the large scattering of the critical buckling force and bending stiffness observed in existing experiments. This configuration effect is also found to mainly originate from the geometry of the MTs and is mainly determined by the protofilament number.

  2. Analyses of genetic ancestry enable key insights for molecular ecology.

    PubMed

    Gompert, Zachariah; Buerkle, C Alex

    2013-11-01

    Gene flow and recombination in admixed populations produce genomes that are mosaic combinations of chromosome segments inherited from different source populations, that is, chromosome segments with different genetic ancestries. The statistical problem of estimating genetic ancestry from DNA sequence data has been widely studied, and analyses of genetic ancestry have facilitated research in molecular ecology and ecological genetics. In this review, we describe and compare different model-based statistical methods used to infer genetic ancestry. We describe the conceptual and mathematical structure of these models and highlight some of their key differences and shared features. We then discuss recent empirical studies that use estimates of genetic ancestry to analyse population histories, the nature and genetic basis of species boundaries, and the genetic architecture of traits. These diverse studies demonstrate the breadth of applications that rely on genetic ancestry estimates and typify the genomics-enabled research that is becoming increasingly common in molecular ecology. We conclude by identifying key research areas where future studies might further advance this field. PMID:24103088

  3. Molecular and isotopic insights into methane oxidation in Lake Kivu

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zigah, P. K.; Wehrli, B.; Schubert, C. J.

    2013-12-01

    Lake Kivu is a meromictic lake in the East African Rift Valley, located between the Republic of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The hypolimnion is permanently stratified and contain an unusually high amount of dissolved methane (CH4; ~ 60 km3) and carbon dioxide (CO2; ~300 km3) at standard temperature and pressure. While microbial-mediated methane oxidation is an important sink of methane in the lake, little is known about the distribution of microbes involved in the methane oxidation. To provide insights into methanotrophy in the lake, we analyzed depth profile of CH4, δ13C-CH4 and δ13C-DIC, δ13C-POC and the biomarkers of methanotrophic archaea and bacteria and their stable carbon isotopic composition from suspended particulate matter isolated from the lake water column. Our preliminary data show enhanced methane oxidation in oxic-anoxic transition zone in the water column. Depth distribution of diagnostic methanotrophic archaeal biomarkers such as archaeol and hydroxyarchaeol suggest archaea might be involved in anaerobic methane oxidation. Phospholipid fatty acids and diplopterol distribution and carbon isotopic signatures indicate bacteria-mediated anaerobic (and aerobic) methane oxidation in the lake.

  4. Recent molecular insights into rickettsial pathogenesis and immunity

    PubMed Central

    Sahni, Sanjeev K; Narra, Hema P; Sahni, Abha; Walker, David H

    2013-01-01

    Human infections with arthropod-borne Rickettsia species remain a major global health issue, causing significant morbidity and mortality. Epidemic typhus due to Rickettsia prowazekii has an established reputation as the ‘scourge of armies’, and as a major determinant of significant ‘historical turning points’. No suitable vaccines for human use are currently available to prevent rickettsial diseases. The unique lifestyle features of rickettsiae include obligate intracellular parasitism, intracytoplasmic niche within the host cell, predilection for infection of microvascular endothelium in mammalian hosts, association with arthropods and the tendency for genomic reduction. The fundamental research in the field of Rickettsiology has witnessed significant recent progress in the areas of pathogen adhesion/invasion and host immune responses, as well as the genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, phylogenetics, motility and molecular manipulation of important rickettsial pathogens. The focus of this review article is to capture a snapshot of the latest developments pertaining to the mechanisms of rickettsial pathogenesis and immunity. PMID:24059918

  5. Molecular insights into dietary induced colic in the horse.

    PubMed

    Shirazi-Beechey, S P

    2008-06-01

    Equine colic, a disorder manifested in abdominal pain, is the most frequent cause of emergency treatment and death in horses. Colic often requires intestinal surgery, subsequent hospitalisation and post operative care, with a strong risk of complications arising from surgery. Therefore strategies that explore approaches for preventing the condition are essential. To this end, a better understanding of the factors and mechanisms that lead to the development of colic and related intestinal diseases in the horse allows the design of preventive procedures. Colic is a multifactorial disorder that appears to be induced by environmental factors and possibly a genetic predisposition. One factor that seems to influence the risk of developing colic is the excessive consumption of diets containing high levels of carbohydrates. Therefore, major efforts have been made by various laboratories and institutions across the world to study the type and digestibility of various feed in order to formulate accurate and safe feed components and proportions. However, relatively little work has been carried out to characterise, in detail, the carbohydrate digestive and absorptive capacity and mechanisms underlying the potential adaptive response of equine gut epithelium to a changing diet. This review focuses on advances made towards understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in digestion and absorption of dietary carbohydrates in the equine gastrointestinal tract and the implication of these processes for the whole body physiology. It addresses the underlying mechanisms that may govern the adaptive response of equine small intestine to increased dietary hydrolysable carbohydrates. Furthermore, it describes changes that occur in the equine large intestinal microbiology and host tissue biology brought about by alterations in diet and in colic. It is hoped that a better understanding of the molecular and cellular processes that play important roles in the physiology and

  6. Striped gold nanoparticles: New insights from molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velachi, Vasumathi; Bhandary, Debdip; Singh, Jayant K.; Cordeiro, M. Natália D. S.

    2016-06-01

    Recent simulations have improved our knowledge of the molecular-level structure and hydration properties of mixed self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) with equal and unequal alkyl thiols at three different arrangements, namely, random, patchy, and Janus. In our previous work [V. Vasumathi et al., J. Phys. Chem. C 119, 3199-3209 (2015)], we showed that the bending of longer thiols over shorter ones clearly depends on the thiols' arrangements and chemical nature of their terminal groups. In addition, such a thiol bending revealed to have a strong impact on the structural and hydration properties of SAMs coated on gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). In this paper, we extend our previous atomistic simulation study to investigate the bending of longer thiols by increasing the stripe thickness of mixed SAMs of equal and unequal lengths coated on AuNPs. We study also the effect of stripe thickness on the structural morphology and hydration of the coated SAMs. Our results show that the structural and hydration properties of SAMs are affected by the stripe thickness for mixtures of alkyl thiols with unequal chain length but not for equal length. Hence, the stability of the stripe configuration depends on the alkyl's chain length, the length difference between the thiol mixtures, and solvent properties.

  7. Molecular Insights for Optimizing T Cell Receptor Specificity Against Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Hebeisen, Michael; Oberle, Susanne G.; Presotto, Danilo; Speiser, Daniel E.; Zehn, Dietmar; Rufer, Nathalie

    2013-01-01

    Cytotoxic CD8 T cells mediate immunity to pathogens and they are able to eliminate malignant cells. Immunity to viruses and bacteria primarily involves CD8 T cells bearing high affinity T cell receptors (TCRs), which are specific to pathogen-derived (non-self) antigens. Given the thorough elimination of high affinity self/tumor-antigen reactive T cells by central and peripheral tolerance mechanisms, anti-cancer immunity mostly depends on TCRs with intermediate-to-low affinity for self-antigens. Because of this, a promising novel therapeutic approach to increase the efficacy of tumor-reactive T cells is to engineer their TCRs, with the aim to enhance their binding kinetics to pMHC complexes, or to directly manipulate the TCR-signaling cascades. Such manipulations require a detailed knowledge on how pMHC-TCR and co-receptors binding kinetics impact the T cell response. In this review, we present the current knowledge in this field. We discuss future challenges in identifying and targeting the molecular mechanisms to enhance the function of natural or TCR-affinity optimized T cells, and we provide perspectives for the development of protective anti-tumor T cell responses. PMID:23801991

  8. Garlic and cardioprotection: insights into the molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Khatua, Tarak Nath; Adela, Ramu; Banerjee, Sanjay K

    2013-06-01

    Garlic is widely recognized for its immense therapeutic potential. Garlic has been shown to exert its beneficial effects against a wide spectrum of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and microbial infections, as well as immunological and cardiovascular disorders. Most of the research on garlic has indicated that garlic and its active compounds are effective in reducing cardiovascular and metabolic risk by normalizing abnormal plasma lipids, oxidized low density lipoproteins, abnormal platelet aggregation, high blood pressure, and cardiac injury. Some of the beneficial effects of dietary garlic against cardiovascular disorders are mediated via the generation of hydrogen sulfide and nitric oxide in cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells. Garlic has the potential to protect the heart against myocardial infarction, doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity, arrhythmia, hypertrophy, and ischemia-reperfusion injury. The induction of cardiac endogenous antioxidants and the reduction of lipid peroxidation by garlic has been reported by several different groups. Other mechanisms, such as regulating ion channels, modulating Akt signaling pathways, histone deacetylase inhibition, and cytochrome P450 inhibition, could be responsible for the cardioprotective effect of garlic. Although several mechanisms have been identified for the cardioprotective effect of garlic, there is a need for further research to identify the specific molecular mechanism of cardioprotection in different cardiac diseases.

  9. New insights into the properties of contrail cirrus and their impact on climate from airborne experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voigt, Christiane; Schumann, Ulrich; Minikin, Andreas; Schlager, Hans; Anderson, Bruce

    2016-04-01

    Current growth rates in aviation demand a profound scientific data base of contrail cirrus properties in order to accurately assess their climate impact. In particular, the differentiation of contrail cirrus in natural cirrus fields is challenging. Direct observations of contrail cirrus throughout their life cycle are scarce and therefore limit our understanding of the climate effects from contrail cirrus. Here, we give new insights into the growth, life-cycle and climate impact from contrail cirrus based on results from suite of aircraft experiments. NASA's ACCESSII mission focused on the detection of aircraft emissions and initial contrail stages. Nascent contrails were detected at cruise altitudes at 100 m distance to the engine exit. Contrail growth to 10-min contrail age was investigated during DLR's CONCERT campaigns. Finally, the objective of the ML-CIRRUS experiment was to study the life cycle and climate impact of contrail cirrus. The contrail measurements are related to previous observations and discussed in the context of recent developments in contrail modeling. Highlights include the quantification of the effects of aircraft type on contrail microphysics, the analysis of ice particle shapes and the quantitative distinction of contrail cirrus and natural cirrus.

  10. Molecular Ecological Insights into Neotropical Bird-Tick Interactions.

    PubMed

    Miller, Matthew J; Esser, Helen J; Loaiza, Jose R; Herre, Edward Allen; Aguilar, Celestino; Quintero, Diomedes; Alvarez, Eric; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2016-01-01

    In the tropics, ticks parasitize many classes of vertebrate hosts. However, because many tropical tick species are only identifiable in the adult stage, and these adults usually parasitize mammals, most attention on the ecology of tick-host interactions has focused on mammalian hosts. In contrast, immature Neotropical ticks are often found on wild birds, yet difficulties in identifying immatures hinder studies of birds' role in tropical tick ecology and tick-borne disease transmission. In Panama, we found immature ticks on 227 out of 3,498 individually-sampled birds representing 93 host species (24% of the bird species sampled, and 13% of the Panamanian land bird fauna). Tick parasitism rates did not vary with rainfall or temperature, but did vary significantly with several host ecological traits. Likewise, Neotropical-Nearctic migratory birds were significantly less likely to be infested than resident species. Using a molecular library developed from morphologically-identified adult ticks specifically for this study, we identified eleven tick species parasitizing birds, indicating that a substantial portion of the Panamanian avian species pool is parasitized by a diversity of tick species. Tick species that most commonly parasitized birds had the widest diversity of avian hosts, suggesting that immature tick species are opportunistic bird parasites. Although certain avian ecological traits are positively associated with parasitism, we found no evidence that individual tick species show specificity to particular avian host ecological traits. Finally, our data suggest that the four principal vectors of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the Neotropics rarely, if ever, parasitize Panamanian birds. However, other tick species that harbor newly-discovered rickettsial parasites of unknown pathogenicity are frequently found on these birds. Given our discovery of broad interaction between Panamanian tick and avian biodiversity, future work on tick ecology and the dynamics of

  11. Molecular Ecological Insights into Neotropical Bird–Tick Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Esser, Helen J.; Loaiza, Jose R.; Herre, Edward Allen; Aguilar, Celestino; Quintero, Diomedes; Alvarez, Eric; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2016-01-01

    In the tropics, ticks parasitize many classes of vertebrate hosts. However, because many tropical tick species are only identifiable in the adult stage, and these adults usually parasitize mammals, most attention on the ecology of tick-host interactions has focused on mammalian hosts. In contrast, immature Neotropical ticks are often found on wild birds, yet difficulties in identifying immatures hinder studies of birds’ role in tropical tick ecology and tick-borne disease transmission. In Panama, we found immature ticks on 227 out of 3,498 individually–sampled birds representing 93 host species (24% of the bird species sampled, and 13% of the Panamanian land bird fauna). Tick parasitism rates did not vary with rainfall or temperature, but did vary significantly with several host ecological traits. Likewise, Neotropical–Nearctic migratory birds were significantly less likely to be infested than resident species. Using a molecular library developed from morphologically–identified adult ticks specifically for this study, we identified eleven tick species parasitizing birds, indicating that a substantial portion of the Panamanian avian species pool is parasitized by a diversity of tick species. Tick species that most commonly parasitized birds had the widest diversity of avian hosts, suggesting that immature tick species are opportunistic bird parasites. Although certain avian ecological traits are positively associated with parasitism, we found no evidence that individual tick species show specificity to particular avian host ecological traits. Finally, our data suggest that the four principal vectors of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the Neotropics rarely, if ever, parasitize Panamanian birds. However, other tick species that harbor newly–discovered rickettsial parasites of unknown pathogenicity are frequently found on these birds. Given our discovery of broad interaction between Panamanian tick and avian biodiversity, future work on tick ecology and the

  12. Immunologic Function and Molecular Insight of Recombinant Interleukin-18.

    PubMed

    Saetang, Jirakrit; Puseenam, Aekkachai; Roongsawang, Niran; Voravuthikunchai, Supayang Piyawan; Sangkhathat, Surasak; Tipmanee, Varomyalin

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, cytokine-mediated therapy has emerged as further advance alternative in cancer therapy. Interleukin-18 (IL-18) has exhibited interesting anti-cancer properties especially when combined with IL-12. We engineered IL-18 in order to improve its activity using single point mutagenesis. IL-18 mutants were constructed according to binding residues and polarity which we tried to increase polarity in M33Q and M60Q, enhanced cationicity in E6K, and flexibility in T63A. All IL-18 proteins were expressed in Pichia pastoris, purified, and then measured the activity by treating with the NK-92MI cell line to evaluate interferon-γ (IFN-γ) stimulation. The E6K and T63A mutant forms showed higher activity with respect to native proteins at the concentration of 200 ng mL-1 by inducing the expression of IFN-γ, about factors of 9 and 4, respectively. Meanwhile, M33Q and M60Q had no significant activity to induce IFN-γ. Interestingly, the combination of E6K and T63A mutations could synergize the induction activity of IL-18 to be 16 times at 200 ng mL-1. Furthermore, molecular dynamics studies have elucidated the effect due to mutation on conformation of the binding site of IL-18. The results turn out that E6K provides structural perseverance against mutation, while M33Q and M60Q promote vivid overall change in protein conformation, especially at the binding site. For T63A, mutation yields small difference in structure but clearly increases structural flexibility. However, a small structural change was observed when T63A was combined with E6K. Our research resulted in a novel version of IL-18 which could be a new key candidate for cytokine-mediated therapy. PMID:27483370

  13. Immunologic Function and Molecular Insight of Recombinant Interleukin-18

    PubMed Central

    Saetang, Jirakrit; Puseenam, Aekkachai; Roongsawang, Niran; Voravuthikunchai, Supayang Piyawan; Sangkhathat, Surasak

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, cytokine-mediated therapy has emerged as further advance alternative in cancer therapy. Interleukin-18 (IL-18) has exhibited interesting anti-cancer properties especially when combined with IL-12. We engineered IL-18 in order to improve its activity using single point mutagenesis. IL-18 mutants were constructed according to binding residues and polarity which we tried to increase polarity in M33Q and M60Q, enhanced cationicity in E6K, and flexibility in T63A. All IL-18 proteins were expressed in Pichia pastoris, purified, and then measured the activity by treating with the NK-92MI cell line to evaluate interferon-γ (IFN-γ) stimulation. The E6K and T63A mutant forms showed higher activity with respect to native proteins at the concentration of 200 ng mL-1 by inducing the expression of IFN-γ, about factors of 9 and 4, respectively. Meanwhile, M33Q and M60Q had no significant activity to induce IFN-γ. Interestingly, the combination of E6K and T63A mutations could synergize the induction activity of IL-18 to be 16 times at 200 ng mL-1. Furthermore, molecular dynamics studies have elucidated the effect due to mutation on conformation of the binding site of IL-18. The results turn out that E6K provides structural perseverance against mutation, while M33Q and M60Q promote vivid overall change in protein conformation, especially at the binding site. For T63A, mutation yields small difference in structure but clearly increases structural flexibility. However, a small structural change was observed when T63A was combined with E6K. Our research resulted in a novel version of IL-18 which could be a new key candidate for cytokine-mediated therapy. PMID:27483370

  14. Molecular signatures of ovarian diseases: Insights from network medicine perspective.

    PubMed

    Kori, Medi; Gov, Esra; Arga, Kazim Yalcin

    2016-08-01

    Dysfunctions and disorders in the ovary lead to a host of diseases including ovarian cancer, ovarian endometriosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Understanding the molecular mechanisms behind ovarian diseases is a great challenge. In the present study, we performed a meta-analysis of transcriptome data for ovarian cancer, ovarian endometriosis, and PCOS, and integrated the information gained from statistical analysis with genome-scale biological networks (protein-protein interaction, transcriptional regulatory, and metabolic). Comparative and integrative analyses yielded reporter biomolecules (genes, proteins, metabolites, transcription factors, and micro-RNAs), and unique or common signatures at protein, metabolism, and transcription regulation levels, which might be beneficial to uncovering the underlying biological mechanisms behind the diseases. These signatures were mostly associated with formation or initiation of cancer development, and pointed out the potential tendency of PCOS and endometriosis to tumorigenesis. Molecules and pathways related to MAPK signaling, cell cycle, and apoptosis were the mutual determinants in the pathogenesis of all three diseases. To our knowledge, this is the first report that screens these diseases from a network medicine perspective. This study provides signatures which could be considered as potential therapeutic targets and/or as medical prognostic biomarkers in further experimental and clinical studies. Abbreviations DAVID: Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery; DEGs: differentially expressed genes; GEO: Gene Expression Omnibus; KEGG: Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes; LIMMA: Linear Models for Microarray Data; MBRole: Metabolite Biological Role; miRNA: micro-RNA; PCOS: polycystic ovarian syndrome; PPI: protein-protein interaction; RMA: Robust Multi-Array Average; TF: transcription factor. PMID:27341345

  15. Molecular Ecological Insights into Neotropical Bird-Tick Interactions.

    PubMed

    Miller, Matthew J; Esser, Helen J; Loaiza, Jose R; Herre, Edward Allen; Aguilar, Celestino; Quintero, Diomedes; Alvarez, Eric; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2016-01-01

    In the tropics, ticks parasitize many classes of vertebrate hosts. However, because many tropical tick species are only identifiable in the adult stage, and these adults usually parasitize mammals, most attention on the ecology of tick-host interactions has focused on mammalian hosts. In contrast, immature Neotropical ticks are often found on wild birds, yet difficulties in identifying immatures hinder studies of birds' role in tropical tick ecology and tick-borne disease transmission. In Panama, we found immature ticks on 227 out of 3,498 individually-sampled birds representing 93 host species (24% of the bird species sampled, and 13% of the Panamanian land bird fauna). Tick parasitism rates did not vary with rainfall or temperature, but did vary significantly with several host ecological traits. Likewise, Neotropical-Nearctic migratory birds were significantly less likely to be infested than resident species. Using a molecular library developed from morphologically-identified adult ticks specifically for this study, we identified eleven tick species parasitizing birds, indicating that a substantial portion of the Panamanian avian species pool is parasitized by a diversity of tick species. Tick species that most commonly parasitized birds had the widest diversity of avian hosts, suggesting that immature tick species are opportunistic bird parasites. Although certain avian ecological traits are positively associated with parasitism, we found no evidence that individual tick species show specificity to particular avian host ecological traits. Finally, our data suggest that the four principal vectors of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the Neotropics rarely, if ever, parasitize Panamanian birds. However, other tick species that harbor newly-discovered rickettsial parasites of unknown pathogenicity are frequently found on these birds. Given our discovery of broad interaction between Panamanian tick and avian biodiversity, future work on tick ecology and the dynamics of

  16. Molecular insights into seed dispersal mutualisms driving plant population recruitment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García, Cristina; Grivet, Delphine

    2011-11-01

    Most plant species require mutualistic interactions with animals to fulfil their demographic cycle. In this regard frugivory (i.e., the intake of fruits by animals) enhances natural regeneration by mobilizing a large amount of seeds from source trees to deposition sites across the landscape. By doing so, frugivores move propagules, and the genotypes they harbour creating the spatial, ecological, and genetic environment under which subsequent recruitment proceeds. Recruitment patterns can be envisioned as the result of two density- and distance-dependent processes: seed dispersal and seed/seedling survival (the Janzen-Connell model). Population genetic studies add another layer of complexity for understanding the fate of dispersed propagules: the genetic relatedness among neighbouring seeds within a seed clump, a major outcome of frugivore activity, modifies their chances of germinating and surviving. Yet, we virtually ignore how the spatial distribution of maternal progenies and recruitment patterns relate with each other in frugivore-generated seed rains. Here we focus on the critical role of frugivore-mediated seed dispersal in shaping the spatial distribution of maternal progenies in the seed rain. We first examine which genetic mechanisms underlying recruitment are influenced by the spatial distribution of maternal progenies. Next, we examine those studies depicting the spatial distribution of maternal progenies in a frugivore-generated seed rain. In doing so, we briefly review the most suitable analytical approaches applied to track the contribution of fruiting trees to the seed rain based on molecular data. Then we look more specifically at the role of distinct frugivore guilds in determining maternal genetic correlations and their expected consequences for recruitment patterns. Finally we posit some general conclusions and suggest future research directions that would provide a more comprehensive understanding of the ecological and evolutionary consequences

  17. Plasticity of oxidative metabolism in variable climates: molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Seebacher, Frank; Brand, Martin D; Else, Paul L; Guderley, Helga; Hulbert, Anthony J; Moyes, Christopher D

    2010-01-01

    Converting food to chemical energy (ATP) that is usable by cells is a principal requirement to sustain life. The rate of ATP production has to be sufficient for housekeeping functions, such as protein synthesis and maintaining membrane potentials, as well as for growth and locomotion. Energy metabolism is temperature sensitive, and animals respond to environmental variability at different temporal levels, from within-individual to evolutionary timescales. Here we review principal molecular mechanisms that underlie control of oxidative ATP production in response to climate variability. Nuclear transcription factors and coactivators control expression of mitochondrial proteins and abundance of mitochondria. Fatty acid and phospholipid concentrations of membranes influence the activity of membrane-bound proteins as well as the passive leak of protons across the mitochondrial membrane. Passive proton leak as well as protein-mediated proton leak across the inner mitochondrial membrane determine the efficacy of ATP production but are also instrumental in endothermic heat production and as a defense against reactive oxygen species. Both transcriptional mechanisms and membrane composition interact with environmental temperature and diet, and this interaction between diet and temperature in determining mitochondrial function links the two major environmental variables that are affected by changing climates. The limits to metabolic plasticity could be set by the production of reactive oxygen species leading to cellular damage, limits to substrate availability in mitochondria, and a disproportionally large increase in proton leak over ATP production. PMID:20586603

  18. New insight into biodegradation of polylactide (PLA)/clay nanocomposites using molecular ecological techniques.

    PubMed

    Sangwan, Parveen; Way, Cameron; Wu, Dong-Yang

    2009-07-01

    Novel molecular ecological techniques were used to study changes in microbial community structure and population during degradation of polylactide (PLA)/organically modified layered silicates (OMLS) nanocomposites. Cloned gene sequences belonging to members of the phyla Actinobacteria and Ascomycota comprized the most dominant groups of microorganisms during biodegradation of PLA/OMLS nanocomposites. Due to their numerical abundance, members of these microbial groups are likely to play an important role during biodegradation process. This paper presents new insights into the biodegradability of PLA/OMLS nanocomposites and highlights the importance of using novel molecular ecological techniques for in situ identification of new microorganisms involved in biodegradation of polymeric materials.

  19. Molecular interactions of flavonoids to pepsin: Insights from spectroscopic and molecular docking studies.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Hua-Jin; Yang, Ran; Liang, Huili; Qu, Ling-Bo

    2015-01-01

    In the work described on this paper, the inhibitory effect of 10 flavonoids on pepsin and the interactions between them were investigated by a combination of spectroscopic and molecular docking methods. The results indicated that all flavonoids could bind with pepsin to form flavonoid-pepsin complexes. The binding parameters obtained from the data at different temperatures revealed that flavonoids could spontaneously interact with pepsin mainly through electrostatic forces and hydrophobic interactions with one binding site. According to synchronous and three-dimensional fluorescence spectra and molecular docking results, all flavonoids bound directly into the enzyme cavity site and the binding influenced the microenvironment and conformation of the pepsin activity site which resulted in the reduced enzyme activity. The present study provides direct evidence at a molecular level to understand the mechanism of digestion caused by flavonoids.

  20. A Social Identity Analysis of Climate Change and Environmental Attitudes and Behaviors: Insights and Opportunities.

    PubMed

    Fielding, Kelly S; Hornsey, Matthew J

    2016-01-01

    Environmental challenges are often marked by an intergroup dimension. Political conservatives and progressives are divided on their beliefs about climate change, farmers come into conflict with scientists and environmentalists over water allocation or species protection, and communities oppose big business and mining companies that threaten their local environment. These intergroup tensions are reminders of the powerful influence social contexts and group memberships can have on attitudes, beliefs, and actions relating to climate change and the environment more broadly. In this paper, we use social identity theory to help describe and explain these processes. We review literature showing, how conceiving of oneself in terms of a particular social identity influences our environmental attitudes and behaviors, how relations between groups can impact on environmental outcomes, and how the content of social identities can direct group members to act in more or less pro-environmental ways. We discuss the similarities and differences between the social identity approach to these phenomena and related theories, such as cultural cognition theory, the theory of planned behavior, and value-belief-norm theory. Importantly, we also advance social-identity based strategies to foster more sustainable environmental attitudes and behaviors. Although this theoretical approach can provide important insights and potential solutions, more research is needed to build the empirical base, especially in relation to testing social identity solutions. PMID:26903924

  1. A Social Identity Analysis of Climate Change and Environmental Attitudes and Behaviors: Insights and Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Fielding, Kelly S.; Hornsey, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

    Environmental challenges are often marked by an intergroup dimension. Political conservatives and progressives are divided on their beliefs about climate change, farmers come into conflict with scientists and environmentalists over water allocation or species protection, and communities oppose big business and mining companies that threaten their local environment. These intergroup tensions are reminders of the powerful influence social contexts and group memberships can have on attitudes, beliefs, and actions relating to climate change and the environment more broadly. In this paper, we use social identity theory to help describe and explain these processes. We review literature showing, how conceiving of oneself in terms of a particular social identity influences our environmental attitudes and behaviors, how relations between groups can impact on environmental outcomes, and how the content of social identities can direct group members to act in more or less pro-environmental ways. We discuss the similarities and differences between the social identity approach to these phenomena and related theories, such as cultural cognition theory, the theory of planned behavior, and value-belief-norm theory. Importantly, we also advance social-identity based strategies to foster more sustainable environmental attitudes and behaviors. Although this theoretical approach can provide important insights and potential solutions, more research is needed to build the empirical base, especially in relation to testing social identity solutions. PMID:26903924

  2. A Social Identity Analysis of Climate Change and Environmental Attitudes and Behaviors: Insights and Opportunities.

    PubMed

    Fielding, Kelly S; Hornsey, Matthew J

    2016-01-01

    Environmental challenges are often marked by an intergroup dimension. Political conservatives and progressives are divided on their beliefs about climate change, farmers come into conflict with scientists and environmentalists over water allocation or species protection, and communities oppose big business and mining companies that threaten their local environment. These intergroup tensions are reminders of the powerful influence social contexts and group memberships can have on attitudes, beliefs, and actions relating to climate change and the environment more broadly. In this paper, we use social identity theory to help describe and explain these processes. We review literature showing, how conceiving of oneself in terms of a particular social identity influences our environmental attitudes and behaviors, how relations between groups can impact on environmental outcomes, and how the content of social identities can direct group members to act in more or less pro-environmental ways. We discuss the similarities and differences between the social identity approach to these phenomena and related theories, such as cultural cognition theory, the theory of planned behavior, and value-belief-norm theory. Importantly, we also advance social-identity based strategies to foster more sustainable environmental attitudes and behaviors. Although this theoretical approach can provide important insights and potential solutions, more research is needed to build the empirical base, especially in relation to testing social identity solutions.

  3. Insights from molecular modeling and dynamics simulation of pathogen resistance (R) protein from brinjal

    PubMed Central

    Shrivastava, Dipty; Nain, Vikrant; Sahi, Shakti; Verma, Anju; Sharma, Priyanka; Sharma, Prakash Chand; Kumar, Polumetla Ananda

    2011-01-01

    Resistance (R) protein recognizes molecular signature of pathogen infection and activates downstream hypersensitive response signalling in plants. R protein works as a molecular switch for pathogen defence signalling and represent one of the largest plant gene family. Hence, understanding molecular structure and function of R proteins has been of paramount importance for plant biologists. The present study is aimed at predicting structure of R proteins signalling domains (CC-NBS) by creating a homology model, refining and optimising the model by molecular dynamics simulation and comparing ADP and ATP binding. Based on sequence similarity with proteins of known structures, CC-NBS domains were initially modelled using CED- 4 (cell death abnormality protein) and APAF-1 (apoptotic protease activating factor) as multiple templates. The final CC-NBS structural model was built and optimized by molecular dynamic simulation for 5 nanoseconds (ns). Docking of ADP and ATP at active site shows that both ligand bind specifically with same residues and with minor difference (1 Kcal/mol) in binding energy. Sharing of binding site by ADP and ATP and low difference in their binding site makes CC-NBS suitable for working as molecular switch. Furthermore, structural superimposition elucidate that CC-NBS and CARD (caspase recruitment domains) domain of CED-4 have low RMSD value of 0.9 A° Availability of 3D structural model for both CC and NBS domains will . help in getting deeper insight in these pathogen defence genes. PMID:21383919

  4. Ultrathin Molecular-Layer-by-Layer Polyamide Membranes: Insights from Atomistic Molecular Simulations.

    PubMed

    Liyana-Arachchi, Thilanga P; Sturnfield, James F; Colina, Coray M

    2016-09-01

    In this study, we present an atomistic simulation study of several physicochemical properties of polyamide (PA) membranes formed from interfacial polymerization or from a molecular-layer-by-layer (mLbL) on a silicon wafer. These membranes are composed of meta-phenylenediamine (MPD) and benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylic acid chloride (TMC) for potential reverse osmosis (RO) applications. The mLbL membrane generation procedure and the force field models were validated, by comparison with available experimental data, for hydrated density, membrane swelling, and pore size distributions of PA membranes formed by interfacial polymerization. Physicochemical properties such as density, free volume, thickness, the degree of cross-linking, atomic compositions, and average molecular orientation (which is relevant for the mLbL membranes) are compared for these different processes. The mLbL membranes are investigated systematically with respect to TMC monomer growth rate per substrate surface area, MPD/TMC ratio, and the number of mLbL deposition cycles. Atomistic simulations show that the mLbL deposition generates membranes with a constant film growth if both the TMC monomer growth rate and MPD/TMC monomer ratio are kept constant. The film growth rate increases with TMC monomer growth rate or MPD/TMC ratio. Furthermore, it was found on one hand that the mLbL membrane density and free volume varies significantly with respect to the TMC monomer growth rate, while on the other hand the degree of cross-linking and the atomic composition varies considerably with the MPD/TMC ratio. Additionally, it was found that both TMC and MPD orient at a tilted angle with respect to the substrate surface, where their angular distribution and average angle orientation depend on both the TMC growth rate and the number of deposition cycles. This study illustrates that molecular simulations can play a crucial role in the understanding of structural properties that can empower the design of the next

  5. Ultrathin Molecular-Layer-by-Layer Polyamide Membranes: Insights from Atomistic Molecular Simulations.

    PubMed

    Liyana-Arachchi, Thilanga P; Sturnfield, James F; Colina, Coray M

    2016-09-01

    In this study, we present an atomistic simulation study of several physicochemical properties of polyamide (PA) membranes formed from interfacial polymerization or from a molecular-layer-by-layer (mLbL) on a silicon wafer. These membranes are composed of meta-phenylenediamine (MPD) and benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylic acid chloride (TMC) for potential reverse osmosis (RO) applications. The mLbL membrane generation procedure and the force field models were validated, by comparison with available experimental data, for hydrated density, membrane swelling, and pore size distributions of PA membranes formed by interfacial polymerization. Physicochemical properties such as density, free volume, thickness, the degree of cross-linking, atomic compositions, and average molecular orientation (which is relevant for the mLbL membranes) are compared for these different processes. The mLbL membranes are investigated systematically with respect to TMC monomer growth rate per substrate surface area, MPD/TMC ratio, and the number of mLbL deposition cycles. Atomistic simulations show that the mLbL deposition generates membranes with a constant film growth if both the TMC monomer growth rate and MPD/TMC monomer ratio are kept constant. The film growth rate increases with TMC monomer growth rate or MPD/TMC ratio. Furthermore, it was found on one hand that the mLbL membrane density and free volume varies significantly with respect to the TMC monomer growth rate, while on the other hand the degree of cross-linking and the atomic composition varies considerably with the MPD/TMC ratio. Additionally, it was found that both TMC and MPD orient at a tilted angle with respect to the substrate surface, where their angular distribution and average angle orientation depend on both the TMC growth rate and the number of deposition cycles. This study illustrates that molecular simulations can play a crucial role in the understanding of structural properties that can empower the design of the next

  6. Insights into the molecular interactions between aminopeptidase and amyloid beta peptide using molecular modeling techniques.

    PubMed

    Dhanavade, Maruti J; Sonawane, Kailas D

    2014-08-01

    Amyloid beta (Aβ) peptides play a central role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. The accumulation of Aβ peptides in AD brain was caused due to overproduction or insufficient clearance and defects in the proteolytic degradation of Aβ peptides. Hence, Aβ peptide degradation could be a promising therapeutic approach in AD treatment. Recent experimental report suggests that aminopeptidase from Streptomyces griseus KK565 (SGAK) can degrade Aβ peptides but the interactive residues are yet to be known in detail at the atomic level. Hence, we developed the three-dimensional model of aminopeptidase (SGAK) using SWISS-MODEL, Geno3D and MODELLER. Model built by MODELLER was used for further studies. Molecular docking was performed between aminopeptidase (SGAK) with wild-type and mutated Aβ peptides. The docked complex of aminopeptidase (SGAK) and wild-type Aβ peptide (1IYT.pdb) shows more stability than the other complexes. Molecular docking and MD simulation results revealed that the residues His93, Asp105, Glu139, Glu140, Asp168 and His255 are involved in the hydrogen bonding with Aβ peptide and zinc ions. The interactions between carboxyl oxygen atoms of Glu139 of aminopeptidase (SGAK) with water molecule suggest that the Glu139 may be involved in the nucleophilic attack on Ala2-Glu3 peptide bond of Aβ peptide. Hence, amino acid Glu139 of aminopeptidase (SGAK) might play an important role to degrade Aβ peptides, a causative agent of Alzheimer's disease.

  7. Molecular neuropathology of frontotemporal dementia: insights into disease mechanisms from postmortem studies.

    PubMed

    Mackenzie, Ian R A; Neumann, Manuela

    2016-08-01

    Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a clinical syndrome with a heterogeneous molecular basis. The past decade has seen the discovery of several new FTD-causing genetic mutations and the identification of many of the relevant pathological proteins. The current neuropathological classification is based on the predominant protein abnormality and allows most cases of FTD to be placed into one of three broad molecular subgroups; frontotemporal lobar degeneration with tau, TDP-43 or FET protein accumulation. This review will describe our current understanding of the molecular basis of FTD, focusing on insights gained from the study of human postmortem tissue, as well as some of the current controversies. Most cases of FTD can be subclassified into one of three broad molecular subgroups based on the predominant protein that accumulates as pathological cellular inclusions. Understanding the associated pathogenic mechanisms and recognizing these FTD molecular subtypes in vivo will likely be crucial for the development and use of targeted therapies. This article is part of the Frontotemporal Dementia special issue. PMID:27306735

  8. Alluvial fan response to climatic change: Insights from numerical modeling (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelletier, J. D.

    2009-12-01

    Alluvial fans in the western U.S. exhibit a regionally correlative sequence of Plio-Quaternary deposits. Cosmogenic and U-series dating has greatly improved the age control on these deposits and their associated terraces and generally strengthened the case for aggradation during humid-to-arid transitions. Still, the linkages between climate change, upland basin response, and alluvial fan response are not well constrained. Fans may fill and cut as a result of autogenetic processes/internal adjustments, changes in regional temperature (which controls snowmelt-induced flooding), changes in the frequency-size distribution of rainfall events, and/or changes in upslope vegetation. Here I describe the results of a numerical modeling study designed to better constrain the relationships between different end-member forcing mechanisms and the geologic record of alluvial fan deposits and terraces. The model solves the evolution of the fan topography using Exner's equation (conservation of mass) coupled with a nonlinear, threshold-controlled transport relation for sand and gravel. Bank retreat is modeled using an advection equation with a rate proportional to bank shear stress. I begin by considering the building of a fan under conditions of constant water and sediment supply. This simple system exhibits all of the complexity of fans developed under experimental conditions, and it provides insights into the mechanisms that control avulsions and it provides a baseline estimate for the within-fan relief that can result from autogenetic processes. Relationships between the magnitude and period of variations in the sediment-to-water ratio and the geomorphic response of fans are then discussed. I also consider the response of a coupled drainage basin-fan system to changes in climate, including the hydrologic and vegetation response of upland hillslopes. Fans can aggrade or incise in response to the same climatic event depending on the relief of the upstream drainage basin, which

  9. β-Cyclodextrin at the Water/1-Bromobutane Interface: Molecular Insight into Reverse Phase Transfer Catalysis.

    PubMed

    Elk, Jackson Chief; Benjamin, Ilan

    2015-05-12

    Molecular insight into the role of β-cyclodextrin (βCD) as a phase transfer catalyst at the liquid/liquid interface is obtained by molecular dynamics simulations of the structure and dynamics of βCD adsorbed at the interface between water and 1-bromobutane. In particular, we consider the structure and dynamics of the water and bromobutane molecules inside the βCD cavity and compare them with the behavior when βCD is dissolved in bulk water. βCD is preferentially oriented at the interface, with the cavity opening along the interface normal. While in bulk water the cavity includes 6-8 water molecules that are relatively mobile with short residence time, at the interface the cavity is mostly dehydrated and includes a single bromobutane molecule. This inclusion complex is stable in bulk water. The implication of this behavior for reverse phase transfer catalysis is discussed. PMID:25909764

  10. Novel molecular fossils of bacteria: insights into hydrothermal origin of life.

    PubMed

    Dai, Jianghong

    2012-10-01

    Hydrothermal vents, in particular, alkaline submarine vents, are potential systems for the origin of life. Early hydrothermal vents may have imprinted on biochemical processes and housekeeping proteins of life and have hallmarked key molecules. This essay introduces new information to this discussion by focusing on newly identified sulfur-modified DNA and a heretofore ignored anhydro bond of the cell wall peptidoglycan in bacteria. It is suggested that they are novel molecular fossils that are relevant to the settings of alkaline submarine vents and harbor clues of early life. As DNA and the cell wall are bound up with genetic information and the integrity of cell, respectively, these two molecular fossils may provide insights into hydrothermal origin of life from a new angle. PMID:22796638

  11. Novel molecular fossils of bacteria: insights into hydrothermal origin of life.

    PubMed

    Dai, Jianghong

    2012-10-01

    Hydrothermal vents, in particular, alkaline submarine vents, are potential systems for the origin of life. Early hydrothermal vents may have imprinted on biochemical processes and housekeeping proteins of life and have hallmarked key molecules. This essay introduces new information to this discussion by focusing on newly identified sulfur-modified DNA and a heretofore ignored anhydro bond of the cell wall peptidoglycan in bacteria. It is suggested that they are novel molecular fossils that are relevant to the settings of alkaline submarine vents and harbor clues of early life. As DNA and the cell wall are bound up with genetic information and the integrity of cell, respectively, these two molecular fossils may provide insights into hydrothermal origin of life from a new angle.

  12. Novel insights into molecular mechanisms of abruption-induced preterm birth

    PubMed Central

    Buhimschi, Catalin S.; Schatz, Frederik; Krikun, Graciela; Buhimschi, Irina A.; Lockwood, Charles J.

    2015-01-01

    Preterm birth (PTB) complicates more than 12% of all deliveries. Despite significant research, the aetiology of most cases of PTB remains elusive. Two major antecedents of PTB, intra-amniotic infection and decidual haemorrhage (abruption), can exhibit dissimilar demographic and genetic predispositions, despite sharing common molecular and cellular pathways. The use of high-throughput, high-dimensional technologies reveals substantial crosstalk between the coagulation and inflammation pathways. Tissue factor, thrombin and cytokines are key mediators of this crosstalk. Abruptions are associated with excess thrombin generated from decidual-cell-expressed tissue factor. Although thrombin is a primary mediator of the coagulation cascade, it can also promote inflammation-associated PTB by enhancing expression of matrix metalloproteinase and neutrophil-chemoattracting and -activating chemokines. Here, we provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms and pathways leading to PTB in the setting of placental abruption. PMID:21040617

  13. Insight into the molecular switch mechanism of human Rab5a from molecular dynamics simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Jing-Fang; Chou, Kuo-Chen

    2009-12-18

    Rab5a is currently a most interesting target because it is responsible for regulating the early endosome fusion in endocytosis and possibly the budding process. We utilized longtime-scale molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the internal motion of the wild-type Rab5a and its A30P mutant. It was observed that, after binding with GTP, the global flexibility of the two proteins is increasing, while the local flexibility in their sensitive sites (P-loop, switch I and II regions) is decreasing. Also, the mutation of Ala30 to Pro30 can cause notable flexibility variations in the sensitive sites. However, this kind of variations is dramatically reduced after binding with GTP. Such a remarkable feature is mainly caused by the water network rearrangements in the sensitive sites. These findings might be of use for revealing the profound mechanism of the displacements of Rab5a switch regions, as well as the mechanism of the GDP dissociation and GTP association.

  14. Structure of sulfamidase provides insight into the molecular pathology of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA

    SciTech Connect

    Sidhu, Navdeep S.; Schreiber, Kathrin; Pröpper, Kevin; Becker, Stefan; Usón, Isabel; Sheldrick, George M.; Gärtner, Jutta; Krätzner, Ralph Steinfeld, Robert

    2014-05-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that typically manifests itself in childhood and is caused by mutations in the gene for the lysosomal enzyme sulfamidase. The first structure of this enzyme is presented, which provides insight into the molecular basis of disease-causing mutations, and the enzymatic mechanism is proposed. Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (Sanfilippo A syndrome), a fatal childhood-onset neurodegenerative disease with mild facial, visceral and skeletal abnormalities, is caused by an inherited deficiency of the enzyme N-sulfoglucosamine sulfohydrolase (SGSH; sulfamidase). More than 100 mutations in the SGSH gene have been found to reduce or eliminate its enzymatic activity. However, the molecular understanding of the effect of these mutations has been confined by a lack of structural data for this enzyme. Here, the crystal structure of glycosylated SGSH is presented at 2 Å resolution. Despite the low sequence identity between this unique N-sulfatase and the group of O-sulfatases, they share a similar overall fold and active-site architecture, including a catalytic formylglycine, a divalent metal-binding site and a sulfate-binding site. However, a highly conserved lysine in O-sulfatases is replaced in SGSH by an arginine (Arg282) that is positioned to bind the N-linked sulfate substrate. The structure also provides insight into the diverse effects of pathogenic mutations on SGSH function in mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA and convincing evidence for the molecular consequences of many missense mutations. Further, the molecular characterization of SGSH mutations will lay the groundwork for the development of structure-based drug design for this devastating neurodegenerative disorder.

  15. Reactivity and Selectivity of Heterogenized Homogeneous Catalysts: Insights from Molecular Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malek, Kourosh; van Santen, Rutger A.

    Immobilized metal complexes on nanoporous materials have recently been proposed as a novel class of heterogeneous enantioselective catalyst for epoxidation of unfunctionalized olefins as well as hydrogenation, alkylation, and nitroaldol reactions. The porous hosted materials affect catalytic performance due to a cooperative interaction among the nanoporous solid, immobilizing linker, and metal complex asymmetry. The effects of mesoporous materials and immobilizing agents on chiral catalysis are not well understood, however, the catalysts confined in nanopores show comparable or even higher conversions and enantioselectivity compared to their homogeneous counterparts. This chapter highlights major scientific problems for fundamental understanding and design of heterogenized homogeneous catalysts. It describes in detail the pivotal role of a sound framework in physical theory and molecular modeling in systematic efforts towards better materials and catalytic performance optimization. The common threads of the various topics addressed is the wide range of scales that has to be considered in establishing relations between structure, physicochemical properties, and catalytic performance. Physical theory and modeling employ a variety of methods, encompassing ab-initio calculations, molecular simulations, and the continuum model of transport and reaction in nanoporous materials. We particularly describe how molecular simulations can be used to investigate the origin of enantioselectivity of an anchored metal complex in nanoporous materials. These studies provide new insights into the steric effects that relate to choices of substrate and linker and to the interplay with mesopore confinement. We also bring detailed example of employing molecular simulations to unravel the catalytic properties of metallomacrocyclics for the electrochemical reduction of molecular oxygen in aqueous media. We rationalize the importance of immobilization and show how it relates to the steric

  16. Evolutionary insights into global patterns of human cranial diversity: population history, climatic and dietary effects.

    PubMed

    von Cramon-Taubadel, Noreen

    2014-01-01

    The study of cranial variation has a long, and somewhat difficult, history within anthropology. Much of this difficulty is rooted in the historical use of craniometric data to justify essentialist typological racial classification schemes. In the post-war era of the "New Physical Anthropology" (sensu Washburn, 1951), anthropologists began to analyse human variation in an explicitly populationist and evolutionary philosophical and analytical framework. However, even within recent decades, substantially different approaches have been employed; some advocate a focus on the analysis of individual traits or clines, while others are explicitly adaptationist, with a focus on natural selection as the preeminent force of phenotypic diversification. In recent years, a series of studies have analysed craniometric data in an explicitly quantitative genetic framework, which emphasises the importance of neutral forces such as migration, gene flow and genetic drift in creating global patterns of phenotypic diversity. This approach has revealed that global patterns of cranial variation can largely be explained on the basis of neutral theory. Therefore, human cranial data can be productively employed as a proxy for neutral genetic data in archaeological contexts. Moreover, there is a growing recognition that regions of the cranium differ in the extent to which they fit a neutral model of microevolutionary expectation, allowing for a more detailed assessment of patterns of adaptation and phenotypic plasticity within the human skull. Taking an historical perspective, the current state of knowledge regarding patterns of cranial adaptation in response to climatic and dietary effects is reviewed. Further insights will be gained by better incorporating the study of cranial and postcranial variation, as well as understanding the impact of neutral versus non-neutral evolution in creating among-species diversity patterns in primates more generally. However, this will most effectively be

  17. Novel molecular insights into the critical role of sulfatide in myelin maintenance/function.

    PubMed

    Palavicini, Juan Pablo; Wang, Chunyan; Chen, Linyuan; Ahmar, Sareen; Higuera, Juan Diego; Dupree, Jeffrey L; Han, Xianlin

    2016-10-01

    Cerebroside sulfotransferase (CST) catalyzes the production of sulfatide, a major class of myelin-specific lipids. CST knockout (CST(-/-) ) mice in which sulfatide is completely depleted are born healthy, but display myelin abnormalities and progressive tremors starting at 4-6 weeks of age. Although these phenotypes suggest that sulfatide plays a critical role in myelin maintenance/function, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. We analyzed the major CNS myelin proteins and the major lipids enriched in the myelin in a spatiotemporal manner. We found a one-third reduction of the major compact myelin proteins (myelin basic protein, myelin basic protein, and proteolipid protein, PLP) and an equivalent post-developmental loss of myelin lipids, providing the molecular basis behind the thinner myelin sheaths. Our lipidomics data demonstrated that the observed global reduction of myelin lipid content was not because of an increase of lipid degradation but rather to the reduction of their synthesis by oligodendrocytes. We also showed that sulfatide depletion leads to region-specific effects on non-compact myelin, dramatically affecting the paranode (neurofascin 155) and the major inner tongue myelin protein (myelin-associated glycoprotein). Moreover, we demonstrated that sulfatide promotes the interaction between adjacent PLP extracellular domains, evidenced by a progressive decline of high molecular weight PLP complexes in CST(-/-) mice, providing an explanation at a molecular level regarding the uncompacted myelin sheaths. Finally, we proposed that the dramatic losses of neurofascin 155 and PLP interactions are responsible for the progressive tremors and eventual ataxia. In summary, we unraveled novel molecular insights into the critical role of sulfatide in myelin maintenance/function. Cerebroside sulfotransferase (CST) catalyzes the production of sulfatide, a major class of myelin-specific lipids. CST knockout (CST(-/-) ) mice in which sulfatide is

  18. Insight into the Functionality of Microbial Exopolysaccharides by NMR Spectroscopy and Molecular Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Flemming H.; Engelsen, Søren B.

    2015-01-01

    Microbial polysaccharides represent an important class of microbial polymers with diverse functions such as biofilm formation, thickening, and gelling properties as well as health-promoting properties. The broad range of exopolysaccharide (EPS) functionalities has sparked a renewed interest in this class of molecules. Chemical, enzymatic as well as genetic modifications by metabolic engineering can be used to create large numbers of analogous EPS variants with respect to EPS functionality. While this top–down approach is effective in finding new candidates for desired functionality, there seems to be a lack of the corresponding bottom–up approach. The molecular mechanisms of the desired functionalities can be established from Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and molecular models and it is proposed that these models can be fed back into the biotechnology by using a quantitative structure–property approach. In this way it will be possible to tailor specific functionality within a given design space. This perspective will include two well-known commercial microbial EPS examples namely gellan and diutan and show how even a limited use of multiphase NMR and molecular modeling can increase the insight into their different properties, which are based on only minor structural differences. PMID:26696983

  19. Structure of sulfamidase provides insight into the molecular pathology of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA.

    PubMed

    Sidhu, Navdeep S; Schreiber, Kathrin; Pröpper, Kevin; Becker, Stefan; Usón, Isabel; Sheldrick, George M; Gärtner, Jutta; Krätzner, Ralph; Steinfeld, Robert

    2014-05-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (Sanfilippo A syndrome), a fatal childhood-onset neurodegenerative disease with mild facial, visceral and skeletal abnormalities, is caused by an inherited deficiency of the enzyme N-sulfoglucosamine sulfohydrolase (SGSH; sulfamidase). More than 100 mutations in the SGSH gene have been found to reduce or eliminate its enzymatic activity. However, the molecular understanding of the effect of these mutations has been confined by a lack of structural data for this enzyme. Here, the crystal structure of glycosylated SGSH is presented at 2 Å resolution. Despite the low sequence identity between this unique N-sulfatase and the group of O-sulfatases, they share a similar overall fold and active-site architecture, including a catalytic formylglycine, a divalent metal-binding site and a sulfate-binding site. However, a highly conserved lysine in O-sulfatases is replaced in SGSH by an arginine (Arg282) that is positioned to bind the N-linked sulfate substrate. The structure also provides insight into the diverse effects of pathogenic mutations on SGSH function in mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA and convincing evidence for the molecular consequences of many missense mutations. Further, the molecular characterization of SGSH mutations will lay the groundwork for the development of structure-based drug design for this devastating neurodegenerative disorder.

  20. Structure of sulfamidase provides insight into the molecular pathology of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA

    PubMed Central

    Sidhu, Navdeep S.; Schreiber, Kathrin; Pröpper, Kevin; Becker, Stefan; Usón, Isabel; Sheldrick, George M.; Gärtner, Jutta; Krätzner, Ralph; Steinfeld, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (Sanfilippo A syndrome), a fatal childhood-onset neurodegenerative disease with mild facial, visceral and skeletal abnormalities, is caused by an inherited deficiency of the enzyme N-sulfoglucosamine sulfohydrolase (SGSH; sulfamidase). More than 100 mutations in the SGSH gene have been found to reduce or eliminate its enzymatic activity. However, the molecular understanding of the effect of these mutations has been confined by a lack of structural data for this enzyme. Here, the crystal structure of glycosylated SGSH is presented at 2 Å resolution. Despite the low sequence identity between this unique N-sulfatase and the group of O-sulfatases, they share a similar overall fold and active-site architecture, including a catalytic formylglycine, a divalent metal-binding site and a sulfate-binding site. However, a highly conserved lysine in O-sulfatases is replaced in SGSH by an arginine (Arg282) that is positioned to bind the N-linked sulfate substrate. The structure also provides insight into the diverse effects of pathogenic mutations on SGSH function in mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA and convincing evidence for the molecular consequences of many missense mutations. Further, the molecular characterization of SGSH mutations will lay the groundwork for the development of structure-based drug design for this devastating neurodegenerative disorder. PMID:24816101

  1. Insights into carbon nanotube and graphene formation mechanisms from molecular simulations: a review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Page, A. J.; Ding, F.; Irle, S.; Morokuma, K.

    2015-02-01

    The discovery of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene over the last two decades has heralded a new era in physics, chemistry and nanotechnology. During this time, intense efforts have been made towards understanding the atomic-scale mechanisms by which these remarkable nanostructures grow. Molecular simulations have made significant contributions in this regard; indeed, they are responsible for many of the key discoveries and advancements towards this goal. Here we review molecular simulations of CNT and graphene growth, and in doing so we highlight the many invaluable insights gained from molecular simulations into these complex nanoscale self-assembly processes. This review highlights an often-overlooked aspect of CNT and graphene formation—that the two processes, although seldom discussed in the same terms, are in fact remarkably similar. Both can be viewed as a 0D → 1D → 2D transformation, which converts carbon atoms (0D) to polyyne chains (1D) to a complete sp2-carbon network (2D). The difference in the final structure (CNT or graphene) is determined only by the curvature of the catalyst and the strength of the carbon-metal interaction. We conclude our review by summarizing the present shortcomings of CNT/graphene growth simulations, and future challenges to this important area.

  2. Insights into carbon nanotube and graphene formation mechanisms from molecular simulations: a review.

    PubMed

    Page, A J; Ding, F; Irle, S; Morokuma, K

    2015-02-01

    The discovery of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene over the last two decades has heralded a new era in physics, chemistry and nanotechnology. During this time, intense efforts have been made towards understanding the atomic-scale mechanisms by which these remarkable nanostructures grow. Molecular simulations have made significant contributions in this regard; indeed, they are responsible for many of the key discoveries and advancements towards this goal. Here we review molecular simulations of CNT and graphene growth, and in doing so we highlight the many invaluable insights gained from molecular simulations into these complex nanoscale self-assembly processes. This review highlights an often-overlooked aspect of CNT and graphene formation-that the two processes, although seldom discussed in the same terms, are in fact remarkably similar. Both can be viewed as a 0D → 1D → 2D transformation, which converts carbon atoms (0D) to polyyne chains (1D) to a complete sp(2)-carbon network (2D). The difference in the final structure (CNT or graphene) is determined only by the curvature of the catalyst and the strength of the carbon-metal interaction. We conclude our review by summarizing the present shortcomings of CNT/graphene growth simulations, and future challenges to this important area.

  3. The mineralocorticoid receptor: insights into its molecular and (patho)physiological biology

    PubMed Central

    Viengchareun, Say; Le Menuet, Damien; Martinerie, Laetitia; Munier, Mathilde; Pascual-Le Tallec, Laurent; Lombès, Marc

    2007-01-01

    The last decade has witnessed tremendous progress in the understanding of the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), its molecular mechanism of action, and its implications for physiology and pathophysiology. After the initial cloning of MR, and identification of its gene structure and promoters, it now appears as a major actor in protein-protein interaction networks. The role of transcriptional coregulators and the determinants of mineralocorticoid selectivity have been elucidated. Targeted oncogenesis and transgenic mouse models have identified unexpected sites of MR expression and novel roles for MR in non-epithelial tissues. These experimental approaches have contributed to the generation of new cell lines for the characterization of aldosterone signaling pathways, and have also facilitated a better understanding of MR physiology in the heart, vasculature, brain and adipose tissues. This review describes the structure, molecular mechanism of action and transcriptional regulation mediated by MR, emphasizing the most recent developments at the cellular and molecular level. Finally, through insights obtained from mouse models and human disease, its role in physiology and pathophysiology will be reviewed. Future investigations of MR biology should lead to new therapeutic strategies, modulating cell-specific actions in the management of cardiovascular disease, neuroprotection, mineralocorticoid resistance, and metabolic disorders. PMID:18174920

  4. Molecular structure of amyloid fibrils: insights from solid-state NMR.

    PubMed

    Tycko, Robert

    2006-02-01

    Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements have made major contributions to our understanding of the molecular structures of amyloid fibrils, including fibrils formed by the beta-amyloid peptide associated with Alzheimer's disease, by proteins associated with fungal prions, and by a variety of other polypeptides. Because solid-state NMR techniques can be used to determine interatomic distances (both intramolecular and intermolecular), place constraints on backbone and side-chain torsion angles, and identify tertiary and quaternary contacts, full molecular models for amyloid fibrils can be developed from solid-state NMR data, especially when supplemented by lower-resolution structural constraints from electron microscopy and other sources. In addition, solid-state NMR data can be used as experimental tests of various proposals and hypotheses regarding the mechanisms of amyloid formation, the nature of intermediate structures, and the common structural features within amyloid fibrils. This review introduces the basic experimental and conceptual principles behind solid-state NMR methods that are applicable to amyloid fibrils, reviews the information about amyloid structures that has been obtained to date with these methods, and discusses how solid-state NMR data provide insights into the molecular interactions that stabilize amyloid structures, the generic propensity of polypeptide chains to form amyloid fibrils, and a number of related issues that are of current interest in the amyloid field.

  5. Estimating evapotranspiration under warmer climates: Insights from a semiarid riparian system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper presents an approach to quantify evapotranspiration under changing climates, using field observations, theoretical evaporation models and meteorological predictions from global climate models. We analyzed evaporation and meteorological data from three riparian sites located in a semiarid ...

  6. Crystal Structures of Human and Staphylococcus aureus Pyruvate Carboxylase and Molecular Insights into the Carboxyltransfer Reaction

    SciTech Connect

    Xiang,S.; Tong, L.

    2008-01-01

    Pyruvate carboxylase (PC) catalyzes the biotin-dependent production of oxaloacetate and has important roles in gluconeogenesis, lipogenesis, insulin secretion and other cellular processes. PC contains the biotin carboxylase (BC), carboxyltransferase (CT) and biotin-carboxyl carrier protein (BCCP) domains. We report here the crystal structures at 2.8-Angstroms resolution of full-length PC from Staphylococcus aureus and the C-terminal region (missing only the BC domain) of human PC. A conserved tetrameric association is observed for both enzymes, and our structural and mutagenesis studies reveal a previously uncharacterized domain, the PC tetramerization (PT) domain, which is important for oligomerization. A BCCP domain is located in the active site of the CT domain, providing the first molecular insights into how biotin participates in the carboxyltransfer reaction. There are dramatic differences in domain positions in the monomer and the organization of the tetramer between these enzymes and the PC from Rhizobium etli.

  7. Protein Fibrillar Nanopolymers: Molecular-Level Insights into Their Structural, Physical and Mechanical Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trusova, Valeriya M.

    2015-09-01

    Amyloid fibrils represent a generic class of mechanically strong and stable biomaterials with extremely advantageous properties. Although amyloids were initially associated only with severe neurological disorders, the role of these structures nowadays is shifting from health debilitating to highly beneficial both in biomedical and technological aspects. Intensive involvement of fibrillar assemblies into the wide range of pathogenic and functional processes strongly necessitate the molecular level characterization of the structural, physical and elastic features of protein nanofibrils. In the present contribution, we made an attempt to highlight the up-to-date progress in the understanding of amyloid properties from the polymer physics standpoint. The fundamental insights into protein fibril behavior are essential not only for development of therapeutic strategies to combat the protein misfolding disorders but also for rational and precise design of novel biodegradable protein-based nanopolymers.

  8. An insight into the molecular characteristics of hepatitis C virus for clinicians

    PubMed Central

    Du, Lingyao; Tang, Hong

    2016-01-01

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) consists of envelope proteins, core proteins, and genome RNA. The structural genes and non-structural genes in the open reading frame of its genome encode functional proteins essential to viral life cycles, ranging from virus attachment to progeny virus secretion. After infection, the host cells suffer damage from virus-induced oxidative stress, steatosis, and activation of proto-oncogenes. Every process during the viral life cycle can be considered as targets for direct acting antivirals. However, protective immunity cannot be easily acquired for the volatility in HCV antigenic epitopes. Understanding its molecular characteristics, especially pathogenesis and targets the drugs act on, not only helps professionals to make optimal therapeutic decisions, but also helps clinicians who do not specialize in infectious diseases/hepatology to provide better management for patients. This review serves to provide an insight for clinicians and this might provide a possible solution for any possible collision. PMID:27146609

  9. A multi-layered governance framework for incorporating social science insights into adapting to the health impacts of climate change

    PubMed Central

    Bowen, Kathryn J.; Ebi, Kristie; Friel, Sharon; McMichael, Anthony J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Addressing climate change and its associated effects is a multi-dimensional and ongoing challenge. This includes recognizing that climate change will affect the health and wellbeing of all populations over short and longer terms, albeit in varied ways and intensities. That recognition has drawn attention to the need to take adaptive actions to lessen adverse impacts over the next few decades from unavoidable climate change, particularly in developing country settings. A range of sectors is responsible for appropriate adaptive policies and measures to address the health risks of climate change, including health services, water and sanitation, trade, agriculture, disaster management, and development. Objectives To broaden the framing of governance and decision-making processes by using innovative methods and assessments to illustrate the multi-sectoral nature of health-related adaptation to climate change. This is a shift from sector-specific to multi-level systems encompassing sectors and actors, across temporal and spatial scales. Design A review and synthesis of the current knowledge in the areas of health and climate change adaptation governance and decision-making processes. Results A novel framework is presented that incorporates social science insights into the formulation and implementation of adaptation activities and policies to lessen the health risks posed by climate change. Conclusion Clarification of the roles that different sectors, organizations, and individuals occupy in relation to the development of health-related adaptation strategies will facilitate the inclusion of health and wellbeing within multi-sector adaptation policies, thereby strengthening the overall set of responses to minimize the adverse health effects of climate change. PMID:24028938

  10. Insights into molecular interactions between CaM and its inhibitors from molecular dynamics simulations and experimental data.

    PubMed

    González-Andrade, Martin; Rodríguez-Sotres, Rogelio; Madariaga-Mazón, Abraham; Rivera-Chávez, José; Mata, Rachel; Sosa-Peinado, Alejandro; Del Pozo-Yauner, Luis; Arias-Olguín, Imilla I

    2016-01-01

    In order to contribute to the structural basis for rational design of calmodulin (CaM) inhibitors, we analyzed the interaction of CaM with 14 classic antagonists and two compounds that do not affect CaM, using docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, and the data were compared to available experimental data. The Ca(2+)-CaM-Ligands complexes were simulated 20 ns, with CaM starting in the "open" and "closed" conformations. The analysis of the MD simulations provided insight into the conformational changes undergone by CaM during its interaction with these ligands. These simulations were used to predict the binding free energies (ΔG) from contributions ΔH and ΔS, giving useful information about CaM ligand binding thermodynamics. The ΔG predicted for the CaM's inhibitors correlated well with available experimental data as the r(2) obtained was 0.76 and 0.82 for the group of xanthones. Additionally, valuable information is presented here: I) CaM has two preferred ligand binding sites in the open conformation known as site 1 and 4, II) CaM can bind ligands of diverse structural nature, III) the flexibility of CaM is reduced by the union of its ligands, leading to a reduction in the Ca(2+)-CaM entropy, IV) enthalpy dominates the molecular recognition process in the system Ca(2+)-CaM-Ligand, and V) the ligands making more extensive contact with the protein have higher affinity for Ca(2+)-CaM. Despite their limitations, docking and MD simulations in combination with experimental data continue to be excellent tools for research in pharmacology, toward a rational design of new drugs.

  11. Communicating Climate Change in the Agricultural Sector: Insights from Surveys and Interviews with Agricultural Advisors in the Midwestern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prokopy, L. S.; Carlton, S.; Dunn, M.

    2014-12-01

    Understanding U.S. agricultural stakeholder views about the existence of climate change and what influences these views is central to developing communication in support of adaptation and mitigation. It has been postulated in the literature that extreme weather events can shape people's climate change beliefs and adaptation attitudes. In this presentation, we use data from pre- and post-extreme event surveys and interviews to examine the effects of the 2012 Midwestern US drought on agricultural advisors' climate change beliefs, adaptation attitudes, and risk perceptions. We found that neither climate change beliefs nor attitudes toward adaptation changed significantly as a result of the drought. Risk perceptions did change, however, with advisors becoming more concerned about risks from drought and pests and less concerned about risks related to flooding and ponding. Qualitative interviews revealed that while advisors readily accept the occurrence of extreme weather as a risk, the irregularity and unpredictability of extreme events for specific localities limits day-to-day consideration in respect to prescribed management advice. Instead, advisors' attention is directed towards planning for short-term changes encompassing weather, pests, and the market, as well as planning for long-term trends related to water availability. These findings provide important insights for communicating climate change in this critical sector while illustrating the importance of social science research in planning and executing communication campaigns.

  12. Molecular Insights into Aqueous NaCl Electrolytes Confined within Vertically-oriented Graphenes

    PubMed Central

    Bo, Zheng; Yang, Huachao; Zhang, Shuo; Yang, Jinyuan; Yan, Jianhua; Cen, Kefa

    2015-01-01

    Vertically-oriented graphenes (VGs) are promising active materials for electric double layer capacitors (EDLCs) due to their unique morphological and structural features. This study, for the first time, reports the molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on aqueous NaCl electrolytes confined within VG channels with different surface charge densities and channel widths. Simulation results show that the accessibility of ions and the structure of EDLCs are determined by the ion type/size, surface charging, and VG channel width. For relatively narrow VG channels with the same width, the threshold charge density (to compensate the energy penalty for shedding hydration shell) and the dehydration rate of Cl− ions are larger than those of Na+ ions. To achieve the highest ion concentration coefficient, the effective VG channel width should be between the crystal and hydration diameters of the ions. The results are further quantified and elucidated by calculating the electrolyte density profiles. The molecular insights obtained in the current work are useful in guiding the design and fabrication of VGs for advancing their EDLC applications. PMID:26424365

  13. Molecular Insights into Aqueous NaCl Electrolytes Confined within Vertically-oriented Graphenes.

    PubMed

    Bo, Zheng; Yang, Huachao; Zhang, Shuo; Yang, Jinyuan; Yan, Jianhua; Cen, Kefa

    2015-01-01

    Vertically-oriented graphenes (VGs) are promising active materials for electric double layer capacitors (EDLCs) due to their unique morphological and structural features. This study, for the first time, reports the molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on aqueous NaCl electrolytes confined within VG channels with different surface charge densities and channel widths. Simulation results show that the accessibility of ions and the structure of EDLCs are determined by the ion type/size, surface charging, and VG channel width. For relatively narrow VG channels with the same width, the threshold charge density (to compensate the energy penalty for shedding hydration shell) and the dehydration rate of Cl(-) ions are larger than those of Na(+) ions. To achieve the highest ion concentration coefficient, the effective VG channel width should be between the crystal and hydration diameters of the ions. The results are further quantified and elucidated by calculating the electrolyte density profiles. The molecular insights obtained in the current work are useful in guiding the design and fabrication of VGs for advancing their EDLC applications. PMID:26424365

  14. How does joint remodeling work?: new insights in the molecular regulation of the architecture of joints.

    PubMed

    Schett, Georg

    2007-01-01

    Remodeling of joints is a key feature of inflammatory and degenerative joint disease. Bone erosion, cartilage degeneration and growth of bony spurs termed osteophytes are key features of structural joint pathology in the course of arthritis, which lead to impairment of joint function. Understanding their molecular mechanisms is essential to tailor targeted therapeutic approaches to protect joint architecture from inflammatory and mechanical stress. This addendum summarizes the new insights in the molecular regulation of bone formation in the joint and its relation to bone resorption. It describes how inflammatory cytokines impair bone formation and block the repair response of joints towards inflammatory stimuli. It particularly points out the key role of Dickkopf-1 protein, a regulator of the Wingless signaling and inhibitor of bone formation. This new link between inflammation and bone formation is also crucial for explaining the generation of osteophytes, bony spurs along joints, which are characterized by new bone and cartilage formation. This mechanism is largely dependent on an activation of wingless protein signaling and can lead to complete joint fusion. This addendum summarized the current concepts of joint remodeling in the limelight of these new findings.

  15. The new insights into the oyster antimicrobial defense: Cellular, molecular and genetic view.

    PubMed

    Bachère, Evelyne; Rosa, Rafael Diego; Schmitt, Paulina; Poirier, Aurore C; Merou, Nicolas; Charrière, Guillaume M; Destoumieux-Garzón, Delphine

    2015-09-01

    Oysters are sessile filter feeders that live in close association with abundant and diverse communities of microorganisms that form the oyster microbiota. In such an association, cellular and molecular mechanisms have evolved to maintain oyster homeostasis upon stressful conditions including infection and changing environments. We give here cellular and molecular insights into the Crassostrea gigas antimicrobial defense system with focus on antimicrobial peptides and proteins (AMPs). This review highlights the central role of the hemocytes in the modulation and control of oyster antimicrobial response. As vehicles for AMPs and other antimicrobial effectors, including reactive oxygen species (ROS), and together with epithelia, hemocytes provide the oyster with local defense reactions instead of systemic humoral ones. These reactions are largely based on phagocytosis but also, as recently described, on the extracellular release of antimicrobial histones (ETosis) which is triggered by ROS. Thus, ROS can signal danger and activate cellular responses in the oyster. From the current literature, AMP production/release could serve similar functions. We provide also new lights on the oyster genetic background that underlies a great diversity of AMP sequences but also an extraordinary individual polymorphism of AMP gene expression. We discuss here how this polymorphism could generate new immune functions, new pathogen resistances or support individual adaptation to environmental stresses. PMID:25753917

  16. The new insights into the oyster antimicrobial defense: Cellular, molecular and genetic view.

    PubMed

    Bachère, Evelyne; Rosa, Rafael Diego; Schmitt, Paulina; Poirier, Aurore C; Merou, Nicolas; Charrière, Guillaume M; Destoumieux-Garzón, Delphine

    2015-09-01

    Oysters are sessile filter feeders that live in close association with abundant and diverse communities of microorganisms that form the oyster microbiota. In such an association, cellular and molecular mechanisms have evolved to maintain oyster homeostasis upon stressful conditions including infection and changing environments. We give here cellular and molecular insights into the Crassostrea gigas antimicrobial defense system with focus on antimicrobial peptides and proteins (AMPs). This review highlights the central role of the hemocytes in the modulation and control of oyster antimicrobial response. As vehicles for AMPs and other antimicrobial effectors, including reactive oxygen species (ROS), and together with epithelia, hemocytes provide the oyster with local defense reactions instead of systemic humoral ones. These reactions are largely based on phagocytosis but also, as recently described, on the extracellular release of antimicrobial histones (ETosis) which is triggered by ROS. Thus, ROS can signal danger and activate cellular responses in the oyster. From the current literature, AMP production/release could serve similar functions. We provide also new lights on the oyster genetic background that underlies a great diversity of AMP sequences but also an extraordinary individual polymorphism of AMP gene expression. We discuss here how this polymorphism could generate new immune functions, new pathogen resistances or support individual adaptation to environmental stresses.

  17. Molecular Insights into Division of Single Human Cancer Cells in On-Chip Transparent Microtubes

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    In vivo, mammalian cells proliferate within 3D environments consisting of numerous microcavities and channels, which contain a variety of chemical and physical cues. External environments often differ between normal and pathological states, such as the unique spatial constraints that metastasizing cancer cells experience as they circulate the vasculature through arterioles and narrow capillaries, where they can divide and acquire elongated cylindrical shapes. While metastatic tumors cause most cancer deaths, factors impacting early cancer cell proliferation inside the vasculature and those that can promote the formation of secondary tumors remain largely unknown. Prior studies investigating confined mitosis have mainly used 2D cell culture systems. Here, we mimic aspects of metastasizing tumor cells dividing inside blood capillaries by investigating single-cell divisions of living human cancer cells, trapped inside 3D rolled-up, transparent nanomembranes. We assess the molecular effects of tubular confinement on key mitotic features, using optical high- and super-resolution microscopy. Our experiments show that tubular confinement affects the morphology and dynamics of the mitotic spindle, chromosome arrangements, and the organization of the cell cortex. Moreover, we reveal that membrane blebbing and/or associated processes act as a potential genome-safety mechanism, limiting the extent of genomic instability caused by mitosis in confined circumstances, especially in tubular 3D microenvironments. Collectively, our study demonstrates the potential of rolled-up nanomembranes for gaining molecular insights into key cellular events occurring in tubular 3D microenvironments in vivo. PMID:27267364

  18. Molecular and evolutionary insights into the structural organization of cation chloride cotransporters

    PubMed Central

    Hartmann, Anna-Maria; Nothwang, Hans Gerd

    2015-01-01

    Cation chloride cotransporters (CCC) play an essential role for neuronal chloride homeostasis. K+-Cl− cotransporter (KCC2), is the principal Cl−-extruder, whereas Na+-K+-Cl− cotransporter (NKCC1), is the major Cl−-uptake mechanism in many neurons. As a consequence, the action of the inhibitory neurotransmitters gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine strongly depend on the activity of these two transporters. Knowledge of the mechanisms involved in ion transport and regulation is thus of great importance to better understand normal and disturbed brain function. Although no overall 3-dimensional crystal structures are yet available, recent molecular and phylogenetic studies and modeling have provided new and exciting insights into structure-function relationships of CCC. Here, we will summarize our current knowledge of the gross structural organization of the proteins, their functional domains, ion binding and translocation sites, and the established role of individual amino acids (aa). A major focus will be laid on the delineation of shared and distinct organizational principles between KCC2 and NKCC1. Exploiting the richness of recently generated genome data across the tree of life, we will also explore the molecular evolution of these features. PMID:25653592

  19. Proteome-wide prediction of targets for aspirin: new insight into the molecular mechanism of aspirin

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Shao-Xing; Li, Wen-Xing

    2016-01-01

    Besides its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-pyretic properties, aspirin is used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and various types of cancer. The multiple activities of aspirin likely involve several molecular targets and pathways rather than a single target. Therefore, systematic identification of these targets of aspirin can help us understand the underlying mechanisms of the activities. In this study, we identified 23 putative targets of aspirin in the human proteome by using binding pocket similarity detecting tool combination with molecular docking, free energy calculation and pathway analysis. These targets have diverse folds and are derived from different protein family. However, they have similar aspirin-binding pockets. The binding free energy with aspirin for newly identified targets is comparable to that for the primary targets. Pathway analysis revealed that the targets were enriched in several pathways such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling, Fc epsilon RI signaling and arachidonic acid metabolism, which are strongly involved in inflammation, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Therefore, the predicted target profile of aspirin suggests a new explanation for the disease prevention ability of aspirin. Our findings provide a new insight of aspirin and its efficacy of disease prevention in a systematic and global view. PMID:26989626

  20. Insights into the molecular basis of piezophilic adaptation: Extraction of piezophilic signatures.

    PubMed

    Nath, Abhigyan; Subbiah, Karthikeyan

    2016-02-01

    Piezophiles are the organisms which can successfully survive at extreme pressure conditions. However, the molecular basis of piezophilic adaptation is still poorly understood. Analysis of the protein sequence adjustments that had taken place during evolution can help to reveal the sequence adaptation parameters responsible for protein functional and structural adaptation at such high pressure conditions. In this current work we have used SVM classifier for filtering strong instances and generated human interpretable rules from these strong instances by using the PART algorithm. These generated rules were analyzed for getting insights into the molecular signature patterns present in the piezophilic proteins. The experiments were performed on three different temperature ranges piezophilic groups, namely psychrophilic-piezophilic, mesophilic-piezophilic, and thermophilic-piezophilic for the detailed comparative study. The best classification results were obtained as we move up the temperature range from psychrophilic-piezophilic to thermophilic-piezophilic. Based on the physicochemical classification of amino acids and using feature ranking algorithms, hydrophilic and polar amino acid groups have higher discriminative ability for psychrophilic-piezophilic and mesophilic-piezophilic groups along with hydrophobic and nonpolar amino acids for the thermophilic-piezophilic groups. We also observed an overrepresentation of polar, hydrophilic and small amino acid groups in the discriminatory rules of all the three temperature range piezophiles along with aliphatic, nonpolar and hydrophobic groups in the mesophilic-piezophilic and thermophilic-piezophilic groups.

  1. Proteome-wide prediction of targets for aspirin: new insight into the molecular mechanism of aspirin.

    PubMed

    Dai, Shao-Xing; Li, Wen-Xing; Li, Gong-Hua; Huang, Jing-Fei

    2016-01-01

    Besides its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-pyretic properties, aspirin is used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and various types of cancer. The multiple activities of aspirin likely involve several molecular targets and pathways rather than a single target. Therefore, systematic identification of these targets of aspirin can help us understand the underlying mechanisms of the activities. In this study, we identified 23 putative targets of aspirin in the human proteome by using binding pocket similarity detecting tool combination with molecular docking, free energy calculation and pathway analysis. These targets have diverse folds and are derived from different protein family. However, they have similar aspirin-binding pockets. The binding free energy with aspirin for newly identified targets is comparable to that for the primary targets. Pathway analysis revealed that the targets were enriched in several pathways such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling, Fc epsilon RI signaling and arachidonic acid metabolism, which are strongly involved in inflammation, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Therefore, the predicted target profile of aspirin suggests a new explanation for the disease prevention ability of aspirin. Our findings provide a new insight of aspirin and its efficacy of disease prevention in a systematic and global view. PMID:26989626

  2. Molecular Insights into Aqueous NaCl Electrolytes Confined within Vertically-oriented Graphenes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bo, Zheng; Yang, Huachao; Zhang, Shuo; Yang, Jinyuan; Yan, Jianhua; Cen, Kefa

    2015-10-01

    Vertically-oriented graphenes (VGs) are promising active materials for electric double layer capacitors (EDLCs) due to their unique morphological and structural features. This study, for the first time, reports the molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on aqueous NaCl electrolytes confined within VG channels with different surface charge densities and channel widths. Simulation results show that the accessibility of ions and the structure of EDLCs are determined by the ion type/size, surface charging, and VG channel width. For relatively narrow VG channels with the same width, the threshold charge density (to compensate the energy penalty for shedding hydration shell) and the dehydration rate of Cl- ions are larger than those of Na+ ions. To achieve the highest ion concentration coefficient, the effective VG channel width should be between the crystal and hydration diameters of the ions. The results are further quantified and elucidated by calculating the electrolyte density profiles. The molecular insights obtained in the current work are useful in guiding the design and fabrication of VGs for advancing their EDLC applications.

  3. Future directions: molecular approaches provide insights into palatal clefting and repair.

    PubMed

    Liu, Karen J

    2012-01-01

    Normal development of the palate depends on spatial and temporal coordination of complex cellular processes and tissue-tissue interactions. Because these processes are quite sensitive to environmental and genetic perturbation, clefts of the palate are among the most common congenital anomalies seen in live births. The clinical burden of cleft palate is significant, as conventional treatments include surgical repair combined with long-term rehabilitation. Affected children may require multiple operations and often have secondary problems such as perturbed speech development, dental occlusion, maxillary growth deficiencies and otitis media. Recent reports, from patient studies and mouse models, have implicated a number of genes in palatogenesis. It is difficult to pinpoint the direct pathological effects of specific genes in humans; therefore, the majority of mechanistic insights have derived from murine models. Furthermore, recent technological advances have made mice an ideal system for studying the signalling events associated with cleft palate. This review discusses several illustrative examples of genetic or molecular studies in which in utero reversal of cleft palate reveals sequential requirements in palate formation. As we develop a more comprehensive understanding of the genetic mechanisms underlying normal and pathological palate development, we can begin to consider the possibility of molecular tools to complement or even replace surgical interventions.

  4. An insight into the isolation, enumeration, and molecular detection of Listeria monocytogenes in food.

    PubMed

    Law, Jodi Woan-Fei; Ab Mutalib, Nurul-Syakima; Chan, Kok-Gan; Lee, Learn-Han

    2015-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes, a foodborne pathogen that can cause listeriosis through the consumption of food contaminated with this pathogen. The ability of L. monocytogenes to survive in extreme conditions and cause food contaminations have become a major concern. Hence, routine microbiological food testing is necessary to prevent food contamination and outbreaks of foodborne illness. This review provides insight into the methods for cultural detection, enumeration, and molecular identification of L. monocytogenes in various food samples. There are a number of enrichment and plating media that can be used for the isolation of L. monocytogenes from food samples. Enrichment media such as buffered Listeria enrichment broth, Fraser broth, and University of Vermont Medium (UVM) Listeria enrichment broth are recommended by regulatory agencies such as Food and Drug Administration-bacteriological and analytical method (FDA-BAM), US Department of Agriculture-Food and Safety (USDA-FSIS), and International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Many plating media are available for the isolation of L. monocytogenes, for instance, polymyxin acriflavin lithium-chloride ceftazidime aesculin mannitol, Oxford, and other chromogenic media. Besides, reference methods like FDA-BAM, ISO 11290 method, and USDA-FSIS method are usually applied for the cultural detection or enumeration of L. monocytogenes. most probable number technique is applied for the enumeration of L. monocytogenes in the case of low level contamination. Molecular methods including polymerase chain reaction, multiplex polymerase chain reaction, real-time/quantitative polymerase chain reaction, nucleic acid sequence-based amplification, loop-mediated isothermal amplification, DNA microarray, and next generation sequencing technology for the detection and identification of L. monocytogenes are discussed in this review. Overall, molecular methods are rapid, sensitive, specific, time- and labor-saving. In future, there are

  5. Molecular insights into the progression of crystalline silica-induced pulmonary toxicity in rats

    PubMed Central

    Sellamuthu, Rajendran; Umbright, Christina; Roberts, Jenny R.; Cumpston, Amy; McKinney, Walter; Chen, Bean T.; Frazer, David; Li, Shengqiao; Kashon, Michael; Joseph, Pius

    2015-01-01

    Identification of molecular target(s) and mechanism(s) of silica-induced pulmonary toxicity is important for the intervention and/or prevention of diseases associated with exposure to silica. Rats were exposed to crystalline silica by inhalation (15 mg m−3, 6 h per day, 5 days) and global gene expression profile was determined in the lungs by microarray analysis at 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16 weeks following termination of silica exposure. The number of significantly differentially expressed genes (>1.5-fold change and <0.01 false discovery rate P-value) detected in the lungs during the post-exposure time intervals analyzed exhibited a steady increase in parallel with the progression of silica-induced pulmonary toxicity noticed in the rats. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis of a representative set of 10 genes confirmed the microarray findings. The number of biological functions, canonical pathways and molecular networks significantly affected by silica exposure, as identified by the bioinformatics analysis of the significantly differentially expressed genes detected during the post-exposure time intervals, also exhibited a steady increase similar to the silica-induced pulmonary toxicity. Genes involved in oxidative stress, inflammation, respiratory diseases, cancer, and tissue remodeling and fibrosis were significantly differentially expressed in the rat lungs; however, unresolved inflammation was the single most significant biological response to pulmonary exposure to silica. Excessive mucus production, as implicated by significant overexpression of the pendrin coding gene, SLC26A4, was identified as a potential novel mechanism for silica-induced pulmonary toxicity. Collectively, the findings of our study provided insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the progression of crystalline silica-induced pulmonary toxicity in the rat. Published 2012. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. PMID:22431001

  6. An insight into the isolation, enumeration, and molecular detection of Listeria monocytogenes in food.

    PubMed

    Law, Jodi Woan-Fei; Ab Mutalib, Nurul-Syakima; Chan, Kok-Gan; Lee, Learn-Han

    2015-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes, a foodborne pathogen that can cause listeriosis through the consumption of food contaminated with this pathogen. The ability of L. monocytogenes to survive in extreme conditions and cause food contaminations have become a major concern. Hence, routine microbiological food testing is necessary to prevent food contamination and outbreaks of foodborne illness. This review provides insight into the methods for cultural detection, enumeration, and molecular identification of L. monocytogenes in various food samples. There are a number of enrichment and plating media that can be used for the isolation of L. monocytogenes from food samples. Enrichment media such as buffered Listeria enrichment broth, Fraser broth, and University of Vermont Medium (UVM) Listeria enrichment broth are recommended by regulatory agencies such as Food and Drug Administration-bacteriological and analytical method (FDA-BAM), US Department of Agriculture-Food and Safety (USDA-FSIS), and International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Many plating media are available for the isolation of L. monocytogenes, for instance, polymyxin acriflavin lithium-chloride ceftazidime aesculin mannitol, Oxford, and other chromogenic media. Besides, reference methods like FDA-BAM, ISO 11290 method, and USDA-FSIS method are usually applied for the cultural detection or enumeration of L. monocytogenes. most probable number technique is applied for the enumeration of L. monocytogenes in the case of low level contamination. Molecular methods including polymerase chain reaction, multiplex polymerase chain reaction, real-time/quantitative polymerase chain reaction, nucleic acid sequence-based amplification, loop-mediated isothermal amplification, DNA microarray, and next generation sequencing technology for the detection and identification of L. monocytogenes are discussed in this review. Overall, molecular methods are rapid, sensitive, specific, time- and labor-saving. In future, there are

  7. An insight into the isolation, enumeration, and molecular detection of Listeria monocytogenes in food

    PubMed Central

    Law, Jodi Woan-Fei; Ab Mutalib, Nurul-Syakima; Chan, Kok-Gan; Lee, Learn-Han

    2015-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes, a foodborne pathogen that can cause listeriosis through the consumption of food contaminated with this pathogen. The ability of L. monocytogenes to survive in extreme conditions and cause food contaminations have become a major concern. Hence, routine microbiological food testing is necessary to prevent food contamination and outbreaks of foodborne illness. This review provides insight into the methods for cultural detection, enumeration, and molecular identification of L. monocytogenes in various food samples. There are a number of enrichment and plating media that can be used for the isolation of L. monocytogenes from food samples. Enrichment media such as buffered Listeria enrichment broth, Fraser broth, and University of Vermont Medium (UVM) Listeria enrichment broth are recommended by regulatory agencies such as Food and Drug Administration-bacteriological and analytical method (FDA-BAM), US Department of Agriculture-Food and Safety (USDA-FSIS), and International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Many plating media are available for the isolation of L. monocytogenes, for instance, polymyxin acriflavin lithium-chloride ceftazidime aesculin mannitol, Oxford, and other chromogenic media. Besides, reference methods like FDA-BAM, ISO 11290 method, and USDA-FSIS method are usually applied for the cultural detection or enumeration of L. monocytogenes. most probable number technique is applied for the enumeration of L. monocytogenes in the case of low level contamination. Molecular methods including polymerase chain reaction, multiplex polymerase chain reaction, real-time/quantitative polymerase chain reaction, nucleic acid sequence-based amplification, loop-mediated isothermal amplification, DNA microarray, and next generation sequencing technology for the detection and identification of L. monocytogenes are discussed in this review. Overall, molecular methods are rapid, sensitive, specific, time- and labor-saving. In future, there are

  8. Boron Isotope Based CO2 Reconstructions and Insights into the Sensitivity of the Climate System to CO2-forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, G. L.

    2014-12-01

    system to CO2 change. This study provides new insights into the possibility of "hidden" feedbacks and the likelihood of a state dependency to climate sensitivity. [1] Rohling, E.J., et al., 2012. Nature, 491: 683-691. [2] Stainforth, D.A. et al., 2005. Nature, 433(7024): 403-406.

  9. Limitations of Climatic Data for Inferring Species Boundaries: Insights from Speckled Rattlesnakes

    PubMed Central

    Flores-Villela, Oscar; Fujita, Matthew K.

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypes, DNA, and measures of ecological differences are widely used in species delimitation. Although rarely defined in such studies, ecological divergence is almost always approximated using multivariate climatic data associated with sets of specimens (i.e., the “climatic niche”); the justification for this approach is that species-specific climatic envelopes act as surrogates for physiological tolerances. Using identical statistical procedures, we evaluated the usefulness and validity of the climate-as-proxy assumption by comparing performance of genetic (nDNA SNPs and mitochondrial DNA), phenotypic, and climatic data for objective species delimitation in the speckled rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchellii) complex. Ordination and clustering patterns were largely congruent among intrinsic (heritable) traits (nDNA, mtDNA, phenotype), and discordance is explained by biological processes (e.g., ontogeny, hybridization). In contrast, climatic data did not produce biologically meaningful clusters that were congruent with any intrinsic dataset, but rather corresponded to regional differences in atmospheric circulation and climate, indicating an absence of inherent taxonomic signal in these data. Surrogating climate for physiological tolerances adds artificial weight to evidence of species boundaries, as these data are irrelevant for that purpose. Based on the evidence from congruent clustering of intrinsic datasets, we recommend that three subspecies of C. mitchellii be recognized as species: C. angelensis, C. mitchellii, and C. Pyrrhus. PMID:26107178

  10. Migration out of 1930s Rural Eastern Oklahoma: Insights for Climate Change Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLeman, Robert

    2006-01-01

    The question of how communities and individuals adapt to changing climatic conditions is of pressing concern to scientists and policymakers in light of the growing evidence that human activity has modified the Earth's climate. A number of authors have suggested that widespread changes in human settlement and migration patterns may occur in…

  11. Molecular fossils in modern genomes provide physiological and geochemical insights to the ancient earth (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupont, C.; Caetano-Anolles, G.

    2010-12-01

    The genomes of extant organisms are ultimately derived from ancient life, thus theoretically contain insight to ancient physiology, ecology, and environments. In particular, metalloenzymes may be particularly insightful. The fundamental chemistry of trace elements dictates the molecular speciation and reactivity both within cells and the environment at large. Using protein structure and comparative genomics, we elucidate several major influences this chemistry has had upon biology. All of life exhibits the same proteome size-dependent scaling for the number of metal-binding proteins within a proteome. This fundamental evolutionary constant shows that the selection of one element occurs at the exclusion of another, with the eschewal of Fe for Zn and Ca being a defining feature of eukaryotic pro- teomes. Early life lacked both the structures required to control intracellular metal concentrations and the metal-binding proteins that catalyze electron transport and redox transformations. The development of protein structures for metal homeostasis coincided with the emergence of metal-specific structures, which predomi- nantly bound metals abundant in the Archean ocean. Potentially, this promoted the diversification of emerging lineages of Archaea and Bacteria through the establishment of biogeochemical cycles. In contrast, structures binding Cu and Zn evolved much later, pro- viding further evidence that environmental availability influenced the selection of the elements. The late evolving Zn-binding proteins are fundamental to eukaryotic cellular biology, and Zn bioavailabil- ity may have been a limiting factor in eukaryotic evolution. The results presented here provide an evolutionary timeline based on genomic characteristics, and key hypotheses can be tested by alternative geochemical methods.

  12. Chemical insight from density functional modeling of molecular adsorption: Tracking the bonding and diffusion of anthracene derivatives on Cu(111) with molecular orbitals

    SciTech Connect

    Wyrick, Jonathan; Bartels, Ludwig; Einstein, T. L.

    2015-03-14

    We present a method of analyzing the results of density functional modeling of molecular adsorption in terms of an analogue of molecular orbitals. This approach permits intuitive chemical insight into the adsorption process. Applied to a set of anthracene derivates (anthracene, 9,10-anthraquinone, 9,10-dithioanthracene, and 9,10-diselenonanthracene), we follow the electronic states of the molecules that are involved in the bonding process and correlate them to both the molecular adsorption geometry and the species’ diffusive behavior. We additionally provide computational code to easily repeat this analysis on any system.

  13. Chemical insight from density functional modeling of molecular adsorption: Tracking the bonding and diffusion of anthracene derivatives on Cu(111) with molecular orbitals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyrick, Jonathan; Einstein, T. L.; Bartels, Ludwig

    2015-03-01

    We present a method of analyzing the results of density functional modeling of molecular adsorption in terms of an analogue of molecular orbitals. This approach permits intuitive chemical insight into the adsorption process. Applied to a set of anthracene derivates (anthracene, 9,10-anthraquinone, 9,10-dithioanthracene, and 9,10-diselenonanthracene), we follow the electronic states of the molecules that are involved in the bonding process and correlate them to both the molecular adsorption geometry and the species' diffusive behavior. We additionally provide computational code to easily repeat this analysis on any system.

  14. Chemical insight from density functional modeling of molecular adsorption: Tracking the bonding and diffusion of anthracene derivatives on Cu(111) with molecular orbitals.

    PubMed

    Wyrick, Jonathan; Einstein, T L; Bartels, Ludwig

    2015-03-14

    We present a method of analyzing the results of density functional modeling of molecular adsorption in terms of an analogue of molecular orbitals. This approach permits intuitive chemical insight into the adsorption process. Applied to a set of anthracene derivates (anthracene, 9,10-anthraquinone, 9,10-dithioanthracene, and 9,10-diselenonanthracene), we follow the electronic states of the molecules that are involved in the bonding process and correlate them to both the molecular adsorption geometry and the species' diffusive behavior. We additionally provide computational code to easily repeat this analysis on any system.

  15. Climate forcing and Neanderthal extinction in Southern Iberia: insights from a multiproxy marine record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez-Espejo, Francisco J.; Martínez-Ruiz, Francisca; Finlayson, Clive; Paytan, Adina; Sakamoto, Tatsuhiko; Ortega-Huertas, Miguel; Finlayson, Geraldine; Iijima, Koichi; Gallego-Torres, David; Fa, Darren

    2007-04-01

    Paleoclimate records from the western Mediterranean have been used to further understand the role of climatic changes in the replacement of archaic human populations inhabiting South Iberia. Marine sediments from the Balearic basin (ODP Site 975) was analysed at high resolution to obtain both geochemical and mineralogical data. These data were compared with climate records from nearby areas. Baexcces was used to characterize marine productivity and then related to climatic variability. Since variations in productivity were the consequence of climatic oscillations, climate/productivity events have been established. Sedimentary regime, primary marine productivity and oxygen conditions at the time of population replacement were reconstructed by means of a multiproxy approach. Climatic/oceanographic variations correlate well with Homo spatial and occupational patterns in Southern Iberia. It was found that low ventilation (U/Th), high river supply (Mg/Al), low aridity (Zr/Al) and low values of Baexcess coefficient of variation, may be linked with Neanderthal hospitable conditions. We attempt to support recent findings which claim that Neanderthals populations continued to inhabit southern Iberia between 30 and ˜28 ky cal BP and that this persistence was due to the specific characteristics of South Iberian climatic refugia. Comparisons of our data with other marine and continental records appear to indicate that conditions in South Iberia were highly inhospitable at ˜24 ky cal BP. Thus, it is proposed that the final disappearance of Neanderthals in this region could be linked with these extreme conditions.

  16. Topographic Signature of Climate Change- insights into climatic controls on landscape evolution under permafrost and non-permafrost environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gangodagamage, C.; Rowland, J. C.; Wilson, C. J.; Brumby, S.; Prancevic, J. P.; Crosby, B. T.; Marsh, P.; Altmann, G.

    2012-12-01

    Climate gradient across the deglaciated North American continental landscape has been a major control on the trajectory of landscape evolution following the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) (~19-25 ka BP). Following deglaciation, landscapes in the Arctic and subarctic regions have been subject to climatic conditions favoring the development and/or preservation of permafrost. In more southerly latitudes, warmer conditions have favored non-permafrost conditions. A comparison of formerly glaciated landscapes in both permafrost and non-permafrost settings offers a unique natural experiment to explore the influence of climate on landscape evolution. Additionally, by comparing formerly glaciated terrains under both permafrost and non-permafrost conditions to landscapes never having undergone glaciation it may be possible to identify unique signatures of glaciation on hillslope morphology and processes. After glaciers retreated, newly exposed landscapes were exposed to both fluvial and hillslope mass wasting processes, the relative balance and influence of these processes on landscape evolution varied depending on Holocene climatic conditions (permafrost versus non-permaforst environments). Using analysis of high resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM ~ 1m) data we show that the topographic denudation on these landscapes over the past Holocene has imprinted a unique climatic signature. Major differences are observed in landscape regimes and regime transitions. These differences are quantified mainly by introducing a new index, Normalized Directed Distance for Relief (NDDR), that treats the landscape relief differences and successfully identify the climate induced landscape responses. Previously glaciated permafrost landscapes are primarily characterized by narrow divergent hilltops (NDDR < 0.3), longer convergent flow paths (~500-1000 m) in hillslopes, and abrupt hillslope to fluvial transitions (< 100 m). Previously glaciated non-permafrost landscapes characterized by

  17. Temperature decomposition of paired site observations reveals new insights in climate models' capability to simulate the impact of LUC.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanden Broucke, Sam; Luyssaert, Sebastiaan; Davin, Edouard; Janssens, Ivan; Van Lipzig, Nicole

    2015-04-01

    The biogeophysical impact of land use change (LUC) has been shown to be a significant contributor to climate change. In this study, we present a new methodology for evaluating the impact of LUC in climate models. For this, we use observational data from paired eddy covariance flux towers, representing a LUC from forest to open land (deforestation). Two model simulations with a regional climate model (COSMO-CLM2) are performed which differ only in prescribed land use for site pair locations. The model is evaluated by comparing the observed and simulated difference in surface temperature (Ts) between open land and forests, an evaluation which is performed separately for summer/winter and daytime/ nighttime. Next, we identify the biogeophysical mechanisms responsible for Ts differences by applying a Ts decomposition method to both observations and model simulations, allowing us us to determine which LUC related biogeophysical mechanisms were well represented in COSMO-CLM2, and which were not. Results show that the model is able to simulate the increase in albedo and associated daytime surface cooling following deforestation reasonably well. Also well simulated is the overall decrease in sensible heat flux and associated daytime surface warming and nighttime surface cooling. However, it appears the model is missing one crucial impact of deforestation on the surface energy budget: a reduction in nighttime downwelling longwave radiation. As a result, the magnitude of nighttime cooling following deforestation is underestimated by 4 K. These new insights support a wider application of the methodology (to other climate models).

  18. Atomistic insight into the catalytic mechanism of glycosyltransferases by combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods.

    PubMed

    Tvaroška, Igor

    2015-02-11

    Glycosyltransferases catalyze the formation of glycosidic bonds by assisting the transfer of a sugar residue from donors to specific acceptor molecules. Although structural and kinetic data have provided insight into mechanistic strategies employed by these enzymes, molecular modeling studies are essential for the understanding of glycosyltransferase catalyzed reactions at the atomistic level. For such modeling, combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods have emerged as crucial. These methods allow the modeling of enzymatic reactions by using quantum mechanical methods for the calculation of the electronic structure of the active site models and treating the remaining enzyme environment by faster molecular mechanics methods. Herein, the application of QM/MM methods to glycosyltransferase catalyzed reactions is reviewed, and the insight from modeling of glycosyl transfer into the mechanisms and transition states structures of both inverting and retaining glycosyltransferases are discussed.

  19. Molecular insights into the recognition of N-terminal histone modifications by the BRPF1 bromodomain

    PubMed Central

    Poplawski, Amanda; Hu, Kaifeng; Lee, Woonghee; Natesan, Senthil; Peng, Danni; Carlson, Samuel; Shi, Xiaobing; Balaz, Stefan; Markley, John L.; Glass, Karen C.

    2014-01-01

    The monocytic leukemic zinc-finger (MOZ) histone acetyltransferase (HAT) acetylates free histones H3, H4, H2A, and H2B in vitro and is associated with up-regulation of gene transcription. The MOZ HAT functions as a quaternary complex with the bromodomain-PHD finger protein 1 (BRPF1), inhibitor of growth 5 (ING5), and hEaf6 subunits. BRPF1 links the MOZ catalytic subunit to the ING5 and hEaf6 subunits, thereby promoting MOZ HAT activity. Human BRPF1 contains multiple effector domains with known roles in gene transcription, and chromatin binding and remodeling. However, the biological function of the BRPF1 bromodomain remains unknown. Our findings reveal novel interactions of the BRPF1 bromodomain with multiple acetyllysine residues on the N-terminus of histones, and show it preferentially selects for H2AK5ac, H4K12ac and H3K14ac. We used chemical shift perturbation data from NMR titration experiments to map the BRPF1 bromodomain ligand binding pocket and identified key residues responsible for coordination of the post-translationally modified histones. Extensive molecular dynamics simulations were used to generate structural models of bromodomain-histone ligand complexes, to analyze H-bonding and other interactions, and to calculate the binding free energies. Our results outline the molecular mechanism driving binding specificity of the BRPF1 bromodomain for discrete acetyllysine residues on the N-terminal histone tails. Together these data provide insights on how histone recognition by the bromodomain directs the biological function of BRPF1, ultimately targeting the MOZ HAT complex to chromatin substrates. PMID:24333487

  20. Molecular insights into the evolutionary pathway of Vibrio cholerae O1 atypical El Tor variants.

    PubMed

    Kim, Eun Jin; Lee, Dokyung; Moon, Se Hoon; Lee, Chan Hee; Kim, Sang Jun; Lee, Jae Hyun; Kim, Jae Ouk; Song, Manki; Das, Bhabatosh; Clemens, John D; Pape, Jean William; Nair, G Balakrish; Kim, Dong Wook

    2014-09-01

    Pandemic V. cholerae strains in the O1 serogroup have 2 biotypes: classical and El Tor. The classical biotype strains of the sixth pandemic, which encode the classical type cholera toxin (CT), have been replaced by El Tor biotype strains of the seventh pandemic. The prototype El Tor strains that produce biotype-specific cholera toxin are being replaced by atypical El Tor variants that harbor classical cholera toxin. Atypical El Tor strains are categorized into 2 groups, Wave 2 and Wave 3 strains, based on genomic variations and the CTX phage that they harbor. Whole-genome analysis of V. cholerae strains in the seventh cholera pandemic has demonstrated gradual changes in the genome of prototype and atypical El Tor strains, indicating that atypical strains arose from the prototype strains by replacing the CTX phages. We examined the molecular mechanisms that effected the emergence of El Tor strains with classical cholera toxin-carrying phage. We isolated an intermediary V. cholerae strain that carried two different CTX phages that encode El Tor and classical cholera toxin, respectively. We show here that the intermediary strain can be converted into various Wave 2 strains and can act as the source of the novel mosaic CTX phages. These results imply that the Wave 2 and Wave 3 strains may have been generated from such intermediary strains in nature. Prototype El Tor strains can become Wave 3 strains by excision of CTX-1 and re-equipping with the new CTX phages. Our data suggest that inter-chromosomal recombination between 2 types of CTX phages is possible when a host bacterial cell is infected by multiple CTX phages. Our study also provides molecular insights into population changes in V. cholerae in the absence of significant changes to the genome but by replacement of the CTX prophage that they harbor.

  1. Mechanistic Insights into Molecular Targeting and Combined Modality Therapy for Aggressive, Localized Prostate Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Dal Pra, Alan; Locke, Jennifer A.; Borst, Gerben; Supiot, Stephane; Bristow, Robert G.

    2016-01-01

    Radiation therapy (RT) is one of the mainstay treatments for prostate cancer (PCa). The potentially curative approaches can provide satisfactory results for many patients with non-metastatic PCa; however, a considerable number of individuals may present disease recurrence and die from the disease. Exploiting the rich molecular biology of PCa will provide insights into how the most resistant tumor cells can be eradicated to improve treatment outcomes. Important for this biology-driven individualized treatment is a robust selection procedure. The development of predictive biomarkers for RT efficacy is therefore of utmost importance for a clinically exploitable strategy to achieve tumor-specific radiosensitization. This review highlights the current status and possible opportunities in the modulation of four key processes to enhance radiation response in PCa by targeting the: (1) androgen signaling pathway; (2) hypoxic tumor cells and regions; (3) DNA damage response (DDR) pathway; and (4) abnormal extra-/intracell signaling pathways. In addition, we discuss how and which patients should be selected for biomarker-based clinical trials exploiting and validating these targeted treatment strategies with precision RT to improve cure rates in non-indolent, localized PCa. PMID:26909338

  2. Prolactin and teleost ionocytes: new insights into cellular and molecular targets of prolactin in vertebrate epithelia

    PubMed Central

    Breves, Jason P.; McCormick, Stephen D.; Karlstrom, Rolf O.

    2014-01-01

    The peptide hormone prolactin is a functionally versatile hormone produced by the vertebrate pituitary. Comparative studies over the last six decades have revealed that a conserved function for prolactin across vertebrates is the regulation of ion and water transport in a variety of tissues including those responsible for whole-organism ion homeostasis. In teleost fishes, prolactin was identified as the “freshwater-adapting hormone”, promoting ion-conserving and water-secreting processes by acting on the gill, kidney, gut and urinary bladder. In mammals, prolactin is known to regulate renal, intestinal, mammary and amniotic epithelia, with dysfunction linked to hypogonadism, infertility, and metabolic disorders. Until recently, our understanding of the cellular mechanisms of prolactin action in fishes has been hampered by a paucity of molecular tools to define and study ionocytes, specialized cells that control active ion transport across branchial and epidermal epithelia. Here we review work in teleost models indicating that prolactin regulates ion balance through action on ion transporters, tight-junction proteins, and water channels in ionocytes, and discuss recent advances in our understanding of ionocyte function in the genetically and embryonically accessible zebrafish (Danio rerio). Given the high degree of evolutionary conservation in endocrine and osmoregulatory systems, these studies in teleost models are contributing novel mechanistic insight into how prolactin participates in the development, function, and dysfunction of osmoregulatory systems across the vertebrate lineage. PMID:24434597

  3. Atractaspis aterrima Toxins: The First Insight into the Molecular Evolution of Venom in Side-Stabbers

    PubMed Central

    Terrat, Yves; Sunagar, Kartik; Fry, Bryan G.; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Scheib, Holger; Fourmy, Rudy; Verdenaud, Marion; Blanchet, Guillaume; Antunes, Agostinho; Ducancel, Frederic

    2013-01-01

    Although snake venoms have been the subject of intense research, primarily because of their tremendous potential as a bioresource for design and development of therapeutic compounds, some specific groups of snakes, such as the genus Atractaspis, have been completely neglected. To date only limited number of toxins, such as sarafotoxins have been well characterized from this lineage. In order to investigate the molecular diversity of venom from Atractaspis aterrima—the slender burrowing asp, we utilized a high-throughput transcriptomic approach completed with an original bioinformatics analysis pipeline. Surprisingly, we found that Sarafotoxins do not constitute the major ingredient of the transcriptomic cocktail; rather a large number of previously well-characterized snake venom-components were identified. Notably, we recovered a large diversity of three-finger toxins (3FTxs), which were found to have evolved under the significant influence of positive selection. From the normalized and non-normalized transcriptome libraries, we were able to evaluate the relative abundance of the different toxin groups, uncover rare transcripts, and gain new insight into the transcriptomic machinery. In addition to previously characterized toxin families, we were able to detect numerous highly-transcribed compounds that possess all the key features of venom-components and may constitute new classes of toxins. PMID:24169588

  4. UV photodissociation of proline-containing peptide ions: insights from molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Girod, Marion; Sanader, Zeljka; Vojkovic, Marin; Antoine, Rodolphe; MacAleese, Luke; Lemoine, Jérôme; Bonacic-Koutecky, Vlasta; Dugourd, Philippe

    2015-03-01

    UV photodissociation of proline-containing peptide ions leads to unusual product ions. In this paper, we report laser-induced dissociation of a series of proline-containing peptides at 213 nm. We observe specific fragmentation pathways corresponding to the formation of (y-2), (a + 2) and (b + 2) fragment ions. This was not observed at 266 nm or for peptides which do not contain proline residues. In order to obtain insights into the fragmentation dynamics at 213 nm, a small peptide (RPK for arginine-proline-lysine) was studied both theoretically and experimentally. Calculations of absorption spectra and non-adiabatic molecular dynamics (MD) were made. Second and third excited singlet states, S(2) and S(3), lie close to 213 nm. Non-adiabatic MD simulation starting from S(2) and S(3) shows that these transitions are followed by C-C and C-N bond activation close to the proline residue. After this first relaxation step, consecutive rearrangements and proton transfers are required to produce unusual (y-2), (a + 2) and (b + 2) fragment ions. These fragmentation mechanisms were confirmed by H/D exchange experiments.

  5. Mechanistic Insights into Molecular Targeting and Combined Modality Therapy for Aggressive, Localized Prostate Cancer.

    PubMed

    Dal Pra, Alan; Locke, Jennifer A; Borst, Gerben; Supiot, Stephane; Bristow, Robert G

    2016-01-01

    Radiation therapy (RT) is one of the mainstay treatments for prostate cancer (PCa). The potentially curative approaches can provide satisfactory results for many patients with non-metastatic PCa; however, a considerable number of individuals may present disease recurrence and die from the disease. Exploiting the rich molecular biology of PCa will provide insights into how the most resistant tumor cells can be eradicated to improve treatment outcomes. Important for this biology-driven individualized treatment is a robust selection procedure. The development of predictive biomarkers for RT efficacy is therefore of utmost importance for a clinically exploitable strategy to achieve tumor-specific radiosensitization. This review highlights the current status and possible opportunities in the modulation of four key processes to enhance radiation response in PCa by targeting the: (1) androgen signaling pathway; (2) hypoxic tumor cells and regions; (3) DNA damage response (DDR) pathway; and (4) abnormal extra-/intracell signaling pathways. In addition, we discuss how and which patients should be selected for biomarker-based clinical trials exploiting and validating these targeted treatment strategies with precision RT to improve cure rates in non-indolent, localized PCa. PMID:26909338

  6. Renal function and blood pressure: molecular insights into the biology of endothelin-1.

    PubMed

    Vignon-Zellweger, Nicolas; Heiden, Susi; Emoto, Noriaki

    2011-01-01

    The therapeutic implications of the actions of endothelin (ET)-1 upon renal and cardiovascular function are evident. Among other diseases, ET-1 is recognized to be involved in hypertension and renal failure and, in a rush to develop novel treatments, has been extensively studied. However, given the broad localization of the two receptors (ET(A) and ET(B)) and the diverse effects resulting from their activation, analysis of the role of ET-1 in kidney-regulated blood pressure remains complicated. Moreover, the actions of ET-1 depend upon the cell type and physiological situation. To add to the complexity, both receptors often activate opposing signaling pathways within a single cell. Thus, until recently, reliable insights into the respective involvement of both receptors in the physiology and pathology of the kidney were eagerly awaited. These have been obtained using mice that are genetically modified for different members of the ET system. In this article, the molecular biology of ET-1 and its receptors in the control of renal vasculature tonicity, glomerular function, and management of water and salt reabsorption is discussed. The role of renal ET-1 in the context of blood pressure regulation will be discussed, and the potential of utilizing ET receptor antagonism in the treatment and prevention of glomerular and proteinuric diseases is also outlined. PMID:21893986

  7. Novel insights from genetic and molecular characterization of the human clock.

    PubMed

    Ptácek, L J; Jones, C R; Fu, Y-H

    2007-01-01

    Biological rhythms govern the ebb and flow of life on planet Earth. Animals have an internal timekeeping mechanism that precisely regulates 24-hour rhythms of body function and behavior and synchronizes them to the day/night cycle. Circadian pacemakers trigger behavioral and physiological processes that dictate our daily rhythms. Despite the importance of the circadian clock to all aspects of our physiology and behavior, the opportunity to probe the human circadian clock only recently became possible with the recognition of Mendelian circadian variants in people (familial advanced sleep phase syndrome, FASPS). We have now cloned several genes and identified mutations causing FASPS. Study of these genes and the proteins they encode and engineering of the human mutations into mouse models are allowing study of this fascinating phenotype and yielding novel insights into circadian regulation in humans. Ultimately, such work will allow us to understand the similarities and differences between the human clock and those of model organisms. In addition, recent studies have also linked disruption of the circadian clock with numerous ailments, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, asthma, and learning disorders. Thus, studying the molecular mechanism of human circadian rhythmicity will have an enormous impact on our understanding of human health and disease. It should also lead to new strategies for pharmacological manipulation of the human clock to improve the treatment of jet lag, various clock-related sleep and psychiatric disorders, and other human diseases. PMID:18419283

  8. Molecular Insights into Pediatric Brain Tumors Have the Potential to Transform Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Gajjar, Amar; Pfister, Stefan M.; Taylor, Michael D.; Gilbertson, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    High-throughput genomic technologies have shed light on the biologic heterogeneity of several pediatric brain tumors. The biology of the four common pediatric brain tumors—namely medulloblastoma, ependymoma, high-grade glioma including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma and low-grade glioma are highlighted in this CCR Focus article. The discovery that medulloblastoma consists of 4 different subgroups namely WNT, SHH, Group 3 and Group 4, each with distinct clinical and molecular features, has impacted the treatment of children with medulloblastoma. Prospective studies have documented the efficacy of SMO inhibitors in a subgroup of patients with SHH medulloblastoma. Efforts are ongoing to develop specific therapies for each of the subgroups of medulloblastoma. Similar efforts are being pursued for ependymoma, high grade glioma and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma where the disease outcome for the latter two tumors has not changed over the past 3 decades despite several prospective clinical trials. Developing and testing targeted therapies based on this new understanding remains a major challenge to the pediatric neuro-oncology community. The focus of this review is to summarize the rapidly evolving understanding of the common pediatric brain tumors based on genome wide analysis. These novel insights will add impetus to translating these laboratory based discoveries to newer therapies for children diagnosed with these tumors. PMID:25398846

  9. Unraveling the actions of AMP-activated protein kinase in metabolic diseases: Systemic to molecular insights.

    PubMed

    Weikel, Karen A; Ruderman, Neil B; Cacicedo, José M

    2016-05-01

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays a critical role both in sensing and regulating cellular energy state. In experimental animals, its activation has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes-related co-morbidities such as insulin resistance, the metabolic syndrome and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. However, in humans, AMPK activation alone often does not completely resolve these conditions. Thus, an improved understanding of AMPK action and regulation in metabolic and other diseases is needed. Herein, we provide a brief description of the enzymatic regulation of AMPK and review its role in maintaining energy homeostasis. We then discuss tissue-specific actions of AMPK that become distorted during such conditions as obesity, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. Finally, we explore recent findings regarding the interactions of AMPK with mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 and the lysosome and discuss how changes in these relationships during overnutrition may lead to AMPK dysfunction. A more thorough understanding of AMPK's molecular interactions during diseases of overnutrition may provide key insights for the development of AMPK-based combinatorial treatments for metabolic disease. PMID:27085772

  10. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of negligible senescence: insight from the sea urchin

    PubMed Central

    Bodnar, Andrea G.

    2015-01-01

    Sea urchins exhibit a very different life history from humans and short-lived model animals and therefore provide the opportunity to gain new insight into the complex process of aging. Sea urchins grow indeterminately, regenerate damaged appendages, and reproduce throughout their lifespan. Some species show no increase in mortality rate at advanced ages. Nevertheless, different species of sea urchins have very different reported lifespans ranging from 4 to more than 100 years, thus providing a unique model to investigate the molecular, cellular, and physiological mechanisms underlying both lifespan determination and negligible senescence. Studies to date have demonstrated maintenance of telomeres, maintenance of antioxidant and proteasome enzyme activities, and little accumulation of oxidative cellular damage with age in tissues of sea urchin species with different lifespans. Gene expression studies indicate that key cellular pathways involved in energy metabolism, protein homeostasis, and tissue regeneration are maintained with age. Taken together, these studies suggest that long-term maintenance of mechanisms that sustain tissue homeostasis and regenerative capacity is essential for indeterminate growth and negligible senescence, and a better understanding of these processes may suggest effective strategies to mitigate the degenerative decline in human tissues with age. PMID:26136616

  11. Prolactin and teleost ionocytes: new insights into cellular and molecular targets of prolactin in vertebrate epithelia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Breves, Jason P.; McCormick, Stephen D.; Karlstrom, Rolf O.

    2014-01-01

    The peptide hormone prolactin is a functionally versatile hormone produced by the vertebrate pituitary. Comparative studies over the last six decades have revealed that a conserved function for prolactin across vertebrates is the regulation of ion and water transport in a variety of tissues including those responsible for whole-organism ion homeostasis. In teleost fishes, prolactin was identified as the “freshwater-adapting hormone”, promoting ion-conserving and water-secreting processes by acting on the gill, kidney, gut and urinary bladder. In mammals, prolactin is known to regulate renal, intestinal, mammary and amniotic epithelia, with dysfunction linked to hypogonadism, infertility, and metabolic disorders. Until recently, our understanding of the cellular mechanisms of prolactin action in fishes has been hampered by a paucity of molecular tools to define and study ionocytes, specialized cells that control active ion transport across branchial and epidermal epithelia. Here we review work in teleost models indicating that prolactin regulates ion balance through action on ion transporters, tight-junction proteins, and water channels in ionocytes, and discuss recent advances in our understanding of ionocyte function in the genetically and embryonically accessible zebrafish (Danio rerio). Given the high degree of evolutionary conservation in endocrine and osmoregulatory systems, these studies in teleost models are contributing novel mechanistic insight into how prolactin participates in the development, function, and dysfunction of osmoregulatory systems across the vertebrate lineage.

  12. Water oxidation with molecularly defined iridium complexes: insights into homogeneous versus heterogeneous catalysis.

    PubMed

    Junge, Henrik; Marquet, Nicolas; Kammer, Anja; Denurra, Stefania; Bauer, Matthias; Wohlrab, Sebastian; Gärtner, Felix; Pohl, Marga-Martina; Spannenberg, Anke; Gladiali, Serafino; Beller, Matthias

    2012-10-01

    Molecularly defined Ir complexes and different samples of supported IrO(2) nanoparticles have been tested and compared in the catalytic water oxidation with cerium ammonium nitrate (CAN) as the oxidant. By comparing the activity of nano-scaled supported IrO(2) particles to the one of organometallic complexes it is shown that the overall activity of the homogeneous Ir precursors is defined by both the formation of the homogeneous active species and its conversion to Ir(IV)-oxo nanoparticles. In the first phase of the reaction the activity is dominated by the homogeneous active species. With increasing reaction time, the influence of nano-sized Ir-oxo particles becomes more evident. Notably, the different conversion rates of the homogeneous precursor into the active species as well as the conversion into Ir-oxo nanoparticles and the different particle sizes have a significant influence on the overall activity. In addition to the homogeneous systems, IrO(2)@MCM-41 has also been synthesized, which contains stabilized nanoparticles of between 1 and 3 nm in size. This latter system shows a similar activity to IrCl(3)⋅xH(2)O and complexes 4 and 5. Mechanistic insights were obtained by in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy.

  13. Interactions of acidic pharmaceuticals with human serum albumin: insights into the molecular toxicity of emerging pollutants.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jiabin; Zhou, Xuefei; Zhang, Yalei; Qian, Yajie; Gao, Haiping

    2012-10-01

    Acidic pharmaceuticals such as diclofenac (DCF), clofibric acid (CA) and ketoprofen (KTP) have been detected frequently in environmental media. In order to reveal the toxicity of such emerging pollutants, their interactions with human serum albumin (HSA) were investigated by capillary electrophoresis, molecular spectrometry, and equilibrium dialysis. The binding constants and sites of these acidic pharmaceuticals with HSA were obtained. The thermodynamic parameters, e.g. enthalpy change and entropy change of these interactions were calculated to characterize that all the reactions resulted from hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions. The static quenching of the fluorescence of HSA was observed when interacted with acidic pharmaceuticals, indicating acidic pharmaceuticals bound to Tryptophan residue of HSA. The 3D fluorescence and circular dichroism confirmed that the secondary conformation of HSA changed after the interactions with the pharmaceuticals. At physiological condition, only 0.12 mM acidic pharmaceuticals reduced the binding of vitamin B(2) to HSA by 37, 30 and 21% for DCF, KTP and CA, respectively. This work provides an insight into non-covalent interactions between emerging contaminants and biomolecule, and is helpful for clarifying the toxic mechanism of such emerging contaminants. PMID:22307229

  14. The Psychology of Climate Change Communication - Insights from the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marx, S.

    2010-12-01

    social goals in favor or self interest; early involvement of stakeholders through participatory processes can help identify key concerns and information needs which can then be addressed in a tailored approach; taking advantage of default effects can make it easier for people to choose environmentally and socially beneficial options. Using research into the reactions of groups as disparate as African farmers and conservative U.S. voters, we offer insights on how scientists, educators, journalists and others can effectively connect with wider audiences. The communication principles presented in this talk can be applied beyond climate change and to science communication in general.

  15. Parasite zoonoses and climate change: molecular tools for tracking shifting boundaries.

    PubMed

    Polley, Lydden; Thompson, R C Andrew

    2009-06-01

    For human, domestic animal and wildlife health, key effects of directional climate change include the risk of the altered occurrence of infectious diseases. Many parasite zoonoses have high potential for vulnerability to the new climate, in part because their free-living life-cycle stages and ectothermic hosts are directly exposed to climatic conditions. For these zoonoses, climate change can shift boundaries for ecosystem components and processes integral to parasite transmission and persistence, and these shifts can impact host health. Vulnerable boundaries include those for spatial distributions, host-parasite assemblages, demographic rates, life-cycle phenologies, associations within ecosystems, virulence, and patterns of infection and disease. This review describes these boundary shifts and how molecular techniques can be applied to defining the new boundaries.

  16. Sensitivity of crop cover to climate variability: insights from two Indian agro-ecoregions.

    PubMed

    Mondal, Pinki; Jain, Meha; DeFries, Ruth S; Galford, Gillian L; Small, Christopher

    2015-01-15

    Crop productivity in India varies greatly with inter-annual climate variability and is highly dependent on monsoon rainfall and temperature. The sensitivity of yields to future climate variability varies with crop type, access to irrigation and other biophysical and socio-economic factors. To better understand sensitivities to future climate, this study focuses on agro-ecological subregions in Central and Western India that span a range of crops, irrigation, biophysical conditions and socioeconomic characteristics. Climate variability is derived from remotely-sensed data products, Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM - precipitation) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS - temperature). We examined green-leaf phenologies as proxy for crop productivity using the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) from 2000 to 2012. Using both monsoon and winter growing seasons, we assessed phenological sensitivity to inter-annual variability in precipitation and temperature patterns. Inter-annual EVI phenology anomalies ranged from -25% to 25%, with some highly anomalous values up to 200%. Monsoon crop phenology in the Central India site is highly sensitive to climate, especially the timing of the start and end of the monsoon and intensity of precipitation. In the Western India site, monsoon crop phenology is less sensitive to precipitation variability, yet shows considerable fluctuations in monsoon crop productivity across the years. Temperature is critically important for winter productivity across a range of crop and management types, such that irrigation might not provide a sufficient buffer against projected temperature increases. Better access to weather information and usage of climate-resilient crop types would play pivotal role in maintaining future productivity. Effective strategies to adapt to projected climate changes in the coming decades would also need to be tailored to regional biophysical and socio-economic conditions.

  17. Migration in the context of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change: insights from analogues

    PubMed Central

    McLeman, Robert A.; Hunter, Lori M.

    2011-01-01

    Migration is one of the variety of ways by which human populations adapt to environmental changes. The study of migration in the context of anthropogenic climate change is often approached using the concept of vulnerability and its key functional elements: exposure, system sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. This article explores the interaction of climate change and vulnerability through review of case studies of dry-season migration in the West African Sahel, hurricane-related population displacements in the Caribbean basin, winter migration of ‘snowbirds’ to the US Sun-belt, and 1930s drought migration on the North American Great Plains. These examples are then used as analogues for identifying general causal, temporal, and spatial dimensions of climate migration, along with potential considerations for policy-making and future research needs. PMID:22022342

  18. Topographic Evolution and Climate Aridification during Continental Collision: Insights from Computer Simulations.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel; Jiménez-Munt, Ivone

    2015-01-01

    How do the feedbacks between tectonics, sediment transport and climate work to shape the topographic evolution of the Earth? This question has been widely addressed via numerical models constrained with thermochronological and geomorphological data at scales ranging from local to orogenic. Here we present a novel numerical model that aims at reproducing the interaction between these processes at the continental scale. For this purpose, we combine in a single computer program: 1) a thin-sheet viscous model of continental deformation; 2) a stream-power surface-transport approach; 3) flexural isostasy allowing for the formation of large sedimentary foreland basins; and 4) an orographic precipitation model that reproduces basic climatic effects such as continentality and rain shadow. We quantify the feedbacks between these processes in a synthetic scenario inspired by the India-Asia collision and the growth of the Tibetan Plateau. We identify a feedback between erosion and crustal thickening leading locally to a <50% increase in deformation rates in places where orographic precipitation is concentrated. This climatically-enhanced deformation takes place preferentially at the upwind flank of the growing plateau, specially at the corners of the indenter (syntaxes). We hypothesize that this may provide clues for better understanding the mechanisms underlying the intriguing tectonic aneurisms documented in the Himalayas. At the continental scale, however, the overall distribution of topographic basins and ranges seems insensitive to climatic factors, despite these do have important, sometimes counterintuitive effects on the amount of sediments trapped within the continent. The dry climatic conditions that naturally develop in the interior of the continent, for example, trigger large intra-continental sediment trapping at basins similar to the Tarim Basin because they determine its endorheic/exorheic drainage. These complex climatic-drainage-tectonic interactions make the

  19. Mechanistic insights into the effects of climate change on larval cod.

    PubMed

    Kristiansen, Trond; Stock, Charles; Drinkwater, Kenneth F; Curchitser, Enrique N

    2014-05-01

    Understanding the biophysical mechanisms that shape variability in fisheries recruitment is critical for estimating the effects of climate change on fisheries. In this study, we used an Earth System Model (ESM) and a mechanistic individual-based model (IBM) for larval fish to analyze how climate change may impact the growth and survival of larval cod in the North Atlantic. We focused our analysis on five regions that span the current geographical range of cod and are known to contain important spawning populations. Under the SRES A2 (high emissions) scenario, the ESM-projected surface ocean temperatures are expected to increase by >1 °C for 3 of the 5 regions, and stratification is expected to increase at all sites between 1950-1999 and 2050-2099. This enhanced stratification is projected to decrease large (>5 μm ESD) phytoplankton productivity and mesozooplankton biomass at all 5 sites. Higher temperatures are projected to increase larval metabolic costs, which combined with decreased food resources will reduce larval weight, increase the probability of larvae dying from starvation and increase larval exposure to visual and invertebrate predators at most sites. If current concentrations of piscivore and invertebrate predators are maintained, larval survival is projected to decrease at all five sites by 2050-2099. In contrast to past observed responses to climate variability in which warm anomalies led to better recruitment in cold-water stocks, our simulations indicated that reduced prey availability under climate change may cause a reduction in larval survival despite higher temperatures in these regions. In the lower prey environment projected under climate change, higher metabolic costs due to higher temperatures outweigh the advantages of higher growth potential, leading to negative effects on northern cod stocks. Our results provide an important first large-scale assessment of the impacts of climate change on larval cod in the North Atlantic.

  20. Topographic Evolution and Climate Aridification during Continental Collision: Insights from Computer Simulations

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    How do the feedbacks between tectonics, sediment transport and climate work to shape the topographic evolution of the Earth? This question has been widely addressed via numerical models constrained with thermochronological and geomorphological data at scales ranging from local to orogenic. Here we present a novel numerical model that aims at reproducing the interaction between these processes at the continental scale. For this purpose, we combine in a single computer program: 1) a thin-sheet viscous model of continental deformation; 2) a stream-power surface-transport approach; 3) flexural isostasy allowing for the formation of large sedimentary foreland basins; and 4) an orographic precipitation model that reproduces basic climatic effects such as continentality and rain shadow. We quantify the feedbacks between these processes in a synthetic scenario inspired by the India-Asia collision and the growth of the Tibetan Plateau. We identify a feedback between erosion and crustal thickening leading locally to a <50% increase in deformation rates in places where orographic precipitation is concentrated. This climatically-enhanced deformation takes place preferentially at the upwind flank of the growing plateau, specially at the corners of the indenter (syntaxes). We hypothesize that this may provide clues for better understanding the mechanisms underlying the intriguing tectonic aneurisms documented in the Himalayas. At the continental scale, however, the overall distribution of topographic basins and ranges seems insensitive to climatic factors, despite these do have important, sometimes counterintuitive effects on the amount of sediments trapped within the continent. The dry climatic conditions that naturally develop in the interior of the continent, for example, trigger large intra-continental sediment trapping at basins similar to the Tarim Basin because they determine its endorheic/exorheic drainage. These complex climatic-drainage-tectonic interactions make the

  1. Topographic Evolution and Climate Aridification during Continental Collision: Insights from Computer Simulations.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel; Jiménez-Munt, Ivone

    2015-01-01

    How do the feedbacks between tectonics, sediment transport and climate work to shape the topographic evolution of the Earth? This question has been widely addressed via numerical models constrained with thermochronological and geomorphological data at scales ranging from local to orogenic. Here we present a novel numerical model that aims at reproducing the interaction between these processes at the continental scale. For this purpose, we combine in a single computer program: 1) a thin-sheet viscous model of continental deformation; 2) a stream-power surface-transport approach; 3) flexural isostasy allowing for the formation of large sedimentary foreland basins; and 4) an orographic precipitation model that reproduces basic climatic effects such as continentality and rain shadow. We quantify the feedbacks between these processes in a synthetic scenario inspired by the India-Asia collision and the growth of the Tibetan Plateau. We identify a feedback between erosion and crustal thickening leading locally to a <50% increase in deformation rates in places where orographic precipitation is concentrated. This climatically-enhanced deformation takes place preferentially at the upwind flank of the growing plateau, specially at the corners of the indenter (syntaxes). We hypothesize that this may provide clues for better understanding the mechanisms underlying the intriguing tectonic aneurisms documented in the Himalayas. At the continental scale, however, the overall distribution of topographic basins and ranges seems insensitive to climatic factors, despite these do have important, sometimes counterintuitive effects on the amount of sediments trapped within the continent. The dry climatic conditions that naturally develop in the interior of the continent, for example, trigger large intra-continental sediment trapping at basins similar to the Tarim Basin because they determine its endorheic/exorheic drainage. These complex climatic-drainage-tectonic interactions make the

  2. Global Climate Change: Valuable Insights from Concordant and Discordant Ice Core Histories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosley-Thompson, E.; Thompson, L. G.; Porter, S. E.; Goodwin, B. P.; Wilson, A. B.

    2014-12-01

    Earth's ice cover is responding to the ongoing large-scale warming driven in part by anthropogenic forces. The highest tropical and subtropical ice fields are dramatically shrinking and/or thinning and unique climate histories archived therein are now threatened, compromised or lost. Many ice fields in higher latitudes are also experiencing and recording climate system changes although these are often manifested in less evident and spectacular ways. The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) has experienced a rapid, widespread and dramatic warming over the last 60 years. Carefully selected ice fields in the AP allow reconstruction of long histories of key climatic variables. As more proxy climate records are recovered it is clear they reflect a combination of expected and unexpected responses to seemingly similar climate forcings. Recently acquired temperature and precipitation histories from the Bruce Plateau are examined within the context provided by other cores recently collected in the AP. Understanding the differences and similarities among these records provides a better understanding of the forces driving climate variability in the AP over the last century. The Arctic is also rapidly warming. The δ18O records from the Bona-Churchill and Mount Logan ice cores from southeast Alaska and southwest Yukon Territory, respectively, do not record this strong warming. The Aleutian Low strongly influences moisture transport to this geographically complex region, yet its interannual variability is preserved differently in these cores located just 110 km apart. Mount Logan is very sensitive to multi-decadal to multi-centennial climate shifts in the tropical Pacific while low frequency variability on Bona-Churchill is more strongly connected to Western Arctic sea ice extent. There is a natural tendency to focus more strongly on commonalities among records, particularly on regional scales. However, it is also important to investigate seemingly poorly correlated records, particularly

  3. Informing climate change adaptation with insights from famine early warning (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funk, C. C.; Verdin, J. P.

    2010-12-01

    Famine early warning systems provide a unique viewpoint for understanding the implications of climate change on food security, identifying the locations and seasons where millions of food insecure people are dependent upon climate-sensitive agricultural systems. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) is a decision support system sponsored by the Office of Food for Peace of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which distributes over two billion dollars of food aid to more than 40 countries each year. FEWS NET identifies the times and places where food aid is required by the most climatically sensitive and consequently food insecure populations of the developing world. As result, FEWS NET has developed its own "climate service", implemented by USGS, NOAA, and NASA, to support its decision making processes. The foundation of this climate service is the monitoring of current growing conditions for early identification of agricultural drought that might impact food security. Since station networks are sparse in the countries monitored, FEWS NET has a tradition (dating back to 1985) of reliance on satellite remote sensing of vegetation and rainfall. In the last ten years, climate forecasts have become an additional tool for food security assessment, extending the early warning perspective to include expected agricultural outcomes for the season ahead. More recently, research has expanded to include detailed analyses of recent observed climate trends, combined with diagnostic ocean-atmosphere studies. These studies are then used to develop interpretations of GCM scenarios and their implications for future patterns of precipitation and temperature, revealing trends towards warmer/drier climate conditions and increases in the relative frequency of drought. In some regions, like Eastern Africa, such changes seem to be already occurring, with an associated increase in food insecurity. Sub-national analyses for Kenya, for example, point to the

  4. Genetic response to climatic change: insights from ancient DNA and phylochronology.

    PubMed

    Hadly, Elizabeth A; Ramakrishnan, Uma; Chan, Yvonne L; van Tuinen, Marcel; O'Keefe, Kim; Spaeth, Paula A; Conroy, Chris J

    2004-10-01

    Understanding how climatic change impacts biological diversity is critical to conservation. Yet despite demonstrated effects of climatic perturbation on geographic ranges and population persistence, surprisingly little is known of the genetic response of species. Even less is known over ecologically long time scales pertinent to understanding the interplay between microevolution and environmental change. Here, we present a study of population variation by directly tracking genetic change and population size in two geographically widespread mammal species (Microtus montanus and Thomomys talpoides) during late-Holocene climatic change. We use ancient DNA to compare two independent estimates of population size (ecological and genetic) and corroborate our results with gene diversity and serial coalescent simulations. Our data and analyses indicate that, with population size decreasing at times of climatic change, some species will exhibit declining gene diversity as expected from simple population genetic models, whereas others will not. While our results could be consistent with selection, independent lines of evidence implicate differences in gene flow, which depends on the life history strategy of species. PMID:15361933

  5. Molecular proxies for climate maladaptation in a long-lived tree (Pinus pinaster Aiton, Pinaceae).

    PubMed

    Jaramillo-Correa, Juan-Pablo; Rodríguez-Quilón, Isabel; Grivet, Delphine; Lepoittevin, Camille; Sebastiani, Federico; Heuertz, Myriam; Garnier-Géré, Pauline H; Alía, Ricardo; Plomion, Christophe; Vendramin, Giovanni G; González-Martínez, Santiago C

    2015-03-01

    Understanding adaptive genetic responses to climate change is a main challenge for preserving biological diversity. Successful predictive models for climate-driven range shifts of species depend on the integration of information on adaptation, including that derived from genomic studies. Long-lived forest trees can experience substantial environmental change across generations, which results in a much more prominent adaptation lag than in annual species. Here, we show that candidate-gene SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) can be used as predictors of maladaptation to climate in maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton), an outcrossing long-lived keystone tree. A set of 18 SNPs potentially associated with climate, 5 of them involving amino acid-changing variants, were retained after performing logistic regression, latent factor mixed models, and Bayesian analyses of SNP-climate correlations. These relationships identified temperature as an important adaptive driver in maritime pine and highlighted that selective forces are operating differentially in geographically discrete gene pools. The frequency of the locally advantageous alleles at these selected loci was strongly correlated with survival in a common garden under extreme (hot and dry) climate conditions, which suggests that candidate-gene SNPs can be used to forecast the likely destiny of natural forest ecosystems under climate change scenarios. Differential levels of forest decline are anticipated for distinct maritime pine gene pools. Geographically defined molecular proxies for climate adaptation will thus critically enhance the predictive power of range-shift models and help establish mitigation measures for long-lived keystone forest trees in the face of impending climate change.

  6. Molecular signature of hypersaline adaptation: insights from genome and proteome composition of halophilic prokaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Sandip; Bag, Sumit K; Das, Sabyasachi; Harvill, Eric T; Dutta, Chitra

    2008-01-01

    Background Halophilic prokaryotes are adapted to thrive in extreme conditions of salinity. Identification and analysis of distinct macromolecular characteristics of halophiles provide insight into the factors responsible for their adaptation to high-salt environments. The current report presents an extensive and systematic comparative analysis of genome and proteome composition of halophilic and non-halophilic microorganisms, with a view to identify such macromolecular signatures of haloadaptation. Results Comparative analysis of the genomes and proteomes of halophiles and non-halophiles reveals some common trends in halophiles that transcend the boundary of phylogenetic relationship and the genomic GC-content of the species. At the protein level, halophilic species are characterized by low hydrophobicity, over-representation of acidic residues, especially Asp, under-representation of Cys, lower propensities for helix formation and higher propensities for coil structure. At the DNA level, the dinucleotide abundance profiles of halophilic genomes bear some common characteristics, which are quite distinct from those of non-halophiles, and hence may be regarded as specific genomic signatures for salt-adaptation. The synonymous codon usage in halophiles also exhibits similar patterns regardless of their long-term evolutionary history. Conclusion The generality of molecular signatures for environmental adaptation of extreme salt-loving organisms, demonstrated in the present study, advocates the convergent evolution of halophilic species towards specific genome and amino acid composition, irrespective of their varying GC-bias and widely disparate taxonomic positions. The adapted features of halophiles seem to be related to physical principles governing DNA and protein stability, in response to the extreme environmental conditions under which they thrive. PMID:18397532

  7. Dispersing perylene diimide/SWCNT hybrids: structural insights at the molecular level and fabricating advanced materials.

    PubMed

    Tsarfati, Yael; Strauss, Volker; Kuhri, Susanne; Krieg, Elisha; Weissman, Haim; Shimoni, Eyal; Baram, Jonathan; Guldi, Dirk M; Rybtchinski, Boris

    2015-06-17

    The unique properties of carbon nanotubes (CNT) are advantageous for emerging applications. Yet, the CNT insolubility hampers their potential. Approaches based on covalent and noncovalent methodologies have been tested to realize stable dispersions of CNTs. Noncovalent approaches are of particular interest as they preserve the CNT's structures and properties. We report on hybrids, in which perylene diimide (PDI) amphiphiles are noncovalently immobilized onto single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT). The resulting hybrids were dispersed and exfoliated both in water and organic solvents in the presence of two different PDI derivatives, PP2b and PP3a. The dispersions were investigated using cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM), providing unique structural insights into the exfoliation. A helical arrangement of PP2b assemblies on SWCNTs dominates in aqueous dispersions, while a single layer of PP2b and PP3a was found on SWCNTs in organic dispersions. The dispersions were probed by steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopies, revealing appreciable charge redistribution in the ground state, and an efficient electron transfer from SWCNTs to PDIs in the excited state. We also fabricated hybrid materials from the PP2b/SWCNT dispersions. A supramolecular membrane was prepared from aqueous dispersions and used for size-selective separation of gold nanoparticles. Hybrid buckypaper films were prepared from the organic dispersions. In the latter, high conductivity results from enhanced electronic communication and favorable morphology within the hybrid material. Our findings shed light onto SWCNT/dispersant molecular interactions, and introduce a versatile approach toward universal solution processing of SWCNT-based materials. PMID:25977989

  8. New Insights into the Phylogeny and Molecular Classification of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Deamidases

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Carrón, Guiomar; Martínez-Moñino, Ana Belén; Sola-Carvajal, Agustín; Takami, Hideto; García-Carmona, Francisco; Sánchez-Ferrer, Álvaro

    2013-01-01

    Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) deamidase is one of the key enzymes of the bacterial pyridine nucleotide cycle (PNC). It catalyzes the conversion of NMN to nicotinic acid mononucleotide, which is later converted to NAD+ by entering the Preiss-Handler pathway. However, very few biochemical data are available regarding this enzyme. This paper represents the first complete molecular characterization of a novel NMN deamidase from the halotolerant and alkaliphilic bacterium Oceanobacillus iheyensis (OiPncC). The enzyme was active over a broad pH range, with an optimum at pH 7.4, whilst maintaining 90 % activity at pH 10.0. Surprisingly, the enzyme was quite stable at such basic pH, maintaining 61 % activity after 21 days. As regard temperature, it had an optimum at 65 °C but its stability was better below 50 °C. OiPncC was a Michaelian enzyme towards its only substrate NMN, with a Km value of 0.18 mM and a kcat/Km of 2.1 mM-1 s-1. To further our understanding of these enzymes, a complete phylogenetic and structural analysis was carried out taking into account the two Pfam domains usually associated with them (MocF and CinA). This analysis sheds light on the evolution of NMN deamidases, and enables the classification of NMN deamidases into 12 different subgroups, pointing to a novel domain architecture never before described. Using a Logo representation, conserved blocks were determined, providing new insights on the crucial residues involved in the binding and catalysis of both CinA and MocF domains. The analysis of these conserved blocks within new protein sequences could permit the more efficient data curation of incoming NMN deamidases. PMID:24340054

  9. Environmental gradients and grassland trait variation: Insight into the effects of climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tardella, Federico M.; Piermarteri, Karina; Malatesta, Luca; Catorci, Andrea

    2016-10-01

    The research aim was to understand how variation of temperature and water availability drives trait assemblage of seminatural grasslands in sub-Mediterranean climate, where climate change is expected to intensify summer aridity. In the central Italy, we recorded species abundance and elevation, slope aspect and angle in 129 plots. The traits we analysed were life span, growth form, clonality, belowground organs, leaf traits, plant height, seed mass, and palatability. We used Ellenberg's indicators as a proxy to assess air temperature and soil moisture gradients. From productive to harsh conditions, we observed a shift from tolerance to avoidance strategies, and a change in resource allocation strategies to face competition and stress or that maximize exploitation of patchily distributed soil resource niches. In addition, we found that the increase of temperature and water scarcity leads to the establishment of regeneration strategies that enable plants to cope with the unpredictability of changes in stress intensity and duration. Since the dry habitats of higher elevations are also constrained by winter cold stress, we argue that, within the sub-Mediterranean bioclimate, climate change will likely lead to a variation in dominance inside plant communities rather than a shift upwards of species ranges. At higher elevations, drought-adaptive traits might become more abundant on south-facing slopes that are less stressed by winter low temperatures; traits related to productive conditions and cold stress would be replaced on north-facing slopes by those adapted to overcome both the drought and the cold stresses.

  10. Role of Livelihood Capital in Reducing Climatic Vulnerability: Insights of Australian Wheat from 1990-2010.

    PubMed

    Huai, Jianjun

    2016-01-01

    In many agricultural countries, development of rural livelihood through increasing capital is a major regional policy to adapt to climate change. However, the role of livelihood capital in reducing climatic vulnerability is uncertain. This study assesses vulnerability and identifies the effects of common capital indicators on it, using Australian wheat as an example. We calculate exposure (a climate index) and sensitivity (a wheat failure index) to measure vulnerability and classify the resilient and sensitive cases, and express adaptive capacity through financial, human, natural, physical, and social capital indicators for 12 regions in the Australian wheat-sheep production zone from 1991-2010. We identify relationships between 12 indicators of five types of capital and vulnerability with t-tests and six logistic models considering the capital indicator itself, its first-order lag and its square as dependent variables to test the hypothesis that a high level of each capital metric results in low vulnerability. Through differing adaptive capacities between resilient and sensitive groups, we found that only four of the 12 (e.g., the access to finance, cash income level, total crop gross revenues, and family share of farm income) relate to vulnerability, which challenges the hypothesis that increasing capital reduces vulnerability. We conclude that further empirical reexaminations are required to test the relationships between capital measures and vulnerability under the sustainable livelihood framework (SLF).

  11. Enhanced insights into late Quaternary African hydroclimate dynamics using a water-isotope enabled climate model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singarayer, Joy; Holloway, Max

    2016-04-01

    The climate of intertropical Africa is strongly governed by the dynamics of the tropical rainbelt, which is often associated with the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). On millennial time-scales the primary drivers of variation in the rainbelt include orbital configuration changes to insolation seasonality and high-latitude forcing (e.g. Heinrich events). The spatial pattern of precipitation variability in tropical and subtropical Africa over the late Quaternary is complex and has long been debated. Stable water isotopes from inland lakes and off-shore ocean core records have provided longitudinal records, variously interpreted as changes to precipitation intensity or changes to moisture source location due to atmospheric circulation changes (or a combination of several factors). In this preliminary study we have used a global climate model, HadCM3, in which water isotopes are interactively coupled to produce snapshots at 1000-year intervals covering the last deglaciation (21kyr to pre-industrial). In conjunction with a comparison to available palaeodata, this enables us to better elucidate the connections between precipitation and other climate factors with changes to the water isotope signature, as well as how this varies regionally and through time.

  12. Role of Livelihood Capital in Reducing Climatic Vulnerability: Insights of Australian Wheat from 1990–2010

    PubMed Central

    Huai, Jianjun

    2016-01-01

    In many agricultural countries, development of rural livelihood through increasing capital is a major regional policy to adapt to climate change. However, the role of livelihood capital in reducing climatic vulnerability is uncertain. This study assesses vulnerability and identifies the effects of common capital indicators on it, using Australian wheat as an example. We calculate exposure (a climate index) and sensitivity (a wheat failure index) to measure vulnerability and classify the resilient and sensitive cases, and express adaptive capacity through financial, human, natural, physical, and social capital indicators for 12 regions in the Australian wheat–sheep production zone from 1991–2010. We identify relationships between 12 indicators of five types of capital and vulnerability with t-tests and six logistic models considering the capital indicator itself, its first-order lag and its square as dependent variables to test the hypothesis that a high level of each capital metric results in low vulnerability. Through differing adaptive capacities between resilient and sensitive groups, we found that only four of the 12 (e.g., the access to finance, cash income level, total crop gross revenues, and family share of farm income) relate to vulnerability, which challenges the hypothesis that increasing capital reduces vulnerability. We conclude that further empirical reexaminations are required to test the relationships between capital measures and vulnerability under the sustainable livelihood framework (SLF). PMID:27022910

  13. Role of Livelihood Capital in Reducing Climatic Vulnerability: Insights of Australian Wheat from 1990-2010.

    PubMed

    Huai, Jianjun

    2016-01-01

    In many agricultural countries, development of rural livelihood through increasing capital is a major regional policy to adapt to climate change. However, the role of livelihood capital in reducing climatic vulnerability is uncertain. This study assesses vulnerability and identifies the effects of common capital indicators on it, using Australian wheat as an example. We calculate exposure (a climate index) and sensitivity (a wheat failure index) to measure vulnerability and classify the resilient and sensitive cases, and express adaptive capacity through financial, human, natural, physical, and social capital indicators for 12 regions in the Australian wheat-sheep production zone from 1991-2010. We identify relationships between 12 indicators of five types of capital and vulnerability with t-tests and six logistic models considering the capital indicator itself, its first-order lag and its square as dependent variables to test the hypothesis that a high level of each capital metric results in low vulnerability. Through differing adaptive capacities between resilient and sensitive groups, we found that only four of the 12 (e.g., the access to finance, cash income level, total crop gross revenues, and family share of farm income) relate to vulnerability, which challenges the hypothesis that increasing capital reduces vulnerability. We conclude that further empirical reexaminations are required to test the relationships between capital measures and vulnerability under the sustainable livelihood framework (SLF). PMID:27022910

  14. Late Oligocene to Late Miocene Antarctic Climate Reconstructions Using Molecular and Isotopic Biomarker Proxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duncan, B.; Mckay, R. M.; Bendle, J. A.; Naish, T.; Levy, R. H.; Ventura, G. T.; Moossen, H. M.; Krishnan, S.; Pagani, M.

    2015-12-01

    Major climate and environmental changes occurred during late Oligocene to the late Miocene when atmospheric CO2 ranged between 500 and 300ppm, indicating threshold response of Antarctic ice sheets and climate to relatively modest CO2 variations. This implies that the southern high latitudes are highly sensitive to feedbacks associated with changes in global ice sheet and sea-ice extent, as well as terrestrial and marine ecosystems. This study focuses on two key intervals during the evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet: (1) The Late Oligocene and the Oligocene/Miocene boundary, when the East Antarctic Ice Sheet expanded close to present day volume following an extended period of inferred warmth. (2) The Mid-Miocene Climate Optimum (MMCO ~17-15 Ma), a period of global warmth and moderately elevated CO2 (350->500 ppm) which was subsequently followed by rapid cooling at 14-13.5 Ma. Reconstructions of climate and ice sheet variability, and thus an understanding of the various feedbacks that occurred during these intervals, are hampered by a lack of temperature and hydroclimate proxy data from the southern high latitudes. We present proxy climate reconstructions using terrestrial and marine organic biomarkers that provide new insights into Antarctica's climate evolution, using Antarctic drill cores and outcrop samples from a range of depositional settings. Bacterial ether-lipids have been analysed to determine terrestrial mean annual temperatures and soil pH (via the methylation and cyclisation indexes of branched tetraethers - MBT and CBT, respectively). Tetraether-lipids of crenarchaeota found in marine sediments sampled from continental shelves around Antarctica have been used to derive sea surface temperatures using the TEX86 index. Compound specific stable isotopes on n-alkanes sourced from terrestrial plants have been analysed to investigate changes in the hydrological and carbon cycles.

  15. What actually confers adaptive capacity? Insights from agro-climatic vulnerability of Australian wheat.

    PubMed

    Bryan, Brett A; Huai, Jianjun; Connor, Jeff; Gao, Lei; King, Darran; Kandulu, John; Zhao, Gang

    2015-01-01

    Vulnerability assessments have often invoked sustainable livelihoods theory to support the quantification of adaptive capacity based on the availability of capital--social, human, physical, natural, and financial. However, the assumption that increased availability of these capitals confers greater adaptive capacity remains largely untested. We quantified the relationship between commonly used capital indicators and an empirical index of adaptive capacity (ACI) in the context of vulnerability of Australian wheat production to climate variability and change. We calculated ACI by comparing actual yields from farm survey data to climate-driven expected yields estimated by a crop model for 12 regions in Australia's wheat-sheep zone from 1991-2010. We then compiled data for 24 typical indicators used in vulnerability analyses, spanning the five capitals. We analyzed the ACI and used regression techniques to identify related capital indicators. Between regions, mean ACI was not significantly different but variance over time was. ACI was higher in dry years and lower in wet years suggesting that farm adaptive strategies are geared towards mitigating losses rather than capitalizing on opportunity. Only six of the 24 capital indicators were significantly related to adaptive capacity in a way predicted by theory. Another four indicators were significantly related to adaptive capacity but of the opposite sign, countering our theory-driven expectation. We conclude that the deductive, theory-based use of capitals to define adaptive capacity and vulnerability should be more circumspect. Assessments need to be more evidence-based, first testing the relevance and influence of capital metrics on adaptive capacity for the specific system of interest. This will more effectively direct policy and targeting of investment to mitigate agro-climatic vulnerability.

  16. What Actually Confers Adaptive Capacity? Insights from Agro-Climatic Vulnerability of Australian Wheat

    PubMed Central

    Bryan, Brett A.; Huai, Jianjun; Connor, Jeff; Gao, Lei; King, Darran; Kandulu, John; Zhao, Gang

    2015-01-01

    Vulnerability assessments have often invoked sustainable livelihoods theory to support the quantification of adaptive capacity based on the availability of capital—social, human, physical, natural, and financial. However, the assumption that increased availability of these capitals confers greater adaptive capacity remains largely untested. We quantified the relationship between commonly used capital indicators and an empirical index of adaptive capacity (ACI) in the context of vulnerability of Australian wheat production to climate variability and change. We calculated ACI by comparing actual yields from farm survey data to climate-driven expected yields estimated by a crop model for 12 regions in Australia’s wheat-sheep zone from 1991–2010. We then compiled data for 24 typical indicators used in vulnerability analyses, spanning the five capitals. We analyzed the ACI and used regression techniques to identify related capital indicators. Between regions, mean ACI was not significantly different but variance over time was. ACI was higher in dry years and lower in wet years suggesting that farm adaptive strategies are geared towards mitigating losses rather than capitalizing on opportunity. Only six of the 24 capital indicators were significantly related to adaptive capacity in a way predicted by theory. Another four indicators were significantly related to adaptive capacity but of the opposite sign, countering our theory-driven expectation. We conclude that the deductive, theory-based use of capitals to define adaptive capacity and vulnerability should be more circumspect. Assessments need to be more evidence-based, first testing the relevance and influence of capital metrics on adaptive capacity for the specific system of interest. This will more effectively direct policy and targeting of investment to mitigate agro-climatic vulnerability. PMID:25668192

  17. KZai 02 pollen record, an insight into West African monsoon fluctuations during the Last Climatic Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalibard, M.; Popescu, S.; Maley, J.; Suc, J.

    2012-12-01

    Climate of the circum-Atlantic intertropical zone is driven by the ocean/atmosphere dynamics in response to variations of yearly insolation. These latitudes correspond to the convergence of the Hadley cells expressed on earth surface by intense trade winds and in lower troposphere by the African easterly jet making the edges of the intertropical zone relatively dry, while humidity is concentrated near the Equator. This phenomenon generates a precipitation front, known as the InterTropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), the oscillations of which regulate the latitudinal vegetation distribution. Pollen record of core KZai 02 (Guinea Gulf) allows high resolution reconstruction of variations of past ecosystems over Central Africa during the Last Climatic Cycle. Plant taxa recorded in pollen analyses have been clustered according to their ecological requirements and African phytogeography. Fluctuations of these groups inform on precipitation intensity and their distribution during the last 130 ka. During Glacials, an open vegetation made of Cyperaceae marshes developed in the central Zaire/Congo Basin, surrounded by savannah on borders and afromontane forests on reliefs. Composition and distribution of vegetation indicate a decrease in monsoon activity and the strengthening of the precipitation front in the center of the basin. Interglacial phases are characterized by rain forest expansion over Central Africa in response to a precipitation enhancement associated with a northward shift of the rainfall front. Replacement of afromontane forest and marsh ecosystems by savannah then lowland pioneering, warm-temperate and rain forests characterized glacial/interglacial transitions. This succession suggests the increasing influence of at least two climatic parameters: the water availability and temperature and/or CO2 fluctuation. Spectral analysis applied to vegetation groups evidences the forcing of insolation, mainly driven by precession, on the West African monsoon system. Sub

  18. Towards climate reconstruction on Mars using landscape analysis: Insights from terrestrial analogues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauber, E.; Ulrich, M.; Reiss, D.; Hiesinger, H.; Balme, M. R.; Gallagher, C. J.

    2011-12-01

    Many very young landforms on Mars resemble terrestrial glacial and periglacial surface features in permafrost regions and show a latitude-dependent geographic distribution. They include surface mantling, viscous flow features, polygonally fractured ground, patterned ground, fractured mounds, and gullies. Collectively, these landforms are hypothesized to represent the geomorphological surface record of Martian ice ages that were triggered by astronomical forcing and associated climate changes. Many previous studies of possible cold-climate features on Mars considered just one of them in isolation, e.g., polygons or fractured mounds. Such approaches do not consider the geomorphologic context of the landforms, and thus interpretations can be ambiguous due to the possible effect of equifinality. A more comprehensive investigation of the full assemblage of associated landforms (landscape analysis) has the potential to reduce this ambiguity. We use the permafrost landscape of Spitsbergen (Svalbard, Norway) as an analogue for the assemblage of cold-climate landforms that is typically found in mid-latitudes on Mars. Although relatively warm and wet as compared to other cold-climate analogues on Earth, Spitsbergen is a particularly instructive morphological analogue to Mars as it offers many surface features in a close spatial context that are strikingly similar to those on Mars. Based on this comparison, which uses remote sensing and field data from Svalbard, we identify similarities as well as differences, both of which are important in the use of analogues as a means to establish testable hypotheses. We then propose possible scenarios which may help to understand the evolution of Martian landforms into their present state. Of particular interest with respect to the habitability of Martian permafrost is whether liquid water was involved or not. Most phenomena on Mars, but not Svalbard, can plausibly be explained by "dry" permafrost scenarios without the need to invoke

  19. New insights into the molecular-level control of silica mineralization by diatoms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallace, A. F.; Dove, P. M.

    2007-12-01

    microscopy with elements of modern materials chemistry, to directly measure the rate of amorphous silica nucleation on COOH, NH3+, and COOH / NH3+-terminated surfaces under controlled solution conditions. Our results provide new insights into the molecular-level control of silica mineralization in diatoms. We show that differences between substrate-specific nucleation rates are controlled largely by kinetic factors rather than thermodynamic drivers, and that amine-terminated surfaces are not capable of triggering the onset of silica deposition without the synergistic activity of neighboring negatively charged species on the surface or in solution (e.g. carboxyl or phosphoryl groups). In light of this result we conclude that sites on the organic matrix that have phosphate and amine moieties in close proximity serve not only as contact points between the constituent macromolecules in the matrix, but also as initial sites of silica deposition.

  20. Quantitative analysis of oyster larval proteome provides new insights into the effects of multiple climate change stressors.

    PubMed

    Dineshram, Ramadoss; Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli; Ko, Ginger Wai Kuen; Zhang, Huoming; Qian, Pei-Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy; Thiyagarajan, Vengatesen

    2016-06-01

    The metamorphosis of planktonic larvae of the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) underpins their complex life-history strategy by switching on the molecular machinery required for sessile life and building calcite shells. Metamorphosis becomes a survival bottleneck, which will be pressured by different anthropogenically induced climate change-related variables. Therefore, it is important to understand how metamorphosing larvae interact with emerging climate change stressors. To predict how larvae might be affected in a future ocean, we examined changes in the proteome of metamorphosing larvae under multiple stressors: decreased pH (pH 7.4), increased temperature (30 °C), and reduced salinity (15 psu). Quantitative protein expression profiling using iTRAQ-LC-MS/MS identified more than 1300 proteins. Decreased pH had a negative effect on metamorphosis by down-regulating several proteins involved in energy production, metabolism, and protein synthesis. However, warming switched on these down-regulated pathways at pH 7.4. Under multiple stressors, cell signaling, energy production, growth, and developmental pathways were up-regulated, although metamorphosis was still reduced. Despite the lack of lethal effects, significant physiological responses to both individual and interacting climate change related stressors were observed at proteome level. The metamorphosing larvae of the C. gigas population in the Yellow Sea appear to have adequate phenotypic plasticity at the proteome level to survive in future coastal oceans, but with developmental and physiological costs. PMID:26990129

  1. Quantitative analysis of oyster larval proteome provides new insights into the effects of multiple climate change stressors.

    PubMed

    Dineshram, Ramadoss; Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli; Ko, Ginger Wai Kuen; Zhang, Huoming; Qian, Pei-Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy; Thiyagarajan, Vengatesen

    2016-06-01

    The metamorphosis of planktonic larvae of the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) underpins their complex life-history strategy by switching on the molecular machinery required for sessile life and building calcite shells. Metamorphosis becomes a survival bottleneck, which will be pressured by different anthropogenically induced climate change-related variables. Therefore, it is important to understand how metamorphosing larvae interact with emerging climate change stressors. To predict how larvae might be affected in a future ocean, we examined changes in the proteome of metamorphosing larvae under multiple stressors: decreased pH (pH 7.4), increased temperature (30 °C), and reduced salinity (15 psu). Quantitative protein expression profiling using iTRAQ-LC-MS/MS identified more than 1300 proteins. Decreased pH had a negative effect on metamorphosis by down-regulating several proteins involved in energy production, metabolism, and protein synthesis. However, warming switched on these down-regulated pathways at pH 7.4. Under multiple stressors, cell signaling, energy production, growth, and developmental pathways were up-regulated, although metamorphosis was still reduced. Despite the lack of lethal effects, significant physiological responses to both individual and interacting climate change related stressors were observed at proteome level. The metamorphosing larvae of the C. gigas population in the Yellow Sea appear to have adequate phenotypic plasticity at the proteome level to survive in future coastal oceans, but with developmental and physiological costs.

  2. Insights into Low-frequency Climate Dynamics from a Surface Temperature Reconstruction Spanning the Last 2,000 Years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, J.; Emile-Geay, J.; McKay, N.; Guillot, D.

    2015-12-01

    Reconstructions of surface temperature over the past 2000 years extend our knowledge of temperature changes beyond the instrumental era, and thus allows for the characterization of climate variability on multidecadal to centennial timescales. This lends insight into our understanding and quantification of the influence of exogenous and endogenous global climate variability. In this study, we do so via a set of global temperature reconstructions based on the latest incarnation of the PAGES 2k global multi-proxy database (http://www.pages-igbp.org/ini/wg/2k-network/data/phase-2-data-status). Two climate field reconstruction (CFR) methods are employed: Gaussian graphical models embedded within the regularized EM algorithm (GraphEM, Guillot et al., 2015) and Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA, Smerdon et al., 2010). We find a globally warm Medieval period, which was colder than the late twentieth-century by 0.5 C. With a probability of 87%, the 1961 - 1990 period was the warmest 40-year period in the past 2000 years in most regions, especially in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. We show that surface temperature has a robust large-scale cooling pattern shortly after a volcanic eruption; in particular, over the North Atlantic Ocean, the cooling can persist up to 3 years after an eruption. An El Niño-like response (~0.2 C) is also found in 2 and 3 years after an eruption. Solar irradiance forcing is found to be an important modulator of multidecadal climate variability, with the strongest solar response (0.25 C) in high latitude North America. These key features are echoed in multiple GCM simulations of the last millennium, though we find notable differences, in particular regarding the timing of the post-volcanic ENSO response, and the magnitude of the temperature response to solar irradiance forcing. The results suggest that there is no fundamental discrepancy between simulated and reconstructed climates of the last millennium, and thus lend credibility

  3. The role of observational reference data for climate downscaling: Insights from the VALUE COST Action

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotlarski, Sven; Gutiérrez, José M.; Boberg, Fredrik; Bosshard, Thomas; Cardoso, Rita M.; Herrera, Sixto; Maraun, Douglas; Mezghani, Abdelkader; Pagé, Christian; Räty, Olle; Stepanek, Petr; Soares, Pedro M. M.; Szabo, Peter

    2016-04-01

    VALUE is an open European network to validate and compare downscaling methods for climate change research (http://www.value-cost.eu). A key deliverable of VALUE is the development of a systematic validation framework to enable the assessment and comparison of downscaling methods. Such assessments can be expected to crucially depend on the existence of accurate and reliable observational reference data. In dynamical downscaling, observational data can influence model development itself and, later on, model evaluation, parameter calibration and added value assessment. In empirical-statistical downscaling, observations serve as predictand data and directly influence model calibration with corresponding effects on downscaled climate change projections. We here present a comprehensive assessment of the influence of uncertainties in observational reference data and of scale-related issues on several of the above-mentioned aspects. First, temperature and precipitation characteristics as simulated by a set of reanalysis-driven EURO-CORDEX RCM experiments are validated against three different gridded reference data products, namely (1) the EOBS dataset (2) the recently developed EURO4M-MESAN regional re-analysis, and (3) several national high-resolution and quality-controlled gridded datasets that recently became available. The analysis reveals a considerable influence of the choice of the reference data on the evaluation results, especially for precipitation. It is also illustrated how differences between the reference data sets influence the ranking of RCMs according to a comprehensive set of performance measures.

  4. π-Hydrogen Bonding of Aromatics on the Surface of Aerosols: Insights from Ab Initio and Molecular Dynamics Simulation.

    PubMed

    Feng, Ya-Juan; Huang, Teng; Wang, Chao; Liu, Yi-Rong; Jiang, Shuai; Miao, Shou-Kui; Chen, Jiao; Huang, Wei

    2016-07-14

    Molecular level insight into the interaction between volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and aerosols is crucial for improvement of atmospheric chemistry models. In this paper, the interaction between adsorbed toluene, one of the most significant VOCs in the urban atmosphere, and the aqueous surface of aerosols was studied by means of combined molecular dynamics simulations and ab initio quantum chemistry calculations. It is revealed that toluene can be stably adsorbed on the surface of aqueous droplets via hydroxyl-π hydrogen bonding between the H atoms of the water molecules and the C atoms in the aromatic ring. Further, significant modifications on the electrostatic potential map and frontier molecular orbital are induced by the solvation effect of surface water molecules, which would affect the reactivity and pathway of the atmospheric photooxidation of toluene. This study demonstrates that the surface interactions should be taken into consideration in the atmospheric chemical models on oxidation of aromatics.

  5. π-Hydrogen Bonding of Aromatics on the Surface of Aerosols: Insights from Ab Initio and Molecular Dynamics Simulation.

    PubMed

    Feng, Ya-Juan; Huang, Teng; Wang, Chao; Liu, Yi-Rong; Jiang, Shuai; Miao, Shou-Kui; Chen, Jiao; Huang, Wei

    2016-07-14

    Molecular level insight into the interaction between volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and aerosols is crucial for improvement of atmospheric chemistry models. In this paper, the interaction between adsorbed toluene, one of the most significant VOCs in the urban atmosphere, and the aqueous surface of aerosols was studied by means of combined molecular dynamics simulations and ab initio quantum chemistry calculations. It is revealed that toluene can be stably adsorbed on the surface of aqueous droplets via hydroxyl-π hydrogen bonding between the H atoms of the water molecules and the C atoms in the aromatic ring. Further, significant modifications on the electrostatic potential map and frontier molecular orbital are induced by the solvation effect of surface water molecules, which would affect the reactivity and pathway of the atmospheric photooxidation of toluene. This study demonstrates that the surface interactions should be taken into consideration in the atmospheric chemical models on oxidation of aromatics. PMID:27280740

  6. New Biogeographic insight into Bauhinia s.l. (Leguminosae): integration from fossil records and molecular analyses

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Given that most species that have ever existed on earth are extinct, it stands to reason that the evolutionary history can be better understood with fossil taxa. Bauhinia is a typical genus of pantropical intercontinental disjunction among the Asian, African, and American continents. Geographic distribution patterns are better recognized when fossil records and molecular sequences are combined in the analyses. Here, we describe a new macrofossil species of Bauhinia from the Upper Miocene Xiaolongtan Formation in Wenshan County, Southeast Yunnan, China, and elucidate the biogeographic significance through the analyses of molecules and fossils. Results Morphometric analysis demonstrates that the leaf shapes of B. acuminata, B. championii, B. chalcophylla, B. purpurea, and B. podopetala closely resemble the leaf shapes of the new finding fossil. Phylogenetic relationships among the Bauhinia species were reconstructed using maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference, which inferred that species in Bauhinia species are well-resolved into three main groups. Divergence times were estimated by the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method under a relaxed clock, and inferred that the stem diversification time of Bauhinia was ca. 62.7 Ma. The Asian lineage first diverged at ca. 59.8 Ma, followed by divergence of the Africa lineage starting during the late Eocene, whereas that of the neotropical lineage starting during the middle Miocene. Conclusions Hypotheses relying on vicariance or continental history to explain pantropical disjunct distributions are dismissed because they require mostly Palaeogene and older tectonic events. We suggest that Bauhinia originated in the middle Paleocene in Laurasia, probably in Asia, implying a possible Tethys Seaway origin or an “Out of Tropical Asia”, and dispersal of legumes. Its present pantropical disjunction resulted from disruption of the boreotropical flora by climatic cooling after the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal

  7. Vulnerability of the northern Mongolian steppe to climate change: insights from flower production and phenology.

    PubMed

    Liancourt, Pierre; Spence, Laura A; Boldgiv, Bazartseren; Lkhagva, Ariuntsetseg; Helliker, Brent R; Casper, Brenda B; Petraitis, Peter S

    2012-04-01

    The semiarid, northern Mongolian steppe, which still supports pastoral nomads who have used the steppe for millennia, has experienced an average 1.7 degrees C temperature rise over the past 40 years. Continuing climate change is likely to affect flowering phenology and flower numbers with potentially important consequences for plant community composition, ecosystem services, and herder livelihoods. Over the growing seasons of 2009 and 2010, we examined flowering responses to climate manipulation using open-top passive warming chambers (OTCs) at two locations on a south-facing slope: one on the moister, cooler lower slope and the other on the drier, warmer upper slope, where a watering treatment was added in a factorial design with warming. Canonical analysis of principal coordinates (CAP) revealed that OTCs reduced flower production and delayed peak flowering in graminoids as a whole but only affected forbs on the upper slope, where peak flowering was also delayed. OTCs affected flowering phenology in seven of eight species, which were examined individually, either by altering the time of peak flowering and/or the onset and/or cessation of flowering, as revealed by survival analysis. In 2010, which was the drier year, OTCs reduced flower production in two grasses but increased production in an annual forb found only on the upper slope. The particular effects of OTCs on phenology, and whether they caused an extension or contraction of the flowering season, differed among species, and often depended on year, or slope, or watering treatment; however, a relatively strong pattern emerged for 2010 when four species showed a contraction of the flowering season in OTCs. Watering increased flower production in two species in 2010, but slope location more often affected flowering phenology than did watering. Our results show the importance of taking landscape-scale variation into account in climate change studies and also contrasted with those of several studies set in cold

  8. Vulnerability of the northern Mongolian steppe to climate change: insights from flower production and phenology.

    PubMed

    Liancourt, Pierre; Spence, Laura A; Boldgiv, Bazartseren; Lkhagva, Ariuntsetseg; Helliker, Brent R; Casper, Brenda B; Petraitis, Peter S

    2012-04-01

    The semiarid, northern Mongolian steppe, which still supports pastoral nomads who have used the steppe for millennia, has experienced an average 1.7 degrees C temperature rise over the past 40 years. Continuing climate change is likely to affect flowering phenology and flower numbers with potentially important consequences for plant community composition, ecosystem services, and herder livelihoods. Over the growing seasons of 2009 and 2010, we examined flowering responses to climate manipulation using open-top passive warming chambers (OTCs) at two locations on a south-facing slope: one on the moister, cooler lower slope and the other on the drier, warmer upper slope, where a watering treatment was added in a factorial design with warming. Canonical analysis of principal coordinates (CAP) revealed that OTCs reduced flower production and delayed peak flowering in graminoids as a whole but only affected forbs on the upper slope, where peak flowering was also delayed. OTCs affected flowering phenology in seven of eight species, which were examined individually, either by altering the time of peak flowering and/or the onset and/or cessation of flowering, as revealed by survival analysis. In 2010, which was the drier year, OTCs reduced flower production in two grasses but increased production in an annual forb found only on the upper slope. The particular effects of OTCs on phenology, and whether they caused an extension or contraction of the flowering season, differed among species, and often depended on year, or slope, or watering treatment; however, a relatively strong pattern emerged for 2010 when four species showed a contraction of the flowering season in OTCs. Watering increased flower production in two species in 2010, but slope location more often affected flowering phenology than did watering. Our results show the importance of taking landscape-scale variation into account in climate change studies and also contrasted with those of several studies set in cold

  9. Insights from the past millennium climate simulations into the recent temperature hiatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zorita, Eduardo; Wagner, Sebastian

    2014-05-01

    The trend in the global temperature over the last two decades is only marginally compatible with the ensemble of climate simulations participating in the CMIP3 and CMIP5 projects. The causes for the lower-than-predicted global temperature rise may be external with either misspecified external forcings or overestimated climate sensitivity. They can be internal, with internal variability at decadal and multidecadal time scales being larger than the one generated by climate models. A possible way to disentangle these two possibilities is to identify the large-scale spatial patterns where the ratio between external to total temperature variability (SNR) is largest. If the marginal disagreement between observations and models over the last two decades is caused by external causes, the temperature trends averaged only over those regions with high signal-to-noise ratio. The spatial pattern of SNR in the global mean temperature can be identified from ensemble of simulations over the past millennium conducted with the same model and with (nearly) the same external forcing. Their length - 1200 years - and the fact that they have been driven my a mixture of different external forcings, make this estimation more robust than by using RCP future scenario simulations that are essentially driven by greenhouse gas forcing. Within the CMIP5 project and previous simulations, two models provide an ensemble of at least two simulations: the ECHAM5-OM model of the Manx-Planck-Institute for Meteorology and the GISS-E2-R model of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Both models yield similar global patterns of high SNR in the annual mean temperature, focused on the tropical regions and the Arctic, with a band of low SNR along mid-latitudes in both hemispheres. The corporation of internal variability is lower in the ECHAM5-OM model than in the GISS-E2-R model, even though the amplitude of solar forcing was larger in the former. Antarctica appears essentially disconnected from the

  10. Global warming and changes in risk of concurrent climate extremes: Insights from the 2014 California drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    AghaKouchak, Amir; Cheng, Linyin; Mazdiyasni, Omid; Farahmand, Alireza

    2014-12-01

    Global warming and the associated rise in extreme temperatures substantially increase the chance of concurrent droughts and heat waves. The 2014 California drought is an archetype of an event characterized by not only low precipitation but also extreme high temperatures. From the raging wildfires, to record low storage levels and snowpack conditions, the impacts of this event can be felt throughout California. Wintertime water shortages worry decision-makers the most because it is the season to build up water supplies for the rest of the year. Here we show that the traditional univariate risk assessment methods based on precipitation condition may substantially underestimate the risk of extreme events such as the 2014 California drought because of ignoring the effects of temperature. We argue that a multivariate viewpoint is necessary for assessing risk of extreme events, especially in a warming climate. This study discusses a methodology for assessing the risk of concurrent extremes such as droughts and extreme temperatures.

  11. New Insights on Hydro-Climate Feedback Processes over the Tropical Ocean from TRMM

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lau, William K. M.; Wu, H. T.; Li, Xiaofan; Sui, C. H.

    2002-01-01

    In this paper, we study hydro-climate feedback processes over the tropical oceans, by examining the relationships among large scale circulation and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Microwave Imager-Sea Surface Temperature (TMI-SST), and a range of TRMM rain products including rain rate, cloud liquid water, precipitable water, cloud types and areal coverage, and precipitation efficiency. Results show that for a warm event (1998), the 28C threshold of convective precipitation is quite well defined over the tropical oceans. However, for a cold event (1999), the SST threshold is less well defined, especially over the central and eastern Pacific cold tongue, where stratiform rain occurs at much lower than 28 C. Precipitation rates and cloud liquid water are found to be more closely related to the large scale vertical motion than to the underlying SST. While total columnar water vapor is more strongly dependent on SST. For a large domain, over the eastern Pacific, we find that the areal extent of the cloudy region tends to shrink as the SST increases. Examination of the relationship between cloud liquid water and rain rate suggests that the residence time of cloud liquid water tends to be shorter, associated with higher precipitation efficiency in a warmer climate. It is hypothesized that the reduction in cloudy area may be influenced both by the shift in large scale cloud patterns in response to changes in large scale forcings, and possible increase in the cloud liquid water conversion to rain water in a warmer environment. Results of numerical experiments with the Goddard cloud resolving model to test the hypothesis will be discussed.

  12. Molecular-Level Insights into Photocatalysis from Scanning Probe Microscopy Studies on TiO2(110)

    SciTech Connect

    Henderson, Michael A.; Lyubinetsky, Igor

    2013-06-12

    The field of heterogeneous photocatalysis has grown considerably in the decades since Fujishima and Honda's ground-breaking publications of photoelectrochemistry on TiO2. Numerous review articles continue to point to both progress made in the use of heterogeneous materials (such as TiO2) to perform photoconversion processes, and the many opportunities and challenges in heterogeneous photocatalysis research such as solar energy conversion and environmental remediation. The past decade has also seen an increase in the use of molecular-level approaches applied to model single crystal surfaces in an effort to obtain new insights into photocatalytic phenomena. In particular, scanning probe techniques (SPM) have enabled researchers to take a ‘nanoscale’ approach to photocatalysis that includes interrogation of the reactivities of specific sites and adsorbates on a model photocatalyst surface. The rutile TiO2(110) surface has become the prototypical oxide single crystal surface for fundamental studies of many interfacial phenomena. In particular, TiO2(110) has become an excellent model surface for probing photochemical and photocatalytic reactions at the molecular level. A variety of experimental approaches have emerged as being ideally suited for studying photochemical reactions on TiO2(110), including desorption-oriented approaches and electronic spectroscopies, but perhaps the most promising techniques for evaluating site-specific properties are those of SPM. In this review, we highlight the growing use of SPM techniques in providing molecular-level insights into surface photochemistry on the model photocatalyst surface of rutile TiO2(110). Our objective is to both illustrate the unique knowledge that scanning probe techniques have already provided the field of photocatalysis, and also to motivate a new generation of effort into the use of such approaches to obtain new insights into the molecular level details of photochemical events occurring at interfaces

  13. Oldest isotopically characterized fish otoliths provide insight to Jurassic continental climate of Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patterson, William P.

    1999-03-01

    Large, shallow, epeiric seas and adjacent lagoons such as those described herein likely played a significant role in moderating Jurassic coastal and continental climate. Jurassic (Bathonian) ocean surface temperatures in Scotland have been calculated from δ18O(CaCO3) values of a suite of the oldest well-preserved fish otoliths analyzed to date. Otolith δ18O values range from -4.7‰ to -1.9‰ (Vienna Peedee belemnite, VPDB), while δ13C(CaCO3) values vary from -5.4‰ to +1.5‰ (VPDB), representing the oldest stable isotopic record of paleodiet, paleoecology, and fish migration to date. Using a global ocean δ18O(H2O) value of -1.0‰ (Vienna standard mean ocean water, VSMOW) for an ice-free Jurassic, fish species that migrated from estuarine to open marine water record time-averaged temperatures of 23 °C. Estuarine fish, assuming a similar temperature, record variation in δ18O(H2O) values from -3.7‰ to -2.0‰ (VSMOW). That significant mixing of fresh water and seawater occurred in the Jurassic in Scotland is in general agreement with data presented by others (molluscan fauna, lithostratigraphy, paleogeography, and paleocirculation models). The δ18O values and temperatures derived in this study correspond to the meteorologic and hydrologic parameters of a mid-latitude maritime climate with low seasonality, a mean temperature of 23 °C, and abundant precipitation and humidity. The δ18O(H2O) values calculated from estuarine fish indicate that rainfall must have a δ18O(H2O) value lower than -3.7‰ (VSMOW). Values of δ18O and δ13C suggest an environment hydrologically similar to that observed in the Everglades of south Florida or the estuaries of south Texas, both notable fish nurseries today. However, sea-surface temperatures were lower than those of modern Florida or Texas as evidenced by reduced evaporative enrichment of δ18O(H2O) values.

  14. Insight into glacier climate interaction: reconstruction of the mass balance field using ice extent data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Visnjevic, Vjeran; Herman, Frédéric; Licul, Aleksandar

    2016-04-01

    With the end of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), about 20 000 years ago, ended the most recent long-lasting cold phase in Earth's history. We recently developed a model that describes large-scale erosion and its response to climate and dynamical changes with the application to the Alps for the LGM period. Here we will present an inverse approach we have recently developed to infer the LGM mass balance from known ice extent data, focusing on a glacier or ice cap. The ice flow model is developed using the shallow ice approximation and the developed codes are accelerated using GPUs capabilities. The mass balance field is the constrained variable defined by the balance rate β and the equilibrium line altitude (ELA), where c is the cutoff value: b = max(βṡ(S(z) - ELA), c) We show that such a mass balance can be constrained from the observed past ice extent and ice thickness. We are also investigating several different geostatistical methods to constrain spatially variable mass balance, and derive uncertainties on each of the mass balance parameters.

  15. Late Triassic tropical climate of Pangea: Carbon isotopic and other insights into the rise of dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whiteside, J. H.; Lindström, S.; Irmis, R. B.; Glasspool, I.; Schaller, M. F.; Dunlavey, M.; Nesbitt, S. J.; Smith, N. D.; Turner, A. H.

    2015-12-01

    The rarity and species-poor nature of early dinosaurs and their relatives at low paleolatitudes persisted for 30 million years after their origin and 10-15 million years after they became abundant and speciose at higher latitudes. New environmental reconstructions from stable carbon isotope ratios of preserved organic matter (δ13Corg), atmospheric pCO2 data based on the δ13C of soil carbonate, palynological, and wildfire data from charcoal from early dinosaur-bearing strata at low paleolatitudes in western North America show that variations in δ13Corg and palynomorph ecotypes are tightly correlated, displaying large and high-frequency excursions. These variations occurred within an environment characterized by elevated and increasing atmospheric pCO2, pervasive wildfires, and rapidly fluctuating extreme climatic conditions. Whereas pseudosuchian archosaur-dominated communities were able to persist in these same regions until the end-Triassic, the large-bodied, fast-growing tachymetabolic dinosaurian herbivores were not. We hypothesize that the greater resources required by the herbivores made it difficult from them to adapt to the unstable conditions at low paleolatitudes in the Late Triassic.

  16. Insights from the Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Cellobiohydrolase Cel6A Molecular Structural Model from Aspergillus fumigatus NITDGPKA3.

    PubMed

    Dodda, Subba Reddy; Sarkar, Nibedita; Aikat, Kaustav; Krishnaraj, Navanietha R; Bhattacharjee, Sanchari; Bagchi, Angshuman; Mukhopadhyay, Sudit S

    2016-01-01

    Global demand for bioethanol is increasing tremendously as it could help to replace the conventional fossil fuel and at the same time supporting the bioremediation of huge volume of cellulosic wastes generated from different sources. Ideal genetic engineering approaches are essential to improve the efficacy of the bioethanol production processes for real time applications. A locally isolated fungal strain Aspergillus fumigatus NITDGPKA3 was used in our laboratory for the hydrolysis of lignocellulose with good cellulolytic activity when compared with other contemporary fungal strains. An attempt is made to sequence the cellobiohydrolases (CBHs) of A. fumigatus NITDGPKA3, model its structure to predict its catalytic activity towards improving the protein by genetic engineering approaches. Herein, the structure of the sequenced Cellobiohydrolases (CBHs) of A. fumigatus NITDGPKA3, modelled by homology modelling and its validation is reported. Further the catalytic activity of the modelled CBH enzyme was assessed by molecular docking analysis. Phylogenetic analysis showed that CBH from A. fumigatus NITDGPKA3 belongs to the Glycohydro 6 (Cel6A) super family. Molecular modeling and molecular dynamics simulation suggest the structural and functional mechanism of the enzyme. The structures of both the cellulose binding (CBD) and catalytic domain (CD) have been compared with most widely studied CBH of Trichoderma reesei. The molecular docking with cellulose suggests that Gln 248, Pro 287, Val236, Asn284, and Ala288 are the main amino acids involved in the hydrolysis of the β, 1-4, glycosidic bonds of cellulose. PMID:27109185

  17. Using Variation Theory with Metacognitive Monitoring to Develop Insights into How Students Learn from Molecular Visualizations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kelly, Resa M.

    2014-01-01

    Molecular visualizations have been widely endorsed by many chemical educators as an efficient way to convey the dynamic and atomic-level details of chemistry events. Research indicates that students who use molecular visualizations are able to incorporate most of the intended features of the animations into their explanations. However, studies…

  18. Historical Arctic Logbooks Provide Insights into Past Diets and Climatic Responses of Cod

    PubMed Central

    Townhill, Bryony L.; Maxwell, David; Engelhard, Georg H.; Simpson, Stephen D.; Pinnegar, John K.

    2015-01-01

    Gadus morhua (Atlantic cod) stocks in the Barents Sea are currently at levels not seen since the 1950s. Causes for the population increase last century, and understanding of whether such large numbers will be maintained in the future, are unclear. To explore this, we digitised and interrogated historical cod catch and diet datasets from the Barents Sea. Seventeen years of catch data and 12 years of prey data spanning 1930–1959 cover unexplored spatial and temporal ranges, and importantly capture the end of a previous warm period, when temperatures were similar to those currently being experienced. This study aimed to evaluate cod catch per unit effort and prey frequency in relation to spatial, temporal and environmental variables. There was substantial spatio-temporal heterogeneity in catches through the time series. The highest catches were generally in the 1930s and 1940s, although at some localities more cod were recorded late in the 1950s. Generalized Additive Models showed that environmental, spatial and temporal variables are all valuable descriptors of cod catches, with the highest occurring from 15–45°E longitude and 73–77°N latitude, at bottom temperatures between 2 and 4°C and at depths between 150 and 250 m. Cod diets were highly variable during the study period, with frequent changes in the relative frequencies of different prey species, particularly Mallotus villosus (capelin). Environmental variables were particularly good at describing the importance of capelin and Clupea harengus (herring) in the diet. These new analyses support existing knowledge about how the ecology of the region is controlled by climatic variability. When viewed in combination with more recent data, these historical relationships will be valuable in forecasting the future of Barents Sea fisheries, and in understanding how environments and ecosystems may respond. PMID:26331271

  19. Transcriptomic Changes in Coral Holobionts Provide Insights into Physiological Challenges of Future Climate and Ocean Change

    PubMed Central

    Kaniewska, Paulina; Chan, Chon-Kit Kenneth; Kline, David; Ling, Edmund Yew Siang; Rosic, Nedeljka; Edwards, David; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Dove, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    Tropical reef-building coral stress levels will intensify with the predicted rising atmospheric CO2 resulting in ocean temperature and acidification increase. Most studies to date have focused on the destabilization of coral-dinoflagellate symbioses due to warming oceans, or declining calcification due to ocean acidification. In our study, pH and temperature conditions consistent with the end-of-century scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) caused major changes in photosynthesis and respiration, in addition to decreased calcification rates in the coral Acropora millepora. Population density of symbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium) under high levels of ocean acidification and temperature (Representative Concentration Pathway, RCP8.5) decreased to half of that found under present day conditions, with photosynthetic and respiratory rates also being reduced by 40%. These physiological changes were accompanied by evidence for gene regulation of calcium and bicarbonate transporters along with components of the organic matrix. Metatranscriptomic RNA-Seq data analyses showed an overall down regulation of metabolic transcripts, and an increased abundance of transcripts involved in circadian clock control, controlling the damage of oxidative stress, calcium signaling/homeostasis, cytoskeletal interactions, transcription regulation, DNA repair, Wnt signaling and apoptosis/immunity/ toxins. We suggest that increased maintenance costs under ocean acidification and warming, and diversion of cellular ATP to pH homeostasis, oxidative stress response, UPR and DNA repair, along with metabolic suppression, may underpin why Acroporid species tend not to thrive under future environmental stress. Our study highlights the potential increased energy demand when the coral holobiont is exposed to high levels of ocean warming and acidification. PMID:26510159

  20. Understanding impacts of climatic extremes on diarrheal disease epidemics: Insights from mechanistic disease propagation models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jutla, A.; Akanda, A. S.; Colwell, R. R.

    2013-12-01

    increased climatic variability, such as acceleration of hydrological cycle, hydroclimatic hazards, etc on diarrheal disease outbreaks.

  1. Transcriptomic Changes in Coral Holobionts Provide Insights into Physiological Challenges of Future Climate and Ocean Change.

    PubMed

    Kaniewska, Paulina; Chan, Chon-Kit Kenneth; Kline, David; Ling, Edmund Yew Siang; Rosic, Nedeljka; Edwards, David; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Dove, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    Tropical reef-building coral stress levels will intensify with the predicted rising atmospheric CO2 resulting in ocean temperature and acidification increase. Most studies to date have focused on the destabilization of coral-dinoflagellate symbioses due to warming oceans, or declining calcification due to ocean acidification. In our study, pH and temperature conditions consistent with the end-of-century scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) caused major changes in photosynthesis and respiration, in addition to decreased calcification rates in the coral Acropora millepora. Population density of symbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium) under high levels of ocean acidification and temperature (Representative Concentration Pathway, RCP8.5) decreased to half of that found under present day conditions, with photosynthetic and respiratory rates also being reduced by 40%. These physiological changes were accompanied by evidence for gene regulation of calcium and bicarbonate transporters along with components of the organic matrix. Metatranscriptomic RNA-Seq data analyses showed an overall down regulation of metabolic transcripts, and an increased abundance of transcripts involved in circadian clock control, controlling the damage of oxidative stress, calcium signaling/homeostasis, cytoskeletal interactions, transcription regulation, DNA repair, Wnt signaling and apoptosis/immunity/ toxins. We suggest that increased maintenance costs under ocean acidification and warming, and diversion of cellular ATP to pH homeostasis, oxidative stress response, UPR and DNA repair, along with metabolic suppression, may underpin why Acroporid species tend not to thrive under future environmental stress. Our study highlights the potential increased energy demand when the coral holobiont is exposed to high levels of ocean warming and acidification.

  2. Historical Arctic Logbooks Provide Insights into Past Diets and Climatic Responses of Cod.

    PubMed

    Townhill, Bryony L; Maxwell, David; Engelhard, Georg H; Simpson, Stephen D; Pinnegar, John K

    2015-01-01

    Gadus morhua (Atlantic cod) stocks in the Barents Sea are currently at levels not seen since the 1950s. Causes for the population increase last century, and understanding of whether such large numbers will be maintained in the future, are unclear. To explore this, we digitised and interrogated historical cod catch and diet datasets from the Barents Sea. Seventeen years of catch data and 12 years of prey data spanning 1930-1959 cover unexplored spatial and temporal ranges, and importantly capture the end of a previous warm period, when temperatures were similar to those currently being experienced. This study aimed to evaluate cod catch per unit effort and prey frequency in relation to spatial, temporal and environmental variables. There was substantial spatio-temporal heterogeneity in catches through the time series. The highest catches were generally in the 1930s and 1940s, although at some localities more cod were recorded late in the 1950s. Generalized Additive Models showed that environmental, spatial and temporal variables are all valuable descriptors of cod catches, with the highest occurring from 15-45°E longitude and 73-77°N latitude, at bottom temperatures between 2 and 4°C and at depths between 150 and 250 m. Cod diets were highly variable during the study period, with frequent changes in the relative frequencies of different prey species, particularly Mallotus villosus (capelin). Environmental variables were particularly good at describing the importance of capelin and Clupea harengus (herring) in the diet. These new analyses support existing knowledge about how the ecology of the region is controlled by climatic variability. When viewed in combination with more recent data, these historical relationships will be valuable in forecasting the future of Barents Sea fisheries, and in understanding how environments and ecosystems may respond. PMID:26331271

  3. Relationships between contourite deposition, climate and slope instability: new insights from the Demerara Plateau (French Guyana)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tallobre, C.; Bassetti, M. A.; Loncke, L.; Giresse, P.; Bayon, G.; Buscail, R.

    2015-12-01

    A Contourite Depositional System (CDS) has been described at the Demerara Plateau (DP) based on seismic investigations, but little is known about the mechanisms of associated sediment deposition and its interaction with past deep ocean circulation patterns (e.g. bottom current velocity) and bottom morphology related to ancient event of slope instability. The new seismic and bathymetric data recently acquired allow describing in details the CDS on the DP. Erosional and syn-sedimentary features on the seafloor (comet tail, « longitudinal waves », contourite drifts and moats) have been observed, helping to constrain the sedimentary processes at the origin of the CDS construction. Also, the recovery and multi-proxy analysis of sediment cores allows the characterization of sedimentary environments and possible relation with climate forcing. These sediment cores are characterized by the presence of several beds rich in glauconite grains. Glauconite can form at the sediment/water interface by winnowing effect that prevent sediment deposition and increase the residence time at the seafloor. Under strong winnowing conditions, glauconite grains can develop at several stages of maturity. We observed that the residence time and hence the maturity of glauconite is reflected by the color changes (light to dark green), the presence of crack on grains, the formation of (secondary) glauconite lamellae and decrease of grain porosity. A chronological framework (based on radiocarbon dates and δ18O variations) of contourite sequences at the studied location indicates correlation with grain-size parameters (sortable silt) and allows one to further constrain their dynamics through time. The combination of these proxies allows us to estimate and understand the evolution and the impact of the bottom current on sedimentation on the DP during the last 80 ky. These results show the potentiality of the glauconite study to estimate the relative variation of bottom current velocity at margins.

  4. Climate impacts on human settlement and agricultural activities in northern Norway: new insights from biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'anjou, R. M.; Bradley, R. S.; Balascio, N. L.; Finkelstein, D. B.

    2012-12-01

    Disentangling the effects of climate change and anthropogenic activities on the environment is a major challenge in paleoenvironmental research. Here, we used fecal sterols and other biogeochemical compounds in lake sediments from northern Norway to identify both natural and anthropogenic signals of environmental change during the late Holocene. The area was first occupied by humans and their grazing animals at ~2,250±75 cal yr BP. The arrival of humans is indicated by an abrupt increase in coprostanol (and its epimer epicoprostanol) in the sediments, and an associated increase in 5β-stigmastanol (and 5β-epistigmastanol), which resulted from human and animal feces washing into the lake. Human settlement was accompanied by an abrupt increase in landscape fires (indicated by the rise in pyrolytic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs) and a decline in woodland (registered by a change in n-alkane chain lengths from leaf waxes), accelerating a process that began earlier in the Holocene. Human activity and associated landscape changes in the region over the last two millennia were mainly driven by summer temperatures, as indicated by independent tree-ring reconstructions, though there were periods when socio-economic factors played an equally important role. This is the first time that fecal sterols in lake sediments have been used to provide a record of human occupancy through time. This approach may be useful in many archeological studies, both to confirm the presence of humans and grazing animals, and to distinguish between anthropogenic and natural factors that have influenced the environment in the past.

  5. Transcriptomic Changes in Coral Holobionts Provide Insights into Physiological Challenges of Future Climate and Ocean Change.

    PubMed

    Kaniewska, Paulina; Chan, Chon-Kit Kenneth; Kline, David; Ling, Edmund Yew Siang; Rosic, Nedeljka; Edwards, David; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Dove, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    Tropical reef-building coral stress levels will intensify with the predicted rising atmospheric CO2 resulting in ocean temperature and acidification increase. Most studies to date have focused on the destabilization of coral-dinoflagellate symbioses due to warming oceans, or declining calcification due to ocean acidification. In our study, pH and temperature conditions consistent with the end-of-century scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) caused major changes in photosynthesis and respiration, in addition to decreased calcification rates in the coral Acropora millepora. Population density of symbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium) under high levels of ocean acidification and temperature (Representative Concentration Pathway, RCP8.5) decreased to half of that found under present day conditions, with photosynthetic and respiratory rates also being reduced by 40%. These physiological changes were accompanied by evidence for gene regulation of calcium and bicarbonate transporters along with components of the organic matrix. Metatranscriptomic RNA-Seq data analyses showed an overall down regulation of metabolic transcripts, and an increased abundance of transcripts involved in circadian clock control, controlling the damage of oxidative stress, calcium signaling/homeostasis, cytoskeletal interactions, transcription regulation, DNA repair, Wnt signaling and apoptosis/immunity/ toxins. We suggest that increased maintenance costs under ocean acidification and warming, and diversion of cellular ATP to pH homeostasis, oxidative stress response, UPR and DNA repair, along with metabolic suppression, may underpin why Acroporid species tend not to thrive under future environmental stress. Our study highlights the potential increased energy demand when the coral holobiont is exposed to high levels of ocean warming and acidification. PMID:26510159

  6. Climatic vs. Seismic Controlled Rockglacier Advances in Northern Tien Shan - Insights from Lichenometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenwinkel, S.; Korup, O.; Landgraf, A.; Dzhumabaeva, A.

    2014-12-01

    patterns vary between the different locations and support the notion that the analyzed Tien Shan rockglaciers do not record climate-driven advances exclusively. We conclude by highlighting a number of constraints that may limit the use of lichenometry for dating rockglacier advances, and scope for future research on seismic triggers.

  7. Climate- vs. Earthquake-induced Rock-Glacier Advances in the Tien Shan: Insights from Lichenometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenwinkel, Swenja; Landgraf, Angela; Korup, Oliver; Sorg, Annina

    2014-05-01

    that Tien Shan rock glaciers do not record a consistent palaeoclimatic signal. We discuss whether distinct peaks of comparable lichen sizes and associated distributions of surface velocities for a given rock-glacier lobe result from rapid climate-driven advances or high lateral material input provided by seismically-induced slope instability instead. We compare our field data to advance-rate estimates from ground surveys and remote sensing (1 to >10 m/a), and dendrogeomorphic constraints obtained from trees growing on the rock glaciers. We conclude by highlighting a number of constraints that may limit the use of lichenometry for dating rock-glacier advances, and scope for future research on seismic triggers.

  8. The microtubule-associated molecular pathways may be genetically disrupted in patients with Bipolar Disorder. Insights from the molecular cascades.

    PubMed

    Drago, Antonio; Crisafulli, Concetta; Sidoti, Antonina; Calabrò, Marco; Serretti, Alessandro

    2016-01-15

    Bipolar Disorder is a severe disease characterized by pathological mood swings from major depressive episodes to manic ones and vice versa. The biological underpinnings of Bipolar Disorder have yet to be defined. As a consequence, pharmacological treatments are suboptimal. In the present paper we test the hypothesis that the molecular pathways involved with the direct targets of lithium, hold significantly more genetic variations associated with BD. A molecular pathway approach finds its rationale in the polygenic nature of the disease. The pathways were tested in a sample of ∼ 7,000 patients and controls. Data are available from the public NIMH database. The definition of the pathways was conducted according to the National Cancer Institute (http://pid.nci.nih.gov/). As a result, 3 out of the 18 tested pathways related to lithium action resisted the permutation analysis and were found to be associated with BD. These pathways were related to Reelin, Integrins and Aurora. A pool of genes selected from the ones linked with the above pathways was further investigated in order to identify the fine molecular mechanics shared by our significant pathways and also their link with lithium mechanism of action. The data obtained point out to a possible involvement of microtubule-related mechanics. PMID:26551401

  9. Molecular taxonomy provides new insights into anopheles species of the neotropical arribalzagia series.

    PubMed

    Gómez, Giovan F; Bickersmith, Sara A; González, Ranulfo; Conn, Jan E; Correa, Margarita M

    2015-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI) and nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) sequences were used to evaluate initial identification and to investigate phylogenetic relationships of seven Anopheles morphospecies of the Arribalzagia Series from Colombia. Phylogenetic trees recovered highly supported clades for An. punctimaculas.s., An. calderoni, An. malefactor s.l., An. neomaculipalpus, An. apicimacula s.l., An. mattogrossensis and An. peryassui. This study provides the first molecular confirmation of An. malefactorfrom Colombia and discovered conflicting patterns of divergence for the molecular markers among specimens from northeast and northern Colombia suggesting the presence of two previously unrecognized Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTUs). Furthermore, two highly differentiated An. apicimacula MOTUs previously found in Panama were detected. Overall, the combined molecular dataset facilitated the detection of known and new Colombian evolutionary lineages, and constitutes the baseline for future research on their bionomics, ecology and potential role as malaria vectors. PMID:25774795

  10. Molecular Taxonomy Provides New Insights into Anopheles Species of the Neotropical Arribalzagia Series

    PubMed Central

    Gómez, Giovan F.; Bickersmith, Sara A.; González, Ranulfo; Conn, Jan E.; Correa, Margarita M.

    2015-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI) and nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) sequences were used to evaluate initial identification and to investigate phylogenetic relationships of seven Anopheles morphospecies of the Arribalzagia Series from Colombia. Phylogenetic trees recovered highly supported clades for An. punctimaculas.s., An. calderoni, An. malefactor s.l., An. neomaculipalpus, An. apicimacula s.l., An. mattogrossensis and An. peryassui. This study provides the first molecular confirmation of An. malefactorfrom Colombia and discovered conflicting patterns of divergence for the molecular markers among specimens from northeast and northern Colombia suggesting the presence of two previously unrecognized Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTUs). Furthermore, two highly differentiated An. apicimacula MOTUs previously found in Panama were detected. Overall, the combined molecular dataset facilitated the detection of known and new Colombian evolutionary lineages, and constitutes the baseline for future research on their bionomics, ecology and potential role as malaria vectors. PMID:25774795

  11. Crater palaeolakes in the Tibesti mountains (Central Sahara, North Chad) - New insights into past Saharan climates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kröpelin, Stefan; Dinies, Michèle; Sylvestre, Florence; Hoelzmann, Philipp

    2016-04-01

    For the first time continuous lacustrine sections were sampled from the volcanic Tibesti Mountains (Chad): In the 900 m deep crater of Trou au Natron at Pic Toussidé (3,315 m a.s.l.) and from the 800 m deep Era Kohor, the major sub-caldera of Emi Koussi (3,445 m a.s.l.). The remnant diatomites on their slopes are located 360 m (Trou au Natron) and 125 m (Era Kohor) above the present day bottom of the calderas. These sediments from highly continental positions in the central Sahara are keys for the reconstruction of the last climatic cycles (Kröpelin et al. 2015). We report first results from sedimentary-geochemical (total organic and total inorganic carbon contents; total nitrogen; major elements; mineralogy) and palynological analyses for palaeo-environmental interpretations. The diatomites from the Trou au Natron comprise 330 cm of mostly calcitic sediments with relatively low organic carbon (<2.5 %) and strongly varying aragonite and gypsum contents. Major elements (Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, P, S, Sr), elemental ratios (Sr/Ca, Mg/Ca, Fe/Mn) and the mineralogy are used to interpret the lake's salinity, productivity and ecological conditions. Trilete spores are preserved throughout the sequence, probably reflecting local moss/fern stands. Regional pollen rain-e.g. grasses and wormwood-is scarcely represented. Golden algae dominate in the lower section. The results of the first palynological samples suggest a small sedimentation basin. Two 14C-dated charcoals out of the upper part of the section indicate mid-Holocene ages and a linear extrapolation based on a sediment accumulation rate of 1.4mma-1 would lead to tentative dates of ~8650 cal a BP for basal lacustrine sediments and ~4450 cal a BP for the cessation of this lacustrine sequence. The diatomites from the Era Kohor reflect a suite of sections that in total sum up to 145 cm of mostly silica-based sediments with very low carbon contents (< 2% TC). Calcite dominated sediments are only present in the topmost 15

  12. Intramolecular oxygen isotope ratios of a global stem cellulose sample set: insight into a climate proxy.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sternberg, L.; Pinzon, M. C.; Vendramini, P.; Anderson, W.; Jahren, H.; Beuning, K.

    2006-12-01

    Oxygen isotope ratios of cellulose have been used to interpret current and paleo-climate. However, our knowledge of biochemical processes leading to cellulose oxygen isotope ratios is limited. We have previously developed a technique to determine the oxygen isotope ratio of the oxygen attached to the second carbon separate from the average oxygen isotope ratio of the oxygen attached to carbon 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the cellulose glucose moieties. Cellulose, representing the average δ18O value of oxygen attached to carbon 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, is hydrolyzed to glucose, followed by the synthesis of phenylglucosazone, which represents the average δ18O value of oxygen attached to carbon 3, 4, 5 and 6. With the δ18O values of cellulose and phenyglucosazone it is possible to calculate the δ18O value of oxygen attached to the second carbon of the cellulose glucose moieties. We use this technique to elucidate biochemical processes causing oxygen isotopic fractionation during cellulose synthesis. We show here with stem samples from several areas of the world that the changes in the δ18O value of cellulose is non linear relative to those of stem water and this lack of linearity is in part caused by changes in the biochemical fractionation during cellulose synthesis. The biochemical cause of this non-linearity is confirmed by a compilation of previously published oxygen isotope ratios of aquatic plant cellulose in relation to that of lake water showing a curvilinear relationship parallel to the δ18O value of stem cellulose vs stem water in terrestrial plants. This non linearity is, in part, caused by the large variation in the δ18O value of the oxygen attached to the second carbon which super-imposes isotopic noise on the stem cellulose isotopic signals. This conclusion is supported by examining the three best fit multiple linear regression equations between oxygen isotope ratios of stem water and relative humidity as independent factors with either δ18O values of (1) cellulose

  13. Electronic structure of covalently linked zinc bacteriochlorin molecular arrays: insights into molecular design for NIR light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Shrestha, Kushal; González-Delgado, Jessica M; Blew, James H; Jakubikova, Elena

    2014-10-23

    Pigment-based molecular arrays, especially those based on porphyrins, have been extensively studied as viable components of artificial light harvesting devices. Unlike porphyrins, bacteriochlorins absorb strongly in the NIR, yet little is known of the applicability of covalently linked bacteriochlorin-based arrays in this arena. To lay the foundation for future studies of excited state properties of such arrays, we present a systematic study of the ground state electronic structure of zinc bacteriochlorin (ZnBC) molecular arrays with various linkers and linker attachment sites (meso vs β) employing density functional theory in combination with the energy-based fragmentation (EBF) method, and the EBF with molecular orbitals (EBF-MO) method. We find that the level of steric hindrance between the ZnBC and the linker is directly correlated with the amount of ground sate electronic interactions between the ZnBCs. Low steric hindrance between the ZnBC and the linker found in alkyne-linked arrays results in strongly interacting arrays that are characterized by a decrease in the HOMO-LUMO energy gaps, large orbital energy dispersion in the frontier region, and low ZnBC-linker rotational barriers. In contrast, sterically hindered linkers, such as aryl-based linkers, result in weakly interacting arrays characterized by increased orbital energy degeneracy in the frontier region and high ZnBC-linker rotational barriers. For all linkers studied, the level of steric hindrance decreases when the ZnBCs are linked at the β position. Hence, ZnBC arrays that exhibit strong, weak, or intermediate ground-state electronic interactions can be realized by adjusting the level of steric hindrance with a judicious choice of the linker type and linker attachment site. Such tuning may be essential for design of light harvesting arrays with desired spectral properties.

  14. Molecular recognition of malachite green by hemoglobin and their specific interactions: insights from in silico docking and molecular spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Peng, Wei; Ding, Fei; Peng, Yu-Kui; Sun, Ying

    2014-01-01

    Malachite green is an organic compound that can be widely used as a dyestuff for various materials; it has also emerged as a controversial agent in aquaculture. Since malachite green is proven to be carcinogenic and mutagenic, it may become a hazard to public health. For this reason, it is urgently required to analyze this controversial dye in more detail. In our current research, the interaction between malachite green and hemoglobin under physiological conditions was investigated by the methods of molecular modeling, fluorescence spectroscopy, circular dichroism (CD) as well as hydrophobic ANS displacement experiments. From the molecular docking, the central cavity of hemoglobin was assigned to possess high-affinity for malachite green, this result was corroborated by time-resolved fluorescence and hydrophobic ANS probe results. The recognition mechanism was found to be of static type, or rather the hemoglobin-malachite green complex formation occurred via noncovalent interactions such as π-π interactions, hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions with an association constant of 10(4) M(-1). Moreover, the results also show that the spatial structure of the biopolymer was changed in the presence of malachite green with a decrease of the α-helix and increase of the β-sheet, turn and random coil suggesting protein damage, as derived from far-UV CD and three-dimensional fluorescence. Results of this work will help to further comprehend the molecular recognition of malachite green by the receptor protein and the possible toxicological profiles of other compounds, which are the metabolites and ramifications of malachite green.

  15. Molecular interactions of UvrB protein and DNA from Helicobacter pylori: Insight into a molecular modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Bavi, Rohit; Kumar, Raj; Rampogu, Shailima; Son, Minky; Park, Chanin; Baek, Ayoung; Kim, Hyong-Ha; Suh, Jung-Keun; Park, Seok Ju; Lee, Keun Woo

    2016-08-01

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) persevere in the human stomach, an environment in which they encounter many DNA-damaging conditions, including gastric acidity. The pathogenicity of H. pylori is enhanced by its well-developed DNA repair mechanism, thought of as 'machinery,' such as nucleotide excision repair (NER). NER involves multi-enzymatic excinuclease proteins (UvrABC endonuclease), which repair damaged DNA in a sequential manner. UvrB is the central component in prokaryotic NER, essential for damage recognition. Therefore, molecular modeling studies of UvrB protein from H. pylori are carried out with homology modeling and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The results reveal that the predicted structure is bound to a DNA hairpin with 3-bp stem, an 11-nucleotide loop, and 3-nt 3' overhang. In addition, a mutation of the Y96A variant indicates reduction in the binding affinity for DNA. Free-energy calculations demonstrate the stability of the complex and help identify key residues in various interactions based on residue decomposition analysis. Stability comparative studies between wild type and mutant protein-DNA complexes indicate that the former is relatively more stable than the mutant form. This predicted model could also be useful in designing new inhibitors for UvrB protein, as well as preventing the pathogenesis of H. pylori.

  16. Molecular evidence links cryptic diversification in polar planktonic protists to Quaternary climate dynamics.

    PubMed

    Darling, Kate F; Kucera, Michal; Pudsey, Carol J; Wade, Christopher M

    2004-05-18

    It is unknown how pelagic marine protists undergo diversification and speciation. Superficially, the open ocean appears homogeneous, with few clear barriers to gene flow, allowing extensive, even global, dispersal. Yet, despite the apparent lack of opportunity for genetic isolation, diversity is prevalent within marine taxa. A lack of candidate isolating mechanisms would seem to favor sympatric over allopatric speciation models to explain the diversity and biogeographic patterns observed in the oceans today. However, the ocean is a dynamic system, and both current and past circulation patterns must be considered in concert to gain a true perspective of gene flow through time. We have derived a comprehensive picture of the mechanisms potentially at play in the high latitudes by combining molecular, biogeographic, fossil, and paleoceanographic data to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the polar planktonic foraminifer Neogloboquadrina pachyderma sinistral. We have discovered extensive genetic diversity within this morphospecies and that its current "extreme" polar affinity did not appear until late in its evolutionary history. The molecular data demonstrate a stepwise progression of diversification starting with the allopatric isolation of Atlantic Arctic and Antarctic populations after the onset of the Northern Hemisphere glaciation. Further diversification occurred only in the Southern Hemisphere and seems to have been linked to glacial-interglacial climate dynamics. Our findings demonstrate the role of Quaternary climate instability in shaping the modern high-latitude plankton. The divergent evolutionary history of N. pachyderma sinistral genotypes implies that paleoceanographic proxies based on this taxon should be calibrated independently.

  17. Coarse-grained modelling of triglyceride crystallisation: a molecular insight into tripalmitin tristearin binary mixtures by molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pizzirusso, Antonio; Brasiello, Antonio; De Nicola, Antonio; Marangoni, Alejandro G.; Milano, Giuseppe

    2015-12-01

    The first simulation study of the crystallisation of a binary mixture of triglycerides using molecular dynamics simulations is reported. Coarse-grained models of tristearin (SSS) and tripalmitin (PPP) molecules have been considered. The models have been preliminarily tested in the crystallisation of pure SSS and PPP systems. Two different quenching procedures have been tested and their performances have been analysed. The structures obtained from the crystallisation procedures show a high orientation order and a high content of molecules in the tuning fork conformation, comparable with the crystalline α phase. The behaviour of melting temperatures for the α phase of the mixture SSS/PPP obtained from the simulations is in qualitative agreement with the behaviour that was experimentally determined.

  18. Insight into the binding interactions of CYP450 aromatase inhibitors with their target enzyme: a combined molecular docking and molecular dynamics study.

    PubMed

    Galeazzi, Roberta; Massaccesi, Luca

    2012-03-01

    CYP450 aromatase catalyzes the terminal and rate-determining step in estrogen synthesis, the aromatization of androgens, and its inhibition is an efficient approach to treating estrogen-dependent breast cancer. Insight into the molecular basis of the interaction at the catalytic site between CYP450 aromatase inhibitors and the enzyme itself is required in order to design new and more active compounds. Hence, a combined molecular docking-molecular dynamics study was carried out to obtain the structure of the lowest energy association complexes of aromatase with some third-generation aromatase inhibitors (AIs) and with other novel synthesized letrozole-derived compounds which showed high in vitro activity. The results obtained clearly demonstrate the role of the pharmacophore groups present in the azaheterocyclic inhibitors (NSAIs)-namely the triazolic ring and highly functionalized aromatic moieties carrying H-bond donor or acceptor groups. In particular, it was pointed out that all of them can contribute to inhibition activity by interacting with residues of the catalytic cleft, but the amino acids involved are different for each compound, even if they belong to the same class. Furthermore, the azaheterocyclic group strongly coordinates with the Fe(II) of heme cysteinate in the most active NSAI complexes, while it prefers to adopt another orientation in less active ones.

  19. Molecular insight into amyloid oligomer destabilizing mechanism of flavonoid derivative 2-(4' benzyloxyphenyl)-3-hydroxy-chromen-4-one through docking and molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Akhil; Srivastava, Swati; Tripathi, Shubhandra; Singh, Sandeep Kumar; Srikrishna, Saripella; Sharma, Ashok

    2016-06-01

    Aggregation of amyloid peptide (Aβ) has been shown to be directly related to progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ is neurotoxic and its deposition and aggregation ultimately lead to cell death. In our previous work, we reported flavonoid derivative (compound 1) showing promising result in transgenic AD model of Drosophila. Compound 1 showed prevention of Aβ-induced neurotoxicity and neuroprotective efficacy in Drosophila system. However, mechanism of action of compound 1 and its effect on the amyloid is not known. We therefore performed molecular docking and atomistic, explicit-solvent molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the process of Aβ interaction, inhibition, and destabilizing mechanism. Results showed different preferred binding sites of compound 1 and good affinity toward the target. Through the course of 35 ns molecular dynamics simulation, conformations_5 of compound 1 intercalates into the hydrophobic core near the salt bridge and showed major structural changes as compared to other conformations. Compound 1 showed interference with the salt bridge and thus reducing the inter strand hydrogen bound network. This minimizes the side chain interaction between the chains A-B leading to disorder in oligomer. Contact map analysis of amino acid residues between chains A and B also showed lesser interaction with adjacent amino acids in the presence of compound 1 (conformations_5). The study provides an insight into how compound 1 interferes and disorders the Aβ peptide. These findings will further help to design better inhibitors for aggregation of the amyloid oligomer.

  20. Structural insights into the extra cellular segment of integrinβ5 and molecular interaction studies.

    PubMed

    Setti, Aravind; Sankati, Harsha Sagar; Devi, T A Phazna; Sekhar, A Chandra; Rao, J Venkateshwar; Pawar, Smita C

    2013-10-01

    Primary tumor cells often spread to other organs by metastasis. Despite of it, primary tumor cells break their surrounding extra cellular matrix (ECM) proteins and reach the destination organ by the process of intravasation and extravasation. Metastasized tumor cells induce the process of angiogenesis, this highly regulated process involves several ECM proteins. However, integrins are primarily involved in the blood vessel growth and repair. Therefore, integrins are promising angiogenesis targets. Integrins are receptors on cell surface, involved in signal transduction and attachments in extra cellular matrix (ECM). IntegrinαVβ3 and αVβ5 are implicated in tumor angiogenesis, metastasis, inflammation and bone resorption. The crystal structure of integrinαvβ5 is not available in protein structural databases, therefore; molecular model of integrinβ5 structure was prepared and stereo chemical model quality was checked. Integrin β5 active sites were identified based on insilico analysis tools. Further, molecular level interactions between integrinβ5 and ECM proteins were predicted. In the present study ECM proteins such as focal adhesion kinase 1 (FAK1), annexin A5 and P21 activated kinase 4 (PAK4) were considered for protein-protein docking, to understand inter molecular interactions. The predicted model is conceived to be stereo chemically good and can be used for molecular interaction studies of angiogenic inhibitors. PMID:23962022

  1. Molecular dynamics insight to phase transition in n-alkanes with carbon nanofillers

    SciTech Connect

    Rastogi, Monisha; Vaish, Rahul

    2015-05-15

    The present work aims to investigate the phase transition, dispersion and diffusion behavior of nanocomposites of carbon nanotube (CNT) and straight chain alkanes. These materials are potential candidates for organic phase change materials(PCMs) and have attracted flurry of research recently. Accurate experimental evaluation of the mass, thermal and transport properties of such composites is both difficult as well as economically taxing. Additionally it is crucial to understand the factors that results in modification or enhancement of their characteristic at atomic or molecular level. Classical molecular dynamics approach has been extended to elucidate the same. Bulk atomistic models have been generated and subjected to rigorous multistage equilibration. To reaffirm the approach, both canonical and constant-temperature, constant- pressure ensembles were employed to simulate the models under consideration. Explicit determination of kinetic, potential, non-bond and total energy assisted in understanding the enhanced thermal and transport property of the nanocomposites from molecular point of view. Crucial parameters including mean square displacement and simulated self diffusion coefficient precisely define the balance of the thermodynamic and hydrodynamic interactions. Radial distribution function also reflected the density variation, strength and mobility of the nanocomposites. It is expected that CNT functionalization could improve the dispersion within n-alkane matrix. This would further ameliorate the mass and thermal properties of the composite. Additionally, the determined density was in good agreement with experimental data. Thus, molecular dynamics can be utilized as a high throughput technique for theoretical investigation of nanocomposites PCMs.

  2. Molecular dynamics insight to phase transition in n-alkanes with carbon nanofillers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rastogi, Monisha; Vaish, Rahul

    2015-05-01

    The present work aims to investigate the phase transition, dispersion and diffusion behavior of nanocomposites of carbon nanotube (CNT) and straight chain alkanes. These materials are potential candidates for organic phase change materials(PCMs) and have attracted flurry of research recently. Accurate experimental evaluation of the mass, thermal and transport properties of such composites is both difficult as well as economically taxing. Additionally it is crucial to understand the factors that results in modification or enhancement of their characteristic at atomic or molecular level. Classical molecular dynamics approach has been extended to elucidate the same. Bulk atomistic models have been generated and subjected to rigorous multistage equilibration. To reaffirm the approach, both canonical and constant-temperature, constant- pressure ensembles were employed to simulate the models under consideration. Explicit determination of kinetic, potential, non-bond and total energy assisted in understanding the enhanced thermal and transport property of the nanocomposites from molecular point of view. Crucial parameters including mean square displacement and simulated self diffusion coefficient precisely define the balance of the thermodynamic and hydrodynamic interactions. Radial distribution function also reflected the density variation, strength and mobility of the nanocomposites. It is expected that CNT functionalization could improve the dispersion within n-alkane matrix. This would further ameliorate the mass and thermal properties of the composite. Additionally, the determined density was in good agreement with experimental data. Thus, molecular dynamics can be utilized as a high throughput technique for theoretical investigation of nanocomposites PCMs.

  3. Molecular Insights into the Potential Toxicological Interaction of 2-Mercaptothiazoline with the Antioxidant Enzyme—Catalase

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zhenxing; Huang, Ming; Mi, Chenyu; Wang, Tao; Chen, Dong; Teng, Yue

    2016-01-01

    2-mercaptothiazoline (2-MT) is widely used in many industrial fields, but its residue is potentially harmful to the environment. In this study, to evaluate the biological toxicity of 2-MT at protein level, the interaction between 2-MT and the pivotal antioxidant enzyme—catalase (CAT) was investigated using multiple spectroscopic techniques and molecular modeling. The results indicated that the CAT fluorescence quenching caused by 2-MT should be dominated by a static quenching mechanism through formation of a 2-MT/CAT complex. Furthermore, the identifications of the binding constant, binding forces, and the number of binding sites demonstrated that 2-MT could spontaneously interact with CAT at one binding site mainly via Van der Waals’ forces and hydrogen bonding. Based on the molecular docking simulation and conformation dynamic characterization, it was found that 2-MT could bind into the junctional region of CAT subdomains and that the binding site was close to enzyme active sites, which induced secondary structural and micro-environmental changes in CAT. The experiments on 2-MT toxicity verified that 2-MT significantly inhibited CAT activity via its molecular interaction, where 2-MT concentration and exposure time both affected the inhibitory action. Therefore, the present investigation provides useful information for understanding the toxicological mechanism of 2-MT at the molecular level. PMID:27537873

  4. Identifying aggressive forms of endometrioid-type endometrial cancer: new insights into molecular subtyping

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yuexin; Broaddus, Russell R.; Zhang, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Summary Clinical heterogeneity represents a great challenge for cancer therapeutics. Molecular classification of patients into different subtypes based on genetic or epigenetic characteristics has the potential to revolutionize the clinical care and mechanistic understanding of a wide spectrum of cancers, including endometrial carcinoma, the most common gynecological cancer affecting women. PMID:25494844

  5. Molecular Insights into the Potential Toxicological Interaction of 2-Mercaptothiazoline with the Antioxidant Enzyme-Catalase.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zhenxing; Huang, Ming; Mi, Chenyu; Wang, Tao; Chen, Dong; Teng, Yue

    2016-01-01

    2-mercaptothiazoline (2-MT) is widely used in many industrial fields, but its residue is potentially harmful to the environment. In this study, to evaluate the biological toxicity of 2-MT at protein level, the interaction between 2-MT and the pivotal antioxidant enzyme-catalase (CAT) was investigated using multiple spectroscopic techniques and molecular modeling. The results indicated that the CAT fluorescence quenching caused by 2-MT should be dominated by a static quenching mechanism through formation of a 2-MT/CAT complex. Furthermore, the identifications of the binding constant, binding forces, and the number of binding sites demonstrated that 2-MT could spontaneously interact with CAT at one binding site mainly via Van der Waals' forces and hydrogen bonding. Based on the molecular docking simulation and conformation dynamic characterization, it was found that 2-MT could bind into the junctional region of CAT subdomains and that the binding site was close to enzyme active sites, which induced secondary structural and micro-environmental changes in CAT. The experiments on 2-MT toxicity verified that 2-MT significantly inhibited CAT activity via its molecular interaction, where 2-MT concentration and exposure time both affected the inhibitory action. Therefore, the present investigation provides useful information for understanding the toxicological mechanism of 2-MT at the molecular level. PMID:27537873

  6. Structure and Function: Insights into Bioinorganic Systems from Molecular Mechanics Calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marques, Helder M.; Egan, Timothy J.; de Villiers, Katherine A.

    The use of empirical force field methods for modeling important systems in bioinorganic chemistry, including the cobalt corrins (derivatives of vitamin B12) and the iron porphyrins, is described. Particular attention is given to the use of molecular dynamics and simulated annealing calculations in exploring the solution structures of corrin, and those of likely complexes between the ferriprotoporphyrin-IX and the arylmethanol antimalarials.

  7. Recent insights into the molecular mechanisms of the NLRP3 inflammasome activation.

    PubMed

    Próchnicki, Tomasz; Mangan, Matthew S; Latz, Eicke

    2016-01-01

    Inflammasomes are high-molecular-weight protein complexes that are formed in the cytosolic compartment in response to danger- or pathogen-associated molecular patterns. These complexes enable activation of an inflammatory protease caspase-1, leading to a cell death process called pyroptosis and to proteolytic cleavage and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18. Along with caspase-1, inflammasome components include an adaptor protein, ASC, and a sensor protein, which triggers the inflammasome assembly in response to a danger signal. The inflammasome sensor proteins are pattern recognition receptors belonging either to the NOD-like receptor (NLR) or to the AIM2-like receptor family. While the molecular agonists that induce inflammasome formation by AIM2 and by several other NLRs have been identified, it is not well understood how the NLR family member NLRP3 is activated. Given that NLRP3 activation is relevant to a range of human pathological conditions, significant attempts are being made to elucidate the molecular mechanism of this process. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the molecular events that lead to activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in response to a range of K (+) efflux-inducing danger signals. We also comment on the reported involvement of cytosolic Ca (2+) fluxes on NLRP3 activation. We outline the recent advances in research on the physiological and pharmacological mechanisms of regulation of NLRP3 responses, and we point to several open questions regarding the current model of NLRP3 activation. PMID:27508077

  8. Molecular insights into the microbial formation of marine dissolved organic matter: recalcitrant or labile?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, B. P.; Kattner, G.; Witt, M.; Passow, U.

    2014-02-01

    The degradation of marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) is an important control variable in the global carbon cycle and dependent on the DOM composition. For our understanding of the kinetics of organic matter cycling in the ocean, it is therefore crucial to achieve a mechanistic and molecular understanding of its transformation processes. A long-term microbial experiment was performed to follow the production of non-labile DOM by marine bacteria. Two different glucose concentrations and dissolved algal exudates were used as substrates. We monitored the bacterial abundance, concentrations of dissolved and particulate organic carbon (DOC, POC), nutrients, amino acids, and transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) for two years. Ultrahigh resolution Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS) allowed the molecular characterization of extracted DOM after 70 days and after ∼2 years of incubation. Although glucose was quickly degraded, a DOC background was generated in glucose incubations. Only 20% of the organic carbon from algal exudate was degraded within the 2 years of incubation. TEP, which are released by micro-organisms, were produced during glucose degradation but decreased within less than three weeks back to half of the maximum concentration and were below detection in all treatments after 2 years. The molecular analysis demonstrated that DOM generated during glucose degradation differed appreciably from DOM produced during the degradation of the algal exudates. Our results led to several conclusions: (i) Higher substrate levels result in a higher level of non-labile DOC which is an important prerequisite for carbon sequestration in the ocean; (ii) TEP are generated by bacteria but are also degraded rapidly, thus limiting their potential contribution to carbon sequestration; (iii) The molecular signatures of DOM derived from algal exudates or glucose after 70 days of incubation differed strongly from refractory DOM. After 2 years

  9. Recent insights into the molecular mechanisms of the NLRP3 inflammasome activation

    PubMed Central

    Próchnicki, Tomasz; Mangan, Matthew S.; Latz, Eicke

    2016-01-01

    Inflammasomes are high-molecular-weight protein complexes that are formed in the cytosolic compartment in response to danger- or pathogen-associated molecular patterns. These complexes enable activation of an inflammatory protease caspase-1, leading to a cell death process called pyroptosis and to proteolytic cleavage and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18. Along with caspase-1, inflammasome components include an adaptor protein, ASC, and a sensor protein, which triggers the inflammasome assembly in response to a danger signal. The inflammasome sensor proteins are pattern recognition receptors belonging either to the NOD-like receptor (NLR) or to the AIM2-like receptor family. While the molecular agonists that induce inflammasome formation by AIM2 and by several other NLRs have been identified, it is not well understood how the NLR family member NLRP3 is activated. Given that NLRP3 activation is relevant to a range of human pathological conditions, significant attempts are being made to elucidate the molecular mechanism of this process. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the molecular events that lead to activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in response to a range of K + efflux-inducing danger signals. We also comment on the reported involvement of cytosolic Ca 2+ fluxes on NLRP3 activation. We outline the recent advances in research on the physiological and pharmacological mechanisms of regulation of NLRP3 responses, and we point to several open questions regarding the current model of NLRP3 activation. PMID:27508077

  10. Temperature sensing by thermal TRP channels: thermodynamic basis and molecular insights.

    PubMed

    Feng, Qin

    2014-01-01

    All organisms need to sense temperature in order to survive and adapt. But how they detect and perceive temperature remains poorly understood. Recent discoveries of thermal Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) ion channels have shed light on the problem and unravel molecular entities for temperature detection and transduction in mammals. Thermal TRP channels belong to the large family of transient receptor potential channels. They are directly activated by heat or cold in physiologically relevant temperature ranges, and the activation is exquisitely sensitive to temperature changes. Thermodynamically, this strong temperature dependence of thermal channels occurs due to large enthalpy and entropy changes associated with channel opening. Thus understanding how the channel proteins obtain their exceptionally large energetics is central toward determining functional mechanisms of thermal TRP channels. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a comprehensive review on critical issues and challenges facing the problem, with emphases on underlying biophysical and molecular mechanisms.

  11. Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Factor Xa: Insight into Conformational Transition of its Binding Subsites

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Narender; Briggs, James M.

    2016-01-01

    Protein flexibility and conformational diversity is well known to be a key characteristic of the function of many proteins. Human blood coagulation proteins have multiple substrates, and various protein-protein interactions are required for the smooth functioning of the coagulation cascade to maintain blood hemostasis. To address how a protein may cope with multiple interactions with its structurally diverse substrates and the accompanied structural changes that may drive these changes, we studied human Factor X. We employed 20 ns of molecular dynamics (MD) and steered molecular dynamics (SMD) simulations on two different conformational forms of Factor X, open and closed, and observed an interchangeable conformational transition from one to another. This work also demonstrates the roles of various aromatic residues involved in aromatic-aromatic interactions which make this dynamic transition possible. PMID:18680100

  12. Molecular Structure of Aggregated Amyloid-β: Insights from Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

    PubMed Central

    Tycko, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides aggregate to form polymorphic amyloid fibrils and a variety of intermediate assemblies, including oligomers and protofibrils, both in vitro and in human brain tissue. Since the beginning of the 21st century, considerable progress has been made on characterization of the molecular structures of Aβ aggregates. Full molecular structural models that are based primarily on data from solid state nuclear magnetic resonance measurements have been developed for several in vitro Aβ fibrils and one metastable protofibril. Partial structural characterization of other aggregation intermediates has been achieved. One full structural model for fibrils derived from brain tissue has also been reported. Future work is likely to focus on additional structures from brain tissue and on further clarification of nonfibrillar Aβ aggregates. PMID:27481836

  13. Insights into H2 formation in space from ab initio molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Casolo, Simone; Tantardini, Gian Franco; Martinazzo, Rocco

    2013-04-23

    Hydrogen formation is a key process for the physics and the chemistry of interstellar clouds. Molecular hydrogen is believed to form on the carbonaceous surface of dust grains, and several mechanisms have been invoked to explain its abundance in different regions of space, from cold interstellar clouds to warm photon-dominated regions. Here, we investigate direct (Eley-Rideal) recombination including lattice dynamics, surface corrugation, and competing H-dimers formation by means of ab initio molecular dynamics. We find that Eley-Rideal reaction dominates at energies relevant for the interstellar medium and alone may explain observations if the possibility of facile sticking at special sites (edges, point defects, etc.) on the surface of the dust grains is taken into account.

  14. Inhibitory effect of morin on tyrosinase: insights from spectroscopic and molecular docking studies.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yajie; Zhang, Guowen; Yan, Jiakai; Gong, Deming

    2014-11-15

    Tyrosinase is a key enzyme in the production of melanin in the human body, excessive accumulation of melanin can lead to skin disorders. Morin is an important bioactive flavonoid compound widely distributed in plants and foods of plant origin. In this study, the inhibitory kinetics of morin on tyrosinase and their binding mechanism were determined using spectroscopic and molecular docking techniques. The results indicate that morin reversibly inhibited tyrosinase in a competitive manner through a multi-phase kinetic process. Morin was found to bind to tyrosinase at a single binding site mainly by hydrogen bonds and van der Waals forces. Analysis of circular dichroism spectra revealed that the binding of morin to tyrosinase induced rearrangement and conformational changes of the enzyme. Moreover, molecular docking results suggested that morin competitively bound to the active site of tyrosinase with the substrate levodopa.

  15. Molecular Chemistry to the Fore: New Insights into the Fascinating World of Photoactive Colloidal Semiconductor Nanocrystals

    SciTech Connect

    Vela-Becerra, Javier

    2013-02-01

    Colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals possess unique properties that are unmatched by other chromophores such as organic dyes or transition-metal complexes. These versatile building blocks have generated much scientific interest and found applications in bioimaging, tracking, lighting, lasing, photovoltaics, photocatalysis, thermoelectrics, and spintronics. Despite these advances, important challenges remain, notably how to produce semiconductor nanostructures with predetermined architecture, how to produce metastable semiconductor nanostructures that are hard to isolate by conventional syntheses, and how to control the degree of surface loading or valence per nanocrystal. Molecular chemists are very familiar with these issues and can use their expertise to help solve these challenges. In this Perspective, we present our group’s recent work on bottom-up molecular control of nanoscale composition and morphology, low-temperature photochemical routes to semiconductor heterostructures and metastable phases, solar-to-chemical energy conversion with semiconductor-based photocatalysts, and controlled surface modification of colloidal semiconductors that bypasses ligand exchange.

  16. Aminoglycosides: Molecular Insights on the Recognition of RNA and Aminoglycoside Mimics

    PubMed Central

    Chittapragada, Maruthi; Roberts, Sarah; Ham, Young Wan

    2009-01-01

    RNA is increasingly recognized for its significant functions in biological systems and has recently become an important molecular target for therapeutics development. Aminoglycosides, a large class of clinically significant antibiotics, exert their biological functions by binding to prokaryotic ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and interfering with protein translation, resulting in bacterial cell death. They are also known to bind to viral mRNAs such as HIV-1 RRE and TAR. Consequently, aminoglycosides are accepted as the single most important model in understanding the principles that govern small molecule-RNA recognition, which is essential for the development of novel antibacterial, antiviral or even anti-oncogenic agents. This review outlines the chemical structures and mechanisms of molecular recognition and antibacterial activity of aminoglycosides and various aminoglycoside mimics that have recently been devised to improve biological efficacy, binding affinity and selectivity, or to circumvent bacterial resistance. PMID:19812740

  17. Whole Transcriptome Analysis Provides Insights into Molecular Mechanisms for Molting in Litopenaeus vannamei

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Yi; Zhang, Xiaojun; Wei, Jiankai; Sun, Xiaoqing; Yuan, Jianbo; Li, Fuhua; Xiang, Jianhai

    2015-01-01

    Molting is one of the most important biological processes in shrimp growth and development. All shrimp undergo cyclic molting periodically to shed and replace their exoskeletons. This process is essential for growth, metamorphosis, and reproduction in shrimp. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying shrimp molting remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated global expression changes in the transcriptomes of the Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, the most commonly cultured shrimp species worldwide. The transcriptome of whole L. vannamei was investigated by RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) throughout the molting cycle, including the inter-molt (C), pre-molt (D0, D1, D2, D3, D4), and post-molt (P1 and P2) stages, and 93,756 unigenes were identified. Among these genes, we identified 5,117 genes differentially expressed (log2ratio ≥1 and FDR ≤0.001) in adjacent molt stages. The results were compared against the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) non-redundant protein/nucleotide sequence database, Swiss-Prot, PFAM database, the Gene Ontology database, and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes database in order to annotate gene descriptions, associate them with gene ontology terms, and assign them to pathways. The expression patterns for genes involved in several molecular events critical for molting, such as hormone regulation, triggering events, implementation phases, skelemin, immune responses were characterized and considered as mechanisms underlying molting in L. vannamei. Comparisons with transcriptomic analyses in other arthropods were also performed. The characterization of major transcriptional changes in genes involved in the molting cycle provides candidates for future investigation of the molecular mechanisms. The data generated in this study will serve as an important transcriptomic resource for the shrimp research community to facilitate gene and genome annotation and to characterize key molecular processes

  18. Insight into the molecular dynamics of guest cations confined in deformable azido coordination frameworks.

    PubMed

    Du, Zi-Yi; Sun, Yu-Zhi; Chen, Shao-Li; Huang, Bo; Su, Yu-Jun; Xu, Ting-Ting; Zhang, Wei-Xiong; Chen, Xiao-Ming

    2015-11-01

    The molecular dynamics of encapsulated cations within perovskite-like coordination polymers [(CH3)3NH][M(N3)3] (M = Mn, Cd) are investigated, which are well controlled by the confined space of a deformable azido framework. The Mn-based compound provides a rare example that features an unvaried/varied rotational energy barrier during its two different structural phase transitions.

  19. Insight into the molecular dynamics of guest cations confined in deformable azido coordination frameworks.

    PubMed

    Du, Zi-Yi; Sun, Yu-Zhi; Chen, Shao-Li; Huang, Bo; Su, Yu-Jun; Xu, Ting-Ting; Zhang, Wei-Xiong; Chen, Xiao-Ming

    2015-11-01

    The molecular dynamics of encapsulated cations within perovskite-like coordination polymers [(CH3)3NH][M(N3)3] (M = Mn, Cd) are investigated, which are well controlled by the confined space of a deformable azido framework. The Mn-based compound provides a rare example that features an unvaried/varied rotational energy barrier during its two different structural phase transitions. PMID:26365090

  20. Single-ion hydration thermodynamics from clusters to bulk solutions: Recent insights from molecular modeling

    DOE PAGES

    Vlcek, Lukas; Chialvo, Ariel A.

    2016-01-03

    The importance of single-ion hydration thermodynamic properties for understanding the driving forces of aqueous electrolyte processes, along with the impossibility of their direct experimental measurement, have prompted a large number of experimental, theoretical, and computational studies aimed at separating the cation and anion contributions. Here we provide an overview of historical approaches based on extrathermodynamic assumptions and more recent computational studies of single-ion hydration in order to evaluate the approximations involved in these methods, quantify their accuracy, reliability, and limitations in the light of the latest developments. Finally, we also offer new insights into the factors that influence the accuracymore » of ion–water interaction models and our views on possible ways to fill this substantial knowledge gap in aqueous physical chemistry.« less

  1. New insights from molecular characterization of the tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Csordas, Bárbara Guimarães; Garcia, Marcos Valério; Cunha, Rodrigo Casquero; Giachetto, Poliana Fernanda; Blecha, Isabella Maiumi Zaidan; Andreotti, Renato

    2016-01-01

    The Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus complex currently consists of five taxa, namely R. australis, R. annulatus, R. (B.) microplus clade A sensu, R. microplus clade B sensu, and R. (B.) microplus clade C sensu. Mitochondrial DNA-based methods help taxonomists when they are facing the morpho-taxonomic problem of distinguishing members of the R. (B.) microplus complex. The purpose of this study was to perform molecular characterization of ticks in all five regions of Brazil and infer their phylogenetic relationships. Molecular analysis characterized 10 haplotypes of the COX-1 gene. Molecular network analysis revealed that haplotype H-2 was the most dispersed of the studied populations (n = 11). Haplotype H-3 (n = 2) had the greatest genetic differentiation when compared to other Brazilian populations. A Bayesian phylogenetic tree of the COX-1 gene obtained strong support. In addition, it was observed that the population of R. (B.) microplus haplotype H-3 exhibited diverging branches among the other Brazilian populations in the study. The study concludes that the different regions of Brazil have R. (B.) microplus tick populations with distinct haplotypes.

  2. New insights into the roles of molecular chaperones in Chlamydomonas and Volvox.

    PubMed

    Nordhues, André; Miller, Stephen M; Mühlhaus, Timo; Schroda, Michael

    2010-01-01

    The unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has been used as a model organism for many decades, mainly to study photosynthesis and flagella/cilia. Only recently, Chlamydomonas has received much attention because of its ability to produce hydrogen and nonpolar lipids that have promise as biofuels. The best-studied multicellular cousin of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is Volvox carteri, whose life cycle comprises events that have clear parallels in higher plants and/or animals, making it an excellent system in which to study fundamental developmental processes. Molecular chaperones are proteins that guide other cellular proteins through their life cycle. They assist in de novo folding of nascent chains, mediate assembly and disassembly of protein complexes, facilitate protein transport across membranes, disassemble protein aggregates, fold denatured proteins back to the native state, and transfer unfoldable proteins to proteolytic degradation. Hence, molecular chaperones regulate protein function under all growth conditions and play important roles in many basic cellular and developmental processes. The aim of this chapter is to describe recent advances toward understanding molecular chaperone biology in Chlamydomonas and Volvox.

  3. Mechanistic and quantitative insight into cell surface targeted molecular imaging agent design.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liang; Bhatnagar, Sumit; Deschenes, Emily; Thurber, Greg M

    2016-01-01

    Molecular imaging agent design involves simultaneously optimizing multiple probe properties. While several desired characteristics are straightforward, including high affinity and low non-specific background signal, in practice there are quantitative trade-offs between these properties. These include plasma clearance, where fast clearance lowers background signal but can reduce target uptake, and binding, where high affinity compounds sometimes suffer from lower stability or increased non-specific interactions. Further complicating probe development, many of the optimal parameters vary depending on both target tissue and imaging agent properties, making empirical approaches or previous experience difficult to translate. Here, we focus on low molecular weight compounds targeting extracellular receptors, which have some of the highest contrast values for imaging agents. We use a mechanistic approach to provide a quantitative framework for weighing trade-offs between molecules. Our results show that specific target uptake is well-described by quantitative simulations for a variety of targeting agents, whereas non-specific background signal is more difficult to predict. Two in vitro experimental methods for estimating background signal in vivo are compared - non-specific cellular uptake and plasma protein binding. Together, these data provide a quantitative method to guide probe design and focus animal work for more cost-effective and time-efficient development of molecular imaging agents. PMID:27147293

  4. Cellular and molecular drivers of differential organ growth: insights from the limbs of Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Dowling, Anna; Doroba, Carolyn; Maier, Jennifer A; Cohen, Lorna; VandeBerg, John; Sears, Karen E

    2016-06-01

    A fundamental question in biology is "how is growth differentially regulated during development to produce organs of particular sizes?" We used a new model system for the study of differential organ growth, the limbs of the opossum (Monodelphis domestica), to investigate the cellular and molecular basis of differential organ growth in mammals. Opossum forelimbs grow much faster than hindlimbs, making opossum limbs an exceptional system with which to study differential growth. We first used the great differences in opossum forelimb and hindlimb growth to identify cellular processes and molecular signals that underlie differential limb growth. We then used organ culture and pharmacological addition of FGF ligands and inhibitors to test the role of the Fgf/Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) signaling pathway in driving these cellular processes. We found that molecular signals from within the limb drive differences in cell proliferation that contribute to the differential growth of the forelimb and hindlimbs of opossums. We also found that alterations in the Fgf/MAPK pathway can generate differences in cell proliferation that mirror those observed between wild-type forelimb and hindlimbs of opossums and that manipulation of Fgf/MAPK signaling affects downstream focal adhesion-extracellular matrix (FA-ECM) and Wnt signaling in opossum limbs. Taken together, these findings suggest that evolutionary changes in the Fgf/MAPK pathway could help drive the observed differences in cell behaviors and growth in opossum forelimb and hindlimbs. PMID:27194412

  5. Systematic study of glass transition in low-molecular phthalonitriles: Insight from computer simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guseva, D. V.; Chertovich, A. V.; Rudyak, V. Yu.

    2016-10-01

    Phthalonitrile compounds with Si bridges were recently suggested for producing thermosetting polymer composites with reduced Tg and thus expanded processing range. The detailed experimental investigation of this class of phthalonitriles is still difficult due to development time and costs limitations and the need to take into account the structural changes during the crosslinking. In this paper, we try to overcome these limitations using computer simulations. We performed full-atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of various phthalonitrile compounds to understand the influence of molecular structure on the bulk glass temperature Tg. Two molecular properties affect Tg of the resulting bulk compound: the size of the residue and the length of the Si bridge. The larger residues lead to higher Tgs, while compounds with longer Si bridges have lower Tgs. We have also studied relaxation mechanisms involved in the classification of the samples. Two different factors influence the relaxation mechanisms: energetic, which is provided by the rigidity of molecules, and entropic, connected with the available volume of the conformational space of the monomer.

  6. Stress-induced neutral lipid biosynthesis in microalgae - Molecular, cellular and physiological insights.

    PubMed

    Zienkiewicz, Krzysztof; Du, Zhi-Yan; Ma, Wei; Vollheyde, Katharina; Benning, Christoph

    2016-09-01

    Photosynthetic microalgae have promise as biofuel feedstock. Under certain conditions, they produce substantial amounts of neutral lipids, mainly in the form of triacylglycerols (TAGs), which can be converted to fuels. Much of our current knowledge on the genetic and molecular basis of algal neutral lipid metabolism derives mainly from studies of plants, i.e. seed tissues, and to a lesser extent from direct studies of algal lipid metabolism. Thus, the knowledge of TAG synthesis and the cellular trafficking of TAG precursors in algal cells is to a large extent based on genome predictions, and most aspects of TAG metabolism have yet to be experimentally verified. The biofuel prospects of microalgae have raised the interest in mechanistic studies of algal TAG biosynthesis in recent years and resulted in an increasing number of publications on lipid metabolism in microalgae. In this review we summarize the current findings on genetic, molecular and physiological studies of TAG accumulation in microalgae. Special emphasis is on the functional analysis of key genes involved in TAG synthesis, molecular mechanisms of regulation of TAG biosynthesis, as well as on possible mechanisms of lipid droplet formation in microalgal cells. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Plant Lipid Biology edited by Kent D. Chapman and Ivo Feussner. PMID:26883557

  7. New insights from molecular characterization of the tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Csordas, Bárbara Guimarães; Garcia, Marcos Valério; Cunha, Rodrigo Casquero; Giachetto, Poliana Fernanda; Blecha, Isabella Maiumi Zaidan; Andreotti, Renato

    2016-01-01

    The Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus complex currently consists of five taxa, namely R. australis, R. annulatus, R. (B.) microplus clade A sensu, R. microplus clade B sensu, and R. (B.) microplus clade C sensu. Mitochondrial DNA-based methods help taxonomists when they are facing the morpho-taxonomic problem of distinguishing members of the R. (B.) microplus complex. The purpose of this study was to perform molecular characterization of ticks in all five regions of Brazil and infer their phylogenetic relationships. Molecular analysis characterized 10 haplotypes of the COX-1 gene. Molecular network analysis revealed that haplotype H-2 was the most dispersed of the studied populations (n = 11). Haplotype H-3 (n = 2) had the greatest genetic differentiation when compared to other Brazilian populations. A Bayesian phylogenetic tree of the COX-1 gene obtained strong support. In addition, it was observed that the population of R. (B.) microplus haplotype H-3 exhibited diverging branches among the other Brazilian populations in the study. The study concludes that the different regions of Brazil have R. (B.) microplus tick populations with distinct haplotypes. PMID:27579530

  8. Structure of rigid polymers confined to nanoparticles: Molecular dynamics simulations insight

    DOE PAGES

    Maskey, Sabina; Lane, J. Matthew D.; Perahia, Dvora; Grest, Gary S.

    2016-02-04

    Nanoparticles (NPs) grafted with organic layers form hybrids able to retain their unique properties through integration into the mesoscopic scale. The organic layer structure and response often determine the functionality of the hybrids on the mesoscopic length scale. Using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we probe the conformation of luminescent rigid polymers, dialkyl poly(p-phenylene ethynylene)s (PPE), end-grafted onto a silica nanoparticle in different solvents as the molecular weights and polymer coverages are varied. We find that, in contrast to NP-grafted flexible polymers, the chains are fully extended independent of the solvent. In toluene and decane, which are good solvents, the graftedmore » PPEs chains assume a similar conformation to that observed in dilute solutions. In water, which is a poor solvent for the PPEs, the polymer chains form one large cluster but remain extended. The radial distribution of the chains around the core of the nanoparticle is homogeneous in good solvents, whereas in poor solvents clusters are formed independent of molecular weights and coverages. As a result, the clustering is distinctively different from the response of grafted flexible and semiflexible polymers.« less

  9. Molecular dynamics simulations provide insights into the substrate specificity of FAOX family members.

    PubMed

    Rigoldi, Federica; Spero, Ludovica; Dalle Vedove, Andrea; Redaelli, Alberto; Parisini, Emilio; Gautieri, Alfonso

    2016-07-19

    Enzymatic assays based on Fructosyl Amino Acid Oxidases (FAOX) represent a potential, rapid and economical strategy to measure glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), which is in turn a reliable method to monitor the insurgence and the development of diabetes mellitus. However, the engineering of naturally occurring FAOX to specifically recognize fructosyl-valine (the glycated N-terminal residue of HbA1c) has been hindered by the paucity of information on the tridimensional structures and catalytic residues of the different FAOX that exist in nature, and in general on the molecular mechanisms that regulate specificity in this class of enzymes. In this study, we use molecular dynamics simulations and advanced modeling techniques to investigate five different relevant wild-type FAOX (Amadoriase I, Amadoriase II, PnFPOX, FPOX-E and N1-1-FAOD) in order to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that drive their specificity towards polar and nonpolar substrates. Specifically, we compare these five different FAOX in terms of overall folding, ligand entry tunnels, ligand binding residues and ligand binding energies. Our work will contribute to future enzyme structure modifications aimed at the rational design of novel biosensors for the monitoring of blood glucose levels. PMID:27327839

  10. Mechanistic and quantitative insight into cell surface targeted molecular imaging agent design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Liang; Bhatnagar, Sumit; Deschenes, Emily; Thurber, Greg M.

    2016-05-01

    Molecular imaging agent design involves simultaneously optimizing multiple probe properties. While several desired characteristics are straightforward, including high affinity and low non-specific background signal, in practice there are quantitative trade-offs between these properties. These include plasma clearance, where fast clearance lowers background signal but can reduce target uptake, and binding, where high affinity compounds sometimes suffer from lower stability or increased non-specific interactions. Further complicating probe development, many of the optimal parameters vary depending on both target tissue and imaging agent properties, making empirical approaches or previous experience difficult to translate. Here, we focus on low molecular weight compounds targeting extracellular receptors, which have some of the highest contrast values for imaging agents. We use a mechanistic approach to provide a quantitative framework for weighing trade-offs between molecules. Our results show that specific target uptake is well-described by quantitative simulations for a variety of targeting agents, whereas non-specific background signal is more difficult to predict. Two in vitro experimental methods for estimating background signal in vivo are compared - non-specific cellular uptake and plasma protein binding. Together, these data provide a quantitative method to guide probe design and focus animal work for more cost-effective and time-efficient development of molecular imaging agents.

  11. Mechanistic and quantitative insight into cell surface targeted molecular imaging agent design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Liang; Bhatnagar, Sumit; Deschenes, Emily; Thurber, Greg M.

    2016-05-01

    Molecular imaging agent design involves simultaneously optimizing multiple probe properties. While several desired characteristics are straightforward, including high affinity and low non-specific background signal, in practice there are quantitative trade-offs between these properties. These include plasma clearance, where fast clearance lowers background signal but can reduce target uptake, and binding, where high affinity compounds sometimes suffer from lower stability or increased non-specific interactions. Further complicating probe development, many of the optimal parameters vary depending on both target tissue and imaging agent properties, making empirical approaches or previous experience difficult to translate. Here, we focus on low molecular weight compounds targeting extracellular receptors, which have some of the highest contrast values for imaging agents. We use a mechanistic approach to provide a quantitative framework for weighing trade-offs between molecules. Our results show that specific target uptake is well-described by quantitative simulations for a variety of targeting agents, whereas non-specific background signal is more difficult to predict. Two in vitro experimental methods for estimating background signal in vivo are compared – non-specific cellular uptake and plasma protein binding. Together, these data provide a quantitative method to guide probe design and focus animal work for more cost-effective and time-efficient development of molecular imaging agents.

  12. Thermal behavior of disordered phase of caffeine molecular crystal: Insights from Monte Carlo simulation studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murugan, N. Arul; Sayeed, Ahmed

    2009-05-01

    We have studied the thermal behavior of orientationally disordered phase of caffeine molecular crystal using variable shape variable size Monte Carlo simulations in isothermal-isobaric ensemble. We have investigated the structure, especially the nature of orientational disorder of caffeine molecules as a function of temperature in the range of 400-550 K. Experimentally this system is known to undergo a phase transition at 426 K (considered to be an orientational order-disorder transition) and melt at 512 K. Our simulations reproduce these two transitions in excellent agreement with experiment. We find that the in-plane reorientational motion of molecules is restricted to small angles below 425 K, and above this temperature, molecules undergo essentially free rotations in molecular plane, and we find the melting to occur between 525 and 550 K. In the high temperature disordered phase, the disorder is mostly attributable to the in-plane orientational motion of the molecules. The potential energy profile for the in-plane reorientational rotation has six wells as a consequence of specific packing of molecules in the ab crystallographic plane. Also we find considerable out-of-plane reorientational disorder for the molecules in the high temperature disordered phase. We have also studied the structure and orientational disorder of the system that is quenched from 450 to 300 K. We find that in the quenched phase, the molecular orientational arrangement remains partially frozen.

  13. Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels: Mechanistic Insights From Atomistic Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Oakes, V; Furini, S; Domene, C

    2016-01-01

    The permeation of ions and other molecules across biological membranes is an inherent requirement of all cellular organisms. Ion channels, in particular, are responsible for the conduction of charged species, hence modulating the propagation of electrical signals. Despite the universal physiological implications of this property, the molecular functioning of ion channels remains ambiguous. The combination of atomistic structural data with computational methodologies, such as molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, is now considered routine to investigate structure-function relationships in biological systems. A fuller understanding of conduction, selectivity, and gating, therefore, is steadily emerging due to the applicability of these techniques to ion channels. However, because their structure is known at atomic resolution, studies have consistently been biased toward K(+) channels, thus the molecular determinants of ionic selectivity, activation, and drug blockage in Na(+) channels are often overlooked. The recent increase of available crystallographic data has eminently encouraged the investigation of voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels via computational methods. Here, we present an overview of simulation studies that have contributed to our understanding of key principles that underlie ionic conduction and selectivity in Na(+) channels, in comparison to the K(+) channel analogs. PMID:27586285

  14. Mechanistic and quantitative insight into cell surface targeted molecular imaging agent design

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Liang; Bhatnagar, Sumit; Deschenes, Emily; Thurber, Greg M.

    2016-01-01

    Molecular imaging agent design involves simultaneously optimizing multiple probe properties. While several desired characteristics are straightforward, including high affinity and low non-specific background signal, in practice there are quantitative trade-offs between these properties. These include plasma clearance, where fast clearance lowers background signal but can reduce target uptake, and binding, where high affinity compounds sometimes suffer from lower stability or increased non-specific interactions. Further complicating probe development, many of the optimal parameters vary depending on both target tissue and imaging agent properties, making empirical approaches or previous experience difficult to translate. Here, we focus on low molecular weight compounds targeting extracellular receptors, which have some of the highest contrast values for imaging agents. We use a mechanistic approach to provide a quantitative framework for weighing trade-offs between molecules. Our results show that specific target uptake is well-described by quantitative simulations for a variety of targeting agents, whereas non-specific background signal is more difficult to predict. Two in vitro experimental methods for estimating background signal in vivo are compared – non-specific cellular uptake and plasma protein binding. Together, these data provide a quantitative method to guide probe design and focus animal work for more cost-effective and time-efficient development of molecular imaging agents. PMID:27147293

  15. Mechanistic and quantitative insight into cell surface targeted molecular imaging agent design.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liang; Bhatnagar, Sumit; Deschenes, Emily; Thurber, Greg M

    2016-05-05

    Molecular imaging agent design involves simultaneously optimizing multiple probe properties. While several desired characteristics are straightforward, including high affinity and low non-specific background signal, in practice there are quantitative trade-offs between these properties. These include plasma clearance, where fast clearance lowers background signal but can reduce target uptake, and binding, where high affinity compounds sometimes suffer from lower stability or increased non-specific interactions. Further complicating probe development, many of the optimal parameters vary depending on both target tissue and imaging agent properties, making empirical approaches or previous experience difficult to translate. Here, we focus on low molecular weight compounds targeting extracellular receptors, which have some of the highest contrast values for imaging agents. We use a mechanistic approach to provide a quantitative framework for weighing trade-offs between molecules. Our results show that specific target uptake is well-described by quantitative simulations for a variety of targeting agents, whereas non-specific background signal is more difficult to predict. Two in vitro experimental methods for estimating background signal in vivo are compared - non-specific cellular uptake and plasma protein binding. Together, these data provide a quantitative method to guide probe design and focus animal work for more cost-effective and time-efficient development of molecular imaging agents.

  16. Molecular insights into the microbial formation of marine dissolved organic matter: recalcitrant or labile?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, B. P.; Kattner, G.; Witt, M.; Passow, U.

    2014-08-01

    The degradation of marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) is an important control variable in the global carbon cycle. For our understanding of the kinetics of organic matter cycling in the ocean, it is crucial to achieve a mechanistic and molecular understanding of its transformation processes. A long-term microbial experiment was performed to follow the production of non-labile DOM by marine bacteria. Two different glucose concentrations and dissolved algal exudates were used as substrates. We monitored the bacterial abundance, concentrations of dissolved and particulate organic carbon (DOC, POC), nutrients, amino acids and transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) for 2 years. The molecular characterization of extracted DOM was performed by ultrahigh resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) after 70 days and after ∼2 years of incubation. Although glucose quickly degraded, a non-labile DOC background (5-9% of the initial DOC) was generated in the glucose incubations. Only 20% of the organic carbon from the algal exudate degraded within the 2 years of incubation. The degradation rates for the non-labile DOC background in the different treatments varied between 1 and 11 μmol DOC L-1 year-1. Transparent exopolymer particles, which are released by microorganisms, were produced during glucose degradation but decreased back to half of the maximum concentration within less than 3 weeks (degradation rate: 25 μg xanthan gum equivalents L-1 d-1) and were below detection in all treatments after 2 years. Additional glucose was added after 2 years to test whether labile substrate can promote the degradation of background DOC (co-metabolism; priming effect). A priming effect was not observed but the glucose addition led to a slight increase of background DOC. The molecular analysis demonstrated that DOM generated during glucose degradation differed appreciably from DOM transformed during the degradation of the algal exudates. Our

  17. Molecular insights on pathogenic effects of mutations causing phosphoglycerate kinase deficiency.

    PubMed

    Chiarelli, Laurent R; Morera, Simone M; Bianchi, Paola; Fermo, Elisa; Zanella, Alberto; Galizzi, Alessandro; Valentini, Giovanna

    2012-01-01

    Phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK) catalyzes an important ATP-generating step in glycolysis. PGK1 deficiency is an uncommon X-linked inherited disorder, generally characterized by various combinations of non-spherocytic hemolytic anemia, neurological dysfunctions, and myopathies. Patients rarely exhibit all three clinical features. To provide a molecular framework to the different pathological manifestations, all known mutations were reviewed and 16 mutant enzymes, obtained as recombinant forms, were functionally and structurally characterized. Most mutations heavily affect thermal stability and to a different extent catalytic efficiency, in line with the remarkably low PGK activity clinically observed in the patients. Mutations grossly impairing protein stability, but moderately affecting kinetic properties (p.I47N, p.L89P, p.C316R, p.S320N, and p.A354P) present the most homogeneous correlation with the clinical phenotype. Patients carrying these mutations display hemolytic anemia and neurological disorders, and,except for p.A354P variant, no myopaty. Variants highly perturbed in both catalytic efficiency (p.G158V, p.D164V, p.K191del, D285V, p.D315N, and p.T378P) and heat stability (all, but p.T378P) result to be mainly associated with myopathy alone. Finally, mutations faintly affecting molecular properties (p.R206P, p.E252A, p.I253T, p.V266M, and p.D268N) correlate with a wide spectrum of clinical symptoms. These are the first studies that correlate the clinical symptoms with the molecular properties of the mutant enzymes. All findings indicate that the different clinical manifestations associated with PGK1 deficiency chiefly depend on the distinctive type of perturbations caused by mutations in the PGK1 gene, highlighting the need for determination of the molecular properties of PGK variants to assist in prognosis and genetic counseling. However, the clinical symptoms can not be understood only on the bases of molecular properties of the mutant enzyme. Different

  18. Insights from the molecular characterization of mercury stress proteins identified by proteomics in E.coli nissle 1917.

    PubMed

    Seshapani, Panthangi; Rayalu, Daddam Jayasimha; Kumar, Vadde Kiran; Sekhar, Kathera Chandra; Kumari, Jasti Pramoda

    2013-01-01

    Differently expressed proteins in probiotic Escherichia coli nissle 1917 under mercury stress identified by using a proteomic approach. We applied to separate proteins by using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and proteins were identified using MALDI-TOF-MS using PMF, by mascot database search using the NCBI database. we identified six proteins after exposure to mercury stress with respect to different functional classes. It is useful to understand the molecular insights into mercury stress in probiotic E. coli. Next we describe a structure generated by homology modelling and functional domain identification; it is interesting to study the impact of stress on protein structures. MS characterization and computational methods together provide the opportunity to examine the impact of stress arising from mercury. The role of these proteins in metal tolerance and structure relation is discussed. To the best of our knowledge, proteomics of E. coli nissle 1917 overview of mercury stress has been reported for the first time. PMID:23847405

  19. Insight into the stability of cross-β amyloid fibril from VEALYL short peptide with molecular dynamics simulation.

    PubMed

    Ye, Wei; Chen, Yue; Wang, Wei; Yu, Qingfen; Li, Yixue; Zhang, Jian; Chen, Hai-Feng

    2012-01-01

    Amyloid fibrils are found in many fatal neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, type II diabetes, and prion disease. The VEALYL short peptide from insulin has been confirmed to aggregate amyloid-like fibrils. However, the aggregation mechanism of amyloid fibril is poorly understood. Here, we utilized molecular dynamics simulation to analyse the stability of VEALYL hexamer. The statistical results indicate that hydrophobic residues play key roles in stabilizing VEALYL hexamer. Single point and two linkage mutants confirmed that Val1, Leu4, and Tyr5 of VEALYL are key residues. The consistency of the results for the VEALYL oligomer suggests that the intermediate states might be trimer (3-0) and pentamer(3-2). These results can help us to obtain an insight into the aggregation mechanism of amyloid fibril. These methods can be used to study the stability of amyloid fibril from other short peptides.

  20. New insights into the organization, recombination, expression and functional mechanism of low molecular weight glutenin subunit genes in bread wheat.

    PubMed

    Dong, Lingli; Zhang, Xiaofei; Liu, Dongcheng; Fan, Huajie; Sun, Jiazhu; Zhang, Zhongjuan; Qin, Huanju; Li, Bin; Hao, Shanting; Li, Zhensheng; Wang, Daowen; Zhang, Aimin; Ling, Hong-Qing

    2010-01-01

    The bread-making quality of wheat is strongly influenced by multiple low molecular weight glutenin subunit (LMW-GS) proteins expressed in the seeds. However, the organization, recombination and expression of LMW-GS genes and their functional mechanism in bread-making are not well understood. Here we report a systematic molecular analysis of LMW-GS genes located at the orthologous Glu-3 loci (Glu-A3, B3 and D3) of bread wheat using complementary approaches (genome wide characterization of gene members, expression profiling, proteomic analysis). Fourteen unique LMW-GS genes were identified for Xiaoyan 54 (with superior bread-making quality). Molecular mapping and recombination analyses revealed that the three Glu-3 loci of Xiaoyan 54 harbored dissimilar numbers of LMW-GS genes and covered different genetic distances. The number of expressed LMW-GS in the seeds was higher in Xiaoyan 54 than in Jing 411 (with relatively poor bread-making quality). This correlated with the finding of higher numbers of active LMW-GS genes at the A3 and D3 loci in Xiaoyan 54. Association analysis using recombinant inbred lines suggested that positive interactions, conferred by genetic combinations of the Glu-3 locus alleles with more numerous active LMW-GS genes, were generally important for the recombinant progenies to attain high Zeleny sedimentation value (ZSV), an important indicator of bread-making quality. A higher number of active LMW-GS genes tended to lead to a more elevated ZSV, although this tendency was influenced by genetic background. This work provides substantial new insights into the genomic organization and expression of LMW-GS genes, and molecular genetic evidence suggesting that these genes contribute quantitatively to bread-making quality in hexaploid wheat. Our analysis also indicates that selection for high numbers of active LMW-GS genes can be used for improvement of bread-making quality in wheat breeding. PMID:20975830

  1. New Insights into the Organization, Recombination, Expression and Functional Mechanism of Low Molecular Weight Glutenin Subunit Genes in Bread Wheat

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Huajie; Sun, Jiazhu; Zhang, Zhongjuan; Qin, Huanju; Li, Bin; Hao, Shanting; Li, Zhensheng; Wang, Daowen; Zhang, Aimin; Ling, Hong-Qing

    2010-01-01

    The bread-making quality of wheat is strongly influenced by multiple low molecular weight glutenin subunit (LMW-GS) proteins expressed in the seeds. However, the organization, recombination and expression of LMW-GS genes and their functional mechanism in bread-making are not well understood. Here we report a systematic molecular analysis of LMW-GS genes located at the orthologous Glu-3 loci (Glu-A3, B3 and D3) of bread wheat using complementary approaches (genome wide characterization of gene members, expression profiling, proteomic analysis). Fourteen unique LMW-GS genes were identified for Xiaoyan 54 (with superior bread-making quality). Molecular mapping and recombination analyses revealed that the three Glu-3 loci of Xiaoyan 54 harbored dissimilar numbers of LMW-GS genes and covered different genetic distances. The number of expressed LMW-GS in the seeds was higher in Xiaoyan 54 than in Jing 411 (with relatively poor bread-making quality). This correlated with the finding of higher numbers of active LMW-GS genes at the A3 and D3 loci in Xiaoyan 54. Association analysis using recombinant inbred lines suggested that positive interactions, conferred by genetic combinations of the Glu-3 locus alleles with more numerous active LMW-GS genes, were generally important for the recombinant progenies to attain high Zeleny sedimentation value (ZSV), an important indicator of bread-making quality. A higher number of active LMW-GS genes tended to lead to a more elevated ZSV, although this tendency was influenced by genetic background. This work provides substantial new insights into the genomic organization and expression of LMW-GS genes, and molecular genetic evidence suggesting that these genes contribute quantitatively to bread-making quality in hexaploid wheat. Our analysis also indicates that selection for high numbers of active LMW-GS genes can be used for improvement of bread-making quality in wheat breeding. PMID:20975830

  2. Insights into the immuno-molecular biology of Angiostrongylus vasorum through transcriptomics--prospects for new interventions.

    PubMed

    Ansell, Brendan R E; Schnyder, Manuela; Deplazes, Peter; Korhonen, Pasi K; Young, Neil D; Hall, Ross S; Mangiola, Stefano; Boag, Peter R; Hofmann, Andreas; Sternberg, Paul W; Jex, Aaron R; Gasser, Robin B

    2013-12-01

    Angiostrongylus vasorum is a metastrongyloid nematode of dogs and other canids of major clinical importance in many countries. In order to gain first insights into the molecular biology of this worm, we conducted the first large-scale exploration of its transcriptome, and predicted essential molecules linked to metabolic and biological processes as well as host immune responses. We also predicted and prioritized drug targets and drug candidates. Following Illumina sequencing (RNA-seq), 52.3 million sequence reads representing adult A. vasorum were assembled and annotated. The assembly yielded 20,033 contigs, which encoded proteins with 11,505 homologues in Caenorhabditis elegans, and additional 2252 homologues in various other parasitic helminths for which curated data sets were publicly available. Functional annotation was achieved for 11,752 (58.6%) proteins predicted for A. vasorum, including peptidases (4.5%) and peptidase inhibitors (1.6%), protein kinases (1.7%), G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) (1.5%) and phosphatases (1.2%). Contigs encoding excretory/secretory and immuno-modulatory proteins represented some of the most highly transcribed molecules, and encoded enzymes that digest haemoglobin were conserved between A. vasorum and other blood-feeding nematodes. Using an essentiality-based approach, drug targets, including neurotransmitter receptors, an important chemosensory ion channel and cysteine proteinase-3 were predicted in A. vasorum, as were associated small molecular inhibitors/activators. Future transcriptomic analyses of all developmental stages of A. vasorum should facilitate deep explorations of the molecular biology of this important parasitic nematode and support the sequencing of its genome. These advances will provide a foundation for exploring immuno-molecular aspects of angiostrongylosis and have the potential to underpin the discovery of new methods of intervention.

  3. New Insights into the Molecular Epidemiology and Population Genetics of Schistosoma mansoni in Ugandan Pre-school Children and Mothers

    PubMed Central

    Betson, Martha; Sousa-Figueiredo, Jose C.; Kabatereine, Narcis B.; Stothard, J. Russell

    2013-01-01

    Significant numbers of pre-school children are infected with Schistosoma mansoni in sub-Saharan Africa and are likely to play a role in parasite transmission. However, they are currently excluded from control programmes. Molecular phylogenetic studies have provided insights into the evolutionary origins and transmission dynamics of S. mansoni, but there has been no research into schistosome molecular epidemiology in pre-school children. Here, we investigated the genetic diversity and population structure of S. mansoni in pre-school children and mothers living in lakeshore communities in Uganda and monitored for changes over time after praziquantel treatment. Parasites were sampled from children (<6 years) and mothers enrolled in the longitudinal Schistosomiasis Mothers and Infants Study at baseline and at 6-, 12- and 18-month follow-up surveys. 1347 parasites from 35 mothers and 45 children were genotyped by direct sequencing of the cytochrome c oxidase (cox1) gene. The cox1 region was highly diverse with over 230 unique sequences identified. Parasite populations were genetically differentiated between lakes and non-synonymous mutations were more diverse at Lake Victoria than Lake Albert. Surprisingly, parasite populations sampled from children showed a similar genetic diversity to those sampled from mothers, pointing towards a non-linear relationship between duration of exposure and accumulation of parasite diversity. The genetic diversity six months after praziquantel treatment was similar to pre-treatment diversity. Our results confirm the substantial genetic diversity of S. mansoni in East Africa and provide significant insights into transmission dynamics within young children and mothers, important information for schistosomiasis control programmes. PMID:24349589

  4. Cationic complexation with dissolved organic matter: Insights from molecular dynamics computer simulations and NMR spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalinichev, A. G.; Xu, X.; Kirkpatrick, R.

    2006-12-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is ubiquitous in soil and surface water and plays many important geochemical and environmental roles acting as a proton donor/acceptor and pH buffer and interacting with metal ions, minerals and organic species to form water-soluble and water-insoluble complexes of widely differing chemical and biological stabilities. There are strong correlations among the concentration of DOM and the speciation, solubility and toxicity of many trace metals in soil and water due to metal-DOM interaction. DOM can also significantly negatively affect the performance of nanofiltration and reverse osmosis membranes used industrially for water purification and desalination, being one of the major causes of a so-called `membrane bio- fouling'. The molecular scale mechanisms and dynamics of the DOM interactions with metals and membranes are, however, quite poorly understood. Methods of computational molecular modeling, combined with element- specific nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, can serve as highly effective tools to probe and quantify on a fundamental molecular level the DOM interactions with metal cations in aqueous solutions, and to develop predictive models of the molecular mechanisms responsible for the metal-DOM complexation in the environment. This paper presents the results of molecular dynamics (MD) computer simulations of the interaction of DOM with dissolved Na+, Cs+, Mg2+, and Ca2+. Na+ forms only very weak outer-sphere complexes with DOM. These results and the results of other recent molecular modeling efforts (e.g., Sutton et al., Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 24, 1902-1911, 2005), clearly indicate that both the structural and dynamic aspects of the cation-DOM complexation follow a simple trend in terms of the charge/size ratio for the ions. Due to the competition between ion hydration in bulk aqueous solution and adsorption of these cations by the negatively charged DOM functional groups (primarily carboxylate

  5. Synthesis, biological characterization and molecular modeling insights of spirochromanes as potent HDAC inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Thaler, Florian; Moretti, Loris; Amici, Raffaella; Abate, Agnese; Colombo, Andrea; Carenzi, Giacomo; Fulco, Maria Carmela; Boggio, Roberto; Dondio, Giulio; Gagliardi, Stefania; Minucci, Saverio; Sartori, Luca; Varasi, Mario; Mercurio, Ciro

    2016-01-27

    In the last decades, inhibitors of histone deacetylases (HDAC) have become an important class of anti-cancer agents. In a previous study we described the synthesis of spiro[chromane-2,4'-piperidine]hydroxamic acid derivatives able to inhibit histone deacetylase enzymes. Herein, we present our exploration for new derivatives by replacing the piperidine moiety with various cycloamines. The goal was to obtain highly potent compounds with a good in vitro ADME profile. In addition, molecular modeling studies unravelled the binding mode of these inhibitors.

  6. Molecular insights into transgenerational non-genetic inheritance of acquired behaviours.

    PubMed

    Bohacek, Johannes; Mansuy, Isabelle M

    2015-11-01

    Behavioural traits in mammals are influenced by environmental factors, which can interact with the genome and modulate its activity by complex molecular interplay. Environmental experiences can modify social, emotional and cognitive behaviours during an individual's lifetime, and result in acquired behavioural traits that can be transmitted to subsequent generations. This Review discusses the concept of, and experimental support for, non-genetic transgenerational inheritance of acquired traits involving the germ line in mammals. Possible mechanisms of induction and maintenance during development and adulthood are considered along with an interpretation of recent findings showing the involvement of epigenetic modifications and non-coding RNAs in male germ cells.

  7. The sol-gel entrapment of noble metals in hybrid silicas: a molecular insight

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Why are metal nanoparticles sol-gel entrapped in ORMOSIL so active and stable? In other words, why ORMOSIL-entrapped metal nanoparticles are more active and selective than many heterogenized counterparts, including silica-entrapped noble metals? Results Unveiling specific interactions between MNPs and the molecular structure of ORMOSIL, this work investigates subtle structural aspects through DRIFT spectroscopy. Conclusions The results point to interactions between entrapped Pd and Pt nanocrystallites with the organosilica sol-gel cages similar to those taking place in enzymes. PMID:24079552

  8. Promote potential applications of nanoparticles as respiratory drug carrier: insights from molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Xubo; Bai, Tingting; Zuo, Yi Y.; Gu, Ning

    2014-02-01

    Nanoparticles (NPs) show great promises in biomedical applications as the respiratory drug carrier system. Once reaching the alveolar region, NPs first interact with the pulmonary surfactant (PS) film, which serves as the first biological barrier and plays an important role in maintaining the normal respiratory mechanics. Therefore, understanding the interactions between NPs and PS can help promote the NP-based respiratory drug carrier systems. Using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations, we studied the effect of rigid spherical NPs with different hydrophobicity and sizes on a dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) monolayer at the air-water interface. Four different NPs were considered, including hydrophilic and hydrophobic NPs, each with two diameters of 3 nm and 5 nm (the sizes are comparable to that of generation 3 and 5 PAMAM dendrimers, which have been widely used for nanoscale drug carrier systems). Our simulations showed that hydrophilic NPs can readily penetrate into the aqueous phase with little or no disturbance on the DPPC monolayer. However, hydrophobic NPs tend to induce large structural disruptions, thus inhibiting the normal phase transition of the DPPC monolayer upon film compression. Our simulations also showed that this inhibitory effect of hydrophobic NPs can be mitigated through PEGylation. Our results provide useful guidelines for molecular design of NPs as carrier systems for pulmonary drug delivery.Nanoparticles (NPs) show great promises in biomedical applications as the respiratory drug carrier system. Once reaching the alveolar region, NPs first interact with the pulmonary surfactant (PS) film, which serves as the first biological barrier and plays an important role in maintaining the normal respiratory mechanics. Therefore, understanding the interactions between NPs and PS can help promote the NP-based respiratory drug carrier systems. Using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations, we studied the effect of rigid spherical NPs

  9. Mitochondrial DNA disease—molecular insights and potential routes to a cure

    SciTech Connect

    Russell, Oliver; Turnbull, Doug

    2014-07-01

    Mitochondrial DNA diseases are common neurological conditions caused by mutations in the mitochondrial genome or nuclear genes responsible for its maintenance. Current treatments for these disorders are focussed on the management of the symptoms, rather than the correction of biochemical defects caused by the mutation. This review focuses on the molecular effects of mutations, the symptoms they cause and current work focusing on the development of targeted treatments for mitochondrial DNA disease. - Highlights: • We discuss several common disease causing mtDNA mutations. • We highlight recent work linking pathogenicity to deletion size and heteroplasmy. • We discuss recent advances in the development of targeted mtDNA disease treatments.

  10. Atomic level insights into realistic molecular models of dendrimer-drug complexes through MD simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Vaibhav; Maiti, Prabal K.; Bharatam, Prasad V.

    2016-09-01

    Computational studies performed on dendrimer-drug complexes usually consider 1:1 stoichiometry, which is far from reality, since in experiments more number of drug molecules get encapsulated inside a dendrimer. In the present study, molecular dynamic (MD) simulations were implemented to characterize the more realistic molecular models of dendrimer-drug complexes (1:n stoichiometry) in order to understand the effect of high drug loading on the structural properties and also to unveil the atomistic level details. For this purpose, possible inclusion complexes of model drug Nateglinide (Ntg) (antidiabetic, belongs to Biopharmaceutics Classification System class II) with amine- and acetyl-terminated G4 poly(amidoamine) (G4 PAMAM(NH2) and G4 PAMAM(Ac)) dendrimers at neutral and low pH conditions are explored in this work. MD simulation analysis on dendrimer-drug complexes revealed that the drug encapsulation efficiency of G4 PAMAM(NH2) and G4 PAMAM(Ac) dendrimers at neutral pH was 6 and 5, respectively, while at low pH it was 12 and 13, respectively. Center-of-mass distance analysis showed that most of the drug molecules are located in the interior hydrophobic pockets of G4 PAMAM(NH2) at both the pH; while in the case of G4 PAMAM(Ac), most of them are distributed near to the surface at neutral pH and in the interior hydrophobic pockets at low pH. Structural properties such as radius of gyration, shape, radial density distribution, and solvent accessible surface area of dendrimer-drug complexes were also assessed and compared with that of the drug unloaded dendrimers. Further, binding energy calculations using molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area approach revealed that the location of drug molecules in the dendrimer is not the decisive factor for the higher and lower binding affinity of the complex, but the charged state of dendrimer and drug, intermolecular interactions, pH-induced conformational changes, and surface groups of dendrimer do play an

  11. GLUTAMATERGIC SIGNALING BY MIDBRAIN DOPAMINERGIC NEURONS: RECENT INSIGHTS FROM OPTOGENETIC, MOLECULAR AND BEHAVIORAL STUDIES

    PubMed Central

    Koos, Tibor; Tecuapetla, Fatuel; Tepper, James M.

    2011-01-01

    Although the notion that dopaminergic neurons utilize glutamate as a co-transmitter has long been supported by tantalizing molecular, immunocytochemical and electrophysiological evidence it has only been with the recent addition of optogenetic and other approaches that the existence and functional relevance of this mechanism could be unambiguously demonstrated. Here we discuss the possible mechanisms of action of glutamate released from mesoaccumbens dopaminergic neurons based on recently accumulated evidence. Surprisingly, rather then to confirm a role in conventional fast excitatory transmission, the latest evidence suggests that glutamate released from dopaminergic neurons may primarily act through different unconventional pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms. PMID:21632236

  12. Insights into the structural stability of Bax from molecular dynamics simulations at high temperatures

    PubMed Central

    Rosas-Trigueros, Jorge Luis; Correa-Basurto, José; Guadalupe Benítez-Cardoza, Claudia; Zamorano-Carrillo, Absalom

    2011-01-01

    Bax is a member of the Bcl-2 protein family that participates in mitochondrion-mediated apoptosis. In the early stages of the apoptotic pathway, this protein migrates from the cytosol to the outer mitochondrial membrane, where it is inserted and usually oligomerizes, making cytochrome c-compatible pores. Although several cellular and structural studies have been reported, a description of the stability of Bax at the molecular level remains elusive. This article reports molecular dynamics simulations of monomeric Bax at 300, 400, and 500 K, focusing on the most relevant structural changes and relating them to biological experimental results. Bax gradually loses its α-helices when it is submitted to high temperatures, yet it maintains its globular conformation. The resistance of Bax to adopt an extended conformation could be due to several interactions that were found to be responsible for maintaining the structural stability of this protein. Among these interactions, we found salt bridges, hydrophobic interactions, and hydrogen bonds. Remarkably, salt bridges were the most relevant to prevent the elongation of the structure. In addition, the analysis of our results suggests which conformational movements are implicated in the activation/oligomerization of Bax. This atomistic description might have important implications for understanding the functionality and stability of Bax in vitro as well as within the cellular environment. PMID:21936009

  13. Insights into the toxicological properties of a low molecular weight fraction from Zoanthus sociatus (Cnidaria).

    PubMed

    Domínguez-Pérez, Dany; Diaz-Garcia, Carlos Manlio; García-Delgado, Neivys; Sierra-Gómez, Yusvel; Castañeda, Olga; Antunes, Agostinho

    2013-08-13

    The phylum Cnidaria is an ancient group of venomous animals, specialized in the production and delivery of toxins. Many species belonging to the class Anthozoa have been studied and their venoms often contain a group of peptides, less than 10 kDa, that act upon ion channels. These peptides and their targets interact with high affinity producing neurotoxic and cardiotoxic effects, and even death, depending on the dose and the administration pathway. Zoanthiniaria is an order of the Subclass Hexacorallia, class Anthozoa, and unlike sea anemone (order Actiniaria), neither its diversity of toxins nor the in vivo effects of the venoms has been exhaustively explored. In this study we assessed some toxicological tests on mice with a low molecular weight fraction obtained by gel filtration in Sephadex G-50 from Zoanthus sociatus crude extract. The gel filtration chromatogram at 280 nm revealed two major peaks, the highest absorbance corresponding to the low molecular weight fraction. The toxicological effects seem to be mostly autonomic and cardiotoxic, causing death in a dose dependent manner with a LD50 of 792 μg/kg. Moreover, at a dose of 600 μg/kg the active fraction accelerated the KCl-induced lethality in mice.

  14. The extent of protist diversity: insights from molecular ecology of freshwater eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Slapeta, Jan; Moreira, David; López-García, Purificación

    2005-10-01

    Classical studies on protist diversity of freshwater environments worldwide have led to the idea that most species of microbial eukaryotes are known. One exemplary case would be constituted by the ciliates, which have been claimed to encompass a few thousands of ubiquitous species, most of them already described. Recently, molecular methods have revealed an unsuspected protist diversity, especially in oceanic as well as some extreme environments, suggesting the occurrence of a hidden diversity of eukaryotic lineages. In order to test if this holds also for freshwater environments, we have carried out a molecular survey of small subunit ribosomal RNA genes in water and sediment samples of two ponds, one oxic and another suboxic, from the same geographic area. Our results show that protist diversity is very high. The majority of phylotypes affiliated within a few well established eukaryotic kingdoms or phyla, including alveolates, cryptophytes, heterokonts, Cercozoa, Centroheliozoa and haptophytes, although a few sequences did not display a clear taxonomic affiliation. The diversity of sequences within groups was very large, particularly that of ciliates, and a number of them were very divergent from known species, which could define new intra-phylum groups. This suggests that, contrary to current ideas, the diversity of freshwater protists is far from being completely described. PMID:16191619

  15. Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw: New Insights into Molecular Mechanisms and Cellular Therapeutic Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Lombard, Thomas; Neirinckx, Virginie; Gilon, Yves

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ) became an arising disease due to the important antiresorptive drug prescriptions to treat oncologic and osteoporotic patients, as well as the use of new antiangiogenic drugs such as VEGF antagonist. So far, MRONJ physiopathogenesis still remains unclear. Aiming to better understand MRONJ physiopathology, the first objective of this review would be to highlight major molecular mechanisms that are known to be involved in bone formation and remodeling. Recent development in MRONJ pharmacological treatments showed good results; however, those treatments are not curative and could have major side effects. In parallel to pharmacological treatments, MSC grafts appeared to be beneficial in the treatment of MRONJ, in multiple aspects: (1) recruitment and stimulation of local or regional endogenous cells to differentiate into osteoblasts and thus bone formation, (2) beneficial impact on bone remodeling, and (3) immune-modulatory properties that decrease inflammation. In this context, the second objective of this manuscript would be to summarize the molecular regulatory events controlling osteogenic differentiation, bone remodeling, and osteoimmunology and potential beneficial effects of MSC related to those aspects, in order to apprehend MRONJ and to develop new therapeutic approaches. PMID:27721837

  16. Electronic structure of carbon dioxide under pressure and insights into the molecular-to-nonmolecular transition.

    PubMed

    Shieh, Sean R; Jarrige, Ignace; Wu, Min; Hiraoka, Nozomu; Tse, John S; Mi, Zhongying; Kaci, Linada; Jiang, Jian-Zhong; Cai, Yong Q

    2013-11-12

    Knowledge of the high-pressure behavior of carbon dioxide (CO2), an important planetary material found in Venus, Earth, and Mars, is vital to the study of the evolution and dynamics of the planetary interiors as well as to the fundamental understanding of the C-O bonding and interaction between the molecules. Recent studies have revealed a number of crystalline polymorphs (CO2-I to -VII) and an amorphous phase under high pressure-temperature conditions. Nevertheless, the reported phase stability field and transition pressures at room temperature are poorly defined, especially for the amorphous phase. Here we shed light on the successive pressure-induced local structural changes and the molecular-to-nonmolecular transition of CO2 at room temperature by performing an in situ study of the local electronic structure using X-ray Raman scattering, aided by first-principle exciton calculations. We show that the transition from CO2-I to CO2-III was initiated at around 7.4 GPa, and completed at about 17 GPa. The present study also shows that at ~37 GPa, molecular CO2 starts to polymerize to an extended structure with fourfold coordinated carbon and minor CO3 and CO-like species. The observed pressure is more than 10 GPa below previously reported. The disappearance of the minority species at 63(± 3) GPa suggests that a previously unknown phase transition within the nonmolecular phase of CO2 has occurred. PMID:24167283

  17. Age-associated Cognitive Decline: Insights into Molecular Switches and Recovery Avenues

    PubMed Central

    Konar, Arpita; Singh, Padmanabh; Thakur, Mahendra K.

    2016-01-01

    Age-associated cognitive decline is an inevitable phenomenon that predisposes individuals for neurological and psychiatric disorders eventually affecting the quality of life. Scientists have endeavored to identify the key molecular switches that drive cognitive decline with advancing age. These newly identified molecules are then targeted as recovery of cognitive aging and related disorders. Cognitive decline during aging is multi-factorial and amongst several factors influencing this trajectory, gene expression changes are pivotal. Identifying these genes would elucidate the neurobiological underpinnings as well as offer clues that make certain individuals resilient to withstand the inevitable age-related deteriorations. Our laboratory has focused on this aspect and investigated a wide spectrum of genes involved in crucial brain functions that attribute to senescence induced cognitive deficits. We have recently identified master switches in the epigenome regulating gene expression alteration during brain aging. Interestingly, these factors when manipulated by chemical or genetic strategies successfully reverse the age-related cognitive impairments. In the present article, we review findings from our laboratory and others combined with supporting literary evidences on molecular switches of brain aging and their potential as recovery targets. PMID:27114845

  18. Interaction of prometryn to human serum albumin: insights from spectroscopic and molecular docking studies.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yaping; Zhang, Guowen; Wang, Langhong

    2014-01-01

    Prometryn possesses much potential hazard to environment because of its chemical stability and biological toxicity. Here, the binding properties of prometryn with human serum albumin (HSA) and the protein structural changes were determined under simulative physiological conditions (pH 7.4) by multispectroscopic methods including fluorescence, UV-vis absorption, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, coupled with molecular modeling technique. The result of fluorescence titration suggested that the fluorescence quenching of HSA by prometryn was considered as a static quenching procedure. The negative enthalpy change (ΔH(○)) and positive entropy change (ΔS(○)) values indicated that the binding process was governed mainly by hydrophobic interactions and hydrogen bonds. The site marker displacement experiments suggested the location of prometryn binding to HSA was Sudlow's site I in subdomain IIA. Furthermore, molecular docking studies revealed prometryn can bind in the large hydrophobic activity of subdomain IIA. Analysis of UV-vis absorption, synchronous fluorescence, CD and FT-IR spectra demonstrated that the addition of prometryn resulted in rearrangement and conformational alteration of HSA with reduction in α-helix and increases in β-sheet, β-turn and random coil structures. This work provided reasonable model helping us further understand the transportation, distribution and toxicity effect of prometryn when it spreads into human blood serum. PMID:24485317

  19. Molecular insights into the boundary conditions in the Stokes-Einstein relation.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Yoshiki; Ohtori, Norikazu

    2016-05-01

    In order to mimic the Brownian particle in liquid, molecular dynamics calculations of dilute solutions of spherical fullerene molecules with various sizes in liquid Ar were performed. To establish the scaling equation for self-diffusion coefficient, D, of the fullerenes, the dependence of D was examined on the mass ratio of solute to solvent and on the energy-parameter ratio used in the Lennard-Jones potentials. The dependence on the energy-parameter ratio remains up to C_{540}, whereas D rapidly becomes independent of the mass ratio with increasing mass of the solute. The product of the scaling equations obtained for the D of the solute and for shear viscosity, η_{sv}, for the solvent gives a relation which replaces the Stokes-Einstein relation based on the hydrodynamics. The present expression does not need both the boundary conditions and the hydrodynamic particle size, but instead the energy-parameter ratio, packing fraction of solvent, and bare size of solute. From the viewpoint of the tackiness at the boundary, the cage correlation function around the diffusing particle was examined; it was found that the decay time of the function depends mainly on the the energy-parameter ratio. Therefore, the energy-parameter ratio accounts for the main part of both the boundary conditions and the hydrodynamic particle size in the Stokes equation, which have so far been ill-defined in any molecular theories. PMID:27300813

  20. Enhanced heme accessibility in horse heart mini-myoglobin: Insights from molecular modelling and reactivity studies.

    PubMed

    Polticelli, Fabio; Zobnina, Veranika; Ciaccio, Chiara; de Sanctis, Giampiero; Ascenzi, Paolo; Coletta, Massimo

    2015-11-01

    Mini-myoglobin (mini-HHMb) is a fragment of horse-heart myoglobin (HHMb) considered to be the prototype of the product encoded by the central exon of the HHMb gene. For this reason, mini-HHMb has been studied extensively showing that carbonylation and oxygenation properties of the ferrous form are similar to those of the full-length protein, while kinetics and thermodynamics of azide binding to the ferric form are significantly different from those of HHMb. To analyze the structure-function relationships in mini-HHMb and the role of conformational fluctuations in ligand accessibility, the molecular model of mini-HHMb has been built and refined by molecular dynamics simulations, and analyzed in parallel with that of full length HHMb. Moreover, imidazole binding parameters of ferric mini-HHMb and HHMb have been determined. Furthermore, structural data of ferric mini-HHMb and HHMb have been correlated with the imidazole and previously determined azide binding properties. Present results indicate that, despite the extensive trimming, the heme-α-helices E-F substructure is essentially unaltered in mini-HHMb with respect to HHMb. However, the heme-Fe atom displays an enhanced accessibility in mini-HHMb, which may affect both ligand association and dissociation kinetics. PMID:26363214

  1. Molecular insights into the boundary conditions in the Stokes-Einstein relation.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Yoshiki; Ohtori, Norikazu

    2016-05-01

    In order to mimic the Brownian particle in liquid, molecular dynamics calculations of dilute solutions of spherical fullerene molecules with various sizes in liquid Ar were performed. To establish the scaling equation for self-diffusion coefficient, D, of the fullerenes, the dependence of D was examined on the mass ratio of solute to solvent and on the energy-parameter ratio used in the Lennard-Jones potentials. The dependence on the energy-parameter ratio remains up to C_{540}, whereas D rapidly becomes independent of the mass ratio with increasing mass of the solute. The product of the scaling equations obtained for the D of the solute and for shear viscosity, η_{sv}, for the solvent gives a relation which replaces the Stokes-Einstein relation based on the hydrodynamics. The present expression does not need both the boundary conditions and the hydrodynamic particle size, but instead the energy-parameter ratio, packing fraction of solvent, and bare size of solute. From the viewpoint of the tackiness at the boundary, the cage correlation function around the diffusing particle was examined; it was found that the decay time of the function depends mainly on the the energy-parameter ratio. Therefore, the energy-parameter ratio accounts for the main part of both the boundary conditions and the hydrodynamic particle size in the Stokes equation, which have so far been ill-defined in any molecular theories.

  2. Molecular insights into the boundary conditions in the Stokes-Einstein relation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishii, Yoshiki; Ohtori, Norikazu

    2016-05-01

    In order to mimic the Brownian particle in liquid, molecular dynamics calculations of dilute solutions of spherical fullerene molecules with various sizes in liquid Ar were performed. To establish the scaling equation for self-diffusion coefficient, D , of the fullerenes, the dependence of D was examined on the mass ratio of solute to solvent and on the energy-parameter ratio used in the Lennard-Jones potentials. The dependence on the energy-parameter ratio remains up to C540, whereas D rapidly becomes independent of the mass ratio with increasing mass of the solute. The product of the scaling equations obtained for the D of the solute and for shear viscosity, ηsv, for the solvent gives a relation which replaces the Stokes-Einstein relation based on the hydrodynamics. The present expression does not need both the boundary conditions and the hydrodynamic particle size, but instead the energy-parameter ratio, packing fraction of solvent, and bare size of solute. From the viewpoint of the tackiness at the boundary, the cage correlation function around the diffusing particle was examined; it was found that the decay time of the function depends mainly on the the energy-parameter ratio. Therefore, the energy-parameter ratio accounts for the main part of both the boundary conditions and the hydrodynamic particle size in the Stokes equation, which have so far been ill-defined in any molecular theories.

  3. Molecular signature of pancreatic adenocarcinoma: an insight from genotype to phenotype and challenges for targeted therapy

    PubMed Central

    Sahin, Ibrahim H; Iacobuzio-Donahue, Christine A; O’Reilly, Eileen M

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Pancreatic adenocarcinoma remains one of the most clinically challenging cancers despite an in-depth characterization of the molecular underpinnings and biology of this disease. Recent whole-genome-wide studies have elucidated the diverse and complex genetic alterations which generate a unique oncogenic signature for an individual pancreatic cancer patient and which may explain diverse disease behavior in a clinical setting. Areas covered In this review article, we discuss the key oncogenic pathways of pancreatic cancer including RAS-MAPK, PI3KCA and TGF-β signaling, as well as the impact of these pathways on the disease behavior and their potential targetability. The role of tumor suppressors particularly BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and their role in pancreatic cancer treatment are elaborated upon. We further review recent genomic studies and their impact on future pancreatic cancer treatment. Expert opinion Targeted therapies inhibiting pro-survival pathways have limited impact on pancreatic cancer outcomes. Activation of pro-apoptotic pathways along with suppression of cancer-stem-related pathways may reverse treatment resistance in pancreatic cancer. While targeted therapy or a ‘precision medicine’ approach in pancreatic adenocarcinoma remains an elusive challenge for the majority of patients, there is a real sense of optimism that the strides made in understanding the molecular underpinnings of this disease will translate into improved outcomes. PMID:26439702

  4. Structural insights into the molecular mechanism of the m(6)A writer complex.

    PubMed

    Śledź, Paweł; Jinek, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Methylation of adenosines at the N(6) position (m(6)A) is a dynamic and abundant epitranscriptomic mark that regulates critical aspects of eukaryotic RNA metabolism in numerous biological processes. The RNA methyltransferases METTL3 and METTL14 are components of a multisubunit m(6)A writer complex whose enzymatic activity is substantially higher than the activities of METTL3 or METTL14 alone. The molecular mechanism underpinning this synergistic effect is poorly understood. Here we report the crystal structure of the catalytic core of the human m(6)A writer complex comprising METTL3 and METTL14. The structure reveals the heterodimeric architecture of the complex and donor substrate binding by METTL3. Structure-guided mutagenesis indicates that METTL3 is the catalytic subunit of the complex, whereas METTL14 has a degenerate active site and plays non-catalytic roles in maintaining complex integrity and substrate RNA binding. These studies illuminate the molecular mechanism and evolutionary history of eukaryotic m(6)A modification in post-transcriptional genome regulation. PMID:27627798

  5. Tris-thiourea tripodal-based molecules as chloride transmembrane transporters: insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Marques, Igor; Colaço, Ana R; Costa, Paulo J; Busschaert, Nathalie; Gale, Philip A; Félix, Vítor

    2014-05-28

    The interaction of six tripodal synthetic chloride transmembrane transporters with a POPC bilayer was investigated by means of molecular dynamics simulations using the general Amber force field (GAFF) for the transporters and the LIPID11 force field for phospholipids. These transporters are structurally simple molecules, based on the tris(2-aminoethyl)amine scaffold, containing three thiourea binding units coupled with three n-butyl (1), phenyl (2), fluorophenyl (3), pentafluorophenyl (4), trifluoromethylphenyl (5), or bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl (6) substituents. The passive diffusion of 1-6⊃ Cl(-) was evaluated with the complexes initially positioned either in the water phase or inside the bilayer. In the first scenario the chloride is released in the water solution before the synthetic molecules achieve the water-lipid interface and permeate the membrane. In the latter one, only when the chloride complex reaches the interface is the anion released to the water phase, with the transporter losing the initial ggg tripodal shape. Independently of the transporter used in the membrane system, the bilayer structure is preserved and the synthetic molecules interact with the POPC molecules at the phosphate headgroup level, via N-H···O hydrogen bonds. Overall, the molecular dynamics simulations' results indicate that the small tripodal molecules in this series have a low impact on the bilayer and are able to diffuse with chloride inside the lipid environment. Indeed, these are essential conditions for these molecules to promote the transmembrane transport as anion carriers, in agreement with experimental efflux data. PMID:24663079

  6. Proteomics of thyroid tumours provides new insights into their molecular composition and changes associated with malignancy

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Aguilar, Juan; Clifton-Bligh, Roderick; Molloy, Mark P.

    2016-01-01

    Around 5% of the general population have palpable thyroid nodules. Although most thyroid tumours are benign, thyroid cancer represents the most common malignancy of the endocrine system, comprising mainly follicular and papillary thyroid carcinomas. Previous studies have shed some light on the molecular pathogenesis of thyroid cancer but there have not been any comprehensive mass spectrometry-based proteomic studies of large scale to reveal protein expression differences between thyroid tumours and the molecular alterations associated with tumour malignancy. We applied data-independent acquisition mass spectrometry which enabled quantitative expression analysis of over 1,600 proteins from 32 specimens to compare normal thyroid tissue with the three most common tumours of the thyroid gland: follicular adenoma, follicular carcinoma and papillary carcinoma. In follicular tumours, we found marked reduction of the tumour suppressor and therapeutic target extracellular protein decorin. We made the novel observation that TGFβ-induced protein ig-h3 (TGFBI) was found frequently overexpressed in follicular carcinoma compared with follicular adenoma. Proteomic pathway analysis showed changes in papillary carcinoma were associated with disruption of cell contacts (loss of E-cadherin), actin cytoskeleton dynamics and loss of differentiation markers, all hallmarks of an invasive phenotype. PMID:27025787

  7. The extent of protist diversity: insights from molecular ecology of freshwater eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Slapeta, Jan; Moreira, David; López-García, Purificación

    2005-10-01

    Classical studies on protist diversity of freshwater environments worldwide have led to the idea that most species of microbial eukaryotes are known. One exemplary case would be constituted by the ciliates, which have been claimed to encompass a few thousands of ubiquitous species, most of them already described. Recently, molecular methods have revealed an unsuspected protist diversity, especially in oceanic as well as some extreme environments, suggesting the occurrence of a hidden diversity of eukaryotic lineages. In order to test if this holds also for freshwater environments, we have carried out a molecular survey of small subunit ribosomal RNA genes in water and sediment samples of two ponds, one oxic and another suboxic, from the same geographic area. Our results show that protist diversity is very high. The majority of phylotypes affiliated within a few well established eukaryotic kingdoms or phyla, including alveolates, cryptophytes, heterokonts, Cercozoa, Centroheliozoa and haptophytes, although a few sequences did not display a clear taxonomic affiliation. The diversity of sequences within groups was very large, particularly that of ciliates, and a number of them were very divergent from known species, which could define new intra-phylum groups. This suggests that, contrary to current ideas, the diversity of freshwater protists is far from being completely described.

  8. Dissection of reverse gyrase activities: insight into the evolution of a thermostable molecular machine†

    PubMed Central

    Valenti, Anna; Perugino, Giuseppe; D’Amaro, Anna; Cacace, Andrea; Napoli, Alessandra; Rossi, Mosè; Ciaramella, Maria

    2008-01-01

    Reverse gyrase is a peculiar DNA topoisomerase, specific of thermophilic microorganisms, which induces positive supercoiling into DNA molecules in an ATP-dependent reaction. It is a modular enzyme and comprises an N-terminal helicase-like module fused to a C-terminal topoisomerase IA-like domain. The exact molecular mechanism of this unique reaction is not understood, and a fundamental mechanistic question is how its distinct steps are coordinated. We studied the cross-talk between the components of this molecular motor and probed communication between the DNA-binding sites and the different activities (DNA relaxation, ATP hydrolysis and positive supercoiling). We show that the isolated ATPase and topoisomerase domains of reverse gyrase form specific physical interactions, retain their own DNA binding and enzymatic activities, and when combined cooperate to achieve the unique ATP-dependent positive supercoiling activity. Our results indicate a mutual effect of both domains on all individual steps of the reaction. The C-terminal domain shows ATP-independent topoisomerase activity, which is repressed by the N-terminal domain in the full-length enzyme; experiments with the isolated domains showed that the C-terminal domain has stimulatory influence on the ATPase activity of the N-terminal domain. In addition, the two domains showed a striking reciprocal thermostabilization effect. PMID:18614606

  9. Structural insights into the molecular mechanism of the m6A writer complex

    PubMed Central

    Śledź, Paweł; Jinek, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Methylation of adenosines at the N6 position (m6A) is a dynamic and abundant epitranscriptomic mark that regulates critical aspects of eukaryotic RNA metabolism in numerous biological processes. The RNA methyltransferases METTL3 and METTL14 are components of a multisubunit m6A writer complex whose enzymatic activity is substantially higher than the activities of METTL3 or METTL14 alone. The molecular mechanism underpinning this synergistic effect is poorly understood. Here we report the crystal structure of the catalytic core of the human m6A writer complex comprising METTL3 and METTL14. The structure reveals the heterodimeric architecture of the complex and donor substrate binding by METTL3. Structure-guided mutagenesis indicates that METTL3 is the catalytic subunit of the complex, whereas METTL14 has a degenerate active site and plays non-catalytic roles in maintaining complex integrity and substrate RNA binding. These studies illuminate the molecular mechanism and evolutionary history of eukaryotic m6A modification in post-transcriptional genome regulation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18434.001 PMID:27627798

  10. The peptide-receptive transition state of MHC-1 molecules: Insight from structure and molecular dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson H.; Mage, M.; Dolan, M.; Wang, R.; Boyd, L.; Revilleza, M.; Natarajan, K.; Myers, N.; Hansen, T.; Margulies, D.

    2012-05-01

    MHC class I (MHC-I) proteins of the adaptive immune system require antigenic peptides for maintenance of mature conformation and immune function via specific recognition by MHC-I-restricted CD8(+) T lymphocytes. New MHC-I molecules in the endoplasmic reticulum are held by chaperones in a peptide-receptive (PR) transition state pending release by tightly binding peptides. In this study, we show, by crystallographic, docking, and molecular dynamics methods, dramatic movement of a hinged unit containing a conserved 3(10) helix that flips from an exposed 'open' position in the PR transition state to a 'closed' position with buried hydrophobic side chains in the peptide-loaded mature molecule. Crystallography of hinged unit residues 46-53 of murine H-2L(d) MHC-I H chain, complexed with mAb 64-3-7, demonstrates solvent exposure of these residues in the PR conformation. Docking and molecular dynamics predict how this segment moves to help form the A and B pockets crucial for the tight peptide binding needed for stability of the mature peptide-loaded conformation, chaperone dissociation, and Ag presentation.

  11. Insights into the biology of Borrelia burgdorferi gained through the application of molecular genetics.

    PubMed

    Groshong, Ashley M; Blevins, Jon S

    2014-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the vector-borne bacterium that causes Lyme disease, was first identified in 1982. It is known that much of the pathology associated with Lyme borreliosis is due to the spirochete's ability to infect, colonize, disseminate, and survive within the vertebrate host. Early studies aimed at defining the biological contributions of individual genes during infection and transmission were hindered by the lack of adequate tools and techniques for molecular genetic analysis of the spirochete. The development of genetic manipulation techniques, paired with elucidation and annotation of the B. burgdorferi genome sequence, has led to major advancements in our understanding of the virulence factors and the molecular events associated with Lyme disease. Since the dawn of this genetic era of Lyme research, genes required for vector or host adaptation have garnered significant attention and highlighted the central role that these components play in the enzootic cycle of this pathogen. This chapter covers the progress made in the Borrelia field since the application of mutagenesis techniques and how they have allowed researchers to begin ascribing roles to individual genes. Understanding the complex process of adaptation and survival as the spirochete cycles between the tick vector and vertebrate host will lead to the development of more effective diagnostic tools as well as identification of novel therapeutic and vaccine targets. In this chapter, the Borrelia genes are presented in the context of their general biological roles in global gene regulation, motility, cell processes, immune evasion, and colonization/dissemination.

  12. Molecular phylogeny and surface morphology of Colpodella edax (Alveolata): insights into the phagotrophic ancestry of apicomplexans.

    PubMed

    Leander, Brian S; Kuvardina, Olga N; Aleshin, Vladimir V; Mylnikov, Alexander P; Keeling, Patrick J

    2003-01-01

    The molecular phylogeny of colpodellids provides a framework for inferences about the earliest stages in apicomplexan evolution and the characteristics of the last common ancestor of apicomplexans and dinoflagellates. We extended this research by presenting phylogenetic analyses of small subunit rRNA gene sequences from Colpodella edax and three unidentified eukaryotes published from molecular phylogenetic surveys of anoxic environments. Phylogenetic analyses consistently showed C. edax and the environmental sequences nested within a colpodellid clade, which formed the sister group to (eu)apicomplexans. We also presented surface details of C. edax using scanning electron microscopy in order to supplement previous ultrastructural investigations of this species using transmission electron microscopy and to provide morphological context for interpreting environmental sequences. The microscopical data confirmed a sparse distribution of micropores, an amphiesma consisting of small polygonal alveoli, flagellar hairs on the anterior flagellum, and a rostrum molded by the underlying (open-sided) conoid. Three flagella were present in some individuals, a peculiar feature also found in the microgametes of some apicomplexans.

  13. Interaction of Tenebrio Molitor Antifreeze Protein with Ice Crystal: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Ramya, L; Ramakrishnan, Vigneshwar

    2016-07-01

    Antifreeze proteins (AFP) observed in cold-adapting organisms bind to ice crystals and prevent further ice growth. However, the molecular mechanism of AFP-ice binding and AFP-inhibited ice growth remains unclear. Here we report the interaction of the insect antifreeze protein (Tenebrio molitor, TmAFP) with ice crystal by molecular dynamics simulation studies. Two sets of simulations were carried out at 263 K by placing the protein near the primary prism plane (PP) and basal plane (BL) of the ice crystal. To delineate the effect of temperatures, both the PP and BL simulations were carried out at 253 K as well. The analyses revealed that the protein interacts strongly with the ice crystal in BL simulation than in PP simulation both at 263 K and 253 K. Further, it was observed that the interactions are primarily mediated through the interface waters. We also observed that as the temperature decreases, the interaction between the protein and the ice increases which can be attributed to the decreased flexibility and the increased structuring of the protein at low temperature. In essence, our study has shed light on the interaction mechanism between the TmAFP antifreeze protein and the ice crystal. PMID:27492241

  14. A Critical Review of the Concept of Transgenic Plants: Insights into Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Molecular Farming.

    PubMed

    Abiri, Rambod; Valdiani, Alireza; Maziah, Mahmood; Shaharuddin, Noor Azmi; Sahebi, Mahbod; Yusof, Zetty Norhana Balia; Atabaki, Narges; Talei, Daryush

    2016-01-01

    Using transgenic plants for the production of high-value recombinant proteins for industrial and clinical applications has become a promising alternative to using conventional bioproduction systems, such as bacteria, yeast, and cultured insect and animal cells. This novel system offers several advantages over conventional systems in terms of safety, scale, cost-effectiveness, and the ease of distribution and storage. Currently, plant systems are being utilised as recombinant bio-factories for the expression of various proteins, including potential vaccines and pharmaceuticals, through employing several adaptations of recombinant processes and utilizing the most suitable tools and strategies. The level of protein expression is a critical factor in plant molecular farming, and this level fluctuates according to the plant species and the organs involved. The production of recombinant native and engineered proteins is a complicated procedure that requires an inter- and multi-disciplinary effort involving a wide variety of scientific and technological disciplines, ranging from basic biotechnology, biochemistry, and cell biology to advanced production systems. This review considers important plant resources, affecting factors, and the recombinant-protein expression techniques relevant to the plant molecular farming process.

  15. Molecular Insight into Human Lysozyme and Its Ability to Form Amyloid Fibrils in High Concentrations of Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate: A View from Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    PubMed Central

    Jafari, Majid; Mehrnejad, Faramarz

    2016-01-01

    Changes in the tertiary structure of proteins and the resultant fibrillary aggregation could result in fatal heredity diseases, such as lysozyme systemic amyloidosis. Human lysozyme is a globular protein with antimicrobial properties with tendencies to fibrillate and hence is known as a fibril-forming protein. Therefore, its behavior under different ambient conditions is of great importance. In this study, we conducted two 500000 ps molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of human lysozyme in sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) at two ambient temperatures. To achieve comparative results, we also performed two 500000 ps human lysozyme MD simulations in pure water as controls. The aim of this study was to provide further molecular insight into all interactions in the lysozyme-SDS complexes and to provide a perspective on the ability of human lysozyme to form amyloid fibrils in the presence of SDS surfactant molecules. SDS, which is an anionic detergent, contains a hydrophobic tail with 12 carbon atoms and a negatively charged head group. The SDS surfactant is known to be a stabilizer for helical structures above the critical micelle concentration (CMC) [1]. During the 500000 ps MD simulations, the helical structures were maintained by the SDS surfactant above its CMC at 300 K, while at 370 K, human lysozyme lost most of its helices and gained β-sheets. Therefore, we suggest that future studies investigate the β-amyloid formation of human lysozyme at SDS concentrations above the CMC and at high temperatures. PMID:27768744

  16. Human acid sphingomyelinase structures provide insight to molecular basis of Niemann–Pick disease

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yan-Feng; Metcalf, Matthew C.; Garman, Scott C.; Edmunds, Tim; Qiu, Huawei; Wei, Ronnie R.

    2016-01-01

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) hydrolyzes sphingomyelin to ceramide and phosphocholine, essential components of myelin in neurons. Genetic alterations in ASM lead to ASM deficiency (ASMD) and have been linked to Niemann–Pick disease types A and B. Olipudase alfa, a recombinant form of human ASM, is being developed as enzyme replacement therapy to treat the non-neurological manifestations of ASMD. Here we present the human ASM holoenzyme and product bound structures encompassing all of the functional domains. The catalytic domain has a metallophosphatase fold, and two zinc ions and one reaction product phosphocholine are identified in a histidine-rich active site. The structures reveal the underlying catalytic mechanism, in which two zinc ions activate a water molecule for nucleophilic attack of the phosphodiester bond. Docking of sphingomyelin provides a model that allows insight into the selectivity of the enzyme and how the ASM domains collaborate to complete hydrolysis. Mapping of known mutations provides a basic understanding on correlations between enzyme dysfunction and phenotypes observed in ASMD patients. PMID:27725636

  17. Insights into Himalayan biogeography from geckos: a molecular phylogeny of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae).

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Ishan; Bauer, Aaron M; Jackman, Todd R; Karanth, K Praveen

    2014-11-01

    The India-Asia collision profoundly influenced the climate, topography and biodiversity of Asia, causing the formation of the biodiverse Himalayas. The species-rich gekkonid genus Cyrtodactylus is an ideal clade for exploring the biological impacts of the India-Asia collision, as previous phylogenetic hypotheses suggest basal divergences occurred within the Himalayas and Indo-Burma during the Eocene. To this end, we sampled for Cyrtodactylus across Indian areas of the Himalayas and Indo-Burma Hotspots and used three genes to reconstruct relationships and estimate divergence times. Basal divergences in Cyrtodactylus, Hemidactylus and the Palaearctic naked-toed geckos were simultaneous with or just preceded the start of the India-Asia collision. Diversification within Cyrtodactylus tracks the India-Asia collision and subsequent geological events. A number of geographically concordant clades are resolved within Indo-Burmese Cyrtodactylus. Our study reveals 17 divergent lineages that may represent undescribed species, underscoring the previously undocumented diversity of the region. The importance of rocky habitats for Cyrtodactylus indicates the Indo-Gangetic flood plains and the Garo-Rajmahal Gap are likely to have been important historical barriers for this group.

  18. Insights into the molecular phylogeny and historical biogeography of the white-clawed crayfish (Decapoda, Astacidae).

    PubMed

    Jelić, Mišel; Klobučar, Göran I V; Grandjean, Frédéric; Puillandre, Nicolas; Franjević, Damjan; Futo, Momir; Amouret, Julien; Maguire, Ivana

    2016-10-01

    In this study, the evolutionary history of the white-clawed crayfish (WCC) was evaluated using large-scale datasets comprising >1350 specimens from the entire distribution range. Using species delimitation methods on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences, we propose four primary species hypotheses for WCC. Sequences for several nuclear regions were screened but none showed significant variation within WCC. This result favours a single secondary species hypothesis and indicates the existence of a mito-nuclear discordance in WCC. Therefore, mtDNA groups were considered only as genetic units that carry information about ancient divergences within WCC and not as taxonomic units. The reconstruction of ancestral ranges and divergence time estimates were used to link the current genetic structure with paleogeographic processes. These results showed that the emergence of mtDNA groups in WCC could be related to the Messinian Salinity Crisis, the climate cooling during the Pliocene and Pleistocene, and (paleo)shifting of the Adriatic Sea coastline in the Padanovenezian Plain. The most recent common ancestor of the mtDNA groups most likely originated from Dalmatia (eastern Adriatic coast) as indicated by the reconstruction of ancestral ranges. This ecoregion, along with the Gulf of Venice Drainages, harbours a high genetic diversity and should be emphasised as an area of the highest conservation priority. PMID:27404041

  19. Role of ELA region in auto-activation of mutant KIT receptor: a molecular dynamics simulation insight.

    PubMed

    Purohit, Rituraj

    2014-01-01

    KIT receptor is the prime target in gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GISTs) therapy. Second generation inhibitor, Sunitinib, binds to an inactivated conformation of KIT receptor and stabilizes it in order to prevent tumor formation. Here, we investigated the dynamic behavior of wild type and mutant D816H KIT receptor, and emphasized the extended A-loop (EAL) region (805-850) by conducting molecular dynamics simulation (∼100 ns). We analyzed different properties such as root mean square cutoff or deviation, root mean square fluctuation, radius of gyration, solvent-accessible surface area, hydrogen bonding network analysis, and essential dynamics. Apart from this, clustering and cross-correlation matrix approach was used to explore the conformational space of the wild type and mutant EAL region of KIT receptor. Molecular dynamics analysis indicated that mutation (D816H) was able to alter intramolecular hydrogen bonding pattern and affected the structural flexibility of EAL region. Moreover, flexible secondary elements, specially, coil and turns were dominated in EAL region of mutant KIT receptor during simulation. This phenomenon increased the movement of EAL region which in turn helped in shifting the equilibrium towards the active kinase conformation. Our atomic investigation of mutant KIT receptor which emphasized on EAL region provided a better insight into the understanding of Sunitinib resistance mechanism of KIT receptor and would help to discover new therapeutics for KIT-based resistant tumor cells in GIST therapy.

  20. Molecular insights into the mechanism of phenotypic tolerance to rifampicin conferred on mycobacterial RNA polymerase by MsRbpA.

    PubMed

    Dey, Abhinav; Verma, Amit Kumar; Chatterji, Dipankar

    2011-07-01

    The protein MsRbpA from Mycobacterium smegmatis rescues RNA polymerase (RNAP) from the inhibitory effect of rifampicin (Rif). We have reported previously that MsRbpA interacts with the β-subunit of RNAP and that the effect of MsRbpA on Rif-resistant (Rif(R)) RNAP is minimal. Here we attempted to gain molecular insights into the mechanism of action of this protein with respect to its role in rescuing RNAP from Rif-mediated transcription inhibition. Our experimental approach comprised multiple-round transcription assays, fluorescence spectroscopy, MS and surface plasmon resonance in order to meet the above objective. Based on our molecular studies we propose here that Rif is released from its binding site in the RNAP-Rif complex in the presence of MsRbpA. Biophysical studies reveal that the location of MsRbpA on RNAP is at the junction of the β- and β'-subunits, close to the Rif-binding site and the (i+1) site on RNAP.

  1. Optimizing Water Transport through Graphene-Based Membranes: Insights from Nonequilibrium Molecular Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Muscatello, Jordan; Jaeger, Frederike; Matar, Omar K; Müller, Erich A

    2016-05-18

    Recent experimental results suggest that stacked layers of graphene oxide exhibit strong selective permeability to water. To construe this observation, the transport mechanism of water permeating through a membrane consisting of layered graphene sheets is investigated via nonequilibrium and equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations. The effect of sheet geometry is studied by changing the offset between the entrance and exit slits of the membrane. The simulation results reveal that the permeability is not solely dominated by entrance effects; the path traversed by water molecules has a considerable impact on the permeability. We show that contrary to speculation in the literature, water molecules do not pass through the membrane as a hydrogen-bonded chain; instead, they form well-mixed fluid regions confined between the graphene sheets. The results of the present work are used to provide guidelines for the development of graphene and graphene oxide membranes for desalination and solvent separation.

  2. Aggregation in concentrated protein solutions: Insights from rheology, neutron scattering and molecular simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castellanos, Maria Monica

    Aggregation of therapeutic proteins is currently one of the major challenges in the bio-pharmaceutical industry, because aggregates could induce immunogenic responses and compromise the quality of the product. Current scientific efforts, both in industry and academia, are focused on developing rational approaches to screen different drug candidates and predict their stability under different conditions. Moreover, aggregation is promoted in highly concentrated protein solutions, which are typically required for subcutaneous injection. In order to gain further understanding about the mechanisms that lead to aggregation, an approach that combined rheology, neutron scattering, and molecular simulations was undertaken. Two model systems were studied in this work: Bovine Serum Albumin in surfactant-free Phosphate Buffered Saline at pH = 7.4 at concentrations from 11 mg/mL up to ˜519 mg/mL, and a monoclonal antibody in 20 mM Histidine/Histidine Hydrochloride at pH = 6.0 with 60 mg/mL trehalose and 0.2 mg/mL polysorbate-80 at concentrations from 53 mg/mL up to ˜220 mg/mL. The antibody used here has three mutations in the CH2 domain, which result in lower stability upon incubation at 40 °C with respect to the wild-type protein, based on size-exclusion chromatography assays. This temperature is below 49 °C, where unfolding of the least stable, CH2 domain occurs, according to differential scanning calorimetry. This dissertation focuses on identifying the role of aggregation on the viscosity of protein solutions. The protein solutions of this work show an increase in the low shear viscosity in the absence of surfactants, because proteins adsorb at the air/water interface forming a viscoelastic film that affects the measured rheology. Stable surfactant-laden protein solutions behave as simple Newtonian fluids. However, the surfactant-laden antibody solution also shows an increase in the low shear viscosity from bulk aggregation, after prolonged incubation at 40 °C. Small

  3. Rules of engagement: molecular insights from host-virus arms races.

    PubMed

    Daugherty, Matthew D; Malik, Harmit S

    2012-01-01

    Mammalian genes and genomes have been shaped by ancient and ongoing challenges from viruses. These genetic imprints can be identified via evolutionary analyses to reveal fundamental details about when (how old), where (which protein domains), and how (what are the functional consequences of adaptive changes) host-virus arms races alter the proteins involved. Just as extreme amino acid conservation can serve to identify key immutable residues in enzymes, positively selected residues point to molecular recognition interfaces between host and viral proteins that have adapted and counter-adapted in a long series of classical Red Queen conflicts. Common rules for the strategies employed by both hosts and viruses have emerged from case studies of innate immunity genes in primates. We are now poised to use these rules to transition from a retrospective view of host-virus arms races to specific predictions about which host genes face pathogen antagonism and how those genetic conflicts transform host and virus evolution.

  4. Molecular Ecology of Hypersaline Microbial Mats: Current Insights and New Directions

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Hon Lun; Ahmed-Cox, Aria; Burns, Brendan Paul

    2016-01-01

    Microbial mats are unique geobiological ecosystems that form as a result of complex communities of microorganisms interacting with each other and their physical environment. Both the microorganisms present and the network of metabolic interactions govern ecosystem function therein. These systems are often found in a range of extreme environments, and those found in elevated salinity have been particularly well studied. The purpose of this review is to briefly describe the molecular ecology of select model hypersaline mat systems (Guerrero Negro, Shark Bay, S’Avall, and Kiritimati Atoll), and any potentially modulating effects caused by salinity to community structure. In addition, we discuss several emerging issues in the field (linking function to newly discovered phyla and microbial dark matter), which illustrate the changing paradigm that is seen as technology has rapidly advanced in the study of these extreme and evolutionally significant ecosystems. PMID:27681900

  5. Molecular Ecology of Hypersaline Microbial Mats: Current Insights and New Directions

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Hon Lun; Ahmed-Cox, Aria; Burns, Brendan Paul

    2016-01-01

    Microbial mats are unique geobiological ecosystems that form as a result of complex communities of microorganisms interacting with each other and their physical environment. Both the microorganisms present and the network of metabolic interactions govern ecosystem function therein. These systems are often found in a range of extreme environments, and those found in elevated salinity have been particularly well studied. The purpose of this review is to briefly describe the molecular ecology of select model hypersaline mat systems (Guerrero Negro, Shark Bay, S’Avall, and Kiritimati Atoll), and any potentially modulating effects caused by salinity to community structure. In addition, we discuss several emerging issues in the field (linking function to newly discovered phyla and microbial dark matter), which illustrate the changing paradigm that is seen as technology has rapidly advanced in the study of these extreme and evolutionally significant ecosystems.

  6. Biological and molecular profile of fracture non-union tissue: current insights

    PubMed Central

    Panteli, Michalis; Pountos, Ippokratis; Jones, Elena; Giannoudis, Peter V

    2015-01-01

    Delayed bone healing and non-union occur in approximately 10% of long bone fractures. Despite intense investigations and progress in understanding the processes governing bone healing, the specific pathophysiological characteristics of the local microenvironment leading to non-union remain obscure. The clinical findings and radiographic features remain the two important landmarks of diagnosing non-unions and even when the diagnosis is established there is debate on the ideal timing and mode of intervention. In an attempt to understand better the pathophysiological processes involved in the development of fracture non-union, a number of studies have endeavoured to investigate the biological profile of tissue obtained from the non-union site and analyse any differences or similarities of tissue obtained from different types of non-unions. In the herein study, we present the existing evidence of the biological and molecular profile of fracture non-union tissue. PMID:25726940

  7. Molecular developmental mechanism in polypterid fish provides insight into the origin of vertebrate lungs

    PubMed Central

    Tatsumi, Norifumi; Kobayashi, Ritsuko; Yano, Tohru; Noda, Masatsugu; Fujimura, Koji; Okada, Norihiro; Okabe, Masataka

    2016-01-01

    The lung is an important organ for air breathing in tetrapods and originated well before the terrestrialization of vertebrates. Therefore, to better understand lung evolution, we investigated lung development in the extant basal actinopterygian fish Senegal bichir (Polypterus senegalus). First, we histologically confirmed that lung development in this species is very similar to that of tetrapods. We also found that the mesenchymal expression patterns of three genes that are known to play important roles in early lung development in tetrapods (Fgf10, Tbx4, and Tbx5) were quite similar to those of tetrapods. Moreover, we found a Tbx4 core lung mesenchyme-specific enhancer (C-LME) in the genomes of bichir and coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) and experimentally confirmed that these were functional in tetrapods. These findings provide the first molecular evidence that the developmental program for lung was already established in the common ancestor of actinopterygians and sarcopterygians. PMID:27466206

  8. Molecular Insights into Carbon Nanotube Supercapacitors: Capacitance Independent of Voltage and Temperature

    SciTech Connect

    Feng, Guang; Li, Song; Atchison, Jennifer S.; Presser, Volker; Cummings, Peter T.

    2013-04-12

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of supercapacitors with single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) electrodes in room-temperature ionic liquids were performed to investigate the influences of the applied electrical potential, the radius/curvature of SWCNTs, and temperature on their capacitive behavior. It is found that (1) SWCNTs-based supercapacitors exhibit a near-flat capacitance–potential curve, (2) the capacitance increases as the tube radius decreases, and (3) the capacitance depends little on the temperature. We report the first MD study showing the influence of the electrode curvature on the capacitance–potential curve and negligible dependence of temperature on capacitance of tubular electrode. The latter is in good agreement with recent experimental findings and is attributed to the similarity of the electrical double layer (EDL) microstructure with temperature varying from 260 to 400 K. The electrode curvature effect is explained by the dominance of charge overscreening and increased ion density per unit area of electrode surface.

  9. Puffs and gene regulation--molecular insights into the Drosophila ecdysone regulatory hierarchy.

    PubMed

    Thummel, C S

    1990-12-01

    Sixteen years ago, Michael Ashburner and his colleagues proposed a hierarchical model for the genetic control of polytene chromosome puffing by the steroid hormone ecdysone. The recent molecular isolation and characterization of three early ecdysone-inducible genes has confirmed many aspects of this model--these genes are directly induced by ecdysone, repressed by ecdysone-induced proteins, and appear to encode DNA binding regulatory proteins. The three early genes are also remarkably similar in structure. They are all unusually long and complex, with multiple transcripts that direct the synthesis of several related proteins from each locus. Proteins encoded by two of the early genes bind to both early and late ecdysone-induced puffs, implying that they are key regulators in the hierarchy. PMID:2127884

  10. Pancreatic acinar cells: molecular insight from studies of signal-transduction using transgenic animals.

    PubMed

    Yule, David I

    2010-11-01

    Pancreatic acinar cells are classical exocrine gland cells. The apical regions of clusters of coupled acinar cells collectively form a lumen which constitutes the blind end of a tube created by ductal cells - a structure reminiscent of a "bunch of grapes". When activated by neural or hormonal secretagogues, pancreatic acinar cells are stimulated to secrete a variety of proteins. These proteins are predominately inactive digestive enzyme precursors called "zymogens". Acinar cell secretion is absolutely dependent on secretagogue-induced increases in intracellular free Ca(2+). The increase in [Ca(2+)](i) has precise temporal and spatial characteristics as a result of the exquisite regulation of the proteins responsible for Ca(2+) release, Ca(2+) influx and Ca(2+) clearance in the acinar cell. This brief review discusses recent studies in which transgenic animal models have been utilized to define in molecular detail the components of the Ca(2+) signaling machinery which contribute to these characteristics.

  11. Molecular insights into the WW domain of the Golabi-Ito-Hall syndrome protein PQBP1.

    PubMed

    Sudol, Marius; McDonald, Caleb B; Farooq, Amjad

    2012-08-14

    The WW domain-containing PQBP1 (polyglutamine tract-binding protein 1) protein regulates mRNA processing and gene transcription. Mutations in the PQBP1 gene were reported in several X chromosome-linked intellectual disability (XLID) disorders, including Golabi-Ito-Hall (GIH) syndrome. The missense mutation in the GIH syndrome maps within a functional region of the PQBP1 protein known as the WW domain. The causative mutation of PQBP1 replaces the conserved tyrosine (Y) at position 65 within the aromatic core of the WW domain to cysteine (C), which is a chemically significant change. In this short review, we analyze structural models of the Y65C mutated and wild type WW domains of PQBP1 in order to infer potential molecular mechanisms that render the mutated PQBP1 protein inactive in terms of ligand binding and its function as a regulator of mRNA splicing.

  12. Interaction of diuron to human serum albumin: Insights from spectroscopic and molecular docking studies.

    PubMed

    Chen, Huilun; Rao, Honghao; Yang, Jian; Qiao, Yongxiang; Wang, Fei; Yao, Jun

    2016-01-01

    This investigation was undertaken to determine the interaction of diuron with human serum albumin (HSA) was studied by monitoring the spectral behavior of diuron-HSA system. The fluorescence of HSA at 340 nm excited at 230 nm was obviously quenched by diuron due to dynamic collision and the quenching constant was of the order of 10(4) L mol(-1) at 310 K. However, no fluorescence quenching was observed when excited at 280 nm. Thermodynamic investigations revealed that the combination between diuron and HSA was entropy driven by predominantly hydrophobic interactions. The binding of diuron induced the drastic reduction in α-helix conformation and the significant enhancement in β-turn conformation of HSA. In addition, both sites marker competition study and molecular modeling simulation evidenced the binding of diuron to HSA primarily took place in subdomain IIIA (Sudlow's site II). PMID:26671830

  13. Zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 as a reverse osmosis membrane for water desalination: insight from molecular simulation.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhongqiao; Chen, Yifei; Jiang, Jianwen

    2011-04-01

    A molecular simulation study is reported for water desalination in zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) membrane. The simulation demonstrates that water desalination occurs under external pressure, and Na(+) and Cl(-) ions cannot transport across the membrane due to the sieving effect of small apertures in ZIF-8. The flux of water permeating the membrane scales linearly with the external pressure, and exhibits an Arrhenius-type relation with temperature (activation energy of 24.4 kJ∕mol). Compared with bulk phase, water molecules in ZIF-8 membrane are less hydrogen-bonded and the lifetime of hydrogen-bonding is considerably longer, as attributed to the surface interactions and geometrical confinement. This simulation study suggests that ZIF-8 might be potentially used as a reverse osmosis membrane for water purification.

  14. Clear cell carcinoma of the ovary: molecular insights and future therapeutic perspectives

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Clear cell carcinoma (CCC) of the ovary is known to show poorer sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents and to be associated with a worse prognosis than the more common serous adenocarcinoma or endometrioid adenocarcinoma. To improve the survival of patients with ovarian CCC, the deeper understanding of the mechanism of CCC carcinogenesis as well as the efforts to develop novel treatment strategies in the setting of both front-line treatment and salvage treatment for recurrent disease are needed. In this presentation, we first summarize the mechanism responsible for carcinogenesis. Then, we highlight the promising therapeutic targets in ovarian CCC and provide information on the novel agents which inhibit these molecular targets. Moreover, we discuss on the cytotoxic anti-cancer agents that can be best combined with targeted agents in the treatment of ovarian CCC. PMID:27029752

  15. Molecular Ecology of Hypersaline Microbial Mats: Current Insights and New Directions.

    PubMed

    Wong, Hon Lun; Ahmed-Cox, Aria; Burns, Brendan Paul

    2016-01-01

    Microbial mats are unique geobiological ecosystems that form as a result of complex communities of microorganisms interacting with each other and their physical environment. Both the microorganisms present and the network of metabolic interactions govern ecosystem function therein. These systems are often found in a range of extreme environments, and those found in elevated salinity have been particularly well studied. The purpose of this review is to briefly describe the molecular ecology of select model hypersaline mat systems (Guerrero Negro, Shark Bay, S'Avall, and Kiritimati Atoll), and any potentially modulating effects caused by salinity to community structure. In addition, we discuss several emerging issues in the field (linking function to newly discovered phyla and microbial dark matter), which illustrate the changing paradigm that is seen as technology has rapidly advanced in the study of these extreme and evolutionally significant ecosystems. PMID:27681900

  16. Primary and secondary lymphatic valve development: molecular, functional and mechanical insights.

    PubMed

    Bazigou, Eleni; Wilson, John T; Moore, James E

    2014-11-01

    Fluid homeostasis in vertebrates critically relies on the lymphatic system forming a hierarchical network of lymphatic capillaries and collecting lymphatics, for the efficient drainage and transport of extravasated fluid back to the cardiovascular system. Blind-ended lymphatic capillaries employ specialized junctions and anchoring filaments to encourage a unidirectional flow of the interstitial fluid into the initial lymphatic vessels, whereas collecting lymphatics are responsible for the active propulsion of the lymph to the venous circulation via the combined action of lymphatic muscle cells and intraluminal valves. Here we describe recent findings on molecular and physical factors regulating the development and maturation of these two types of valves and examine their role in tissue-fluid homeostasis.

  17. Optimizing Water Transport through Graphene-Based Membranes: Insights from Nonequilibrium Molecular Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Muscatello, Jordan; Jaeger, Frederike; Matar, Omar K; Müller, Erich A

    2016-05-18

    Recent experimental results suggest that stacked layers of graphene oxide exhibit strong selective permeability to water. To construe this observation, the transport mechanism of water permeating through a membrane consisting of layered graphene sheets is investigated via nonequilibrium and equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations. The effect of sheet geometry is studied by changing the offset between the entrance and exit slits of the membrane. The simulation results reveal that the permeability is not solely dominated by entrance effects; the path traversed by water molecules has a considerable impact on the permeability. We show that contrary to speculation in the literature, water molecules do not pass through the membrane as a hydrogen-bonded chain; instead, they form well-mixed fluid regions confined between the graphene sheets. The results of the present work are used to provide guidelines for the development of graphene and graphene oxide membranes for desalination and solvent separation. PMID:27121070

  18. UV-induced modification of fused silica: Insights from ReaxFF-based molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Ye; Du, Jincheng; Zu, Xiaotao; Han, Wei; Yuan, Xiaodong; Zheng, Wanguo

    2016-09-01

    Atomic structural modification and defect processes of fused silica resulting from UV-laser irradiation are studied by a combination of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and the Reactive Force Field (ReaxFF). Bond state transitions by laser excitation are modeled as the result of localized recoils during energy deposition. Computations of pair distribution functions and bond angle distributions of the irradiated structure reveal that fused silica undergoes significant changes in terms of Si-O, Si-Si pair distances and Si-O-Si bond angles, which are attributed to the formation of silicon and oxygen coordination defects. It is found that nonbridging oxygen is responsible for the decreased Si-O bond length, while laser-induced five-coordinated silicon leads to small Si-O-Si bond angles in 2-membered rings.

  19. Immunoregulatory Effects Triggered by Lactic Acid Bacteria Exopolysaccharides: New Insights into Molecular Interactions with Host Cells

    PubMed Central

    Laiño, Jonathan; Villena, Julio; Kanmani, Paulraj; Kitazawa, Haruki

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have demonstrated that lactic acid bacteria (LAB) with immunomodulatory capabilities (immunobiotics) exert their beneficial effects through several molecules, including cell wall, peptidoglycan, and exopolysaccharides (EPS), that are able to interact with specific host cell receptors. EPS from LAB show a wide heterogeneity in its composition, meaning that biological properties depend on the strain and. therefore, only a part of the mechanism of action has been elucidated for these molecules. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of the health-promoting actions of EPS from LAB with special focus on their immunoregulatory actions. In addition, we describe our studies using porcine intestinal epithelial cells (PIE cells) as a model to evaluate the molecular interactions of EPS from two immunobiotic LAB strains and the host cells. Our studies showed that EPS from immunobiotic LAB have anti-inflammatory capacities in PIE cells since they are able to reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines in cells challenged with the Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4-agonist lipopolysaccharide. The effects of EPS were dependent on TLR2, TLR4, and negative regulators of TLR signaling. We also reported that the radioprotective 105 (RP105)/MD1 complex, a member of the TLR family, is partially involved in the immunoregulatory effects of the EPS from LAB. Our work described, for the first time, that LAB and their EPS reduce inflammation in intestinal epithelial cells in a RP105/MD1-dependent manner. A continuing challenge for the future is to reveal more effector-receptor relationships in immunobiotic-host interactions that contribute to the beneficial effects of these bacteria on mucosal immune homeostasis. A detailed molecular understanding should lead to a more rational use of immunobiotics in general, and their EPS in particular, as efficient prevention and therapies for specific immune-related disorders in humans and animals.

  20. Immunoregulatory Effects Triggered by Lactic Acid Bacteria Exopolysaccharides: New Insights into Molecular Interactions with Host Cells

    PubMed Central

    Laiño, Jonathan; Villena, Julio; Kanmani, Paulraj; Kitazawa, Haruki

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have demonstrated that lactic acid bacteria (LAB) with immunomodulatory capabilities (immunobiotics) exert their beneficial effects through several molecules, including cell wall, peptidoglycan, and exopolysaccharides (EPS), that are able to interact with specific host cell receptors. EPS from LAB show a wide heterogeneity in its composition, meaning that biological properties depend on the strain and. therefore, only a part of the mechanism of action has been elucidated for these molecules. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of the health-promoting actions of EPS from LAB with special focus on their immunoregulatory actions. In addition, we describe our studies using porcine intestinal epithelial cells (PIE cells) as a model to evaluate the molecular interactions of EPS from two immunobiotic LAB strains and the host cells. Our studies showed that EPS from immunobiotic LAB have anti-inflammatory capacities in PIE cells since they are able to reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines in cells challenged with the Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4-agonist lipopolysaccharide. The effects of EPS were dependent on TLR2, TLR4, and negative regulators of TLR signaling. We also reported that the radioprotective 105 (RP105)/MD1 complex, a member of the TLR family, is partially involved in the immunoregulatory effects of the EPS from LAB. Our work described, for the first time, that LAB and their EPS reduce inflammation in intestinal epithelial cells in a RP105/MD1-dependent manner. A continuing challenge for the future is to reveal more effector-receptor relationships in immunobiotic-host interactions that contribute to the beneficial effects of these bacteria on mucosal immune homeostasis. A detailed molecular understanding should lead to a more rational use of immunobiotics in general, and their EPS in particular, as efficient prevention and therapies for specific immune-related disorders in humans and animals. PMID:27681921

  1. Insights into the folding pathway of the Engrailed Homeodomain protein using replica exchange molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Koulgi, Shruti; Sonavane, Uddhavesh; Joshi, Rajendra

    2010-11-01

    Protein folding studies were carried out by performing microsecond time scale simulations on the ultrafast/fast folding protein Engrailed Homeodomain (EnHD) from Drosophila melanogaster. It is a three-helix bundle protein consisting of 54 residues (PDB ID: 1ENH). The positions of the helices are 8-20 (Helix I), 26-36 (Helix II) and 40-53 (Helix III). The second and third helices together form a Helix-Turn-Helix (HTH) motif which belongs to the family of DNA binding proteins. The molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed using replica exchange molecular dynamics (REMD). REMD is a method that involves simulating a protein at different temperatures and performing exchanges at regular time intervals. These exchanges were accepted or rejected based on the Metropolis criterion. REMD was performed using the AMBER FF03 force field with the generalised Born solvation model for the temperature range 286-373 K involving 30 replicas. The extended conformation of the protein was used as the starting structure. A simulation of 600 ns per replica was performed resulting in an overall simulation time of 18 μs. The protein was seen to fold close to the native state with backbone root mean square deviation (RMSD) of 3.16 Å. In this low RMSD structure, the Helix I was partially formed with a backbone RMSD of 3.37 Å while HTH motif had an RMSD of 1.81 Å. Analysis suggests that EnHD folds to its native structure via an intermediate in which the HTH motif is formed. The secondary structure development occurs first followed by tertiary packing. The results were in good agreement with the experimental findings.

  2. Immunoregulatory Effects Triggered by Lactic Acid Bacteria Exopolysaccharides: New Insights into Molecular Interactions with Host Cells.

    PubMed

    Laiño, Jonathan; Villena, Julio; Kanmani, Paulraj; Kitazawa, Haruki

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have demonstrated that lactic acid bacteria (LAB) with immunomodulatory capabilities (immunobiotics) exert their beneficial effects through several molecules, including cell wall, peptidoglycan, and exopolysaccharides (EPS), that are able to interact with specific host cell receptors. EPS from LAB show a wide heterogeneity in its composition, meaning that biological properties depend on the strain and. therefore, only a part of the mechanism of action has been elucidated for these molecules. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of the health-promoting actions of EPS from LAB with special focus on their immunoregulatory actions. In addition, we describe our studies using porcine intestinal epithelial cells (PIE cells) as a model to evaluate the molecular interactions of EPS from two immunobiotic LAB strains and the host cells. Our studies showed that EPS from immunobiotic LAB have anti-inflammatory capacities in PIE cells since they are able to reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines in cells challenged with the Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4-agonist lipopolysaccharide. The effects of EPS were dependent on TLR2, TLR4, and negative regulators of TLR signaling. We also reported that the radioprotective 105 (RP105)/MD1 complex, a member of the TLR family, is partially involved in the immunoregulatory effects of the EPS from LAB. Our work described, for the first time, that LAB and their EPS reduce inflammation in intestinal epithelial cells in a RP105/MD1-dependent manner. A continuing challenge for the future is to reveal more effector-receptor relationships in immunobiotic-host interactions that contribute to the beneficial effects of these bacteria on mucosal immune homeostasis. A detailed molecular understanding should lead to a more rational use of immunobiotics in general, and their EPS in particular, as efficient prevention and therapies for specific immune-related disorders in humans and animals. PMID:27681921

  3. Sodium ion interactions with aqueous glucose: insights from quantum mechanics, molecular dynamics, and experiment.

    PubMed

    Mayes, Heather B; Tian, Jianhui; Nolte, Michael W; Shanks, Brent H; Beckham, Gregg T; Gnanakaran, S; Broadbelt, Linda J

    2014-02-27

    In the last several decades, significant efforts have been conducted to understand the fundamental reactivity of glucose derived from plant biomass in various chemical environments for conversion to renewable fuels and chemicals. For reactions of glucose in water, it is known that inorganic salts naturally present in biomass alter the product distribution in various deconstruction processes. However, the molecular-level interactions of alkali metal ions and glucose are unknown. These interactions are of physiological interest as well, for example, as they relate to cation-glucose cotransport. Here, we employ quantum mechanics (QM) to understand the interaction of a prevalent alkali metal, sodium, with glucose from a structural and thermodynamic perspective. The effect on β-glucose is subtle: a sodium ion perturbs bond lengths and atomic partial charges less than rotating a hydroxymethyl group. In contrast, the presence of a sodium ion significantly perturbs the partial charges of α-glucose anomeric and ring oxygens. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations provide dynamic sampling in explicit water, and both the QM and the MD results show that sodium ions associate at many positions with respect to glucose with reasonably equivalent propensity. This promiscuous binding nature of Na(+) suggests that computational studies of glucose reactions in the presence of inorganic salts need to ensure thorough sampling of the cation positions, in addition to sampling glucose rotamers. The effect of NaCl on the relative populations of the anomers is experimentally quantified with light polarimetry. These results support the computational findings that Na(+) interacts similarly with α- and β-glucose. PMID:24308866

  4. Insights using a molecular approach into the life cycle of a tapeworm infecting great white sharks.

    PubMed

    Randhawa, Haseeb S

    2011-04-01

    The great white shark Carcharodon carcharias Linnaeus, 1758 is a versatile and fierce predator (and responsible for many shark attacks on humans). This apex predator feeds on a wide range of organisms including teleosts, other elasmobranchs, cephalopods, pinnipeds, and cetaceans. Although much is known about its diet, no trophic links have been empirically identified as being involved in the transmission of its tapeworm parasites. Recently, the use of molecular tools combined with phylogenetics has proven useful to identify larval and immature stages of marine tapeworms; utilization of the technique has been increasing rapidly. However, the usefulness of this approach remains limited by the availability of molecular data. Here, I employed gene sequence data from the D2 region of the large subunit of ribosomal DNA to link adults of the tapeworm Clistobothrium carcharodoni Dailey and Vogelbein, 1990 (Cestoda: Tetraphyllidea) to larvae for which sequence data for this gene are available. The sequences from the adult tapeworms were genetically identical (0% sequence divergence) to those available on GenBank for "SP" 'small' Scolex pleuronectis recovered from the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) and Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus). This study is the first to provide empirical evidence linking the trophic interaction between great white sharks and cetaceans as a definitive route for the successful transmission of a tetraphyllidean tapeworm. Using the intensity of infection data from this shark and from cetaceans as proxies for the extent of predation, I estimate that this individual shark would have consumed between 9 to 83 G. griseus , fresh, dead, or both, in its lifetime.

  5. Molecular mechanisms of D-cycloserine in facilitating fear extinction: insights from RNAseq.

    PubMed

    Malan-Müller, Stefanie; Fairbairn, Lorren; Daniels, Willie M U; Dashti, Mahjoubeh Jalali Sefid; Oakeley, Edward J; Altorfer, Marc; Kidd, Martin; Seedat, Soraya; Gamieldien, Junaid; Hemmings, Sîan Megan Joanna

    2016-02-01

    D-cycloserine (DCS) has been shown to be effective in facilitating fear extinction in animal and human studies, however the precise mechanisms whereby the co-administration of DCS and behavioural fear extinction reduce fear are still unclear. This study investigated the molecular mechanisms of intrahippocampally administered D-cycloserine in facilitating fear extinction in a contextual fear conditioning animal model. Male Sprague Dawley rats (n = 120) were grouped into four experimental groups (n = 30) based on fear conditioning and intrahippocampal administration of either DCS or saline. The light/dark avoidance test was used to differentiate maladapted (MA) (anxious) from well-adapted (WA) (not anxious) subgroups. RNA extracted from the left dorsal hippocampus was used for RNA sequencing and gene expression data was compared between six fear-conditioned + saline MA (FEAR + SALINE MA) and six fear-conditioned + DCS WA (FEAR + DCS WA) animals. Of the 424 significantly downregulated and 25 significantly upregulated genes identified in the FEAR + DCS WA group compared to the FEAR + SALINE MA group, 121 downregulated and nine upregulated genes were predicted to be relevant to fear conditioning and anxiety and stress-related disorders. The majority of downregulated genes transcribed immune, proinflammatory and oxidative stress systems molecules. These molecules mediate neuroinflammation and cause neuronal damage. DCS also regulated genes involved in learning and memory processes, and genes associated with anxiety, stress-related disorders and co-occurring diseases (e.g., cardiovascular diseases, digestive system diseases and nervous system diseases). Identifying the molecular underpinnings of DCS-mediated fear extinction brings us closer to understanding the process of fear extinction. PMID:26400817

  6. Molecular evolution of mollusc shell proteins: insights from proteomic analysis of the edible mussel Mytilus.

    PubMed

    Marie, Benjamin; Le Roy, Nathalie; Zanella-Cléon, Isabelle; Becchi, Michel; Marin, Frédéric

    2011-06-01

    Shell matrix proteins (SMPs) that are embedded within calcified layers of mollusc shells are believed to play an essential role in controlling the biomineral synthesis and in increasing its mechanical properties. Among the wide diversity of mollusc shell textures, nacro-prismatic shells represent a tremendous opportunity for the investigation of the SMP evolution. Indeed, nacro-prismatic texture appears early in Cambrian molluscs and is still present in the shell of some bivalves, gastropods, cephalopods and very likely also, of some monoplacophorans. One key question is to know whether these shells are constructed from similar matrix protein assemblages, i.e. whether they share a common origin. Most of the molecular data published so far are restricted to two genera, the bivalve Pinctada and the gastropod Haliotis. The shell protein content of these two genera are clearly different, suggesting independent origins or considerable genetic drift from a common ancestor. In order to describe putatively conserved mollusc shell proteins, here we have investigated the SMP set of a new bivalve model belonging to another genera, the edible mussel Mytilus, using an up-to-date proteomic approach based on the interrogation of more than 70,000 EST sequences, recently available from NCBI public databases. We describe nine novel SMPs, among which three are completely novel, four are homologues of Pinctada SMPs and two are very likely homologues of Haliotis SMPs. This latter result constitutes the first report of conserved SMPs between bivalves and gastropods. More generally, our data suggest that mollusc SMP set may follow a mosaic pattern within the different mollusc models (Mytilus, Pinctada, Haliotis). We discuss the function of such proteins in calcifying matrices, the molecular evolution of SMP genes and the origin of mollusc nacro-prismatic SMPs.

  7. Lessons from mammalian hibernators: molecular insights into striated muscle plasticity and remodeling.

    PubMed

    Tessier, Shannon N; Storey, Kenneth B

    2016-05-01

    Striated muscle shows an amazing ability to adapt its structural apparatus based on contractile activity, loading conditions, fuel supply, or environmental factors. Studies with mammalian hibernators have identified a variety of molecular pathways which are strategically regulated and allow animals to endure multiple stresses associated with the hibernating season. Of particular interest is the observation that hibernators show little skeletal muscle atrophy despite the profound metabolic rate depression and mechanical unloading that they experience during long weeks of torpor. Additionally, the cardiac muscle of hibernators must adjust to low temperature and reduced perfusion, while the strength of contraction increases in order to pump cold, viscous blood. Consequently, hibernators hold a wealth of knowledge as it pertains to understanding the natural capacity of myocytes to alter structural, contractile and metabolic properties in response to environmental stimuli. The present review outlines the molecular and biochemical mechanisms which play a role in muscular atrophy, hypertrophy, and remodeling. In this capacity, four main networks are highlighted: (1) antioxidant defenses, (2) the regulation of structural, contractile and metabolic proteins, (3) ubiquitin proteosomal machinery, and (4) macroautophagy pathways. Subsequently, we discuss the role of transcription factors nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2), Myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2), and Forkhead box (FOXO) and their associated posttranslational modifications as it pertains to regulating each of these networks. Finally, we propose that comparing and contrasting these concepts to data collected from model organisms able to withstand dramatic changes in muscular function without injury will allow researchers to delineate physiological versus pathological responses. PMID:26982616

  8. Molecular insights on the cyclic peptide nanotube-mediated transportation of antitumor drug 5-fluorouracil.

    PubMed

    Liu, Huifang; Chen, Jian; Shen, Qing; Fu, Wei; Wu, Wei

    2010-12-01

    Self-assembled cyclic peptide nanotubes (CPNs) show a potential use in drug delivery. In this study, the CPN composed of (Trp-D-Leu)(4)-Gln-D-Leu was synthesized and tested for the transport of the antitumor drug 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). CPN-mediated release of 5-FU from liposomes experimentally tested the transportation function of the synthetic CPNs. To explore the transportation mechanism of CPNs, computational studies have been performed on the CPN models stacked by 8 subunits, including conventional molecular dynamics (CMD) simulations, and steered molecular dynamics (SMD) simulations in the environment of hydrated dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) lipid bilayer. Our CMD simulations demonstrated that the ortho-CPN is the most stable nanotube, in which the Gln residue is in the ortho-position relative to other residues. The calculated diffusion coefficient value for inner water molecules was 1.068 × 10(-5) cm(2)·s(-1), almost half that of the bulky water and 24 times faster than that of the typical gramicidin A channel. The CPN conserved its hollow structure along the 10 ns CMD simulations, with a tile angle of 50° relative to the normal of DMPC membrane. Results from SMD simulations showed that the 5-FU molecule was transported by hopping through different potential energy minima distributed along subunits, and finally exited the nanotube by escaping from the kink region at the last two subunits. The hopping of 5-FU was driven by switching from hydrophobic interactions between 5-FU and the interior wall of the nanotube to hydrogen bonding interactions of 5-FU with the backbone carbonyl group and amide group of ortho-CPN. The calculated binding free energy profile of 5-FU interacting with the CPN indicated that there was an energy well near the outer end of the nanotube.

  9. Molecular mechanisms of D-cycloserine in facilitating fear extinction: insights from RNAseq.

    PubMed

    Malan-Müller, Stefanie; Fairbairn, Lorren; Daniels, Willie M U; Dashti, Mahjoubeh Jalali Sefid; Oakeley, Edward J; Altorfer, Marc; Kidd, Martin; Seedat, Soraya; Gamieldien, Junaid; Hemmings, Sîan Megan Joanna

    2016-02-01

    D-cycloserine (DCS) has been shown to be effective in facilitating fear extinction in animal and human studies, however the precise mechanisms whereby the co-administration of DCS and behavioural fear extinction reduce fear are still unclear. This study investigated the molecular mechanisms of intrahippocampally administered D-cycloserine in facilitating fear extinction in a contextual fear conditioning animal model. Male Sprague Dawley rats (n = 120) were grouped into four experimental groups (n = 30) based on fear conditioning and intrahippocampal administration of either DCS or saline. The light/dark avoidance test was used to differentiate maladapted (MA) (anxious) from well-adapted (WA) (not anxious) subgroups. RNA extracted from the left dorsal hippocampus was used for RNA sequencing and gene expression data was compared between six fear-conditioned + saline MA (FEAR + SALINE MA) and six fear-conditioned + DCS WA (FEAR + DCS WA) animals. Of the 424 significantly downregulated and 25 significantly upregulated genes identified in the FEAR + DCS WA group compared to the FEAR + SALINE MA group, 121 downregulated and nine upregulated genes were predicted to be relevant to fear conditioning and anxiety and stress-related disorders. The majority of downregulated genes transcribed immune, proinflammatory and oxidative stress systems molecules. These molecules mediate neuroinflammation and cause neuronal damage. DCS also regulated genes involved in learning and memory processes, and genes associated with anxiety, stress-related disorders and co-occurring diseases (e.g., cardiovascular diseases, digestive system diseases and nervous system diseases). Identifying the molecular underpinnings of DCS-mediated fear extinction brings us closer to understanding the process of fear extinction.

  10. Molecular insight into heart development and congenital heart disease: An update review from the Arab countries.

    PubMed

    Aburawi, Elhadi H; Aburawi, Hanan E; Bagnall, Keith M; Bhuiyan, Zahurul A

    2015-05-01

    Congenital heart defect (CHD) has a major influence on affected individuals as well as on the supportive and associated environment such as the immediate family. Unfortunately, CHD is common worldwide with an incidence of approximately 1% and consequently is a major health concern. The Arab population has a high rate of consanguinity, fertility, birth, and annual population growth, in addition to a high incidence of diabetes mellitus and obesity. All these factors may lead to a higher incidence and prevalence of CHD within the Arab population than in the rest of the world, making CHD of even greater concern. Sadly, most Arab countries lack appropriate public health measures directed toward the control and prevention of congenital malformations and so the importance of CHD within the population remains unknown but is thought to be high. In approximately 85% of CHD patients, the multifactorial theory is considered as the pathologic basis. The genetic risk factors for CHD can be attributed to large chromosomal aberrations, copy number variations (CNV) of particular regions in the chromosome, and gene mutations in specific nuclear transcription pathways and in the genes that are involved in cardiac structure and development. The application of modern molecular biology techniques such as high-throughput nucleotide sequencing and chromosomal array and methylation array all have the potential to reveal more genetic defects linked to CHD. Exploring the genetic defects in CHD pathology will improve our knowledge and understanding about the diverse pathways involved and also about the progression of this disease. Ultimately, this will link to more efficient genetic diagnosis and development of novel preventive therapeutic strategies, as well as gene-targeted clinical management. This review summarizes our current understanding of the molecular basis of normal heart development and the pathophysiology of a wide range of CHD. The risk factors that might account for the high

  11. A Molecular Insight into Complement Evasion by the Staphylococcal Complement Inhibitor Protein Family1

    PubMed Central

    Ricklin, Daniel; Tzekou, Apostolia; Garcia, Brandon L.; Hammel, Michal; McWhorter, William J.; Sfyroera, Georgia; Wu, You-Qiang; Holers, V. Michael; Herbert, Andrew P.; Barlow, Paul N.; Geisbrecht, Brian V.; Lambris, John D.

    2010-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus possesses an impressive arsenal of complement evasion proteins that help the bacterium escape attack of the immune system. The staphylococcal complement inhibitor (SCIN) protein exhibits a particularly high potency and was previously shown to block complement by acting at the level of the C3 convertases. However, many details about the exact binding and inhibitory mechanism remained unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that SCIN directly binds with nanomolar affinity to a functionally important area of C3b that lies near the C terminus of its β-chain. Direct competition of SCIN with factor B for C3b slightly decreased the formation of surface-bound convertase. However, the main inhibitory effect can be attributed to an entrapment of the assembled convertase in an inactive state. Whereas native C3 is still able to bind to the blocked convertase, no generation and deposition of C3b could be detected in the presence of SCIN. Furthermore, SCIN strongly competes with the binding of factor H to C3b and influences its regulatory activities: the SCIN-stabilized convertase was essentially insensitive to decay acceleration by factor H and the factor I- and H-mediated conversion of surface-bound C3b to iC3b was significantly reduced. By targeting a key area on C3b, SCIN is able to block several essential functions within the alternative pathway, which explains the high potency of the inhibitor. Our findings provide an important insight into complement evasion strategies by S. aureus and may act as a base for further functional studies. PMID:19625656

  12. A Molecular Analysis Provides Novel Insights into Androgen Receptor Signalling in Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, Jatin; Asthana, Shailendra; Mandal, Chandi Charan; Saxena, Sunita

    2015-01-01

    Background Androgen Receptor (AR) is an essential transcription factor for the development of secondary sex characteristics, spermatogenesis and carcinogenesis. Recently AR has been implicated in the development and progression of breast and prostate cancers. Although some of the functions of the AR are known but the mechanistic details of these divergent processes are still not clear. Therefore understanding the regulatory mechanisms of the functioning of the AR in ER-/AR+ breast cancer will provide many novel targets for the purpose of therapeutic intervention. Methods/Results Using bioinformatics tools, we have identified 75 AR targets having prominent roles in cell cycle, apoptosis and metabolism. Herein, we validated 10 genes as AR targets by studying the regulation of these genes in MDA-MB-453 cell line on stimulation by androgens like 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), using RT-qPCR and ChIP assay. It was observed that all the identified genes involved in cell cycle except MAD1L1 were found to be up regulated whereas expression of apoptosis related genes was decreased in response to DHT treatment. We performed an exhaustive, rigid-body docking between individual ARE and DNA binding domain (DBD) of the AR protein and it was found that novel residues K567, K588, K591 and R592 are involved in the process of DNA binding. To verify these specific DNA-protein interactions electrostatic energy term calculations for each residue was determined using the linearized Poisson–Boltzmann equation. Our experimental data showed that treatment of breast cancer cells with DHT promotes cell proliferation and decreases apoptosis. It was observed that bicalutamide treatment was able to reverse the effect of DHT. Conclusion Taken together, our results provide new insights into the mechanism by which AR promotes breast cancer progression. Moreover our work proposes to use bicalutamide along with taxanes as novel therapy for the treatment of TNBCs, which are positive for downstream

  13. Comparative molecular epidemiology provides new insights into Zucchini yellow mosaic virus occurrence in France.

    PubMed

    Lecoq, H; Wipf-Scheibel, C; Nozeran, K; Millot, P; Desbiez, C

    2014-06-24

    Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV, genus Potyvirus) causes important crop losses in cucurbits worldwide. In France, ZYMV epidemics are sporadic but occasionally very severe. This contrasts with Watermelon mosaic virus (WMV, genus Potyvirus) which causes regular and early epidemics. Factors influencing ZYMV epidemiology are still poorly understood. In order to gain new insights on the ecology and epidemiology of this virus, a 5-year multilocation trial was conducted in which ZYMV spread and populations were studied in each of the 20 plot/year combinations and compared with WMV. Search for ZYMV alternative hosts was conducted by testing weeds growing naturally around one plot and also by checking ZYMV natural infections in selected ornamental species. Although similar ZYMV populations were observed occasionally in the same plot in two successive years suggesting the occurrence of overwintering hosts nearby, only two Lamium amplexicaule plants were found to be infected by ZYMV of 3459 weed samples that were tested. The scarcity of ZYMV reservoirs contrasts with the frequent detection of WMV in the same samples. Since ZYMV and WMV have many aphid vectors in common and are transmitted with similar efficiencies, the differences observed in ZYMV and WMV reservoir abundances could be a major explanatory factor for the differences observed in the typology of ZYMV and WMV epidemics in France. Other potential ZYMV alternative hosts have been identified in ornamental species including begonia. Although possible in a few cases, exchanges of populations between different plots located from 500 m to 4 km apart seem uncommon. Therefore, the potential dissemination range of ZYMV by its aphid vectors seems to be rather limited in a fragmented landscape. PMID:24486486

  14. Insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying diversified wing venation among insects.

    PubMed

    Shimmi, Osamu; Matsuda, Shinya; Hatakeyama, Masatsugu

    2014-08-22

    Insect wings are great resources for studying morphological diversities in nature as well as in fossil records. Among them, variation in wing venation is one of the most characteristic features of insect species. Venation is therefore, undeniably a key factor of species-specific functional traits of the wings; however, the mechanism underlying wing vein formation among insects largely remains unexplored. Our knowledge of the genetic basis of wing development is solely restricted to Drosophila melanogaster. A critical step in wing vein development in Drosophila is the activation of the decapentaplegic (Dpp)/bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signalling pathway during pupal stages. A key mechanism is the directional transport of Dpp from the longitudinal veins into the posterior crossvein by BMP-binding proteins, resulting in redistribution of Dpp that reflects wing vein patterns. Recent works on the sawfly Athalia rosae, of the order Hymenoptera, also suggested that the Dpp transport system is required to specify fore- and hindwing vein patterns. Given that Dpp redistribution via transport is likely to be a key mechanism for establishing wing vein patterns, this raises the interesting possibility that distinct wing vein patterns are generated, based on where Dpp is transported. Experimental evidence in Drosophila suggests that the direction of Dpp transport is regulated by prepatterned positional information. These observations lead to the postulation that Dpp generates diversified insect wing vein patterns through species-specific positional information of its directional transport. Extension of these observations in some winged insects will provide further insights into the mechanisms underlying diversified wing venation among insects.

  15. Comparative molecular epidemiology provides new insights into Zucchini yellow mosaic virus occurrence in France.

    PubMed

    Lecoq, H; Wipf-Scheibel, C; Nozeran, K; Millot, P; Desbiez, C

    2014-06-24

    Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV, genus Potyvirus) causes important crop losses in cucurbits worldwide. In France, ZYMV epidemics are sporadic but occasionally very severe. This contrasts with Watermelon mosaic virus (WMV, genus Potyvirus) which causes regular and early epidemics. Factors influencing ZYMV epidemiology are still poorly understood. In order to gain new insights on the ecology and epidemiology of this virus, a 5-year multilocation trial was conducted in which ZYMV spread and populations were studied in each of the 20 plot/year combinations and compared with WMV. Search for ZYMV alternative hosts was conducted by testing weeds growing naturally around one plot and also by checking ZYMV natural infections in selected ornamental species. Although similar ZYMV populations were observed occasionally in the same plot in two successive years suggesting the occurrence of overwintering hosts nearby, only two Lamium amplexicaule plants were found to be infected by ZYMV of 3459 weed samples that were tested. The scarcity of ZYMV reservoirs contrasts with the frequent detection of WMV in the same samples. Since ZYMV and WMV have many aphid vectors in common and are transmitted with similar efficiencies, the differences observed in ZYMV and WMV reservoir abundances could be a major explanatory factor for the differences observed in the typology of ZYMV and WMV epidemics in France. Other potential ZYMV alternative hosts have been identified in ornamental species including begonia. Although possible in a few cases, exchanges of populations between different plots located from 500 m to 4 km apart seem uncommon. Therefore, the potential dissemination range of ZYMV by its aphid vectors seems to be rather limited in a fragmented landscape.

  16. Evolutionary Genomics of Staphylococcus aureus Reveals Insights into the Origin and Molecular Basis of Ruminant Host Adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Guinane, Caitriona M.; Ben Zakour, Nouri L.; Tormo-Mas, Maria A.; Weinert, Lucy A.; Lowder, Bethan V.; Cartwright, Robyn A.; Smyth, Davida S.; Smyth, Cyril J.; Lindsay, Jodi A.; Gould, Katherine A.; Witney, Adam; Hinds, Jason; Bollback, Jonathan P.; Rambaut, Andrew; Penadés, José R.; Fitzgerald, J. Ross

    2010-01-01

    Phenotypic biotyping has traditionally been used to differentiate bacteria occupying distinct ecological niches such as host species. For example, the capacity of Staphylococcus aureus from sheep to coagulate ruminant plasma, reported over 60 years ago, led to the description of small ruminant and bovine S. aureus ecovars. The great majority of small ruminant isolates are represented by a single, widespread clonal complex (CC133) of S. aureus, but its evolutionary origin and the molecular basis for its host tropism remain unknown. Here, we provide evidence that the CC133 clone evolved as the result of a human to ruminant host jump followed by adaptive genome diversification. Comparative whole-genome sequencing revealed molecular evidence for host adaptation including gene decay and diversification of proteins involved in host–pathogen interactions. Importantly, several novel mobile genetic elements encoding virulence proteins with attenuated or enhanced activity in ruminants were widely distributed in CC133 isolates, suggesting a key role in its host-specific interactions. To investigate this further, we examined the activity of a novel staphylococcal pathogenicity island (SaPIov2) found in the great majority of CC133 isolates which encodes a variant of the chromosomally encoded von Willebrand-binding protein (vWbpSov2), previously demonstrated to have coagulase activity for human plasma. Remarkably, we discovered that SaPIov2 confers the ability to coagulate ruminant plasma suggesting an important role in ruminant disease pathogenesis and revealing the origin of a defining phenotype of the classical S. aureus biotyping scheme. Taken together, these data provide broad new insights into the origin and molecular basis of S. aureus ruminant host specificity. PMID:20624747

  17. The Growth Entrapment Model (GEM): New Insights from Molecular-Scale Simulations of Ti in Quartz

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watson, E. B.; Lanzillo, N. A.; Nayak, S. K.

    2011-12-01

    The growth entrapment model (GEM) put forth by Watson and Liang (Am. Min. 80, 1170-1187) and Watson (GCA 68, 1473-1488) offers a mechanism by which crystals can acquire non-equilibrium chemical or isotopic properties during growth from a uniform fluid medium. The GEM is based on the premise that the equilibrium properties of the near-surface region of a crystal differ from those of the bulk, much as the properties of nanocrystals differ from those of larger crystals of the same phase. In the GEM model, "capture" of the near-surface composition within a growing crystal-creating a non-equilibrium condition-depends upon the outcome of the competition between growth (which buries near-surface atoms) and diffusion (which attempts to restore equilibrium). In any application of the GEM model, the most uncertain input parameters are the near-surface diffusivity (D) and the equilibrium partition coefficient (F) between the near-surface region and the bulk lattice. Experimental measurement of these quantities is elusive because the relevant length scales are small (1-5 nm). However, molecular-scale simulations hold some promise for deducing relative values, as we illustrate here using Ti uptake in quartz as an example. We undertook ab initio molecular dynamics simulations based on a supercell approach to show that the binding energy of Ti^{4+} in quartz is a function of depth in the crystal within a few nanometers of the surface, confirming that F in the GEM model must differ from unity. We also show, using the meta-dynamics method to compute the unbiased diffusion path and corresponding energy barrier, that the activation energy for Ti^{4+} diffusion in the near-surface (2-3 nm deep) is substantially lower than that pertaining to the "deep" lattice diffusivity that is typically measured in diffusion experiments (which we also reproduced computationally). These findings substantiate the underlying phenomena upon which the GEM model is based, in addition to providing

  18. Solid-state NMR in macromolecular systems: insights on how molecular entities move.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Michael Ryan; Graf, Robert; Spiess, Hans Wolfgang

    2013-09-17

    The function of synthetic and natural macromolecularsystems critically depends on the packing and dynamics of the individual components of a given system. Not only can solid-state NMR provide structural information with atomic resolution, but it can also provide a way to characterize the amplitude and time scales of motions over broad ranges of length and time. These movements include molecular dynamics, rotational and translational motions of the building blocks, and also the motion of the functional species themselves, such as protons or ions. This Account examines solid-state NMR methods for correlating dynamics and function in a variety of chemical systems. In the early days, scientists thought that the rotationalmotions reflected the geometry of the moving entities. They described these phenomena as jumps about well-defined axes, such as phenyl flips, even in amorphous polymers. Later, they realized that conformational transitions in macromolecules happen in a much more complex way. Because the individual entities do not rotate around well-defined axes, they require much less space. Only recently researchers have appreciated the relative importance of large angle fluctuations of polymers over rotational jumps. Researchers have long considered that cooperative motions might be at work, yet only recently they have clearly detected these motions by NMR in macromolecular and supramolecular systems. In correlations of dynamics and function, local motions do not always provide the mechanism of long-range transport. This idea holds true in ion conduction but also applies to chain transport in polymer melts and semicrystalline polymers. Similar chain motions and ion transport likewise occur in functional biopolymers, systems where solid-state NMR studies are also performed. In polymer science, researchers have appreciated the unique information on molecular dynamics available from advanced solid-state NMR at times, where their colleagues in the biomacromolecular

  19. Phenotypic and molecular insights into spinal muscular atrophy due to mutations in BICD2

    PubMed Central

    Rossor, Alexander M.; Oates, Emily C.; Salter, Hannah K.; Liu, Yang; Murphy, Sinead M.; Schule, Rebecca; Gonzalez, Michael A.; Scoto, Mariacristina; Phadke, Rahul; Sewry, Caroline A.; Houlden, Henry; Jordanova, Albena; Tournev, Iyailo; Chamova, Teodora; Litvinenko, Ivan; Zuchner, Stephan; Herrmann, David N.; Blake, Julian; Sowden, Janet E.; Acsadi, Gyuda; Rodriguez, Michael L.; Menezes, Manoj P.; Clarke, Nigel F.; Auer Grumbach, Michaela; Bullock, Simon L.; Muntoni, Francesco; North, Kathryn N.

    2015-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy is a disorder of lower motor neurons, most commonly caused by recessive mutations in SMN1 on chromosome 5q. Cases without SMN1 mutations are subclassified according to phenotype. Spinal muscular atrophy, lower extremity-predominant, is characterized by lower limb muscle weakness and wasting, associated with reduced numbers of lumbar motor neurons and is caused by mutations in DYNC1H1, which encodes a microtubule motor protein in the dynein-dynactin complex and one of its cargo adaptors, BICD2. We have now identified 32 patients with BICD2 mutations from nine different families, providing detailed insights into the clinical phenotype and natural history of BICD2 disease. BICD2 spinal muscular atrophy, lower extremity predominant most commonly presents with delayed motor milestones and ankle contractures. Additional features at presentation include arthrogryposis and congenital dislocation of the hips. In all affected individuals, weakness and wasting is lower-limb predominant, and typically involves both proximal and distal muscle groups. There is no evidence of sensory nerve involvement. Upper motor neuron signs are a prominent feature in a subset of individuals, including one family with exclusively adult-onset upper motor neuron features, consistent with a diagnosis of hereditary spastic paraplegia. In all cohort members, lower motor neuron features were static or only slowly progressive, and the majority remained ambulant throughout life. Muscle MRI in six individuals showed a common pattern of muscle involvement with fat deposition in most thigh muscles, but sparing of the adductors and semitendinosus. Muscle pathology findings were highly variable and included pseudomyopathic features, neuropathic features, and minimal change. The six causative mutations, including one not previously reported, result in amino acid changes within all three coiled-coil domains of the BICD2 protein, and include a possible ‘hot spot’ mutation, p.Ser107

  20. Aqua Ions-Graphene Interfacial and Confinement Behavior: Insights from isobaric-isothermal molecular dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Chialvo, Ariel A; Cummings, Peter T

    2011-01-01

    We carry out a systematic micro-structural characterization of the solidfluid interface (SFI) of water and simple metal chloride aqueous solutions in contact with a free standing plate or with two such plates separated by an inter-plate distance 0 ! h( ) ! 30 at ambient conditions via isothermalisobaric molecular dynamics. With this characterization we target the interrogation of the system in search for answers to fundamental questions regarding the structure of the external and internal (confined) SFI s, the effect of the differential hydration behavior among species and its link to species expulsion from confinement. For water at ambient conditions we found that the structure of the external SFI s is independent of the interplate distance h in the range 0 ! h( ) ! 30 , i.e., the absence of wallmediated correlation effects between external and internal SFI s, and that for h < 9 the slit-pores de-wet. Moreover, we observed a selective expulsion of ions caused by the differential hydration between the anion and the cations with a consequent charging of the slit-pore. All these observations were interpreted in terms of the axial profiles for precisely defined order parameters including tetrahedral configuration, hydrogen bonding, and species coordination numbers.

  1. Towards New Insights in the Sterol/Amphotericin Nanochannels Formation: A Molecular Dynamic Simulation Study.

    PubMed

    Boukari, Khaoula; Balme, Sébastien; Janot, Jean-Marc; Picaud, Fabien

    2016-06-01

    Amphotericin B (AmB) is a well-known polyene which self-organizes into membrane cell in order to cause the cell death. Its specific action towards fungal cell is not fully understood but was proved to become from sterol composition. The mechanism was shown experimentally to require the formation of stable sterol/polyene couples which could then organize in a nanochannel. This would allow the leakage of ions responsible for the death of fungal cells, only. In this present study, we investigate the arrangement of AmB/sterols in biological membrane using molecular dynamic simulations in order to understand the role of the sterol structure on the antifungal action of the polyene. We show in particular that the nanochannels tend to close up when cell was composed with cholesterol (animal cell) due to strong interaction between amphotericin and sterol. On the other side, with ergosterol (fungal cell) the largest interactions between amphotericin and lipid membrane lead to the appearance of large hole that could favor the important leakage of ions and thus, the fungal cell death. This work appears as a good complement in the extensive studies linked to the understanding of the antifungal molecules in membrane cells.

  2. Insights into molecular and metabolic events associated with fruit response to post-harvest fungal pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Alkan, Noam; Fortes, Ana M.

    2015-01-01

    Due to post-harvest losses more than 30% of harvested fruits will not reach the consumers’ plate. Fungal pathogens play a key role in those losses, as they cause most of the fruit rots and the customer complaints. Many of the fungal pathogens are already present in the unripe fruit but remain quiescent during fruit growth until a particular phase of fruit ripening and senescence. The pathogens sense the developmental change and switch into the devastating necrotrophic life style that causes fruit rotting. Colonization of unripe fruit by the fungus initiates defensive responses that limit fungal growth and development. However, during fruit ripening several physiological processes occur that correlate with increased fruit susceptibility. In contrast to plant defenses in unripe fruit, the defense posture of ripe fruit entails a different subset of defense responses that will end with fruit rotting and losses. This review will focus on several aspects of molecular and metabolic events associated with fleshy fruit responses induced by post-harvest fungal pathogens during fruit ripening. PMID:26539204

  3. Insights into the uranium(VI) speciation with Pseudomonas fluorescens on a molecular level.

    PubMed

    Lütke, Laura; Moll, Henry; Bernhard, Gert

    2012-11-21

    Microorganisms have great potential to bind and thus transport actinides in the environment. Thus microbes indigenous to designated nuclear waste disposal sites have to be investigated regarding their interaction mechanisms with soluble actinyl ions when assessing the safety of a planned repository. This paper presents results on the pH-dependent sorption of U(VI) onto Pseudomonas fluorescens isolated from the granitic rock aquifers at Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory, Sweden. To characterize the U(VI) interaction on a molecular level, potentiometric titration in combination with time-resolved laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy (TRLFS) were applied. This paper as a result is one of the very few sources which provide stability constants of U(VI) complexed by cell surface functional groups. In addition the bacteria-mediated liberation of inorganic phosphate in dependence on [U(VI)] at different pHs was studied to judge the influence of phosphate release on U(VI) mobilization. The results demonstrate that in the acidic pH range U(VI) is bound by the cells mainly via protonated phosphoryl and carboxylic sites. The complexation by carboxylic groups can be observed over a wide pH range up to around pH 7. At neutral pH fully deprotonated phosphoryl groups are mainly responsible for U(VI) binding. U(VI) can be bound by P. fluorescens with relatively high thermodynamic stability.

  4. Molecular insights into the origin of the Hox-TALE patterning system.

    PubMed

    Hudry, Bruno; Thomas-Chollier, Morgane; Volovik, Yael; Duffraisse, Marilyne; Dard, Amélie; Frank, Dale; Technau, Ulrich; Merabet, Samir

    2014-03-18

    Despite tremendous body form diversity in nature, bilaterian animals share common sets of developmental genes that display conserved expression patterns in the embryo. Among them are the Hox genes, which define different identities along the anterior-posterior axis. Hox proteins exert their function by interaction with TALE transcription factors. Hox and TALE members are also present in some but not all non-bilaterian phyla, raising the question of how Hox-TALE interactions evolved to provide positional information. By using proteins from unicellular and multicellular lineages, we showed that these networks emerged from an ancestral generic motif present in Hox and other related protein families. Interestingly, Hox-TALE networks experienced additional and extensive molecular innovations that were likely crucial for differentiating Hox functions along body plans. Together our results highlight how homeobox gene families evolved during eukaryote evolution to eventually constitute a major patterning system in Eumetazoans. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01939.001.

  5. Domestication of Plants in the Americas: Insights from Mendelian and Molecular Genetics

    PubMed Central

    Pickersgill, Barbara

    2007-01-01

    Background Plant domestication occurred independently in four different regions of the Americas. In general, different species were domesticated in each area, though a few species were domesticated independently in more than one area. The changes resulting from human selection conform to the familiar domestication syndrome, though different traits making up this syndrome, for example loss of dispersal, are achieved by different routes in crops belonging to different families. Genetic and Molecular Analyses of Domestication Understanding of the genetic control of elements of the domestication syndrome is improving as a result of the development of saturated linkage maps for major crops, identification and mapping of quantitative trait loci, cloning and sequencing of genes or parts of genes, and discoveries of widespread orthologies in genes and linkage groups within and between families. As the modes of action of the genes involved in domestication and the metabolic pathways leading to particular phenotypes become better understood, it should be possible to determine whether similar phenotypes have similar underlying genetic controls, or whether human selection in genetically related but independently domesticated taxa has fixed different mutants with similar phenotypic effects. Conclusions Such studies will permit more critical analysis of possible examples of multiple domestications and of the origin(s) and spread of distinctive variants within crops. They also offer the possibility of improving existing crops, not only major food staples but also minor crops that are potential export crops for developing countries or alternative crops for marginal areas. PMID:17766847

  6. Postcollision multifragmentation in fullerene-surface impact: Microscopic insights via molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernstein, Victor; Kolodney, Eli

    2016-07-01

    Postcollision multifragmentation which we have recently observed experimentally in C60 - -surface impact is the phenomenon of a delayed multiparticle breakup of a highly collisionally vibrationally excited large molecule/cluster (the precursor species) into several polyatomic fragments, after leaving the surface. In this paper, we show that the molecular dynamics simulations of near-grazing C60 collisions with a gold surface at 300 eV impact energy (very similar to the experimental conditions) successfully reproduce the experimentally observed characteristics of the postcollision multifragmentation process. The calculated mass resolved kinetic energy distributions and the time dependent yield curves of the Cn fragments revealed a precursor mediated, velocity correlated, delayed fragmentation event along the outgoing trajectory, far away from the surface. Most of the large fragments (n ≥ 5) are formed within a time window of 2-20 ps after leaving the surface, corresponding to the vertical distances of 3-30 nm from the surface. Analysis of delay times and actual time duration for multifragmentation reveal that a large part can be described as simultaneous postcollision (delayed) multifragmentation events. The delayed nature of the event seems to be due to an early sequence of structural transformations of the precursor.

  7. Endemic nephropathy and upper urothelial carcinoma--new insights in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Jankovic Velickovic, Ljubinka; Dolicanin, Zana; Stefanovic, Vladisav

    2014-01-01

    Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma (UTUC) is an uncommon disease which occurs more frequently in some regions of Balkan countries than in other areas in the world. Investigation of UTUC in the South Morava River basin and its tributaries where BEN is endemic revealed increased frequency not only of tumour of the renal pelvis and ureter but also of urinary bladder tumours. A comparative morphological and immunohistochemical study of UTUC in the BEN region and control rural and city populations free of BEN, identify growth pattern as the best morphological characteristic which differentiated BEN and control tumours, i.e. solid growth for BEN tumours and papillary for control tumours. Overexpression of tumour suppressor p53 as well as decreased expression of E-CD was detected in BEN tumours. Other cells cycle related molecular markers--Cyclin D1, p16, and HER-2 showed no difference in expression between groups, as well as the proliferative marker Ki-67. Investigation of apoptosis-related markers identifies Bax as a specific marker of BEN-associated UTUC. Decrease of the pro-apoptotic protein Bax together with alteration of Survivin may be indicative of specific disturbances of an intrinsic apoptotic pathway in UTUC arising in endemic areas. PMID:24802310

  8. Reproductive mode evolution in nematodes: insights from molecular phylogenies and recently discovered species.

    PubMed

    Denver, D R; Clark, K A; Raboin, M J

    2011-11-01

    The Phylum Nematoda has long been known to contain a great diversity of species that vary in reproductive mode, though our understanding of the evolutionary origins, causes and consequences of nematode reproductive mode change have only recently started to mature. Here we bring together and analyze recent progress on reproductive mode evolution throughout the phylum, resulting from the application of molecular phylogenetic approaches and newly discovered nematode species. Reproductive mode variation is reviewed in multiple free-living, animal-parasitic and plant-parasitic nematode groups. Discussion ranges from the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and its close relatives, to the plant-parasitic nematodes of the Meloidogyne genus where there is extreme variation in reproductive mode between and even within species, to the vertebrate-parasitic genus Strongyloides and related genera where reproductive mode varies across generations (heterogony). Multiple evolutionary transitions from dioecous (obligately outcrossing) to hermaphroditism and parthenogenesis in the phylum are discussed, along with one case of an evolutionary transition from hermaphroditism to doioecy in the Oscheius genus. We consider the roles of underlying genetic mechanisms in promoting reproductive plasticity in this phylum, as well as the potential evolutionary forces promoting transitions in reproductive mode. PMID:21787872

  9. Insight into the stability of cross-beta amyloid fibril from molecular dynamics simulation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yue; He, Yong-Jie; Wu, Maoying; Yan, Guanwen; Li, Yixue; Zhang, Jian; Chen, Hai-Feng

    2010-06-01

    Amyloid fibrils are considered to play causal roles in the pathogenesis of amyloid-related degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, type II diabetes mellitus, the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, and prion disease. The mechanism of fibril formation is still hotly debated and remains an important open question. In this study, we utilized molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to analyze the stability of hexamer for eight class peptides. The MD results suggest that VEALYL and MVGGVV-1 are the most stable ones, then SNQNNY, followed by LYQLEN, MVGGVV-2, VQIVYK, SSTSAA, and GGVVIA. The statistics result indicates that hydrophobic residues play a key role in stabilizing the zipper interface. Single point and two linkage mutants of MVGGVV-1 confirmed that both Met1 and Val2 are key hydrophobic residues. This is consistent with the statistics analysis. The stability results of oligomer for MVGGVV-1 suggest that the intermediate state should be trimer (3-0) and tetramer (2-2). These methods can be used in stabilization study of other amyloid fibril.

  10. Insight into the mechanism of polyphenols on the activity of HMGR by molecular docking.

    PubMed

    Islam, Barira; Sharma, Charu; Adem, Abdu; Aburawi, Elhadi; Ojha, Shreesh

    2015-01-01

    Statins are hypolipidemic drugs that are effective in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia by attenuating cholesterol synthesis in the liver via competitive inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. Recently, dietary changes associated with drug therapy have garnered attention as novel drugs to mitigate or ameliorate hypercholesterolemia. The present study was undertaken to observe different dietary polyphenols that can bind to the active site of HMGR and inhibit it. Results from the 12 dietary polyphenols tested reveal that polyphenols can bind to HMGR and block the binding of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP(+)). We observed that the rigidity of phenolic rings prevents the polyphenols from docking to the enzyme activity site. The presence of an ester linkage between the phenolic rings in (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and the alkyl chain in curcumin allows them to orient in the active site of the HMGR and bind to the catalytic residues. EGCG and curcumin showed binding to the active site residues with a low GRID score, which may be a potential inhibitor of HMGR. Kaempferol showed binding to HMG-CoA, but with low binding affinity. These observations provide a rationale for the consistent hypolipidemic effect of EGCG and curcumin, which has been previously reported in several epidemiological and animal studies. Therefore, this study substantiates the mechanism of polyphenols on the activity of HMGR by molecular docking and provides the impetus for drug design involving further structure-function relationship studies. PMID:26357462

  11. Neurodevelopmental sequelae of postnatal maternal care in rodents: clinical and research implications of molecular insights.

    PubMed

    Kaffman, Arie; Meaney, Michael J

    2007-01-01

    Parental care plays an important role in the emotional and cognitive development of the offspring. Children who have been exposed to abuse or neglect are more likely to develop numerous psychopathologies, while good parent-infant bonding is associated with improved resiliency to stress. Similar observations have also been reported in non-human primates and rodents, suggesting that at least some neurodevelopmental aspects of parent-offspring interactions are conserved among mammals and could therefore be studied in animals. We present data to suggest that frequency of licking and grooming provided by the dam during a critical period in development plays an important role in modifying neurodevelopment. These findings are examined in the broader context in which exposure to other sensory modalities such as vision or hearing during a specific period in development shapes brain development with functional consequences that persist into adulthood. We also discuss recent rodent work showing that increased frequency of licking and grooming provided by the dam during the first week of life is associated with changes in DNA methylation of promoter elements that control expression of these genes and behavior. The stability of DNA methylation in postmitotic cells provides a possible molecular scaffold by which changes in gene expression and behavioral traits induced by postnatal maternal care are maintained throughout life. Finally, the relevance of findings reported in rodents to those noted in non-human primates and humans are assessed and the research and clinical implications of these observations for future work are explored. PMID:17355397

  12. Insights into photodissociation dynamics of acetaldehyde from ab initio calculations and molecular dynamics simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Chen Shilu; Fang Weihai

    2009-08-07

    In the present paper we report a theoretical study on mechanistic photodissociation of acetaldehyde (CH{sub 3}CHO). Stationary structures for H{sub 2} and CO eliminations in the ground state (S{sub 0}) have been optimized with density functional theory method, which is followed by the intrinsic reaction coordinate and ab initio molecular dynamics calculations to confirm the elimination mechanism. Equilibrium geometries, transition states, and intersection structures for the C-C and C-H dissociations in excited states were determined by the complete-active-space self-consistent field (CASSCF) method. Based on the CASSCF optimized structures, the potential energy profiles for the dissociations were refined by performing the single-point calculations using the multireference configuration interaction method. Upon the low-energy irradiation of CH{sub 3}CHO (265 nm<{lambda}<318 nm), the T{sub 1} C-C bond fission following intersystem crossing from the S{sub 1} state is the predominant channel and the minor channel, the ground-state elimination to CH{sub 4}+CO after internal conversion (IC) from S{sub 1} to S{sub 0}, could not be excluded. With the photon energy increasing, another pathway of IC, achieved via an S{sub 1}/S{sub 0} intersection point resulting from the S{sub 1} C-C bond fission, becomes accessible and increases the yield of CH{sub 4}+CO.

  13. Insight into the mechanism of polyphenols on the activity of HMGR by molecular docking

    PubMed Central

    Islam, Barira; Sharma, Charu; Adem, Abdu; Aburawi, Elhadi; Ojha, Shreesh

    2015-01-01

    Statins are hypolipidemic drugs that are effective in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia by attenuating cholesterol synthesis in the liver via competitive inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. Recently, dietary changes associated with drug therapy have garnered attention as novel drugs to mitigate or ameliorate hypercholesterolemia. The present study was undertaken to observe different dietary polyphenols that can bind to the active site of HMGR and inhibit it. Results from the 12 dietary polyphenols tested reveal that polyphenols can bind to HMGR and block the binding of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP+). We observed that the rigidity of phenolic rings prevents the polyphenols from docking to the enzyme activity site. The presence of an ester linkage between the phenolic rings in (–)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and the alkyl chain in curcumin allows them to orient in the active site of the HMGR and bind to the catalytic residues. EGCG and curcumin showed binding to the active site residues with a low GRID score, which may be a potential inhibitor of HMGR. Kaempferol showed binding to HMG-CoA, but with low binding affinity. These observations provide a rationale for the consistent hypolipidemic effect of EGCG and curcumin, which has been previously reported in several epidemiological and animal studies. Therefore, this study substantiates the mechanism of polyphenols on the activity of HMGR by molecular docking and provides the impetus for drug design involving further structure–function relationship studies. PMID:26357462

  14. Molecular interactions of α-amino acids insight into aqueous β-cyclodextrin systems.

    PubMed

    Ekka, Deepak; Roy, Mahendra Nath

    2013-10-01

    Qualitative and quantitative analysis of molecular interaction prevailing in glycine, L-alanine, L-valine and aqueous solution of β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) have been probed by thermophysical properties. Density (ρ), viscosity (η), and ultrasonic speed (u) measurements have been reported at different temperatures. The extent of interaction (solute-solvent interaction) is expressed in terms of the limiting apparent molar volume ([Formula: see text]), viscosity B-coefficient and limiting apparent molar adiabatic compressibility ([Formula: see text]). The changes on the enthalpy ([Formula: see text]) and entropy ([Formula: see text]) of the encapsulation analysis give information about the driving forces governing the inclusion. The temperature dependence behaviour of partial molar quantities and group contributions to partial molar volumes has been determined for the amino acids. The trends in transfer volumes, [Formula: see text], have been interpreted in terms of solute-cosolute interactions based on a cosphere overlap model. The role of the solvent (aqueous solution of β-CD) and the contribution of solute-solute and solute-solvent interactions to the solution complexes have also been analyzed through the derived properties.

  15. Insight into the mechanism of polyphenols on the activity of HMGR by molecular docking.

    PubMed

    Islam, Barira; Sharma, Charu; Adem, Abdu; Aburawi, Elhadi; Ojha, Shreesh

    2015-01-01

    Statins are hypolipidemic drugs that are effective in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia by attenuating cholesterol synthesis in the liver via competitive inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. Recently, dietary changes associated with drug therapy have garnered attention as novel drugs to mitigate or ameliorate hypercholesterolemia. The present study was undertaken to observe different dietary polyphenols that can bind to the active site of HMGR and inhibit it. Results from the 12 dietary polyphenols tested reveal that polyphenols can bind to HMGR and block the binding of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP(+)). We observed that the rigidity of phenolic rings prevents the polyphenols from docking to the enzyme activity site. The presence of an ester linkage between the phenolic rings in (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and the alkyl chain in curcumin allows them to orient in the active site of the HMGR and bind to the catalytic residues. EGCG and curcumin showed binding to the active site residues with a low GRID score, which may be a potential inhibitor of HMGR. Kaempferol showed binding to HMG-CoA, but with low binding affinity. These observations provide a rationale for the consistent hypolipidemic effect of EGCG and curcumin, which has been previously reported in several epidemiological and animal studies. Therefore, this study substantiates the mechanism of polyphenols on the activity of HMGR by molecular docking and provides the impetus for drug design involving further structure-function relationship studies.

  16. Forced Desorption of Bovine Serum Albumin and Lysozyme from Graphite: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulation.

    PubMed

    Mücksch, Christian; Urbassek, Herbert M

    2016-08-18

    We use molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to study the adsorption and desorption of two widely different proteins, bovine serum albumin (BSA) and lysozyme, on a graphite surface. The adsorption is modeled using accelerated MD to allow the proteins to find optimum conformations on the surface. Our results demonstrate that the "hard protein" lysozyme retains much of its secondary structure during adsorption, whereas BSA loses it almost completely. BSA has a considerably larger adsorption energy compared to that of lysozyme, which does not scale with chain length. Desorption simulations are carried out using classical steered MD. The BSA molecule becomes fully unzipped during pull-off, whereas several helices survive this process in lysozyme. The unzipping process shows up in the force-distance curve of BSA as a series of peaks, whereas only a single or few, depending on protein orientation, force peaks occur for lysozyme. The maximum desorption force is larger for BSA than for lysozyme, but only by a factor of about 2.3.

  17. Temperature-induced unfolding of epidermal growth factor (EGF): insight from molecular dynamics simulation.

    PubMed

    Yan, Chunli; Pattani, Varun; Tunnell, James W; Ren, Pengyu

    2010-08-24

    Thermal disruption of protein structure and function is a potentially powerful therapeutic vehicle. With the emerging nanoparticle-targeting and femtosecond laser technology, it is possible to deliver heating locally to specific molecules. It is therefore important to understand how fast a protein can unfold or lose its function at high temperatures, such as near the water boiling point. In this study, the thermal damage of EGF was investigated by combining the replica exchange (136 replicas) and conventional molecular dynamics simulations. The REMD simulation was employed to rigorously explore the free-energy landscape of EGF unfolding. Interestingly, besides the native and unfolded states, we also observed a distinct molten globule (MG) state that retained substantial amount of native contacts. Based on the understanding that which the unfolding of EGF is a three-state process, we have examined the unfolding kinetics of EGF (N-->MG and MG-->D) with multiple 20-ns conventional MD simulations. The Arrhenius prefactors and activation energy barriers determined from the simulation are within the range of previously studied proteins. In contrast to the thermal damage of cells and tissues which take place on the time scale of seconds to hours at relatively low temperatures, the denaturation of proteins occur in nanoseconds when the temperature of heat bath approaches the boiling point. PMID:20466569

  18. Molecular genetic insights on cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) ecology and conservation in Namibia.

    PubMed

    Marker, Laurie L; Pearks Wilkerson, Alison J; Sarno, Ronald J; Martenson, Janice; Breitenmoser-Würsten, Christian; O'Brien, Stephen J; Johnson, Warren E

    2008-01-01

    The extent and geographic patterns of molecular genetic diversity of the largest remaining free-ranging cheetah population were described in a survey of 313 individuals from throughout Namibia. Levels of relatedness, including paternity/maternity (parentage), were assessed across all individuals using 19 polymorphic microsatellite loci, and unrelated cheetahs (n = 89) from 7 regions were genotyped at 38 loci to document broad geographical patterns. There was limited differentiation among regions, evidence that this is a generally panmictic population. Measures of genetic variation were similar among all regions and were comparable with Eastern African cheetah populations. Parentage analyses confirmed several observations based on field studies, including 21 of 23 previously hypothesized family groups, 40 probable parent/offspring pairs, and 8 sibling groups. These results also verified the successful integration and reproduction of several cheetahs following natural dispersal or translocation. Animals within social groups (family groups, male coalitions, or sibling groups) were generally related. Within the main study area, radio-collared female cheetahs were more closely interrelated than similarly compared males, a pattern consistent with greater male dispersal. The long-term maintenance of current patterns of genetic variation in Namibia depends on retaining habitat characteristics that promote natural dispersal and gene flow of cheetahs.

  19. Effects of Structured Ionomer Interfaces on Water Diffusion: Molecular Dynamics Simulation Insight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aryal, Dipak; Perahia, Dvora; Grest, Gary

    The dynamics of solvent molecules across structured ionomers interfaces is crucial to innovative technologies with selective controlled transport. These polymers consist of ionizable blocks facilitating transport tethered to mechanical stability enhancing ones, where their incompatibility drives compounded interfaces. Here water penetration through the interface of an A-B-C-B-A co-polymer is probed by atomistic molecular dynamics simulations where C is a randomly sulfonated polystyrene with sulfonation fractions f = 0 to 0.55, B is poly (ethylene-r-propylene) and A is poly (t-butyl styrene). For f>0, a two-step process with slow diffusion at the early stages is observed where water molecules transverse the hydrophobic rich surface before reaching the hydrophilic regime. Water molecules then diffuse along the percolating network of the ionic center block. Increasing the temperature and sulfonation fraction enhances both the rate of diffusion and the overall water uptake. This work is partially supported by DOE: DE-SC007908.

  20. Dynamics of biological water: insights from molecular modeling of light scattering in aqueous trehalose solutions.

    PubMed

    Lupi, Laura; Comez, Lucia; Paolantoni, Marco; Fioretto, Daniele; Ladanyi, Branka M

    2012-06-28

    Extended depolarized light scattering (EDLS) measurements have been recently employed to investigate the dynamics of water solvating biological molecules, giving evidence of the presence of two different dynamical regimes among water molecules. An interpretation of EDLS has been proposed that provides an independent estimate of the retardation factor of slowdown with respect to fast water molecules and of the number of solvent molecules affected by this slowing down. Nevertheless this measure is an inherently complex one, due to the collective nature of the physical property probed. In the present work a molecular dynamics (MD) approach has been used to more deeply understand experimental results. Time correlation functions of the collective polarizability anisotropy have been calculated for the prototype disaccharide trehalose in aqueous solutions as a function of concentration. The unique capability of MD to disentangle the contributions to the dynamics arising from solute, solvent, and cross terms between the two allowed us to check the reliability of an interpretation that assumes a spectral separation of water and sugar dynamics, as well as to highlight the very presence of two distinct relaxation processes in water. The two processes have been attributed to the dynamics of bulk and hydration water, respectively. A retardation factor of ~5 and concentration dependent hydration numbers have been observed, in good agreement with experimental results [Paolantoni, M.; et al. J. Phys. Chem. B 2009, 113, 7874-7878].

  1. Molecular insights into mechanisms of lepidopteran serine proteinase resistance to natural plant defenses.

    PubMed

    Tamaki, Fábio K; Terra, Walter R

    2015-11-27

    Plants have a wide range of chemical defenses against predation, including substances that target digestive serine proteinases of herbivorous. Previous works demonstrated that lepidopteran insects have digestive serine proteinases resistant to plant proteinase inhibitors (PPIs) and ketone modifications, while coleopteran ones are sensitive to those plant defenses. This paper focuses on molecular aspects that lead lepidopteran serine proteinases to PPI and ketone modification resistance. Using biochemical experiments and computer 3D modeling we demonstrated that lepidopteran trypsins are more hydrophobic than coleopteran ones, a feature associated to trypsin oligomerization and decreased inhibition by PPI. Moreover, the determination of pKa values of chymotrypsin catalytic residues obtained by TPCK modification indicates that the environment around the active site of ketone-resistant and -sensitive chymotrypsins are different. Structural analysis using resistant and sensitive chymotrypsins data allowed us to point 2 hotspot regions around the active site that could explain the observed differences. Our set of results highlights features of serine proteinases important for understanding the resistance of insects to plant chemical defenses.

  2. Molecular Insights into Toluene Sensing in the TodS/TodT Signal Transduction System.

    PubMed

    Koh, Serry; Hwang, Jungwon; Guchhait, Koushik; Lee, Eun-Gyeong; Kim, Sang-Yoon; Kim, Sujin; Lee, Sangmin; Chung, Jeong Min; Jung, Hyun Suk; Lee, Sang Jun; Ryu, Choong-Min; Lee, Seung-Goo; Oh, Tae-Kwang; Kwon, Ohsuk; Kim, Myung Hee

    2016-04-15

    TodS is a sensor kinase that responds to various monoaromatic compounds, which either cause an agonistic or antagonistic effect on phosphorylation of its cognate response regulator TodT, and controls tod operon expression in Pseudomonas putida strains. We describe a molecular sensing mechanism of TodS that is activated in response to toluene. The crystal structures of the TodS Per-Arnt-Sim (PAS) 1 sensor domain (residues 43-164) and its complex with toluene (agonist) or 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene (antagonist) show a typical β2α3β3 PAS fold structure (residues 45-149), forming a hydrophobic ligand-binding site. A signal transfer region (residues 150-163) located immediately after the canonical PAS fold may be intrinsically flexible and disordered in both apo-PAS1 and antagonist-bound forms and dramatically adapt an α-helix upon toluene binding. This structural change in the signal transfer region is proposed to result in signal transmission to activate the TodS/TodT two-component signal transduction system. Site-directed mutagenesis and β-galactosidase assays using a P. putida reporter strain system verified the essential residues involved in ligand sensing and signal transfer and suggest that the Phe(46) residue acts as a ligand-specific switch.

  3. A Molecular Insight into the Role of Inflammation in the Behavior and Pathogenesis of Odontogenic Cysts

    PubMed Central

    Singh, HP; Shetty, DC; Kumar, A; Chavan, R; Shori, DD; Mali, J

    2013-01-01

    Background: Although, odontogenickeratocyst (OKC) and dentigerous cyst (DC) are considered asdevelopmental cysts inflammation has been seen in its connective tissue wall. Inflammation is seen to alter the epithelial lining of both OKC and DC butwhether it plays in altering the behavior of these cysts is not fully understood. Aim: The present study is conducted with the help of molecular marker proliferating cellular nuclear antigen (PCNA) to assess the proliferative activity of OKC and DC and to further evaluate and correlate the effect of inflammation on the proliferative activity and hence on biological behavior of these cysts. Materials and Methods: Immunohistochemicalstaining was performed using anti-PCNA antibody in 10 cases each of classical OKC, inflamed OKC, classical DC, and inflamed DC. The resulting data was tabulated on Microsoft excel and subjected to statistical analysis using two-way analysis of variance test, t test and post-hoc test followed by Bonferroni test with the application of statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) (SPSS, Chicago, IL, USA) and Epi-Info 6.04 d, Atlanta, Georgia (USA). Results: Total mean PCNA expression is statistically higher in inflamed OKC than classical OKC and inflamed DC also showed significantly higher PCNA expression than classical DC (P < 0.001). Correlation between inflammation and PCNA expression was not statistically significant (P ≥ 0.05). Conclusion: Inflammation is responsible for change in behavior of neoplastic epithelium of OKC, whereas in dentigerous it is responsible for changes in epithelial lining and hence should be treated meticulously. PMID:24380002

  4. Merkel Cell Polyomavirus: Molecular Insights into the Most Recently Discovered Human Tumour Virus

    PubMed Central

    Stakaitytė, Gabrielė; Wood, Jennifer J.; Knight, Laura M.; Abdul-Sada, Hussein; Adzahar, Noor Suhana; Nwogu, Nnenna; Macdonald, Andrew; Whitehouse, Adrian

    2014-01-01

    A fifth of worldwide cancer cases have an infectious origin, with viral infection being the foremost. One such cancer is Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a rare but aggressive skin malignancy. In 2008, Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) was discovered as the causative agent of MCC. It is found clonally integrated into the majority of MCC tumours, which require MCPyV oncoproteins to survive. Since its discovery, research has begun to reveal the molecular virology of MCPyV, as well as how it induces tumourigenesis. It is thought to be a common skin commensal, found at low levels in healthy individuals. Upon loss of immunosurveillance, MCPyV reactivates, and a heavy viral load is associated with MCC pathogenesis. Although MCPyV is in many ways similar to classical oncogenic polyomaviruses, such as SV40, subtle differences are beginning to emerge. These unique features highlight the singular position MCPyV has as the only human oncogenic polyomavirus, and open up new avenues for therapies against MCC. PMID:24978434

  5. Origins and evolution of modern biochemistry: insights from genomes and molecular structure.

    PubMed

    Caetano-Anolles, Gustavo; Sun, Feng-Jie; Wang, Minglei; Yafremava, Liudmila S; Harish, Ajith; Kim, Hee Shin; Knudsen, Vegeir; Caetano-Anolles, Derek; Mittenthal, Jay E

    2008-01-01

    The survey of components in living systems at different levels of organization enables an evolutionary exploration of patterns and processes in macromolecules, networks, and genomic repertoires. Here we discuss how phylogenetic strategies that generate intrinsically rooted phylogenies impact the evolutionary study of RNA and protein components of the macromolecular machinery that is responsible for biological function. We used these methods to generate timelines of discovery of components in systems, such as substructures in RNA molecules, architectures in proteomes, domains in multi-domain proteins, enzymes in metabolic networks, and protein architectures in proteomes. These timelines unfolded remarkable patterns of origin and evolution of molecules, repertoires and networks, showing episodes of both functional specialization (e.g., rise of domains with specialized functions) and molecular simplification (e.g., reductive tendencies in molecules and proteomes). These observations have important evolutionary implications for origins of translation, the genetic code, modules in the protein world, and diversification of life, and suggest early evolution of modern biochemistry was driven by recruitment of both RNA and protein catalysts in an ancient community of complex organisms. PMID:18508583

  6. Molecular insights into chronotype and time-of-day effects on decision-making.

    PubMed

    Ingram, Krista K; Ay, Ahmet; Kwon, Soo Bin; Woods, Kerri; Escobar, Sue; Gordon, Molly; Smith, Isaac H; Bearden, Neil; Filipowicz, Allan; Jain, Kriti

    2016-01-01

    Recent reports highlight that human decision-making is influenced by the time of day and whether one is a morning or evening person (i.e., chronotype). Here, we test whether these behavioral effects are associated with endogenous biological rhythms. We asked participants to complete two well-established decision-making tasks in the morning or evening: the matrix task (an ethical decision task) and the balloon analog risk task (BART; a risk-taking task), and we measured their chronotype in two ways. First, participants completed a self-report measure, the Horne-Östberg Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ). Second, we measured the expression of two circadian clock-regulated genes-Per3 and Nr1d2-from peripheral clock cells in participants' hair follicle samples. Using a cosinor model, we estimated the phase of the peripheral clock and assigned RNA chronotypes to participants with advanced (larks) or delayed (owls) phases. The behavioral data were analyzed independently for self-reported (MEQ) and RNA-based chronotypes. We find that significant chronotype and/or time-of-day effects between larks and owls in decision-making tasks occur only in RNA-based chronotypes. Our results provide evidence that time-of-day effects on decision-making can be explained by phase differences in oscillating clock genes and suggest that variation in the molecular clockwork may influence inter-individual differences in decision-making behavior. PMID:27388366

  7. Molecular Insights into Toluene Sensing in the TodS/TodT Signal Transduction System*

    PubMed Central

    Koh, Serry; Hwang, Jungwon; Guchhait, Koushik; Lee, Eun-Gyeong; Kim, Sang-Yoon; Kim, Sujin; Lee, Sangmin; Chung, Jeong Min; Jung, Hyun Suk; Lee, Sang Jun; Ryu, Choong-Min; Lee, Seung-Goo; Oh, Tae-Kwang; Kwon, Ohsuk; Kim, Myung Hee

    2016-01-01

    TodS is a sensor kinase that responds to various monoaromatic compounds, which either cause an agonistic or antagonistic effect on phosphorylation of its cognate response regulator TodT, and controls tod operon expression in Pseudomonas putida strains. We describe a molecular sensing mechanism of TodS that is activated in response to toluene. The crystal structures of the TodS Per-Arnt-Sim (PAS) 1 sensor domain (residues 43–164) and its complex with toluene (agonist) or 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene (antagonist) show a typical β2α3β3 PAS fold structure (residues 45–149), forming a hydrophobic ligand-binding site. A signal transfer region (residues 150–163) located immediately after the canonical PAS fold may be intrinsically flexible and disordered in both apo-PAS1 and antagonist-bound forms and dramatically adapt an α-helix upon toluene binding. This structural change in the signal transfer region is proposed to result in signal transmission to activate the TodS/TodT two-component signal transduction system. Site-directed mutagenesis and β-galactosidase assays using a P. putida reporter strain system verified the essential residues involved in ligand sensing and signal transfer and suggest that the Phe46 residue acts as a ligand-specific switch. PMID:26903514

  8. Molecular basis of floral petaloidy: insights from androecia of Canna indica

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Qian; Liu, Huanfang; Almeida, Ana M. R.; Kuang, Yanfeng; Zou, Pu; Liao, Jingping

    2014-01-01

    Floral organs that take on the characteristics of petals can occur in all whorls of the monocot order Zingiberales. In Canna indica, the most ornamental or ‘petaloid’ parts of the flowers are of androecial origin and are considered staminodes. However, the precise nature of these petaloid organs is yet to be determined. In order to gain a better understanding of the genetic basis of androecial identity, a molecular investigation of B- and C-class genes was carried out. Two MADS-box genes GLOBOSA (GLO) and AGAMOUS (AG) were isolated from young inflorescences of C. indica by 3′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends polymerase chain reaction (3′-RACE PCR). Sequence characterization and phylogenetic analyses show that CiGLO and CiAG belong to the B- and C-class MADS-box gene family, respectively. CiAG is expressed in petaloid staminodes, the labellum, the fertile stamen and carpels. CiGLO is expressed in petals, petaloid staminodes, the labellum, the fertile stamen and carpels. Expression patterns in mature tissues of CiGLO and CiAG suggest that petaloid staminodes and the labellum are of androecial identity, in agreement with their position within the flower and with described Arabidopsis thaliana expression patterns. Although B- and C-class genes are important components of androecial determination, their expression patterns are not sufficient to explain the distinct morphology observed in staminodes and the fertile stamen in C. indica. PMID:24876297

  9. Molecular Background of miRNA Role in Asthma and COPD: An Updated Insight.

    PubMed

    Szymczak, Izabela; Wieczfinska, Joanna; Pawliczak, Rafal

    2016-01-01

    Inflammatory airway diseases are a significant health problems requiring new approaches to the existing therapies and addressing fundamental issues. Difficulties in developing effective therapeutic strategies might be caused by lack of understanding of their exact molecular mechanism. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of regulators that already revolutionized the view of gene expression regulation. A cumulating number of investigations show a pivotal role of miRNAs in the pathogenesis of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or airway remodeling through the regulation of many pathways involved in their pathogenesis. Expression changes of several miRNAs have also been found to play a role in the development and/or improvement in asthma or COPD. Still, relatively little is known about the role of miRNAs in inflammatory disorders. The microRNA profiles may differ depending on the cell type or antigen-presenting cell. Based on the newest literature, this review discusses the current knowledge concerning miRNA contribution and influence on lung inflammation and chosen inflammatory airway diseases: asthma and COPD. PMID:27376086

  10. Postcollision multifragmentation in fullerene-surface impact: Microscopic insights via molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Bernstein, Victor; Kolodney, Eli

    2016-07-28

    Postcollision multifragmentation which we have recently observed experimentally in C60 (-)-surface impact is the phenomenon of a delayed multiparticle breakup of a highly collisionally vibrationally excited large molecule/cluster (the precursor species) into several polyatomic fragments, after leaving the surface. In this paper, we show that the molecular dynamics simulations of near-grazing C60 collisions with a gold surface at 300 eV impact energy (very similar to the experimental conditions) successfully reproduce the experimentally observed characteristics of the postcollision multifragmentation process. The calculated mass resolved kinetic energy distributions and the time dependent yield curves of the Cn fragments revealed a precursor mediated, velocity correlated, delayed fragmentation event along the outgoing trajectory, far away from the surface. Most of the large fragments (n ≥ 5) are formed within a time window of 2-20 ps after leaving the surface, corresponding to the vertical distances of 3-30 nm from the surface. Analysis of delay times and actual time duration for multifragmentation reveal that a large part can be described as simultaneous postcollision (delayed) multifragmentation events. The delayed nature of the event seems to be due to an early sequence of structural transformations of the precursor. PMID:27475357

  11. Molecular basis of human body odour formation: insights deduced from corynebacterial genome sequences.

    PubMed

    Barzantny, H; Brune, I; Tauch, A

    2012-02-01

    During the past few decades, there has been an increased interest in the essential role of commensal skin bacteria in human body odour formation. It is now generally accepted that skin bacteria cause body odour by biotransformation of sweat components secreted in the human axillae. Especially, aerobic corynebacteria have been shown to contribute strongly to axillary malodour, whereas other human skin residents seem to have little influence. Analysis of odoriferous sweat components has shown that the major odour-causing substances in human sweat include steroid derivatives, short volatile branched-chain fatty acids and sulphanylalkanols. In this mini-review, we describe the molecular basis of the four most extensively studied routes of human body odour formation, while focusing on the underlying enzymatic processes. Considering the previously reported role of β-oxidation in odour formation, we analysed the genetic repertoire of eight Corynebacterium species concerning fatty acid metabolism. We particularly focused on the metabolic abilities of the lipophilic axillary isolate Corynebacterium jeikeium K411.

  12. Insights into the interactions between maleimide derivates and GSK3β combining molecular docking and QSAR.

    PubMed

    Quesada-Romero, Luisa; Mena-Ulecia, Karel; Tiznado, William; Caballero, Julio

    2014-01-01

    Many protein kinase (PK) inhibitors have been reported in recent years, but only a few have been approved for clinical use. The understanding of the available molecular information using computational tools is an alternative to contribute to this process. With this in mind, we studied the binding modes of 77 maleimide derivates inside the PK glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) using docking experiments. We found that the orientations that these compounds adopt inside GSK3β binding site prioritize the formation of hydrogen bond (HB) interactions between the maleimide group and the residues at the hinge region (residues Val135 and Asp133), and adopt propeller-like conformations (where the maleimide is the propeller axis and the heterocyclic substituents are two slanted blades). In addition, quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models using CoMSIA methodology were constructed to explain the trend of the GSK3β inhibitory activities for the studied compounds. We found a model to explain the structure-activity relationship of non-cyclic maleimide (NCM) derivatives (54 compounds). The best CoMSIA model (training set included 44 compounds) included steric, hydrophobic, and HB donor fields and had a good Q(2) value of 0.539. It also predicted adequately the most active compounds contained in the test set. Furthermore, the analysis of the plots of the steric CoMSIA field describes the elements involved in the differential potency of the inhibitors that can be considered for the selection of suitable inhibitors. PMID:25010341

  13. Insights into the Interactions between Maleimide Derivates and GSK3β Combining Molecular Docking and QSAR

    PubMed Central

    Quesada-Romero, Luisa; Mena-Ulecia, Karel; Tiznado, William; Caballero, Julio

    2014-01-01

    Many protein kinase (PK) inhibitors have been reported in recent years, but only a few have been approved for clinical use. The understanding of the available molecular information using computational tools is an alternative to contribute to this process. With this in mind, we studied the binding modes of 77 maleimide derivates inside the PK glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) using docking experiments. We found that the orientations that these compounds adopt inside GSK3β binding site prioritize the formation of hydrogen bond (HB) interactions between the maleimide group and the residues at the hinge region (residues Val135 and Asp133), and adopt propeller-like conformations (where the maleimide is the propeller axis and the heterocyclic substituents are two slanted blades). In addition, quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) models using CoMSIA methodology were constructed to explain the trend of the GSK3β inhibitory activities for the studied compounds. We found a model to explain the structure–activity relationship of non-cyclic maleimide (NCM) derivatives (54 compounds). The best CoMSIA model (training set included 44 compounds) included steric, hydrophobic, and HB donor fields and had a good Q2 value of 0.539. It also predicted adequately the most active compounds contained in the test set. Furthermore, the analysis of the plots of the steric CoMSIA field describes the elements involved in the differential potency of the inhibitors that can be considered for the selection of suitable inhibitors. PMID:25010341

  14. Molecular insights into chronotype and time-of-day effects on decision-making

    PubMed Central

    Ingram, Krista K; Ay, Ahmet; Kwon, Soo Bin; Woods, Kerri; Escobar, Sue; Gordon, Molly; Smith, Isaac H.; Bearden, Neil; Filipowicz, Allan; Jain, Kriti

    2016-01-01

    Recent reports highlight that human decision-making is influenced by the time of day and whether one is a morning or evening person (i.e., chronotype). Here, we test whether these behavioral effects are associated with endogenous biological rhythms. We asked participants to complete two well-established decision-making tasks in the morning or evening: the matrix task (an ethical decision task) and the balloon analog risk task (BART; a risk-taking task), and we measured their chronotype in two ways. First, participants completed a self-report measure, the Horne-Östberg Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ). Second, we measured the expression of two circadian clock-regulated genes—Per3 and Nr1d2—from peripheral clock cells in participants’ hair follicle samples. Using a cosinor model, we estimated the phase of the peripheral clock and assigned RNA chronotypes to participants with advanced (larks) or delayed (owls) phases. The behavioral data were analyzed independently for self-reported (MEQ) and RNA-based chronotypes. We find that significant chronotype and/or time-of-day effects between larks and owls in decision-making tasks occur only in RNA-based chronotypes. Our results provide evidence that time-of-day effects on decision-making can be explained by phase differences in oscillating clock genes and suggest that variation in the molecular clockwork may influence inter-individual differences in decision-making behavior. PMID:27388366

  15. Leaf-associated fungal diversity in acidified streams: insights from combining traditional and molecular approaches.

    PubMed

    Clivot, Hugues; Cornut, Julien; Chauvet, Eric; Elger, Arnaud; Poupin, Pascal; Guérold, François; Pagnout, Christophe

    2014-07-01

    We combined microscopic and molecular methods to investigate fungal assemblages on alder leaf litter exposed in the benthic and hyporheic zones of five streams across a gradient of increasing acidification for 4 weeks. The results showed that acidification and elevated Al concentrations strongly depressed sporulating aquatic hyphomycetes diversity in both zones of streams, while fungal diversity assessed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) appeared unaffected. Clone library analyses revealed that fungal communities on leaves were dominated by members of Ascomycetes and to a lesser extent by Basidiomycetes and Chytridiomycetes. An important contribution of terrestrial fungi was observed in both zones of the most acidified stream and in the hyporheic zone of the reference circumneutral stream. The highest leaf breakdown rate was observed in the circumneutral stream and occurred in the presence of both the highest diversity of sporulating aquatic hyphomycetes and the highest contribution to clone libraries of sequences affiliated with aquatic hyphomycetes. Both methods underline the major role played by aquatic hyphomycetes in leaf decomposition process. Our findings also bring out new highlights on the identity of leaf-associated fungal communities and their responses to anthropogenic alteration of running water ecosystems.

  16. Cytochrome P450 structure-function: insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Nair, Pramod C; McKinnon, Ross A; Miners, John O

    2016-08-01

    Cytochrome P450 (CYP) family 1, 2, and 3 enzymes play an essential role in the metabolic clearance and detoxification of a myriad of structurally and chemically diverse drugs and non-drug xenobiotics. The individual CYP enzymes exhibit distinct substrate and inhibitor selectivities, and hence differing patterns of inhibitory drug-drug interactions. In addition, CYP enzymes differ in terms of regulation of expression, genetic polymorphism, and environmental factors that alter activity. The availability of three-dimensional structures from X-ray crystallography have been invaluable for understanding the structural basis of the ligand selectivity of CYP enzymes. Moreover, the X-ray crystal structures demonstrate that CYP proteins exhibit marked flexibility, particularly around the active site, and the principle of ligand-induced conformational changes is now well accepted. Recent studies have demonstrated that molecular dynamics simulations (MDS) provide an additional approach for modeling the structural flexibility of CYP enzymes, both in the presence and absence of bound ligand, and understanding the functional consequences of plasticity. However, most of the MDS studies reported to date have utilized short simulation time scales, and few have validated the computationally-generated data experimentally (e.g. by site-directed mutagenesis and enzyme kinetic approaches). Although modeling approaches require further development and validation, MDS has the potential to provide a deeper understanding of CYP structure-function than is available from experimental techniques such as X-ray crystallography alone. PMID:27167388

  17. Molecular insights into the evolution of the family Bovidae: a nuclear DNA perspective.

    PubMed

    Matthee, C A; Davis, S K

    2001-07-01

    The evolutionary history of the family Bovidae remains controversial despite past comprehensive morphological and genetic investigations. In an effort to resolve some of the systematic uncertainties within the group, a combined molecular phylogeny was constructed based on four independent nuclear DNA markers (2,573 characters) and three mitochondrial DNA genes (1,690 characters) for 34 bovid taxa representing all seven of the currently recognized bovid subfamilies. The nuclear DNA fragments were analyzed separately and in combination after partition homogeneity tests were performed. There was no significant rate heterogeneity among lineages, and retention index values indicated the general absence of homoplasy in the nuclear DNA data. The conservative nuclear DNA data were remarkably effective in resolving associations among bovid subfamilies, which had a rapid radiation dating back to approximately 23 MYA. All analyses supported the monophyly of the Bovinae (cow, nilgai, and kudu clade) as a sister lineage to the remaining bovid subfamilies, and the data convincingly suggest that the subfamilies Alcelaphinae (hartebeest, tsessebe, and wildebeest group) and Hippotraginae (roan, sable, and gemsbok clade) share a close evolutionary relationship and together form a sister clade to the more primitive Caprinae (represented by sheep, goat, and muskox). The problematic Reduncinae (waterbuck, reedbuck) seem to be the earliest-diverging group of the Caprinae/Alcelaphinae/Hippotraginae clade, whereas the Antilopinae (gazelle and dwarf antelope clade) were always polyphyletic. The sequence data suggest that the initial diversification of the Bovidae took place in Eurasia and that lineages such as the Cephalophinae and other enigmatic taxa (impala, suni, and klipspringer) most likely originated, more or less contemporaneously, in Africa.

  18. Novel Insights into the Molecular Mechanism of Action of DNA Hypomethylating Agents

    PubMed Central

    Datta, Jharna; Ghoshal, Kalpana; Motiwala, Tasneem

    2012-01-01

    We have previously demonstrated proteasomal degradation of DNMT1 in mammalian cells following treatment with several DNA hypomethylating agents. Here, we demonstrate dose-dependent degradation of Dnmt1 in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells expressing catalytic site mutant (cys-ser), confirming that the covalent bond formation between Dnmt1 and decitabine-incorporated DNA is not essential for this process. DNMT1o, the oocyte-specific isoform that lacks the N-terminal 118–amino acid domain, did not undergo decitabine-mediated degradation, which further proves the requirement of multiple domains including nuclear localization signal, KEN box, and BAH domains for this process. Analysis of glycerol density gradient fractions of micrococcal nuclease–digested nuclei showed that both nucleosomal and nucleoplasmic DNMT1 are degraded upon decitabine treatment. Among different inhibitors tested, the inhibitors of the proteasomal pathway and several protein kinases impeded decitabine-induced DNMT1 degradation. The maximal effect caused by inhibiting protein kinase C (PKC) persuaded us to investigate further its role in decitabine-mediated DNMT1 degradation. Blockage of the degradation process after treatment with rottlerin, an inhibitor of PKCδ, or after siRNA-mediated depletion of PKCδ, indicated that this protein kinase is involved in decitabine-mediated depletion of DNMT1. PKCδ interacted with and phosphorylated DNMT1 in vitro. Moreover, rottlerin inhibited both basal and decitabine-induced phosphorylation of DNMT1. These studies provide substantial evidence that decitabine-induced degradation of the maintenance methyltransferase DNMT1 does not require covalent bond formation with the substrate and also elucidate its underlying molecular mechanism. PMID:22893792

  19. Way back for fructose and liver metabolism: bench side to molecular insights.

    PubMed

    Rebollo, Alba; Roglans, Núria; Alegret, Marta; Laguna, Juan C

    2012-12-01

    The World Health Organization recommends that the daily intake of added sugars should make up no more than 10% of total energy. The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is the main source of added sugars. Fructose, together with glucose, as a component of high fructose corn syrups or as a component of the sucrose molecule, is one of the main sweeteners present in this kind of beverages. Data from prospective and intervention studies clearly point to high fructose consumption, mainly in the form of sweetened beverages, as a risk factor for several metabolic diseases in humans. The incidence of hypertension, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), dyslipidemia (mainly hypertriglyceridemia), insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, and the cluster of many of these pathologies in the form of metabolic syndrome is higher in human population segments that show high intake of fructose. Adolescent and young adults from low-income families are especially at risk. We recently reviewed evidence from experimental animals and human data that confirms the deleterious effect of fructose on lipid and glucose metabolism. In this present review we update the information generated in the past 2 years about high consumption of fructose-enriched beverages and the occurrence of metabolic disturbances, especially NAFLD, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome. We have explored recent data from observational and experimental human studies, as well as experimental data from animal and cell models. Finally, using information generated in our laboratory and others, we provide a view of the molecular mechanisms that may be specifically involved in the development of liver lipid and glucose metabolic alterations after fructose consumption in liquid form.

  20. Debye process in Ibuprofen glass-forming liquid: insights from molecular dynamics simulation.

    PubMed

    Affouard, F; Correia, Natália T

    2010-09-01

    By means of molecular dynamics simulations, dynamical properties of racemic ibuprofen glass-forming liquid are investigated at different temperatures from 360 to 500 K. The origin of the peculiar low amplitude Debye-type relaxation observed experimentally by dielectric relaxation spectroscopy is addressed (Bras, A. R.; Noronha, J. P.; Antunes, A. M. M.; Cardoso, M. M.; Schonhals, A.; Affouard, F.; Dionisio, M.; Correia, N. T. J. Phys. Chem. B 2008, 112, 11087). Single and total dipolar autocorrelation functions are calculated. It is found that the behavior of the total dipole correlation is dominated at short and long times by the single function. It mainly originates from the antiparallel dipoles correlations in agreement with a value of the Kirkwood correlation factor slightly smaller than unity. The simulation suggests that the long time Debye-type decay of the dipole-dipole correlation is dominated by the internal cis-trans conversion of the O=C-O-H group coupled to the change of the intermolecular linear/cyclic HB structures. The overall rotation of the molecules is about 1-2 decades faster than the cis to trans transformation, so all the O=C-O-H group environments are equal on average. The effective rotational potential energy barriers of the O=C-O-H groups due to the surroundings are thus averaged and dipolar relaxation follows a simple Debye law. It is found that cyclic dimers inhibit the cis to trans conversion unlike the linear dimers and trimers which favor this conversion and stabilize the trans isomer. It is well in line with the very low amplitude of the dielectric strength associated with the Debye relaxation observed experimentally and its increase when the liquid is maintained isothermally above the melting temperature since this amplitude mainly relates to the low fraction of ibuprofen molecules in the trans conformation. A comparison is made with the Debye-type relaxation found in microstructured monohydroxy alcohols.

  1. Molecular Analysis of a Leprosy Immunotherapeutic Bacillus Provides Insights into Mycobacterium Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Raghuvanshi, Saurabh; Khurana, Jitendra P.; Tyagi, Akhilesh K.; Tyagi, Anil K.; Hasnain, Seyed E.

    2007-01-01

    Background Evolutionary dynamics plays a central role in facilitating the mechanisms of species divergence among pathogenic and saprophytic mycobacteria. The ability of mycobacteria to colonize hosts, to proliferate and to cause diseases has evolved due to its predisposition to various evolutionary forces acting over a period of time. Mycobacterium indicus pranii (MIP), a taxonomically unknown ‘generalist’ mycobacterium, acts as an immunotherapeutic against leprosy and is approved for use as a vaccine against it. The large-scale field trials of this MIP based leprosy vaccine coupled with its demonstrated immunomodulatory and adjuvant property has led to human clinical evaluations of MIP in interventions against HIV-AIDS, psoriasis and bladder cancer. MIP, commercially available as ‘Immuvac’, is currently the focus of advanced phase III clinical trials for its antituberculosis efficacy. Thus a comprehensive analysis of MIP vis-à-vis evolutionary path, underpinning its immanent immunomodulating properties is of the highest desiderata. Principal Findings Genome wide comparisons together with molecular phylogenetic analyses by fluorescent amplified fragment length polymorphism (FAFLP), enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC) based genotyping and candidate orthologues sequencing revealed that MIP has been the predecessor of highly pathogenic Mycobacterium avium intracellulare complex (MAIC) that did not resort to parasitic adaptation by reductional gene evolution and therefore, preferred a free living life-style. Further analysis suggested a shared aquatic phase of MAIC bacilli with the early pathogenic forms of Mycobacterium, well before the latter diverged as ‘specialists’. Conclusions/Significance This evolutionary paradigm possibly affirms to marshal our understanding about the acquisition and optimization of virulence in mycobacteria and determinants of boundaries therein. PMID:17912347

  2. Insight into the molecular mechanism of water evaporation via the finite temperature string method

    PubMed Central

    Musolino, Nicholas; Trout, Bernhardt L.

    2013-01-01

    The process of water's evaporation at its liquid/air interface has proven challenging to study experimentally and, because it constitutes a rare event on molecular time scales, presents a challenge for computer simulations as well. In this work, we simulated water's evaporation using the classical extended simple point charge model water model, and identified a minimum free energy path for this process in terms of 10 descriptive order parameters. The measured free energy change was 7.4 kcal/mol at 298 K, in reasonable agreement with the experimental value of 6.3 kcal/mol, and the mean first-passage time was 1375 ns for a single molecule, corresponding to an evaporation coefficient of 0.25. In the observed minimum free energy process, the water molecule diffuses to the surface, and tends to rotate so that its dipole and one O–H bond are oriented outward as it crosses the Gibbs dividing surface. As the water molecule moves further outward through the interfacial region, its local density is higher than the time-averaged density, indicating a local solvation shell that protrudes from the interface. The water molecule loses donor and acceptor hydrogen bonds, and then, with its dipole nearly normal to the interface, stops donating its remaining hydrogen bond. At that point, when the final, accepted hydrogen bond is broken, the water molecule is free. We also analyzed which order parameters are most important in the process and in reactive trajectories, and found that the relative orientation of water molecules near the evaporating molecule, and the number of accepted hydrogen bonds, were important variables in reactive trajectories and in kinetic descriptions of the process. PMID:23574252

  3. One or three species in Megadenia (Brassicaceae): insight from molecular studies.

    PubMed

    Artyukova, E V; Kozyrenko, M M; Boltenkov, E V; Gorovoy, P G

    2014-08-01

    Megadenia Maxim. is a small genus of the Brassicaceae endemic to East Asia with three disjunct areas of distribution: the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, the Eastern Sayan Mountains in southern Siberia, and Chandalaz Ridge in the southern Sikhote-Alin Mountains. Although distinct species (M. pygmaea Maxim., M. bardunovii Popov, and M. speluncarum Vorob., Vorosch. and Gorovoj) have been described from each area, they have lately been reduced to synonymy with M. pygmaea due to high morphological similarity. Here, we present the first molecular study of Megadenia. Using the sequences of 11 noncoding regions from the cytoplasmic (chloroplast and mitochondrial) and nuclear genomes, we assessed divergence within the genus and explored the relationships between Megadenia and Biscutella L. Although M. bardunovii, M. speluncarum, and M. pygmaea were found to be indiscernible with regard to the nuclear and mitochondrial markers studied, our data on the plastid genome revealed their distinctness and a clear subdivision of the genus into three lineages matching the three described species. All of the phylogenetic analyses of the chloroplast DNA sequences provide strong support for the inclusion of Megadenia and Biscutella in the tribe Biscutelleae. A dating analysis shows that the genus Megadenia is of Miocene origin and diversification within the genus, which has led to the three extant lineages, most likely occurred during the Early-Middle Pleistocene, in agreement with the vicariance pattern. Given the present-day distribution, differences in habitat preferences and in some anatomical traits, and lack of a direct genealogical relationship, M. pygmaea, M. bardunovii, and M. speluncarum should be treated as distinct species or at least subspecies.

  4. Filler reinforcement in cross-linked elastomer nanocomposites: insights from fully atomistic molecular dynamics simulation.

    PubMed

    Pavlov, Alexander S; Khalatur, Pavel G

    2016-06-28

    Using a fully atomistic model, we perform large-scale molecular dynamics simulations of sulfur-cured polybutadiene (PB) and nanosilica-filled PB composites. A well-integrated network without sol fraction is built dynamically by cross-linking the coarse-grained precursor chains in the presence of embedded silica nanoparticles. Initial configurations for subsequent atomistic simulations are obtained by reverse mapping of the well-equilibrated coarse-grained systems. Based on the concept of "maximally inflated knot" introduced by Grosberg et al., we show that the networks simulated in this study behave as mechanically isotropic systems. Analysis of the network topology in terms of graph theory reveals that mechanically inactive tree-like structures are the dominant structural components of the weakly cross-linked elastomer, while cycles are mainly responsible for the transmission of mechanical forces through the network. We demonstrate that quantities such as the system density, thermal expansion coefficient, glass transition temperature and initial Young's modulus can be predicted in qualitative and sometimes even in quantitative agreement with experiments. The nano-filled system demonstrates a notable increase in the glass transition temperature and an approximately two-fold increase in the nearly equilibrium value of elastic modulus relative to the unfilled elastomer even at relatively small amounts of filler particles. We also examine the structural rearrangement of the nanocomposite subjected to tensile deformation. Under high strain-rate loading, the formation of structural defects (microcavities) within the polymer bulk is observed. The nucleation and growth of cavities in the post-yielding strain hardening regime mainly take place at the elastomer/nanoparticle interfaces. As a result, the cavities are concentrated just near the embedded nanoparticles. Therefore, while the silica nanofiller increases the elastic modulus of the elastomer, it also creates a more

  5. CAM and cell fate targeting: molecular and energetic insights into cell growth and differentiation.

    PubMed

    Ventura, Carlo

    2005-09-01

    Evidence-based medicine is switching from the analysis of single diseases at a time toward an integrated assessment of a diseased person. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) offers multiple holistic approaches, including osteopathy, homeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, herbal and energy medicine and meditation, all potentially impacting on major human diseases. It is now becoming evident that acupuncture can modify the expression of different endorphin genes and the expression of genes encoding for crucial transcription factors in cellular homeostasis. Extremely low frequency magnetic fields have been found to prime the commitment to a myocardial lineage in mouse embryonic stem cells, suggesting that magnetic energy may direct stem cell differentiation into specific cellular phenotypes without the aid of gene transfer technologies. This finding may pave the way to novel approaches in tissue engineering and regeneration. Different ginseng extracts have been shown to modulate growth and differentiation in pluripotent cells and to exert wound-healing and antitumor effects through opposing activities on the vascular system, prompting the hypothesis that ancient compounds may be the target for new logics in cell therapy. These observations and the subtle entanglement among different CAM systems suggest that CAM modalities may deeply affect both the signaling and transcriptional level of cellular homeostasis. Such a perception holds promises for a new era in CAM, prompting reproducible documentation of biological responses to CAM-related strategies and compounds. To this end, functional genomics and proteomics and the comprehension of the cell signaling networks may substantially contribute to the development of a molecular evidence-based CAM.

  6. Phylogeny, evolutionary trends and classification of the Spathelia–Ptaeroxylon clade: morphological and molecular insights

    PubMed Central

    Appelhans, M. S.; Smets, E.; Razafimandimbison, S. G.; Haevermans, T.; van Marle, E. J.; Couloux, A.; Rabarison, H.; Randrianarivelojosia, M.; Keßler, P. J. A.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims The Spathelia–Ptaeroxylon clade is a group of morphologically diverse plants that have been classified together as a result of molecular phylogenetic studies. The clade is currently included in Rutaceae and recognized at a subfamilial level (Spathelioideae) despite the fact that most of its genera have traditionally been associated with other families and that there are no obvious morphological synapomorphies for the clade. The aim of the present study is to construct phylogenetic trees for the Spathelia–Ptaeroxylon clade and to investigate anatomical characters in order to decide whether it should be kept in Rutaceae or recognized at the familial level. Anatomical characters were plotted on a cladogram to help explain character evolution within the group. Moreover, phylogenetic relationships and generic limits within the clade are also addressed. Methods A species-level phylogenetic analysis of the Spathelia–Ptaeroxylon clade based on five plastid DNA regions (rbcL, atpB, trnL–trnF, rps16 and psbA–trnH) was conducted using Bayesian, maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood methods. Leaf and seed anatomical characters of all genera were (re)investigated by light and scanning electron microscopy. Key Results With the exception of Spathelia, all genera of the Spathelila–Ptaeroxylon clade are monophyletic. The typical leaf and seed anatomical characters of Rutaceae were found. Further, the presence of oil cells in the leaves provides a possible synapomorphy for the clade. Conclusions The Spathelia–Ptaeroxylon clade is well placed in Rutaceae and it is reasonable to unite the genera into one subfamily (Spathelioideae). We propose a new tribal classification of Spathelioideae. A narrow circumscription of Spathelia is established to make the genus monophyletic, and Sohnreyia is resurrected to accommodate the South American species of Spathelia. The most recent common ancestor of Spathelioideae probably had leaves with secretory cavities

  7. Filler reinforcement in cross-linked elastomer nanocomposites: insights from fully atomistic molecular dynamics simulation.

    PubMed

    Pavlov, Alexander S; Khalatur, Pavel G

    2016-06-28

    Using a fully atomistic model, we perform large-scale molecular dynamics simulations of sulfur-cured polybutadiene (PB) and nanosilica-filled PB composites. A well-integrated network without sol fraction is built dynamically by cross-linking the coarse-grained precursor chains in the presence of embedded silica nanoparticles. Initial configurations for subsequent atomistic simulations are obtained by reverse mapping of the well-equilibrated coarse-grained systems. Based on the concept of "maximally inflated knot" introduced by Grosberg et al., we show that the networks simulated in this study behave as mechanically isotropic systems. Analysis of the network topology in terms of graph theory reveals that mechanically inactive tree-like structures are the dominant structural components of the weakly cross-linked elastomer, while cycles are mainly responsible for the transmission of mechanical forces through the network. We demonstrate that quantities such as the system density, thermal expansion coefficient, glass transition temperature and initial Young's modulus can be predicted in qualitative and sometimes even in quantitative agreement with experiments. The nano-filled system demonstrates a notable increase in the glass transition temperature and an approximately two-fold increase in the nearly equilibrium value of elastic modulus relative to the unfilled elastomer even at relatively small amounts of filler particles. We also examine the structural rearrangement of the nanocomposite subjected to tensile deformation. Under high strain-rate loading, the formation of structural defects (microcavities) within the polymer bulk is observed. The nucleation and growth of cavities in the post-yielding strain hardening regime mainly take place at the elastomer/nanoparticle interfaces. As a result, the cavities are concentrated just near the embedded nanoparticles. Therefore, while the silica nanofiller increases the elastic modulus of the elastomer, it also creates a more

  8. Effects of oxidation on tensile deformation of iron nanowires: Insights from reactive molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aral, Gurcan; Wang, Yun-Jiang; Ogata, Shigenobu; van Duin, Adri C. T.

    2016-10-01

    The influence of oxidation on the mechanical properties of nanostructured metals is rarely explored and remains poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, in this work, we systematically investigate the mechanical properties and changes in the metallic iron (Fe) nanowires (NWs) under various atmospheric conditions of ambient dry O2 and in a vacuum. More specifically, we focus on the effect of oxide shell layer thickness over Fe NW surfaces at room temperature. We use molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with the variable charge ReaxFF force field potential model that dynamically handles charge variation among atoms as well as breaking and forming of the chemical bonds associated with the oxidation reaction. The ReaxFF potential model allows us to study large length scale mechanical atomistic deformation processes under the tensile strain deformation process, coupled with quantum mechanically accurate descriptions of chemical reactions. To study the influence of an oxide layer, three oxide shell layer thicknesses of ˜4.81 Å, ˜5.33 Å, and ˜6.57 Å are formed on the pure Fe NW free surfaces. It is observed that the increase in the oxide layer thickness on the Fe NW surface reduces both the yield stress and the critical strain. We further note that the tensile mechanical deformation behaviors of Fe NWs are dependent on the presence of surface oxidation, which lowers the onset of plastic deformation. Our MD simulations show that twinning is of significant importance in the mechanical behavior of the pure and oxide-coated Fe NWs; however, twin nucleation occurs at a lower strain level when Fe NWs are coated with thicker oxide layers. The increase in the oxide shell layer thickness also reduces the external stress required to initiate plastic deformation.

  9. Way back for fructose and liver metabolism: bench side to molecular insights.

    PubMed

    Rebollo, Alba; Roglans, Núria; Alegret, Marta; Laguna, Juan C

    2012-12-01

    The World Health Organization recommends that the daily intake of added sugars should make up no more than 10% of total energy. The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is the main source of added sugars. Fructose, together with glucose, as a component of high fructose corn syrups or as a component of the sucrose molecule, is one of the main sweeteners present in this kind of beverages. Data from prospective and intervention studies clearly point to high fructose consumption, mainly in the form of sweetened beverages, as a risk factor for several metabolic diseases in humans. The incidence of hypertension, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), dyslipidemia (mainly hypertriglyceridemia), insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, and the cluster of many of these pathologies in the form of metabolic syndrome is higher in human population segments that show high intake of fructose. Adolescent and young adults from low-income families are especially at risk. We recently reviewed evidence from experimental animals and human data that confirms the deleterious effect of fructose on lipid and glucose metabolism. In this present review we update the information generated in the past 2 years about high consumption of fructose-enriched beverages and the occurrence of metabolic disturbances, especially NAFLD, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome. We have explored recent data from observational and experimental human studies, as well as experimental data from animal and cell models. Finally, using information generated in our laboratory and others, we provide a view of the molecular mechanisms that may be specifically involved in the development of liver lipid and glucose metabolic alterations after fructose consumption in liquid form. PMID:23236229

  10. New insights into the enigma of boron carbide inverse molecular behavior

    SciTech Connect

    Dera, Przemyslaw; Manghnani, Murli H.; Hushur, Anwar; Hu, Yi; Tkachev, Sergey

    2014-07-01

    Equation of state and compression mechanism of nearly stoichiometric boron carbide B{sub 4}C were investigated using diamond anvil cell single crystal synchrotron X-ray diffraction technique up to a maximum quasi-hydrostatic pressure of 74.0(1) GPa in neon pressure transmitting medium at ambient temperature. No signatures of structural phase transitions were observed on compression. Crystal structure refinements indicate that the icosahedral units are less compressible (13% volume reduction at 60 GPa) than the unit cell volume (18% volume reduction at 60 GPa), contrary to expectations based on the inverse molecular behavior hypothesis, but consistent with spectroscopic evidence and first principles calculations. The high-pressure crystallographic refinements reveal that the nature of the chemical bonds (two, versus three centered character) has marginal effect on the bond compressibility and the compression of the crystal is mainly governed by the force transfer between the rigid icosahedral structural units. - Graphical abstract: Single crystal measurements of equation of state and compression mechanism of B{sub 4}C show that the icosahedral units are less compressibe than the unit cell volume, despite the threei-ceneterd nature of some icosahedral bonds. - Highlights: • Equation of state and compression mechanism of B{sub 4}C were measured to 75 GPa. • No signatures of structural phase transitions were observed on compression. • Icosahedral units are less compressibe than the unit cell volume. • The nature of the chemical bonds has mariginal effect on the bond compressibility. • The compression is governed by force transfer between the rigid icosahedra.

  11. Transcriptomic insights into the molecular response of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to linoleic acid hydroperoxide.

    PubMed

    O'Doherty, P J; Lyons, V; Higgins, V J; Rogers, P J; Bailey, T D; Wu, M J

    2013-12-01

    Eukaryotic microorganisms are constantly challenged by reactive oxygen species derived endogenously or encountered in their environment. Such adversity is particularly applied to Saccharomyces cerevisiae under harsh industrial conditions. One of the major oxidants to challenge S. cerevisiae is linoleic acid hydroperoxide (LoaOOH). This study, which used genome-wide microarray analysis in conjunction with deletion mutant screening, uncovered the molecular pathways of S. cerevisiae that were altered by an arresting concentration of LoaOOH (75 μM). The oxidative stress response, iron homeostasis, detoxification through PDR transport and direct lipid β-oxidation were evident through the induction of the genes encoding for peroxiredoxins (GPX2, TSA2), the NADPH:oxidoreductase (OYE3), iron uptake (FIT2, ARN2, FET3), PDR transporters (PDR5, PDR15, SNQ2) and β-oxidation machinery (FAA2, POX1). Further, we discovered that Gpx3p, the dual redox sensor and peroxidase, is required for protection against LoaOOH, indicated by the sensitivity of gpx3Δ to a mild dose of LoaOOH (37.5 μM). Deletion of GPX3 conferred a greater sensitivity to LoaOOH than the loss of its signalling partner YAP1. Deletion of either of the iron homeostasis regulators AFT1 or AFT2 also resulted in sensitivity to LoaOOH. These novel findings for Gpx3p, Aft1p and Aft2p point to their distinct roles in response to the lipid peroxide. Finally, the expression of 89 previously uncharacterised genes was significantly altered against LoaOOH, which will contribute to their eventual annotation. PMID:24074273

  12. Molecular insights into the evolution of the family Bovidae: a nuclear DNA perspective.

    PubMed

    Matthee, C A; Davis, S K

    2001-07-01

    The evolutionary history of the family Bovidae remains controversial despite past comprehensive morphological and genetic investigations. In an effort to resolve some of the systematic uncertainties within the group, a combined molecular phylogeny was constructed based on four independent nuclear DNA markers (2,573 characters) and three mitochondrial DNA genes (1,690 characters) for 34 bovid taxa representing all seven of the currently recognized bovid subfamilies. The nuclear DNA fragments were analyzed separately and in combination after partition homogeneity tests were performed. There was no significant rate heterogeneity among lineages, and retention index values indicated the general absence of homoplasy in the nuclear DNA data. The conservative nuclear DNA data were remarkably effective in resolving associations among bovid subfamilies, which had a rapid radiation dating back to approximately 23 MYA. All analyses supported the monophyly of the Bovinae (cow, nilgai, and kudu clade) as a sister lineage to the remaining bovid subfamilies, and the data convincingly suggest that the subfamilies Alcelaphinae (hartebeest, tsessebe, and wildebeest group) and Hippotraginae (roan, sable, and gemsbok clade) share a close evolutionary relationship and together form a sister clade to the more primitive Caprinae (represented by sheep, goat, and muskox). The problematic Reduncinae (waterbuck, reedbuck) seem to be the earliest-diverging group of the Caprinae/Alcelaphinae/Hippotraginae clade, whereas the Antilopinae (gazelle and dwarf antelope clade) were always polyphyletic. The sequence data suggest that the initial diversification of the Bovidae took place in Eurasia and that lineages such as the Cephalophinae and other enigmatic taxa (impala, suni, and klipspringer) most likely originated, more or less contemporaneously, in Africa. PMID:11420362

  13. Insights into enzyme point mutation effect by molecular simulation: phenylethylamine oxidation catalyzed by monoamine oxidase A.

    PubMed

    Oanca, Gabriel; Purg, Miha; Mavri, Janez; Shih, Jean C; Stare, Jernej

    2016-05-21

    The I335Y point mutation effect on the kinetics of phenylethylamine decomposition catalyzed by monoamine oxidase A was elucidated by means of molecular simulation. The established empirical valence bond methodology was used in conjunction with the free energy perturbation sampling technique and a classical force field representing the state of reactants and products. The methodology allows for the simulation of chemical reactions, in the present case the breaking of the α-C-H bond in a phenylethylamine substrate and the subsequent hydrogen transfer to the flavin cofactor, resulting in the formation of the N-H bond on flavin. The empirical parameters were calibrated against the experimental data for the simulated reaction in a wild type protein and then used for the calculation of the reaction free energy profile in the I335Y mutant. In very good agreement with the measured kinetic data, mutation increases the free energy barrier for the rate limiting step by slightly more than 1 kcal mol(-1) and consequently decreases the rate constant by about an order of magnitude. The magnitude of the computed effect slightly varies with simulation settings, but always remains in reasonable agreement with the experiment. Analysis of trajectories reveals a major change in the interaction between phenyl rings of the substrate and the neighboring Phe352 residue upon the I335Y mutation due to the increased local polarity, leading to an attenuated quadrupole interaction between the rings and destabilization of the transition state. Additionally, the increased local polarity in the mutant allows for a larger number of water molecules to be present near the active site, effectively shielding the catalytic effect of the enzyme and contributing to the increased barrier. PMID:27121693

  14. Molecular insights into DNA interference by CRISPR-associated nuclease-helicase Cas3.

    PubMed

    Gong, Bei; Shin, Minsang; Sun, Jiali; Jung, Che-Hun; Bolt, Edward L; van der Oost, John; Kim, Jeong-Sun

    2014-11-18

    Mobile genetic elements in bacteria are neutralized by a system based on clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins. Type I CRISPR-Cas systems use a "Cascade" ribonucleoprotein complex to guide RNA specifically to complementary sequence in invader double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), a process called "interference." After target recognition by Cascade, formation of an R-loop triggers recruitment of a Cas3 nuclease-helicase, completing the interference process by destroying the invader dsDNA. To elucidate the molecular mechanism of CRISPR interference, we analyzed crystal structures of Cas3 from the bacterium Thermobaculum terrenum, with and without a bound ATP analog. The structures reveal a histidine-aspartate (HD)-type nuclease domain fused to superfamily-2 (SF2) helicase domains and a distinct C-terminal domain. Binding of ATP analog at the interface of the SF2 helicase RecA-like domains rearranges a motif V with implications for the enzyme mechanism. The HD-nucleolytic site contains two metal ions that are positioned at the end of a proposed nucleic acid-binding tunnel running through the SF2 helicase structure. This structural alignment suggests a mechanism for 3' to 5' nucleolytic processing of the displaced strand of invader DNA that is coordinated with ATP-dependent 3' to 5' translocation of Cas3 along DNA. In agreement with biochemical studies, the presented Cas3 structures reveal important mechanistic details on the neutralization of genetic invaders by type I CRISPR-Cas systems.

  15. Molecular insights into the genetic diversity of Hemarthria compressa germplasm collections native to southwest China.

    PubMed

    Guo, Zhi-Hui; Fu, Kai-Xin; Zhang, Xin-Quan; Bai, Shi-Qie; Fan, Yan; Peng, Yan; Huang, Lin-Kai; Yan, Yan-Hong; Liu, Wei; Ma, Xiao

    2014-12-22

    Start codon targeted polymorphism (SCoT) analysis was employed to distinguish 37 whipgrass (Hemarthria compressa L.) clones and assess the genetic diversity and population structure among these genotypes. The informativeness of markers was also estimated using various parameters. Using 25 highly reproducible primer sets, 368 discernible fragments were generated. Of these, 282 (77.21%) were polymorphic. The number of alleles per locus ranged from five to 21, and the genetic variation indices varied. The polymorphism information content (PIC) was 0.358, the Shannon diversity index (H) was 0.534, the marker index (MI) was 4.040, the resolving power (RP) was 6.108, and the genotype index (GI) was 0.782. Genetic similarity coefficients (GS) between the accessions ranged from 0.563 to 0.872, with a mean of 0.685. Their patterns observed in a dendrogram constructed using the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean analysis (UPGMA) based on GS largely confirmed the results of principal coordinate analysis (PCoA). PCoA was further confirmed by Bayesian model-based STRUCTURE analysis, which revealed no direct association between genetic relationship and geographical origins as validated by Mantel's test (r = 0.2268, p = 0.9999). In addition, high-level genetic variation within geographical groups was significantly greater than that between groups, as determined by Shannon diversity analysis, analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) and Bayesian analysis. Overall, SCoT analysis is a simple, effective and reliable technique for characterizing and maintaining germplasm collections of whipgrass and related species.

  16. Binding of PFOS to serum albumin and DNA: insight into the molecular toxicity of perfluorochemicals

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xian; Chen, Ling; Fei, Xun-Chang; Ma, Yin-Sheng; Gao, Hong-Wen

    2009-01-01

    Background Health risk from exposure of perfluorochemicals (PFCs) to wildlife and human has been a subject of great interest for understanding their molecular mechanism of toxicity. Although much work has been done, the toxigenicity of PFCs remains largely unknown. In this work, the non-covalent interactions between perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and serum albumin (SA) and DNA were investigated under normal physiological conditions, aiming to elucidate the toxigenicity of PFCs. Results In equilibrium dialysis assay, the bindings of PFOS to SA correspond to the Langmuir isothermal model with two-step sequence model. The saturation binding number of PFOS was 45 per molecule of SA and 1 per three base-pairs of DNA, respectively. ITC results showed that all the interactions were spontaneous driven by entropy change. Static quenching of the fluorescence of SA was observed when interacting with PFOS, indicating PFOS bound Trp residue of SA. CD spectra of SA and DNA changed obviously in the presence of PFOS. At normal physiological conditions, 1.2 mmol/l PFOS reduces the binding ratio of Vitamin B2 to SA by more than 30%. Conclusion The ion bond, van der Waals force and hydrophobic interaction contributed to PFOS binding to peptide chain of SA and to the groove bases of DNA duplex. The non-covalent interactions of PFOS with SA and DNA alter their secondary conformations, with the physiological function of SA to transport Vitamin B2 being inhibited consequently. This work provides a useful experimental method for further studying the toxigenicity of PFCs. PMID:19239717

  17. Minireview: Insights Into the Structural and Molecular Consequences of the TSH-β Mutation C105Vfs114X.

    PubMed

    Kleinau, Gunnar; Kalveram, Laura; Köhrle, Josef; Szkudlinski, Mariusz; Schomburg, Lutz; Biebermann, Heike; Grüters-Kieslich, Annette

    2016-09-01

    Naturally occurring thyrotropin (TSH) mutations are rare, which is also the case for the homologous heterodimeric glycoprotein hormones (GPHs) follitropin (FSH), lutropin (LH), and choriogonadotropin (CG). Patients with TSH-inactivating mutations present with central congenital hypothyroidism. Here, we summarize insights into the most frequent loss-of-function β-subunit of TSH mutation C105Vfs114X, which is associated with isolated TSH deficiency. This review will address the following question. What is currently known on the molecular background of this TSH variant on a protein level? It has not yet been clarified how C105Vfs114X causes early symptoms in affected patients, which are comparably severe to those observed in newborns lacking any functional thyroid tissue (athyreosis). To better understand the mechanisms of this mutant, we have summarized published reports and complemented this information with a structural perspective on GPHs. By including the ancestral TSH receptor agonist thyrostimulin and pathogenic mutations reported for FSH, LH, and choriogonadotropin in the analysis, insightful structure function and evolutionary restrictions become apparent. However, comparisons of immunogenicity and bioactivity of different GPH variants is hindered by a lack of consensus for functional analysis and the diversity of used GPH assays. Accordingly, relevant gaps of knowledge concerning details of GPH mutation-related effects are identified and highlighted in this review. These issues are of general importance as several previous and recent studies point towards the high impact of GPH variants in differential signaling regulation at GPH receptors (GPHRs), both endogenously and under diseased conditions. Further improvement in this area is of decisive importance for the development of novel targeted therapies. PMID:27387040

  18. An unusual H2 sorption mechanism in PCN-14: insights from molecular simulation.

    PubMed

    Pham, Tony; Forrest, Katherine A; Space, Brian

    2016-08-01

    Simulations of H2 sorption were performed in PCN-14, a metal-organic framework (MOF) that consists of Cu(2+) ions coordinated to 5,5'-(9,10-anthracenediyl)diisophthalate (adip) linkers. This MOF displays an excess H2 uptake of 2.70 wt% at 77 K and 1.0 atm and an initial H2Qst value of 8.6 kJ mol(-1) according to previous experimental measurements. The experimental H2 sorption isotherms and Qst values in PCN-14 were reproduced in simulations using well-known H2 potentials that have been widely used for MOF-H2 theoretical studies. H2 sorption in PCN-14 was dominated by repulsion/dispersion energetics; this allowed the experimental observables to be reproduced by a model that includes only Lennard-Jones parameters. The most energetically favorable H2 sorption site in PCN-14 corresponds to sorption within a small cage that is enclosed by three [Cu2(O2CR)4] units and three adip linkers. The anthracenyl rings of the adip linkers represent the secondary sorption sites within the MOF. In contrast to expectations, sorption of H2 onto the Cu(2+) ions of the copper paddlewheels was not observed within the simulations at low loading. The simulations revealed that the open-metal sites in PCN-14 were occupied at high loading. Control simulations of H2 sorption in PCN-14 for different cases in which the partial positive charge of one of the paddlewheel Cu(2+) ions was increased relative to the other revealed that sorption onto the open-metal sites can be captured if there is a very high positive charge on the metal. Otherwise, the calculated partial charge for the Cu(2+) ions in PCN-14 in this work was not high enough in magnitude to facilitate strong H2-metal interactions in simulation. This study shows the power of using molecular simulations to elucidate an unusual H2 sorption behavior in a MOF.

  19. Impact of Mutation on Proton Transfer Reactions in Ketosteroid Isomerase: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    PubMed Central

    Chakravorty, Dhruva K.; Hammes-Schiffer, Sharon

    2010-01-01

    The two proton transfer reactions catalyzed by ketosteroid isomerase (KSI) involve a dienolate intermediate stabilized by hydrogen bonds with Tyr14 and Asp99. Molecular dynamics simulations based on an empirical valence bond model are used to examine the impact of mutating these residues on the hydrogen-bonding patterns, conformational changes, and van der Waals and electrostatic interactions during the proton transfer reactions. While the rate constants for the two proton transfer steps are similar for wild-type (WT) KSI, the simulations suggest that the rate constant for the first proton transfer step is smaller in the mutants due to the significantly higher free energy of the dienolate intermediate relative to the reactant. The calculated rate constants for the mutants D99L, Y14F, and Y14F/D99L relative to WT KSI are qualitatively consistent with the kinetic experiments indicating a significant reduction in the catalytic rates along the series of mutants. In the simulations, WT KSI retained two hydrogen-bonding interactions between the substrate and the active site, while the mutants typically retained only one hydrogen-bonding interaction. A new hydrogen-bonding interaction between the substrate and Tyr55 was observed in the double mutant, leading to the prediction that mutation of Tyr55 will have a greater impact on the proton transfer rates for the double mutant than for WT KSI. The electrostatic stabilization of the dienolate intermediate relative to the reactant was greater for WT KSI than for the mutants, providing a qualitative explanation for the significantly reduced rates of the mutants. The active site exhibited highly restricted motion during the proton transfer reactions, but small conformational changes occurred to facilitate the proton transfer reactions by strengthening the hydrogen-bonding interactions and by bringing the proton donor and acceptor closer to each other with the proper orientation for proton transfer. Thus, these calculations

  20. Mechanistic insights into Mg2+-independent prenylation by CloQ from classical molecular mechanics and hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Bayse, Craig A; Merz, Kenneth M

    2014-08-01

    Understanding the mechanism of prenyltransferases is important to the design of engineered proteins capable of synthesizing derivatives of naturally occurring therapeutic agents. CloQ is a Mg(2+)-independent aromatic prenyltransferase (APTase) that transfers a dimethylallyl group to 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate in the biosynthetic pathway for clorobiocin. APTases consist of a common ABBA fold that defines a β-barrel containing the reaction cavity. Positively charged basic residues line the inside of the β-barrel of CloQ to activate the pyrophosphate leaving group to replace the function of the Mg(2+) cofactor in other APTases. Classical molecular dynamics simulations of CloQ, its E281G and F68S mutants, and the related NovQ were used to explore the binding of the 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate (4HPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate substrates in the reactive cavity and the role of various conserved residues. Hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics potential of mean force (PMF) calculations show that the effect of the replacement of the Mg(2+) cofactor with basic residues yields a similar activation barrier for prenylation to Mg(2+)-dependent APTases like NphB. The topology of the binding pocket for 4HPP is important for selective prenylation at the ortho position of the ring. Methylation at this position alters the conformation of the substrate for O-prenylation at the phenol group. Further, a two-dimensional PMF scan shows that a "reverse" prenylation product may be a possible target for protein engineering.

  1. ClC-1 mutations in myotonia congenita patients: insights into molecular gating mechanisms and genotype–phenotype correlation

    PubMed Central

    Imbrici, P; Maggi, L; Mangiatordi, G F; Dinardo, M M; Altamura, C; Brugnoni, R; Alberga, D; Pinter, G Lauria; Ricci, G; Siciliano, G; Micheli, R; Annicchiarico, G; Lattanzi, G; Nicolotti, O; Morandi, L; Bernasconi, P; Desaphy, J-F; Mantegazza, R; Camerino, D Conte

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Myotonia congenita is an inherited disease caused by loss-of-function mutations of the skeletal muscle ClC-1 chloride channel, characterized by impaired muscle relaxation after contraction and stiffness. In the present study, we provided an in-depth characterization of F484L, a mutation previously identified in dominant myotonia, in order to define the genotype–phenotype correlation, and to elucidate the contribution of this pore residue to the mechanisms of ClC-1 gating. Patch-clamp recordings showed that F484L reduced chloride currents at every tested potential and dramatically right-shifted the voltage dependence of slow gating, thus contributing to the mild clinical phenotype of affected heterozygote carriers. Unlike dominant mutations located at the dimer interface, no dominant-negative effect was observed when F484L mutant subunits were co-expressed with wild type. Molecular dynamics simulations further revealed that F484L affected the slow gate by increasing the frequency and stability of the H-bond formation between the pore residue E232 and the R helix residue Y578. In addition, using patch-clamp electrophysiology, we characterized three other myotonic ClC-1 mutations. We proved that the dominant L198P mutation in the channel pore also right-shifted the voltage dependence of slow gating, recapitulating mild myotonia. The recessive V640G mutant drastically reduced channel function, which probably accounts for myotonia. In contrast, the recessive L628P mutant produced currents very similar to wild type, suggesting that the occurrence of the compound truncating mutation (Q812X) or other muscle-specific mechanisms accounted for the severe symptoms observed in this family. Our results provide novel insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying normal and altered ClC-1 function. Key points Loss-of-function mutations of the skeletal muscle ClC-1 channel cause myotonia congenita with variable phenotypes. Using patch clamp we show that F484L, located

  2. Structure based investigation on the binding interaction of transport proteins in leishmaniasis: insights from molecular simulation.

    PubMed

    Singh, Shailza; Mandlik, Vineetha

    2015-05-01

    Leishmania major is the causative agent of cutaneous leishmaniasis which affects over 1 million people in 88 different countries. The incidence of this disease is on the rise due to the current problems associated with the present chemotherapeutics. In addition, Leishmania confronts resistance to the traditional drugs like sodium stibogluconate and newer repurposed drugs like miltefosine. ABC transporters are involved in the development of drug resistance. Miltefosine, the drug used for the treatment of leishmaniasis, is effluxed by P4 ATPase and ABC transporter, which is the prime focus of our study in this paper. P4 ATPase (MDR1) along with an unnamed protein (cdc50) translocates miltefosine from the outer to the inner leaflet by the process of flipping which is ATP driven. In contrast, miltefosine also escapes from the cells by an energy dependent mechanism that involves the ABC transporter protein (ABC). It is known that certain genes in the parasite amplify the portions of a gene which encodes ABC transporter and P4 ATPase involved in translocating phospholipids and hence resistance to miltefosine. We observed the ABC and P4 ATPase genes, 39 T-box elements were observed in the ABC transporter protein and three elements were observed in the P4 ATPase gene suggesting its role in transcription regulation. To the best of our knowledge, there are no structural and regulatory reports on these two proteins in L. major. Computational structural biology tools may aid in understanding the interaction of miltefosine with the P4-ATPase-cdc50 complex and the ABC transporter. This can be achieved by modeling the target protein structures, studying the dynamics associated with the different domains of the protein and later using activators and inhibitors to alter the functioning of the protein. Molecular dynamics simulation with a lipid bilayer is performed to investigate the conformational changes and structure-activity relationship. As transporters are difficult to model

  3. Reactivity of aldehydes at the air-water interface. Insights from molecular dynamics simulations and ab initio calculations.

    PubMed

    Martins-Costa, Marilia T C; García-Prieto, Francisco F; Ruiz-López, Manuel F

    2015-02-14

    Understanding the influence of solute-solvent interactions on chemical reactivity has been a subject of intense research in the last few decades. Theoretical studies have focused on bulk solvation phenomena and a variety of models and methods have been developed that are now widely used by both theoreticians and experimentalists. Much less attention has been paid, however, to processes that occur at liquid interfaces despite the important role such interfaces play in chemistry and biology. In this study, we have carried out sequential molecular dynamics simulations and quantum mechanical calculations to analyse the influence of the air-water interface on the reactivity of formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and benzaldehyde, three simple aldehydes of atmospheric interest. The calculated free-energy profiles exhibit a minimum at the interface, where the average reactivity indices may display large solvation effects. The study emphasizes the role of solvation dynamics, which are responsible for large fluctuations of some molecular properties. We also show that the photolysis rate constant of benzaldehyde in the range 290-308 nm increases by one order of magnitude at the surface of a water droplet, from 2.7 × 10(-5) s(-1) in the gas phase to 2.8 × 10(-4) s(-1) at the air-water interface, and we discuss the potential impact of this result on the chemistry of the troposphere. Experimental data in this domain are still scarce and computer simulations like those presented in this work may provide some insights that can be useful to design new experiments.

  4. Integrated Molecular and Microscopic Scale Insight into Morphology and Ion Dynamics in Ca2+-Mediated Natural Organic Matter Floccs

    SciTech Connect

    Bowers, Geoffrey M.; Argersinger, Haley E.; Reddy, Venkataswara; Johnson, Timothy A.; Arey, Bruce W.; Bowden, Mark E.; Kirkpatrick, Robert J.

    2015-08-06

    Combined X-ray diffraction (XRD), helium ion microscopy (HeIM), and Ca-43 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) results provide novel insight into the nano- and microstructure of flocculated NOM; the molecular-scale interaction among natural organic matter (NOM), dissolved Ca2+ ions, and water in NOM floccs; and the effects of pH and ionic strength on these characteristics. Suwannee River humic acid (HA), fulvic acid (FA), and NOM flocculated from Ca2+ bearing solutions share similar morphological characteristics on the 100 nm to micron scales, including micron-sized equant fragments and rounded, rough areas with features on the 100 nm scale. HeIM suggests that the NOM floccs are built from a fundamental spheroidal structure that is similar to 10 nm in diameter, in agreement with published AFM and small-angle X-ray scattering results. Calcium is incorporated into these floccs at 100% relative humidity in a wide range of disordered structural environments, with basic pH leading to shorter mean Ca-O distances and lower mean coordination numbers with respect to floccs formed under acidic conditions. The NMR results show that dynamical processes involving water and Ca2+ occurring at frequencies >10(4) Hz are important for hydrated OM floccs, in agreement with published molecular dynamics simulations of OM in solution. From the NMR results, we find evidence for two Ca2+ dynamic averaging mechanisms: one related to rapid exchange (>100 kHz) between surface proximity-restricted (those within 5 angstrom of a surface) and bulk solution environments when excess Ca2+ is present in the pore solution when pore water is unfrozen and a second consisting of intermediate scale (tens of kHz) site exchange among strongly sorbed inner-sphere sites when excess Ca2+ is absent and the carboxylic and phenolic functional groups of the NOM are deprotonated.

  5. New insights in the capability of climate models to simulate the impact of LUC based on temperature decomposition of paired site observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanden Broucke, Sam; Luyssaert, Sebastiaan; Davin, Edouard L.; Janssens, Ivan; Lipzig, Nicole

    2015-06-01

    In this study, we present a new methodology for evaluating the biogeophysical impact of land use change (LUC) in regional climate models. For this, we use observational data from paired eddy covariance flux towers in Europe, representing a LUC from forest to open land (deforestation). Two model simulations with the regional climate model COSMO-CLM2 (The Consortium for Small-Scale Modelling model in climate mode COSMO-CLM coupled to the Community Land Model CLM) are performed which differ only in prescribed land use for site pair locations. The model is evaluated by comparing the observed and simulated difference in surface temperature (Ts) between open land and forests. Next, we identify the biogeophysical mechanisms responsible for Ts differences by applying a decomposition method to both observations and model simulations. This allows us to determine which LUC-related mechanisms were well represented in COSMO-CLM2, and which were not. Results from observations show that deforestation leads to a significant cooling at night, which is severely underestimated by COSMO-CLM2. It appears that the model is missing one crucial impact of deforestation on the nighttime surface energy budget: a reduction in downwelling longwave radiation. Results are better for daytime, as the model is able to simulate the increase in albedo and associated surface cooling following deforestation reasonably well. Also well simulated, albeit underestimated slightly, is the decrease in sensible heat flux caused by reduced surface roughness. Overall, these results stress the importance of differentiating between daytime and nighttime climate when discussing the effect of LUC on climate. Finally, we believe that they provide new insights supporting a wider application of the methodology (to other regional climate models).

  6. Reduction of α,β-Unsaturated Ketones by Old Yellow Enzymes: Mechanistic Insights from Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Calculations.

    PubMed

    Lonsdale, Richard; Reetz, Manfred T

    2015-11-25

    Enoate reductases catalyze the reduction of activated C═C bonds with high enantioselectivity. The oxidative half-reaction, which involves the addition of a hydride and a proton to opposite faces of the C═C bond, has been studied for the first time by hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM). The reduction of 2-cyclohexen-1-one by YqjM from Bacillus subtilis was selected as the model system. Two-dimensional QM/MM (B3LYP-D/OPLS2005) reaction pathways suggest that the hydride and proton are added as distinct steps, with the former step preceding the latter. Furthermore, we present interesting insights into the reactivity of this enzyme, including the weak binding of the substrate in the active site, the role of the two active site histidine residues for polarization of the substrate C═O bond, structural details of the transition states to hydride and proton transfer, and the role of Tyr196 as proton donor. The information presented here will be useful for the future design of enantioselective YqjM mutants for other substrates.

  7. Comparative Genomic and Sequence Analysis Provides Insight into the Molecular Functionality of NOD1 and NOD2

    PubMed Central

    Boyle, Joseph P.; Mayle, Sophie; Parkhouse, Rhiannon; Monie, Tom P.

    2013-01-01

    Amino acids with functional or key structural roles display higher degrees of conservation through evolution. The comparative analysis of protein sequences from multiple species and/or between homologous proteins can be highly informative in the identification of key structural and functional residues. Residues which in turn provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of protein function. We have explored the genomic and amino acid conservation of the prototypic innate immune genes NOD1 and NOD2. NOD1 orthologs were found in all vertebrate species analyzed, whilst NOD2 was absent from the genomes of avian, reptilian and amphibian species. Evolutionary trace analysis was used to identify highly conserved regions of NOD1 and NOD2 across multiple species. Consistent with the known functions of NOD1 and NOD2 highly conserved patches were identified that matched the Walker A and B motifs and provided interaction surfaces for the adaptor protein RIP2. Other patches of high conservation reflect key structural functions as predicted by homology models. In addition, the pattern of residue conservation within the leucine-rich repeat (LRR) region of NOD1 and NOD2 is indicative of a conserved mechanism of ligand recognition involving the concave surface of the LRRs. PMID:24109482

  8. Molecular Insights into Fully Human and Humanized Monoclonal Antibodies: What are the Differences and Should Dermatologists Care?

    PubMed

    Mallbris, Lotus; Davies, Julian; Glasebrook, Andrew; Tang, Ying; Glaesner, Wolfgang; Nickoloff, Brian J

    2016-07-01

    In recent years, a large number of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies have come to market to treat a variety of conditions including patients with immune-mediated chronic inflammation. Distinguishing the relative clinical efficacy and safety profiles of one monoclonal antibody relative to another can be difficult and complex due to different clinical designs and paucity of head-to-head comparator studies. One distinguishing feature in interpreting clinical trial data by dermatologists may begin by determining whether a monoclonal antibody is fully human or humanized, which can be discerned by the generic name of the drug. Herein, this commentary highlights the distinctions and similarities of fully human and humanized monoclonal antibodies in their nomenclature, engineering, and clinical profiles. While there are a number of differences between these types of monoclonal antibodies, current evidence indicates that this designation does not impart any measurable impact on overall clinical efficacy and safety profiles of a given drug. Based on molecular insights provided in this commentary, it is clear that each monoclonal antibody, irrespective of being fully human or humanized, should be individually assessed for its clinical impact regarding safety and efficacy. Going beyond the type of generic name ascribed to a monoclonal antibody will be an ever-increasing theme for dermatologists as more therapeutic monoclonal antibodies emerge to potentially treat a wider scope of diseases with cutaneous manifestations. PMID:27672407

  9. Nanoindentation of the pristine and irradiated forms of a sodium borosilicate glass: Insights from molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilymis, D. A.; Delaye, J.-M.; Ispas, S.

    2016-07-01

    We have carried out classical molecular dynamics simulations in order to get insight into the atomistic mechanisms of the deformation during nanoindentation of the pristine and irradiated forms of a sodium borosilicate glass. In terms of the glass hardness, we have found that the primary factor affecting the decrease of hardness after irradiation is depolymerization rather than free volume, and we argue that this is a general trend applicable to other borosilicate glasses with similar compositions. We have analyzed the changes of the short- and medium-range structures under deformation and found that the creation of oxygen triclusters is an important mechanism in order to describe the deformation of highly polymerized borosilicate glasses and is essential in the understanding of the folding of large rings under stress. We have equally found that the less polymerized glasses present a higher amount of relative densification, while the analysis of bond-breaking during the nanoindentation has showed that shear flow is more likely to appear around sodium atoms. The results provided in this study can be proven to be useful in the interpretation of experimental results.

  10. Molecular Insights into the Local Anesthetic Receptor within Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels Using Hydroxylated Analogs of Mexiletine.

    PubMed

    Desaphy, Jean-François; Dipalma, Antonella; Costanza, Teresa; Carbonara, Roberta; Dinardo, Maria Maddalena; Catalano, Alessia; Carocci, Alessia; Lentini, Giovanni; Franchini, Carlo; Camerino, Diana Conte

    2012-01-01

    results confirm our former hypothesis by showing that the presence of hydroxyl groups to the aryloxy moiety of mexiletine greatly reduced sodium channel block, and provide molecular insights into the intimate interaction of local anesthetics with their receptor. PMID:22403541

  11. Impacts of climate and humans on the vegetation in northwestern Turkey: palynological insights from Lake Iznik since the Last Glacial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miebach, Andrea; Niestrath, Phoebe; Roeser, Patricia; Litt, Thomas

    2016-03-01

    The Marmara region in northwestern Turkey provides a unique opportunity for studying the vegetation history in response to climate changes and anthropogenic impacts because of its location between different climate and vegetation zones and its long settlement history. Geochemical and mineralogical investigations of the largest lake in the region, Lake Iznik, already registered climate-related changes of the lake level and the lake mixing. However, a palynological investigation encompassing the Late Pleistocene to Middle Holocene was still missing. Here, we present the first pollen record of the last ca. 31 ka cal BP (calibrated kilo years before 1950) inferred from Lake Iznik sediments as an independent proxy for paleoecological reconstructions. Our study reveals that the vegetation in the Iznik area changed generally between (a) steppe during glacials and stadials indicating dry and cold climatic conditions, (b) forest-steppe during interstadials indicating milder and moister climatic conditions, and (c) oak-dominated mesic forest during interglacials indicating warm and moist climatic conditions. Moreover, a pronounced succession of pioneer trees, cold temperate, warm temperate, and Mediterranean trees appeared since the Lateglacial. Rapid climate changes, which are reflected by vegetation changes, can be correlated with Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) events such as DO-4, DO-3, and DO-1, the Younger Dryas, and probably also the 8.2 event. Since the mid-Holocene, the vegetation was influenced by anthropogenic activities. During early settlement phases, the distinction between climate-induced and human-induced changes of the vegetation is challenging. Still, evidence for human activities consolidates since the Early Bronze Age (ca. 4.8 ka cal BP): cultivated trees, crops, and secondary human indicator taxa appeared, and forests were cleared. Subsequent fluctuations between extensive agricultural uses and regenerations of the natural vegetation become apparent.

  12. Paleodistributions and Comparative Molecular Phylogeography of Leafcutter Ants (Atta spp.) Provide New Insight into the Origins of Amazonian Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Solomon, Scott E.; Bacci, Mauricio; Martins, Joaquim; Vinha, Giovanna Gonçalves; Mueller, Ulrich G.

    2008-01-01

    The evolutionary basis for high species diversity in tropical regions of the world remains unresolved. Much research has focused on the biogeography of speciation in the Amazon Basin, which harbors the greatest diversity of terrestrial life. The leading hypotheses on allopatric diversification of Amazonian taxa are the Pleistocene refugia, marine incursion, and riverine barrier hypotheses. Recent advances in the fields of phylogeography and species-distribution modeling permit a modern re-evaluation of these hypotheses. Our approach combines comparative, molecular phylogeographic analyses using mitochondrial DNA sequence data with paleodistribution modeling of species ranges at the last glacial maximum (LGM) to test these hypotheses for three co-distributed species of leafcutter ants (Atta spp.). The cumulative results of all tests reject every prediction of the riverine barrier hypothesis, but are unable to reject several predictions of the Pleistocene refugia and marine incursion hypotheses. Coalescent dating analyses suggest that population structure formed recently (Pleistocene-Pliocene), but are unable to reject the possibility that Miocene events may be responsible for structuring populations in two of the three species examined. The available data therefore suggest that either marine incursions in the Miocene or climate changes during the Pleistocene—or both—have shaped the population structure of the three species examined. Our results also reconceptualize the traditional Pleistocene refugia hypothesis, and offer a novel framework for future research into the area. PMID:18648512

  13. Environmental Forensics: Molecular Insight into Oil Spill Weathering Helps Advance High Magnetic Field FT-ICR Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKenna, Amy

    2013-03-01

    events in the FT-ICR experiment. For example, the high density of peaks at each nominal mass unit provides unprecedented insight into how excitation conditions affect ion motion during detection. Aggregated oil (i.e., tar balls, tar mats) that reached the surface exhibits a more than two-fold increase in the total number of detected species, with an increased number of oxygenated species. Principal component analysis (PCA) applied to two possible source oils (contained within the same ship) and weathered samples provide the first application of FT-ICR MS for source identification. Molecular formulae from parent and weathered oil indicate that the lightest petroleum fractions (saturated hydrocarbons) are the most readily oxidized components, and can serve as a template to determine chemical transformations that occur throughout the water column. The ability to differentiate and catalogue compositional changes that occur to oil after its release into the environment relies heavily on gains achieved in nearly all steps in the FT-ICR mass spectral experiment required to accommodate larger ion populations inherent to heavily weathered crude oil. Here, we present the requirement for FT-ICR MS for comprehensive oil spill characterization, and highlight advances made to FT-ICR MS experimental conditions developed from petroleum characterization. Work supported by DMR-06-54118, NSF CHE-10-49753 (RAPID), BP/The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, and the State of Florida

  14. Combined terrestrial and marine biomarker records from an Icelandic fjord: insights into Holocene climate drivers and marine/ terrestrial responses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moossen, H. M.; Seki, O.; Quillmann, U.; Andrews, J. T.; Bendle, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    Holocene climate change has affected human cultures throughout at least the last 4000 years (D'Andrea et al., 2011). Today, studying Holocene climate variability is important, both to constrain the influence of climate change on ancient cultures and to place contemporary climate change in a historic context. Organic geochemical biomarkers are an ideal tool to study how climatic changes have affected terrestrial and marine ecosystems, as a host of different biomarker based climate proxies have emerged over recent years. Applying the available biomarker proxies on sediment cores from fjordic environments facilitates the study of how climate has affected terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and how these ecosystems have interacted. Ìsafjardardjúp fjord in Northwest Iceland is an ideal location to study North Atlantic Holocene climate change because the area is very sensitive to changes in the oceanic and atmospheric current systems (Hurrell, 1995; Quillmann et al., 2010). In this study we present high resolution (1 sample/30 calibrated years) terrestrial and marine biomarker records from a 38 m sediment core from Ìsafjardardjúp fjord covering the Holocene. We reconstruct sea surface temperature variations using the alkenone derived UK'37 proxy. Air temperature changes are reconstructed using the GDGT derived MBT/CBT palaeothermometer. We use the average chain length (ACL) variability of n-alkanes derived from terrestrial higher plant leaf waxes to reconstruct changing precipitation regimes. The relationship between ACL and precipitation is confirmed by comparing it with the δD signature of the C29 n-alkane and soil pH changes inferred by the CBT proxy. The combined sea surface and air temperature and precipitation records indicate that different climate changing drivers were dominant at different stages of the Holocene. Sea surface temperatures were strongly influenced by the melting of the remaining glaciers from the last glacial maximum throughout the early

  15. Influence of Climate Warming on Arctic Mammals? New Insights from Ancient DNA Studies of the collared lemming Dicrostonyx torquatus.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prost, Stefan; Smirnov, Nickolay; Fedorov, Vadim B.; Sommer, Robert S.; Stiller, Mathias; Nagel, Doris; Knapp, Michael; Hofreiter, Michael

    2010-05-01

    Global temperature increased by approximately half a degree (Celsius) within the last 150 years. Even this moderate warming had major impacts on Earth's ecological and biological systems, especially in the Arctic where the magnitude of abiotic changes even exceeds those in temperate and tropical biomes. Therefore, understanding the biological consequences of climate change on high latitudes is of critical importance for future conservation of the species living in this habitat. The past 25,000 years can be used as a model for such changes, as they were marked by prominent climatic changes that influenced geographic distribution, demographic history and pattern of genetic variation of many extant species. We sequenced ancient and modern DNA of the collared lemming (Dicrostonyx torquatus), which is a key species of the arctic biota, from a single site (Pymva Shor, Northern Pre Urals, Russia) to see if climate warming events after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) had detectable effects on the genetic variation of this arctic rodent species, which is strongly associated with cold and dry climate. Using three dimensional network reconstruction and model-based approaches such as Approximate Bayesian Computation and Markov Chain Monte Carlo based Bayesian inference we show that there is evidence for a population decline in the collared lemming following the LGM, with the population size dropping to a minimum during the Greenland Interstadial 1 (Blling/Allerd) warming phase at 14.5 kyrs BP. Our results show that previous climate warming events had a strong influence on collard lemming populations. A similar population reduction due to predicted future climate change would have severe effects on the arctic ecosystem, as collared lemmings are a key species in the trophic interactions and ecosystem processes in the Arctic.

  16. Simple Indices Provide Insight to Climate Attributes Delineating the Geographic Range of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) Prior to Worldwide Invasion.

    PubMed

    Mogi, Motoyoshi; Armbruster, Peter; Tuno, Nobuko; Campos, Raúl; Eritja, Roger

    2015-07-01

    Aedes albopictus (Skuse) has expanded its distribution worldwide during the past decades. Despite attempts to explain and predict its geographic occurrence, analyses of the distribution of Ae. albopictus in the context of broad climatic regions (biomes) has not been performed. We analyzed climate conditions at its distribution sites in the range before the worldwide invasions (from the easternmost Hawaii through westernmost Madagascar) by using thermal and aridity-humidity indices descriptive of major biomes. A significant advantage of this approach is that it uses simple indices clearly related to the population dynamics of Ae. albopictus. Although Ae. albopictus has been regarded as a forest species preferring humid climate, in areas with significant human habitation, the distribution sites extended from the perhumid, rain forest zone to the semiarid, steppe zone. This pattern was common from the tropics through the temperate zone. Across the distribution range, there was no seasonal discordance between temperature and precipitation; at sites where winter prevents Ae. albopictus reproduction (monthly means<10°C), precipitation was concentrated in warm months (>10°C) under the Asian summer monsoon. Absence of the species in northern and eastern coastal Australia and eastern coastal Africa was not attributable solely to climate conditions. However, Asia west of the summer monsoon range was climatically unsuitable because of low precipitation throughout the year or in warm months favorable to reproduction (concentration of precipitation in winter). We hypothesized that Ae. albopictus originated in continental Asia under the monsoon climate with distinct dry seasons and hot, wet summer, enabling rapid population growth.

  17. Numerical Modeling of Rocky Mountain Paleoglaciers - Insights into the Climate of the Last Glacial Maximum and the Subsequent Deglaciation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonard, E. M.; Laabs, B. J. C.; Plummer, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    Numerical modeling of paleoglaciers can yield information on the climatic conditions necessary to sustain those glaciers. In this study we apply a coupled 2-d mass/energy balance and flow model (Plummer and Phillips, 2003) to reconstruct local last glacial maximum (LLGM) glaciers and paleoclimate in ten study areas along the crest of the U.S. Rocky Mountains between 33°N and 49°N. In some of the areas, where timing of post-LLGM ice recession is constrained by surface exposure ages on either polished bedrock upvalley from the LLGM moraines or post-LLGM recessional moraines, we use the model to assess magnitudes and rates of climate change during deglaciation. The modeling reveals a complex pattern of LLGM climate. The magnitude of LLGM-to-modern climate change (temperature and/or precipitation change) was greater in both the northern (Montana) Rocky Mountains and southern (New Mexico) Rocky Mountains than in the middle (Wyoming and Colorado) Rocky Mountains. We use temperature depression estimates from global and regional climate models to infer LLGM precipitation from our glacier model results. Our results suggest a reduction of precipitation coupled with strongly depressed temperatures in the north, contrasted with strongly enhanced precipitation and much more modest temperature depression in the south. The middle Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Wyoming appear to have experienced a reduction in precipitation at the LLGM without the strong temperature depression of the northern Rocky Mountains. Preliminary work on modeling of deglaciation in the Sangre de Cristo Range in southern Colorado suggests that approximately half of the LLGM-to-modern climate change took place during the initial ~2400 years of deglaciation. If increasing temperature and changing solar insolation were the sole drivers of this initial deglaciation, then temperature would need to have risen by slightly more than 1°C/ky through this interval to account for the observed rate of ice recession.

  18. Molecular, ethno-spatial epidemiology of leprosy in China: novel insights for tracing leprosy in endemic and non endemic provinces.

    PubMed

    Weng, Xiaoman; Xing, Yan; Liu, Jian; Wang, Yonghong; Ning, Yong; Li, Ming; Wu, Wenbin; Zhang, Lianhua; Li, Wei; Vander Heiden, Jason; Vissa, Varalakshmi

    2013-03-01

    Leprosy continues to be detected at near stable rates in China even with established control programs, necessitating new knowledge and alternative methods to interrupt transmission. A molecular epidemiology investigation of 190 patients was undertaken to define Mycobacterium leprae strain types and discern genetic relationships and clusters in endemic and non-endemic regions spanning seventeen provinces and two autonomous regions. The findings support multiple locus variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis as a useful tool in uncovering characteristic patterns across the multiethnic and divergent geographic landscape of China. Several scenarios of clustering of leprosy from township to provincial to regional levels were recognized, while recent occupational or remote migration showed geographical separation of certain strains. First, prior studies indicated that of the four major M. leprae subtypes defined by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), only type 3 was present in China, purportedly entering from Europe/West/Central Asia via the Silk Road. However, this study revealed VNTR linked strains that are of type 1 in Guangdong, Fujian and Guangxi in southern China. Second, a subset of VNTR distinguishable strains of type 3, co-exist in these provinces. Third, type 3 strains with rpoT VNTR allele of 4, detected in Japan and Korea were discovered in Jiangsu and Anhui in the east and in western Sichuan bordering Tibet. Fourth, considering the overall genetic diversity, strains of endemic counties of Qiubei, Yunnan; Xing Yi, Guizhou; and across Sichuan in southwest were related. However, closer inspection showed distinct local strains and clusters. Altogether, these insights, primarily derived from VNTR typing, reveal multiple and overlooked paths for spread of leprosy into, within and out of China and invoke attention to historic maritime routes in the South and East China Sea. More importantly, new concepts and approaches for prospective case finding and

  19. Molecular Level Insights on Collagen-Polyphenols Interaction Using Spin-Relaxation and Saturation Transfer Difference NMR.

    PubMed

    Reddy, R Ravikanth; Phani Kumar, Bandaru V N; Shanmugam, Ganesh; Madhan, Balaraman; Mandal, Asit B

    2015-11-01

    Interaction of small molecules with collagen has far reaching consequences in biological and industrial processes. The interaction between collagen and selected polyphenols, viz., gallic acid (GA), pyrogallol (PG), catechin (CA), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has been investigated by various solution NMR measurements, viz., (1)H and (13)C chemical shifts (δH and δC), (1)H nonselective spin-lattice relaxation times (T1NS) and selective spin-lattice relaxation times (T1SEL), as well as spin-spin relaxation times (T2). Furthermore, we have employed saturation transfer difference (STD) NMR method to monitor the site of GA, CA, PG, and EGCG which are in close proximity to collagen. It is found that -COOH group of GA provides an important contribution for the interaction of GA with collagen, as evidenced from (13)C analysis, while PG, which is devoid of -COOH group in comparison to GA, does not show any significant interaction with collagen. STD NMR data indicates that the resonances of A-ring (H2', H5' and H6') and C-ring (H6 and H8) protons of CA, and A-ring (H2' and H6'), C-ring (H6 and H8), and D-ring (H2″and H6″) protons of EGCG persist in the spectra, demonstrating that these protons are in spatial proximity to collagen, which is further validated by independent proton spin-relaxation measurement and analysis. The selective (1)H T1 measurements of polyphenols in the presence of protein at various concentrations have enabled us to determine their binding affinities with collagen. EGCG exhibits high binding affinity with collagen followed by CA, GA, and PG. Further, NMR results propose that presence of gallic acid moiety in a small molecule increases its affinity with collagen. Our experimental findings provide molecular insights on the binding of collagen and plant polyphenols. PMID:26447653

  20. Histopathological and molecular insights into the ovicidal activities of two entomopathogenic fungi against two-spotted spider mite.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Shi, Wei-Bing; Feng, Ming-Guang

    2014-03-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi can infect and kill spider mite eggs but their ovicidal activities are poorly understood. Here we gain histopathogenical and molecular insights into the ovicidal activities of Beauveria bassiana and Isaria fumosorosea against the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae. Scanning electronic microscopy indicated successful adhesion and germination of fungal conidia on egg shell at 24h post-spray (HPS). Germ tubes of both fungi could penetrate into egg shell with penetration pegs at 48 HPS. Interestingly, the germ tubes of B. bassiana may elongate on egg surface to locate appropriate sites for penetration, acting as 'searching' hyphae. Aside from the normal penetration, the germ tubes of I. fumosorosea can be completely or partially embedded into egg shell for a distance of extension, forming shell humps. Light microscopy of ultrathin sections of infected eggs showed shrunken (affected) or disrupted embryos at 48-96 HPS despite little effect on egg cleavage at 24 HPS. However, distinguishable hyphal cells were hardly found inside the embryos lacking oxygen although fungal outgrowths were abundant on unhatched (killed) eggs. In PCR with specific probes, the 18S rDNA signals of B. bassiana (412 bp) and I. fumosorosea (454 bp) in the DNA extracts from surface-cleaned mite eggs increased at 0-96 HPS, confirming fungal colonization in the infected eggs. We consider that the colonization on shell surface and underside could rely upon extending hyphae for uptake of egg nutrition, resulting in embryo disruption. Our observations add knowledge to microbial control of spider mites.

  1. Intermediate states in the binding process of folic acid to folate receptor α: insights by molecular dynamics and metadynamics.

    PubMed

    Della-Longa, Stefano; Arcovito, Alessandro

    2015-01-01

    Folate receptor α (FRα) is a cell surface, glycophosphatidylinositol-anchored protein which has focussed attention as a therapeutic target and as a marker for the diagnosis of cancer. It has a high affinity for the dietary supplemented folic acid (FOL), carrying out endocytic transport across the cell membrane and delivering the folate at the acidic pH of the endosome. Starting from the recently reported X-ray structure at pH 7, 100 ns classical molecular dynamics simulations have been carried out on the FRα-FOL complex; moreover, the ligand dissociation process has been studied by metadynamics, a recently reported method for the analysis of free-energy surfaces (FES), providing clues on the intermediate states and their energy terms. Multiple dissociation runs were considered to enhance the configurational sampling; a final clustering of conformations within the averaged FES provides the representative structures of several intermediate states, within an overall barrier for ligand escape of about 75 kJ/mol. Escaping of FOL to solvent occurs while only minor changes affect the FRα conformation of the binding pocket. During dissociation, the FOL molecule translates and rotates around a turning point located in proximity of the receptor surface. FOL at this transition state assumes an "L" shaped conformation, with the pteridin ring oriented to optimize stacking within W102 and W140 residues, and the negatively charged glutamate tail, outside the receptor, interacting with the positively charged R103 and R106 residues, that contrary to the bound state, are solvent exposed. We show that metadynamics method can provide useful insights at the atomistic level on the effects of point-mutations affecting functionality, thus being a very promising tool for any study related to folate-targeted drug delivery or cancer therapies involving folate uptake.

  2. Climate, people, fire and vegetation: new insights into vegetation dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean since the 1st century AD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakker, J.; Paulissen, E.; Kaniewski, D.; Poblome, J.; De Laet, V.; Verstraeten, G.; Waelkens, M.

    2012-08-01

    Anatolia forms a bridge between Europe, Africa and Asia and is influenced by all three continents in terms of climate, vegetation and human civilisation. Unfortunately, well dated palynological records focussing on the period from the end of the classical Roman period until subrecent times are rare for Anatolia and completely absent for southwest Turkey, resulting in a lacuna in knowledge concerning the interactions of climatic change, human impact, and environmental change in this important region. Two well dated palaeoecological records from the Western Taurus Mountains, Turkey, provide a first relatively detailed record of vegetation dynamics from late Roman times until the present in SW Turkey. Combining pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs, charcoal, sedimentological, archaeological data, and newly developed multivariate numerical analyses, allows for the disentangling of climatic and anthropogenic influences on vegetation change. Results show both the regional pollen signal as well as local soil sediment characteristics respond accurately to shifts in regional climatic conditions. Both climatic as well as anthropogenic change had a strong influence on vegetation dynamics and land use. A moist environmental trend during the late 3rd century caused an increase in marshes and wetlands in the moister valley floors, limiting possibilities for intensive crop cultivation at such locations. A mid 7th century shift to pastoralism coincided with a climatic deterioration as well as the start of Arab incursions into the region, the former driving the way in which the vegetation developed afterwards. Resurgence in agriculture was observed in the study during the mid 10th century AD, coinciding with the Medieval Climate Anomaly. An abrupt mid 12th century decrease in agriculture is linked to socio-political change, rather than the onset of the Little Ice Age. Similarly, gradual deforestation occurring from the 16th century onwards has been linked to changes in lands use during

  3. Insight into the Li2CO3-K2CO3 eutectic mixture from classical molecular dynamics: Thermodynamics, structure, and dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corradini, Dario; Coudert, François-Xavier; Vuilleumier, Rodolphe

    2016-03-01

    We use molecular dynamics simulations to study the thermodynamics, structure, and dynamics of the Li2CO3-K2CO3 (62:38 mol. %) eutectic mixture. We present a new classical non-polarizable force field for this molten salt mixture, optimized using experimental and first principles molecular dynamics simulations data as reference. This simple force field allows efficient molecular simulations of phenomena at long time scales. We use this optimized force field to describe the behavior of the eutectic mixture in the 900-1100 K temperature range, at pressures between 0 and 5 GPa. After studying the equation of state in these thermodynamic conditions, we present molecular insight into the structure and dynamics of the melt. In particular, we present an analysis of the temperature and pressure dependence of the eutectic mixture's self-diffusion coefficients, viscosity, and ionic conductivity.

  4. Anthropogenic and Climate Influences on Biogeochemical Dynamics and Molecular-Level Speciation of Soil Sulfur

    SciTech Connect

    Solomon, D.; Lehmann, J; Kinyangi, J; Pell, A; Theis , J; Riha , S; Ngoze, S; Amelung, W; du Preez, C; et. al.

    2009-01-01

    The soil environment is a primary component of the global biogeochemical sulfur (S) cycle, acting as a source and sink of various S species and mediating oxidation state changes. However, ecological significance of the various S forms and the impacts of human intervention and climate on the amount and structural composition of these compounds are still poorly understood. We investigated the long-term influences of anthropogenically mediated transitions from natural to managed ecosystems on molecular-level speciation, biogeochemical dynamics, and the apparent temperature sensitivity of S moieties in temperate, subtropical, and tropical environments with mean annual temperature (MAT) ranging from 5C to 21C, using elemental analysis and X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy. Land-use and land-cover changes led to the depletion of total soil S in all three ecoregions over a period of up to 103 years. The largest decline occurred from tropical forest agroecosystems (67% Kakamega and 76% Nandi, Kenya), compared to losses from temperate (36% at Lethbridge, Canada, and 40% at Pendleton, USA) and subtropical (48% at South Africa) grassland agroecosystems. The total S losses correlated significantly with MAT. Anthropogenic interventions profoundly altered the molecular-level composition and resulted in an apparent shift in oxidation states of organic S from native ecosystems composed primarily of S moieties in intermediate and highly reduced oxidation states toward managed agroecosystems dominated by organic S rich in strongly oxidized functionalities. The most prominent change occurred in thiols and sulfides, the proportion of which decreased by 46% (Lethbridge) and 57% (Pendleton) in temperate agroecosystems, by 46% in subtropical agroecosystems, and by 79% (Nandi) and 81% (Kakamega) in tropical agroecosystems. The proportion of organic S directly linked to O increased by 81%, 168%, 40%, 92%, and 85%, respectively. Among the various organic S

  5. Insights into rapid climate change: A high resolution, compound-specific n-alkane δD study of the 8.2 ka event (Tenaghi Philippon, Greece)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schemmel, F.; Niedermeyer, E.; Schwab, V.; Pross, J.; Mulch, A.

    2013-12-01

    Despite being characterized as remarkably stable, the Holocene climate has experienced a number of abrupt, relatively short-term climate changes. Arguably the most prominent climate perturbation, the 8.2 ka event, was caused by the catastrophic drainage of the ice-dammed Laurentide ice-lake into the North Atlantic, leading to a severe weakening of thermohaline circulation, causing a decline in temperature and significant changes in atmospheric circulation in the Northern Hemisphere, especially in the North Atlantic realm and Europe. Being located between the climate systems of the higher and lower latitudes, the Mediterranean region is particularly susceptible to rapid climate change. Available proxy data and climate models provide first-order insight into the impact of the 8.2 ka event in this area but often lack the temporal resolution to supply information about changes in seasonality, hence severely hindering the understanding of rapid climate changes and revealing the need for high resolution terrestrial archives. Here, we present a multi-proxy, high resolution stable isotope study across the 8.2 ka event on a peat core from the classical site of Tenaghi Philippon (NE Greece). We aim to characterize the effects of changing temperature and rainfall patterns by using compound-specific δD values of the long-chain n-alkanes as a proxy for terrestrial (summer) precipitation. We compare changes in hydrogen isotopic composition to the concentration of the long-chain n-alkanes as well as to δ13Cbulk measurements of the organic material and high-resolution palynomorphic data from the same core. Analysis of 35 samples of telmatic peat shows significant decreases in concentration of the long-chain n-alkanes along with strong positive shifts in δD (over 40 ‰ in δDC29) during the 8.2 ka event. The general trend of δD of the n-Alkanes n-C27, n-C29 and n-C31 coincides with changes in δ13Cbulk, and to some degree reflects changes in moisture availability. We attribute

  6. Functional adjustments of xylem anatomy to climatic variability: insights from long-term Ilex aquifolium tree-ring series.

    PubMed

    Rita, Angelo; Cherubini, Paolo; Leonardi, Stefano; Todaro, Luigi; Borghetti, Marco

    2015-08-01

    The present study assessed the effects of climatic conditions on radial growth and functional anatomical traits, including ring width, vessel size, vessel frequency and derived variables, i.e., potential hydraulic conductivity and xylem vulnerability to cavitation in Ilex aquifolium L. trees using long-term tree-ring time series obtained at two climatically contrasting sites, one mesic site in Switzerland (CH) and one drought-prone site in Italy (ITA). Relationships were explored by examining different xylem traits, and point pattern analysis was applied to investigate vessel clustering. We also used generalized additive models and bootstrap correlation functions to describe temperature and precipitation effects. Results indicated modified radial growth and xylem anatomy in trees over the last century; in particular, vessel frequency increased markedly at both sites in recent years, and all xylem traits examined, with the exception of xylem cavitation vulnerability, were higher at the CH mesic compared with the ITA drought site. A significant vessel clustering was observed at the ITA site, which could contribute to an enhanced tolerance to drought-induced embolism. Flat and negative relationships between vessel size and ring width were observed, suggesting carbon was not allocated to radial growth under conditions which favored stem water conduction. Finally, in most cases results indicated that climatic conditions influenced functional anatomical traits more substantially than tree radial growth, suggesting a crucial role of functional xylem anatomy in plant acclimation to future climatic conditions.

  7. Functional adjustments of xylem anatomy to climatic variability: insights from long-term Ilex aquifolium tree-ring series.

    PubMed

    Rita, Angelo; Cherubini, Paolo; Leonardi, Stefano; Todaro, Luigi; Borghetti, Marco

    2015-08-01

    The present study assessed the effects of climatic conditions on radial growth and functional anatomical traits, including ring width, vessel size, vessel frequency and derived variables, i.e., potential hydraulic conductivity and xylem vulnerability to cavitation in Ilex aquifolium L. trees using long-term tree-ring time series obtained at two climatically contrasting sites, one mesic site in Switzerland (CH) and one drought-prone site in Italy (ITA). Relationships were explored by examining different xylem traits, and point pattern analysis was applied to investigate vessel clustering. We also used generalized additive models and bootstrap correlation functions to describe temperature and precipitation effects. Results indicated modified radial growth and xylem anatomy in trees over the last century; in particular, vessel frequency increased markedly at both sites in recent years, and all xylem traits examined, with the exception of xylem cavitation vulnerability, were higher at the CH mesic compared with the ITA drought site. A significant vessel clustering was observed at the ITA site, which could contribute to an enhanced tolerance to drought-induced embolism. Flat and negative relationships between vessel size and ring width were observed, suggesting carbon was not allocated to radial growth under conditions which favored stem water conduction. Finally, in most cases results indicated that climatic conditions influenced functional anatomical traits more substantially than tree radial growth, suggesting a crucial role of functional xylem anatomy in plant acclimation to future climatic conditions. PMID:26142450

  8. Southern African continental climate since the late Pleistocene: Insights from biomarker analyses of Kalahari salt pan sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belz, Lukas; Schüller, Irka; Wehrmann, Achim; Wilkes, Heinz

    2016-04-01

    The climate system of sub-tropical southern Africa is mainly controlled by large scale atmospheric and marine circulation processes and, therefore, very sensitive to global climate change. This underlines the importance of paleoenvironmental reconstructions in order to estimate regional implications of current global changes. However, the majority of studies on southern African paleoclimate are based on the investigation of marine sedimentary archives and past climate development especially in continental areas is still poorly understood. This emphasizes the necessity of continental proxy-data from this area. Proxy datasets from local geoarchives especially of the southwestern Kalahari region are still scarce. A main problem is the absence of conventional continental climatic archives, due to the lack of lacustrine systems. In this study we are exploring the utility of sediments from western Kalahari salt pans, i.e. local depressions which are flooded temporarily during rainfall events. An age model based on 14C dating of total organic carbon (TOC) shows evidence that sedimentation predominates over erosional processes with respect to pan formation. Besides the analyses of basic geochemical bulk parameters including TOC, δ13CTOC, total inorganic carbon, δ13CTIC, δ18OTIC, total nitrogen and δ15N, our paleo-climatic approach focuses on reconstruction of local vegetation assemblages to identify changes in the ecosystem. This is pursued using plant biomarkers, particularly leaf wax n-alkanes and n-alcohols and their stable carbon and hydrogen isotopic signatures. Results show prominent shifts in n-alkane and n-alkanol distributions and compound specific carbon isotope values, pointing to changes to a more grass dominated environment during Heinrich Stadial 1 (18.5-14.6 ka BP), while hydrogen isotope values suggest wetter phases during Holocene and LGM. This high variability indicates the local vulnerability to global change.

  9. The record of Miocene climatic events in AND-2A drill core (Antarctica): Insights from provenance analyses of basement clasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandroni, Sonia; Talarico, Franco M.

    2011-01-01

    This paper includes the results of a detailed quantitative provenance investigation on gravel-size clasts occurring within the late Early to Late Miocene sedimentary glacimarine section recovered for the first time by the AND-2A core in the SW sector of the Ross Sea (southern McMurdo Sound, Antarctica). This period of time is of crucial interest, as it includes two of the major Cenozoic events in the global climatic evolution: the mid-Miocene climatic optimum and the middle Miocene climate transition. Petrographical and mineral chemistry data on basement clasts allow to individuate two different diagnostic clast assemblages, which clearly suggest two specific sectors of southern Victoria Land as the most likely sources: the Mulock-Skelton glacier and the Koettlitz-Blue glacier regions. Distribution patterns reveal high fluctuations of the detritus source areas throughout the investigated core interval, variations which can be interpreted as the direct result of an evolving McMurdo Sound paleogeography during the late Early to Late Miocene. Consistently with sedimentological studies, gravel-fraction clast distribution patterns clearly testify that the Antarctic ice sheet experienced a dramatic contraction at ca. 17.35 ± 0.14 Ma (likely correlated to the onset of the climatic optimum), and in a < ca. 100 ka time window passing from a glacial scenario comparable to the last glacial maximum (Phase 1) to a very dynamic glacial environment (Phase 2). Phase 2 conditions persisted through the early Middle Miocene (to ca. 14.2 Ma), when a major expansion of the Antarctic ice sheet is hypothesized, likely contemporaneously to the onset of the middle Miocene climate transition. Therefore, provenance and distribution studies of gravel-fraction clasts show that the variations of paleoenvironmental drivers characterising this period were able to exert deep transformation of the Antarctic ice sheet and reveal the methodology to be a powerful tool for the reconstruction of paleo

  10. Impacts of climate and humans on the vegetation in NW Turkey: palynological insights from Lake Iznik since the Last Glacial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miebach, A.; Niestrath, P.; Roeser, P.; Litt, T.

    2015-11-01

    The Marmara region in northwestern Turkey provides a unique opportunity for studying the vegetation history in response to climate changes and anthropogenic impacts because of its location between different climate and vegetation zones and its long settlement history. Geochemical and mineralogical investigations of the largest lake in the region, Lake Iznik, already registered climate related changes of the lake level and the lake mixing. However, a palynological investigation encompassing the Late Pleistocene to Middle Holocene was still missing. Here, we present the first pollen record of the last ca. 31 ka cal BP (calibrated kilo years before 1950) inferred from Lake Iznik sediments as an independent proxy for paleoecological reconstructions. Our study reveals that the vegetation in the Iznik area changed generally between steppe during glacial/stadial conditions, forest-steppe during interstadial conditions, and oak dominated mesic forest during interglacial conditions. Moreover, a pronounced succession of pioneer trees, cold temperate, warm temperate, and Mediterranean trees appeared since the Lateglacial. Rapid climate changes, which are reflected by vegetation changes, can be correlated with Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) events such as DO-4, DO-3, and DO-1, the Younger Dryas, and probably also the 8.2 event. Since the mid-Holocene, the vegetation was influenced by anthropogenic activities. During early settlement phases, the distinction between climate-induced and human-induced changes of the vegetation is challenging. Still, evidence for human activities consolidates since the Early Bronze Age (ca. 4.8 ka cal BP): cultivated trees, crops, and secondary human indicator taxa appeared, and forests got cleared. Subsequent fluctuations between extensive agricultural use and regeneration of the natural vegetation become apparent.

  11. Influence of Climate Warming on Arctic Mammals? New Insights from Ancient DNA Studies of the Collared Lemming Dicrostonyx torquatus

    PubMed Central

    Prost, Stefan; Smirnov, Nickolay; Fedorov, Vadim B.; Sommer, Robert S.; Stiller, Mathias; Nagel, Doris; Knapp, Michael; Hofreiter, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Background Global temperature increased by approximately half a degree (Celsius) within the last 150 years. Even this moderate warming had major impacts on Earth's ecological and biological systems, especially in the Arctic where the magnitude of abiotic changes even exceeds those in temperate and tropical biomes. Therefore, understanding the biological consequences of climate change on high latitudes is of critical importance for future conservation of the species living in this habitat. The past 25,000 years can be used as a model for such changes, as they were marked by prominent climatic changes that influenced geographical distribution, demographic history and pattern of genetic variation of many extant species. We sequenced ancient and modern DNA of the collared lemming (Dicrostonyx torquatus), which is a key species of the arctic biota, from a single site (Pymva Shor, Northern Pre Urals, Russia) to see if climate warming events after the Last Glacial Maximum had detectable effects on the genetic variation of this arctic rodent species, which is strongly associated with a cold and dry climate. Results Using three dimensional network reconstructions we found a dramatic decline in genetic diversity following the LGM. Model-based approaches such as Approximate Bayesian Computation and Markov Chain Monte Carlo based Bayesian inference show that there is evidence for a population decline in the collared lemming following the LGM, with the population size dropping to a minimum during the Greenland Interstadial 1 (Bølling/Allerød) warming phase at 14.5 kyrs BP. Conclusion Our results show that previous climate warming events had a strong influence on genetic diversity and population size of collared lemmings. Due to its already severely compromised genetic diversity a similar population reduction as a result of the predicted future climate change could completely abolish the remaining genetic diversity in this population. Local population extinctions of collared

  12. Climate, people, fire and vegetation: new insights into vegetation dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean since the 1st century AD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakker, J.; Paulissen, E.; Kaniewski, D.; Poblome, J.; De Laet, V.; Verstraeten, G.; Waelkens, M.

    2013-01-01

    Anatolia forms a bridge between Europe, Africa and Asia and is influenced by all three continents in terms of climate, vegetation and human civilisation. Unfortunately, well-dated palynological records focussing on the period from the end of the classical Roman period until subrecent times are rare for Anatolia and completely absent for southwest Turkey, resulting in a lacuna in knowledge concerning the interactions of climatic change, human impact, and environmental change in this important region. Two well-dated palaeoecological records from the Western Taurus Mountains, Turkey, provide a first relatively detailed record of vegetation dynamics from late Roman times until the present in SW Turkey. Combining pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs, charcoal, sedimentological, archaeological data, and newly developed multivariate numerical analyses allows for the disentangling of climatic and anthropogenic influences on vegetation change. Results show changes in both the regional pollen signal as well as local soil sediment characteristics match shifts in regional climatic conditions. Both climatic as well as anthropogenic change had a strong influence on vegetation dynamics and land use. A moist environmental trend during the late-3rd century caused an increase in marshes and wetlands in the moister valley floors, limiting possibilities for intensive crop cultivation at such locations. A mid-7th century shift to pastoralism coincided with a climatic deterioration as well as the start of Arab incursions into the region, the former driving the way in which the vegetation developed afterwards. Resurgence in agriculture was observed in the study during the mid-10th century AD, coinciding with the Medieval Climate Anomaly. An abrupt mid-12th century decrease in agriculture is linked to socio-political change, rather than the onset of the Little Ice Age. Similarly, gradual deforestation occurring from the 16th century onwards has been linked to changes in land use during Ottoman

  13. Climate and human impacts on the vegetation in NW Turkey: palynological insights from Lake Iznik since the Last Glacial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miebach, Andrea; Niestrath, Phoebe; Roeser, Patricia A.; Litt, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    The reconstruction of the climate and vegetation history of the Marmara region in northwestern Turkey is of particular interest because of its long occupation history and its location between different climate and vegetation zones. Geochemical and mineralogical investigations of the largest lake in the region, Lake Iznik, already registered climate related changes of the lake level and the lake mixing during the last 31 ka cal BP (Roeser 2014). However, a palynological investigation, encompassing the Late Pleistocene to Middle Holocene, was still missing. Here, we present the first pollen record of the last 31 ka cal BP from Lake Iznik sediments as an independent proxy for paleoecological reconstructions. Lake Iznik is situated east of the Marmara Sea. Its catchment area is located in a climatic transition zone between the Mediterranean and Pontic climate zones. Today, the region is highly influenced by (sub-) Euxinian temperate deciduous and mixed forests dominated by deciduous oak and beech. Coastal areas of the southeastern Marmara Sea and the Aegean Sea are dominated by (sub-) Mediterranean woods and shrubs with sclerophyllous and evergreen elements (Zohary 1973). The pollen record of Lake Iznik reflects typical Eastern Mediterranean vegetation pattern and northern hemispheric climate changes. In contrast to the recent vegetation, a steppe vegetation dominated during the Late Pleistocene. In response to Dansgaard-Oeschger events, the vegetation changed rapidly into a steppe-forest. A remarkable expansion of deciduous oak forest, indicating warmer temperatures, is registered since the Bölling-Alleröd. A short period of dryer and/or cooler climate, corresponding to the Younger Dryas, is marked by an increase of steppe components and by a decrease of several trees. Deciduous oaks predominated the vegetation since the Early Holocene. They were successively accompanied by cold temperate, warm temperate, and Mediterranean trees. In addition to the climate impact

  14. Decadal-to-centennial-scale climate variability: Insights into the rise and fall of the Great Salt Lake

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mann, Michael E.; Lall, Upmanu; Saltzman, Barry

    1995-01-01

    We demonstrate connections between decadal and secular global climatic variations, and historical variations in the volume of the Great Salt Lake. The decadal variations correspond to a low-frequency shifting of storm tracks which influence winter precipitation and explain nearly 18% of the interannual and longer-term variance in the record of monthly volume change. The secular trend accounts for a more modest approximately 1.5% of the variance.

  15. Insights into soil carbon dynamics across climatic and geologic gradients from time-series and fraction-specific radiocarbon analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Voort, Tessa Sophia; Hagedorn, Frank; Zell, Claudia; McIntyre, Cameron; Eglinton, Tim

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the interaction between soil organic matter (SOM) and climatic, geologic and ecological factors is essential for the understanding of potential susceptibility and vulnerability to climate and land use change. Radiocarbon constitutes a powerful tool for unraveling SOM dynamics and is increasingly used in studies of carbon turnover. The complex and inherently heterogeneous nature of SOM renders it challenging to assess the processes that govern SOM stability by solely looking at the bulk signature on a plot-scale level. This project combines bulk radiocarbon measurements on a regional-scale spanning wide climatic and geologic gradients with a more in-depth approach for a subset of locations. For this subset, time-series and carbon pool-specific radiocarbon data has been acquired for both topsoil and deeper soils. These well-studied sites are part of the Long-Term Forest Ecosystem Research (LWF) program of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape research (WSL). Statistical analysis was performed to examine relationships of radiocarbon signatures with variables such as temperature, precipitation and elevation. Bomb-curve modeling was applied determine carbon turnover using time-series data. Results indicate that (1) there is no significant correlation between Δ14C signature and environmental conditions except a weak positive correlation with mean annual temperature, (2) vertical gradients in Δ14C signatures in surface and deeper soils are highly similar despite covering disparate soil-types and climatic systems, and (3) radiocarbon signatures vary significantly between time-series samples and carbon pools. Overall, this study provides a uniquely comprehensive dataset that allows for a better understanding of links between carbon dynamics and environmental settings, as well as for pool-specific and long-term trends in carbon (de)stabilization.

  16. The Climate Potentials and Side-Effects of Large-Scale terrestrial CO2 Removal - Insights from Quantitative Model Assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boysen, L.; Heck, V.; Lucht, W.; Gerten, D.

    2015-12-01

    Terrestrial carbon dioxide removal (tCDR) through dedicated biomass plantations is considered as one climate engineering (CE) option if implemented at large-scale. While the risks and costs are supposed to be small, the effectiveness depends strongly on spatial and temporal scales of implementation. Based on simulations with a dynamic global vegetation model (LPJmL) we comprehensively assess the effectiveness, biogeochemical side-effects and tradeoffs from an earth system-analytic perspective. We analyzed systematic land-use scenarios in which all, 25%, or 10% of natural and/or agricultural areas are converted to tCDR plantations including the assumption that biomass plantations are established once the 2°C target is crossed in a business-as-usual climate change trajectory. The resulting tCDR potentials in year 2100 include the net accumulated annual biomass harvests and changes in all land carbon pools. We find that only the most spatially excessive, and thus undesirable, scenario would be capable to restore the 2° target by 2100 under continuing high emissions (with a cooling of 3.02°C). Large-scale biomass plantations covering areas between 1.1 - 4.2 Gha would produce a climate reduction potential of 0.8 - 1.4°C. tCDR plantations at smaller scales do not build up enough biomass over this considered period and the potentials to achieve global warming reductions are substantially lowered to no more than 0.5-0.6°C. Finally, we demonstrate that the (non-economic) costs for the Earth system include negative impacts on the water cycle and on ecosystems, which are already under pressure due to both land use change and climate change. Overall, tCDR may lead to a further transgression of land- and water-related planetary boundaries while not being able to set back the crossing of the planetary boundary for climate change. tCDR could still be considered in the near-future mitigation portfolio if implemented on small scales on wisely chosen areas.

  17. Membrane Mediated Antimicrobial and Antitumor Activity of Cathelicidin 6: Structural Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulation on Multi-Microsecond Scale

    PubMed Central

    Sahoo, Bikash Ranjan; Fujiwara, Toshimichi

    2016-01-01

    The cathelicidin derived bovine antimicrobial peptide BMAP27 exhibits an effective microbicidal activity and moderate cytotoxicity towards erythrocytes. Irrespective of its therapeutic and multidimensional potentiality, the structural studies are still elusive. Moreover, the mechanism of BMAP27 mediated pore formation in heterogeneous lipid membrane systems is poorly explored. Here, we studied the effect of BMAP27 in model cell-membrane systems such as zwitterionic, anionic, thymocytes-like (TLM) and leukemia-like membranes (LLM) by performing molecular dynamics (MD) simulation longer than 100 μs. All-atom MD studies revealed a stable helical conformation in the presence of anionic lipids, however, significant loss of helicity was identified in TLM and zwitterionic systems. A peptide tilt (~45˚) and central kink (at residue F10) was found in anionic and LLM models, respectively, with an average membrane penetration of < 0.5 nm. Coarse-grained (CG) MD analysis on a multi-μs scale shed light on the membrane-dependent peptide and lipid organization. Stable micelle and end-to-end like oligomers were formed in zwitterionic and TLM models, respectively. In contrast, unstable oligomer formation and monomeric BMAP27 penetration were observed in anionic and LLM systems with selective anionic lipid aggregation (in LLM). Peptide penetration up to ~1.5 nm was observed in CG-MD systems with the BMAP27 C-terminal oriented towards the bilayer core. Structural inspection suggested membrane penetration by micelle/end-to-end like peptide oligomers (carpet-model like) in the zwitterionic/TLM systems, and transmembrane-mode (toroidal-pore like) in the anionic/LLM systems, respectively. Structural insights and energetic interpretation in BMAP27 mutant highlighted the role of F10 and hydrophobic residues in mediating a membrane-specific peptide interaction. Free energy profiling showed a favorable (-4.58 kcal mol-1 for LLM) and unfavorable (+0.17 kcal mol-1 for TLM) peptide insertion

  18. Molecular records of climate variability and vegetation response since the Late Pleistocene in the Lake Victoria basin, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berke, Melissa A.; Johnson, Thomas C.; Werne, Josef P.; Grice, Kliti; Schouten, Stefan; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.

    2012-11-01

    New molecular proxies of temperature and hydrology are helping to constrain tropical climate change and elucidate possible forcing mechanisms during the Holocene. Here, we examine a ˜14,000 year record of climate variability from Lake Victoria, East Africa, the world's second largest freshwater lake by surface area. We determined variations in local hydroclimate using compound specific δD of terrestrial leaf waxes, and compared these results to a new record of temperature utilizing the TEX86 paleotemperature proxy, based on aquatic Thaumarchaeotal membrane lipids. In order to assess the impact of changing climate on the terrestrial environment, we generated a record of compound specific δ13C from terrestrial leaf waxes, a proxy for ecosystem-level C3/C4 plant abundances, and compared the results to previously published pollen-inferred regional vegetation shifts. We observe a general coherence between temperature and rainfall, with a warm, wet interval peaking ˜10-9 ka and subsequent gradual cooling and drying over the remainder of the Holocene. These results, particularly those of rainfall, are in general agreement with other tropical African climate records, indicating a somewhat consistent view of climate over a wide region of tropical East Africa. The δ13C record from Lake Victoria leaf waxes does not appear to reflect changes in regional climate or vegetation. However, palynological analyses document an abrupt shift from a Poaceae (grasses)-dominated ecosystem during the cooler, arid late Pleistocene to a Moraceae-dominated (trees/shrubs) landscape during the warm, wet early Holocene. We theorize that these proxies are reflecting vegetation in different locations around Lake Victoria. Our results suggest a predominantly insolation-forced climate, with warm, wet conditions peaking at the maximum interhemispheric seasonal insolation contrast, likely intensifying monsoonal precipitation, while maximum aridity coincides with the rainy season insolation and the

  19. A tale of two spartinas: Climatic, photobiological and isotopic insights on the fitness of non-indigenous versus native species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duarte, B.; Baeta, A.; Rousseau-Gueutin, M.; Ainouche, M.; Marques, J. C.; Caçador, I.

    2015-12-01

    Salt marshes are facing a new threat: the invasion by non-indigenous species (NIS), Although its introduction time is not established yet, in 1999 Spartina versicolor was already identified as a NIS in the Mediterranean marshes, significantly spreading its area of colonization. Using the Mediterranean native Spartina maritima as a reference, the present research studied the ecophysiological fitness of this NIS in its new environment, as a tool to understand its potential invasiveness. It was found that Spartina versicolor had a stable photobiological pattern, with only minor fluctuations during an annual cycle, and lower efficiencies comparated to S. maritima. The NIS seems to be rather insensitive to the observed abiotic factors fluctuations (salinity and pH of the sediment), and thus contrasts with the native S. maritima, known to be salinity dependent with higher productivity values in higher salinity environments. Most of the differences observed between the photobiology of these species could be explained by their nitrogen nutrition (here evaluated by the δ15N stable isotope) and directly related with the Mediterranean climate. Enhanced by a higher N availability during winter, the primary production of S. maritima which lead to dilution of the foliar δ15N concentration in the newly formed biomass, similarly to what is observed along a rainfall gradient. On the other hand, S. versicolor showed an increased δ15N in its tissues along the annual rainfall gradient, probably due to a δ15N concentration effect during low biomass production periods (winter and autumn). Together with the photobiological traits, these isotopic data point out to a climatic misfit of S. versicolor to the Mediterranean climate compared to the native S. maritima. This appears to be the major constrain shaping the ecophysiological fitness of this NIS, its primary production and consequently, its spreading rate along the Mediterranean marshes.

  20. Significance of pre-Quaternary climate change for montane species diversity: insights from Asian salamanders (Salamandridae: Pachytriton).

    PubMed

    Wu, Yunke; Wang, Yuezhao; Jiang, Ke; Hanken, James

    2013-01-01

    Despite extensive focus on the genetic legacy of Pleistocene glaciation, impacts of earlier climatic change on biodiversity are poorly understood. Because amphibians are highly sensitive to variations in precipitation and temperature, we use a genus of Chinese montane salamanders (Salamandridae: Pachytriton) to study paleoclimatic change in East Asia, which experienced intensification of its monsoon circulation in the late Miocene associated with subsequent Pliocene warming. Using both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences, we reconstruct the species tree under a coalescent model and demonstrate that all major lineages originated before the Quaternary. Initial speciation within the genus occurred after the summer monsoon entered a stage of substantial intensification. Heavy summer precipitation established temporary water connectivity through overflows between adjacent stream systems, which may facilitate geographic range expansion by aquatic species such as Pachytriton. Species were formed in allopatry likely through vicariant isolation during or after range expansion. To evaluate the influence of Pliocene warming on these cold-adapted salamanders, we construct a novel temperature buffer-zone model, which suggests widespread physiological stress or even extinction during the warming period. A significant deceleration of species accumulation rate is consistent with Pliocene range contraction, which affected P. granulosus and P. archospotus the most because they lack large temperature buffer zones. In contrast, demographic growth occurred in species for which refugia persist. The buffer-zone model reveals the Huangshan Mountain as a potential climatic refugium, which is similar to that found for other East Asian organisms. Our approach can incorporate future climatic data to evaluate the potential impact of ongoing global warming on montane species (particularly amphibians) and to predict possible population declines.

  1. New insights into the Weichselian environment and climate of the East Siberian Arctic, derived from fossil insects, plants, and mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sher, A. V.; Kuzmina, S. A.; Kuznetsova, T. V.; Sulerzhitsky, L. D.

    2005-03-01

    Multidisciplinary study of a key section on the Laptev Sea Coast (Bykovsky Peninsula, east Lena Delta) in 1998-2001 provides the most complete record of Middle and Late Weichselian environments in the East Siberian Arctic. The 40-m high Mamontovy Khayata cliff is a typical Ice Complex section built of icy silts with a network of large syngenetic polygonal ice wedges, and is richly fossiliferous. In combination with pollen, plant macrofossil and mammal fossils, a sequence of ca 70 insect samples provides a new interpretation of the environment and climate of the area between ca 50 and 12 ka. The large number of radiocarbon dates from the section, together with an extensive 14C database on mammal bones, allows chronological correlation of the various proxies. The Bykovsky record shows how climate change, and the Last Glacial Maximum in particular, affected terrestrial organisms such as insects and large grazing mammals. Both during the presumed "Karginsky Interstadial" (MIS 3) and the Sartanian Glacial (MIS 2), the vegetation remained a mosaic arctic grassland with relatively high diversity of grasses and herbs and dominance of xeric habitats: the tundra-steppe type. This biome was supported by a constantly very continental climate, caused by low sea level and enormous extension of shelf land. Variations within the broad pattern were caused mainly by fluctuations in summer temperature, related to global trends but overprinted by the effect of continentality. No major changes in humidity were observed nor were advances of modern-type forest or forest-tundra recorded, suggesting a major revision of the "Karginsky Interstadial" paradigm. The changing subtypes of the tundra-steppe environment were persistently favourable for mammalian grazers, which inhabited the shelf lowlands throughout the studied period. Mammal population numbers were lowered during the LGM, especially toward its end, and then flourished in a short, but impressive peak in the latest Weichselian, just

  2. Cool episode and platform demise in the Early Aptian: New insights on the links between climate and carbonate production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonin, Aurélie; Pucéat, Emmanuelle; Vennin, Emmanuelle; Mattioli, Emanuela; Aurell, Marcos; Joachimski, Michael; Barbarin, Nicolas; Laffont, Rémi

    2016-01-01

    The Early Aptian encountered several crises in neritic and pelagic carbonate production, major perturbations in the carbon cycle, and an oceanic anoxic event (OAE1a). Yet the causal links between these perturbations and climate changes remain poorly understood, partly because temperature records spanning the Early Aptian interval are still scant. We present new δ18O data from well-preserved bivalves from a carbonate platform of the Galve subbasin (Spain) that document a major cooling event postdating most of OAE1a. Our data show that cooling postdates the global platform demise and cannot have triggered this event that occurred during the warmest interval. The warmest temperatures coincide with the time equivalent of OAE1a and with platform biotic assemblages dominated by microbialites at Aliaga as well as on other Tethyan platforms. Coral-dominated assemblages then replace microbialites during the subsequent cooling. Nannoconids are absent during most of the time equivalent of the OAE1a, probably related to the well-known crisis affecting this group. Yet they present a transient recovery in the upper part of this interval with an increase in both size and abundance during the cool interval portion that postdates OAE1a. An evolution toward cooler and drier climatic conditions may have induced the regional change from microbial to coral assemblages as well as nannoconids size and abundance increase by limiting continent-derived input of nutrients.

  3. How will coral reef fish communities respond to climate-driven disturbances? Insight from landscape-scale perturbations.

    PubMed

    Adam, Thomas C; Brooks, Andrew J; Holbrook, Sally J; Schmitt, Russell J; Washburn, Libe; Bernardi, Giacomo

    2014-09-01

    Global climate change is rapidly altering disturbance regimes in many ecosystems including coral reefs, yet the long-term impacts of these changes on ecosystem structure and function are difficult to predict. A major ecosystem service provided by coral reefs is the provisioning of physical habitat for other organisms, and consequently, many of the effects of climate change on coral reefs will be mediated by their impacts on habitat structure. Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand the independent and combined effects of coral mortality and loss of physical habitat on reef-associated biota. Here, we use a unique series of events affecting the coral reefs around the Pacific island of Moorea, French Polynesia to differentiate between the impacts of coral mortality and the degradation of physical habitat on the structure of reef fish communities. We found that, by removing large amounts of physical habitat, a tropical cyclone had larger impacts on reef fish communities than an outbreak of coral-eating sea stars that caused widespread coral mortality but left the physical structure intact. In addition, the impacts of declining structural complexity on reef fish assemblages accelerated as structure became increasingly rare. Structure provided by dead coral colonies can take up to decades to erode following coral mortality, and, consequently, our results suggest that predictions based on short-term studies are likely to grossly underestimate the long-term impacts of coral decline on reef fish communities.

  4. Climate Warming and Soil Carbon in Tropical Forests: Insights from an Elevation Gradient in the Peruvian Andes

    PubMed Central

    Nottingham, Andrew T.; Whitaker, Jeanette; Turner, Benjamin L.; Salinas, Norma; Zimmermann, Michael; Malhi, Yadvinder; Meir, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    The temperature sensitivity of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition in tropical forests will influence future climate. Studies of a 3.5-kilometer elevation gradient in the Peruvian Andes, including short-term translocation experiments and the examination of the long-term adaptation of biota to local thermal and edaphic conditions, have revealed several factors that may regulate this sensitivity. Collectively this work suggests that, in the absence of a moisture constraint, the temperature sensitivity of decomposition is regulated by the chemical composition of plant debris (litter) and both the physical and chemical composition of preexisting SOM: higher temperature sensitivities are found in litter or SOM that is more chemically complex and in SOM that is less occluded within aggregates. In addition, the temperature sensitivity of SOM in tropical montane forests may be larger than previously recognized because of the presence of “cold-adapted” and nitrogen-limited microbial decomposers and the possible future alterations in plant and microbial communities associated with warming. Studies along elevation transects, such as those reviewed here, can reveal factors that will regulate the temperature sensitivity of SOM. They can also complement and guide in situ soil-warming experiments, which will be needed to understand how this vulnerability to temperature may be mediated by altered plant productivity under future climatic change. PMID:26955086

  5. Response of lightning NOx emissions and ozone production to climate change: Insights from the Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Model Intercomparison Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finney, D. L.; Doherty, R. M.; Wild, O.; Young, P. J.; Butler, A.

    2016-05-01

    Results from an ensemble of models are used to investigate the response of lightning nitrogen oxide emissions to climate change and the consequent impacts on ozone production. Most models generate lightning using a parameterization based on cloud top height. With this approach and a present-day global emission of 5 TgN, we estimate a linear response with respect to changes in global surface temperature of +0.44 ± 0.05 TgN K-1. However, two models using alternative approaches give +0.14 and -0.55 TgN K-1 suggesting that the simulated response is highly dependent on lightning parameterization. Lightning NOx is found to have an ozone production efficiency of 6.5 ± 4.7 times that of surface NOx sources. This wide range of efficiencies across models is partly due to the assumed vertical distribution of the lightning source and partly to the treatment of nonmethane volatile organic compound (NMVOC) chemistry. Careful consideration of the vertical distribution of emissions is needed, given its large influence on ozone production.

  6. The relationships between temperature changes and reproductive investment in a Mediterranean goby: Insights for the assessment of climate change effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zucchetta, M.; Cipolato, G.; Pranovi, F.; Antonetti, P.; Torricelli, P.; Franzoi, P.; Malavasi, S.

    2012-04-01

    The relationships between changes in water temperature and the timing and level of reproductive investment were investigated in an estuarine fish, inhabiting the Venice lagoon: the grass goby Zosterisessor ophiocephalus. A time series of the mean monthly values of gonado-somatic index was coupled with thermal profiles of lagoon water temperatures over 14 years, from 1997 to 2010. Results showed that the reproductive investment was positively affected by water temperature changes, both in terms of monthly thermal anomalies and cumulative degree days. A predictive model was also developed to assess the temporal shift of reproductive peaks as a response to inter-annual thermal fluctuations. This model allowed the detection of deviations from the median level, indicating that during warmer years, the reproductive peak tended to occur earlier than during colder years. The model is therefore proposed as a tool to predict anticipated consequences of climate change on fish phenology in transitional waters, regarding recurrent biological phenomena, such as reproduction and recruitment.

  7. Centennial-scale vegetation and climate changes in the Middle Atlas, Morocco: new insights from multi-proxy investigations at Lake Sidi Ali

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fletcher, William; Campbell, Jennifer; Joannin, Sebastien; Mischke, Steffen; Zielhofer, Christoph; de Batist, Marc; Mikdad, Abdes

    2016-04-01

    The karstic lakes of the Middle Atlas, Morocco, represent a valuable archive of environmental and climatic change for Northwest Africa. Here we present the results of centennial-scale palynological and charcoal analyses as part of a multiproxy palaeolimnological study of sediment cores from Lake Sidi Ali in the Middle Atlas, Morocco (33° 03 N, 05° 00 W; 2,080 m a.s.l.). Supported by absolute dating including 23 more than twenty AMS 14C dates on pollen concentrates, the record covers the entire Holocene and offers insights into vegetation and climate change at a regionally unprecedented centennial-scale. Pollen assemblages are dominated by steppic herbs, evergreen oaks (Quercus), junipers (Cupressaceae) and Atlantic cedar (Cedrus atlantica). A long-term evolution of the montane vegetation is recorded, reflecting progressive changes in the dominant arboreal taxa and leading to the full establishment of the emblematic cedar forests of the area during the mid-Holocene by 6000 cal BP. Orbital-scale changes in seasonality and growing season moisture availability linked to declining summer insolation are implicated, with a transition from (a) warm, dry summers associated with summer drought tolerant taxa especially evergreen Quercus, high algal productivity in the lake, and high background levels of microcharcoal reflecting distant fire activity during the early Holocene, to (b) cool, relatively humid summers with dominance of montane conifers, declining algal productivity in the lake, and episodic local fire activity during the mid- to late Holocene. Superimposed on the long-term environmental changes are recurrent centennial-scale fluctuations in vegetation composition, reflecting competitive dynamics between the major taxa, initially between steppic and arboreal elements, and later between the major tree taxa. Parallels with hydrological proxies including stable O and C isotopes suggest common responses to climatic drivers (fluctuations in moisture sources and

  8. Aeolian beach ridges and their significance for climate and sea level: Concept and insight from the Levant coast (East Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauz, B.; Hijma, M. P.; Amorosi, A.; Porat, N.; Galili, E.; Bloemendal, J.

    2013-06-01

    Relict beach ridges of aeolian origin and associated soils are often used for inferring relative sea level and climate with contrasting results. Most studies link the aeolian coastal deposits to regressive phases, some to high sea-level stands, and a few to intermediate relative sea-level positions. We interpret the apparent contradictions as indicating the lack of an over-arching concept and the inconsistent usage of sea level-related terms. In this paper we present an integrated morpho-sedimentological concept for a microtidal, mid-latitudinal coast and review existing data from the Levant (East Mediterranean) coast to evaluate the concept and to eliminate nomenclatural confusion. A coastal depositional environment in a semi-arid environment consists of shallow-marine, aeolian and alluvial facies which together form an aeolian beach-ridge complex as a package of strata which respond simultaneously to sea-level change. A transgressive complex forms through reworking or overstepping of the coastal foredune and a regressive complex forms by downstepping. Under transgression the aeolian beach ridge represents the highstand deposit and its adjacent shallow marine sediment is the transgressive deposit. Under regression the complex represents the falling stage and the associated downdip surface marks the lowstand. On the Levant coast we find chronologically well-constrained, offlapping aeolian beach ridges as parts of six downstepping beach ridge complexes formed between ~ 200 ka and 10 ka. The complexes represent the falling stage systems tract (FSST) of a short-lived (5th-order) depositional sequence when the shoreline shifted from a position close to the modern coastline to the shelf or below the shelf edge. Three of these FSSTs and their up dip and down dip super bounding surface together form the 4th order (~ 100 ka) sequence of the last interglacial/glacial cycle. The absence of transgressive, highstand and lowstand systems tract is explained by the poor

  9. The response of stratospheric water vapor to a changing climate: Insights from in situ water vapor measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sargent, Maryann Racine

    Stratospheric water vapor plays an important role in the Earth system, both through its role in stratospheric ozone destruction and as a greenhouse gas contributing to radiative forcing of the climate. Highly accurate water vapor measurements are critical to understanding how stratospheric water vapor concentrations will respond to a changing climate. However, the past disagreement among water vapor instruments on the order of 1-2 ppmv hinders understanding of the mechanisms which control stratospheric humidity, and the reliable detection of water vapor trends. In response to these issues, we present a new dual axis water vapor instrument that combines the heritage Harvard Lyman-alpha hygrometer with the newly developed Harvard Herriott Hygrometer (HHH). The Lyman-alpha instrument utilizes ultraviolet photo-fragment fluorescence detection, and its accuracy has been demonstrated though rigorous laboratory calibrations and in situ diagnostic procedures. HHH employs a tunable diode near-IR laser to measure water vapor via direct absorption in a Herriott cell; it demonstrated in-flight precision of 0.1 ppmv (1-sec) with accuracy of 5%±0.5 ppmv. We describe these two measurement techniques in detail along with our methodology for calibration and details of the measurement uncertainties. We also examine the recent flight comparison of the two instruments with several other in situ hygrometers during the 2011 MACPEX campaign, in which five independent instruments agreed to within 0.7 ppmv, a significant improvement over past comparisons. Water vapor measurements in combination with simultaneous in situ measurements of O3, CO, CO2, HDO, and HCl are also used to investigate transport in the Tropical Tropopause Layer (TTL). Data from the winter 2006 CR-AVE campaign and the summer 2007 TC4 campaign are analyzed in a one-dimensional mixing model to explore the seasonal importance of transport within the TTL via slow upward ascent, convective injection, and isentropic

  10. Using Morphological, Molecular and Climatic Data to Delimitate Yews along the Hindu Kush-Himalaya and Adjacent Regions

    PubMed Central

    Poudel, Ram C.; Möller, Michael; Gao, Lian-Ming; Ahrends, Antje; Baral, Sushim R.; Liu, Jie; Thomas, Philip; Li, De-Zhu

    2012-01-01

    Background Despite the availability of several studies to clarify taxonomic problems on the highly threatened yews of the Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH) and adjacent regions, the total number of species and their exact distribution ranges remains controversial. We explored the use of comprehensive sets of morphological, molecular and climatic data to clarify taxonomy and distributions of yews in this region. Methodology/Principal Findings A total of 743 samples from 46 populations of wild yew and 47 representative herbarium specimens were analyzed. Principle component analyses on 27 morphological characters and 15 bioclimatic variables plus altitude and maximum parsimony analysis on molecular ITS and trnL-F sequences indicated the existence of three distinct species occurring in different ecological (climatic) and altitudinal gradients along the HKH and adjacent regions Taxus contorta from eastern Afghanistan to the eastern end of Central Nepal, T. wallichiana from the western end of Central Nepal to Northwest China, and the first report of the South China low to mid-elevation species T. mairei in Nepal, Bhutan, Northeast India, Myanmar and South Vietnam. Conclusion/Significance The detailed sampling and combination of different data sets allowed us to identify three clearly delineated species and their precise distribution ranges in the HKH and adjacent regions, which showed no overlap or no distinct hybrid zone. This might be due to differences in the ecological (climatic) requirements of the species. The analyses further provided the selection of diagnostic morphological characters for the identification of yews occurring in the HKH and adjacent regions. Our work demonstrates that extensive sampling combined with the analysis of diverse data sets can reliably address the taxonomy of morphologically challenging plant taxa. PMID:23056501

  11. Insights into Ocean Acidification During the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum from Boron Isotopes at Southern Ocean Site 738

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moebius, I.; Hoenisch, B.; Friedrich, O.

    2015-12-01

    The Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO) is a ~650-kyr interval of global warming, with a brief ~50 ky long peak warming interval, and an abrupt termination. Deep sea and surface ocean temperature evolution across this interval are fairly well constrained, but thus far we have little understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the gradual warming and rapid recovery. Carbonate mass accumulation rates suggest a shoaling of the carbonate compensation depth, and studies on alkenones indicate increasing atmospheric CO2 levels during the MECO. This suggests an increase in surface ocean CO2, and consequently ocean acidification. However, the severity and timing of the proposed ocean acidification with respect to the onset, peak warming and the termination are currently not well resolved. The boron isotopic composition (δ11B) recorded in planktic foraminifer shells offers an opportunity to infer oceanic pH across this interval. We are working on a boron isotope reconstruction from Southern Ocean IODP site 738 and South Atlantic IODP site 1263, covering 42.0 to 38.5 Ma. These sites are characterized by good carbonate preservation and well-defined age models have been established. Additionally, ecology, nutrient content and bottom-water oxygenation have been shown to change significantly across the event towards a more eutrophic, periodically oxygen-depleted environment supporting different biological communities. We selected the planktic foraminifera species Acarinina spinuloinflata for this study because it is symbiont-bearing, suggesting a near-surface habitat and little vertical migration in the water column, and because of its abundance in the samples. δ11B data will be translated to surface ocean pH and atmospheric pCO2 will be approximated to refine knowledge about the carbon cycle during this time. Parallel analysis of two core sites will help to evaluate the tenacity of the data.

  12. Storm surges and climate change implications for tidal marshes: Insight from the San Francisco Bay Estuary, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thorne, Karen M.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Swanson, Kathleen; Takekawa, John Y.

    2013-01-01

    Tidal marshes are dynamic ecosystems that are influenced by oceanic and freshwater processes and daily changes in sea level. Projected sea-level rise and changes in storm frequency and intensity will affect tidal marshes by altering suspended sediment supply, plant and wildlife communities, and the inundation duration and depth of the marsh platform. The objective of this research was to evaluate how regional weather conditions resulting in low-pressure storms changed tidal conditions locally within three tidal marshes. We hypothesized that regional storms will increase sea level heights locally, resulting in increased inundation of the tidal marsh platform and plant communities. Using site-level measurements of elevation, plant communities, and water levels, we present results from two storm events in 2010 and 2011 from the San Francisco Bay Estuary (SFBE), California, USA. The January 2010 storm had the lowest recorded sea level pressure in the last 30 years for this region. During the storm episodes, the duration of tidal marsh inundation was 1.8 and 3.1 times greater than average for that time of year in 2010 and 2011, respectively. At peak storm surges, over 65% in 2010 and 93% in 2011 of the plant community was under water. We also discuss the implications of these types of storms and projected sea-level rise on the structure and function of tidal marshes and how that may affect the hydrogeomorphic processes and marsh biotic communities. This type of information is useful to managers for incorporating local climate change into developing their monitoring, management, and adaptation strategies.

  13. Modern Mammals dispersion linked to the Paleocene Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) and early Eocene climatic optimum, new insights from India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khozyem, H. M.; Adatte, T.; Keller, G.; Spangenberg, J.; Bajpai, S.; Samant, B.

    2012-12-01

    The Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, 55.9Ma)) is globally related with the extinction of deep benthic foraminifera, the diversification of both planktic foraminifera and modern mammals. In India, the tempo and timing of modern mammal dispersion, their association with the PETM or EECO (Early Eocene Climatic Optimum) and the India-Asia collision remain uncertain. Four Indian sections (Giral, Bhavnagar, Vastan and Tadkeshware lignite mines) have been studied using sedimentology, micropaleontology, mineralogy (bulk and clay mineralogy) and geochemistry (stable isotopes, major and trace elements, organic matter). Both PETM and ETM2 (second Eocene Thermal Maximum, 53.7Ma), a short-lived warming episode that followed the PETM, are globally marked by a pronounced δ13Ccarb and δ13Corg negative excursion. Both isotopic excursions have been recognized in the Vastan and Tarkeswhar lignite mines (Cambay basin, Gujarat) associated with the main mammal bearing level. The lower shift is located above the first lignite seam and corresponds to the transition from continental to shallow marine conditions. The upper excursion appears to be linked to the ETM2 and corresponds to a second marine incursion containing bivalves, benthic (Nummulites burdigalensis) and planktic foraminifera located below the second lignite seam. A very pronounced δ13Corg peak has been detected in the Giral lignite mine (Barmer, Rajhastan) around 6m above the vertebrate bearing level and may correspond to the PETM. This correlation is confirmed by palynological data and more particularly by a dinoflagellate acme that globally characterizes the PETM interval. Our micropaleontological data combined with stable carbone isotopes indicate the presence of both PETM and ETM2 events and constrain the age of the early mammals in northwestern India in between these two thermal events in the early Eocene. These new data will significantly improve the ongoing debate on whether mammals originated in or out of

  14. How fast is Arctic climate really changing? An insight from recent past, present day and near future coupled model simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koenigk, Torben; Brodeau, Laurent

    2016-04-01

    Three quasi-equilibrium simulations using constant greenhouse gas forcing corresponding to years 2000, 2015 and 2030 have been performed with the global coupled model EC-Earth in order to analyze recent past and possible near future changes in the Arctic climate. The model simulations indicate an accelerated warming and ice extent reduction in the Arctic in near future conditions compared to the recent past. Both Arctic warming and sea ice reduction are closely linked to the increase of ocean heat transport into the Arctic, particularly through the Barents Sea Opening. Decadal variations of Arctic sea ice extent and ice volume are of the same order of magnitude as the observed ice extent reductions in the last 30 years and are dominated by the variability of the ocean heat transports through the Barents Sea Opening and the Bering Strait. Despite a general warming of mid and high northern latitudes, a substantial cooling is found in the subpolar gyre of the North Atlantic in the near future simulation. This cooling is related to a strong reduction in the AMOC, which is mainly caused by reduced deep water formation in the Labrador Sea. The observed trend towards a more negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the observed linkage between autumn Arctic ice variations and NAO are reproduced in our model simulations for selected 30-year periods but are not robust over longer time periods. This indicates that the observed linkages between ice and NAO might not be robust in reality either, and that the observational time period is still too short to reliably separate the trend from the natural variability.

  15. Molecular characterization and evolutionary insights into potential sex-determination genes in the western orchard predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis (Chelicerata: Arachnida: Acari: Phytoseiidae).

    PubMed

    Pomerantz, Aaron F; Hoy, Marjorie A; Kawahara, Akito Y

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about the process of sex determination at the molecular level in species belonging to the subclass Acari, a taxon of arachnids that contains mites and ticks. The recent sequencing of the transcriptome and genome of the western orchard predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis allows investigation of molecular mechanisms underlying the biological processes of sex determination in this predator of phytophagous pest mites. We identified four doublesex-and-mab-3-related transcription factor (dmrt) genes, one transformer-2 gene, one intersex gene, and two fruitless-like genes in M. occidentalis. Phylogenetic analyses were conducted to infer the molecular relationships to sequences from species of arthropods, including insects, crustaceans, acarines, and a centipede, using available genomic data. Comparative analyses revealed high sequence identity within functional domains and confirmed that the architecture for certain sex-determination genes is conserved in arthropods. This study provides a framework for identifying potential target genes that could be implicated in the process of sex determination in M. occidentalis and provides insight into the conservation and change of the molecular components of sex determination in arthropods. PMID:25077523

  16. Insights into mechanism of pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidines as DYRK1A inhibitors based on molecular dynamic simulations.

    PubMed

    Li, Jiao Jiao; Tian, Yue Li; Zhai, Hong Lin; Lv, Min; Zhang, Xiao Yun

    2016-08-01

    DYRK1A is characterized by the early development and regulation of neuronal proliferation, and its over expression gives rise to neurological abnormalities. As the promising DYRK1A inhibitors, the binding mechanism between DYRK1A and pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidines derivatives at molecular level are still veiled. In this article, it was achieved to get the structural insights into pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidines derivatives as DYRK1A inhibitors by means of comprehensive computational approaches involving molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulation, free energy calculation, and energy decomposition analysis. The calculated energy values were highly consistent with the experimental activities. Based on the individual energy terms analysis, the van der Waals interaction was the major leading force in the DYRK1A-ligand interaction. Lys188 was the important residue that formed the hydrogen bond, which improved the inhibitory activity. Furthermore, four novel inhibitors with higher predicted activity were designed based on the obtained findings and confirmed by molecular simulations. Our study is expected to provide significant drug design strategy for the development of more promising DYRK1A inhibitors. Proteins 2016; 84:1108-1123. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27119584

  17. Identifying target traits and molecular mechanisms for wheat breeding under a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Semenov, Mikhail A; Halford, Nigel G

    2009-01-01

    Global warming is causing changes in temperature at a rate unmatched by any temperature change over the last 50 million years. Crop cultivars have been selected for optimal performance under the current climatic conditions. With global warming, characterized by shifts in weather patterns and increases in frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events, new ideotypes will be required with a different set of physiological traits. Severe pressure has been placed on breeders to produce new crop cultivars for a future, rapidly-changing environment that can only be predicted with a great degree of uncertainty and is not available in the present day for direct experiments or field trials. Mathematical modelling, therefore, in conjunction with crop genetics, represents a powerful tool to assist in the breeding process. In this review, drought and high temperature are considered as key stress factors with a high potential impact on crop yield that are associated with global warming, focusing on their effects on wheat. Modelling techniques are described which can help to quantify future threats to wheat growth under climate change and simple component traits that are amenable to genetic analysis are identified. This approach could be used to support breeding programmes for new wheat cultivars suitable for future environments brought about by the changing climate.

  18. Climatic Factors Drive Population Divergence and Demography: Insights Based on the Phylogeography of a Riparian Plant Species Endemic to the Hengduan Mountains and Adjacent Regions

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhi-Wei; Chen, Shao-Tian; Nie, Ze-Long; Zhang, Jian-Wen; Zhou, Zhuo; Deng, Tao; Sun, Hang

    2015-01-01

    Quaternary climatic factors have played a significant role in population divergence and demography. Here we investigated the phylogeography of Osteomeles schwerinae, a dominant riparian plant species of the hot/warm-dry river valleys of the Hengduan Mountains (HDM), Qinling Mountains (QLM) and Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau (YGP). Three chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) regions (trnD-trnT, psbD-trnT, petL-psbE), one single copy nuclear gene (glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase; G3pdh), and climatic data during the Last Interglacial (LIG; c. 120–140 ka), Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; c. 21 ka), and Current (c. 1950–2000) periods were used in this study. Six cpDNA haplotypes and 15 nuclear DNA (nDNA) haplotypes were identified in the 40 populations of O. schwerinae. Spatial Analysis of Molecular Variance, median-joining networks, and Bayesian phylogenetic trees based on the cpDNA and nDNA datasets, all suggested population divergence between the QLM and HDM-YGP regions. Our climatic analysis identified significant heterogeneity of the climatic factors in the QLM and HDM-YGP regions during the aforementioned three periods. The divergence times based on cpDNA and nDNA haplotypes were estimated to be 466.4–159.4 ka and 315.8–160.3 ka, respectively, which coincide with the time of the weakening of the Asian monsoons in these regions. In addition, unimodal pairwise mismatch distribution curves, expansion times, and Ecological Niche Modeling suggested a history of population expansion (rather than contraction) during the last glaciation. Interestingly, the expansion times were found being well consistent with the intensification of the Asian monsoons during this period. We inferred that the divergence between the two main lineages is probably caused by disruption of more continuous distribution because of weakening of monsoons/less precipitation, whilst subsequent intensification of the Asian monsoons during the last glaciation facilitated the expansion of O. schwerinae

  19. Climate Sensitivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, J.

    2007-12-01

    Discussion of climate sensitivity requires careful definition of forcings, feedbacks and response times, indeed, foggy definitions have produced flawed