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Sample records for climate molecular insights

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

    PubMed

    Zemlak, Tyler S; Habit, Evelyn M; Walde, Sandra J; Carrea, Cecilia; Ruzzante, Daniel E

    2010-03-08

    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 (approximately 300 individuals from 36 locations). 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 [100x (60x-190x)] 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. 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 ancient and most

  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. Molecular insights from bariatric surgery.

    PubMed

    Kohli, Rohit; Stefater, Margaret A; Inge, Thomas H

    2011-09-01

    Bariatric surgical procedures have become important therapeutic options for treatment of morbid obesity in both adults and adolescents co-morbidities of obesity such as glucose intolerance, type 2 diabetes (T2DM), metabolic syndrome, steatohepatitis, hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular disease. These co-morbidities of obesity have significant impacts on the overall quality of life of the individual and our society at large. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and the relatively newer procedures of gastric banding (GB) and vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) have proven to be efficacious in achieving rapid weight loss and reversing the comorbidities of obesity. Unfortunately, bariatric procedures are not without risks including micronutrient deficiency, failure to maintain lost weight, and mortality. Further, the resolution of T2DM has long been understood to precede weight loss, and this finding provides important clues about the physiologic underpinnings of the observation. In order to design more effective, safe, and widely available therapeutics for obesity, important and highly relevant questions need to be addressed regarding mechanisms behind the weight-loss-independent benefits of bariatric surgical procedures. This review will provide an overview of the molecular changes occurring across all biological systems after bariatric surgery including the changes in hepatic, adipocyte and gut derived signals after surgery. We will also discuss existing literature regarding the weight-loss-independent metabolic benefits including improvement in insulin sensitivity and central nervous system integration of these signals.

  4. Vitamin D and Adipogenesis: New Molecular Insights

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The focus of the current review is to highlight some new insights into the molecular mechanism by which vitamin D, a potentially nutritionally modulated factor, influences adipogenesis. Recent studies, predominantly using the mouse 3T3-L1 pre-adipocyte cell culture model, have shown that the role of...

  5. Extinction risks from climate change: macroecological and historical insights.

    PubMed

    Jansson, Roland

    2009-06-09

    Human-induced climate change may threaten a large proportion of Earth's biota, but the uncertainties involved in projecting the future geographical distributions of species make quantitative predictions of extinction risk difficult to make. I discuss how insight from recent advances in macroecology and knowledge about species responses to past climate change can help predict extinction risks more accurately.

  6. Palaeoclimatic insights into future climate challenges.

    PubMed

    Alley, Richard B

    2003-09-15

    Palaeoclimatic data document a sensitive climate system subject to large and perhaps difficult-to-predict abrupt changes. These data suggest that neither the sensitivity nor the variability of the climate are fully captured in some climate-change projections, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Summary for Policymakers. Because larger, faster and less-expected climate changes can cause more problems for economies and ecosystems, the palaeoclimatic data suggest the hypothesis that the future may be more challenging than anticipated in ongoing policy making. Large changes have occurred repeatedly with little net forcing. Increasing carbon dioxide concentration appears to have globalized deglacial warming, with climate sensitivity near the upper end of values from general circulation models (GCMs) used to project human-enhanced greenhouse warming; data from the warm Cretaceous period suggest a similarly high climate sensitivity to CO(2). Abrupt climate changes of the most recent glacial-interglacial cycle occurred during warm as well as cold times, linked especially to changing North Atlantic freshwater fluxes. GCMs typically project greenhouse-gas-induced North Atlantic freshening and circulation changes with notable but not extreme consequences; however, such models often underestimate the magnitude, speed or extent of past changes. Targeted research to assess model uncertainties would help to test these hypotheses.

  7. Insights From Molecular Profiling of Adult Glioma.

    PubMed

    Diamandis, Phedias; Aldape, Kenneth D

    2017-07-20

    The comprehensive molecular profiling of cancer has resulted in new insights into the biology and classification of numerous tumor types. In the case of primary brain tumors that commonly affect adults, an emerging set of disease-defining biomarker sets is reshaping existing diagnostic entities that had previously been defined on the basis of their microscopic appearance. Substantial progress has been made in this regard for common primary brain tumors in adults, especially diffuse gliomas, where large-scale profiling efforts have led to the incorporation of highly prevalent molecular alterations that promote a biologically based classification as an adjunct to the traditional histopathologic approach. The growing awareness that histologically indistinguishable tumors can be divided into more precise and biologically relevant subgroups has demanded a more global routine approach to biomarker assessment. These considerations have begun to intersect with the decreasing costs and availability of genome-wide analysis tools and, thus, incorporation into routine practice. We review how molecular profiling already has led to an evolution in the classification of brain tumors. In addition, we discuss the likely trajectory of incorporation of global molecular profiling platforms into the routine clinical classification of adult brain tumors.

  8. Monoamine transporters: insights from molecular dynamics simulations

    PubMed Central

    Grouleff, Julie; Ladefoged, Lucy Kate; Koldsø, Heidi; Schiøtt, Birgit

    2015-01-01

    The human monoamine transporters (MATs) facilitate the reuptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine from the synaptic cleft. Imbalance in monoaminergic neurotransmission is linked to various diseases including major depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s disease. Inhibition of the MATs is thus an important strategy for treatment of such diseases. The MATs are sodium-coupled transport proteins belonging to the neurotransmitter/Na+ symporter (NSS) family, and the publication of the first high-resolution structure of a NSS family member, the bacterial leucine transporter LeuT, in 2005, proved to be a major stepping stone for understanding this family of transporters. Structural data allows for the use of computational methods to study the MATs, which in turn has led to a number of important discoveries. The process of substrate translocation across the membrane is an intrinsically dynamic process. Molecular dynamics simulations, which can provide atomistic details of molecular motion on ns to ms timescales, are therefore well-suited for studying transport processes. In this review, we outline how molecular dynamics simulations have provided insight into the large scale motions associated with transport of the neurotransmitters, as well as the presence of external and internal gates, the coupling between ion and substrate transport, and differences in the conformational changes induced by substrates and inhibitors. PMID:26528185

  9. 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

  10. Endometriosis: translation of molecular insights to management.

    PubMed

    Langan, K L; Farrell, M E; Keyser, E A; Salyer, B A; Burney, R O

    2014-09-01

    Endometriosis is a debilitating gynecologic disorder causing pelvic pain and infertility and characterized by the implantation of endometrial tissue to extrauterine locations. Though aspects of the condition remain enigmatic, the molecular pathophysiology of endometriosis appears to be clarifying. Estrogen dependence of the disease is a sentinel endocrine feature and reduction of estrogen bioavailability is the therapeutic principle upon which traditional treatment and prevention approaches have been based. Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory condition associated with lesional neoangiogenesis and attenuated progesterone action at the level of the endometrium. The elucidation of the molecular pathways mediating these observations has revealed new targets for directed medical and surgical treatment. This paper will review current approaches to the management of endometriosis in the context of the molecular pathophysiology.

  11. Molecular insights into melanoma brain metastases.

    PubMed

    Westphal, Dana; Glitza Oliva, Isabella C; Niessner, Heike

    2017-06-01

    Substantial proportions of patients with metastatic melanoma develop brain metastases during the course of their disease, often resulting in significant morbidity and death. Despite recent advances with BRAF/MEK and immune-checkpoint inhibitors in the treatment of patients who have melanoma with extracerebral metastases, patients who have melanoma brain metastases still have poor overall survival, highlighting the need for further therapy options. A deeper understanding of the molecular pathways involved in the development of melanoma brain metastases is required to develop more brain-specific therapies. Here, the authors summarize the currently known preclinical data and describe steps involved in the development of melanoma brain metastases. Only by knowing the molecular background is it possible to design new therapeutic agents that can be used to improve the outcome of patients with melanoma brain metastases. Cancer 2017;123:2163-75. © 2017 American Cancer Society. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

  12. Molecular insights into the history of plague.

    PubMed

    Drancourt, Michel; Raoult, Didier

    2002-01-01

    Because of the limits inherent in historical sources on ancient plague epidemics, many questions concerning their etiology and epidemiology remain unanswered. Molecular biology tools and the use of dental pulp as a preserved source of bacterial DNA enabled us to demonstrate that Yersinia pestis was the etiologic agent of the 1347 European Black Death and of two additional epidemics in 1590 and 1722 in southern France.

  13. 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.

  14. Hydropower licensing and climate change: Insights from cooperative game theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madani, Kaveh

    2011-02-01

    Cooperative game theory solutions can provide useful insights into how parties may use water and environmental resources and share any benefits of cooperation. Here, a method based on Nash and Nash-Harsanyi bargaining solutions is developed to explore the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing process, in which owners of non-federal hydropower projects in the United States have to negotiate their allowable operations, with other interest groups (mainly environmental). Linkage of games to expand the feasible solution range and the "strategic loss" concept are discussed and a FERC relicensing bargaining model is developed for studying the bargaining stage (third stage) of the relicensing process. Based on the suggested solution method, how the lack of incentive for cooperation results in long delay in FERC relicensing in practice is explained. Further, potential effects of climate change on the FERC relicensing are presented and how climate change may provide an incentive for cooperation among the parties to hasten the relicensing is discussed. An "adaptive FERC license" framework is proposed, based on cooperative game theory, to improve the performance and adaptability of the system to future changes with no cost to the FERC, in face of uncertainty about future hydrological and ecological conditions.

  15. Temporal Insights on Biomarker-Based Climate Records (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drenzek, N.; Stanley, R. H.; Santos, G. M.; Southon, J. R.; Druffel, E. R.; Montlucon, D.; Hughen, K. A.; Eglinton, T. I.

    2010-12-01

    Biomarker reconstructions of climate events usually assume that the incorporation of these molecular fossils into the sedimentary archive is both synchronous with those events and temporally discrete. Studies of marine and terrigenous-sourced lipids have nonetheless uncovered significant lags between initial biosynthesis and ultimate deposition, largely owing to intervening transport processes. Here we quantitatively apportion such residence times for vascular plant leaf waxes, commonly used as proxies for various continental climate parameters, into several components by comparing the radiocarbon profiles of individual long chain fatty acids extracted from sediments to the radiocarbon evolution of atmospheric carbon dioxide using a nonlinear optimization model. We then incorporate these findings into a simplified forward box model in order to reinterpret leaf wax reconstructions of environmental changes at orbital to decadal timescales. Results from case studies in the Caribbean Sea (Cariaco Basin) and coastal British Columbia (Saanich Inlet) indicate that at least two pools of plant wax material can be defined by markedly different residence times in these systems. Fully sixty to ninety percent of long chain fatty acids in study site sediments were sequestered on land for an average of some 3340 and 4860 years, respectively, with the remainder encumbering a much shorter time of nominally ten to fifteen years. The fraction of each homologue passing through these ‘millennial’ and ‘decadal’ reservoirs systematically decreased at shorter chain length, possibly reflecting the influence of varying molecular-level properties such as degradation rate and physiochemical speciation. Viewed through this prism, the record of low frequency (orbital) climate shifts preserved in sediments will appear lagged relative to their actual timing while the magnitude of millennial to higher frequency activity will be muted. These findings indicate that a premium should be placed

  16. New insights into the molecular pathogenesis of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Tushar

    2013-01-01

    Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is an aggressive malignancy and is one of the most devastating cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. The molecular mechanisms contributing to the pathogenesis of these cancers are not well understood. The recognition and distinction of these cancers from other tumors such as extrahepatic or ductal cholangiocarcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma have been important in defining the pathogenesis. New insights into molecular mechanisms contributing to disease pathogenesis are emerging from recent epidemiological, genome-wide profiling and laboratory based studies. These have contributed to an improved understanding of risk factors, genetic mutations and pathophysiological mechanisms that are associated with these tumors. The contribution of well-established risk factors such as biliary tract inflammation and key signaling pathways involved in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma are being further defined. These new insights have several important implications for both molecular diagnosis and therapy of these cancers. PMID:24145988

  17. 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.

  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. Insights into soil carbon dynamics across climatic gradients from carbon-pool specific radiocarbon analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Voort, Tessa Sophia; Hagedorn, Frank; McIntyre, Cameron; Zell, Claudia; Eglinton, Timothy Ian

    2017-04-01

    Soil carbon constitutes the largest terrestrial reservoir of organic carbon, and therefore understanding the mechanisms and drivers of carbon stabilization is crucial, especially in the framework of climate change. The understanding of the dependence of soil organic turnover in specific carbon pools as related to e.g. climate, soil texture and mineralogy is limited. In this framework, radiocarbon constitutes a uniquely powerful tool that help to unravel carbon dynamics from decadal to millennial timescales. This project combines bulk and pool-specific radiocarbon analyses in the top and deep soil on a wide range of forested soils that span a large climatic gradient (MAT 1.3-9.2°C, MAP 600 to 2100 mm m-2y-1). These well-studies sites are part of the Long-Term Forest Ecosystem Research (LWF) program of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape research (WSL). This study aims to combine the insights gained from bulk and pool-specific turnover to environmental conditions and molecular composition of soil carbon. The pools investigated span the mineral-associated (occluded and heavy fractions from density fractionation) and potentially water-soluble (free light fractions from density fractionation and water extractable organic carbon) organic carbon fractions. Pool-specific radiocarbon work is augmented by the measurement of abundance of compounds such as alkanes, fatty acids and lignin phenols on a subset of samples. Initial results show disparate patterns depending on soil type and in particular soil texture, which could be indicative of various stabilization mechanisms in different soils. Overall, this study provides new insights into the controls of soil organic matter dynamics as related to environmental conditions, in particular in specific sub-pools of carbon.

  20. The climate of early Mars: New insights from climate modeling and geological intercomparisons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wordsworth, R. D.

    2016-12-01

    Early Mars has abundant evidence for running water 3-4 Ga, but the extent to which it was continuously warm and wet, with a northern ocean, remains a continuing source of controversy. Although large uncertainties remain, advances in orbital and rover observations and climate modeling over the last decade have led to important new insights. Here, the geological evidence for both fluvial and fluvoglacial erosion is first reviewed. A phase space approach is then taken that considers the surface H2O inventory and steady-state mean surface temperature as separate variables. Based on this, it is argued that a fairly cold climate state with limited H2O inventory provides the best fit to the geological observations. In particular, a 'top-down' hydrological cycle where ice deposits form on the south pole, equatorial highlands and Tharsis allows significant fluvial erosion via episodic melting. Importantly, it also avoids the buildup of the thick, wet-based icesheets across the southern hemisphere that would appear following the wet scenario where early Mars had a northern ocean. At the end of the talk, the most likely mechanisms to explain the episodic melting events in the mainly cold, 'icy highlands' state are also discussed.

  1. Recent molecular insights from mutated IKS channels in cardiac arrhythmia.

    PubMed

    Dvir, Meidan; Peretz, Asher; Haitin, Yoni; Attali, Bernard

    2014-04-01

    Co-assembly of KCNQ1 with KCNE1 generates the IKS potassium current that is vital for the proper repolarization of the cardiac action potential. Mutations in either KCNQ1 or KCNE1 genes lead to life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias causing long QT syndrome, short QT syndrome, sinus bradycardia and atrial fibrillation. Findings emerging from recent studies are beginning to provide a picture of how gain-of-function and loss-of-function mutations are associated with pleiotropic cardiac phenotypes in the clinics. In this review, we discuss recent molecular insights obtained from mutations altering different structural modules of the channel complex that are essential for proper IKS function. We present the possible molecular mechanisms underlying mutations impairing the voltage sensing functions, as well as those altering the channel regulation by phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate, calmodulin and protein kinase A. We also discuss the significance of diseased IKS channels for adequate pharmacological targeting of cardiac arrhythmias.

  2. 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

  3. How molecular motors work - insights from the molecular machinist's toolbox: the Nobel prize in Chemistry 2016.

    PubMed

    Astumian, R D

    2017-02-01

    The Nobel prize in Chemistry for 2016 was awarded to Jean Pierre Sauvage, Sir James Fraser Stoddart, and Bernard (Ben) Feringa for their contributions to the design and synthesis of molecular machines. While this field is still in its infancy, and at present there are no commercial applications, many observers have stressed the tremendous potential of molecular machines to revolutionize technology. However, perhaps the most important result so far accruing from the synthesis of molecular machines is the insight provided into the fundamental mechanisms by which molecular motors, including biological motors such as kinesin, myosin, FoF1 ATPase, and the flagellar motor, function. The ability to "tinker" with separate components of molecular motors allows asking, and answering, specific questions about mechanism, particularly with regard to light driven vs. chemistry driven molecular motors.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM): Molecular insights lead to targeted therapies

    PubMed Central

    Glasgow, Connie G.; Steagall, Wendy K.; Taveira-DaSilva, Angelo; Pacheco-Rodriguez, Gustavo; Cai, Xiong; El-Chemaly, Souheil; Moses, Marsha; Darling, Thomas; Moss, Joel

    2011-01-01

    Summary LAM is a rare lung disease, found primarily in women of childbearing age, characterized by cystic lung destruction and abdominal tumors (e.g., renal angiomyolipoma, lymphangioleiomyoma). The disease results from proliferation of a neoplastic cell, termed the LAM cell, which has mutations in either of the tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) 1 or TSC2 genes. Molecular phenotyping of LAM patients resulted in the identification of therapeutic targets for drug trials. Loss of TSC gene function leads to activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and thereby, effects on cell size and number. The involvement of mTOR in LAM pathogenesis is the basis for initiation of therapeutic trials of mTOR inhibitors (e.g., sirolimus). Occurrence of LAM essentially entirely in women is consistent with the hypothesis that anti-estrogen agents might prevent disease progression (e.g., gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues). Levels of urinary matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) were elevated in LAM patients, and MMPs were found in LAM lung nodules. In part because of these observations, effects of doxycycline, an anti-MMP, and anti-angiogenic agent, are under investigation. The metastatic properties of LAM cells offer additional potential for targets. Thus, insights into the molecular and biological properties of LAM cells and molecular phenotyping of patients with LAM have led to clinical trials of targeted therapies. Funded by the Intramural Research Program, NIH/NHLBI PMID:20630348

  7. 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.

  8. Knowledge discovery and nonlinear modeling can complement climate model simulations for predictive insights about climate extremes and their impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ganguly, A. R.; Steinbach, M.; Kumar, V.

    2009-12-01

    The IPCC AR4 not only provided conclusive evidence about anticipated global warming at century scales, but also indicated with a high level of certainty that the warming is caused by anthropogenic emissions. However, an outstanding knowledge-gap is to develop credible projections of climate extremes and their impacts. Climate extremes are defined in this context as extreme weather and hydrological events, as well as changes in regional hydro-meteorological patterns, especially at decadal scales. While temperature extremes from climate models have relatively better skills, hydrological variables and their extremes have significant shortcomings. Credible projections about tropical storms, sea level rise, coastal storm surge, land glacier melts, and landslides remain elusive. The next generation of climate models is expected to have higher precision. However, their ability to provide more accurate projections of climate extremes remains to be tested. Projections of observed trends into the future may not be reliable in non-stationary environments like climate change, even though functional relationships derived from physics may hold. On the other hand, assessments of climate change impacts which are useful for stakeholders and policy makers depend critically on regional and decadal scale projections of climate extremes. Thus, climate impacts scientists often need to develop qualitative inferences about the not so-well predicted climate extremes based on insights from observations (e.g., increased hurricane intensity) or conceptual understanding (e.g., relation of wildfires to regional warming or drying and hurricanes to SST). However, neither conceptual understanding nor observed trends may be reliable when extrapolating in a non-stationary environment. These urgent societal priorities offer fertile grounds for nonlinear modeling and knowledge discovery approaches. Thus, qualitative inferences on climate extremes and impacts may be transformed into quantitative

  9. Ice formation on kaolinite: Insights from molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sosso, Gabriele C.; Tribello, Gareth A.; Zen, Andrea; Pedevilla, Philipp; Michaelides, Angelos

    2016-12-01

    The formation of ice affects many aspects of our everyday life as well as important technologies such as cryotherapy and cryopreservation. Foreign substances almost always aid water freezing through heterogeneous ice nucleation, but the molecular details of this process remain largely unknown. In fact, insight into the microscopic mechanism of ice formation on different substrates is difficult to obtain even if state-of-the-art experimental techniques are used. At the same time, atomistic simulations of heterogeneous ice nucleation frequently face extraordinary challenges due to the complexity of the water-substrate interaction and the long time scales that characterize nucleation events. Here, we have investigated several aspects of molecular dynamics simulations of heterogeneous ice nucleation considering as a prototypical ice nucleating material the clay mineral kaolinite, which is of relevance in atmospheric science. We show via seeded molecular dynamics simulations that ice nucleation on the hydroxylated (001) face of kaolinite proceeds exclusively via the formation of the hexagonal ice polytype. The critical nucleus size is two times smaller than that obtained for homogeneous nucleation at the same supercooling. Previous findings suggested that the flexibility of the kaolinite surface can alter the time scale for ice nucleation within molecular dynamics simulations. However, we here demonstrate that equally flexible (or non flexible) kaolinite surfaces can lead to very different outcomes in terms of ice formation, according to whether or not the surface relaxation of the clay is taken into account. We show that very small structural changes upon relaxation dramatically alter the ability of kaolinite to provide a template for the formation of a hexagonal overlayer of water molecules at the water-kaolinite interface, and that this relaxation therefore determines the nucleation ability of this mineral.

  10. Climate Variability and Wildfires: Insights from Global Earth System Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, D. S.; Shevliakova, E.; Malyshev, S.; Lamarque, J. F.; Wittenberg, A. T.

    2016-12-01

    Better understanding of the relationship between variability in global climate and emissions from wildfires is needed for predictions of fire activity on interannual to multi-decadal timescales. Here we investigate this relationship using the long, preindustrial control simulations and historical ensembles of two Earth System models; CESM1 and the NOAA/GFDL ESM2Mb. There is smaller interannual variability of global fires in both models than in present day inventories, especially in boreal regions where observed fires vary substantially from year to year. Patterns of fire response to climate oscillation indices, including the El Niño / Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Atlantic Meridional Oscillation (AMO) are explored with the model results and compared to the response derived from satellite measurements and proxy observations. Increases in fire emissions in southeast Asia and boreal North America are associated with positive ENSO and PDO, while United States fires and Sahel fires decrease for the same climate conditions. Boreal fire emissions decrease in CESM1 for the warm phase of the AMO, while ESM2Mb did not produce a reliable AMO. CESM1 produces a weak negative trend in global fire emissions for the period 1920 to 2005, while ESM2Mb produces a positive trend over the same period. Both trends are statistically significant at a confidence level of 95% or greater given the variability derived from the respective preindustrial controls. In addition to climate variability impacts on fires, we also explore the impacts of fire emissions on climate variability and atmospheric chemistry. We analyze three long, free-evolving ESM2Mb simulations; one without fire emissions, one with constant year-over-year fire emissions based on a present day inventory, and one with interannually varying fire emissions coupled between the terrestrial and atmospheric components of the model, to gain a better understanding of the role of fire emissions in

  11. Recent insights into the molecular genetics of the homocysteine metabolism.

    PubMed

    Födinger, M; Wagner, O F; Hörl, W H; Sunder-Plassmann, G

    2001-02-01

    The homocysteine plasma level is determined by non-genetic and genetic factors. In recent years evidence has accumulated that the total homocysteine plasma level of patients under different forms of renal replacement therapy is influenced by a common mutation at nucleotide position 677 of the gene coding for 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR 677C-->T). Furthermore, compound heterozygosity for the 677T allele and a novel A-->C polymorphism at nucleotide position 1298 of MTHFR is suggested to correlate with a decrease of folate plasma concentrations. Because polymorphisms of genes coding for proteins involved in the metabolism of homocysteine may contribute to elevated total homocysteine plasma concentrations, molecular genetic analyses of the homocysteine pathways experienced a drift towards screening for candidate genes with a putative relationship to total homocysteine plasma levels. One example is the cloning of the FOLR1 gene coding for the folate-binding protein (Folbp1), which has recently been inactivated in mice, thus representing an elegant model to investigate the consequence on the homocysteine metabolism. Furthermore, the recent characterization of the CUBN gene encoding the intrinsic factor-vitamin B12 receptor (cubilin) provides a basis to identify the causative mutations in patients suffering from a hereditary syndrome of hyperhomocysteinemia that presents with megaloblastic anemia and proteinuria. This review focuses on recent insights into the molecular genetics of MTHFR, FOLR1, and CUBN, and their relationships to the metabolism of the amino acid homocysteine.

  12. Molecular Insight into Water Desalination across Multilayer Graphene Oxide Membranes.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bo; Jiang, Haifeng; Liu, Xiang; Hu, Xuejiao

    2017-07-12

    Transport of ionic solutions through graphene oxide (GO) membranes is a complicated issue because the complex and tortuous structure inside makes it very hard to clarify. Using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we investigated the mechanism of water transport and ion movement across multilayer GO. The significant flow rate is considerably influenced by the structural parameters of GO membranes. Because of the size effect on a shrunken real flow area, there is disagreement between the classical continuum model and nanoscaled flow. To eliminate the variance, we obtained modified geometrical parameters from density analysis and used them in the developed hydrodynamic model to give a precise depiction of water flow. Four kinds of solutions (i.e., NaCl, KCl, MgCl2, and CaCl2) and different configurational GO sheets were considered to clarify the influence on salt permeation. It is found that the abilities of permeation to ions are not totally up to the hydration radius. Even though the ionic hydration shell is greater than the opening space, the ions can also pass through the split because of the special double-deck hydration structure. In the structure of GO, a smaller layer separation with greater offsetting gaps could substantially enhance the membrane's ability to reject salt. This work establishes molecular insight into the effects of configurational structures and salt species on desalination performance, providing useful guidelines for the design of multilayer GO membranes.

  13. 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.

  14. Molecular cytogenetic and genomic insights into chromosomal evolution

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz-Herrera, A; Farré, M; Robinson, T J

    2012-01-01

    This review summarizes aspects of the extensive literature on the patterns and processes underpinning chromosomal evolution in vertebrates and especially placental mammals. It highlights the growing synergy between molecular cytogenetics and comparative genomics, particularly with respect to fully or partially sequenced genomes, and provides novel insights into changes in chromosome number and structure across deep division of the vertebrate tree of life. The examination of basal numbers in the deeper branches of the vertebrate tree suggest a haploid (n) chromosome number of 10–13 in an ancestral vertebrate, with modest increases in tetrapods and amniotes most probably by chromosomal fissioning. Information drawn largely from cross-species chromosome painting in the data-dense Placentalia permits the confident reconstruction of an ancestral karyotype comprising n=23 chromosomes that is similarly retained in Boreoeutheria. Using in silico genome-wide scans that include the newly released frog genome we show that of the nine ancient syntenies detected in conserved karyotypes of extant placentals (thought likely to reflect the structure of ancestral chromosomes), the human syntenic segmental associations 3p/21, 4pq/8p, 7a/16p, 14/15, 12qt/22q and 12pq/22qt predate the divergence of tetrapods. These findings underscore the enhanced quality of ancestral reconstructions based on the integrative molecular cytogenetic and comparative genomic approaches that collectively highlight a pattern of conserved syntenic associations that extends back ∼360 million years ago. PMID:22108627

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    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

  16. Molecular Insights Into a Dinoflagellate Bloom Imply Bacterial Cultivation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, W.; Hall, N.; Schruth, D.; Paerl, H. W.; Marchetti, A.

    2016-02-01

    In coastal waters, an increase in frequency and intensity of algal blooms worldwide has recently been observed primarily due to eutrophication, with further increases predicted as a consequence of climate change. In many marine habitats most impacted by human activities, efforts have been made to prevent conditions that promote harmful algal blooms, or HABs, although progress is limited, due in part to our current lack of understanding of the environmental and cellular processes that promote and propagate these blooms. Comparative metatranscriptomics was used to investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms associated with a dinoflagellate bloom in a highly eutrophied estuarine system. Here we show that under bloom conditions, there is increased expression of metabolic pathways indicative of rapidly growing cells, including energy production, carbon metabolism, transporters and synthesis of nucleic acids and cellular membrane components. In addition, there is a prominence of highly expressed genes involved in synthesis of membrane-associated molecules, including those for the production of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which may serve roles in nutrient acquisition and/or cell surface adhesion. Biotin and thiamine synthesis genes also increased expression along with several cobalamin biosynthesis-associated genes that suggests processing of B12 intermediates by dinoflagellates. The patterns in gene expression observed are consistent with bloom-forming dinoflagellates eliciting a cellular response to facilitate interactions with their surrounding bacterial consortium, possibly in an effort to cultivate for enhancement of vitamin and nutrient exchanges and/or direct consumption. Our findings provide potential molecular targets for HAB detection and remediation efforts.

  17. ROS signalling in a destabilised world: A molecular understanding of climate change.

    PubMed

    Carmody, Melanie; Waszczak, Cezary; Idänheimo, Niina; Saarinen, Timo; Kangasjärvi, Jaakko

    2016-09-20

    Climate change results in increased intensity and frequency of extreme abiotic and biotic stress events. In plants, reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulate in proportion to the level of stress and are major signalling and regulatory metabolites coordinating growth, defence, acclimation and cell death. Our knowledge of ROS homeostasis, sensing, and signalling is therefore key to understanding the impacts of climate change at the molecular level. Current research is uncovering new insights into temporal-spatial, cell-to-cell and systemic ROS signalling pathways, particularly how these affect plant growth, defence, and more recently acclimation mechanisms behind stress priming and long term stress memory. Understanding the stabilising and destabilising factors of ROS homeostasis and signalling in plants exposed to extreme and fluctuating stress will concomitantly reveal how to address future climate change challenges in global food security and biodiversity management. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Insights from molecular dynamics simulations for computational protein design.

    PubMed

    Childers, Matthew Carter; Daggett, Valerie

    2017-02-01

    A grand challenge in the field of structural biology is to design and engineer proteins that exhibit targeted functions. Although much success on this front has been achieved, design success rates remain low, an ever-present reminder of our limited understanding of the relationship between amino acid sequences and the structures they adopt. In addition to experimental techniques and rational design strategies, computational methods have been employed to aid in the design and engineering of proteins. Molecular dynamics (MD) is one such method that simulates the motions of proteins according to classical dynamics. Here, we review how insights into protein dynamics derived from MD simulations have influenced the design of proteins. One of the greatest strengths of MD is its capacity to reveal information beyond what is available in the static structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank. In this regard simulations can be used to directly guide protein design by providing atomistic details of the dynamic molecular interactions contributing to protein stability and function. MD simulations can also be used as a virtual screening tool to rank, select, identify, and assess potential designs. MD is uniquely poised to inform protein design efforts where the application requires realistic models of protein dynamics and atomic level descriptions of the relationship between dynamics and function. Here, we review cases where MD simulations was used to modulate protein stability and protein function by providing information regarding the conformation(s), conformational transitions, interactions, and dynamics that govern stability and function. In addition, we discuss cases where conformations from protein folding/unfolding simulations have been exploited for protein design, yielding novel outcomes that could not be obtained from static structures.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Genetic, molecular and physiological insights into human obesity.

    PubMed

    Farooqi, I Sadaf

    2011-04-01

    Obesity and its associated co-morbidities represent one of the biggest public health challenges facing the western world today. Although environmental factors have driven the recent rise in the prevalence of obesity, the heritability of body weight is high and there is evidence that genetic variation plays a major role in determining the susceptibility to weight gain. Genetic approaches can be used to investigate the mechanisms underlying the regulation of weight and the development of obesity. The discovery that leptin, a hormone that is secreted by adipocytes, could regulate weight through effects on food intake and energy expenditure represented a major breakthrough in our understanding of the molecular components of the systems involved in energy homeostasis. I discuss how the identification of humans with mutations in the genes encoding leptin and its downstream targets has provided insights into the role of leptin responsive pathways in the regulation of body weight, neuroendocrine axes and immunity. © 2011 The Author. European Journal of Clinical Investigation © 2011 Stichting European Society for Clinical Investigation Journal Foundation.

  5. Cognitive and psychological science insights to improve climate change data visualization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harold, Jordan; Lorenzoni, Irene; Shipley, Thomas F.; Coventry, Kenny R.

    2016-12-01

    Visualization of climate data plays an integral role in the communication of climate change findings to both expert and non-expert audiences. The cognitive and psychological sciences can provide valuable insights into how to improve visualization of climate data based on knowledge of how the human brain processes visual and linguistic information. We review four key research areas to demonstrate their potential to make data more accessible to diverse audiences: directing visual attention, visual complexity, making inferences from visuals, and the mapping between visuals and language. We present evidence-informed guidelines to help climate scientists increase the accessibility of graphics to non-experts, and illustrate how the guidelines can work in practice in the context of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change graphics.

  6. Decision support: Applying climate information for practical insights and actionable information (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moss, R. H.

    2013-12-01

    A wide range of decision-makers - including policy makers and many categories of professionals - should be considering climate information in their decisions and plans. AGU members may increasingly be called on to provide this information. This presentation will explore the importance of a broad approach to developing information of use in decision making. Traditional climate research must be supplemented with climate change decision science that incorporates climate information and includes decision analysis and qualitative research on institutions, perceptions, and other socioeconomic processes essential to implementing adaptation and mitigation decisions. Adoption of this broader paradigm and development of partnerships with decision and social scientists is essential to render climate data into actionable insights. The talk will draw on recent experience with applying modeling in decision support and introduce some practical suggestions.

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Hansen, James W

    2005-11-29

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Antarctic shelf warming under climate change: Insights from eddying climate models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goddard, Paul; Dufour, Carolina O.; Yin, Jianjun; Griffies, Stephen M.; Winton, Michael

    2017-04-01

    Ocean warming around the Antarctic Ice Sheet has important implications for ice sheet mass loss and global sea level rise. Understanding the ocean processes responsible for Antarctic shelf warming is thus critical to improve climate projections. Several recent studies have pointed out the role of ocean mesoscale eddies in bringing heat onto the shelf with a focus on specific regions, such as the Western Antarctic Peninsula. However, we still lack a more general picture of ocean warming over the whole Antarctic shelf region and a detailed analysis of the response of heat transport to climate change. In this study, we present an analysis of the response of ocean heat transport at the Antarctic shelf break to climate change, and we address the role of mesoscale eddies in this transport. To do so, we use two eddying climate models of different resolutions in the ocean (0.25° and 0.10°) each run under a preindustrial forcing scenario and a climate change forcing scenario. Analyses of the heat transport across the Antarctic Slope Front (ASF) are carried out with a decomposition of the transport into its time-mean and eddy components. Heat budgets over the shelf region are also performed to investigate the role of other processes (e.g. surface fluxes) in shelf warming. Finally, the Antarctic shelf region is divided into several sub-regions to examine geographical variations in the warming. We find that the shelf regions warm under climate change due to a combination of warmer atmospheric temperatures, a large reduction of sea ice coverage, increased heat transport across the ASF or increased freshening at the surface. We discuss the impact of each of these factors on shelf warming in the different regions, as well as the contribution of mesoscale eddies to this warming.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2014-01-21

    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 Zn(2+) 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Exploring soil organic matter-mineral interactions: mechanistic insights at the nanometer and molecular length scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newcomb, C.; Qafoku, N. P.; Grate, J. W.; Hufschmid, R.; Browning, N.; De Yoreo, J. J.

    2015-12-01

    With elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to anthropogenic emissions and disruption to the carbon cycle, the effects of climate change are being accelerated. Approximately 80% of Earth's terrestrial organic carbon is stored in soil, and the residence time of this carbon can range from hours to millenia. Understanding the dynamics of this carbon pool in the carbon cycle is crucial to both predicting climate and sustaining ecosystem services. Soil organic carbon is known to be strongly associated with high surface area clay minerals. The nature of these interactions is not well understood primarily due to the heterogeneity of soil, as much of the current knowledge relies on experiments that take a top-down approach using bulk experimental measurements. Our work seeks to probe physical, chemical, and molecular-level interactions at the organic-mineral interface using a bottom-up approach that establishes a model system where complexity can be built in systematically. By performing in situ techniques such as dynamic force spectroscopy, a technique where organic molecules can be brought into contact with mineral surfaces in a controlled manner using an atomic force microscope, we demonstrate the ability to mechanistically probe the energy landscape of individual organic molecules with mineral surfaces. We demonstrate the ability to measure the binding energies of soil-inspired organic functional groups (including carboxylic acid, amine, methyl, and phosphate) with clay and mineral surfaces as a function of solution chemistry. This effort can provide researchers with both guiding principles about carbon dynamics at the sub-nanometer length scale and insights into early aggregation events, where organic-mineral interactions play a significant role.

  2. USDA Climate Hubs - delivering usable information and tools to farmers, ranchers and forest land managers - Communication insights from the Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, R.; Steele, R.

    2016-12-01

    The USDA Climate Hubs were established in 2014 to develop and deliver science-based, region-specific information and technologies, with USDA agencies and partners, to agricultural and natural resource managers to enable climate-informed decision-making. In the two and half years of existence, our regional leads have gained insights into communicating with the agricultural and forestry communities throughout the different regions of the country. Perspectives differ somewhat among regions and sectors. This talk will share those various insights.

  3. Molecular Insights into Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  4. Molecular Insights into Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus.

    PubMed

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

  5. Molecular Insights into Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus

    DOE PAGES

    Zivcec, Marko; Scholte, Florine; Spiropoulou, Christina; ...

    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. 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.

  7. 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. © The Author(s) 2015.

  8. 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

  9. Life on thin ice: Insights from Uummannaq, Greenland for connecting climate science with Arctic communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baztan, Juan; Cordier, Mateo; Huctin, Jean-Michel; Zhu, Zhiwei; Vanderlinden, Jean-Paul

    2017-09-01

    What are the links between mainstream climate science and local community knowledge? This study takes the example of Greenland, considered one of the regions most impacted by climate change, and Inuit people, characterized as being highly adaptive to environmental change, to explore this question. The study is based on 10 years of anthropological participatory research in Uummannaq, Northwest Greenland, along with two fieldwork periods in October 2014 and April 2015, and a quantitative bibliometric analysis of the international literature on sea ice - a central subject of concern identified by Uummannaq community members during the fieldwork periods. Community members' perceptions of currently available scientific climate knowledge were also collected during the fieldwork. This was done to determine if community members consider available scientific knowledge salient and if it covers issues they consider relevant. The bibliometric analysis of the sea ice literature provided additional insight into the degree to which scientific knowledge about climate change provides information relevant for the community. Our results contribute to the ongoing debate on the missing connections between community worldviews, cultural values, livelihood needs, interests and climate science. Our results show that more scientific research efforts should consider local-level needs in order to produce local-scale knowledge that is more salient, credible and legitimate for communities experiencing climate change. In Uummannaq, as in many Inuit communities with similar conditions, more research should be done on sea ice thickness in winter and in areas through which local populations travel. This paper supports the growing evidence that whenever possible, climate change research should focus on environmental features that matter to communities, at temporal and spatial scales relevant to them, in order to foster community adaptations to change. We recommend such research be connected to and

  10. Molecular insight into protein conformational transition in hydrophobic charge induction chromatography: a molecular dynamics simulation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lin; Zhao, Guofeng; Sun, Yan

    2009-05-14

    Hydrophobic charge induction chromatography (HCIC) is an adsorption chromatography combining hydrophobic interaction in adsorption with electrostatic repulsion in elution. The method has been successfully applied in the separation and purification of antibodies and other proteins. However, little is understood about protein conformational transition and the dynamic process within adsorbent pores. In the present study, a pore model is established to represent the realistic porous adsorbent composed of matrix and immobilized HCIC ligands. Protein adsorption, desorption, and conformational transition in the HCIC pore and its implications to the separation performance are shown by a molecular dynamics simulation of a 46-bead beta-barrel coarse-grained model protein in the adsorbent pore. Repeated adjustment of both protein position and orientation is observed before reaching a stable adsorption. Once the protein is adsorbed, there is a dynamic equilibrium between unfolding and refolding. The effect of hydrophobic interaction strength between protein and ligands on adsorption phenomena is then examined. Strong hydrophobic interaction, representing the presence of high-concentration lyotropic salt in mobile phase, can speed up the adsorption but cause protein unfolding more significantly. On the contrary, weak hydrophobic interaction, representing the absence of a lyotropic salt or the presence of a chaotropic agent, can reserve native protein conformation but does not lead to stable adsorption. In the elution, protein unfolding occurs due to simultaneous hydrophobic adsorption and electrostatic repulsion in the opposite directions. When the protein has been desorbed, the conformational transition between unfolded and native protein is still observed due to the long-range nature of electrostatic interaction. The simulation has provided molecular insight into protein conformational transition in the whole HCIC process, and it would be beneficial to the rational design of

  11. Inelastic insights for molecular tunneling pathways: bypassing the terminal groups.

    PubMed

    Troisi, Alessandro; Ratner, Mark A

    2007-05-21

    As an example of the use of inelastic transport to deduce structure in molecular transport junctions, we compute the orientation dependence of the Inelastic Electron Tunneling (IET) spectrum of the 1-pentane monothiolate. We find that upon increasing the tilting angle of the molecule with respect to the normal to the electrode the spectrum changes as the intensity of some vibrations is enhanced. These differences occur because for higher tilting angles the tunneling path that bypasses the terminal group grows in importance. IETS can therefore be used to establish the molecular orientation in junctions terminating with alkyl chains and to investigate experimentally the relative importance of the available tunneling paths.

  12. 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

  13. Ependymoma in children: molecular considerations and therapeutic insights.

    PubMed

    Kim, J-H; Huang, Y; Griffin, A S; Rajappa, P; Greenfield, J P

    2013-10-01

    A multi-modality approach that encompasses maximal surgical resection in combination with adjuvant therapy is critical for achieving optimal disease control in children with ependymoma. In view of its complex biology and variable response to therapy, ependymoma remains a challenge for clinicians involved in the care of these patients. Meanwhile, translation of molecular findings can characterize unique features of childhood ependymoma and their natural history. Furthermore, understanding the biology of pediatric ependymoma serves as a platform for development of future targeted therapies. In line with these goals, we review the molecular basis of pediatric ependymoma and its prognostic implications, as well as novel therapeutic advances in the management of ependymoma in children.

  14. New insights into the molecular mechanisms of general anaesthetics

    PubMed Central

    Chau, P-L

    2010-01-01

    This paper provides new insights of how general anaesthetic research should be carried out in the future by an analysis of what we know, what we do not know and what we would like to know. I describe previous hypotheses on the mechanism of action of general anaesthetics (GAs) involving membranes and protein receptors. I provide the reasons why the GABA type A receptor, the NMDA receptor and the glycine receptor are strong candidates for the sites of action of GAs. I follow with a review on attempts to provide a mechanism of action, and how future research should be conducted with the help of physical and chemical methods. PMID:20735416

  15. Two Antarctic penguin genomes reveal insights into their evolutionary history and molecular changes related to the Antarctic environment.

    PubMed

    Li, Cai; Zhang, Yong; Li, Jianwen; Kong, Lesheng; Hu, Haofu; Pan, Hailin; Xu, Luohao; Deng, Yuan; Li, Qiye; Jin, Lijun; Yu, Hao; Chen, Yan; Liu, Binghang; Yang, Linfeng; Liu, Shiping; Zhang, Yan; Lang, Yongshan; Xia, Jinquan; He, Weiming; Shi, Qiong; Subramanian, Sankar; Millar, Craig D; Meader, Stephen; Rands, Chris M; Fujita, Matthew K; Greenwold, Matthew J; Castoe, Todd A; Pollock, David D; Gu, Wanjun; Nam, Kiwoong; Ellegren, Hans; Ho, Simon Yw; Burt, David W; Ponting, Chris P; Jarvis, Erich D; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Yang, Huanming; Wang, Jian; Lambert, David M; Wang, Jun; Zhang, Guojie

    2014-01-01

    Penguins are flightless aquatic birds widely distributed in the Southern Hemisphere. The distinctive morphological and physiological features of penguins allow them to live an aquatic life, and some of them have successfully adapted to the hostile environments in Antarctica. To study the phylogenetic and population history of penguins and the molecular basis of their adaptations to Antarctica, we sequenced the genomes of the two Antarctic dwelling penguin species, the Adélie penguin [Pygoscelis adeliae] and emperor penguin [Aptenodytes forsteri]. Phylogenetic dating suggests that early penguins arose ~60 million years ago, coinciding with a period of global warming. Analysis of effective population sizes reveals that the two penguin species experienced population expansions from ~1 million years ago to ~100 thousand years ago, but responded differently to the climatic cooling of the last glacial period. Comparative genomic analyses with other available avian genomes identified molecular changes in genes related to epidermal structure, phototransduction, lipid metabolism, and forelimb morphology. Our sequencing and initial analyses of the first two penguin genomes provide insights into the timing of penguin origin, fluctuations in effective population sizes of the two penguin species over the past 10 million years, and the potential associations between these biological patterns and global climate change. The molecular changes compared with other avian genomes reflect both shared and diverse adaptations of the two penguin species to the Antarctic environment.

  16. Molecular Responses to Climate and Resource Availability: Emerging Evidence from Systems Biology Research in Populus.

    SciTech Connect

    Wullschleger, Stan D; Weston, David; Davis, John M

    2009-01-01

    The emergence of Populus as a model system for tree biology continues to be driven by a community of scientists dedicated to developing the resources needed to undertake genetic and functional genomic studies in this genus. As a result, understanding the molecular processes that underpin the growth and development of cottonwood, aspen, and hybrid poplar has steadily increased over the last several decades. Recently, our ability to examine the basic mechanisms whereby trees respond to a changing climate and resource limitations has benefitted greatly from the sequencing of the P. trichocarpa genome. This landmark event has laid a solid foundation upon which tree biologists can now explore the genome-wide effects of temperature, water and nutrient limitations on processes that govern the growth and development of some of the longest living and tallest growing organisms on Earth. Although the challenges likely to be encountered by scientists who work with trees are many, recent literature provides a number of examples whereby a systems approach, one that focuses on transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic analyses is beginning to provide insights into the molecular-scale response of poplars to their climatic and edaphic environment.

  17. How molecular motors work – insights from the molecular machinist's toolbox: the Nobel prize in Chemistry 2016

    PubMed Central

    Astumian, R. D.

    2017-01-01

    The Nobel prize in Chemistry for 2016 was awarded to Jean Pierre Sauvage, Sir James Fraser Stoddart, and Bernard (Ben) Feringa for their contributions to the design and synthesis of molecular machines. While this field is still in its infancy, and at present there are no commercial applications, many observers have stressed the tremendous potential of molecular machines to revolutionize technology. However, perhaps the most important result so far accruing from the synthesis of molecular machines is the insight provided into the fundamental mechanisms by which molecular motors, including biological motors such as kinesin, myosin, FoF1 ATPase, and the flagellar motor, function. The ability to “tinker” with separate components of molecular motors allows asking, and answering, specific questions about mechanism, particularly with regard to light driven vs. chemistry driven molecular motors. PMID:28572896

  18. Climate change induced transformations of agricultural systems: insights from a global model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leclère, D.; Havlík, P.; Fuss, S.; Schmid, E.; Mosnier, A.; Walsh, B.; Valin, H.; Herrero, M.; Khabarov, N.; Obersteiner, M.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change might impact crop yields considerably and anticipated transformations of agricultural systems are needed in the coming decades to sustain affordable food provision. However, decision-making on transformational shifts in agricultural systems is plagued by uncertainties concerning the nature and geography of climate change, its impacts, and adequate responses. Locking agricultural systems into inadequate transformations costly to adjust is a significant risk and this acts as an incentive to delay action. It is crucial to gain insight into how much transformation is required from agricultural systems, how robust such strategies are, and how we can defuse the associated challenge for decision-making. While implementing a definition related to large changes in resource use into a global impact assessment modelling framework, we find transformational adaptations to be required of agricultural systems in most regions by 2050s in order to cope with climate change. However, these transformations widely differ across climate change scenarios: uncertainties in large-scale development of irrigation span in all continents from 2030s on, and affect two-thirds of regions by 2050s. Meanwhile, significant but uncertain reduction of major agricultural areas affects the Northern Hemisphere’s temperate latitudes, while increases to non-agricultural zones could be large but uncertain in one-third of regions. To help reducing the associated challenge for decision-making, we propose a methodology exploring which, when, where and why transformations could be required and uncertain, by means of scenario analysis.

  19. 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.

  20. Molecular Insight into Gut Microbiota and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-03-22

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. IQGAP1: Insights into the function of a molecular puppeteer

    PubMed Central

    Abel, Alex M.; Schuldt, Kristina M.; Rajasekaran, Kamalakannan; Hwang, David; Riese, Mathew; Rao, Sridhar; Thakar, Monica S.; Malarkannan, Subramaniam

    2015-01-01

    The intracellular spatiotemporal organization of signaling events is critical for normal cellular function. In response to environmental stimuli, cells utilize highly organized signaling pathways that are subject to multiple layers of regulation. However, the molecular mechanisms that coordinate these complex processes remain an enigma. Scaffolding proteins (scaffolins) have emerged as critical regulators of signaling pathways, many of which have well-described functions in immune cells. IQGAP1, a highly conserved cytoplasmic scaffold protein, is able to curb, compartmentalize, and coordinate multiple signaling pathways in a variety of cell types. IQGAP1 plays a central role in cell-cell interaction, cell adherence, and movement via actin/tubulin-based cytoskeletal reorganization. Evidence also implicates IQGAP1 as an essential regulator of the MAPK and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways. Here, we summarize the recent advances on the cellular and molecular biology of IQGAP1. We also describe how this pleiotropic scaffolin acts as a true molecular puppeteer, and highlight the significance of future research regarding the role of IQGAP1 in immune cells. PMID:25733387

  5. New insights for the hydrology of the Rhine based on the new generation climate models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouaziz, Laurène; Sperna Weiland, Frederiek; Beersma, Jules; Buiteveld, Hendrik

    2014-05-01

    Decision makers base their choices of adaptation strategies on climate change projections and their associated hydrological consequences. New insights of climate change gained under the new generation of climate models belonging to the IPCC 5th assessment report may influence (the planning of) adaption measures and/or future expectations. In this study, hydrological impacts of climate change as projected under the new generation of climate models for the Rhine were assessed. Hereto we downscaled 31 General Circulation Models (GCMs), which were developed as part of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), using an advanced Delta Change Method for the Rhine basin. Changes in mean monthly, maximum and minimum flows at Lobith were derived with the semi-distributed hydrological model HBV of the Rhine. The projected changes were compared to changes that were previously obtained in the trans-boundary project Rheinblick using eight CMIP3 GCMs and Regional Climate Models (RCMs) for emission scenario A1B. All eight selected CMIP3 models (scenario A1B) predicted for 2071-2100 a decrease in mean monthly flows between June and October. Similar decreases were found for some of the 31 CMIP5 models for Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 4.5, 6.0 and 8.5. However, under each RCP, there were also models that projected an increase in mean flows between June and October and on average the decrease was smaller than for the eight CMIP3 models. For 2071-2100, also the mean annual minimum 7-days discharge decreased less in the CMIP5 model simulations than was projected in CMIP3. When assessing the response of mean monthly flows of the CMIP5 simulation with the CSIRO-Mk3-6-0 and HadGEM2-ES models with respect to initial conditions and RCPs, it was found that natural variability plays a dominant role in the near future (2021-2050), while changes in mean monthly flows are dominated by the radiative forcing in the far future (2071-2100). According to RCP 8.5 model

  6. From Guide to Target: Molecular Insights into Eukaryotic RNAi Machinery

    PubMed Central

    Ipsaro, Jonathan J.; Joshua-Tor, Leemor

    2015-01-01

    Since its relatively recent discovery, RNA interference (RNAi) has emerged as a potent, specific, and ubiquitous means of gene regulation. Through a number of pathways that are conserved from yeast to humans, small non-coding RNAs direct molecular machinery to silence gene expression. In this review, we focus on mechanisms and structures that govern RNA silencing in higher organisms. In addition to highlighting recent advances, parallels and differences between RNAi pathways are discussed. Together, the studies reviewed herein reveal the versatility and programmability of RNA-induced Silencing Complexes (RISCs) and emphasize the importance of both upstream biogenesis and downstream silencing factors. PMID:25565029

  7. Insights into molecular structure and digestion rate of oat starch.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jinchuan; Kuang, Qirong; Wang, Kai; Zhou, Sumei; Wang, Shuo; Liu, Xingxun; Wang, Shujun

    2017-04-01

    The in vitro digestibility of oat starch and its relationship with starch molecular structure was investigated. The in vitro digestion results showed that the first-order kinetic constant (k) of oat starches (OS-1 and OS-2) was lower than that of rice starch. The size of amylose chains, amylose content and degree of branching (DB) of amylopectin in oat starch were significantly higher than the corresponding parameters in rice starch. The larger molecular size of oat starch may account for its lower digestion rate. The fine structure of amylopectin showed that oat starch had less chains of DP 6-12 and DP>36, which may explain the small difference in digestion rate between oat and rice starch. The biosynthesis model from oat amylopectin fine structure data suggested a lower starch branching enzyme (SBE) activity and/or a higher starch synthase (SS) activity, which may decrease the DB of oat starch and increase its digestion rate. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Antimicrobial agent resistance in mycobacteria: molecular genetic insights.

    PubMed Central

    Musser, J M

    1995-01-01

    The primary theme emerging from molecular genetic work conducted with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and several other mycobacterial species is that resistance is commonly associated with simple nucleotide alterations in target chromosomal genes rather than with acquisition of new genetic elements encoding antibiotic-altering enzymes. Mutations in an 81-bp region of the gene (rpoB) encoding the beta subunit of RNA polymerase account for rifampin resistance in 96% of M. tuberculosis and many Mycobacterium leprae isolates. Streptomycin resistance in about one-half of M. tuberculosis isolates is associated with missense mutations in the rpsL gene coding for ribosomal protein S12 or nucleotide substitutions in the 16S rRNA gene (rrs). Mutations in the katG gene resulting in catalase-peroxidase amino acid alterations nad nucleotide substitutions in the presumed regulatory region of the inhA locus are repeatedly associated with isoniazid-resistant M. tuberculosis isolates. A majority of fluoroquinolone-resistant M. tuberculosis isolates have amino acid substitutions in a region of the DNA gyrase A subunit homologous to a conserved fluoroquinolone resistance-determining region. Multidrug-resistant isolates of M. tuberculosis arise as a consequence of sequential accumulation of mutations conferring resistance to single therapeutic agents. Molecular strategies show considerable promise for rapid detection of mutations associated with antimicrobial resistance. These approaches are now amenable to utilization in an appropriately equipped clinical microbiology laboratory. PMID:8665467

  9. Molecular mechanisms in atopic eczema: insights gained from genetic studies.

    PubMed

    Brown, Sara J

    2017-01-01

    Atopic eczema (synonymous with atopic dermatitis) is a common heterogeneous phenotype with a wide spectrum of severity, from mild transient disease to a severe chronic disorder with atopic and non-atopic comorbidities. Eczema is a complex trait, resulting from the interaction of multiple genetic and environmental factors. The skin, as an organ that can be biopsied easily, provides opportunities for detailed molecular genetic analysis. Strategies applied to the investigation of atopic eczema include candidate gene and genome-wide studies, extreme phenotypes, and comparative analysis of inflammatory skin diseases. Genetic studies have identified a central role for skin barrier impairment in eczema predisposition and perpetuation; this has brought about a paradigm shift in understanding atopic disease, but specific molecular targets to improve skin barrier function remain elusive. The role of Th2-mediated immune dysfunction is also central to atopic inflammation, and has proved to be a powerful target for biological therapy in atopic eczema. Advances in understanding eczema pathogenesis have provided opportunities for patient stratification, primary prevention, and therapy development, but there remain considerable challenges in the application of this knowledge to optimize benefit for patients with atopic eczema in the era of personalized medicine. Copyright © 2016 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular insights into protein synthesis with proline residues.

    PubMed

    Melnikov, Sergey; Mailliot, Justine; Rigger, Lukas; Neuner, Sandro; Shin, Byung-Sik; Yusupova, Gulnara; Dever, Thomas E; Micura, Ronald; Yusupov, Marat

    2016-12-01

    Proline is an amino acid with a unique cyclic structure that facilitates the folding of many proteins, but also impedes the rate of peptide bond formation by the ribosome. As a ribosome substrate, proline reacts markedly slower when compared with other amino acids both as a donor and as an acceptor of the nascent peptide. Furthermore, synthesis of peptides with consecutive proline residues triggers ribosome stalling. Here, we report crystal structures of the eukaryotic ribosome bound to analogs of mono- and diprolyl-tRNAs. These structures provide a high-resolution insight into unique properties of proline as a ribosome substrate. They show that the cyclic structure of proline residue prevents proline positioning in the amino acid binding pocket and affects the nascent peptide chain position in the ribosomal peptide exit tunnel. These observations extend current knowledge of the protein synthesis mechanism. They also revise an old dogma that amino acids bind the ribosomal active site in a uniform way by showing that proline has a binding mode distinct from other amino acids.

  12. Molecular insights into the premature aging disease progeria.

    PubMed

    Vidak, Sandra; Foisner, Roland

    2016-04-01

    Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is an extremely rare premature aging disease presenting many features resembling the normal aging process. HGPS patients die before the age of 20 years due to cardiovascular problems and heart failure. HGPS is linked to mutations in the LMNA gene encoding the intermediate filament protein lamin A. Lamin A is a major component of the nuclear lamina, a scaffold structure at the nuclear envelope that defines mechanochemical properties of the nucleus and is involved in chromatin organization and epigenetic regulation. Lamin A is also present in the nuclear interior where it fulfills lamina-independent functions in cell signaling and gene regulation. The most common LMNA mutation linked to HGPS leads to mis-splicing of the LMNA mRNA and produces a mutant lamin A protein called progerin that tightly associates with the inner nuclear membrane and affects the dynamic properties of lamins. Progerin expression impairs many important cellular processes providing insight into potential disease mechanisms. These include changes in mechanosignaling, altered chromatin organization and impaired genome stability, and changes in signaling pathways, leading to impaired regulation of adult stem cells, defective extracellular matrix production and premature cell senescence. In this review, we discuss these pathways and their potential contribution to the disease pathologies as well as therapeutic approaches used in preclinical and clinical tests.

  13. Temperature fluctuations in canonical systems: Insights from molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hickman, J.; Mishin, Y.

    2016-11-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations of a quasiharmonic solid are conducted to elucidate the meaning of temperature fluctuations in canonical systems and validate a well-known but frequently contested equation predicting the mean square of such fluctuations. The simulations implement two virtual and one physical (natural) thermostat and examine the kinetic, potential, and total energy correlation functions in the time and frequency domains. The results clearly demonstrate the existence of quasiequilibrium states in which the system can be characterized by a well-defined temperature that follows the mentioned fluctuation equation. The emergence of such states is due to the wide separation of time scales between thermal relaxation by phonon scattering and slow energy exchanges with the thermostat. The quasiequilibrium states exist between these two time scales when the system behaves as virtually isolated and equilibrium.

  14. New insights on molecular interactions of organophosphorus pesticides with esterases.

    PubMed

    Mangas, Iris; Estevez, Jorge; Vilanova, Eugenio; França, Tanos Celmar Costa

    2017-02-01

    Organophosphorus compounds (OPs) are a large and diverse class of chemicals mainly used as pesticides and chemical weapons. People may be exposed to OPs in several occasions, which can produce several distinct neurotoxic effects depending on the dose, frequency of exposure, type of OP, and the host factors that influence susceptibility and sensitivity. These neurotoxic effects are mainly due to the interaction with enzyme targets involved in toxicological or detoxication pathways. In this work, the toxicological relevance of known OPs targets is reviewed. The main enzyme targets of OPs have been identified among the serine hydrolase protein family, some of them decades ago (e.g. AChE, BuChE, NTE and carboxylesterases), others more recently (e.g. lysophospholipase, arylformidase and KIA1363) and others which are not molecularly identified yet (e.g. phenylvalerate esterases). Members of this family are characterized by displaying serine hydrolase activity, containing a conserved serine hydrolase motif and having an alpha-beta hydrolase fold. Improvement in Xray-crystallography and in silico methods have generated new data of the interactions between OPs and esterases and have established new methods to study new inhibitors and reactivators of cholinesterases. Mass spectrometry for AChE, BChE and APH have characterized the active site serine adducts with OPs being useful to detect biomarkers of OPs exposure and inhibitory and postinhibitory reactions of esterases and OPs. The purpose of this review is focus specifically on the interaction of OP with esterases, mainly with type B-esterases, which are able to hydrolyze carboxylesters but inhibited by OPs by covalent phosphorylation on the serine or tyrosine residue in the active sites. Other related esterases in some cases with no-irreversible effect are also discussed. The understanding of the multiple molecular interactions is the basis we are proposing for a multi-target approach for understanding the

  15. Molecular insights into farm animal and zoonotic Salmonella infections

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Mark P.; Humphrey, Tom J.; Maskell, Duncan J.

    2009-01-01

    Salmonella enterica is a facultative intracellular pathogen of worldwide importance. Infections may present in a variety of ways, from asymptomatic colonization to inflammatory diarrhoea or typhoid fever depending on serovar- and host-specific factors. Human diarrhoeal infections are frequently acquired via the food chain and farm environment by virtue of the ability of selected non-typhoidal serovars to colonize the intestines of food-producing animals and contaminate the avian reproductive tract and egg. Colonization of reservoir hosts often occurs in the absence of clinical symptoms; however, some S. enterica serovars threaten animal health owing to their ability to cause acute enteritis or translocate from the intestines to other organs causing fever, septicaemia and abortion. Despite the availability of complete genome sequences of isolates representing several serovars, the molecular mechanisms underlying Salmonella colonization, pathogenesis and transmission in reservoir hosts remain ill-defined. Here we review current knowledge of the bacterial factors influencing colonization of food-producing animals by Salmonella and the basis of host range, differential virulence and zoonotic potential. PMID:19687040

  16. 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.

  17. Insights into channel dysfunction from modelling and molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Musgaard, Maria; Paramo, Teresa; Domicevica, Laura; Andersen, Ole Juul; Biggin, Philip C

    2017-06-29

    Developments in structural biology mean that the number of different ion channel structures has increased significantly in recent years. Structures of ion channels enable us to rationalize how mutations may lead to channelopathies. However, determining the structures of ion channels is still not trivial, especially as they necessarily exist in many distinct functional states. Therefore, the use of computational modelling can provide complementary information that can refine working hypotheses of both wild type and mutant ion channels. The simplest but still powerful tool is homology modelling. Many structures are available now that can provide suitable templates for many different types of ion channels, allowing a full three-dimensional interpretation of mutational effects. These structural models, and indeed the structures themselves obtained by X-ray crystallography, and more recently cryo-electron microscopy, can be subjected to molecular dynamics simulations, either as a tool to help explore the conformational dynamics in detail or simply as a means to refine the models further. Here we review how these approaches have been used to improve our understanding of how diseases might be linked to specific mutations in ion channel proteins. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  18. The Congenital Muscular Dystrophies: Recent Advances and Molecular Insights

    PubMed Central

    Mendell, Jerry R.; Boué, Daniel R.; Martin, Paul T.

    2010-01-01

    Over the past decade, molecular understanding of the congenital muscular dystrophies (CMDs) has greatly expanded. The diseases can be classified into 3 major groups based on the affected genes and the location of their expressed protein: abnormalities of extracellular matrix proteins (LAMA2, COL6A1, COL6A2, COL6A3), abnormalities of membrane receptors for the extracellular matrix (fukutin, POMGnT1, POMT1, POMT2, FKRP, LARGE, and ITGA7), and abnormal endoplasmic reticulum protein (SEPN1). The diseases begin in the perinatal period or shortly thereafter. A specific diagnosis can be challenging because the muscle pathology is usually not distinctive. Immunostaining of muscle using a battery of antibodies can help define a disorder that will need confirmation by gene testing. In muscle diseases with overlapping pathological features, such as CMD, careful attention to the clinical clues (e.g., family history, central nervous system features) can help guide the battery of immunostains necessary to target an unequivocal diagnosis. PMID:17163796

  19. Molecular insights provide the critical path to disease mitigation.

    PubMed

    Waldman, S A; Terzic, A

    2014-01-01

    The revolution in scientific innovation, driven by the engines of enabling technologies, is increasingly capable of deconstructing complex disease processes for the express purpose of reconstructing patient-specific solutions. These revelations in biological mechanisms provide the pressure points of opportunity for radical discovery and development to advance modern health care. Principles of mechanism-based discovery and their translation into therapeutic algorithms will, however, be challenged in the near term by emerging global public health crises that currently have no immediate solutions: chronic diseases, obesity, antibiotic-resistant infections, dementia, depression. The threat of these pandemics (multiplied in an increasingly aging population), the global burden of disease they represent, and their worldwide assault on human capital underscore the importance of continued and accelerated investments in science-propelled practice advancement, converting new knowledge into delivery of tangible health solutions. In that context, this annual issue of CPT on therapeutics innovations highlights remarkable recent successes in the discovery-development paradigm translating molecular innovations into diagnostic and therapeutic realities that transform the management of disease, impacting global health.

  20. Molecular and structural insight into plasmodium falciparum RIO2 kinase.

    PubMed

    Chouhan, Devendra K; Sharon, Ashoke; Bal, Chandralata

    2013-02-01

    Among approximately 65 kinases of the malarial genome, RIO2 (right open reading frame) kinase belonging to the atypical class of kinase is unique because along with a kinase domain, it has a highly conserved N-terminal winged helix (wHTH) domain. The wHTH domain resembles the wing like domain found in DNA binding proteins and is situated near to the kinase domain. Ligand binding to this domain may reposition the kinase domain leading to inhibition of enzyme function and could be utilized as a novel allosteric site to design inhibitor. In the present study, we have generated a model of RIO2 kinase from Plasmodium falciparum utilizing multiple modeling, simulation approach. A novel putative DNA-binding site is identified for the first time in PfRIO2 kinase to understand the DNA binding events involving wHTH domain and flexible loop. Induced fit DNA docking followed by minimization, molecular dynamics simulation, energetic scoring and binding mode studies are used to reveal the structural basis of PfRIO2-ATP-DNA complex. Ser105 as a potential site of phosphorylation is revealed through the structural studies of ATP binding in PfRIO2. Overall the present study discloses the structural facets of unknown PfRIO2 complex and opens an avenue toward exploration of novel drug target.

  1. Embryonic stem cell biology: insights from molecular imaging.

    PubMed

    Sallam, Karim; Wu, Joseph C

    2010-01-01

    Embryonic stem (ES) cells have therapeutic potential in disorders of cellular loss such as myocardial infarction, type I diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders. ES cell biology in living subjects was largely poorly understood until incorporation of molecular imaging into the field. Reporter gene imaging works by integrating a reporter gene into ES cells and using a reporter probe to induce a signal detectable by normal imaging modalities. Reporter gene imaging allows for longitudinal tracking of ES cells within the same host for a prolonged period of time. This has advantages over postmortem immunohistochemistry and traditional imaging modalities. The advantages include expression of reporter gene is limited to viable cells, expression is conserved between generations of dividing cells, and expression can be linked to a specific population of cells. These advantages were especially useful in studying a dynamic cell population such as ES cells and proved useful in elucidating the biology of ES cells. Reporter gene imaging identified poor integration of differentiated ES cells transplanted into host tissue as well as delayed donor cell death as reasons for poor long-term survival in vivo. This imaging technology also confirmed that ES cells indeed have immunogenic properties that factor into cell survival and differentiation. Finally, reporter gene imaging improved our understanding of the neoplastic risk of undifferentiated ES cells in forming teratomas. Despite such advances, much remains to be understood about ES cell biology to translate this technology to the bedside, and reporter gene imaging will certainly play a key role in formulating this understanding.

  2. Insights on Molecular Mechanisms of Chondrocytes Death in Osteoarthritis

    PubMed Central

    Charlier, Edith; Relic, Biserka; Deroyer, Céline; Malaise, Olivier; Neuville, Sophie; Collée, Julie; Malaise, Michel G.; De Seny, Dominique

    2016-01-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint pathology characterized by progressive cartilage degradation. Medical care is mainly based on alleviating pain symptoms. Compelling studies report the presence of empty lacunae and hypocellularity in cartilage with aging and OA progression, suggesting that chondrocyte cell death occurs and participates to OA development. However, the relative contribution of apoptosis per se in OA pathogenesis appears complex to evaluate. Indeed, depending on technical approaches, OA stages, cartilage layers, animal models, as well as in vivo or in vitro experiments, the percentage of apoptosis and cell death types can vary. Apoptosis, chondroptosis, necrosis, and autophagic cell death are described in this review. The question of cell death causality in OA progression is also addressed, as well as the molecular pathways leading to cell death in response to the following inducers: Fas, Interleukin-1β (IL-1β), Tumor Necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), leptin, nitric oxide (NO) donors, and mechanical stresses. Furthermore, the protective role of autophagy in chondrocytes is highlighted, as well as its decline during OA progression, enhancing chondrocyte cell death; the transition being mainly controlled by HIF-1α/HIF-2α imbalance. Finally, we have considered whether interfering in chondrocyte apoptosis or promoting autophagy could constitute therapeutic strategies to impede OA progression. PMID:27999417

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. New clinical and molecular insights on Barth syndrome

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Barth syndrome (BS) is an X-linked infantile-onset cardioskeletal disease characterized by cardiomyopathy, hypotonia, growth delay, neutropenia and 3-methylglutaconic aciduria. It is caused by mutations in the TAZ gene encoding tafazzin, a protein involved in the metabolism of cardiolipin, a mitochondrial-specific phospholipid involved in mitochondrial energy production. Methods Clinical, biochemical and molecular characterization of a group of six male patients suspected of having BS. Three patients presented early with severe metabolic decompensation including respiratory distress, oxygen desaturation and cardiomyopathy and died within the first year of life. The remaining three patients had cardiomyopathy, hypotonia and growth delay and are still alive. Cardiomyopathy was detected during pregnancy through a routine check-up in one patient. All patients exhibited 3-methylglutaconic aciduria and neutropenia, when tested and five of them also had lactic acidosis. Results We confirmed the diagnosis of BS with sequence analysis of the TAZ gene, and found five new mutations, c.641A>G p.His214Arg, c.284dupG (p.Thr96Aspfs*37), c.678_691del14 (p.Tyr227Trpfs*79), g.8009_16445del8437 and g.[9777_9814del38; 9911-?_14402del] and the known nonsense mutation c.367C>T (p.Arg123Term). The two gross rearrangements ablated TAZ exons 6 to 11 and probably originated by non-allelic homologous recombination and by Serial Replication Slippage (SRS), respectively. The identification of the breakpoints boundaries of the gross deletions allowed the direct detection of heterozygosity in carrier females. Conclusions Lactic acidosis associated with 3-methylglutaconic aciduria is highly suggestive of BS, whilst the severity of the metabolic decompensation at disease onset should be considered for prognostic purposes. Mutation analysis of the TAZ gene is necessary for confirming the clinical and biochemical diagnosis in probands in order to identify heterozygous carriers and

  6. 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

  7. Molecular insights into tumour metastasis: tracing the dominant events.

    PubMed

    Jin, Ke; Li, Tong; van Dam, Hans; Zhou, Fangfang; Zhang, Long

    2017-04-01

    Metastasis of malignant cells to vital organs remains the major cause of mortality in many types of cancers. The tumour invasion-metastasis cascade is a stepwise and multistage process whereby tumour cells disseminate from primary sites and spread to colonize distant sites through the systemic haematogenous or lymphatic circulations. The general steps of metastasis may be similar in almost all tumour types, but metastasis to different tissues seems to require distinct sets of regulators and/or an 'educated' microenvironment which may facilitate the infiltration and colonization of tumour cells to specific tissues. Moreover, interactions of tumour cells with stromal cells, endothelial cells, and immune cells that they encounter will also aid them to gain survival advantages, evade immune surveillance, and adapt to the new host microenvironment. Due to the high correlation between tumour metastasis and survival rate of patients, a deeper understanding of the molecular participants and processes involved in metastasis could pave the way towards novel, more effective and targeted approaches to prevent and treat tumour metastasis. In this review, we provide an update on the regulation networks orchestrated by the dominant regulators of different stages throughout the metastatic process including, but not limited to, epithelial-mesenchymal transition in local invasion, resistance to anoikis during migration, and colonization of different distant sites. We also put forward some suggestions and problems concerning the treatment of tumour metastasis that should be solved and/or improved for better therapies in the near future. Copyright © 2016 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  8. Macroscale patterns in body size of intertidal crustaceans provide insights on climate change effects.

    PubMed

    Jaramillo, Eduardo; Dugan, Jenifer E; Hubbard, David M; Contreras, Heraldo; Duarte, Cristian; Acuña, Emilio; Schoeman, David S

    2017-01-01

    Predicting responses of coastal ecosystems to altered sea surface temperatures (SST) associated with global climate change, requires knowledge of demographic responses of individual species. Body size is an excellent metric because it scales strongly with growth and fecundity for many ectotherms. These attributes can underpin demographic as well as community and ecosystem level processes, providing valuable insights for responses of vulnerable coastal ecosystems to changing climate. We investigated contemporary macroscale patterns in body size among widely distributed crustaceans that comprise the majority of intertidal abundance and biomass of sandy beach ecosystems of the eastern Pacific coasts of Chile and California, USA. We focused on ecologically important species representing different tidal zones, trophic guilds and developmental modes, including a high-shore macroalga-consuming talitrid amphipod (Orchestoidea tuberculata), two mid-shore scavenging cirolanid isopods (Excirolana braziliensis and E. hirsuticauda), and a low-shore suspension-feeding hippid crab (Emerita analoga) with an amphitropical distribution. Significant latitudinal patterns in body sizes were observed for all species in Chile (21° - 42°S), with similar but steeper patterns in Emerita analoga, in California (32°- 41°N). Sea surface temperature was a strong predictor of body size (-4% to -35% °C-1) in all species. Beach characteristics were subsidiary predictors of body size. Alterations in ocean temperatures of even a few degrees associated with global climate change are likely to affect body sizes of important intertidal ectotherms, with consequences for population demography, life history, community structure, trophic interactions, food-webs, and indirect effects such as ecosystem function. The consistency of results for body size and temperature across species with different life histories, feeding modes, ecological roles, and microhabitats inhabiting a single widespread coastal

  9. Macroscale patterns in body size of intertidal crustaceans provide insights on climate change effects

    PubMed Central

    Dugan, Jenifer E.; Hubbard, David M.; Contreras, Heraldo; Duarte, Cristian; Acuña, Emilio; Schoeman, David S.

    2017-01-01

    Predicting responses of coastal ecosystems to altered sea surface temperatures (SST) associated with global climate change, requires knowledge of demographic responses of individual species. Body size is an excellent metric because it scales strongly with growth and fecundity for many ectotherms. These attributes can underpin demographic as well as community and ecosystem level processes, providing valuable insights for responses of vulnerable coastal ecosystems to changing climate. We investigated contemporary macroscale patterns in body size among widely distributed crustaceans that comprise the majority of intertidal abundance and biomass of sandy beach ecosystems of the eastern Pacific coasts of Chile and California, USA. We focused on ecologically important species representing different tidal zones, trophic guilds and developmental modes, including a high-shore macroalga-consuming talitrid amphipod (Orchestoidea tuberculata), two mid-shore scavenging cirolanid isopods (Excirolana braziliensis and E. hirsuticauda), and a low-shore suspension-feeding hippid crab (Emerita analoga) with an amphitropical distribution. Significant latitudinal patterns in body sizes were observed for all species in Chile (21° - 42°S), with similar but steeper patterns in Emerita analoga, in California (32°- 41°N). Sea surface temperature was a strong predictor of body size (-4% to -35% °C-1) in all species. Beach characteristics were subsidiary predictors of body size. Alterations in ocean temperatures of even a few degrees associated with global climate change are likely to affect body sizes of important intertidal ectotherms, with consequences for population demography, life history, community structure, trophic interactions, food-webs, and indirect effects such as ecosystem function. The consistency of results for body size and temperature across species with different life histories, feeding modes, ecological roles, and microhabitats inhabiting a single widespread coastal

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Sustainable management for rangelands in a variable climate: evidence and insights from northern Australia.

    PubMed

    O'Reagain, P J; Scanlan, J C

    2013-03-01

    Inter-annual rainfall variability is a major challenge to sustainable and productive grazing management on rangelands. In Australia, rainfall variability is particularly pronounced and failure to manage appropriately leads to major economic loss and environmental degradation. Recommended strategies to manage sustainably include stocking at long-term carrying capacity (LTCC) or varying stock numbers with forage availability. These strategies are conceptually simple but difficult to implement, given the scale and spatial heterogeneity of grazing properties and the uncertainty of the climate. This paper presents learnings and insights from northern Australia gained from research and modelling on managing for rainfall variability. A method to objectively estimate LTCC in large, heterogeneous paddocks is discussed, and guidelines and tools to tactically adjust stocking rates are presented. The possible use of seasonal climate forecasts (SCF) in management is also considered. Results from a 13-year grazing trial in Queensland show that constant stocking at LTCC was far more profitable and largely maintained land condition compared with heavy stocking (HSR). Variable stocking (VAR) with or without the use of SCF was marginally more profitable, but income variability was greater and land condition poorer than constant stocking at LTCC. Two commercial scale trials in the Northern Territory with breeder cows highlighted the practical difficulties of variable stocking and provided evidence that heavier pasture utilisation rates depress reproductive performance. Simulation modelling across a range of regions in northern Australia also showed a decline in resource condition and profitability under heavy stocking rates. Modelling further suggested that the relative value of variable v. constant stocking depends on stocking rate and land condition. Importantly, variable stocking may possibly allow slightly higher stocking rates without pasture degradation. Enterprise

  13. Response of the benthic methane cycle to climate variability: insights from reaction-transport simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regnier, P.; Dale, A.; Arndt, S.; Tsandev, I.; Ridgwell, A.

    2012-04-01

    Methanogenesis by microorganisms within anoxic sediments is a very slow process of CH4 production. Yet, over thousands or millions of years methanogenesis has resulted in vast CH4 accumulation, either dissolved in the interstitial water, in the form of gas bubbles, or condensed as gas hydrates (Buffett and Archer, 2004). On a global scale, sediments are thus the largest methane reservoir on Earth (Buffett and Archer, 2004), and they may exert a significant influence on the carbon cycle and Earth climate. For instance, CH4 release due to destabilization of gas hydrates has resulted in significant increases in atmospheric CH4 concentration during Earth's history (e.g. Dickens, 2003). Geochemical and microbiological evidence, together with mass balance calculations, nonetheless suggest that currently, up to 90% of the methane produced globally in marine sediments is consumed in situ before reaching the seafloor by the biogeochemical process of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Yet, the extent to which the efficiency of this methane sink could be affected by climate change remains essentially unknown. This contribution reviews how recent model developments, including improved representations of the physical, chemical and biological components of the benthic system, have led to novel insights into the transient response of the benthic methane cycle at the centennial timescale. Reactive-transport model simulations combined with high resolution data are used to quantify present-day rates of methanogenesis and methanotrophy in shelf sediments where free methane gas is widespread. Results reveal that in passive sediments AOM is currently a very efficient subsurface barrier against both the aqueous and gaseous methane flux migrating towards the seafloor. Numerical experiments are then carried out to forecast the evolution of the methane cycle over the next century, triggered by changes in climate. Simulations predict that the gaseous methane inventory will increase, but

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-07

    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.

  15. Insight to forcing of late Quaternary climate change from aeolian dust archives in eastern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGowan, H. A.; Marx, S.; Soderholm, J.; Denholm, J.; Petherick, L.

    2010-12-01

    The Australian continent is the largest source of dust in the Southern Hemisphere. Historical dust emissions records display inter-annual variability in response to the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon and inter-decadal variability which has been linked to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). These reflect change in hydrometeorology of the continents two major dust source regions, the Murray-Darling Basin and the Lake Eyre Basin. The historical records do not allow longer term variability of ENSO and the PDO and their influence on Australia to be quantified. Importantly, sub-Milankovitch centennial to multi-millennial scale climate cycles and their impacts are not represented in the historical records. In this paper we present summary results from the analysis of two aeolain dust records spanning 7 ka and 45 ka. These were developed from ombrotrophic mire and lacustrine sediment cores collected from the Australian Alps and southeast Queensland. Both sites are located in the southeast Australian dust transport pathway and provide rare insight to forcings of climate variability and its impacts on eastern Australia through the late Quaternary. Age controls for the cores were established using 14C and 210Pb dating [McGowan et al. 2008, 2010]. The cores were sliced into 2 to 5 mm segments with a sub-sample of each segment combusted at 450°C for 12 hrs to destroy organic material and allow recovery of mineral dust. Geochemical fingerprinting of the < 90 µm fraction of the dust was used to determine provenance and to account for contamination by fluvial and/or colluvial sediments [Marx et al. 2005]. Analysis of the dust records, proxy for hydrometeorology, identified tropical ocean teleconnections, variability of solar irradiance and change in ocean deep water circulation as the principal causes of inter-decadal to centennial scale climate cycles and change. Predictions of future climate must consider these forcings so that in water scarce regions of

  16. 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.

  17. Breaching the skin barrier--insights from molecular simulation of model membranes.

    PubMed

    Notman, Rebecca; Anwar, Jamshed

    2013-02-01

    Breaching the skin's barrier function by design is an important strategy for delivering drugs and vaccines to the body. However, while there are many proposed approaches for reversibly breaching the skin barrier, our understanding of the molecular processes involved is still rudimentary. Molecular simulation offers an unprecedented molecular-level resolution with an ability to reproduce molecular and bulk level properties. We review the basis of the molecular simulation methodology and give applications of relevance to the skin lipid barrier, focusing on permeation of molecules and chemical approaches for breaching the lipid barrier by design. The bulk kinetic model based on Fick's Law describing absorption of a drug through skin has been reconciled with statistical mechanical quantities such as the local excess chemical potential and local diffusion coefficient within the membrane structure. Applications of molecular simulation reviewed include investigations of the structure and dynamics of simple models of skin lipids, calculation of the permeability of molecules in simple model membranes, and mechanisms of action of the penetration enhancers, DMSO, ethanol and oleic acid. The studies reviewed illustrate the power and potential of molecular simulation to yield important physical insights, inform and rationalize experimental studies, and to predict structural changes, and kinetic and thermodynamic quantities. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

  19. Molecular insights into the surface-specific arrangement of complement C5 convertase enzymes.

    PubMed

    Berends, Evelien T M; Gorham, Ronald D; Ruyken, Maartje; Soppe, Jasper A; Orhan, Hatice; Aerts, Piet C; de Haas, Carla J C; Gros, Piet; Rooijakkers, Suzan H M

    2015-11-09

    Complement is a large protein network in plasma that is crucial for human immune defenses and a major cause of aberrant inflammatory reactions. The C5 convertase is a multi-molecular protease complex that catalyses the cleavage of native C5 into its biologically important products. So far, it has been difficult to study the exact molecular arrangement of C5 convertases, because their non-catalytic subunits (C3b) are covalently linked to biological surfaces through a reactive thioester. Through development of a highly purified model system for C5 convertases, we here aim to provide insights into the surface-specific nature of these important protease complexes. Alternative pathway (AP) C5 convertases were generated on small streptavidin beads that were coated with purified C3b molecules. Site-specific biotinylation of C3b via the thioester allowed binding of C3b in the natural orientation on the surface. In the presence of factor B and factor D, these C3b beads could effectively convert C5. Conversion rates of surface-bound C3b were more than 100-fold higher than fluid-phase C3b, confirming the requirement of a surface. We determine that high surface densities of C3b, and its attachment via the thioester, are essential for C5 convertase formation. Combining our results with molecular modeling explains how high C3b densities may facilitate intermolecular interactions that only occur on target surfaces. Finally, we define two interfaces on C5 important for its recognition by surface-bound C5 convertases. We establish a highly purified model that mimics the natural arrangement of C5 convertases on a surface. The developed model and molecular insights are essential to understand the molecular basis of deregulated complement activity in human disease and will facilitate future design of therapeutic interventions against these critical enzymes in inflammation.

  20. 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.

  1. Thermophysical Properties of Energetic Ionic Liquids/Nitric Acid Mixtures: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

    W L. Physical properties of concentrated nitric acid . UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc56640/.) 23 M. Engelmann... Nitric Acid Mixtures: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER FA9300-11-C-3012 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER...Rev. 8-98) Prescribed by ANSI Std. 239.18 1     Thermophysical  Properties  of  Energetic  Ionic  Liquids/ Nitric   Acid

  2. Heartworm genomics: unprecedented opportunities for fundamental molecular insights and new intervention strategies.

    PubMed

    Gasser, Robin B; Cantacessi, Cinzia

    2011-11-01

    Vector-borne diseases, including canine heartworm disease (CHWD), are of major socioeconomic and canine health importance worldwide. Although many studies have provided insights into CHWD, to date there has been limited study of fundamental molecular aspects of Dirofilaria immitis itself, its relationship with the canine host, its vectors, as well as the potential of drug resistance to emerge, using advanced -omic technologies. This article takes a prospective view of the benefits that advanced -omics technologies will have toward understanding D. immitis and CHWD. Tackling key biological questions using these technologies will provide a "systems biology" context and could lead to radically new intervention and management strategies against heartworm.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Dai, Jianghong

    2012-10-07

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-10

    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. 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. A review and synthesis of the current knowledge in the areas of health and climate change adaptation governance and decision-making processes. 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. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Transmembrane signaling of chemotaxis receptor tar: insights from molecular dynamics simulation studies.

    PubMed

    Park, Hahnbeom; Im, Wonpil; Seok, Chaok

    2011-06-22

    Transmembrane signaling of chemotaxis receptors has long been studied, but how the conformational change induced by ligand binding is transmitted across the bilayer membrane is still elusive at the molecular level. To tackle this problem, we carried out a total of 600-ns comparative molecular dynamics simulations (including model-building simulations) of the chemotaxis aspartate receptor Tar (a part of the periplasmic domain/transmembrane domain/HAMP domain) in explicit lipid bilayers. These simulations reveal valuable insights into the mechanistic picture of Tar transmembrane signaling. The piston-like movement of a transmembrane helix induced by ligand binding on the periplasmic side is transformed into a combination of both longitudinal and transversal movements of the helix on the cytoplasmic side as a result of different protein-lipid interactions in the ligand-off and ligand-on states of the receptor. This conformational change alters the dynamics and conformation of the HAMP domain, which is presumably a mechanism to deliver the signal from the transmembrane domain to the cytoplasmic domain. The current results are consistent with the previously suggested dynamic bundle model in which the HAMP dynamics change is a key to the signaling. The simulations provide further insights into the conformational changes relevant to the HAMP dynamics changes in atomic detail. Copyright © 2011 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Assessing surface water flood risk and management strategies under future climate change: Insights from an Agent-Based Model.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, K; Surminski, S; Hall, J; Crick, F

    2017-04-03

    Climate change and increasing urbanization are projected to result in an increase in surface water flooding and consequential damages in the future. In this paper, we present insights from a novel Agent Based Model (ABM), applied to a London case study of surface water flood risk, designed to assess the interplay between different adaptation options; how risk reduction could be achieved by homeowners and government; and the role of flood insurance and the new flood insurance pool, Flood Re, in the context of climate change. The analysis highlights that while combined investment in property-level flood protection and sustainable urban drainage systems reduce surface water flood risk, the benefits can be outweighed by continued development in high risk areas and the effects of climate change. In our simulations, Flood Re is beneficial in its function to provide affordable insurance, even under climate change. However, the scheme does face increasing financial pressure due to rising surface water flood damages. If the intended transition to risk-based pricing is to take place then a determined and coordinated strategy will be needed to manage flood risk, which utilises insurance incentives, limits new development, and supports resilience measures. Our modelling approach and findings are highly relevant for the ongoing regulatory and political approval process for Flood Re as well as for wider discussions on the potential of insurance schemes to incentivise flood risk management and climate adaptation in the UK and internationally.

  13. 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.

  14. Storm track response to climate change: Insights from simulations using an idealized dry GCM.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mbengue, Cheikh; Schneider, Tapio

    2013-04-01

    The midlatitude storm tracks, where the most intense extratropical cyclones are found, are an important fixture in the general circulation. They are instrumental in balancing the Earth's heat, momentum, and moisture budgets and are responsible for the weather and climatic patterns over large regions of the Earth's surface. As a result, the midlatitude storm tracks are the subject of a considerable amount of scientific research to understand their response to global warming. This has produced the robust result showing that the storm tracks migrate poleward with global warming. However, the dynamical mechanisms responsible for this migration remain unclear. Our work seeks to broaden understanding of the dynamical mechanisms responsible for storm track migration. Competing mechanisms present in the comprehensive climate models often used to study storm track dynamics make it difficult to determine the primary mechanisms responsible for storm track migration. We are thus prompted to study storm track dynamics from a simplified and idealized framework, which enables the decoupling of mean temperature effects from the effects of static stability and of tropical from extratropical effects. Using a statistically zonally symmetric, dry general circulation model (GCM), we conduct a series of numerical simulations to help understand the storm track response to global mean temperatures and to the tropical convective static stability, which we can vary independently. We define storm tracks as regions of zonally and temporally averaged maxima of barotropic eddy kinetic energy (EKE). This storm track definition also allows us to use previously found scalings between the magnitude of bulk measures of mean available potential energy (MAPE) and EKE, to decompose MAPE, and to obtain some mechanistic understanding of the storm track response in our simulations. These simulations provide several insights, which enable us to extend upon existing theories on the mechanisms driving the

  15. 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.

  16. Molecular ultrastructure of the urothelial surface: insights from a combination of various microscopic techniques.

    PubMed

    Zupančič, Daša; Romih, Rok; Robenek, Horst; Žužek Rožman, Kristina; Samardžija, Zoran; Kostanjšek, Rok; Kreft, Mateja Erdani

    2014-11-01

    The urothelium forms the blood-urine barrier, which depends on the complex organization of transmembrane proteins, uroplakins, in the apical plasma membrane of umbrella cells. Uroplakins compose 16 nm intramembrane particles, which are assembled into urothelial plaques. Here we present an integrated survey on the molecular ultrastructure of urothelial plaques in normal umbrella cells with advanced microscopic techniques. We analyzed the ultrastructure and performed measurements of urothelial plaques in the normal mouse urothelium. We used field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) on immunolabeled ultrathin sections (immuno-TEM), and freeze-fracture replicas (FRIL). We performed immunolabeling of uroplakins for scanning electron microscopy (immuno-FESEM). All microscopic techniques revealed a variability of urothelial plaque diameters ranging from 332 to 1179 nm. All immunolabeling techniques confirmed the presence of uroplakins in urothelial plaques. FRIL showed the association of uroplakins with 16 nm intramembrane particles and their organization into plaques. Using different microscopic techniques and applied qualitative and quantitative evaluation, new insights into the urothelial apical surface molecular ultrastructure have emerged and may hopefully provide a timely impulse for many ongoing studies. The combination of various microscopic techniques used in this study shows how these techniques complement one another. The described advantages and disadvantages of each technique should be considered for future studies of molecular and structural membrane specializations in other cells and tissues. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Milestone in the NTB phase investigation and beyond: direct insight into molecular self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Ivšić, Trpimir; Vinković, Marijana; Baumeister, Ute; Mikleušević, Ana; Lesac, Andreja

    2014-12-14

    Although liquid-crystalline materials are most widely exploited for flat-panel displays, their ability to self-organize into periodically ordered nanostructures gives rise to a broad variety of additional applications. The recently discovered low-temperature nematic phase (N(TB)) with unusual characteristics generated considerable attention within the scientific community: despite the fact that the molecules from which the phase is composed are not chiral, the helicoidal structure of the phase is strongly implicated. Here we report on combined experimental, computational and spectroscopic studies of the structural aspects influencing formation of the N(TB) phase as well as on the molecular organization within the phase. In an extensive DFT study, the structure-property prerequisite was traced to a "bent-propeller" shape of the molecule. We also demonstrate the first utilization of liquid state NMR for direct analysis of intermolecular interactions within thermotropic liquid-crystalline phases, providing new insight into molecular packing that can lead towards design of novel chiral functional materials. The synergy of experimental, computational and NMR studies suggests a syn-parallel helical molecular organization within the N(TB) phase.

  18. Molecular Insight into Affinities of Gallated and Nongallated Proanthocyanidins Dimers to Lipid Bilayers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Wei; Xiong, Le; Peng, Jinming; Deng, Xiangyi; Gao, Jun; Li, Chun-Mei

    2016-11-01

    Experimental studies have proved the beneficial effects of proanthocyanidins (Pas) relating to interaction with the cell membrane. But the detailed mechanisms and structure-function relationship was unclear. In present study, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were used to study the interactions of four PA dimers with a lipid bilayer composed of 1:1 mixed 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl phosphatidylcholine (POPC) and 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (POPE). The results showed that the gallated PA dimers had much higher affinities to the bilayer with lower binding free energies compared with nongallated PA dimers. The gallated PA dimers penetrated deeper into the bilayer and formed more hydrogen bonds (H-bonds) with bilayer oxygen atoms, especially the deeper oxygen atoms of the lipids simultaneously, thus inducing stronger lateral expansion of the membrane and lipid tails disorder. The present results provided molecular insights into the interactions between PA dimers and bio-membranes and agreed with our experimental results well. These molecular interactions helped to elucidate the structure-function relationship of the PA dimers and provided a foundation for a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the bioactivities of PA oligomers.

  19. Molecular Insight into Affinities of Gallated and Nongallated Proanthocyanidins Dimers to Lipid Bilayers

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Wei; Xiong, Le; Peng, Jinming; Deng, Xiangyi; Gao, Jun; Li, Chun-mei

    2016-01-01

    Experimental studies have proved the beneficial effects of proanthocyanidins (Pas) relating to interaction with the cell membrane. But the detailed mechanisms and structure-function relationship was unclear. In present study, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were used to study the interactions of four PA dimers with a lipid bilayer composed of 1:1 mixed 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl phosphatidylcholine (POPC) and 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (POPE). The results showed that the gallated PA dimers had much higher affinities to the bilayer with lower binding free energies compared with nongallated PA dimers. The gallated PA dimers penetrated deeper into the bilayer and formed more hydrogen bonds (H-bonds) with bilayer oxygen atoms, especially the deeper oxygen atoms of the lipids simultaneously, thus inducing stronger lateral expansion of the membrane and lipid tails disorder. The present results provided molecular insights into the interactions between PA dimers and bio-membranes and agreed with our experimental results well. These molecular interactions helped to elucidate the structure-function relationship of the PA dimers and provided a foundation for a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the bioactivities of PA oligomers. PMID:27874097

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

    PubMed

    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.

  1. 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…

  2. Climate change & livestock health on the U.S. Northern Plains; Actionable economic insights & needs

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Climate change will impact livestock health through numerous direct mechanisms and indirect drivers. Examples of direct mechanisms include climate-driven changes in the biology of pathogens, and the distribution of vectors. Indirect drivers may include changes in environmental factors, land-use, and...

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. A closer look at novel climates: new methods and insights at continental to landscape scales.

    PubMed

    Mahony, Colin R; Cannon, Alex J; Wang, Tongli; Aitken, Sally N

    2017-02-01

    Novel climates - emerging conditions with no analog in the observational record - are an open problem in ecological modeling. Detecting extrapolation into novel conditions is a critical step in evaluating bioclimatic projections of how species and ecosystems will respond to climate change. However, biologically informed novelty detection methods remain elusive for many modeling algorithms. To assist with bioclimatic model design and evaluation, we present a first-approximation assessment of general novelty based on a simple and consistent characterization of climate. We build on the seminal global analysis of Williams et al. (2007 PNAS, 104, 5738) by assessing of end-of-21st-century novelty for North America at high spatial resolution and by refining their standardized Euclidean distance into an intuitive Mahalanobian metric called sigma dissimilarity. Like this previous study, we found extensive novelty in end-of-21st-century projections for the warm southern margin of the continent as well as the western Arctic. In addition, we detected localized novelty in lower topographic positions at all latitudes: By the end of the 21st century, novel climates are projected to emerge at low elevations in 80% and 99% of ecoregions in the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emissions scenarios, respectively. Novel climates are limited to 7% of the continent's area in RCP4.5, but are much more extensive in RCP8.5 (40% of area). These three risk factors for novel climates - regional susceptibility, topographic position, and the magnitude of projected climate change - represent a priori evaluation criteria for the credibility of bioclimatic projections. Our findings indicate that novel climates can emerge in any landscape. Interpreting climatic novelty in the context of nonlinear biological responses to climate is an important challenge for future research.

  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. A Renaissance in Nepovirus Research Provides New Insights Into Their Molecular Interface With Hosts and Vectors.

    PubMed

    Fuchs, M; Schmitt-Keichinger, C; Sanfaçon, H

    2017-01-01

    Nepoviruses supplied seminal landmarks to the historical trail of plant virology. Among the first agriculturally relevant viruses recognized in the late 1920s and among the first plant viruses officially classified in the early 1970s, nepoviruses also comprise the first species for which a soil-borne ectoparasitic nematode vector was identified. Early research on nepoviruses shed light on the genome structure and expression, biological properties of the two genomic RNAs, and mode of transmission. In recent years, research on nepoviruses enjoyed an extraordinary renaissance. This resurgence provided new insights into the molecular interface between viruses and their plant hosts, and between viruses and dagger nematode vectors to advance our understanding of some of the major steps of the infectious cycle. Here we examine these recent findings, highlight ongoing work, and offer some perspectives for future research.

  9. Genetic, structural, and molecular insights into the function of ras of complex proteins domains.

    PubMed

    Civiero, Laura; Dihanich, Sybille; Lewis, Patrick A; Greggio, Elisa

    2014-07-17

    Ras of complex proteins (ROC) domains were identified in 2003 as GTP binding modules in large multidomain proteins from Dictyostelium discoideum. Research into the function of these domains exploded with their identification in a number of proteins linked to human disease, including leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) and death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1) in Parkinson's disease and cancer, respectively. This surge in research has resulted in a growing body of data revealing the role that ROC domains play in regulating protein function and signaling pathways. In this review, recent advances in the structural information available for proteins containing ROC domains, along with insights into enzymatic function and the integration of ROC domains as molecular switches in a cellular and organismal context, are explored.

  10. Human Metapneumovirus: Insights from a Ten-Year Molecular and Epidemiological Analysis in Germany

    PubMed Central

    Reiche, Janine; Jacobsen, Sonja; Neubauer, Katrin; Hafemann, Susi; Nitsche, Andreas; Milde, Jeanette; Wolff, Thorsten; Schweiger, Brunhilde

    2014-01-01

    Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a cause of respiratory tract illness at all ages. In this study the epidemiological and molecular diversity among patients of different ages was investigated. Between 2000–2001 and 2009–2010, HMPV was detected in 3% (138/4,549) of samples from outpatients with influenza-like illness with a new, sensitive real-time RT-PCR assay. Several hundred (797) clinical specimens from hospitalized children below the age of 4 years with acute respiratory illness were investigated and HMPV was detected in 11.9% of them. Investigation of outpatients revealed that HMPV infections occurred in individuals of all ages but were most prevalent in children (0–4 years) and the elderly (>60 years). The most present clinical features of HMPV infections were cough, bronchitis, fever/shivers and pneumonia. About two thirds of HMPV-positive samples were detected in February and March throughout the study period. Molecular characterization of HMPV revealed a complex cyclic pattern of group dominance where HMPV subgroup A and B viruses predominated in general for three consecutive seasons. German HMPV represented all genetic lineages including A1, A2, B1, B2, sub-clusters A2a and A2b. For Germany, not only time-dependent circulation of lineages and sub-clusters was observed but also co-circulation of two or three predominant lineages. Two newly emerging amino acid substitutions (positions 223 and 280) of lineage B2 were detected in seven German HMPV sequences. Our study gives new insights into the molecular epidemiology of HMPV in in- and outpatients over a time period of 10 years for the first time. It is one of only few long-term surveillance studies in Europe, and allows comparative molecular analyses of HMPV circulating worldwide. PMID:24505479

  11. Camptothecin resistance in cancer: insights into the molecular mechanisms of a DNA-damaging drug.

    PubMed

    Beretta, G L; Gatti, L; Perego, P; Zaffaroni, N

    2013-01-01

    Poisoning of DNA topoisomerase I is the mechanism by which camptothecins interfere with tumor growth. Although the clinical use of camptothecins has had a significant impact on cancer therapy, de novo or acquired clinical resistance to these drugs is common. Clinical resistance to camptothecins is still a poorly understood phenomenon, likely involving pharmacological and tumor-related factors. Experimental models including yeast and mammalian cell cultures suggest three general mechanisms of camptothecin resistance: i) reduced cellular accumulation of drugs, ii) alteration in the structure/expression of topoisomerase I, and iii) alterations in the cellular response to camptothecin-DNA-ternary complex formation. Some lines of evidence have also suggested links between cellular camptothecin resistance, the existence of a subset of tumor-initiating cells and miRNA deregulation. In this regard, a better definition of the molecular events clarifying the regulation of tumorigenesis and gene expression might contribute to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms on the basis of camptothecin resistance of tumors and to identify new molecular tools for targeting cancer cells. The relevance of these mechanisms to clinical drug resistance has not yet been completely defined, but their evaluation in clinical specimens should help to define personalized treatments including camptothecins as single agents or in combination with other cytotoxic and target-specific anticancer agents. The present review focuses on the cellular/ molecular aspects involved in resistance of tumor cells to camptothecins, including the potential role of cancer stem cells and deregulated miRNAs, and on the approaches proposed for overcoming resistance.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Insight derived from molecular dynamics simulations into molecular motions, thermodynamics and kinetics of HIV-1 gp120.

    PubMed

    Sang, Peng; Yang, Li-Quan; Ji, Xing-Lai; Fu, Yun-Xin; Liu, Shu-Qun

    2014-01-01

    Although the crystal structures of the HIV-1 gp120 core bound and pre-bound by CD4 are known, the details of dynamics involved in conformational equilibrium and transition in relation to gp120 function have remained elusive. The homology models of gp120 comprising the N- and C-termini and loops V3 and V4 in the CD4-bound and CD4-unbound states were built and subjected to molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to investigate the differences in dynamic properties and molecular motions between them. The results indicate that the CD4-bound gp120 adopted a more compact and stable conformation than the unbound form during simulations. For both the unbound and bound gp120, the large concerted motions derived from essential dynamics (ED) analyses can influence the size/shape of the ligand-binding channel/cavity of gp120 and, therefore, were related to its functional properties. The differences in motion direction between certain structural components of these two forms of gp120 were related to the conformational interconversion between them. The free energy calculations based on the metadynamics simulations reveal a more rugged and complex free energy landscape (FEL) for the unbound than for the bound gp120, implying that gp120 has a richer conformational diversity in the unbound form. The estimated free energy difference of ∼-6.0 kJ/mol between the global minimum free energy states of the unbound and bound gp120 indicates that gp120 can transform spontaneously from the unbound to bound states, revealing that the bound state represents a high-probability "ground state" for gp120 and explaining why the unbound state resists crystallization. Our results provide insight into the dynamics-and-function relationship of gp120, and facilitate understandings of the thermodynamics, kinetics and conformational control mechanism of HIV-1 gp120.

  15. Postglacial Human resilience and susceptibility to abrupt climate change new insights from Star Carr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blockley, Simon; Abrook, Ashley; Bayliss, Alex; Candy, Ian; Conneller, Chantal; Darvill, Chris; Deeprose, Laura; Kearney, Rebecca; Langdon, Pete; Langdon Langdon, Cath; Lincoln, Paul; Macleod, Alison; Matthews, Ian; Palmer, Adrian; Schreve, Danielle; Taylor, Barry; Milner, Nicky

    2017-04-01

    We know little about the lives of the early humans who lived during the early Postglacial period (the Lateglacial and Early Holocene), a time characterised by abrupt climate change after 16,000, which includes a series of abrupt climatic transitions linked to the reorganisation of the global environment after the glacial maximum and the last major global warming event at the onset of the Holocene. The hunter-gatherers who lived during the early Postglacial have been characterised as highly mobile, dispersed and living within small groups, and there is much debate as to how they adapted to climatic and environmental change: did they move in response to climatic transitions (and if so what was the climatic threshold), or instead adapt their lifeways to the new environmental conditions? A key area for examining these ideas is the British Isles as it sits on the Atlantic fringe of Northwest Europe with a climate that is highly responsive to the wider climate forcing experienced in the northern Hemisphere. Furthermore, in this period, Britain is directly linked to continental Europe due to lowered global sea levels allowing for the ease of human migration in and out of this region. In general the British record has been seen as being dominated by abandonment and reoccupation in the Postglacial during periods of climatic transition with hunter-gatherer mobility being closely linked to the prevailing environment. Recent discoveries at the Early Mesolithic site of Star Carr and surrounding area, linked to local and regional climate records, based on isotopic, chironomid and pollen proxy data and dated at high chronological resolution, offer a new picture. Postglacial human occupation of the area commences at the Pleistocene/Holocene transition but is short lived and appears to end close to the Pre-Boreal Oscillation, However, this is followed by a period where hunter-gatherers occupy Star Carr and settle and invest time and effort into building huts and large scale wooden

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Selective Monocationic Inhibitors of Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase. Binding Mode Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    PubMed Central

    Huang, He; Ji, Haitao; Li, Huiying; Jing, Qing; Labby, Kristin Jansen; Martásek, Pavel; Roman, Linda J.; Poulos, Thomas L.; Silverman, Richard B.

    2012-01-01

    The reduction of pathophysiologic levels of nitric oxide through inhibition of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) has the potential to be therapeutically beneficial in various neurodegenerative diseases. We have developed a series of pyrrolidine-based nNOS inhibitors that exhibit excellent potencies and isoform selectivities (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 5437). However, there are still important challenges, such as how to decrease the multiple positive charges derived from basic amino groups, which contribute to poor bioavailability, without losing potency and/or selectivity. Here we present an interdisciplinary study combining molecular docking, crystallography, molecular dynamics simulations, synthesis, and enzymology to explore potential pharmacophoric features of nNOS inhibitors and to design potent and selective monocationic nNOS inhibitors. The simulation results indicate that different hydrogen bond patterns, electrostatic interactions, hydrophobic interactions, and a water molecule bridge are key factors for stabilizing ligands and controlling ligand orientation. We find that a heteroatom in the aromatic head or linker chain of the ligand provides additional stability and blocks the substrate binding pocket. Finally, the computational insights are experimentally validated with double-headed pyridine analogs. The compounds reported here are among the most potent and selective monocationic pyrrolidine-based nNOS inhibitors reported to date, and 10 shows improved membrane permeability. PMID:22731813

  20. Molecular level activation insights from a NR2A/NR2B agonist.

    PubMed

    Ieong Tou, Weng; Chang, Su-Sen; Wu, Dongchuan; Lai, Ted Weita; Wang, Yu Tian; Hsu, Chung Y; Chen, Calvin Yu-Chian

    2014-01-01

    N-methyl D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs), a subclass of glutamate receptors have broad actions in neural transmission for major brain functions. Overactivation of NMDARs leading to "excitotoxicity" is the underlying mechanism of neuronal death in a number of neurological diseases, especially stroke. Much research effort has been directed toward developing pharmacological agents to modulate NMDAR actions for treating neurological diseases, in particular stroke. Here, we report that Alliin, a sulfoxide in fresh garlic, exhibits affinity toward NR2A as well as NR2B receptors based on virtual screening. Biological activities of Alliin on these two receptors were confirmed in electrophysiological studies. Ligand-binding site closure, a structural change precluding ion channel opening, was observed with Alliin during 100 ns molecular dynamics simulation. Alliin interactions with NR2A and NR2B suggest that residues E/A413, H485, T690, and Y730 may play important roles in the conformation shift. Activation of NR2A and NR2B by Alliin can be differentiated from that caused by glutamate, the endogenous neurotransmitter. These characteristic molecular features in NR2A and NR2B activation provide insight into structural requirements for future development of novel drugs with selective interaction with NR2A and NR2B for treating neurological diseases, particularly stroke.

  1. Molecular insights on TNKS1/TNKS2 and inhibitor-IWR1 interactions.

    PubMed

    Kirubakaran, Palani; Kothandan, Gugan; Cho, Seung J; Muthusamy, Karthikeyan

    2014-02-01

    Tankyrases (TNKS) belong to the poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP) protein super family and play a vital role in the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. TNKS is a potential target for therapeutic intervention against various cancers, heritable diseases (e.g. cherubism) and implications in the replication of herpes simplex virus (HSV). The recent discovery of the structure of TNKS with an IWR1 inhibitor has provided insight into the binding modes which are specific for the TNKS protein which will aid in the development of drugs that are specific for the TNKS protein. The current study investigates molecular interactions between the induced pocket of TNKS1 and TNKS2 with an IWR1 compound using computational approaches. Molecular docking analysis of IWR1 at the induced pocket of TNKS1 and TNKS2 was performed. The resulting protein-ligand complexes were simulated for a timescale of 100 ns. Results revealed the stable binding of IWR1 at the induced pocket of TNKS1 and TNKS2 proteins. Apart from active site amino acids, π-π stack paring interactions were also crucial for the protein-ligand binding and stability of the complex. Further, energy-optimized pharmacophore mapping was performed and the resulting pharmacophore model contained a four (TNKS1-IWR1) and five (TNKS2-IWR1) featured sites. Based on the pharmacophore models, the best inhibitors were screened from the ZINC natural product compound database and these could be used as potential drugs against TNKS1 and TNKS2.

  2. Structural insight into the glucokinase-ligands interactions. Molecular docking study.

    PubMed

    Ermakova, Elena

    2016-10-01

    Glucokinase (GK) plays a key role in the regulation of hepatic glucose metabolism. Inactivation of GK is associated with diabetes, and an increase of its activity is linked to hypoglycemia. Possibility to regulate the GK activity using small chemical compounds as allosteric activators induces the scientific interest to the study of the activation mechanism and to the development of new allosteric glucokinase activators. Interaction of glucokinase with ligands is the first step of the complicated mechanism of regulation of the GK functioning. In this paper, we study the interaction of GK with native (glucose) and synthetic (allosteric activators) ligands using molecular docking method. Calculations demonstrate the ability of molecular docking programs to accurately reproduce crystallized ligand poses and conformations and to calculate a free energy of binding with satisfactory accuracy. Correlation between the free energy of binding and the bioactivity of activators is discussed. These results provide a new insight into protein-ligand interactions and can be used for the engineering of new activators.

  3. Insights into lid movements of Burkholderia cepacia lipase inferred from molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Barbe, Sophie; Lafaquière, Vincent; Guieysse, David; Monsan, Pierre; Remaud-Siméon, Magali; André, Isabelle

    2009-11-15

    The interfacial activation of many lipases at water/lipid interface is mediated by large conformational changes of a so-called lid subdomain that covers up the enzyme active site. Here we investigated using molecular dynamic simulations in different explicit solvent environments (water, octane and water/octane interface) the molecular mechanism by which the lid motion of Burkholderia cepacia lipase might operate. Although B. cepacia lipase has so far only been crystallized in open conformation, this study reveals for the first time the major conformational rearrangements that the enzyme undergoes under the influence of the solvent, which either exposes or shields the active site from the substrate. In aqueous media, the lid switches from an open to a closed conformation while the reverse motion occurs in organic environment. In particular, the role of a subdomain facing the lid on B. cepacia lipase conformational rearrangements was investigated using position-restrained MD simulations. Our conclusions indicate that the sole mobility of alpha9 helix side-chains of B. cepacia lipase is required for the full completion of the lid conformational change which is essentially driven by alpha5 helix movement. The role of selected alpha5 hydrophobic residues on the lid movement was further examined. In silico mutations of two residues, V138 and F142, were shown to drastically modify the conformational behavior of B. cepacia lipase. Overall, our results provide valuable insight into the role played by the surrounding environment on the lid conformational rearrangement and the activation of B. cepacia lipase.

  4. Structured Ionomer Thin Films at Water Interface: Molecular Dynamics Simulation Insight

    DOE PAGES

    Aryal, Dipak; Agrawal, Anupriya; Perahia, Dvora; ...

    2017-08-23

    Controlling the structure and dynamics of thin films of ionizable polymers at water interfaces is critical to their many applications. As the chemical diversity within one polymer is increased, controlling the structure and dynamics of the polymer, which is a key to their use, becomes a challenge. Here molecular dynamics simulations (MD) are used to obtain molecular insight into the structure and dynamics of thin films of one such macromolecule at the interface with water. The polymer consists of an ABCBA topology with randomly sulfonated polystyrene (C), tethered symmetrically to flexible poly(ethylene-r-propylene) blocks (B), and end-capped by a poly(t-butylstyrene) blockmore » (A). The compositions of the interfacial and bulk regions of thin films of the ABCBA polymers are followed as a function of exposure time to water. We find that interfacial rearrangements take place where buried ionic segments migrate toward the water interface. The hydrophobic blocks collapse and rearrange to minimize their exposure to water. In conclusion, the water that initially drives interfacial reengagements breaks the ionic clusters within the film, forming a dynamic hydrophilic internal network within the hydrophobic segments.« less

  5. 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

  6. Structured Ionomer Thin Films at Water Interface: Molecular Dynamics Simulation Insight.

    PubMed

    Aryal, Dipak; Agrawal, Anupriya; Perahia, Dvora; Grest, Gary S

    2017-09-08

    Controlling the structure and dynamics of thin films of ionizable polymers at water interfaces is critical to their many applications. As the chemical diversity within one polymer is increased, controlling the structure and dynamics of the polymer, which is a key to their use, becomes a challenge. Here molecular dynamics simulations (MD) are used to obtain molecular insight into the structure and dynamics of thin films of one such macromolecule at the interface with water. The polymer consists of an ABCBA topology with randomly sulfonated polystyrene (C), tethered symmetrically to flexible poly(ethylene-r-propylene) blocks (B), and end-capped by a poly(t-butylstyrene) block (A). The compositions of the interfacial and bulk regions of thin films of the ABCBA polymers are followed as a function of exposure time to water. We find that interfacial rearrangements take place where buried ionic segments migrate toward the water interface. The hydrophobic blocks collapse and rearrange to minimize their exposure to water. The water that initially drives interfacial reengagements breaks the ionic clusters within the film, forming a dynamic hydrophilic internal network within the hydrophobic segments.

  7. 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

  8. First insight into the molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Santa Catarina, southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Nogueira, Christiane Lourenço; Prim, Rodrigo Ivan; Senna, Simone Gonçalves; Rovaris, Darcita Büerger; Maurici, Rosemeri; Rossetti, Maria Lúcia; Couvin, David; Rastogi, Nalin; Bazzo, Maria Luiza

    2016-03-01

    Molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is useful for understanding disease transmission dynamics, and to establish strategic measures for TB control and prevention. The aim of this study was to analyze clinical, epidemiological and molecular characteristics of MTBC clinical isolates from Santa Catarina state, southern Brazil. During one-year period, 406 clinical isolates of MTBC were collected from Central Laboratory of Public Health and typed by spoligotyping. Demographic and clinical data were collected from the Brazilian National Mandatory Disease Reporting System. The majority of cases occurred in highest population densities regions and about 50% had some condition associated with TB. Among all isolates, 5.7% were MDR, which showed association with drug addiction. LAM was the most predominant lineage with 47.5%, followed by the T superfamily with 25.9% and Haarlem with 12.3%. The MST showed two major groups: the first was formed mainly by the LAM lineage and the second was mainly formed by the T and Haarlem lineages. Others lineages were distributed in peripheral positions. This study provides the first insight into the population structure of M. tuberculosis in SC State. Spoligotyping and other genotyping analyses are important to establish strategic measures for TB control and prevention. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. H2S biosynthesis and catabolism: new insights from molecular studies.

    PubMed

    Rose, Peter; Moore, Philip K; Zhu, Yi Zhun

    2016-11-14

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has profound biological effects within living organisms and is now increasingly being considered alongside other gaseous signalling molecules, such as nitric oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO). Conventional use of pharmacological and molecular approaches has spawned a rapidly growing research field that has identified H2S as playing a functional role in cell-signalling and post-translational modifications. Recently, a number of laboratories have reported the use of siRNA methodologies and genetic mouse models to mimic the loss of function of genes involved in the biosynthesis and degradation of H2S within tissues. Studies utilising these systems are revealing new insights into the biology of H2S within the cardiovascular system, inflammatory disease, and in cell signalling. In light of this work, the current review will describe recent advances in H2S research made possible by the use of molecular approaches and genetic mouse models with perturbed capacities to generate or detoxify physiological levels of H2S gas within tissues.

  10. 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.

  11. Insights into pharmaceutical nanocrystal dissolution: a molecular dynamics simulation study on aspirin.

    PubMed

    Greiner, Maximilian; Elts, Ekaterina; Briesen, Heiko

    2014-09-02

    The presented molecular dynamics simulations are the first simulations to reveal dynamic dissolution of a pharmaceutical crystal in its experimentally determined shape. Continuous dissolution at constant undersaturation of the surrounding medium is ensured by introducing a plane of sticky dummy atoms into the water slab. These atoms have a strong interaction potential with dissolved aspirin molecules, but interactions with water are excluded from the calculations. Thus, the number of aspirin molecules diffusing freely in solution is kept at a low value and continuous dissolution of the aspirin crystal is monitored. Further insight into face-specific dissolution is drawn. The dissolution mechanism of receding edges is found for the (001) plane. These findings are in good agreement with experimental results. While the proposed dissolution mechanism for the (100) plane is terrace sinking on a rough surface, no pronounced dissolution of the perfectly flat face is seen in the present work. Molecular simulations of pharmaceuticals in their experimentally obtained structure therefore have shown to be especially suited for the investigation of dissolving faces, where the edges have a pronounced effect. In contrast to previous studies a propagation of the dissolution front into the crystal face is reported, and the crystal bulk is stable over the whole simulation time of 150 ns.

  12. New Insights into Molecular Organization of Human Neuraminidase-1: Transmembrane Topology and Dimerization Ability

    PubMed Central

    Maurice, Pascal; Baud, Stéphanie; Bocharova, Olga V.; Bocharov, Eduard V.; Kuznetsov, Andrey S.; Kawecki, Charlotte; Bocquet, Olivier; Romier, Beatrice; Gorisse, Laetitia; Ghirardi, Maxime; Duca, Laurent; Blaise, Sébastien; Martiny, Laurent; Dauchez, Manuel; Efremov, Roman G.; Debelle, Laurent

    2016-01-01

    Neuraminidase 1 (NEU1) is a lysosomal sialidase catalyzing the removal of terminal sialic acids from sialyloconjugates. A plasma membrane-bound NEU1 modulating a plethora of receptors by desialylation, has been consistently documented from the last ten years. Despite a growing interest of the scientific community to NEU1, its membrane organization is not understood and current structural and biochemical data cannot account for such membrane localization. By combining molecular biology and biochemical analyses with structural biophysics and computational approaches, we identified here two regions in human NEU1 - segments 139–159 (TM1) and 316–333 (TM2) - as potential transmembrane (TM) domains. In membrane mimicking environments, the corresponding peptides form stable α-helices and TM2 is suited for self-association. This was confirmed with full-size NEU1 by co-immunoprecipitations from membrane preparations and split-ubiquitin yeast two hybrids. The TM2 region was shown to be critical for dimerization since introduction of point mutations within TM2 leads to disruption of NEU1 dimerization and decrease of sialidase activity in membrane. In conclusion, these results bring new insights in the molecular organization of membrane-bound NEU1 and demonstrate, for the first time, the presence of two potential TM domains that may anchor NEU1 in the membrane, control its dimerization and sialidase activity. PMID:27917893

  13. New Insights into Molecular Organization of Human Neuraminidase-1: Transmembrane Topology and Dimerization Ability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maurice, Pascal; Baud, Stéphanie; Bocharova, Olga V.; Bocharov, Eduard V.; Kuznetsov, Andrey S.; Kawecki, Charlotte; Bocquet, Olivier; Romier, Beatrice; Gorisse, Laetitia; Ghirardi, Maxime; Duca, Laurent; Blaise, Sébastien; Martiny, Laurent; Dauchez, Manuel; Efremov, Roman G.; Debelle, Laurent

    2016-12-01

    Neuraminidase 1 (NEU1) is a lysosomal sialidase catalyzing the removal of terminal sialic acids from sialyloconjugates. A plasma membrane-bound NEU1 modulating a plethora of receptors by desialylation, has been consistently documented from the last ten years. Despite a growing interest of the scientific community to NEU1, its membrane organization is not understood and current structural and biochemical data cannot account for such membrane localization. By combining molecular biology and biochemical analyses with structural biophysics and computational approaches, we identified here two regions in human NEU1 - segments 139–159 (TM1) and 316–333 (TM2) - as potential transmembrane (TM) domains. In membrane mimicking environments, the corresponding peptides form stable α-helices and TM2 is suited for self-association. This was confirmed with full-size NEU1 by co-immunoprecipitations from membrane preparations and split-ubiquitin yeast two hybrids. The TM2 region was shown to be critical for dimerization since introduction of point mutations within TM2 leads to disruption of NEU1 dimerization and decrease of sialidase activity in membrane. In conclusion, these results bring new insights in the molecular organization of membrane-bound NEU1 and demonstrate, for the first time, the presence of two potential TM domains that may anchor NEU1 in the membrane, control its dimerization and sialidase activity.

  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 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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. Copyright © 2014

  19. Climate controls over ecosystem metabolism: insights from a fifteen-year inductive artificial neural network synthesis for a subalpine forest.

    PubMed

    Albert, Loren P; Keenan, Trevor F; Burns, Sean P; Huxman, Travis E; Monson, Russell K

    2017-05-01

    Eddy covariance (EC) datasets have provided insight into climate determinants of net ecosystem productivity (NEP) and evapotranspiration (ET) in natural ecosystems for decades, but most EC studies were published in serial fashion such that one study's result became the following study's hypothesis. This approach reflects the hypothetico-deductive process by focusing on previously derived hypotheses. A synthesis of this type of sequential inference reiterates subjective biases and may amplify past assumptions about the role, and relative importance, of controls over ecosystem metabolism. Long-term EC datasets facilitate an alternative approach to synthesis: the use of inductive data-based analyses to re-examine past deductive studies of the same ecosystem. Here we examined the seasonal climate determinants of NEP and ET by analyzing a 15-year EC time-series from a subalpine forest using an ensemble of Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) at the half-day (daytime/nighttime) time-step. We extracted relative rankings of climate drivers and driver-response relationships directly from the dataset with minimal a priori assumptions. The ANN analysis revealed temperature variables as primary climate drivers of NEP and daytime ET, when all seasons are considered, consistent with the assembly of past studies. New relations uncovered by the ANN approach include the role of soil moisture in driving daytime NEP during the snowmelt period, the nonlinear response of NEP to temperature across seasons, and the low relevance of summer rainfall for NEP or ET at the same daytime/nighttime time step. These new results offer a more complete perspective of climate-ecosystem interactions at this site than traditional deductive analyses alone.

  20. Climate, history and neutrality as drivers of mammal beta diversity in Europe: insights from multiscale deconstruction.

    PubMed

    Svenning, Jens-Christian; Fløjgaard, Camilla; Baselga, Andrés

    2011-03-01

    1. Environmental sorting, historical factors and neutral dynamics may all drive beta diversity (change in species composition across space), but their relative importance remains unresolved. In the case of European mammals, key potential drivers of large-scale beta diversity include current climate, neutral dynamics and two historical factors: Pleistocene glaciations and peninsular dynamics (immigration from extra-regional eastern faunal source areas and inter-linked relictual survival and evolutionary differentiation in isolated areas). 2. We assessed the relative importance of these drivers using a novel analytical framework to deconstruct beta diversity of non-volant mammals in Europe (138 species) into its turnover (change in species composition because of species replacements) and nestedness components (change in species composition because of species richness differences) at continental and regional (250,000 km(2) ) scales. 3. We found continental-scale mammal beta diversity to be mainly caused by spatial turnover (99·9%), with only a small contribution (0·1%) from nestedness. 4. Current climate emerged as an important driver of beta diversity, given the strong continental-scale turnover, particularly in north-south direction, i.e., in line with the latitudinal climate gradient, and, more directly, the strong correlation of climate with spatial turnover at both continental and regional scales. 5. However, there was also evidence for the importance of non-climatic drivers. Notably, the compositional variation purely accounted for by space was greater than that purely accounted for by environment for both the turnover and the nestedness component of beta diversity. Furthermore, the strong longitudinal turnover within Southern Europe is in accordance with the region's long-term climatic stability having allowed multiple refugia and local evolutionary diversification. As expected from peninsular dynamics, there was increasing dissimilarity with

  1. The response of recalcitrant soil organic matter to climate change; insights from speleothems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudzka, D.; McDermott, F.

    2009-04-01

    The mass of carbon stored in soil organic matter (SOM) (1115-2200 Pg) exceeds that of the atmosphere (750 Pg) and vegetation (570 Pg). Enhanced rates of decomposition of SOM due to increased global temperatures cause higher CO2 emission to the atmosphere, constituting a positive feedback. The magnitude of this feedback remains poorly quantified due to different decomposition rates and temperature sensitivities of individual SOM compounds. Soil contains carbon pools that range from easily degradable, active (labile) pools with typically high 14C activity, to passive old carbon (recalcitrant) pools with low 14C activity. The latter dominate (c.90%) the total SOM in most soils. Due to its molecular attributes it is characterized by low decomposition rates and can therefore be stored in soils for hundreds to thousands of years. Also, the recalcitrant pool has a higher activation energy (e.g. tanin: 70 kJ per mol.) compared with the labile pool (e.g. glucose 30 kJ per mol.), which, according to Arrhenius kinetics, reflects the higher temperature sensitivity of the recalcitrant pool. Chemical reaction kinetics dictate that recalcitrant SOM decomposition will accelerate in a warmer climate, but recent published tests (e.g. laboratory and field soil-warming experiments) are controversial due to poorly quantified soil compound properties and the limited duration of warming experiments. To investigate this issue we decided to examine the ‘effective' response of SOM to temperature increases by using the radiocarbon signal derived from soil and recorded in speleothems. Stalagmites deposited during a major warming event associated with the last deglaciation were used to avoid the problems associated with the short-term nature of laboratory warming experiments. The transition from the Younger Dryas (YD) to the Holocene (c. 11,600 years ago) is used here as an example of a rapid warming event. The new methodology involves combining radiocarbon data with U-series dated

  2. 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

  3. Molecular Proxies for Climate Maladaptation in a Long-Lived Tree (Pinus pinaster Aiton, Pinaceae)

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25549630

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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. © 2013 John

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Climate change threatens archaeologically significant ice patches: insights into their age, internal structure, mass balance and climate sensitivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strand Ødegård, Rune; Nesje, Atle; Isaksen, Ketil; Andreassen, Liss Marie; Eiken, Trond; Schwikowski, Margit; Uglietti, Chiara

    2017-04-01

    Despite numerous spectacular archaeological discoveries worldwide related to melting ice patches and the emerging field of glacial archaeology, governing processes related to ice patch development during the Holocene and their sensitivity to climate change are still largely unexplored. Here we present new results from an extensive 6-year (2009-2015) field experiment at the Juvfonne ice patch in Jotunheimen in central southern Norway. Our results show that the ice patch has existed continuously since the late Mesolithic period. Organic-rich layers and carbonaceous aerosols embedded in clear ice show ages spanning from modern at the surface to ca. 7600 cal years BP at the bottom. This is the oldest dating of ice in mainland Norway. The expanding ice patch covered moss mats appearing along the margin of Juvfonne about 2000 years ago. During the study period, the mass balance record showed a strong negative balance, and the annual balance is highly asymmetric over short distances. Snow accumulation is poorly correlated with estimated winter precipitation, and single storm events may contribute significantly to the total winter balance. Snow accumulation is approx. 20% higher in the frontal area compared to the upper central part of the ice patch. There is sufficient meltwater to bring the permeable snowpack to an isothermal state within a few weeks in early summer. Below the seasonal snowpack, ice temperatures are between -2 and -4 °C. Juvfonne has clear ice stratification of isochronic origin. Reference: The Cryosphere, 11, 17-32, 2017.

  13. Climate change threatens archaeologically significant ice patches: insights into their age, internal structure, mass balance and climate sensitivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strand Ødegård, Rune; Nesje, Atle; Isaksen, Ketil; Andreassen, Liss Marie; Eiken, Trond; Schwikowski, Margit; Uglietti, Chiara

    2017-01-01

    Despite numerous spectacular archaeological discoveries worldwide related to melting ice patches and the emerging field of glacial archaeology, governing processes related to ice patch development during the Holocene and their sensitivity to climate change are still largely unexplored. Here we present new results from an extensive 6-year (2009-2015) field experiment at the Juvfonne ice patch in Jotunheimen in central southern Norway. Our results show that the ice patch has existed continuously since the late Mesolithic period. Organic-rich layers and carbonaceous aerosols embedded in clear ice show ages spanning from modern at the surface to ca. 7600 cal years BP at the bottom. This is the oldest dating of ice in mainland Norway. The expanding ice patch covered moss mats appearing along the margin of Juvfonne about 2000 years ago. During the study period, the mass balance record showed a strong negative balance, and the annual balance is highly asymmetric over short distances. Snow accumulation is poorly correlated with estimated winter precipitation, and single storm events may contribute significantly to the total winter balance. Snow accumulation is approx. 20 % higher in the frontal area compared to the upper central part of the ice patch. There is sufficient meltwater to bring the permeable snowpack to an isothermal state within a few weeks in early summer. Below the seasonal snowpack, ice temperatures are between -2 and -4 °C. Juvfonne has clear ice stratification of isochronic origin.

  14. Insights on drought and long-term climatic trends: Retrospective analyses of crop insurance data

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A modern trend among federal agencies, funding streams, and research projects involves the synthesis of existing data to increase the overall collective value and meaning of such knowledge. The creation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Climate Hubs follows this line of thought with infor...

  15. Earth's energy imbalance and the global warming `hiatus': insights from climate models and ocean reanalyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palmer, M. D.; Roberts, C. D.; McNeall, D. J.

    2016-02-01

    Earth's energy imbalance is the most fundamental metric defining the rate of global climate change. Using CMIP5 climate model simulations, we show that trends in surface temperature are only weakly indicative of the net energy imbalance on decadal timescales, due to the ocean's ability to re-arrange large quantities of heat on these timescales. Therefore, the apparent `hiatus' in global surface temperature rise may tell us nothing about the rate of global climate change over the recent past. CMIP5 models suggest that the ocean becomes dominant term in Earth's energy budget at timescales longer than about 1 year, illustrating the need to improve estimates of the rate-of-change of ocean heat content (OHC) in order to better monitor ongoing anthropogenic climate change. An intercomparison of OHC changes in an ensemble of ocean reanalyses shows some robust signals in the upper few hundred metres but little agreement for deeper layers. This work highlights the need to maintain the Argo observations of the upper 2000m and extend the ocean observing array into the deep and abyssal ocean in order to better monitor and understand variability and long-term changes in Earth's energy imbalance.

  16. Forest fire and climate change in western North America: insights from sediment charcoal records.

    Treesearch

    Daniel G Gavin; Douglas J Hallett; Feng Sheng Hu; Kenneth P Lertzman; Susan J Prichard; Kendrick J Brown; Jason A Lynch; Patrick Bartlein; David L. Peterson

    2007-01-01

    Millennial-scale records of forest fire provide important baseline information for ecosystem management, especially in regions with too few recent fires to describe the historical range of variability. Charcoal records from lake sediments and soil profiles are well suited for reconstructing the incidence of past fire and its relationship to changing climate and...

  17. 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.

  18. Homology modeling and molecular dynamics provide structural insights into tospovirus nucleoprotein.

    PubMed

    Lima, Rayane Nunes; Faheem, Muhammad; Barbosa, João Alexandre Ribeiro Gonçalves; Polêto, Marcelo Depólo; Verli, Hugo; Melo, Fernando Lucas; Resende, Renato Oliveira

    2016-12-15

    Tospovirus is a plant-infecting genus within the family Bunyaviridae, which also includes four animal-infecting genera: Hantavirus, Nairovirus, Phlebovirus and Orthobunyavirus. Compared to these members, the structures of Tospovirus proteins still are poorly understood. Despite multiple studies have attempted to identify candidate N protein regions involved in RNA binding and protein multimerization for tospovirus using yeast two-hybrid systems (Y2HS) and site-directed mutagenesis, the tospovirus ribonucleocapsids (RNPs) remains largely uncharacterized at the molecular level and the lack of structural information prevents detailed insight into these interactions. Here we used the nucleoprotein structure of LACV (La Crosse virus-Orthobunyavirus) and molecular dynamics simulations to access the structure and dynamics of the nucleoprotein from tospovirus GRSV (Groundnut ringspot virus). The resulting model is a monomer composed by a flexible N-terminal and C-terminal arms and a globular domain with a positively charged groove in which RNA is deeply encompassed. This model allowed identifying the candidate amino acids residues involved in RNA interaction and N-N multimerization. Moreover, most residues predicted to be involved in these interactions are highly conserved among tospoviruses. Crucially, the interaction model proposed here for GRSV N is further corroborated by the all available mutational studies on TSWV (Tomato spotted wilt virus) N, so far. Our data will help designing further and more accurate mutational and functional studies of tospovirus N proteins. In addition, the proposed model may shed light on the mechanisms of RNP shaping and could allow the identification of essential amino acid residues as potential targets for tospovirus control strategies.

  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. 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.

  1. Climate controls over ecosystem metabolism: insights from a fifteen-year inductive artificial neural network synthesis for a subalpine forest

    DOE PAGES

    Albert, Loren P.; Keenan, Trevor F.; Burns, Sean P.; ...

    2017-03-25

    Eddy covariance (EC) datasets have provided insight into climate determinants of net ecosystem productivity (NEP) and evapotranspiration (ET) in natural ecosystems for decades, but most EC studies were published in serial fashion such that one study’s result became the following study’s hypothesis. Our approach reflects the hypothetico-deductive process by focusing on previously derived hypotheses. A synthesis of this type of sequential inference reiterates subjective biases and may amplify past assumptions about the role, and relative importance, of cont rols over ecosystem metabolism. Long-term EC datasets facilitate an alternative approach to synthesis: the use of inductive data-based analyses to re-examine pastmore » deductive studies of the same ecosystem. Here we examined the seasonal climate determinants of NEP and ET by analyzing a 15-year EC time-series from a subalpine forest using an ensemble of Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) at the half-day (daytime/nighttime) time-step. We also extracted relative rankings of climate drivers and driver–response relationships directly from the dataset with minimal a priori assumptions. The ANN analysis revealed temperature variables as primary climate drivers of NEP and daytime ET, when all seasons are considered, consistent with the assembly of past studies. New relations uncovered by the ANN approach include the role of soil moisture in driving daytime NEP during the snowmelt period, the nonlinear response of NEP to temperature across seasons, and the low relevance of summer rainfall for NEP or ET at the same daytime/nighttime time step. These new results offer a more complete perspective of climate–ecosystem interactions at this site than traditional deductive analyses alone.« less

  2. UV Photodissociation of Proline-containing Peptide Ions: Insights from Molecular Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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, S2 and S3, lie close to 213 nm. Non-adiabatic MD simulation starting from S2 and S3 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.

  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. Investigating the Mechanism of Peptide Aggregation: Insights from Mixed Monte Carlo-Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    PubMed Central

    Meli, Massimiliano; Morra, Giulia; Colombo, Giorgio

    2008-01-01

    The early stages of peptide aggregation are currently not accessible by experimental techniques at atomic resolution. In this article, we address this problem through the application of a mixed simulation scheme in which a preliminary coarse-grained Monte Carlo analysis of the free-energy landscape is used to identify representative conformations of the aggregates and subsequent all-atom molecular dynamics simulations are used to analyze in detail possible pathways for the stabilization of oligomers. This protocol was applied to systems consisting of multiple copies of the model peptide GNNQQNY, whose detailed structures in the aggregated state have been recently solved in another study. The analysis of the various trajectories provides dynamical and structural insight into the details of aggregation. In particular, the simulations suggest a hierarchical mechanism characterized by the initial formation of stable parallel β-sheet dimers and identify the formation of the polar zipper motif as a fundamental feature for the stabilization of initial oligomers. Simulation results are consistent with experimentally derived observations and provide an atomically detailed view of the putative initial stages of fibril formation. PMID:18263661

  5. New Insights into Molecular Mechanisms of Immune Complex-Induced Injury in Lung

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Peter A.; Fattahi, Fatemeh; Bosmann, Markus

    2016-01-01

    While the phlogistic activities of IgM or IgG immune complexes (ICs) have been well established as complement-activating agents and seem likely to play important roles in humans with vasculitis, certain types of glomerulonephritis as well as in a variety of autoimmune diseases, the predominant clinical strategies have involved the use of immunosuppressive or anti-inflammatory drugs. Over the past decade, new insights into molecular events developing during IC models in rodents have identified new phlogistic products that may be candidates for therapeutic blockade. Extracellular histones, located in the web-like structures of neutrophil extracellular traps, are released from complement-activated polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) downstream of IC deposition. Extracellular histones appear to be a new class of highly tissue-damaging products derived from complement-activated PMNs. Histones have also been discovered in cell-free broncho-alveolar lavage fluids from humans with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Recent studies emphasize that in the setting of ARDS-like reactions in rodents, extracellular histones are released and are exceedingly proinflammatory, tissue damaging, and prothrombotic. Such studies suggest that in humans with ARDS, extracellular histones may represent therapeutic targets for blockade. PMID:27014266

  6. 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.

  7. Insights into Medium-chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Structure by Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Bonito, Cátia A; Leandro, Paula; Ventura, Fátima V; Guedes, Rita C

    2016-08-01

    The medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) is a mitochondrial enzyme that catalyzes the first step of mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation (mFAO) pathway. Its deficiency is the most common genetic disorder of mFAO. Many of the MCAD disease-causing variants, including the most common p.K304E variant, show loss of function due to protein misfolding. Herein, we used molecular dynamics simulations to provide insights into the structural stability and dynamic behavior of MCAD wild-type (MCADwt) and validate a structure that would allow reliable new studies on its variants. Our results revealed that in both proteins the flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) has an important structural role on the tetramer stability and also in maintaining the volume of the enzyme catalytic pockets. We confirmed that the presence of substrate changes the dynamics of the catalytic pockets and increases FAD affinity. A comparison between the porcine MCADwt (pMCADwt) and human MCADwt (hMCADwt) structures revealed that both proteins are essentially similar and that the reversion of the double mutant E376G/T255E of hMCAD enzyme does not affect the structure of the protein neither its behavior in simulation. Our validated hMCADwt structure is crucial for complementing and accelerating the experimental studies aiming for the discovery and development of potential stabilizers of MCAD variants as candidates for the treatment of MCAD deficiency (MCADD).

  8. Structural and functional insights into the conductive pili of Geobacter sulfurreducens revealed in molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Feliciano, G T; Steidl, R J; Reguera, G

    2015-09-14

    Geobacter sulfurreducens (GS) electronically connects with extracellular electron acceptors using conductive protein filaments or pili. To gain insights into their role as biological nanowires, we investigated the structural dynamics of the GS pilus in solution via molecular dynamics simulations. In the model, all of the pilin's aromatics clustered as a right-handed helical band along the pilus, maintaining inter-aromatic distances and dimer configurations optimal for multistep hopping. The aromatics were interspersed within the regions of highest negative potential, which influenced the type and configuration of the aromatic contacts and the rates of electron transfer. Small foci of positive potential were also present but were neutralized within uncharged regions, thus minimizing charge trapping. Consistent with the model predictions, mutant strains with reduced aromatic contacts or negative potentials had defects in pili functions such as the reduction of Fe(III) oxides and electrodes. The results therefore support the notion of a pilus fiber evolved to function as an electronic conduit between the cell and extracellular electron acceptors.

  9. 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.

  10. Molecular insights into the binding of phosphoinositides to the TH domain region of TIPE proteins.

    PubMed

    Antony, Priya; Baby, Bincy; Vijayan, Ranjit

    2016-11-01

    Phosphatidylinositols and their phosphorylated derivatives, phosphoinositides, play a central role in regulating diverse cellular functions. These phospholipids have been shown to interact with the hydrophobic TH domain of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α-induced protein 8 (TIPE) family of proteins. However, the precise mechanism of interaction of these lipids is unclear. Here we report the binding mode and interactions of these phospholipids in the TH domain, as elucidated using molecular docking and simulations. Results indicate that phosphoinositides bind to the TH domain in a similar way by inserting their lipid tails in the hydrophobic cavity. The exposed head group is stabilized by interactions with critical positively charged residues on the surface of these proteins. Further MD simulations confirmed the dynamic stability of these lipids in the TH domain. This computational analysis thus provides insight into the binding mode of phospholipids in the TH domain of the TIPE family of proteins. Graphical abstract A phosphoinositide (phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate; PtdIns4P) docked to TIPE2.

  11. 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

  12. New insights into the molecular diagnosis and management of heritable thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections.

    PubMed

    Campens, Laurence; Renard, Marjolijn; Callewaert, Bert; Coucke, Paul; De Backer, Julie; De Paepe, Anne

    2013-01-01

    Since the identification of the fibrillin‑1 gene as the causal gene for Marfan syndrome, our knowledge of molecular genetics and the applicability of genetic testing for heritable thoracic aneurysms and dissections (H-TAD) in clinical practice have increased substantially. Several new syndromes related to H-TAD have been described and the list of mutated genes in syndromal and nonsyndromal H-TAD is rapidly expanding. This knowledge has led to a significant improvement of our insight into the underlying pathophysiology of H-TAD resulting in new opportunities for targeted treatment, as well as in improved risk stratification. Clinicians involved in the care for H-TAD patients require a basic knowledge of the disease entities and need to be correctly informed on the applicability of genetic testing in their patients and families. Gene‑tailored treatment and management should now be considered as part of good clinical practice. We provide a systematic overview of genetic H-TAD entities and practical recommendations for genetic testing and patient management.

  13. Mechanism for cocaine blocking the transport of dopamine: insights from molecular modeling and dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xiaoqin; Gu, Howard H; Zhan, Chang-Guo

    2009-11-12

    Molecular modeling and dynamics simulations have been performed to study how cocaine inhibits dopamine transporter (DAT) for the transport of dopamine. The computationally determined DAT-ligand binding mode is totally different from the previously proposed overlap binding mode in which cocaine- and dopamine-binding sites are the same (Beuming, T.; et al. Nat. Neurosci. 2008, 11, 780-789). The new cocaine-binding site does not overlap with, but is close to, the dopamine-binding site. Analysis of all results reveals that when cocaine binds to DAT, the initial binding site is likely the one modeled in this study because this binding site can naturally accommodate cocaine. Then cocaine may move to the dopamine-binding site after DAT makes some necessary conformational change and expands the binding site cavity. It has been demonstrated that cocaine may inhibit the transport of dopamine through both blocking the initial DAT-dopamine binding and reducing the kinetic turnover of the transporter following the DAT-dopamine binding. The relative contributions to the phenomenological inhibition of the transport of dopamine from blocking the initial binding and reducing the kinetic turnover can be different in different types of assays. The obtained general structural and mechanistic insights are consistent with available experimental data and could be valuable for guiding future studies toward understanding cocaine's inhibiting of other transporters.

  14. Molecular Insights into Plant-Microbial Processes and Carbon Storage in Mangrove Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romero, I. C.; Ziegler, S. E.; Fogel, M.; Jacobson, M.; Fuhrman, J. A.; Capone, D. G.

    2009-12-01

    Mangrove forests, in tropical and subtropical coastal zones, are among the most productive ecosystems, representing a significant global carbon sink. We report new molecular insights into the functional relationship among microorganisms, mangrove trees and sediment geochemistry. The interactions among these elements were studied in peat-based mangrove sediments (Twin Cays, Belize) subjected to a long-term fertilization experiment with N and P, providing an analog for eutrophication. The composition and δ13C of bacterial PLFA showed that bacteria and mangrove trees had similar nutrient limitation patterns (N in the fringe mangrove zone, P in the interior zone), and that fertilization with N or P can affect bacterial metabolic processes and bacterial carbon uptake (from diverse mangrove sources including leaf litter, live and dead roots). PCR amplified nifH genes showed a high diversity (26% nifH novel clones) and a remarkable spatial and temporal variability in N-fixing microbial populations in the rhizosphere, varying primarily with the abundance of dead roots, PO4-3 and H2S concentrations in natural and fertilized environments. Our results indicate that eutrophication of mangrove ecosystems has the potential to alter microbial organic matter remineralization and carbon release with important implications for the coastal carbon budget. In addition, we will present preliminary data from a new study exploring the modern calibration of carbon and hydrogen isotopes of plant leaf waxes as a proxy recorder of past environmental change in mangrove ecosystems.

  15. The topology and dynamics of protein complexes: insights from intra- molecular network theory.

    PubMed

    Hu, Guang; Zhou, Jianhong; Yan, Wenying; Chen, Jiajia; Shen, Bairong

    2013-03-01

    Intra-molecular interactions within complex systems play a pivotal role in the biological function. They form a major challenge to computational structural proteomics. The network paradigm treats any system as a set of nodes linked by edges corresponding to the relations existing between the nodes. It offers a computationally efficient tool to meet this challenge. Here, we review the recent advances in the use of network theory to study the topology and dynamics of protein- ligand and protein-nucleic acid complexes. The study of protein complexes networks not only involves the topological classification in term of network parameters, but also reveals the consistent picture of intrinsic functional dynamics. Current dynamical analysis focuses on a plethora of functional phenomena: the process of allosteric communication, the binding induced conformational changes, prediction and identification of binding sites of protein complexes, which will give insights into intra-protein complexes interactions. Furthermore, such computational results may elucidate a variety of known biological processes and experimental data, and thereby demonstrate a huge potential for applications such as drug design and functional genomics. Finally we describe some web-based resources for protein complexes, as well as protein network servers and related bioinformatics tools.

  16. Molecular Insight into the Line Tension of Bilayer Membranes Containing Hybrid Polyunsaturated Lipids.

    PubMed

    Rosetti, Carla M; Montich, Guillermo G; Pastorino, Claudio

    2017-02-23

    Line tension (γ) is a key parameter for the structure and dynamics of membrane domains. It was proposed that hybrid lipids, with mixed saturated and unsaturated acyl chains, participate in the relaxation of γ through different mechanisms. In this work, we used molecular dynamics simulations of the coarse-grained MARTINI model to measure γ in liquid-ordered-liquid-disordered (Lo-Ld) membranes, with increasingly larger relative proportion of the hybrid polyunsaturated lipid PAPC (4:0-5:4PC) to DAPC (di5:4PC) (i.e., XH). We also calculated an elastic contribution to γ by the Lo-Ld thickness mismatch, tilt moduli, and bending moduli, as predicted by theory. We found that an increase in XH decreased the overall γ value and the elastic contribution to line tension. The effect on the elastic line tension is driven by a reduced hydrophobic mismatch. Changes in the elastic constants of the phases due to an increase in XH produced a slightly larger elastic γ term. In addition to this elastic energy, other major contributions to γ are found in these model membranes. Increasing XH decreases both elastic and nonelastic contributions to γ. Finally, PAPC also behaves as a linactant, relaxing γ through an interfacial effect, as predicted by theoretical results. This study gives insight into the actual contribution of distinct energy terms to γ in bilayers containing polyunsaturated hybrid lipids.

  17. Dissecting the molecular structure of the Orion B cloud: insight from principal component analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gratier, Pierre; Bron, Emeric; Gerin, Maryvonne; Pety, Jérôme; Guzman, Viviana V.; Orkisz, Jan; Bardeau, Sébastien; Goicoechea, Javier R.; Le Petit, Franck; Liszt, Harvey; Öberg, Karin; Peretto, Nicolas; Roueff, Evelyne; Sievers, Albrech; Tremblin, Pascal

    2017-03-01

    Context. The combination of wideband receivers and spectrometers currently available in (sub-)millimeter observatories deliver wide-field hyperspectral imaging of the interstellar medium. Tens of spectral lines can be observed over degree wide fields in about 50 h. This wealth of data calls for restating the physical questions about the interstellar medium in statistical terms. Aims: We aim to gain information on the physical structure of the interstellar medium from a statistical analysis of many lines from different species over a large field of view, without requiring detailed radiative transfer or astrochemical modeling. Methods: We coupled a non-linear rescaling of the data with one of the simplest multivariate analysis methods, namely the principal component analysis, to decompose the observed signal into components that we interpret first qualitatively and then quantitatively based on our deep knowledge of the observed region and of the astrochemistry at play. Results: We identify three principal components, linear compositions of line brightness temperatures, that are correlated at various levels with the column density, the volume density and the UV radiation field. Conclusions: When sampling a sufficiently diverse mixture of physical parameters, it is possible to decompose the molecular emission in order to gain physical insight on the observed interstellar medium. This opens a new avenue for future studies of the interstellar medium. Based on observations carried out at the IRAM-30 m single-dish telescope. IRAM is supported by INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany) and IGN (Spain).

  18. Improved insights into protein thermal stability: from the molecular to the structurome scale.

    PubMed

    Pucci, Fabrizio; Rooman, Marianne

    2016-11-13

    Despite the intense efforts of the last decades to understand the thermal stability of proteins, the mechanisms responsible for its modulation still remain debated. In this investigation, we tackle this issue by showing how a multiscale perspective can yield new insights. With the help of temperature-dependent statistical potentials, we analysed some amino acid interactions at the molecular level, which are suggested to be relevant for the enhancement of thermal resistance. We then investigated the thermal stability at the protein level by quantifying its modification upon amino acid substitutions. Finally, a large scale analysis of protein stability-at the structurome level-contributed to the clarification of the relation between stability and natural evolution, thereby showing that the mutational profile of proteins differs according to their thermal properties. Some considerations on how the multiscale approach could help in unravelling the protein stability mechanisms are briefly discussed.This article is part of the themed issue 'Multiscale modelling at the physics-chemistry-biology interface'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  19. 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.

  20. Water accommodation on ice and organic surfaces: insights from environmental molecular beam experiments.

    PubMed

    Kong, Xiangrui; Thomson, Erik S; Papagiannakopoulos, Panos; Johansson, Sofia M; Pettersson, Jan B C

    2014-11-26

    Water uptake on aerosol and cloud particles in the atmosphere modifies their chemistry and microphysics with important implications for climate on Earth. Here, we apply an environmental molecular beam (EMB) method to characterize water accommodation on ice and organic surfaces. The adsorption of surface-active compounds including short-chain alcohols, nitric acid, and acetic acid significantly affects accommodation of D2O on ice. n-Hexanol and n-butanol adlayers reduce water uptake by facilitating rapid desorption and function as inefficient barriers for accommodation as well as desorption of water, while the effect of adsorbed methanol is small. Water accommodation is close to unity on nitric-acid- and acetic-acid-covered ice, and accommodation is significantly more efficient than that on the bare ice surface. Water uptake is inefficient on solid alcohols and acetic acid but strongly enhanced on liquid phases including a quasi-liquid layer on solid n-butanol. The EMB method provides unique information on accommodation and rapid kinetics on volatile surfaces, and these studies suggest that adsorbed organic and acidic compounds need to be taken into account when describing water at environmental interfaces.

  1. Estimating evapotranspiration under warmer climates: Insights from a semi-arid riparian system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serrat-Capdevila, Aleix; Scott, Russell L.; James Shuttleworth, W.; Valdés, Juan B.

    2011-03-01

    SummaryThis 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 semi-arid watershed in southern Arizona USA and found that the surface resistance to water vapor transport was closely related to the vapor pressure deficit. From this, we developed a relatively simple daily conductance model and included a growing season index to accurately replicate the onset and the end of the growing season. After the model was calibrated with observations from January 2003 to December 2007, it was used to predict daily evapotranspiration rates from 2000 to 2100 using Penman-Monteith equation and meteorological projections from the IPCC fourth assessment report climate model runs. Results indicate that atmospheric demand will be greater and lead to increased reference crop evaporation, but evapotranspiration rates at the studied field sites will remain largely unchanged due to stomatal regulation. However, the length of the growing season will increase leading to a greater annual riparian water use. These findings of increased riparian water use and atmospheric demand, likely affecting recharge processes, will lead to greater groundwater deficits and decreased streamflow and have important implications for water management in semi-arid regions.

  2. Merging information from different resources for new insights into climate change in the past and future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Shaopeng

    2004-07-01

    An understanding of climate history prior to industrialization is crucial to understanding the nature of the 20th century warming and to predicting the climate change in the near future. This study integrates the complementary information preserved in the global database of borehole temperatures [Huang et al., 2000], the 20th century meteorological record [Jones et al., 1999], and an annually resolved multi proxy model [Mann et al., 1999] for a more complete picture of the Northern Hemisphere temperature change over the past five centuries. The integrated reconstruction shows that the 20th century warming is a continuation to a long-term warming started before the onset of industrialization. However, the warming appears to have been accelerated towards the present day. Analysis of the reconstructed temperature and radiative forcing series [Crowley, 2000] offers an independent estimate of the transient climate-forcing response rate of 0.4-0.7 K per Wm-2 and predicts a temperature increase of 1.0-1.7 K in 50 years.

  3. 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).

  4. Landscape genomic insights into the historic migration of mountain hemlock in response to Holocene climate change.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Jeremy S; Gaddis, Keith D; Cairns, David M; Konganti, Kranti; Krutovsky, Konstantin V

    2017-03-01

    Untangling alternative historic dispersal pathways in long-lived tree species is critical to better understand how temperate tree species may respond to climatic change. However, disentangling these alternative pathways is often difficult. Emerging genomic technologies and landscape genetics techniques improve our ability to assess these pathways in natural systems. We address the question to what degree have microrefugial patches and long-distance dispersal been responsible for the colonization of mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana) on the Alaskan Kenai Peninsula. We used double-digest restriction-associated DNA sequencing (ddRADseq) to identify genetic variants across eight mountain hemlock sample sites on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. We assessed genetic diversity and linkage disequilibrium using landscape and population genetics approaches. Alternative historic dispersal pathways were assessed using discriminant analysis of principle components and electrical circuit theory. A combination of decreasing diversity, high gene flow, and landscape connectivity indicates that mountain hemlock colonization on the Kenai Peninsula is the result of long-distance dispersal. We found that contemporary climate best explained gene flow patterns and that isolation by resistance was a better model explaining genetic variation than isolation by distance. Our findings support the conclusion that mountain hemlock colonization is the result of several long-distance dispersal events following Pleistocene glaciation. The high dispersal capability suggests that mountain hemlock may be able to respond to future climate change and expand its range as new habitat opens along its northern distribution. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Cushing's disease: current medical therapies and molecular insights guiding future therapies.

    PubMed

    Lau, Darryl; Rutledge, Caleb; Aghi, Manish K

    2015-02-01

    OBJECT Cushing's disease (CD) can lead to significant morbidity secondary to hormonal sequelae or mass effect from the pituitary tumor. A transsphenoidal approach to resection of the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-secreting pituitary adenoma is the first-line treatment. However, in the setting in which patients are unable to undergo surgery, have acute hypercortisolism, or have recurrent disease, medical therapy can play an important role. The authors performed a systematic review to highlight the efficacy of medical treatment of CD and discuss novel molecular insights that could guide the development of future medical treatments of CD. METHODS A search on current medical therapies for CD was performed. After individual medical therapeutic agents for CD were identified, each agent underwent a formal systematic search. The phrase "(name of agent) and Cushing's" was used as a search term in PubMed for all years up to 2014. The abstract of each article was reviewed for studies that evaluated the efficacy of medical treatment of CD. Only studies that enrolled at least 20 patients were included in the review. RESULTS A total of 11 articles on 6 individual agents were included in this review. Specific medical therapies were categorized based on the level of action: pituitary directed (cabergoline and pasireotide), adrenal/steroidogenesis directed (ketoconazole, metyrapone, and mitotane), and end-tissue directed/cortisol receptors (mifepristone). The studies identified consisted of a mix of retrospective reviews and small clinical trials. Only pasireotide and mifepristone have undergone Phase III clinical trials, from which they garnered FDA approval for the treatment of patients with CD. Overall, agents targeting ACTH secretion and steroidogenesis were found to be quite effective in reducing urine free cortisol (UFC) to levels near normal. A significant reduction in UFC was observed in 45%-100% of patients and a majority of patients gained clinical improvement

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. From monsoon to marine productivity in the Arabian Sea: insights from glacial and interglacial climates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Mézo, Priscilla; Beaufort, Luc; Bopp, Laurent; Braconnot, Pascale; Kageyama, Masa

    2017-07-01

    The current-climate Indian monsoon is known to boost biological productivity in the Arabian Sea. This paradigm has been extensively used to reconstruct past monsoon variability from palaeo-proxies indicative of changes in surface productivity. Here, we test this paradigm by simulating changes in marine primary productivity for eight contrasted climates from the last glacial-interglacial cycle. We show that there is no straightforward correlation between boreal summer productivity of the Arabian Sea and summer monsoon strength across the different simulated climates. Locally, productivity is fuelled by nutrient supply driven by Ekman dynamics. Upward transport of nutrients is modulated by a combination of alongshore wind stress intensity, which drives coastal upwelling, and by a positive wind stress curl to the west of the jet axis resulting in upward Ekman pumping. To the east of the jet axis there is however a strong downward Ekman pumping due to a negative wind stress curl. Consequently, changes in coastal alongshore stress and/or curl depend on both the jet intensity and position. The jet position is constrained by the Indian summer monsoon pattern, which in turn is influenced by the astronomical parameters and the ice sheet cover. The astronomical parameters are indeed shown to impact wind stress intensity in the Arabian Sea through large-scale changes in the meridional gradient of upper-tropospheric temperature. However, both the astronomical parameters and the ice sheets affect the pattern of wind stress curl through the position of the sea level depression barycentre over the monsoon region (20-150° W, 30° S-60° N). The combined changes in monsoon intensity and pattern lead to some higher glacial productivity during the summer season, in agreement with some palaeo-productivity reconstructions.

  11. 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. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Insights into soil carbon dynamics across climatic and geologic gradients from temporally-resolved radiocarbon measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Voort, T. S.; Hagedorn, F.; Mannu, U.; Walthert, L.; McIntyre, C.; Eglinton, T. I.

    2016-12-01

    Soil carbon constitutes the largest terrestrial reservoir of organic carbon, and therefore quantifying soil organic matter dynamics (carbon turnover, stocks and fluxes) across spatial gradients is essential for an understanding of the carbon cycle and the impacts of global change. In particular, links between soil carbon dynamics and different climatic and compositional factors remains poorly understood. Radiocarbon constitutes a powerful tool for unraveling soil carbon dynamics. Temporally-resolved radiocarbon measurements, which take advantage of "bomb-radiocarbon"-driven changes in atmospheric 14C, enable further constraints to be placed on C turnover times. These in turn can yield more precise flux estimates for both upper and deeper soil horizons. This project combines bulk radiocarbon measurements on a suite of soil profiles spanning strong climatic (MAT 1.3-9.2°C, MAP 600 to 2100 mm m-2y-1) and geologic gradients with a more in-depth approach for a subset of locations. For this subset, temporal and carbon-fraction 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). Resulting temporally-resolved turnover estimates are coupled to carbon stocks, fluxes across this wide range of forest ecosystems and are examined in the context of environmental drivers (temperature, precipitation, primary production and soil moisture) as well as composition (sand, silt and clay content). Statistical analysis on the region-scale - correlating radiocarbon signature with climatic variables such as temperature, precipitation, primary production and elevation - indicates that composition rather than climate is a key driver of ­­Δ14C signatures. Estimates of carbon turnover, stocks and fluxes derived from temporally-resolved measurements highlight the pivotal role of soil moisture as a

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Insights into scFv:drug binding using the molecular dynamics simulation and free energy calculation.

    PubMed

    Hu, Guodong; Zhang, Qinggang; Chen, L Y

    2011-08-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculation have been performed to study how the single-chain variable fragment (scFv) binds methamphetamine (METH) and amphetamine (AMP). The structures of the scFv:METH and the scFv:AMP complexes are analyzed by examining the time-dependence of their RMSDs, by analyzing the distance between some key atoms of the selected residues, and by comparing the averaged structures with their corresponding crystallographic structures. It is observed that binding an AMP to the scFv does not cause significant changes to the binding pocket of the scFv:ligand complex. The binding free energy of scFv:AMP without introducing an extra water into the binding pocket is much stronger than scFv:METH. This is against the first of the two scenarios postulated in the experimental work of Celikel et al. (Protein Science 18, 2336 (2009)). However, adding a water to the AMP (at the position of the methyl group of METH), the binding free energy of the scFv:AMP-H2O complex, is found to be significantly weaker than scFv:METH. This is consistent with the second of the two scenarios given by Celikel et al. Decomposition of the binding energy into ligand-residue pair interactions shows that two residues (Tyr175 and Tyr177) have nearly-zero interactions with AMP in the scFv:AMP-H2O complex, whereas their interactions with METH in the scFv:METH complex are as large as -0.8 and -0.74 kcal mol(-1). The insights gained from this study may be helpful in designing more potent antibodies in treating METH abuse.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-09

    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. 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. 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.

  20. Absolute Molecular Orientation of Isopropanol at Ceria (100) Surfaces: Insight into Catalytic Selectivity from the Interfacial Structure

    DOE PAGES

    Doughty, Benjamin; Goverapet Srinivasan, Sriram; Bryantsev, Vyacheslav S.; ...

    2017-06-12

    The initial mechanistic steps underlying heterogeneous chemical catalysis can be described in a framework where the composition, structure, and orientation of molecules adsorbed to reactive interfaces are known. However, extracting this vital information is the limiting step in most cases due in part to challenges in probing the interfacial monolayer with enough chemical specificity to characterize the surface molecular constituents. These challenges are exacerbated at complex or spatially heterogeneous interfaces where competing processes and a distribution of local environments can uniquely drive chemistry. To address these limitations, this work presents a distinctive combination of materials synthesis, surface specific optical experiments,more » and theory to probe and understand molecular structure at catalytic interfaces. Specifically, isopropanol was adsorbed to surfaces of the model CeO2 catalyst that were synthesized with only the (100) facet exposed. Vibrational sum-frequency generation was used to probe the molecular monolayer, and with the guidance of density functional theory calculations, was used to extract the structure and absolute molecular orientation of isopropanol at the CeO2 (100) surface. Our results show that isopropanol is readily deprotonated at the surface, and through the measured absolute molecular orientation of isopropanol, we obtain new insight into the selectivity of the (100) surface to form propylene. Our findings reveal key insight into the chemical and physical phenomena taking place at pristine interfaces thereby pointing to intuitive structural arguments to describe catalytic selectivity in more complex systems.« less

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Climate Variability in the Antarctic Peninsula: Insights from the 2010 Bruce Plateau Ice Core

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosley-Thompson, E. S.; Goodwin, B. P.; Sierra, R.; Lin, P.; Miller, D.; Thompson, L. G.; Kenny, D. V.

    2013-12-01

    A new ice core was drilled to bedrock (448.12 m) in 2010 on the Bruce Plateau (BP) ice field (66.03°S; 64.07°W; 1975.5 masl) in the northern Antarctic Peninsula (AP). This is the second ice core, the 2008 James Ross Island (JRI) core was the first, in the AP to reach bedrock and thereby capture the entire record preserved at the drill site. There are just a handful of multi-century long ice core records from the AP, most extending back less than 500 years. The very high annual mass accumulation on the BP (~1.8 m w.e. from 1900 to 2009 CE) allows precise layer counting back to 1400 CE and with temporal constraints by known volcanic eruptions the record is annually resolved back to 1250 CE. The δ18O of individual samples correlates well with temperature observations at Rothera Station (1977 to 2009) which allows calculation of monthly estimates of mass accumulation. These reveal a late winter/ early spring precipitation maximum which imparts a seasonal bias to the climate signals closely linked to wet deposition (e.g., δ18O, various chemical species). The annually resolved records of δ18O and mass accumulation provide proxy-based histories of temperature and precipitation. Comparison with meteorological observations indicates that the BP δ18O record provides a reliable proxy of mean annual air temperature along the west side of the AP. The resulting δ18O-inferred air temperatures for the last 600 years reveal multi-decadal scale variability with warm conditions during some periods exceeding that of the last few decades. Extracting the annual accumulation history is complicated by layer thinning at depth and to reconstruct annual layer thicknesses a Dansgaard-Johnsen model configured for flank flow was applied. The resulting record indicates that over the last 600 years the average annual mass accumulation (precipitation) rises slightly until ~1800 CE (~2.3 m w.e.) after which it declines to a minimum (~1.5 m w.e.) around 1950 CE. Accumulation then rises

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Climate-Induced Disasters in the Livestock Sector in Mongolia: Reconstructions and Dynamical Insights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davi, N. K.; Lyon, B.; D'Arrigo, R.; Pederson, N.; Leland, C.; Curtis, A.

    2012-12-01

    Mongolia is a remote, semiarid nation heavily dependent on herding and animal resources, which makes the country especially vulnerable to climatic extremes. Over the past decade, Mongolia has undergone several climate-induced disasters resulting in widespread livestock loss and economic hardship. The climatological events responsible for this widespread mortality are commonly called 'dzud', defined as severe summer drought followed by a very harsh winter. The frequency and severity of dzuds may now be on the rise because of global warming coupled with shifts in land-use. Yet, despite great cost to Mongolia's livestock, humans and economy, knowledge of the causes, mechanisms and long-term variability of such events is largely lacking. Here, we utilize a network of drought-sensitive tree-ring data across Mongolia to capture long-term summer drought patterns. These hydrological reconstructions are critical for Mongolia, particularly if alterations in streamflow are being considered and because of the potential negative impacts of drought on the animal agriculture sector. In Eastern Mongolia we find that variations in streamflow have been much greater in the past than what is seen in the instrumental record. While recent droughts are severe and disturbing economic and ecological systems in Mongolia and it appears that eastern Mongolia is drying, the drying trend since the late 1900s might in fact be the result of a return to more characteristic hydroclimatic conditions of the past four centuries in Mongolia after a prolonged era of repeated and extended wet episodes. Decadal length droughts and pluvials are not uncommon in the context of the past four centuries. We also evaluate the effects of drought and pluvials on grassland productivity and the relation to livestock mortality rates over the past 50 years. The historical dzud years and observations are used to characterize both large and regional scale atmospheric circulation features (and possible teleconnections

  7. Climate control on ancestral population dynamics: insight from Patagonian fish phylogeography.

    PubMed

    Ruzzante, Daniel E; Walde, Sandra J; Gosse, John C; Cussac, Victor E; Habit, Evelyn; Zemlak, Tyler S; Adams, Emily D M

    2008-05-01

    Changes in lake and stream habitats during the growth and retreat of Pleistocene glaciers repeatedly altered the spatial distributions and population sizes of the aquatic fauna of the southern Andes. Here, we use variation in mtDNA control region sequences to infer the temporal dynamics of two species of southern Andean fish during the past few million years. At least five important climate events were associated with major demographic changes: (i) the widespread glaciations of the mid-Pliocene (c. 3.5 Ma); (ii) the largest Patagonian glaciation (1.1 Ma); (iii) the coldest Pleistocene glaciation as indicated by stacked marine delta(18)O (c. 0.7 Ma); (iv) the last southern Patagonian glaciation to reach the Atlantic coast (180 ka); and (v) the last glacial maximum (LGM, 23-25,000 years ago). The colder-water inhabitant, Galaxias platei, underwent a strong bottleneck during the LGM and its haplotype diversity coalesces c. 0.7 Ma. In contrast, the more warm-adapted and widely distributed Percichthys trucha showed continuous growth through the last two glacial cycles but went through an important bottleneck c. 180,000 years ago, at which time populations east of the Andes may have been eliminated. Haplotype diversity of the most divergent P. trucha populations, found west of the Andes, coalesces c. 3.2 Ma. The demographic timelines obtained for the two species thus illustrate the continent-wide response of aquatic life in Patagonia to climate change during the Pleistocene, but also show how differing ecological traits and distributions led to distinctive responses.

  8. The simulated climate of the Last Glacial Maximum and insights into the global carbon cycle.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buchanan, P. J.; Matear, R.; Lenton, A.; Phipps, S. J.; Chase, Z.; Etheridge, D. M.

    2016-12-01

    The ocean's ability to store large quantities of carbon, combined with the millennial longevity over which this reservoir is overturned, has implicated the ocean as a key driver of glacial-interglacial climates. However, the combination of processes that cause an accumulation of carbon within the ocean during glacial periods is still under debate. Here we present simulations of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) using the CSIRO Mk3L-COAL Earth System Model to test the contribution of key biogeochemical processes to ocean carbon storage. For the coupled LGM simulation, we find that significant cooling (3.2 °C), expanded minimum (Northern Hemisphere: 105 %; Southern Hemisphere: 225 %) and maximum (Northern Hemisphere: 145 %; Southern Hemisphere: 120 %) sea ice cover, and a reorganisation of the overturning circulation caused significant changes in ocean biogeochemical fields. The coupled LGM simulation stores an additional 322 Pg C in the deep ocean relative to the Pre-Industrial (PI) simulation. However, 839 Pg C is lost from the upper ocean via equilibration with a lower atmospheric CO2 concentration, causing a net loss of 517 Pg C relative to the PI simulation. The LGM deep ocean also experiences an oxygenation (>100 mmol O2 m-3) and deepening of the aragonite saturation depth (> 2,000 m deeper) at odds with proxy reconstructions. Hence, these physical changes cannot in isolation produce plausible biogeochemistry nor the required drawdown of atmospheric CO2 of 80-100 ppm at the LGM. With modifications to key biogeochemical processes, which include an increased export of organic matter due to a simulated release from iron limitation, a deepening of remineralisation and decreased inorganic carbon export driven by cooler temperatures, we find that the carbon content in the glacial oceanic reservoir can be increased (326 Pg C) to a level that is sufficient to explain the reduction in atmospheric and terrestrial carbon at the LGM (520 ± 400 Pg C). These modifications

  9. The simulated climate of the Last Glacial Maximum and insights into the global marine carbon cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buchanan, Pearse J.; Matear, Richard J.; Lenton, Andrew; Phipps, Steven J.; Chase, Zanna; Etheridge, David M.

    2016-12-01

    The ocean's ability to store large quantities of carbon, combined with the millennial longevity over which this reservoir is overturned, has implicated the ocean as a key driver of glacial-interglacial climates. However, the combination of processes that cause an accumulation of carbon within the ocean during glacial periods is still under debate. Here we present simulations of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) using the CSIRO Mk3L-COAL (Carbon-Ocean-Atmosphere-Land) earth system model to test the contribution of physical and biogeochemical processes to ocean carbon storage. For the LGM simulation, we find a significant global cooling of the surface ocean (3.2 °C) and the expansion of both minimum and maximum sea ice cover broadly consistent with proxy reconstructions. The glacial ocean stores an additional 267 Pg C in the deep ocean relative to the pre-industrial (PI) simulation due to stronger Antarctic Bottom Water formation. However, 889 Pg C is lost from the upper ocean via equilibration with a lower atmospheric CO2 concentration and a global decrease in export production, causing a net loss of carbon relative to the PI ocean. The LGM deep ocean also experiences an oxygenation ( > 100 mmol O2 m-3) and deepening of the calcite saturation horizon (exceeds the ocean bottom) at odds with proxy reconstructions. With modifications to key biogeochemical processes, which include an increased export of organic matter due to a simulated release from iron limitation, a deepening of remineralisation and decreased inorganic carbon export driven by cooler temperatures, we find that the carbon content of the glacial ocean can be sufficiently increased (317 Pg C) to explain the reduction in atmospheric and terrestrial carbon at the LGM (194 ± 2 and 330 ± 400 Pg C, respectively). Assuming an LGM-PI difference of 95 ppm pCO2, we find that 55 ppm can be attributed to the biological pump, 28 ppm to circulation changes and the remaining 12 ppm to solubility. The biogeochemical

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Insight into climate change from the carbon exchange of biocrusts utilizing non-rainfall water.

    PubMed

    Ouyang, Hailong; Hu, Chunxiang

    2017-05-31

    Biocrusts are model ecosystems of global change studies. However, light and non-rainfall water (NRW) were previously few considered. Different biocrust types further aggravated the inconsistence. So carbon-exchange of biocrusts (cyanobacteria crusts-AC1/AC2; cyanolichen crust-LC1; chlorolichen crust-LC2; moss crust-MC) utilizing NRW at various temperatures and light-intensities were determined under simulated and insitu mesocosm experiments. Carbon input of all biocrusts were negatively correlated with experimental temperature under all light-intensity with saturated water and stronger light with equivalent NRW, but positively correlated with temperature under weak light with equivalent NRW. LCPs and R/Pg of AC1 were lowest, followed in turn by AC2, LC2 and MC. Thus AC1 had most opportunities to use NRW, and 2.5 °C warming did cause significant changes of carbon exchange. Structural equation models further revealed that air-temperature was most important for carbon-exchange of ACs, but equally important as NRW for LC2 and MC; positive influence of warming on carbon-input in ACs was much stronger than the latter. Therefore, temperature effect on biocrust carbon-input depends on both moisture and light. Meanwhile, the role of NRW, transitional states between ACs, and obvious carbon-fixation differences between lichen crusts should be fully considered in the future study of biocrusts responding to climate change.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Climates

    Treesearch

    John R. Jones; Norbert V. DeByle

    1985-01-01

    The broad range of aspen in North America is evidence of its equally broad tolerance of wide variations in climate (Fowells 1965). Given open space for establishment and not too severe competition from other plants, aspen can survive from timberline on the tundra's edge to very warm temperate climates, and from the wet maritime climates of the coasts to very...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Sharing the cost of river basin adaptation portfolios to climate change: Insights from social justice and cooperative game theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girard, Corentin; Rinaudo, Jean-Daniel; Pulido-Velazquez, Manuel

    2016-10-01

    The adaptation of water resource systems to the potential impacts of climate change requires mixed portfolios of supply and demand adaptation measures. The issue is not only to select efficient, robust, and flexible adaptation portfolios but also to find equitable strategies of cost allocation among the stakeholders. Our work addresses such cost allocation problems by applying two different theoretical approaches: social justice and cooperative game theory in a real case study. First of all, a cost-effective portfolio of adaptation measures at the basin scale is selected using a least-cost optimization model. Cost allocation solutions are then defined based on economic rationality concepts from cooperative game theory (the Core). Second, interviews are conducted to characterize stakeholders' perceptions of social justice principles associated with the definition of alternatives cost allocation rules. The comparison of the cost allocation scenarios leads to contrasted insights in order to inform the decision-making process at the river basin scale and potentially reap the efficiency gains from cooperation in the design of river basin adaptation portfolios.

  4. Molecular recognition of avirulence protein (avrxa5) by eukaryotic transcription factor xa5 of rice (Oryza sativa L.): insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Dehury, Budheswar; Maharana, Jitendra; Sahoo, Bikash Ranjan; Sahu, Jagajjit; Sen, Priyabrata; Modi, Mahendra Kumar; Barooah, Madhumita

    2015-04-01

    The avirulence gene avrxa5 of bacterial blight pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) recognized by the resistant rice lines having corresponding resistance (xa5) gene in a gene-for-gene manner. We used a combinatorial approach involving protein-protein docking, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and binding free energy calculations to gain novel insights into the gene-for-gene mechanism that governs the direct interaction of R-Avr protein. From the best three binding poses predicted by molecular docking, MD simulations were performed to explore the dynamic binding mechanism of xa5 and avrxa5. Molecular Mechanics/Poisson Boltzmann Surface Area (MM/PBSA) techniques were employed to calculate the binding free energy and to uncover the thriving force behind the molecular recognition of avrxa5 by eukaryotic transcription factor xa5. Binding free energy analysis revealed van der Waals term as the most constructive component that favors the xa5 and avrxa5 interaction. In addition, hydrogen bonds (H-bonds) and essential electrostatic interactions analysis highlighted amino acid residues Lys54/Asp870, Lys56/Ala868, Lys56/Ala866, Lys56/Glu871, Ile59/His862, Gly61/Phe858, His62/Arg841, His62/Leu856, Ser101/Ala872 and Ser105/Asp870 plays pivotal role for the energetically stability of the R-Avr complex. Insights gained from the present study are expected to unveil the molecular mechanisms that define the transcriptional activator mediated transcriptome modification in host plants. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. An Insight towards Conceptual Understanding: Looking into the Molecular Structures of Compounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Uyulgan, Melis Arzu; Akkuzu, Nalan

    2016-01-01

    The subject of molecular structures is one of the most important and complex subject in chemistry which a majority of the undergraduate students have difficulties to understand its concepts and characteristics correctly. To comprehend the molecular structures and their characteristics the students need to understand related subjects such as Lewis…

  10. Molecular-level methods for monitoring soil organic matter responses to global climate change.

    PubMed

    Feng, Xiaojuan; Simpson, Myrna J

    2011-05-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) is one of the most complex natural mixtures on earth. It plays a critical role in many ecosystem functions and is directly responsible for sustaining life on our planet. However, due to its chemical heterogeneity, SOM composition at molecular-level is still not completely clear. Consequently, the response of SOM to global climate change is difficult to predict. Here we highlight applications of two complementary molecular-level methods (biomarkers and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)) for ascertaining SOM responses to various environmental changes. Biomarker methods that measure highly specific molecules determine the source and decomposition stage of SOM components. However, biomarkers only make up a small fraction of SOM components because much of SOM is non-extractable. By comparison, (13)C solid-state NMR allows measurement of SOM in its entirety with little or no pretreatment but suffers from poor resolution (due to overlapping of SOM components) and insensitivity, and thus subtle changes in SOM composition may not always be detected. Alternatively, (1)H solution-state NMR methods offer an added benefit of improved resolution and sensitivity but can only analyze SOM components that are fully soluble (humic type molecules) in an NMR compatible solvent. We discuss how these complementary methods have been employed to monitor SOM responses to: soil warming in a temperate forest, elevated atmospheric CO(2) and nitrogen fertilization in a temperate forest, and permafrost thawing in the Canadian High Arctic. These molecular-level methods allow some novel and important observations of soil dynamics and ecosystem function in a changing climate.

  11. Climate Variability and Surface Processes in Tectonically Active Orogens: Insights From the Southern Central Andes and the Northwest Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strecker, M. R.; Bookhagen, B.

    2008-12-01

    an increase in the fluvial efficiency and connectivity. Farther into the orogen interior, however, the episodically occurring increase in the availability of material may have contributed to the overall long-term reduction of relief due to reduced fluvial connectivity and the inability of rivers to evacuate material to the foreland. Pronounced coeval variations in erosion and depositional processes therefore emphasize the far-reaching impact of climate variability on the surface-process regime and hence provide insights into intensified episodes of landscape evolution in orogens. In addition, the present-day effects of climatic variability on the surface-process system may serve as a model for similar intensified processes that might be expected in a future global change scenario.

  12. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. 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

  14. Acinar Cell Carcinoma of the Pancreas: Overview of Clinicopathologic Features and Insights into the Molecular Pathology.

    PubMed

    La Rosa, Stefano; Sessa, Fausto; Capella, Carlo

    2015-01-01

    Acinar cell carcinomas (ACCs) of the pancreas are rare pancreatic neoplasms accounting for about 1-2% of pancreatic tumors in adults and about 15% in pediatric subjects. They show different clinical symptoms at presentation, different morphological features, different outcomes, and different molecular alterations. This heterogeneous clinicopathological spectrum may give rise to difficulties in the clinical and pathological diagnosis with consequential therapeutic and prognostic implications. The molecular mechanisms involved in the onset and progression of ACCs are still not completely understood, although in recent years, several attempts have been made to clarify the molecular mechanisms involved in ACC biology. In this paper, we will review the main clinicopathological and molecular features of pancreatic ACCs of both adult and pediatric subjects to give the reader a comprehensive overview of this rare tumor type.

  15. Acinar Cell Carcinoma of the Pancreas: Overview of Clinicopathologic Features and Insights into the Molecular Pathology

    PubMed Central

    La Rosa, Stefano; Sessa, Fausto; Capella, Carlo

    2015-01-01

    Acinar cell carcinomas (ACCs) of the pancreas are rare pancreatic neoplasms accounting for about 1–2% of pancreatic tumors in adults and about 15% in pediatric subjects. They show different clinical symptoms at presentation, different morphological features, different outcomes, and different molecular alterations. This heterogeneous clinicopathological spectrum may give rise to difficulties in the clinical and pathological diagnosis with consequential therapeutic and prognostic implications. The molecular mechanisms involved in the onset and progression of ACCs are still not completely understood, although in recent years, several attempts have been made to clarify the molecular mechanisms involved in ACC biology. In this paper, we will review the main clinicopathological and molecular features of pancreatic ACCs of both adult and pediatric subjects to give the reader a comprehensive overview of this rare tumor type. PMID:26137463

  16. Evaluating the Effectiveness of Web-based Climate Resilience Decision Support Tools: Insights from Coastal New Jersey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brady, M.; Lathrop, R.; Auermuller, L. M.; Leichenko, R.

    2016-12-01

    Despite the recent surge of Web-based decision support tools designed to promote resiliency in U.S. coastal communities, to-date there has been no systematic study of their effectiveness. This study demonstrates a method to evaluate important aspects of effectiveness of four Web map tools designed to promote consideration of climate risk information in local decision-making and planning used in coastal New Jersey. In summer 2015, the research team conducted in-depth phone interviews with users of one regulatory and three non-regulatory Web map tools using a semi-structured questionnaire. The interview and analysis design drew from a combination of effectiveness evaluation approaches developed in software and information usability, program evaluation, and management information system (MIS) research. Effectiveness assessment results were further analyzed and discussed in terms of conceptual hierarchy of system objectives defined by respective tool developer and user organizations represented in the study. Insights from the interviews suggest that users rely on Web tools as a supplement to desktop and analog map sources because they provide relevant and up-to-date information in a highly accessible and mobile format. The users also reported relying on multiple information sources and comparison between digital and analog sources for decision support. However, with respect to this decision support benefit, users were constrained by accessibility factors such as lack of awareness and training with some tools, lack of salient information such as planning time horizons associated with future flood scenarios, and environmental factors such as mandates restricting some users to regulatory tools. Perceptions of Web tool credibility seem favorable overall, but factors including system design imperfections and inconsistencies in data and information across platforms limited trust, highlighting a need for better coordination between tools. Contributions of the study include

  17. Molecular classifications of gastric cancers: Novel insights and possible future applications

    PubMed Central

    Garattini, Silvio Ken; Basile, Debora; Cattaneo, Monica; Fanotto, Valentina; Ongaro, Elena; Bonotto, Marta; Negri, Francesca V; Berenato, Rosa; Ermacora, Paola; Cardellino, Giovanni Gerardo; Giovannoni, Mariella; Pella, Nicoletta; Scartozzi, Mario; Antonuzzo, Lorenzo; Silvestris, Nicola; Fasola, Gianpiero; Aprile, Giuseppe

    2017-01-01

    Despite some notable advances in the systemic management of gastric cancer (GC), the prognosis of patients with advanced disease remains overall poor and their chance of cure is anecdotic. In a molecularly selected population, a median overall survival of 13.8 mo has been reached with the use of human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2) inhibitors in combination with chemotherapy, which has soon after become the standard of care for patients with HER2-overexpressing GC. Moreover, oncologists have recognized the clinical utility of conceiving cancers as a collection of different molecularly-driven entities rather than a single disease. Several molecular drivers have been identified as having crucial roles in other tumors and new molecular classifications have been recently proposed for gastric cancer as well. Not only these classifications allow the identification of different tumor subtypes with unique features, but also they serve as springboard for the development of different therapeutic strategies. Hopefully, the application of standard systemic chemotherapy, specific targeted agents, immunotherapy or even surgery in specific cancer subgroups will help maximizing treatment outcomes and will avoid treating patients with minimal chance to respond, therefore diluting the average benefit. In this review, we aim at elucidating the aspects of GC molecular subtypes, and the possible future applications of such molecular analyses. PMID:28567184

  18. Scombroid fishes provide novel insights into the trait/rate associations of molecular evolution.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Fan; Kitchen, Andrew; Burleigh, J Gordon; Miyamoto, Michael M

    2014-06-01

    The study of which life history traits primarily affect molecular evolutionary rates is often confounded by the covariance of these traits. Scombroid fishes (billfishes, tunas, barracudas, and their relatives) are unusual in that their mass-specific metabolic rate is positively associated with body size. This study exploits this atypical pattern of trait variation, which allows for direct tests of whether mass-specific metabolic rate or body size is the more important factor of molecular evolutionary rates. We inferred a phylogeny for scombroids from a supermatrix of molecular and morphological characters and used new phylogenetic comparative approaches to assess the associations of body size and mass-specific metabolic rate with substitution rate. As predicted by the body size hypothesis, there is a negative correlation between body size and substitution rate. However, unexpectedly, we also find a negative association between mass-specific metabolic and substitution rates. These relationships are supported by analyses of the total molecular data, separate mitochondrial and nuclear genes, and individual loci, and they are robust to phylogenetic uncertainty. The molecular evolutionary rates of scombroids are primarily tied to body size. This study demonstrates that groups with novel patterns of trait variation can be particularly informative for identifying which life history traits are the primary factors of molecular evolutionary rates.

  19. New Insights into Fluvial Carbon Responses to Future Forest Management and Climate Change Obtained from Multi-Scale Modelling of Biogeochemical Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oni, S. K.; Tiwari, T.; Futter, M. N.; Agren, A.; Teutschbein, C.; Ledesma, J.; Schelker, J.; Laudon, H.

    2014-12-01

    The boreal ecozone covers 2x107 km2 of the northern circumpolar region and includes 29% of the world's forests. The boreal consists of mosaic of forest/wetland landscape elements and stores about 500 Gt3 carbon (C) with a delicate sink-source C balance. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is the main form of C exported from boreal landscapes and is fundamental to global C cycling. This northern ecosystem is vulnerable to global climate change, and increasing demands for forest products threaten its surface water resources. So far, there have been no attempts to assess the combined impacts of climate change and forest management on the future DOC fluxes from boreal surface waters. While differences in model assumptions may have negligible effects on present day simulations, these differences could be amplified when projecting the future climate and land use change conditions. Here we use an ensemble of regional climate models and multi-scale models of biogeochemical processes to gain insights into uncertainties associated with climate change and forest management on C and runoff dynamics in boreal landscape. While there are significant uncertainties associated with model projections, our results show that climate change will be the main driver of long term DOC dynamics in meso- to large boreal catchments in the future. However, forestry intensifies hydrological processes and can lead to large DOC fluxes at the headwater scales.

  20. 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.

  1. Climate-driven tree mortality: insights from the pinon pine die-off in the United States

    Treesearch

    Jeffrey A. Hicke; Melanie J. B. Zeppel

    2013-01-01

    The global climate is changing, and a range of negative effects on plants has already been observed and will likely continue into the future. One of the most apparent consequences of climate change is widespread tree mortality (Fig. 1). Extensive tree die-offs resulting from recent climate change have been documented across a range of forest types on all forested...

  2. 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.

  3. Extending Molecular Signatures of Climatic and Environmental Change to the Mesozoic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brassell, S. C.

    2007-12-01

    The distributions, abundances and isotopic compositions of molecular constituents in sediments depend on their source organisms and the combination of environmental and climatic parameters that constrain or control their biosynthesis. Many such relationships are well documented and understood, thereby providing proxies of proven utility in paleoclimatic reconstructions. Thus, the temperature dependence in the extent of unsaturation in alkenones derived from prymnesiophyte algae, and in the proportion of ring structures in glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) synthesized by crenarchaeota enables determination of sea surface paleotemperatures from sedimentary records. This molecular approach presumes temporal uniformity in the controlling factors on biosynthesis of these lipids, and their survival in the geological record, notwithstanding the challenge of establishing ancient calibrations for such proxies. Thus, alkenone records from marine sediments document cooling at the Eocene/Oligocene boundary but cannot assess changes in ocean temperatures during the Cretaceous, unlike GDGTs, which record fluctuations in ocean temperatures during the Early Cretaceous, and even survive in Jurassic strata. Other molecular measures offer less precise, yet informative, indications of climate. For example, the occurrence of sterol ethers in Valanginian sediments from the mid-Pacific suggests some cooling at that time, since these compounds are only known to occur elsewhere in cold waters or upwelling systems. Molecular compositions can also attest to levels of oxygenation in marine systems. In particular, the occurrence of 13C-depleted isorenieratane indicates the presence of photosynthetic green sulfur bacteria, and therefore anoxic conditions, albeit perhaps short-lived. Intermittent occurrences of isorenieratane often alternate with the appearance of 2-methylhopanoids, which provide separate distinct evidence for variations in oxygenation, linked to circumstances

  4. 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.

  5. Lipid Interaction Sites on Channels, Transporters and Receptors: Recent Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    PubMed Central

    Hedger, George; Sansom, Mark S. P.

    2017-01-01

    Lipid molecules are able to selectively interact with specific sites on integral membrane proteins, and modulate their structure and function. Identification and characterisation of these sites is of importance for our understanding of the molecular basis of membrane protein function and stability, and may facilitate the design of lipid-like drug molecules. Molecular dynamics simulations provide a powerful tool for the identification of these sites, complementing advances in membrane protein structural biology and biophysics. We describe recent notable biomolecular simulation studies which have identified lipid interaction sites on a range of different membrane proteins. The sites identified in these simulation studies agree well with those identified by complementary experimental techniques. This demonstrates the power of the molecular dynamics approach in the prediction and characterization of lipid interaction sites on integral membrane proteins. PMID:26946244

  6. Permeation properties of the hair cell mechanotransducer channel provide insight into its molecular structure

    PubMed Central

    Pan, B.; Waguespack, J.; Schnee, M. E.; LeBlanc, C.

    2012-01-01

    Mechanoelectric transducer (MET) channels, located near stereocilia tips, are opened by deflecting the hair bundle of sensory hair cells. Defects in this process result in deafness. Despite this critical function, the molecular identity of MET channels remains a mystery. Inherent channel properties, particularly those associated with permeation, provide the backbone for the molecular identification of ion channels. Here, a novel channel rectification mechanism is identified, resulting in a reduced pore size at positive potentials. The apparent difference in pore dimensions results from Ca2+ binding within the pore, occluding permeation. Driving force for permeation at hyperpolarized potentials is increased because Ca2+ can more easily be removed from binding within the pore due to the presence of an electronegative external vestibule that dehydrates and concentrates permeating ions. Alterations in Ca2+ binding may underlie tonotopic and Ca2+-dependent variations in channel conductance. This Ca2+-dependent rectification provides targets for identifying the molecular components of the MET channel. PMID:22323630

  7. Molecular plasticity of beta-catenin: new insights from single-molecule measurements and MD simulation.

    PubMed

    Ritco-Vonsovici, Monica; Ababou, Abdessamad; Horton, Michael

    2007-09-01

    The multifunctional protein, beta-catenin, has essential roles in cell adhesion and, through the Wnt signaling pathway, in controlling cell differentiation, development, and generation of cancer. Could distinct molecular forms of beta-catenin underlie these two functions? Our single-molecule force spectroscopy of armadillo beta-catenin, with molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, suggests a model in which the cell generates various forms of beta-catenin, in equilibrium. We find beta-catenin and the transcriptional factor Tcf4 form two complexes with different affinities. Specific cellular response is achieved by the ligand binding to a particular matching preexisting conformer. Our MD simulation indicates that complexes derive from two conformers of the core region of the protein, whose preexisting molecular forms could arise from small variations in flexible regions of the beta-catenin main binding site. This mechanism for the generation of the various forms offers a route to tailoring future therapeutic strategies.

  8. Characterization of hairless (Hr) and FGF5 genes provides insights into the molecular basis of hair loss in cetaceans.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhuo; Wang, Zhengfei; Xu, Shixia; Zhou, Kaiya; Yang, Guang

    2013-02-09

    Hair is one of the main distinguishing characteristics of mammals and it has many important biological functions. Cetaceans originated from terrestrial mammals and they have evolved a series of adaptations to aquatic environments, which are of evolutionary significance. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying their aquatic adaptations have not been well explored. This study provided insights into the evolution of hair loss during the transition from land to water by investigating and comparing two essential regulators of hair follicle development and hair follicle cycling, i.e., the Hairless (Hr) and FGF5 genes, in representative cetaceans and their terrestrial relatives. The full open reading frame sequences of the Hr and FGF5 genes were characterized in seven cetaceans. The sequence characteristics and evolutionary analyses suggested the functional loss of the Hr gene in cetaceans, which supports the loss of hair during their full adaptation to aquatic habitats. By contrast, positive selection for the FGF5 gene was found in cetaceans where a series of positively selected amino acid residues were identified. This is the first study to investigate the molecular basis of the hair loss in cetaceans. Our investigation of Hr and FGF5, two indispensable regulators of the hair cycle, provide some new insights into the molecular basis of hair loss in cetaceans. The results suggest that positive selection for the FGF5 gene might have promoted the termination of hair growth and early entry into the catagen stage of hair follicle cycling. Consequently, the hair follicle cycle was disrupted and the hair was lost completely due to the loss of the Hr gene function in cetaceans. This suggests that cetaceans have evolved an effective and complex mechanism for hair loss.

  9. Characterization of hairless (Hr) and FGF5 genes provides insights into the molecular basis of hair loss in cetaceans

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Hair is one of the main distinguishing characteristics of mammals and it has many important biological functions. Cetaceans originated from terrestrial mammals and they have evolved a series of adaptations to aquatic environments, which are of evolutionary significance. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying their aquatic adaptations have not been well explored. This study provided insights into the evolution of hair loss during the transition from land to water by investigating and comparing two essential regulators of hair follicle development and hair follicle cycling, i.e., the Hairless (Hr) and FGF5 genes, in representative cetaceans and their terrestrial relatives. Results The full open reading frame sequences of the Hr and FGF5 genes were characterized in seven cetaceans. The sequence characteristics and evolutionary analyses suggested the functional loss of the Hr gene in cetaceans, which supports the loss of hair during their full adaptation to aquatic habitats. By contrast, positive selection for the FGF5 gene was found in cetaceans where a series of positively selected amino acid residues were identified. Conclusions This is the first study to investigate the molecular basis of the hair loss in cetaceans. Our investigation of Hr and FGF5, two indispensable regulators of the hair cycle, provide some new insights into the molecular basis of hair loss in cetaceans. The results suggest that positive selection for the FGF5 gene might have promoted the termination of hair growth and early entry into the catagen stage of hair follicle cycling. Consequently, the hair follicle cycle was disrupted and the hair was lost completely due to the loss of the Hr gene function in cetaceans. This suggests that cetaceans have evolved an effective and complex mechanism for hair loss. PMID:23394579

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Whole-genome duplication and molecular evolution in Cornus L. (Cornaceae) - Insights from transcriptome sequences.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yan; Xiang, Qiuyun; Manos, Paul S; Soltis, Douglas E; Soltis, Pamela S; Song, Bao-Hua; Cheng, Shifeng; Liu, Xin; Wong, Gane

    2017-01-01

    The pattern and rate of genome evolution have profound consequences in organismal evolution. Whole-genome duplication (WGD), or polyploidy, has been recognized as an important evolutionary mechanism of plant diversification. However, in non-model plants the molecular signals of genome duplications have remained largely unexplored. High-throughput transcriptome data from next-generation sequencing have set the stage for novel investigations of genome evolution using new bioinformatic and methodological tools in a phylogenetic framework. Here we compare ten de novo-assembled transcriptomes representing the major lineages of the angiosperm genus Cornus (dogwood) and relevant outgroups using a customized pipeline for analyses. Using three distinct approaches, molecular dating of orthologous genes, analyses of the distribution of synonymous substitutions between paralogous genes, and examination of substitution rates through time, we detected a shared WGD event in the late Cretaceous across all taxa sampled. The inferred doubling event coincides temporally with the paleoclimatic changes associated with the initial divergence of the genus into three major lineages. Analyses also showed an acceleration of rates of molecular evolution after WGD. The highest rates of molecular evolution were observed in the transcriptome of the herbaceous lineage, C. canadensis, a species commonly found at higher latitudes, including the Arctic. Our study demonstrates the value of transcriptome data for understanding genome evolution in closely related species. The results suggest dramatic increase in sea surface temperature in the late Cretaceous may have contributed to the evolution and diversification of flowering plants.

  14. Whole-genome duplication and molecular evolution in Cornus L. (Cornaceae) – Insights from transcriptome sequences

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Yan; Xiang, Qiuyun; Manos, Paul S.; Soltis, Douglas E.; Soltis, Pamela S.; Song, Bao-Hua; Cheng, Shifeng; Liu, Xin; Wong, Gane

    2017-01-01

    The pattern and rate of genome evolution have profound consequences in organismal evolution. Whole-genome duplication (WGD), or polyploidy, has been recognized as an important evolutionary mechanism of plant diversification. However, in non-model plants the molecular signals of genome duplications have remained largely unexplored. High-throughput transcriptome data from next-generation sequencing have set the stage for novel investigations of genome evolution using new bioinformatic and methodological tools in a phylogenetic framework. Here we compare ten de novo-assembled transcriptomes representing the major lineages of the angiosperm genus Cornus (dogwood) and relevant outgroups using a customized pipeline for analyses. Using three distinct approaches, molecular dating of orthologous genes, analyses of the distribution of synonymous substitutions between paralogous genes, and examination of substitution rates through time, we detected a shared WGD event in the late Cretaceous across all taxa sampled. The inferred doubling event coincides temporally with the paleoclimatic changes associated with the initial divergence of the genus into three major lineages. Analyses also showed an acceleration of rates of molecular evolution after WGD. The highest rates of molecular evolution were observed in the transcriptome of the herbaceous lineage, C. canadensis, a species commonly found at higher latitudes, including the Arctic. Our study demonstrates the value of transcriptome data for understanding genome evolution in closely related species. The results suggest dramatic increase in sea surface temperature in the late Cretaceous may have contributed to the evolution and diversification of flowering plants. PMID:28225773

  15. New insights into molecular diagnostic pathology of primary liver cancer: Advances and challenges.

    PubMed

    Cong, Wen-Ming; Wu, Meng-Chao

    2015-11-01

    Primary liver cancer (PLC) is one of the most common malignancies worldwide with increasing incidence and accounts for the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality. Traditional morphopathology primarily emphasizes qualitative diagnosis of PLC, which is not sufficient to resolve the major concern of increasing the long-term treatment efficacy of PLC in clinical management for the modern era. Since the beginning of the 21st century, molecular pathology has played an active role in the investigation of the evaluation of the metastatic potential of PLC, detection of drug targets, prediction of recurrence risks, analysis of clonal origins, evaluation of the malignancy trend of precancerous lesions, and determination of clinical prognosis. As a result, many new progresses have been obtained, and new strategies of molecular-pathological diagnosis have been formed. Moreover, the new types of pathobiological diagnosis indicator systems for PLC have been preliminarily established. These achievements provide valuable molecular pathology-based guide for clinical formulation of individualized therapy programs for PLC. This review article briefly summarizes some relevant progresses of molecular-pathological diagnosis of PLC from the perspective of clinical translational application other than basic experimental studies.

  16. Functional Proteomic And Structural Insights Into Molecular Recognition in the Nitrilase Family Enzymes

    SciTech Connect

    Barglow, K.T.; Saikatendu, K.; Bracey, M.H.; Huey, R.; Morris, G.M.; Olson, A.J.; Stevens, R.C.; Cravatt, B.F.

    2009-05-11

    Nitrilases are a large and diverse family of nonpeptidic C-N hydrolases. The mammalian genome encodes eight nitrilase enzymes, several of which remain poorly characterized. Prominent among these are nitrilase-1 (Nit1) and nitrilase-2 (Nit2), which, despite having been shown to exert effects on cell growth and possibly serving as tumor suppressor genes, are without known substrates or selective inhibitors. In previous studies, we identified several nitrilases, including Nit1 and Nit2, as targets for dipeptide-chloroacetamide activity-based proteomics probes. Here, we have used these probes, in combination with high-resolution crystallography and molecular modeling, to systematically map the active site of Nit2 and identify residues involved in molecular recognition. We report the 1.4 {angstrom} crystal structure of mouse Nit2 and use this structure to identify residues that discriminate probe labeling between the Nit1 and Nit2 enzymes. Interestingly, some of these residues are conserved across all vertebrate Nit2 enzymes and, conversely, not found in any vertebrate Nit1 enzymes, suggesting that they are key discriminators of molecular recognition between these otherwise highly homologous enzymes. Our findings thus point to a limited set of active site residues that establish distinct patterns of molecular recognition among nitrilases and provide chemical probes to selectively perturb the function of these enzymes in biological systems.

  17. 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.

  18. Molecular insights into 14-membered macrolides using the MM-PBSA method.

    PubMed

    Yam, Wai Keat; Wahab, Habibah A

    2009-06-01

    Erythromycin A and roxithromycin are clinically important macrolide antibiotics that selectively act on the bacterial 50S large ribosomal subunit to inhibit bacteria's protein elongation process by blocking the exit tunnel for the nascent peptide away from ribosome. The detailed molecular mechanism of macrolide binding is yet to be elucidated as it is currently known to the most general idea only. In this study, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation was employed to study their interaction at the molecular level, and the binding free energies for both systems were calculated using the molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MM-PBSA) method. The calculated binding free energies for both systems were slightly overestimated compared to the experimental values, but individual energy terms enabled better understanding in the binding for both systems. Decomposition of results into residue basis was able to show the contribution of each residue at the binding pocket toward the binding affinity of macrolides and hence identified several key interacting residues that were in agreement with previous experimental and computational data. Results also indicated the contributions from van der Waals are more important and significant than electrostatic contribution in the binding of macrolides to the binding pocket. The findings from this study are expected to contribute to the understanding of a detailed mechanism of action in a quantitative matter and thus assisting in the development of a safer macrolide antibiotic.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Insights from molecular structure predictions of the infectious bronchitis virus S1 spike glycoprotein.

    PubMed

    Leyson, Christina Lora M; Jordan, Brian J; Jackwood, Mark W

    2016-12-01

    Infectious bronchitis virus is an important respiratory pathogen in chickens. The IBV S1 spike is a viral structural protein that is responsible for attachment to host receptors and is a major target for neutralizing antibodies. To date, there is no experimentally determined structure for the IBV S1 spike. In this study, we sought to find a predicted tertiary structure for IBV S1 using I-TASSER, which is an automated homology modeling platform. We found that the predicted structures obtained were robust and consistent with experimental data. For instance, we observed that all four residues (38, 43, 63, and 68) that have been shown to be critical for binding to host tissues, were found at the surface of the predicted structure of Massachusetts (Mass) S1 spike. Together with antigenicity index analysis, we were also able to show that Ma5 vaccine has higher antigenicity indices at residues close to the receptor-binding region than M41 vaccine, thereby providing a possible mechanism on how Ma5 achieves better protection against challenge. Examination of the predicted structure of the Arkansas IBV S1 spike also gave insights on the effect of polymorphisms at position 43 on the surface availability of receptor binding residues. This study showcases advancements in protein structure prediction and contributes useful, inexpensive tools to provide insights into the biology of IBV. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Molecular and genetic insights into an infantile epileptic encephalopathy - CDKL5 disorder.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Ailing; Han, Song; Zhou, Zhaolan Joe

    2017-02-01

    The discovery that mutations in cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) gene are associated with infantile epileptic encephalopathy has stimulated world-wide research effort to understand the molecular and genetic basis of CDKL5 disorder. Given the large number of literature published thus far, this review aims to summarize current genetic studies, draw a consensus on proposed molecular functions, and point to gaps of knowledge in CDKL5 research. A systematic review process was conducted using the PubMed search engine focusing on CDKL5 studies in the recent ten years. We analyzed these publications and summarized the findings into four sections: genetic studies, CDKL5 expression patterns, molecular functions, and animal models. We also discussed challenges and future directions in each section. On the clinical side, CDKL5 disorder is characterized by early onset epileptic seizures, intellectual disability, and stereotypical behaviors. On the research side, a series of molecular and genetic studies in human patients, cell cultures and animal models have established the causality of CDKL5 to the infantile epileptic encephalopathy, and pointed to a key role for CDKL5 in regulating neuronal function in the brain. Mouse models of CDKL5 disorder have also been developed, and notably, manifest behavioral phenotypes, mimicking numerous clinical symptoms of CDKL5 disorder and advancing CDKL5 research to the preclinical stage. Given what we have learned thus far, future identification of robust, quantitative, and sensitive outcome measures would be the key in animal model studies, particularly in heterozygous females. In the meantime, molecular and cellular studies of CDKL5 should focus on mechanism-based investigation and aim to uncover druggable targets that offer the potential to rescue or ameliorate CDKL5 disorder-related phenotypes.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. New Insight into the Colonization Processes of Common Voles: Inferences from Molecular and Fossil Evidence

    PubMed Central

    Tougard, Christelle; Renvoisé, Elodie; Petitjean, Amélie; Quéré, Jean-Pierre

    2008-01-01

    Elucidating the colonization processes associated with Quaternary climatic cycles is important in order to understand the distribution of biodiversity and the evolutionary potential of temperate plant and animal species. In Europe, general evolutionary scenarios have been defined from genetic evidence. Recently, these scenarios have been challenged with genetic as well as fossil data. The origins of the modern distributions of most temperate plant and animal species could predate the Last Glacial Maximum. The glacial survival of such populations may have occurred in either southern (Mediterranean regions) and/or northern (Carpathians) refugia. Here, a phylogeographic analysis of a widespread European small mammal (Microtus arvalis) is conducted with a multidisciplinary approach. Genetic, fossil and ecological traits are used to assess the evolutionary history of this vole. Regardless of whether the European distribution of the five previously identified evolutionary lineages is corroborated, this combined analysis brings to light several colonization processes of M. arvalis. The species' dispersal was relatively gradual with glacial survival in small favourable habitats in Western Europe (from Germany to Spain) while in the rest of Europe, because of periglacial conditions, dispersal was less regular with bottleneck events followed by postglacial expansions. Our study demonstrates that the evolutionary history of European temperate small mammals is indeed much more complex than previously suggested. Species can experience heterogeneous evolutionary histories over their geographic range. Multidisciplinary approaches should therefore be preferentially chosen in prospective studies, the better to understand the impact of climatic change on past and present biodiversity. PMID:18958287

  7. Congruent climate-related genecological responses from molecular markers and quantitative traits for western white pine (Pinus monticola)

    Treesearch

    Bryce A. Richardson; Gerald E. Rehfeldt; Mee-Sook Kim

    2009-01-01

    Analyses of molecular and quantitative genetic data demonstrate the existence of congruent climate-related patterns in western white pine (Pinus monticola). Two independent studies allowed comparisons of amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers with quantitative variation in adaptive traits. Principal component analyses...

  8. Insights from molecular investigations of traditional Chinese herbal stroke medicines: implications for neuroprotective epilepsy therapy.

    PubMed

    Sucher, Nikolaus J

    2006-03-01

    Traditional Chinese herbal medicine is the most widely practiced form of herbalism worldwide. It is based on a sophisticated system of medical theory and practice that is distinctly different from orthodox Western scientific medicine. Most traditional therapeutic formulations consist of a combination of several drugs. The combination of multiple drugs is thought to maximize therapeutic efficacy by facilitating synergistic actions and ameliorating or preventing potential adverse effects while at the same time aiming at multiple targets. Orthodox drug therapy has been subject to critical analysis by the "evidence-based medicine" movement, and demands have been made that herbal medicine should be subject to the same kind of scrutiny. However, evaluation of the effectiveness of herbal medicines can be challenging, as their active components are often not known. Accordingly, it may be difficult to ensure that an herbal preparation used in clinical trials contains the components underlying its purported therapeutic effect. We reasoned that the identification of actions of herbal medicines at well-defined molecular targets and subsequent identification of chemical compounds underlying these molecular effects might serve as surrogate markers in the hypothesis-guided evaluation of their therapeutic efficacy. A research program was initiated to characterize in vitro molecular actions of a collection of 58 traditional Chinese drugs that are often used for the treatment of stroke. The results indicate that these drugs possess activity at disparate molecular targets in the signaling pathways involved in N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-mediated neuronal injury and death. Each herbal drug contains diverse families of chemical compounds, where each family comprises structurally related members that act with low affinity at multiple molecular targets. The data appear to support the multicomponent, multitarget approach of traditional Chinese medicine. Glutamate release and

  9. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Plant-parasitic nematode infections in rice: molecular and cellular insights.

    PubMed

    Kyndt, Tina; Fernandez, Diana; Gheysen, Godelieve

    2014-01-01

    Being one of the major staple foods in the world, and an interesting model monocot plant, rice (Oryza sativa L.) has recently received attention from molecular nematologists studying the cellular and molecular aspects of the interaction between this crop and plant-parasitic nematodes. In this review, we highlight recent advances in this field, with a focus on the best-studied root-knot nematodes. Histological studies have revealed the cellular changes inside root-knot nematode-induced feeding sites, both in the compatible interaction with Oryza sativa and the incompatible interaction with the related species Oryza glaberrima. After comparing the published data from transcriptome analyses, mutant studies, and exogenous hormone applications, we provide a comprehensive model showing the role and interaction of plant hormone pathways in defense of this monocot crop against root nematodes, where jasmonate seems to play a key role. Finally, recent evidence indicates that effectors secreted from rice-infecting nematodes can suppress plant defense.

  11. 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

  12. Insights into the molecular interaction between two polyoxygenated cinnamoylcoumarin derivatives and human serum albumin.

    PubMed

    Khammari, Anahita; Saboury, Ali Akbar; Karimi-Jafari, Mohammad Hossein; Khoobi, Mehdi; Ghasemi, Atiyeh; Yousefinejad, Saeed; Abou-Zied, Osama K

    2017-04-12

    Ligand binding studies on human serum albumin (HSA) are crucial in determining the pharmacological properties of drug candidates. Here, two representatives of coumarin-chalcone hybrids were selected and their binding mechanism was identified via thermodynamics techniques, curve resolution analysis and computational methods at molecular levels. The binding parameters were derived using spectroscopic approaches and the results point to only one pocket located near the Trp214 residue in subdomain IIA of HSA. The protein tertiary structure was altered during ligand binding and formed an intermediate structure to create stronger ligand binding interactions. The best binding mode of the ligand was initially estimated by docking on an ensemble of HSA crystallographic structures and by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Per residue interaction energies were calculated over the MD trajectories as well. Reasonable agreement was found between experimental and theoretical results about the nature of binding, which was dominated by hydrogen bonding and van der Waals contributions.

  13. Environmental controls on denitrifying communities and denitrification rates--Insights from molecular methods

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wallenstein, Matthew D.; Myrold, David D.; Firestone, Mary; Voytek, Mary

    2006-01-01

    The advent of molecular techniques has improved our understanding of the microbial communities responsible for denitrification and is beginning to address their role in controlling denitrification processes. There is a large diversity of bacteria, archaea, and fungi capable of denitrification, and their community composition is structured by long-term environmental drivers. The range of temperature and moisture conditions, substrate availability, competition, and disturbances have long-lasting legacies on denitrifier community structure. These communities may differ in physiology, environmental tolerances to pH and O2, growth rate, and enzyme kinetics. Although factors such as O2, pH, C availability, and NO3− pools affect instantaneous rates, these drivers act through the biotic community. This review summarizes the results of molecular investigations of denitrifier communities in natural environments and provides a framework for developing future research for addressing connections between denitrifier community structure and function.

  14. Molecular and cellular insights into a distinct myopathy of Great Dane dogs.

    PubMed

    Chang, Kin-Chow; McCulloch, Maj-Lis C; Anderson, Thomas James

    2010-03-01

    A myopathy in the Great Dane dog with characteristic pathological and molecular features is reported. Young adults present with progressive weakness and generalised muscle atrophy. To better define this condition, an investigation using histopathology, confocal microscopy, biochemistry and microarray analysis was undertaken. The skeletal muscles of affected dogs exhibited increased oxidative fibre phenotype and core fibre lesions characterised by the disruption of the sarcomeric architecture and the accumulation of mitochondrial organelles. Affected muscles displayed co-ordinated expression of genes consistent with a slow-oxidative phenotype, which was possibly a compensatory response to chronic muscle damage. There was disruption of Z-lines in affected muscles which, at the molecular level, manifested as transcriptional dysregulation of several Z-line associated genes, including alpha-actinin, myotilin, desmin, vimentin and telethonin. The pathology of this canine myopathy is distinct from that of human central core myopathies that are characterised by cores devoid of mitochondria and by the presence of myofibrillar breakdown products.

  15. New insights into the metabolic and molecular mechanism of plant response to anaerobiosis.

    PubMed

    Arru, Laura; Fornaciari, Silvia; Mancuso, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    Under anaerobic conditions, plants apply a wide spectrum of precise adaptive strategies responding to several critical challenges. The ability of efficiently sensing the oxygen presence demonstrates the existence of both direct and indirect ways of perception. The subsequent coordinate metabolic reassessment is currently under study. The complex molecular response implicates not only transcriptional and translational regulation of specific genes but also posttranscriptional and posttranslational regulatory mechanisms, each and all integrating the metabolic settings. Furthermore, the accumulation of typical metabolites during low oxygen stress condition is a key factor that suggests some critical topics in the regulation of metabolic pathways. Here, we summarize the main routes for adaptive behavior during oxygen depletion, from oxygen availability perception to recently discovered molecular mechanisms and metabolic adaptations. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. Interaction of vasicine with calf thymus DNA: Molecular docking, spectroscopic and differential scanning calorimetric insights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    R. S., Sai Murali; R. S., Sai Siddhardha; Rajesh Babu, D.; Venketesh, S.; Basavaraju, R.; Nageswara Rao, G.

    2017-06-01

    The present study brings out the interaction between vasicine, an alkaloid and Adhatoda vasica Nees with double stranded DNA. The physico-chemical interaction between small molecules and nucleic acids is a major area of focus in screening drugs against various cancers. Molecular probing in our study using Molecular Operating Environment (MOE) has revealed interaction of vasicine with DNA double helix. Here we report the interaction of vasicine with Calf thymus DNA. We present for the first time the results obtained from UV-visible, fluorescence spectroscopic and differential scanning calorimetric techniques that suggest a moderate to strong electrostatic, hydrophobic and van der Waals interactions mediating the DNA binding properties of vasicine, leading to disruption of DNA secondary structure.

  18. 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.

  19. Environmental controls on denitrifying communities and denitrification rates: insights from molecular methods.

    PubMed

    Wallenstein, Matthew D; Myrold, David D; Firestone, Mary; Voytek, Mary

    2006-12-01

    The advent of molecular techniques has improved our understanding of the microbial communities responsible for denitrification and is beginning to address their role in controlling denitrification processes. There is a large diversity of bacteria, archaea, and fungi capable of denitrification, and their community composition is structured by long-term environmental drivers. The range of temperature and moisture conditions, substrate availability, competition, and disturbances have long-lasting legacies on denitrifier community structure. These communities may differ in physiology, environmental tolerances to pH and O2, growth rate, and enzyme kinetics. Although factors such as O2, pH, C availability, and NO3- pools affect instantaneous rates, these drivers act through the biotic community. This review summarizes the results of molecular investigations of denitrifier communities in natural environments and provides a framework for developing future research for addressing connections between denitrifier community structure and function.

  20. Novel insights into the molecular mechanism of sperm-egg fusion via IZUMO1.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Naokazu

    2016-12-19

    When a spermatozoon fertilizes an oocyte in mammals, there must be an extremely precise regulation system for successful gamete fusion to occur, which is the final step of fertilization. Using gene-modified animals, IZUMO1 on the sperm side and its receptor, JUNO, on the ovum side, have been unveiled as indispensable factors for triggering membrane fusion. We recently analyzed the detailed molecular machinery of the IZUMO1-JUNO recognition system and clarified the tertiary architecture of the IZUMO1-JUNO complex based on the crystal structure. Over the past 2 years, important discoveries have successively emerged, presenting a new perspective on fertilization. In this mini-review, I will initially explain the historical background of the molecular mechanism study of gamete fusion, and go on to describe our latest study data.

  1. Molecular insights into the heterogeneous crystal growth of si methane hydrate.

    PubMed

    Vatamanu, Jenel; Kusalik, Peter G

    2006-08-17

    In this paper we report a successful molecular simulation study exploring the heterogeneous crystal growth of sI methane hydrate along its [001] crystallographic face. The molecular modeling of the crystal growth of methane hydrate has proven in the past to be very challenging, and a reasonable framework to overcome the difficulties related to the simulation of such systems is presented. Both the microscopic mechanisms of heterogeneous crystal growth as well as interfacial properties of methane hydrate are probed. In the presence of the appropriate crystal template, a strong tendency for water molecules to organize into cages around methane at the growing interface is observed; the interface also demonstrates a strong affinity for methane molecules. The maximum growth rate measured for a hydrate crystal is about 4 times higher than the value previously determined for ice I in a similar framework (Gulam Razul, M. S.; Hendry, J. G.; Kusalik, P. G. J. Chem. Phys. 2005, 123, 204722).

  2. 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

  3. Exploring molecular insights into aggregation of hydrotrope sodium cumene sulfonate in aqueous solution: a molecular dynamics simulation study.

    PubMed

    Das, Shubhadip; Paul, Sandip

    2015-02-19

    Hydrotropes are an important class of molecules that enhance the solubility of an otherwise insoluble or sparingly soluble solute in water. Besides this, hydrotropes are also known to self-assemble in aqueous solution and form aggregates. It is the hydrotrope aggregate that helps in solubilizing a solute molecule in water. In view of this, we try to understand the underlying mechanism of self-aggregation of hydrotrope sodium cumene sulfonate (SCS) in water. We have carried out classical molecular dynamics simulations of aqueous SCS solutions with a regime of concentrations. Moreover, to examine the effect of temperature change on SCS aggregation, if any, we consider four different temperatures ranging from 298 to 358 K. From the estimation of densities of different solutions we calculate apparent and partial molal volumes of the hydrotrope. The changes in these quantities increase sharply at a characteristic minimum hydrotrope concentration. The determination of molal expansibility at infinite dilution for different temperatures indicates the water structure breaking by SCS molecules, which is further confirmed by the calculations of water-water pair correlation functions. In comparison with typical surfactants in micelles, a slightly lower value of volumetric change upon aggregation per carbon atom suggests the formation of a more closely packed structure of hydrotrope aggregates. A close examination of different structural properties of hydrotrope solutions reveals that the hydrophobic interactions through their hydrophobic tails significantly contribute in hydrotrope aggregation,and the dehydration of hydrophobic tail at elevated temperatures is also visible. Remarkably, the aggregates have little or no impact on the average number of water-SCS hydrogen bonds.

  4. New insights into the molecular mechanism of intestinal fatty acid absorption

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Tony Y.; Liu, Min; Portincasa, Piero; Wang, David Q.-H.

    2013-01-01

    Background Dietary fat is the most important energy source of all the nutrients. Fatty acids, stored as triacylglycerols in the body, are an important reservoir of stored energy and derive primarily from animal fats and vegetable oils. Design Although the molecular mechanisms for the transport of water-insoluble amphipathic fatty acids across cell membranes have been debated for many years, it is now believed that the dominant means for intestinal fatty acid uptake is via membrane-associated fatty acid-binding proteins, i.e., fatty acid transporters on the apical membrane of enterocytes. Results These findings indicate that intestinal fatty acid absorption is a multistep process that is regulated by multiple genes at the enterocyte level, and intestinal fatty acid absorption efficiency could be determined by factors influencing intraluminal fatty acid molecules across the brush border membrane of enterocytes. To facilitate research on intestinal, hepatic and plasma triacylglycerol metabolism, it is imperative to establish standard protocols for precisely and accurately measuring the efficiency of intestinal fatty acid absorption in humans and animal models. In this review, we will discuss the chemical structure and nomenclature of fatty acids and summarize recent progress in investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the intestinal absorption of fatty acids, with a particular emphasis on the physical-chemistry of intestinal lipids and the molecular physiology of intestinal fatty acid transporters. Conclusions A better understanding of the molecular mechanism of intestinal fatty acid absorption should lead to novel approaches to the treatment and the prevention of fatty acid-related metabolic diseases that are prevalent worldwide. PMID:24102389

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  7. Of molecular interactions, mice and mechanisms: new insights into Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Wellington, C L; Hayden, M R

    1997-08-01

    Huntington's disease is caused by expansion of a CAG trinucleotide beyond 35 repeats within the coding region of a novel gene. Recently, new insights into the relationship between CAG expansion in the HD gene and pathological mechanisms have emerged. These include a more precise understanding of the relationship between CAG repeat length and age of onset, progress in transgenic and excitotoxic animal models, identification of a novel huntington-interacting protein, and intriguing connections between huntington and the apoptotic machinery. We have combined many of these new findings into a model that suggests mechanisms and predicts outcomes by which the pathogenesis of Huntington's disease may be initiated. The development of appropriate in-vitro and animal models for Huntington's disease will allow the validity of this model to be tested.

  8. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    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 accuracy of ion–water interaction models and our views on possible ways to fill this substantial knowledge gap in aqueous physical chemistry.

  10. 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.

  11. Recent clinical and molecular insights into emerging artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    O’Brien, Connor; Henrich, Philipp P.; Passi, Neha; Fidock, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose of review Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) have been deployed globally with remarkable success for more than 10 years without having lost their malaria treatment efficacy. However, recent reports from the Thai–Cambodian border reveal evidence of emerging resistance to artemisinins. The latest published clinical and molecular findings are summarized herein. Recent findings Clinical studies have identified delayed parasite clearance time as the most robust marker of artemisinin resistance. Resistance has only been documented from Southeast Asia and has been observed in isolates that show no significant decrease in drug susceptibility in vitro. Genetic investigations have yet to uncover robust molecular markers. In-vitro studies have identified parasite quiescence or dormancy mechanisms that protect early ‘ring-stage’ intra-erythrocytic parasites against short-term artemisinin exposure. This might be achieved by reducing the rate of hemoglobin degradation, important for artemisinin bioactivation. Summary Should ACTs fail, no suitable alternatives exist as first-line treatments of P. falciparum malaria. Intensified efforts are essential to monitor the spread of resistance, define therapeutic and operational strategies to counter its impact, and understand its molecular basis. Success in these areas is critical to ensuring that recent gains in reducing the burden of malaria are not lost. PMID:22001944

  12. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Molecular motions that shape the cardiac action potential: Insights from voltage clamp fluorometry.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Wandi; Varga, Zoltan; Silva, Jonathan R

    2016-01-01

    Very recently, voltage-clamp fluorometry (VCF) protocols have been developed to observe the membrane proteins responsible for carrying the ventricular ionic currents that form the action potential (AP), including those carried by the cardiac Na(+) channel, NaV1.5, the L-type Ca(2+) channel, CaV1.2, the Na(+)/K(+) ATPase, and the rapid and slow components of the delayed rectifier, KV11.1 and KV7.1. This development is significant, because VCF enables simultaneous observation of ionic current kinetics with conformational changes occurring within specific channel domains. The ability gained from VCF, to connect nanoscale molecular movement to ion channel function has revealed how the voltage-sensing domains (VSDs) control ion flux through channel pores, mechanisms of post-translational regulation and the molecular pathology of inherited mutations. In the future, we expect that this data will be of great use for the creation of multi-scale computational AP models that explicitly represent ion channel conformations, connecting molecular, cell and tissue electrophysiology. Here, we review the VCF protocol, recent results, and discuss potential future developments, including potential use of these experimental findings to create novel computational models. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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

    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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Maskey, Sabina; Lane, J. Matthew D.; Perahia, Dvora; ...

    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

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

    SciTech Connect

    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 grafted 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Insight into the molecular basis of Schistosoma haematobium-induced bladder cancer through urine proteomics.

    PubMed

    Bernardo, Carina; Cunha, Maria Cláudia; Santos, Júlio Henrique; da Costa, José M Correia; Brindley, Paul J; Lopes, Carlos; Amado, Francisco; Ferreira, Rita; Vitorino, Rui; Santos, Lúcio Lara

    2016-08-01

    Infection due to Schistosoma haematobium is carcinogenic. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying urogenital schistosomiasis (UGS)-induced carcinogenesis have not been well defined. Conceptually, early molecular detection of this phenomenon, through non-invasive procedures, seems feasible and is desirable. Previous analysis of urine collected during UGS suggests that estrogen metabolites, including depurinating adducts, may be useful for this purpose. Here, a new direction was pursued: the identification of molecular pathways and potential biomarkers in S. haematobium-induced bladder cancer by analyzing the proteome profiling of urine samples from UGS patients. GeLC-MS/MS followed by protein-protein interaction analysis indicated oxidative stress and immune defense systems responsible for microbicide activity are the most representative clusters in UGS patients. Proteins involved in immunity, negative regulation of endopeptidase activity, and inflammation were more prevalent in UGS patients with bladder cancer, whereas proteins with roles in renal system process, sensory perception, and gas and oxygen transport were more abundant in subjects with urothelial carcinoma not associated with UGS. These findings highlighted a Th2-type immune response induced by S. haematobium, which seems to be further modulated by tumorigenesis, resulting in high-grade bladder cancer characterized by an inflammatory response and complement activation alternative pathway. These findings established a starting point for the development of multimarker strategies for the early detection of UGS-induced bladder cancer.

  20. Multiplicity of Mathematical Modeling Strategies to Search for Molecular and Cellular Insights into Bacteria Lung Infection.

    PubMed

    Cantone, Martina; Santos, Guido; Wentker, Pia; Lai, Xin; Vera, Julio

    2017-01-01

    Even today two bacterial lung infections, namely pneumonia and tuberculosis, are among the 10 most frequent causes of death worldwide. These infections still lack effective treatments in many developing countries and in immunocompromised populations like infants, elderly people and transplanted patients. The interaction between bacteria and the host is a complex system of interlinked intercellular and the intracellular processes, enriched in regulatory structures like positive and negative feedback loops. Severe pathological condition can emerge when the immune system of the host fails to neutralize the infection. This failure can result in systemic spreading of pathogens or overwhelming immune response followed by a systemic inflammatory response. Mathematical modeling is a promising tool to dissect the complexity underlying pathogenesis of bacterial lung infection at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels, and also at the interfaces among levels. In this article, we introduce mathematical and computational modeling frameworks that can be used for investigating molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying bacterial lung infection. Then, we compile and discuss published results on the modeling of regulatory pathways and cell populations relevant for lung infection and inflammation. Finally, we discuss how to make use of this multiplicity of modeling approaches to open new avenues in the search of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying bacterial infection in the lung.

  1. Structure of Rigid Polymers Confined to Nanoparticles: Molecular Dynamics Simulations Insight.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    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 grafted 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. The clustering is distinctively different from the response of grafted flexible and semiflexible polymers.

  2. Molecular Dynamic Simulation Insights into the Normal State and Restoration of p53 Function

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Ting; Min, Hanyi; Xu, Yong; Chen, Jianzhong; Li, Guohui

    2012-01-01

    As a tumor suppressor protein, p53 plays a crucial role in the cell cycle and in cancer prevention. Almost 50 percent of all human malignant tumors are closely related to a deletion or mutation in p53. The activity of p53 is inhibited by over-active celluar antagonists, especially by the over-expression of the negative regulators MDM2 and MDMX. Protein-protein interactions, or post-translational modifications of the C-terminal negative regulatory domain of p53, also regulate its tumor suppressor activity. Restoration of p53 function through peptide and small molecular inhibitors has become a promising strategy for novel anti-cancer drug design and development. Molecular dynamics simulations have been extensively applied to investigate the conformation changes of p53 induced by protein-protein interactions and protein-ligand interactions, including peptide and small molecular inhibitors. This review focuses on the latest MD simulation research, to provide an overview of the current understanding of interactions between p53 and its partners at an atomic level. PMID:22949826

  3. Molecular signatures of longevity: Insights from cross-species comparative studies.

    PubMed

    Ma, Siming; Gladyshev, Vadim N

    2017-10-01

    Much of the current research on longevity focuses on the aging process within a single species. Several molecular players (e.g. IGF1 and MTOR), pharmacological compounds (e.g. rapamycin and metformin), and dietary approaches (e.g. calorie restriction and methionine restriction) have been shown to be important in regulating and modestly extending lifespan in model organisms. On the other hand, natural lifespan varies much more significantly across species. Within mammals alone, maximum lifespan differs more than 100 fold, but the underlying regulatory mechanisms remain poorly understood. Recent comparative studies are beginning to shed light on the molecular signatures associated with exceptional longevity. These include genome sequencing of microbats, naked mole rat, blind mole rat, bowhead whale and African turquoise killifish, and comparative analyses of gene expression, metabolites, lipids and ions across multiple mammalian species. Together, they point towards several putative strategies for lifespan regulation and cancer resistance, as well as the pathways and metabolites associated with longevity variation. In particular, longevity may be achieved by both lineage-specific adaptations and common mechanisms that apply across the species. Comparing the resulting cross-species molecular signatures with the within-species lifespan extension strategies will improve our understanding of mechanisms of longevity control and provide a starting point for novel and effective interventions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Evolutionary relationships among basal fungi (Chytridiomycota and Zygomycota): Insights from molecular phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Tanabe, Yuuhiko; Watanabe, Makoto M; Sugiyama, Junta

    2005-10-01

    Evolutionary relationships of the two basal fungal phyla Chytridiomycota and Zygomycota are reviewed in light of recent molecular phylogenetic investigation based on rDNA (nSSU, nLSU rDNA), entire mitochondrial genomes, and nuclear protein coding gene sequences (e.g., EF-1alpha, RPB1). Accumulated molecular evidence strongly suggests that the two basal fungal phyla are not monophyletic. For example, the chytridiomycete order Blastocladiales appears to be closely related to the zygomycete order Entomophthorales. Within the Zygomycota, a monophyletic clade, consisting of the Dimargaritales, Harpellales, and Kickxellales, which is characterized by a shared unique septal ultrastructure, was identified. Moreover, evidence for the exclusion of zygomycete orders Amoebidiales and Eccrinales from the Fungi, and their placement at the Animal-Fungi boundary has been clearly documented. Microsporidia, a group of amitochondriate organisms currently under intensive study, is not supported as derived within the Fungi, but a fungal affinity cannot be ruled out. Taking these molecular phylogenetic studies into account, we proposed a hypothetical evolutionary framework of basal fungi.

  5. 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.

  6. New insight into the mechanism of Lonomia obliqua envenoming: toxin involvement and molecular approach.

    PubMed

    Alvarez Flores, M P; Zannin, M; Chudzinski-Tavassi, A M

    2010-01-01

    Despite the nearly worldwide distribution of Lepidoptera, there are few species with clear documentation of adverse reactions in humans. Most syndromes caused by Lepidoptera are consequences of direct contact with the hairs or setae of caterpillars. In most instances, the adverse effects caused by moth and caterpillars are self-limited and the treatment is based on the removal of hairs, application of topical antipruritics and, in some cases, the use of oral antihistamines. However, in the case of envenoming by South American Lonomiaobliqua caterpillars, the antilonomic serum produced at Instituto Butantan in Brazil is the only effective treatment to re-establish the physiological coagulation parameters in poisoned patients and to abolish the complications seen in severe cases (e.g. consumptive coagulopathy, intracerebral hemorrhage, and acute renal failure). Many studies have been carried out to understand the pathophysiological mechanism of envenoming by L. obliqua. Several toxic principles were found in bristle extract and the hemolymph, probably related to the envenoming. An interesting fact is that some toxins from the venom usually have more than one function. With the advent of molecular biology techniques it has become possible to analyze these processes at a molecular level, thus giving rise to hypotheses on the molecular basis of envenomation. This review contributes to enhance our understanding of the dramatic alterations that hemorrhagic syndrome causes in patients, current treatment, and the diversity of the molecules involved in this pathology. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  7. Photodynamic efficiency of cationic meso-porphyrins at lipid bilayers: insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Cordeiro, Rodrigo M; Miotto, Ronei; Baptista, Maurício S

    2012-12-20

    Porphyrin derivatives have applications as photoactive drugs in photodynamic therapy. However, little is known about their interactions with phospholipid membranes at the molecular level. We employed molecular dynamics simulations to model the binding between a series of cationic meso-(N-methyl-4-pyridinium)phenylporphyrins and anionic phosphatidylglycerol lipid bilayers. This was done in the presence of molecular oxygen within the membrane. The ability of various porphyrins to cause photodamage was quantified in terms of their immersion depth and degree of exposition to a higher oxygen concentration inside the membrane. Simulations showed that the photodynamic efficiency could be improved as the number of hydrophobic phenyl substituents attached to the porphyrinic ring increased. In the specific case of porphyrins containing two hydrophobic and two charged substituents, the cis isomer was significantly more efficient than the trans. These results correlate well with previous experimental observations. They highlight the importance of both the total charge and amphiphilicity of the photosensitizer for its performance in photodynamic therapy.

  8. 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.

  9. Clinical and molecular insights into adenoid cystic carcinoma: Neural crest‐like stemness as a target

    PubMed Central

    Panaccione, Alexander; Chang, Michael T.; Ivanov, Sergey V.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives This review surveys trialed therapies and molecular defects in adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC), with an emphasis on neural crest‐like stemness characteristics of newly discovered cancer stem cells (CSCs) and therapies that may target these CSCs. Data Sources Articles available on Pubmed or OVID MEDLINE databases and unpublished data. Review Methods Systematic review of articles pertaining to ACC and neural crest‐like stem cells. Results Adenoid cystic carcinoma of the salivary gland is a slowly growing but relentless cancer that is prone to nerve invasion and metastases. A lack of understanding of molecular etiology and absence of targetable drivers has limited therapy for patients with ACC to surgery and radiation. Currently, no curative treatments are available for patients with metastatic disease, which highlights the need for effective new therapies. Research in this area has been inhibited by the lack of validated cell lines and a paucity of clinically useful markers. The ACC research environment has recently improved, thanks to the introduction of novel tools, technologies, approaches, and models. Improved understanding of ACC suggests that neural crest‐like stemness is a major target in this rare tumor. New cell culture techniques and patient‐derived xenografts provide tools for preclinical testing. Conclusion Preclinical research has not identified effective targets in ACC, as confirmed by the large number of failed clinical trials. New molecular data suggest that drivers of neural crest‐like stemness may be required for maintenance of ACC; as such, CSCs are a target for therapy of ACC. PMID:28894804

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Mutations in catalase-peroxidase KatG from isoniazid resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates: insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Pimentel, Arethusa Lobo; de Lima Scodro, Regiane Bertin; Caleffi-Ferracioli, Katiany Rizzieri; Siqueira, Vera Lúcia Dias; Campanerut-Sá, Paula Aline Zanetti; Lopes, Luciana Dias Ghiraldi; de Almeida, Aryadne Larissa; Cardoso, Rosilene Fressatti; Seixas, Flavio Augusto Vicente

    2017-04-01

    The current multidrug therapy for tuberculosis (TB) is based on the use of isoniazid (INH) in combination with other antibiotics such as rifampin, ethambutol and pyrazinamide. Literature reports have shown that Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of TB, has become resistant to this treatment by means of point mutations in the target enzymes of these drugs, such as catalase-peroxidase (KatG). By means of equilibrium molecular dynamics in the presence of the ligand, this work evaluated ten point mutations described in the enzyme KatG that are related to resistance to INH . The results showed that the resistance mechanism is related to stereochemical modifications at the N-terminal domain of the protein, which restrict INH access to its catalytic site, not involving mechanisms of electrostatic nature. These results show insights that can be useful for the identification of new anti-TB drugs which may be able to circumvent this mechanism of resistance.

  13. Insight of Transmembrane Processes of Self-Assembling Nanotubes Based on a Cyclic Peptide Using Coarse Grained Molecular Dynamics Simulation.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yankai; Yan, Tingxuan; Xu, Xia

    2017-09-28

    Transmembrane self-assembling cyclic peptide (SCP) nanotubes are promising candidates for delivering specific molecules through cell membranes. The detailed mechanisms behind the transmembrane processes, as well as stabilization factors of transmembrane structures, are difficult to elucidate through experiments. In this study, the effects of peptide sequence and oligomeric state on the transmembrane capabilities of SCP nanotubes and the perturbation of embedded SCP nanotubes acting on the membrane were investigated based on coarse grained molecular dynamics simulation. The simulation results reveal that hydrophilic SCP oligomers result in the elevation of the energy barrier while the oligomerization of hydrophobic SCPs causes the reduction of the energy barrier, further leading to membrane insertion. Once SCP nanotubes are embedded, membrane properties such as density, thickness, ordering state and lateral mobility are adjusted along the radial direction. This study provides insight into the transmembrane strategy of SCP nanotubes and sheds light on designing novel transport systems.

  14. Insights into the mechanisms of myosin and kinesin molecular motors from the single-molecule unbinding force measurements.

    PubMed

    Mikhailenko, Sergey V; Oguchi, Yusuke; Ishiwata, Shin'ichi

    2010-06-06

    In cells, ATP (adenosine triphosphate)-driven motor proteins, both cytoskeletal and nucleic acid-based, operate on their corresponding 'tracks', that is, actin, microtubules or nucleic acids, by converting the chemical energy of ATP hydrolysis into mechanical work. During each mechanochemical cycle, a motor proceeds via several nucleotide states, characterized by different affinities for the 'track' filament and different nucleotide (ATP or ADP) binding kinetics, which is crucial for a motor to efficiently perform its cellular functions. The measurements of the rupture force between the motor and the track by applying external loads to the individual motor-substrate bonds in various nucleotide states have proved to be an important tool to obtain valuable insights into the mechanism of the motors' performance. We review the application of this technique to various linear molecular motors, both processive and non-processive, giving special attention to the importance of the experimental geometry.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Insights into the Functions of M-T Hook Structure in HIV Fusion Inhibitor Using Molecular Modeling.

    PubMed

    Tan, Jianjun; Yuan, Hongling; Li, Chunhua; Zhang, Xiaoyi; Wang, Cunxin

    2016-04-01

    HIV-1 membrane fusion plays an important role in the process that HIV-1 entries host cells. As a treatment strategy targeting HIV-1 entry process, fusion inhibitors have been proposed. Nevertheless, development of a short peptide possessing high anti-HIV potency is considered a daunting challenge. He et al. found that two residues, Met626 and Thr627, located the upstream of the C-terminal heptad repeat of the gp41, formed a unique hook-like structure (M-T hook) that can dramatically improve the binding stability and anti-HIV activity of the inhibitors. In this work, we explored the molecular mechanism why M-T hook structure could improve the anti-HIV activity of inhibitors. Firstly, molecular dynamic simulation was used to obtain information on the time evolution between gp41 and ligands. Secondly, based on the simulations, molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MM-PBSA) and molecular mechanics Generalized Born surface area (MM-GBSA) methods were used to calculate the binding free energies. The binding free energy of the ligand with M-T hook was considerably higher than the other without M-T. Further studies showed that the hydrophobic interactions made the dominant contribution to the binding free energy. The numbers of Hydrogen bonds between gp41 and the ligand with M-T hook structure were more than the other. These findings should provide insights into the inhibition mechanism of the short peptide fusion inhibitors and be useful for the rational design of novel fusion inhibitors in the future. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Improving the effectiveness of communication about climate science: Insights from the "Global Warming's Six Americas" audience segmentation research project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maibach, E.; Roser-Renouf, C.

    2011-12-01

    That the climate science community has not been entirely effective in sharing what it knows about climate change with the broader public - and with policy makers and organizations that should be considering climate change when making decisions - is obvious. Our research shows that a large majority of the American public trusts scientists (76%) and science-based agencies (e.g., 76% trust NOAA) as sources of information about climate change. Yet, despite the widespread agreement in the climate science community that the climate is changing as a result of human activity, only 64% of the public understand that the world's average temperature has been increasing (and only about half of them are sure), less than half (47%) understand that the warming is caused mostly by human activity, and only 39% understand that most scientists think global warming is happening (in fact, only 13% understand that the large majority of climate scientists think global warming is happening). Less obvious is what the climate science community should do to become more effective in sharing what it knows. In this paper, we will use evidence from our "Global Warming's Six Americas" audience segmentation research project to suggest ways that individual climate scientists -- and perhaps more importantly, ways in which climate science agencies and professional societies -- can enhance the effectiveness of their communication efforts. We will conclude by challenging members of the climate science community to identify and convey "simple, clear messages, repeated often, by a variety of trusted sources" - an approach to communication repeatedly shown to be effective by the public health community.

  19. 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

  20. Clinical and molecular characteristics of homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia patients: Insights from SAFEHEART registry.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Rodrigo; Díaz-Díaz, Jose Luis; Arrieta, Francisco; Fuentes-Jiménez, Francisco; de Andrés, Raimundo; Saenz, Pedro; Ariceta, Gema; Vidal-Pardo, José I; Almagro, Fatima; Argueso, Rosa; Prieto-Matos, Pablo; Miramontes, José P; Pintó, Xavier; Rodriguez-Urrego, Johana; Perez de Isla, Leopoldo; Mata, Pedro

    2016-01-01

    Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH) is a rare genetic disorder associated with very high levels of cholesterol, accelerated atherosclerosis and very premature death, often secondary to occlusion of the coronary ostia by supravalvular atheroma in untreated individuals. To describe molecular and clinical characteristics of HoFH enrolled at SAFEHEART registry and to evaluate the role of the type of mutation in clinical expression. SAFEHEART is a registry of molecularly defined familial hypercholesterolemia patients. A standardized phone call is made every year for the follow-up. Patients with confirmed HoFH were selected. Molecular and clinical characteristics were analyzed. Thirty-four HoFH patients (27 true HoFH, 4 compound heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, and 3 autosomal recessive hypercholesterolemia) have been enrolled in the period 2004-2015. Twenty different mutations in LDLR gene have been detected. Sixteen patients carry defective mutations (DMs), and 15 carry null mutations (NMs). Only patients with NMs met low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) criteria for clinical diagnosis. Patients with NMs had higher untreated LDL-C levels (P < .0001), more aortic valve stenosis (P < .05), and lower age at first cardiovascular event (P < .05) compared to patients with DMs. In the follow-up, 1 liver transplant patient died and 3 cases underwent revascularization procedures. Eight cases started LDL apheresis and 1 case had a liver transplant. HoFH phenotypic expression is highly variable. These patients have high atherosclerotic coronary artery disease risk including aortic valve stenosis and do not achieve the LDL-C treatment goals with standard therapy. Copyright © 2016 National Lipid Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. Structural insights into the molecular ruler mechanism of the endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase ERAP1

    PubMed Central

    Gandhi, Amit; Lakshminarasimhan, Damodharan; Sun, Yixin; Guo, Hwai-Chen

    2011-01-01

    Endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase 1 (ERAP1) is an essential component of the immune system, because it trims peptide precursors and generates the N--restricted epitopes. To examine ERAP1's unique properties of length- and sequence-dependent processing of antigen precursors, we report a 2.3 Å resolution complex structure of the ERAP1 regulatory domain. Our study reveals a binding conformation of ERAP1 to the carboxyl terminus of a peptide, and thus provides direct evidence for the molecular ruler mechanism. PMID:22355701

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Cellular RNA helicases and HIV-1: insights from genome-wide, proteomic, and molecular studies.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chia-Yen; Liu, Xiang; Boris-Lawrie, Kathleen; Sharma, Amit; Jeang, Kuan-Teh

    2013-02-01

    RNA helicases are ubiquitous in plants and animals and function in many cellular processes. Retroviruses, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1), encode no RNA helicases in their genomes and utilize host cellular RNA helicases at various stages of their life cycle. Here, we briefly summarize the roles RNA helicases play in HIV-1 replication that have been identified recently, in part, through genome-wide screenings, proteomics, and molecular studies. Some of these helicases augment virus propagation while others apparently participate in antiviral defenses against viral replication.

  8. Nuclear magnetic shielding constants of liquid water: Insights from hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kongsted, Jacob; Nielsen, Christian B.; Mikkelsen, Kurt V.; Christiansen, Ove; Ruud, Kenneth

    2007-01-01

    We present a gauge-origin independent method for the calculation of nuclear magnetic shielding tensors of molecules in a structured and polarizable environment. The method is based on a combination of density functional theory (DFT) or Hartree-Fock wave functions with molecular mechanics. The method is unique in the sense that it includes three important properties that need to be fulfilled in accurate calculations of nuclear magnetic shielding constants: (i) the model includes electron correlation effects, (ii) the model uses gauge-including atomic orbitals to give gauge-origin independent results, and (iii) the effect of the environment is treated self-consistently using a discrete reaction-field methodology. The authors present sample calculations of the isotropic nuclear magnetic shielding constants of liquid water based on a large number of solute-solvent configurations derived from molecular dynamics simulations employing potentials which treat solvent polarization either explicitly or implicitly. For both the O17 and H1 isotropic shielding constants the best predicted results compare fairly well with the experimental data, i.e., they reproduce the experimental solvent shifts to within 4ppm for the O17 shielding and 1ppm for the H1 shielding.

  9. Insights into dietary flavonoids as molecular templates for the design of anti-platelet drugs

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Bernice; Spencer, Jeremy P.E.; Lovegrove, Julie A.; Gibbins, Jonathan M.

    2013-01-01

    Flavonoids are low-molecular weight, aromatic compounds derived from fruits, vegetables, and other plant components. The consumption of these phytochemicals has been reported to be associated with reduced cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, attributed to their anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and anti-thrombotic actions. Flavonoids exert these effects by a number of mechanisms which include attenuation of kinase activity mediated at the cell-receptor level and/or within cells, and are characterized as broad-spectrum kinase inhibitors. Therefore, flavonoid therapy for CVD is potentially complex; the use of these compounds as molecular templates for the design of selective and potent small-molecule inhibitors may be a simpler approach to treat this condition. Flavonoids as templates for drug design are, however, poorly exploited despite the development of analogues based on the flavonol, isoflavonone, and isoflavanone subgroups. Further exploitation of this family of compounds is warranted due to a structural diversity that presents great scope for creating novel kinase inhibitors. The use of computational methodologies to define the flavonoid pharmacophore together with biological investigations of their effects on kinase activity, in appropriate cellular systems, is the current approach to characterize key structural features that will inform drug design. This focussed review highlights the potential of flavonoids to guide the design of clinically safer, more selective, and potent small-molecule inhibitors of cell signalling, applicable to anti-platelet therapy. PMID:23024269

  10. Inhibitory effects of daidzein and genistein on trypsin: Insights from spectroscopic and molecular docking studies.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Hua-Jin; Wang, Ya-Ping; Yang, Ran; You, Jing; Qu, Ling-Bo

    2016-08-01

    In this work, the inhibitory effect of two isoflavonoids including daidzein and genistein on trypsin and their binding mechanism were determined by spectroscopic and molecular docking approaches. The results indicated that both daidzein and genistein reversibly inhibited trypsin in a competitive manner with IC50 values of 68.01×10(-6)molL(-1) and 64.70×10(-6)molL(-1) and Ki values of 62.12×10(-6)molL(-1) and 59.83×10(-6)molL(-1), respectively. They could spontaneously bind with trypsin mainly through hydrophobic force and electrostatic interactions with a single binding site. Analysis of circular dichrosim spectra and molecular docking revealed that both isoflavonoids bound directly into the catalytic cavity and the microenvironment and secondary structure of trypsin were changed in this process, which caused the inhibition of trypsin activity. All these experimental results and theoretical data in this work would be help in understanding the mechanism of inhibitory effects of daidzein and genistein against trypsin and the potential of isoflavonoid to relieve symptoms of pancreatitis.

  11. Insights into molecular therapy of glioma: current challenges and next generation blueprint.

    PubMed

    Rajesh, Y; Pal, Ipsita; Banik, Payel; Chakraborty, Sandipan; Borkar, Sachin A; Dey, Goutam; Mukherjee, Ahona; Mandal, Mahitosh

    2017-03-20

    Glioma accounts for the majority of human brain tumors. With prevailing treatment regimens, the patients have poor survival rates. In spite of current development in mainstream glioma therapy, a cure for glioma appears to be out of reach. The infiltrative nature of glioma and acquired resistance substancially restrict the therapeutic options. Better elucidation of the complicated pathobiology of glioma and proteogenomic characterization might eventually open novel avenues for the design of more sophisticated and effective combination regimens. This could be accomplished by individually tailoring progressive neuroimaging techniques, terminating DNA synthesis with prodrug-activating genes, silencing gliomagenesis genes (gene therapy), targeting miRNA oncogenic activity (miRNA-mRNA interaction), combining Hedgehog-Gli/Akt inhibitors with stem cell therapy, employing tumor lysates as antigen sources for efficient depletion of tumor-specific cancer stem cells by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (dendritic cell vaccination), adoptive transfer of chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells, and combining immune checkpoint inhibitors with conventional therapeutic modalities. Thus, the present review captures the latest trends associated with the molecular mechanisms involved in glial tumorigenesis as well as the limitations of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. In this article we also critically discuss the next generation molecular therapeutic strategies and their mechanisms for the successful treatment of glioma.

  12. Molecular characterization of human skin response to diphencyprone at peak and resolution phases: therapeutic insights.

    PubMed

    Gulati, Nicholas; Suárez-Fariñas, Mayte; Fuentes-Duculan, Judilyn; Gilleaudeau, Patricia; Sullivan-Whalen, Mary; Correa da Rosa, Joel; Cueto, Inna; Mitsui, Hiroshi; Krueger, James G

    2014-10-01

    Diphencyprone (DPCP) is a hapten that induces delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reactions. It is used as an immune-modulating therapeutic, but its molecular effects in human skin are largely unknown. We studied cellular and molecular characteristics of a recall response to 0.04% DPCP at 3-day (peak) and 14-day (resolution) time points using immune markers, reverse-transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR), and gene array approaches. A peak response showed modulation of ∼7,500 mRNA transcripts, with high expression of cytokines that define all major effector T-cell subsets. Concomitant increases in T-cell and CD11c+ dendritic cell (DC) infiltrates were measured. The resolution reaction was characterized by unexpectedly high levels of T cells and mature (DC-lysosome-associated membrane glycoprotein positive (DC-LAMP+)) DCs, but with marked decreases in expression of IL-2, IFNγ, and other T cell-derived cytokines. However, negative immune regulators such as IDO1 that were high in peak reactions, continued to have high expression in resolution reactions. In the resolution reaction, ∼1,500 mRNA transcripts were significantly different from placebo-treated skin. These data suggest that the response to DPCP evolves from an inflammatory/effector peak at day 3 to a more regulated immune response after 14 days. This model system could be useful for further dissection of mechanisms of immune activation or negative immune regulation in human skin.

  13. Molecular underpinnings of prefrontal cortex development in rodents provide insights into the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders

    PubMed Central

    Schubert, D; Martens, G J M; Kolk, S M

    2015-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC), seat of the highest-order cognitive functions, constitutes a conglomerate of highly specialized brain areas and has been implicated to have a role in the onset and installation of various neurodevelopmental disorders. The development of a properly functioning PFC is directed by transcription factors, guidance cues and other regulatory molecules and requires the intricate and temporal orchestration of a number of developmental processes. Disturbance or failure of any of these processes causing neurodevelopmental abnormalities within the PFC may contribute to several of the cognitive deficits seen in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders. In this review, we elaborate on the specific processes underlying prefrontal development, such as induction and patterning of the prefrontal area, proliferation, migration and axonal guidance of medial prefrontal progenitors, and their eventual efferent and afferent connections. We furthermore integrate for the first time the available knowledge from genome-wide studies that have revealed genes linked to neurodevelopmental disorders with experimental molecular evidence in rodents. The integrated data suggest that the pathogenic variants in the neurodevelopmental disorder-associated genes induce prefrontal cytoarchitectonical impairments. This enhances our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of prefrontal (mis)development underlying the four major neurodevelopmental disorders in humans, that is, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia, and may thus provide clues for the development of novel therapies. PMID:25450230

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. Binding of carbendazim to bovine serum albumin: Insights from experimental and molecular modeling studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jinhua; Zhang, Yulei; Hu, Lin; Kong, Yaling; Jin, Changqing; Xi, Zengzhe

    2017-07-01

    Carbendazim (CBZ) is a widely used benzimidazole fungicide in agriculture to control a wide range of fruit and vegetable pathogens, which may lead to potential health hazards. To evaluate the potential toxicity of CBZ, the binding mechanism of bovine serum albumin (BSA) with CBZ was investigated by the fluorescence quenching technology, UV absorbance spectra, circular dichroism (CD), and molecular modeling. The fluorescence titration and UV absorbance spectra revealed that the fluorescence quenching mechanism of BSA by CBZ was a combined quenching process. In addition, the studies of CD spectra suggested that the binding of CBZ to BSA changed the secondary structure of protein. Furthermore, the thermodynamic functions of enthalpy change (ΔH0) and entropy change (ΔS0) for the reaction were calculated to be 24.87 kJ mol-1 and 162.95 J mol-1 K-1 according to Van't Hoff equation. These data suggested that hydrophobic interaction play a major role in the binding of CBZ to BSA, which was in good agreement with the result of molecular modeling study.

  18. Molecular phylogeny and phylogeography of genus Pseudois (Bovidae, Cetartiodactyla): New insights into the contrasting phylogeographic structure.

    PubMed

    Tan, Shuai; Wang, Zhihong; Jiang, Lichun; Peng, Rui; Zhang, Tao; Peng, Quekun; Zou, Fangdong

    2017-09-01

    Blue sheep, Pseudois nayaur, is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and the surrounding mountains, which are the highest-elevation areas in the world. Classical morphological taxonomy suggests that there are two subspecies in genus Pseudois (Bovidae, Artiodactyla), namely Pseudois nayaur nayaur and Pseudois nayaur szechuanensis. However, the validity and geographic characteristics of these subspecies have never been carefully discussed and analyzed. This may be partially because previous studies have mainly focused on the vague taxonomic status of Pseudois schaeferi (dwarf blue sheep). Thus, there is an urgent need to investigate the evolutionary relationship and taxonomy system of this genus. This study enriches a previous dataset by providing a large number of new samples, based on a total of 225 samples covering almost the entire distribution of blue sheep. Molecular data from cytochrome b and the mitochondrial control region sequences were used to reconstruct the phylogeny of this species. The phylogenetic inferences show that vicariance plays an important role in diversification within this genus. In terms of molecular dating results and biogeographic analyses, the striking biogeographic pattern coincides significantly with major geophysical events. Although the results raise doubt about the present recognized distribution range of blue sheep, they have corroborated the validity of the identified subspecies in genus Pseudois. Meanwhile, these results demonstrate that the two geographically distinct populations, the Helan Mountains and Pamir Plateau populations, have been significantly differentiated from the identified subspecies, a finding that challenges the conventional taxonomy of blue sheep.

  19. Molecular underpinnings of prefrontal cortex development in rodents provide insights into the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders.

    PubMed

    Schubert, D; Martens, G J M; Kolk, S M

    2015-07-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC), seat of the highest-order cognitive functions, constitutes a conglomerate of highly specialized brain areas and has been implicated to have a role in the onset and installation of various neurodevelopmental disorders. The development of a properly functioning PFC is directed by transcription factors, guidance cues and other regulatory molecules and requires the intricate and temporal orchestration of a number of developmental processes. Disturbance or failure of any of these processes causing neurodevelopmental abnormalities within the PFC may contribute to several of the cognitive deficits seen in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders. In this review, we elaborate on the specific processes underlying prefrontal development, such as induction and patterning of the prefrontal area, proliferation, migration and axonal guidance of medial prefrontal progenitors, and their eventual efferent and afferent connections. We furthermore integrate for the first time the available knowledge from genome-wide studies that have revealed genes linked to neurodevelopmental disorders with experimental molecular evidence in rodents. The integrated data suggest that the pathogenic variants in the neurodevelopmental disorder-associated genes induce prefrontal cytoarchitectonical impairments. This enhances our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of prefrontal (mis)development underlying the four major neurodevelopmental disorders in humans, that is, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia, and may thus provide clues for the development of novel therapies.

  20. Insights into the Molecular Events That Regulate Heat-Induced Chilling Tolerance in Citrus Fruits

    PubMed Central

    Lafuente, María T.; Establés-Ortíz, Beatriz; González-Candelas, Luis

    2017-01-01

    Low non-freezing temperature may cause chilling injury (CI), which is responsible for external quality deterioration in many chilling-sensitive horticultural crops. Exposure of chilling-sensitive citrus cultivars to non-lethal high-temperature conditioning may increase their chilling tolerance. Very little information is available about the molecular events involved in such tolerance. In this work, the molecular events associated with the low temperature tolerance induced by heating Fortune mandarin, which is very sensitive to chilling, for 3 days at 37°C prior to cold storage is presented. A transcriptomic analysis reveals that heat-conditioning has an important impact favoring the repression of genes in cold-stored fruit, and that long-term heat-induced chilling tolerance is an active process that requires activation of transcription factors involved in transcription initiation and of the WRKY family. The analysis also shows that chilling favors degradation processes, which affect lipids and proteins, and that the protective effect of the heat-conditioning treatment is more likely to be related to the repression of the genes involved in lipid degradation than to the modification of fatty acids unsaturation, which affects membrane permeability. Another major factor associated with the beneficial effect of the heat treatment on reducing CI is the regulation of stress-related proteins. Many of the genes that encoded such proteins are involved in secondary metabolism and in oxidative stress-related processes. PMID:28694818

  1. "Autoimmune(-Like)" Drug and Herb Induced Liver Injury: New Insights into Molecular Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sebode, Marcial; Schulz, Lisa; Lohse, Ansgar W

    2017-09-12

    Idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (DILI) and hepatic injury due to herbal and dietary supplements (HDS) can adapt clinical characteristics of autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), such as the appearance of autoantibodies and infiltration of the liver by immune competent cells. To describe these cases of DILI/HDS, the poorly-defined term "autoimmune(-like)" DILI/HDS came up. It is uncertain if these cases represent a subgroup of DILI/HDS with distinct pathomechanistic and prognostic features different from "classical" DILI/HDS. Besides, due to the overlap of clinical characteristics of "immune-mediated" DILI/HDS and AIH, both entities are not easy to differentiate. However, the demarcation is important, especially with regard to treatment: AIH requires long-term, mostly lifelong immunosuppression, whereas DILI/HDS does not. Only through exact diagnostic evaluation, exclusion of differential diagnoses and prolonged follow-up can the correct diagnosis reliably be made. Molecular mechanisms have not been analysed for the subgroup of "autoimmune(-like)" DILI/HDS yet. However, several pathogenetic checkpoints of DILI/HDS in general and AIH are shared. An analysis of these shared mechanisms might hint at relevant molecular processes of "autoimmune(-like)" DILI/HDS.

  2. Current insights on the regenerative potential of the periosteum: molecular, cellular, and endogenous engineering approaches.

    PubMed

    Colnot, Céline; Zhang, Xinping; Knothe Tate, Melissa L

    2012-12-01

    While century old clinical reports document the periosteum's remarkable regenerative capacity, only in the past decade have scientists undertaken mechanistic investigations of its regenerative potential. At a Workshop at the 2012 Annual Meeting of Orthopaedic Research Society, we reviewed the molecular, cellular, and tissue scale approaches to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the periosteum's regenerative potential as well as translational therapies engineering solutions inspired by its remarkable regenerative capacity. The entire population of osteoblasts within periosteum, and at endosteal and trabecular bone surfaces within the bone marrow, derives from the embryonic perichondrium. Periosteal cells contribute more to cartilage and bone formation within the callus during fracture healing than do cells of the bone marrow or endosteum, which do not migrate out of the marrow compartment. Furthermore, a current healing paradigm regards the activation, expansion, and differentiation of periosteal stem/progenitor cells as an essential step in building a template for subsequent neovascularization, bone formation, and remodeling. The periosteum comprises a complex, composite structure, providing a niche for pluripotent cells and a repository for molecular factors that modulate cell behavior. The periosteum's advanced, "smart" material properties change depending on the mechanical, chemical, and biological state of the tissue. Understanding periosteum development, progenitor cell-driven initiation of periosteum's endogenous tissue building capacity, and the complex structure-function relationships of periosteum as an advanced material are important for harnessing and engineering ersatz materials to mimic the periosteum's remarkable regenerative capacity. Copyright © 2012 Orthopaedic Research Society.

  3. Molecular clocks provide new insights into the evolutionary history of Galeichthyine sea catfishes.

    PubMed

    Betancur-R, Ricardo; Armbruster, Jonathan W

    2009-05-01

    Intercontinental distributions in the southern hemisphere can either be the result of Gondwanan vicariance or more recent transoceanic dispersal. Transoceanic dispersal has come into vogue for explaining many intercontinental distributions; however, it has been used mainly for organisms that can float or raft between the continents. Despite their name, the Sea Catfishes (Ariidae) have limited dispersal ability, and there are no examples of nearshore ariid genera with a transoceanic distribution except for Galeichthys where three species occur in southern Africa and one in the Peruvian coast. A previous study suggested that the group originated in Gondwana, and that the species arrived at their current range after the breakup of the supercontinent in the Early Cretaceous. To test this hypothesis, we infer molecular phylogenies (mitochondrial cytochrome b, ATP synthase 8/6, 12S, and 16S; nuclear rag2; total approximately 4 kb) and estimate intercontinental divergence via molecular clocks (penalized-likelihood, Bayesian relaxed clock, and universal clock rates in fishes). Age ranges for cladogenesis of African and South American lineages are 15.4-2.5 my, far more recent than would be suggested by Gondwanan vicariance; thus, the distribution of galeichthyines must be explained by dispersal or more recent vicariant events. The nested position of the Peruvian species (Galeichthys peruvianus) within the African taxa is robust, suggesting that the direction of the dispersal was from Africa to South America. The progenitor of the Peruvian species likely arrived at its current distribution with the aid of ocean currents, and several scenarios are discussed.

  4. New insights into the morphology, molecular characterization and identification of Baylisascaris transfuga (Ascaridida, Ascarididae).

    PubMed

    Testini, G; Papini, R; Lia, R P; Parisi, A; Dantas-Torres, F; Traversa, D; Otranto, D

    2011-01-10

    Species ranked within the genus Baylisascaris (Ascaridida, Ascarididae) have been implicated in clinical and subclinical intestinal diseases in their natural hosts (e.g., raccoons and bears) as well as in life-threatening larva migrans syndromes in a number of incidental hosts, including humans. Following the diagnosis of Baylisascaris transfuga infestation in two captive polar bears, living in the zoo park of Pistoia (Tuscany, Italy), nematodes (n=300; both sexes) have been characterized by morphological and molecular methods by sequencing and analysing ribosomal (large ribosomal DNA (28S) and internal transcribed spacer region 1 and 2 (ITSs)) and mitochondrial (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 2 (cox2)) target regions. In addition, seven faecal samples were collected from the animal enclosure and submitted to copromicroscopic and molecular examination. All nematodes were morphologically identified as B. transfuga and their main distinctive features are here presented. No variation in size and nucleotide polymorphisms was detected within each target sequence among all samples analysed. These data contribute to facilitate an accurate diagnosis of this little known nematode infestation in order to apply appropriate anthelmintic strategies. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

  6. Binding characteristics of psoralen with trypsin: Insights from spectroscopic and molecular modeling studies.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yingying; Zhang, Guowen; Liao, Yijing; Wang, Yaping

    2015-01-01

    Psoralen (PSO) is a naturally occurring furanocoumarin with a variety of pharmacological activities, however very limited information on the interaction of PSO with trypsin is available. In this study, the binding characteristics between PSO and trypsin at physiological pH were investigated using a combination of fluorescence, UV-vis absorption, circular dichroism (CD), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopic, chemometric and molecular modeling approaches. It was found that the fluorescence quenching of trypsin by PSO was a static quenching procedure, ascribing the formation of a PSO-trypsin complex. The binding of PSO to trypsin was driven mainly by hydrophobic forces as the positive enthalpy change and entropy change values. The molecular docking showed that PSO inserted into the active site pocket of trypsin to interact with the catalytic residues His57, Asp102 and Ser195 and may cause a decrease in trypsin activity. The results of CD and FT-IR spectra along with the temperature-induced denaturation studies indicated that the addition of PSO to trypsin led to the changes in the secondary structure of the enzyme. The concentration profiles and spectra of the three components (PSO, trypsin, and PSO-trypsin complex) obtained by multivariate curve resolution-alternating least squares analysis exhibited the kinetic processes of PSO-trypsin interaction. This study will be helpful to understand the mechanism of PSO that affects the conformation and activity of trypsin in biological processes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-07

    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.

  8. Molecular mechanisms of liver ischemia reperfusion injury: Insights from transgenic knockout models

    PubMed Central

    Datta, Gourab; Fuller, Barry J; Davidson, Brian R

    2013-01-01

    Ischemia reperfusion injury is a major obstacle in liver resection and liver transplantation surgery. Understanding the mechanisms of liver ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) and developing strategies to counteract this injury will therefore reduce acute complications in hepatic resection and transplantation, as well as expanding the potential pool of usable donor grafts. The initial liver injury is initiated by reactive oxygen species which cause direct cellular injury and also activate a cascade of molecular mediators leading to microvascular changes, increased apoptosis and acute inflammatory changes with increased hepatocyte necrosis. Some adaptive pathways are activated during reperfusion that reduce the reperfusion injury. IRI involves a complex interplay between neutrophils, natural killer T-cells cells, CD4+ T cell subtypes, cytokines, nitric oxide synthases, haem oxygenase-1, survival kinases such as the signal transducer and activator of transcription, Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases/Akt and nuclear factor κβ pathways. Transgenic animals, particularly genetic knockout models, have become a powerful tool at elucidating mechanisms of liver ischaemia reperfusion injury and are complementary to pharmacological studies. Targeted disruption of the protein at the genetic level is more specific and maintained than pharmacological inhibitors or stimulants of the same protein. This article reviews the evidence from knockout models of liver IRI about the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying liver IRI. PMID:23555157

  9. Aqueous electrolyte surfaces in strong electric fields: molecular insight into nanoscale jets and bridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jirsák, Jan; Moučka, Filip; Škvor, Jiří; Nezbeda, Ivo

    2015-04-01

    Exposing aqueous surfaces to a strong electric field gives rise to interesting phenomena, such as formation of a floating water bridge or an eruption of a jet in electrospinning. In an effort to account for the phenomena at the molecular level, we performed molecular dynamics simulations using several protocols on both pure water and aqueous solutions of sodium chloride subjected to an electrostatic field. All simulations consistently point to the same mechanisms which govern the rearrangement of the originally planar surface. The results show that the phenomena are primarily governed by an orientational reordering of the water molecules driven by the applied field. It is demonstrated that, for pure water, a sufficiently strong field yields a columnar structure parallel to the field with an anisotropic arrangement of the water molecules with their dipole moments aligned along the applied field not only in the surface layer but over the entire cross section of the column. Nonetheless, the number of hydrogen bonds per molecule does not seem to be affected by the field regardless of its strength and molecule's orientation. In the electrolyte solutions, the ionic charge is able to overcome the effect of the external field tending to arrange the water molecules radially in the first coordination shell of an ion. The ion-water interaction interferes thus with the water-electric field interaction, and the competition between these two forces (i.e., strength of the field versus concentration) provides the key mechanism determining the stability of the observed structures.

  10. Insights using the molecular model of Lipoxygenase from Finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.))

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Lipoxygenase-1 (LOX-1) protein provides defense against pests and pathogens and its presence have been positively correlated with plant resistance against pathogens. Linoleate is a known substrate of lipoxygenase and it induces necrosis leading to the accumulation of isoflavonoid phytoalexins in plant leaves. Therefore, it is of interest to study the structural features of LOX-1 from Finger millet. However, the structure ofLOX-1 from Finger millet is not yet known. A homology model of LOX-1 from Finger millet is described. Domain architecture study suggested the presence of two domains namely PLAT (Phospho Lipid Acyl Transferase) and lipoxygenase. Molecular docking models of linoleate with lipoxygenase from finger millet, rice and sorghum are reported. The features of docked models showed that finger millet have higher pathogen resistance in comparison to other cereal crops. This data is useful for the molecular cloning of fulllength LOX-1 gene for validating its role in improving plant defense against pathogen infection and for various other biological processes. PMID:28149050

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Insights into dietary flavonoids as molecular templates for the design of anti-platelet drugs.

    PubMed

    Wright, Bernice; Spencer, Jeremy P E; Lovegrove, Julie A; Gibbins, Jonathan M

    2013-01-01

    Flavonoids are low-molecular weight, aromatic compounds derived from fruits, vegetables, and other plant components. The consumption of these phytochemicals has been reported to be associated with reduced cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, attributed to their anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and anti-thrombotic actions. Flavonoids exert these effects by a number of mechanisms which include attenuation of kinase activity mediated at the cell-receptor level and/or within cells, and are characterized as broad-spectrum kinase inhibitors. Therefore, flavonoid therapy for CVD is potentially complex; the use of these compounds as molecular templates for the design of selective and potent small-molecule inhibitors may be a simpler approach to treat this condition. Flavonoids as templates for drug design are, however, poorly exploited despite the development of analogues based on the flavonol, isoflavonone, and isoflavanone subgroups. Further exploitation of this family of compounds is warranted due to a structural diversity that presents great scope for creating novel kinase inhibitors. The use of computational methodologies to define the flavonoid pharmacophore together with biological investigations of their effects on kinase activity, in appropriate cellular systems, is the current approach to characterize key structural features that will inform drug design. This focussed review highlights the potential of flavonoids to guide the design of clinically safer, more selective, and potent small-molecule inhibitors of cell signalling, applicable to anti-platelet therapy.

  18. Do sperm possess a molecular passport? Mechanistic insights into sperm selection in the female reproductive tract.

    PubMed

    Holt, William V; Fazeli, Alireza

    2015-06-01

    Most male mammals produce far more spermatozoa on a daily basis than is strictly necessary for reproduction and females have evolved mechanisms that prevent all but a small minority from reaching the vicinity of their oocytes. One potential explanation for the stringent selection is that females have developed these mechanisms as a way of avoiding polyspermy as well as exercising post-copulatory choice over the characteristics of the fertilizing spermatozoon. Relatively little is known about how these processes would operate, but here we use evidence from biochemical, molecular and genetic studies of sperm transport in support of a hypothesis proposing that the female reproductive tract can read and interpret a spermatozoon's 'molecular passport' or genetic signature. Such a signature would permit only a highly selected sperm population to reach and fertilize the oocyte. Moreover, the selection criteria might not only be concerned with successful fertilizing ability, but could also be tailored to suit the genetic qualities of individual females. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. A warm or a cold early Earth? New insights from a 3-D climate-carbon model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charnay, Benjamin; Le Hir, Guillaume; Fluteau, Frédéric; Forget, François; Catling, David C.

    2017-09-01

    Oxygen isotopes in marine cherts have been used to infer hot oceans during the Archean with temperatures between 60 °C (333 K) and 80 °C (353 K). Such climates are challenging for the early Earth warmed by the faint young Sun. The interpretation of the data has therefore been controversial. 1D climate modeling inferred that such hot climates would require very high levels of CO2 (2-6 bars). Previous carbon cycle modeling concluded that such stable hot climates were impossible and that the carbon cycle should lead to cold climates during the Hadean and the Archean. Here, we revisit the climate and carbon cycle of the early Earth at 3.8 Ga using a 3D climate-carbon model. We find that CO2 partial pressures of around 1 bar could have produced hot climates given a low land fraction and cloud feedback effects. However, such high CO2 partial pressures should not have been stable because of the weathering of terrestrial and oceanic basalts, producing an efficient stabilizing feedback. Moreover, the weathering of impact ejecta during the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB) would have strongly reduced the CO2 partial pressure leading to cold climates and potentially snowball Earth events after large impacts. Our results therefore favor cold or temperate climates with global mean temperatures between around 8 °C (281 K) and 30 °C (303 K) and with 0.1-0.36 bar of CO2 for the late Hadean and early Archean. Finally, our model suggests that the carbon cycle was efficient for preserving clement conditions on the early Earth without necessarily requiring any other greenhouse gas or warming process.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-10-26

    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.

  5. 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

  6. G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 and endothelial dysfunction: molecular insights and pathophysiological mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Taguchi, Kumiko; Matsumoto, Takayuki; Kobayashi, Tsuneo

    2015-01-01

    Smooth muscle cells (SMC) and endothelial cells are the major cell types in blood vessels. The principal function of vascular SMC in the body is to regulate blood flow and pressure through contraction and relaxation. The endothelium performs a crucial role in maintaining vascular integrity by achieving whole-organ metabolic homeostasis via the production of factors associated with vasoconstriction or vasorelaxation. In this review, we have focused on the production of nitric oxide (NO), a vasorelaxation factor. The extent of NO production represents a key marker in vascular health. A decrease in NO is capable of inducing pathological conditions associated with endothelial dysfunction, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and atherosclerosis. Recent studies have strongly implicated the involvement of G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) in the progression of cardiovascular disease. Vasculature which is affected by insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes expresses high levels of GRK2, which may induce endothelial dysfunction by reducing intracellular NO. GRK2 activation also induces changes in the subcellular localization of GRK2 itself and also of β-arrestin 2, a downstream protein. In this review, we describe the pathophysiological mechanisms of insulin resistance and diabetes, focusing on the signal transduction for NO production via GRK2 and β-arrestin 2, providing novel insights into the potential field of translational investigation in the treatment of diabetic complications.

  7. G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 and endothelial dysfunction: molecular insights and pathophysiological mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Taguchi, Kumiko; Matsumoto, Takayuki; Kobayashi, Tsuneo

    2015-01-01

    Smooth muscle cells (SMC) and endothelial cells are the major cell types in blood vessels. The principal function of vascular SMC in the body is to regulate blood flow and pressure through contraction and relaxation. The endothelium performs a crucial role in maintaining vascular integrity by achieving whole-organ metabolic homeostasis via the production of factors associated with vasoconstriction or vasorelaxation. In this review, we have focused on the production of nitric oxide (NO), a vasorelaxation factor. The extent of NO production represents a key marker in vascular health. A decrease in NO is capable of inducing pathological conditions associated with endothelial dysfunction, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and atherosclerosis. Recent studies have strongly implicated the involvement of G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) in the progression of cardiovascular disease. Vasculature which is affected by insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes expresses high levels of GRK2, which may induce endothelial dysfunction by reducing intracellular NO. GRK2 activation also induces changes in the subcellular localization of GRK2 itself and also of β-arrestin 2, a downstream protein. In this review, we describe the pathophysiological mechanisms of insulin resistance and diabetes, focusing on the signal transduction for NO production via GRK2 and β-arrestin 2, providing novel insights into the potential field of translational investigation in the treatment of diabetic complications. PMID:26447102

  8. G Protein-Coupled Receptors Involved in GnRH Regulation: Molecular Insights from Human Disease

    PubMed Central

    Noel, Sekoni D.; Kaiser, Ursula B.

    2011-01-01

    In the past two decades, an increasing body of evidence has demonstrated that several G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-ligand pairs are critical for normal human reproductive development and function. Patients harboring genetic insults in either the receptors or their cognate ligands have presented with reproductive disorders characterized by varying degrees of GnRH deficiency. These disorders include idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) and Kallmann Syndrome (KS). Conversely, mutations in some of these ligand-receptor pairs have been associated with accelerated reproductive maturation, manifested as central precocious puberty (CPP). To date, a series of elegant studies have characterized four GPCRs that play important roles in the neuroendocrine control of human reproductive development and function: GnRHR, KISS1R, PROKR2 and NK3R. Furthermore, these studies provide insights into the mechanisms by which mutations in these receptors give rise to reproductive disease phenotypes. This report will review mutations identified in GPCRs involved in the neuroendocrine control of the human reproductive axis with the aims of elucidating structure-function relationships of these GPCRs and identifying correlations between these structure-function relationships and the genotypic-phenotypic characterization of the patients. PMID:21736917

  9. Molecular insights into mu opioid pharmacology: From the clinic to the bench.

    PubMed

    Pasternak, Gavril W

    2010-01-01

    Most of the opioids used in clinical practice exert their effects through mu opioid receptors. Yet, subtle but important pharmacological differences have been observed among the mu opioids. Their potency, effectiveness, and adverse effects can vary unpredictably among patients. These clinical differences among the mu opioids strongly argue against a single receptor mediating their actions. The cloning of the mu opioid receptor has greatly enhanced our understanding of the complexity of this system and has provided possible mechanisms to explain these observations. A single mu opioid receptor gene has been identified, but we now know that it generates a multitude of different mu opioid receptor subtypes through a mechanism commonly used to enhance protein diversity, alternative splicing. Early studies identified a number of splice variants involving the tip of the C-terminus. This region of the receptor is far away from the binding pocket, explaining why these variants still exhibit the same selectivity for mu opioids. However, the differences in structure at the C-terminus influence the activation patterns of the mu opioids. In addition, a second series of variants has been isolated that involves alternative splicing at the N-terminus. Together, these sets of mu opioid receptor splice variants may help explain the clinical variability of the mu drugs among patients and provide insights into why it is so important to individualize therapy for every patient in pain.

  10. New Insight into the Aggregation of Graphene Oxide Using Molecular Dynamics Simulations and Extended Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek Theory.

    PubMed

    Tang, Huan; Zhao, Ying; Yang, Xiaonan; Liu, Dongmei; Shao, Penghui; Zhu, Zhigao; Shan, Sujie; Cui, Fuyi; Xing, Baoshan

    2017-09-05

    A comparative experimental and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation study was carried out to investigate the aggregation of graphene oxide (GO). Mechanisms behind the effects of solution chemistries (pH, metal ions, and tannic acid (TA)) and GO topology (carboxyl content, GO size, and GO thickness) were uncovered. For example, MD results showed that more hydrogen bonds formed between GO and water at higher pH, according well with the increased hydrophilicity of GO calculated based on contact angle measurements. Radial distribution functions analysis suggested Ca(2+) interacted more strongly with GO than Na(+), which explained the experimental observations that Ca(2+) was more effective in accelerating the aggregation process than Na(+). The adsorption-bridging and steric effects of TA were simulated, and TA was found to be unfolded upon wrapping on GOs, leading to an increased capacity for ion and solvent binding. The evaluations of contributions to GO hydrophilicity, electrostatic energy, and intensities of interactions with metal ions indicated the carboxyl group is the essential functional group in mediating the stability of GO. Overall, by combining MD simulations with experimental measurements, we provided molecular-level understandings toward the aggregation of GO, indicating MD, if used properly, can be applied as a useful tool to obtain insights into the aggregation of nanomaterials.

  11. Insight into a molecular interaction force supporting peptide backbones and its implication to protein loops and folding

    PubMed Central

    Du, Qi-Shi; Chen, Dong; Xie, Neng-Zhong; Huang, Ri-Bo; Chou, Kuo-Chen

    2015-01-01

    Although not being classified as the most fundamental protein structural elements like α-helices and β-strands, the loop segment may play considerable roles for protein stability, flexibility, and dynamic activity. Meanwhile, the protein loop is also quite elusive; i.e. its interactions with the other parts of protein as well as its own shape-maintaining forces have still remained as a puzzle or at least not quite clear yet. Here, we report a molecular force, the so-called polar hydrogen–π interaction (Hp–π), which may play an important role in supporting the backbones of protein loops. By conducting the potential energy surface scanning calculations on the quasi π-plane of peptide bond unit, we have observed the following intriguing phenomena: (1) when the polar hydrogen atom of a peptide unit is perpendicularly pointing to the π-plane of other peptide bond units, a remarkable Hp–π interaction occurs; (2) the interaction is distance and orientation dependent, acting in a broad space, and belonging to the ‘point-to-plane’ one. The molecular force reported here may provide useful interaction concepts and insights into better understanding the loop’s unique stability and flexibility feature, as well as the driving force of the protein global folding. PMID:25375237

  12. Anticancer compound plumbagin and its molecular targets: a structural insight into the inhibitory mechanisms using computational approaches.

    PubMed

    Jamal, Mohammad S; Parveen, Shadma; Beg, Mohd A; Suhail, Mohd; Chaudhary, Adeel G A; Damanhouri, Ghazi A; Abuzenadah, Adel M; Rehan, Mohd

    2014-01-01

    Plumbagin (5-hydroxy-2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone) is a naphthoquinone derivative from the roots of plant Plumbago zeylanica and belongs to one of the largest and diverse groups of plant metabolites. The anticancer and antiproliferative activities of plumbagin have been observed in animal models as well as in cell cultures. Plumbagin exerts inhibitory effects on multiple cancer-signaling proteins, however, the binding mode and the molecular interactions have not yet been elucidated for most of these protein targets. The present study is the first attempt to provide structural insights into the binding mode of plumbagin to five cancer signaling proteins viz. PI3Kγ, AKT1/PKBα, Bcl-2, NF-κB, and Stat3 using molecular docking and (un)binding simulation analysis. We validated plumbagin docking to these targets with previously known important residues. The study also identified and characterized various novel interacting residues of these targets which mediate the binding of plumbagin. Moreover, the exact modes of inhibition when multiple mode of inhibition existed was also shown. Results indicated that the engaging of these important interacting residues in plumbagin binding leads to inhibition of these cancer-signaling proteins which are key players in the pathogenesis of cancer and thereby ceases the progression of the disease.

  13. Molecular genetics and pathogenic mechanisms for the severe ciliopathies: insights into neurodevelopment and pathogenesis of neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Logan, Clare V; Abdel-Hamed, Zakia; Johnson, Colin A

    2011-02-01

    Meckel-Gruber syndrome (MKS) is a severe autosomal recessively inherited disorder characterized by developmental defects of the central nervous system that comprise neural tube defects that most commonly present as occipital encephalocele. MKS is considered to be the most common syndromic form of neural tube defect. MKS is genetically heterogeneous with six known disease genes: MKS1, MKS2/TMEM216, MKS3/TMEM67, RPGRIP1L, CEP290, and CC2D2A with the encoded proteins all implicated in the correct function of primary cilia. Primary cilia are microtubule-based organelles that project from the apical surface of most epithelial cell types. Recent progress has implicated the involvement of cilia in the Wnt and Shh signaling pathways and has led to an understanding of their role in normal mammalian neurodevelopment. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the molecular genetics of the human disorder, and to assess recent insights into the etiology and molecular cell biology of severe ciliopathies from mammalian animal models of MKS.

  14. 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.

  15. Ecotypic differentiation under farmers' selection: Molecular insights into the domestication of Pachyrhizus Rich. ex DC. (Fabaceae) in the Peruvian Andes.

    PubMed

    Delêtre, Marc; Soengas, Beatriz; Vidaurre, Prem Jai; Meneses, Rosa Isela; Delgado Vásquez, Octavio; Oré Balbín, Isabel; Santayana, Monica; Heider, Bettina; Sørensen, Marten

    2017-06-01

    Understanding the distribution of crop genetic diversity in relation to environmental factors can give insights into the eco-evolutionary processes involved in plant domestication. Yam beans (Pachyrhizus Rich. ex DC.) are leguminous crops native to South and Central America that are grown for their tuberous roots but are seed-propagated. Using a landscape genetic approach, we examined correlations between environmental factors and phylogeographic patterns of genetic diversity in Pachyrhizus landrace populations. Molecular analyses based on chloroplast DNA sequencing and a new set of nuclear microsatellite markers revealed two distinct lineages, with strong genetic differentiation between Andean landraces (lineage A) and Amazonian landraces (lineage B). The comparison of different evolutionary scenarios for the diversification history of yam beans in the Andes using approximate Bayesian computation suggests that Pachyrhizus ahipa and Pachyrhizus tuberosus share a progenitor-derivative relationship, with environmental factors playing an important role in driving selection for divergent ecotypes. The new molecular data call for a revision of the taxonomy of Pachyrhizus but are congruent with paleoclimatic and archeological evidence, and suggest that selection for determinate growth was part of ecophysiological adaptations associated with the diversification of the P. tuberosus-P. ahipa complex during the Mid-Holocene.

  16. Enhanced interfacial strength of carbon nanotube/copper nanocomposites via Ni-coating: Molecular-dynamics insights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duan, Ke; Li, Li; Hu, Yujin; Wang, Xuelin

    2017-04-01

    The molecular bridging between carbon nanotube (CNT) within the meta matrix is hopeful for enhancing nanocomposite's mechanical performance. One of the main problems for nanocomposites is the inadequate bonding between nonstructural reinforcement and meta matrix. Ni-coating on CNT is an effective method to overcome the drawback of the inadequate strength, but the enhancing mechanism has not well interpreted yet. In this paper, the enhancing mechanism will be interpreted from the molecular-dynamics insights. The pullout process of CNT and Ni-coated CNT against copper matrix is investigated. The effects of geometric parameters, including CNT length and diameter, are taken into considerations and discussed. Results show that the interfacial strength is significantly improved after the Ni-coated CNT, which shows a good agreement with the experimental results available in the open literature. Besides, the sliding mechanism of Ni-coated CNTs against copper matrix is much more like a kind of friction sliding and directly related to the embedded zone. However, the pullout force of the CNT without Ni-coating is nearly proportional to its diameter, but independent of embedded length.

  17. Glycation induces conformational changes in the amyloid-β peptide and enhances its aggregation propensity: molecular insights.

    PubMed

    Jana, Asis K; Batkulwar, Kedar B; Kulkarni, Mahesh J; Sengupta, Neelanjana

    2016-11-23

    The cytotoxicity of the amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide, implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), can be enhanced by its post-translational glycation, a series of non-enzymatic reactions with reducing sugars and reactive dicarbonyls. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms that potentially enhance the cytotoxicity of the advanced glycation modified Aβ. In this work, fully atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are exploited to obtain direct molecular insights into the process of early Aβ self-assembly in the presence and absence of glycated lysine residues. Analyses of data exceeding cumulative timescales of 1 microsecond for each system reveal that glycation results in a stronger enthalpy of association between Aβ monomers and lower conformational entropy, in addition to a sharp overall increase in the beta-sheet content. Further analyses reveal that the enhanced interactions originate, in large part, due to markedly stronger, as well as new, inter-monomer salt bridging propensities in the glycated variety. Interestingly, these conformational and energetic effects are broadly reflected in preformed protofibrillar forms of Aβ small oligomers modified with glycation. Our combined results imply that glycation consolidates Aβ self-assembly regardless of its point of occurrence in the pathway. They provide a basis for further mechanistic studies and therapeutic endeavors that could potentially result in novel ways of combating AGE related AD progression.

  18. Uncovering the molecular and physiological processes of anticancer leads binding human serum albumin: A physical insight into drug efficacy

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chuanbo; Wang, Jin

    2017-01-01

    Human serum albumin (HSA) has its ability to bind drug molecules and influence their efficacies. Although anticancer leads NSC48693 and NSC290956 functioned at the same mechanism, the drug efficacies were obviously distinct. To gain insight into the distinct drug efficacy, the molecular and physiological processes of anticancer leads binding HSA have been investigated via a combined experimental and theoretical approach. The binding site, as characterized by fluorescence quenching and molecular modeling, is found to be located at site II in subdomain III A for NSC48693 with tight binding and at site FA1 in subdomain I B for NSC290956 with negatively cooperative binding, respectively. As indicated by the thermodynamic analysis, NSC48693 binds to HSA with an enthalpy driven mechanism, while NSC290956 binding with HSA is entropically driven. The further kinetic analysis indicates that the association rates appear to be similar to these two anticancer leads, however, the dissociation rate of NSC48693 is approximately 5-fold slower than that of NSC290956. For NSC48693, the pharmacodynamic efficacy is less than that of NSC290956, while its pharmacokinetic behavior is better than that of NSC290956. These parameters influence the pharmacodynamic efficacy and pharmacokinetic behavior, which will give further impacts on drug efficacy in vivo. PMID:28426740

  19. Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 subtype C molecular variants among indigenous australians: new insights into the molecular epidemiology of HTLV-1 in Australo-Melanesia.

    PubMed

    Cassar, Olivier; Einsiedel, Lloyd; Afonso, Philippe V; Gessain, Antoine

    2013-01-01

    HTLV-1 infection is endemic among people of Melanesian descent in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Molecular studies reveal that these Melanesian strains belong to the highly divergent HTLV-1c subtype. In Australia, HTLV-1 is also endemic among the Indigenous people of central Australia; however, the molecular epidemiology of HTLV-1 infection in this population remains poorly documented. Studying a series of 23 HTLV-1 strains from Indigenous residents of central Australia, we analyzed coding (gag, pol, env, tax) and non-coding (LTR) genomic proviral regions. Four complete HTLV-1 proviral sequences were also characterized. Phylogenetic analyses implemented with both Neighbor-Joining and Maximum Likelihood methods revealed that all proviral strains belong to the HTLV-1c subtype with a high genetic diversity, which varied with the geographic origin of the infected individuals. Two distinct Australians clades were found, the first including strains derived from most patients whose origins are in the North, and the second comprising a majority of those from the South of central Australia. Time divergence estimation suggests that the speciation of these two Australian clades probably occurred 9,120 years ago (38,000-4,500). The HTLV-1c subtype is endemic to central Australia where the Indigenous population is infected with diverse subtype c variants. At least two Australian clades exist, which cluster according to the geographic origin of the human hosts. These molecular variants are probably of very ancient origin. Further studies could provide new insights into the evolution and modes of dissemination of these retrovirus variants and the associated ancient migration events through which early human settlement of Australia and Melanesia was achieved.

  20. Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 Subtype C Molecular Variants among Indigenous Australians: New Insights into the Molecular Epidemiology of HTLV-1 in Australo-Melanesia

    PubMed Central

    Afonso, Philippe V.; Gessain, Antoine

    2013-01-01

    Background HTLV-1 infection is endemic among people of Melanesian descent in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Molecular studies reveal that these Melanesian strains belong to the highly divergent HTLV-1c subtype. In Australia, HTLV-1 is also endemic among the Indigenous people of central Australia; however, the molecular epidemiology of HTLV-1 infection in this population remains poorly documented. Findings Studying a series of 23 HTLV-1 strains from Indigenous residents of central Australia, we analyzed coding (gag, pol, env, tax) and non-coding (LTR) genomic proviral regions. Four complete HTLV-1 proviral sequences were also characterized. Phylogenetic analyses implemented with both Neighbor-Joining and Maximum Likelihood methods revealed that all proviral strains belong to the HTLV-1c subtype with a high genetic diversity, which varied with the geographic origin of the infected individuals. Two distinct Australians clades were found, the first including strains derived from most patients whose origins are in the North, and the second comprising a majority of those from the South of central Australia. Time divergence estimation suggests that the speciation of these two Australian clades probably occurred 9,120 years ago (38,000–4,500). Conclusions The HTLV-1c subtype is endemic to central Australia where the Indigenous population is infected with diverse subtype c variants. At least two Australian clades exist, which cluster according to the geographic origin of the human hosts. These molecular variants are probably of very ancient origin. Further studies could provide new insights into the evolution and modes of dissemination of these retrovirus variants and the associated ancient migration events through which early human settlement of Australia and Melanesia was achieved. PMID:24086779

  1. Molecular basis of the interaction for an essential subunit PA-PB1 in influenza virus RNA polymerase: insights from molecular dynamics simulation and free energy calculation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Huanxiang; Yao, Xiaojun

    2010-02-01

    The emergence of the extremely aggressive influenza recently has highlighted the urgent need for new effective treatments. The influenza RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) heterotrimer including PA, PB1 and PB2 has crucial roles in viral RNA replication and transcription. The highly conserved PB1 binding site on PA can be considered as a novel potential drug target site. The interaction between PB1 binding site and PA is crucial to many functions of the virus. In this study, to understand the detailed interaction profile and to characterize the binding hot spots in the interactions of the PA-PB1 complex, an 8 ns molecular dynamics simulation of the subunit PA-PB1 combined with MM-PBSA (molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area), MM-GBSA (molecular mechanics generalized Born surface area) computations and virtual alanine scanning were performed. The results from the free energy decomposition indicate that the intermolecular van der Waals interaction and the nonpolar solvation term provide the driving force for binding process. Through the pair interaction analysis and virtual alanine scanning, we identified the binding hot spots of PA and the basic binding motif of PB1. This information can provide some insights for the structure-based RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitors design. The identified binding motif can be used as the starting point for the rational design of small molecules or peptide mimics. This study will also lead to new opportunities toward the development of new generation therapeutic agents exhibiting specificity and low resistance to influenza virus.

  2. 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

  3. Different inhibitory potency of febuxostat towards mammalian and bacterial xanthine oxidoreductases: insight from molecular dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Kikuchi, Hiroto; Fujisaki, Hiroshi; Furuta, Tadaomi; Okamoto, Ken; Leimkühler, Silke; Nishino, Takeshi

    2012-01-01

    Febuxostat, a drug recently approved in the US, European Union and Japan for treatment of gout, inhibits xanthine oxidoreductase (XOR)-mediated generation of uric acid during purine catabolism. It inhibits bovine milk XOR with a Ki in the picomolar-order, but we found that it is a much weaker inhibitor of Rhodobacter capsulatus XOR, even though the substrate-binding pockets of mammalian and bacterial XOR are well-conserved as regards to catalytically important residues and three-dimensional structure, and both permit the inhibitor to be accommodated in the active site, as indicated by computational docking studies. To clarify the reason for the difference of inhibitory potency towards the two XORs, we performed molecular dynamics simulations. The results indicate that differences in mobility of hydrophobic residues that do not directly interact with the substrate account for the difference in inhibitory potency. PMID:22448318

  4. Zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 as a reverse osmosis membrane for water desalination: Insight from molecular simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  5. Zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 as a reverse osmosis membrane for water desalination: insight from molecular simulation.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhongqiao; Chen, Yifei; Jiang, Jianwen

    2011-04-07

    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.

  6. Insights into Laccase Engineering from Molecular Simulations: Toward a Binding-Focused Strategy.

    PubMed

    Monza, Emanuele; Lucas, M Fatima; Camarero, Susana; Alejaldre, Lorea C; Martínez, Angel T; Guallar, Victor

    2015-04-16

    Understanding the molecular determinants of enzyme performance is of primary importance for the rational design of ad hoc mutants. A novel approach, which combines efficient conformational sampling and quick reactivity scoring, is used here to shed light on how substrate oxidation was improved during the directed evolution experiment of a fungal laccase (from Pycnoporus cinnabarinus), an industrially relevant class of oxidoreductases. It is found that the enhanced activity of the evolved enzyme is mainly the result of substrate arrangement in the active site, with no important change in the redox potential of the T1 copper. Mutations at the active site shift the binding mode into a more buried substrate position and provide a more favorable electrostatic environment for substrate oxidation. As a consequence, engineering the binding event seems to be a viable way to in silico evolution of oxidoreductases.

  7. Molecular insights into the taxonomy of Hypanis (Bivalvia, Cardiidae, Lymnocardiinae) in the Black Sea lagoons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popa, Luis; Popa, Oana; Iorgu, Elena; Kelemen, Beatrice; Murariu, Dumitru

    2012-06-01

    In this study, we used data from morphology and three DNA markers to assess the taxonomic status of the putative bivalve species Hypanis colorata and Hypanis angusticostata in a Black Sea lagoon, the Razelm Lake in Romania. The morphological data (the shape of shell ribs and the multivariate analysis of morphometric variance of three variables constructed as the ratios between the main dimensions of the shell) confirmed that the two analyzed species are distinct morphological entities. Three molecular markers, one from the nuclear genome (18S rRNA) and two from the mitochondrial genome (16S rRNA and COI), showed extremely reduced sequence divergence (0-0.1%) between the two putative species. Based on these results, we suggest that H. angusticostata and H. colorata are morphotypes of a single species.

  8. 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

  9. Evolution of land plants: insights from molecular studies on basal lineages.

    PubMed

    Ishizaki, Kimitsune

    2017-01-01

    The invasion of the land by plants, or terrestrialization, was one of the most critical events in the history of the Earth. The evolution of land plants included significant transformations in body plans: the emergence of a multicellular diploid sporophyte, transition from gametophyte-dominant to sporophyte-dominant life histories, and development of many specialized tissues and organs, such as stomata, vascular tissues, roots, leaves, seeds, and flowers. Recent advances in molecular genetics in two model basal plants, bryophytes Physcomitrella patens and Marchantia polymorpha, have begun to provide answers to several key questions regarding land plant evolution. This paper discusses the evolution of the genes and regulatory mechanisms that helped drive such significant morphological innovations among land-based plants.

  10. 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

  11. Mechanistic insight on the Diels-Alder reaction catalyzed by a self-assembled molecular capsule.

    PubMed

    Xu, Lina; Hua, Weijie; Hua, Shugui; Li, Jun; Li, Shuhua

    2013-04-19

    We combined Monte Carlo simulations and density functional theory calculations to study the mechanism of the Diels-Alder reaction of p-quinone and cyclohexadiene catalyzed by a self-assembled molecular capsule. Our calculations show that the encapsulation of the reactants into the cage is driven by hydrogen-bonding interactions and π-π stacking interactions between two reactants and the capsule. The encapsulated Diels-Alder reaction at different locations inside the capsule may have quite different reactivity due to different guest-host interactions. A comparison of the free energy profiles of the Diels-Alder reaction in the capsule and in the bulk solution reveals that the Diels-Alder reaction in the capsule is accelerated because the host-guest interaction leads to a relatively smaller barrier for the cycloaddition step.

  12. 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

  13. Membrane Remodeling by Surface-Bound Protein Aggregates: Insights from Coarse-Grained Molecular Dynamics Simulation

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The mechanism of curvature generation in membranes has been studied for decades due to its important role in many cellular functions. However, it is not clear if, or how, aggregates of lipid-anchored proteins might affect the geometry and elastic property of membranes. As an initial step toward addressing this issue, we performed structural, geometrical, and stress field analyses of coarse-grained molecular dynamics trajectories of a domain-forming bilayer in which an aggregate of lipidated proteins was asymmetrically bound. The results suggest a general mechanism whereby asymmetric incorporation of lipid-modified protein aggregates curve multidomain membranes primarily by expanding the surface area of the monolayer in which the lipid anchor is inserted. PMID:24803997

  14. Towards personalized therapy for patients with malignant melanoma: molecular insights into the biology of BRAF mutations.

    PubMed

    Bradish, Joshua R; Montironi, Rodolfo; Lopez-Beltran, Antonio; Post, Kristin M; MacLennan, Gregory T; Cheng, Liang

    2013-02-01

    BRAF mutations have been identified as the most common oncogene mutation in melanomas, especially important in those originating on nonchronically sun-damaged skin. There is a large and continually growing body of evidence regarding the importance of this mutation in targeted therapy for melanoma. In this review, we outline these findings including: molecular pathways used by BRAF, the importance in nonmalignant neoplasms, histologic associations, the relationship of BRAF to KIT and NRAS mutations, and their impact on survival, as well as resistance mechanisms to BRAF inhibitors employed by melanoma. Understanding these topics and how they relate to one another may facilitate the development of new treatments and eventually improve the prognosis for those patients afflicted with this disease.

  15. Water adsorption and proton conduction in metal-organic frameworks: Insights from molecular simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paesani, Francesco

    2014-03-01

    Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a relatively new class of porous materials that hold great potential for a wide range of applications in chemistry, materials science, and nanoengineering. Compared to other porous materials such as zeolites, MOF properties are highly tunable. In particular, it has been shown that both size and shape of the MOF pores can be rationally designed for specific applications. For example, the ability to modify the framework properties with respect to hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity and acidity/basicity can enable the direct control of proton conduction through carrier molecules adsorbed inside the pores. Here, I report on our current efforts aimed at providing a molecular-level characterization of water-mediated proton conduction through the MOF pores. Particular emphasis will be put on correlation between proton conduction and both structural and chemical properties of the frameworks as well as on the dynamical behavior of water confined in the MOF pores. NSF award number: DMR-130510

  16. Novel therapeutics in metastatic colorectal cancer: molecular insights and pharmacogenomic implications.

    PubMed

    Hanna, Diana L; Lenz, Heinz-Josef

    2016-08-01

    Although the survival of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients has improved five-fold over the last century, CRC remains a significant global health burden. Impressive strides have been made in identifying new regimens, employing maintenance strategies to limit treatment toxicities, and combining multidisciplinary approaches to achieve cure in oligometastatic disease. Attempts at personalized integration of targeted agents have been limited by the ability to identify molecularly enriched patient populations most likely to benefit. In this review, we discuss novel therapeutics and regimens recently approved and in development for mCRC. In addition, we discuss using older agents in novel combination and maintenance strategies, and highlight evidence for implementing pharmacogenomic data and non-invasive monitoring into the personalized management of mCRC patients.

  17. Spin Dynamics and Low Energy Vibrations: Insights from Vanadyl-Based Potential Molecular Qubits.

    PubMed

    Atzori, Matteo; Tesi, Lorenzo; Benci, Stefano; Lunghi, Alessandro; Righini, Roberto; Taschin, Andrea; Torre, Renato; Sorace, Lorenzo; Sessoli, Roberta

    2017-03-15

    Here we report the investigation of the magnetization dynamics of a vanadyl complex with diethyldithiocarbamate (Et2dtc(-)) ligands, namely [VO(Et2dtc)2] (1), in both solid-state and frozen solution. This showed an anomalous and unprecedentedly observed field dependence of the relaxation time, which was modeled with three contributions to the relaxation mechanism. The temperature dependence of the weight of the two processes dominating at low fields was found to well correlate with the low energy vibrations as determined by THz spectroscopy. This detailed experimental comparative study represents a fundamental step to understand the spin dynamics of potential molecular quantum bits, and enriches the guidelines to design molecule-based systems with enhanced quantum coherence.

  18. 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

  19. Continuum mechanics at the atomic scale: Insights into non-adhesive contacts using molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solhjoo, Soheil; Vakis, Antonis I.

    2016-12-01

    Classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed to study non-adhesive contact at the atomic scale. Starting from the case of Hertzian contact, it was found that the reduced Young's modulus E* for shallow indentations scales as a function of, both, the indentation depth and the contact radius. Furthermore, the contact of two representative rough surfaces was investigated: one multi-asperity, Greenwood-Williamson-type (GW-type) rough surface — where asperities were approximated as spherical caps — and a comparable randomly rough one. The results of the MD simulations were in agreement for both representations and showed that the relative projected contact areas Ar p c were linear functions of nominal applied pressures, even after the initiation of plastic deformation. When comparing the MD simulation results with the corresponding continuum GW and Persson models, both continuum models were found to overestimate the values of Ar p c relative to the MD simulation results.

  20. Evidence of a double-lid movement in Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipase: insights from molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Cherukuvada, Subbulakshmi Latha; Seshasayee, Aswin Sai Narain; Raghunathan, Krishnan; Anishetty, Sharmila; Pennathur, Gautam

    2005-08-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipase is a 29-kDa protein that, following the determination of its crystal structure, was postulated to have a lid that stretched between residues 125 and 148. In this paper, using molecular dynamics simulations, we propose that there exists, in addition to the above-mentioned lid, a novel second lid in this lipase. We further show that the second lid, covering residues 210-222, acts as a triggering lid for the movement of the first. We also investigate the role of hydrophobicity in the movement of the lids and show that two residues, Phe214 and Ala217, play important roles in lid movement. To our knowledge, this is the first time that a double-lid movement of the type described in our manuscript has been presented to the scientific community. This work also elucidates the interplay of hydrophobic interactions in the dynamics, and hence the function, of an enzyme.

  1. Thermodynamic and structural properties of binary calcium silicate glasses: insights from molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Jabraoui, H; Malki, M; Hasnaoui, A; Badawi, M; Ouaskit, S; Lebègue, S; Vaills, Y

    2017-07-26

    We study calcium silicate glass of composition (CaO)X(SiO2)(1-X), where X = 40-70 mol%, by means of molecular dynamics for different cooling rates between 10(11)-10(13) K s(-1). The thermodynamic and kinetic properties of calcium silicate materials are determined, discussed, and correlated to local structures at short and intermediate range orders and to the potential energies of the oxygen atoms. We show that the amount of non-bridging oxygens and the appearance of free oxygens are related to the increase of the glass transition temperature for an increasing CaO content. Our results are analyzed and discussed in connection with the available experimental data.

  2. Primary and Secondary Lymphatic Valve Development: Molecular, Functional and Mechanical Insights

    PubMed Central

    Bazigou, Eleni; Wilson, John T.; Moore, James E.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25086182

  3. Flavin binding to the deca-heme cytochrome MtrC: Insights from computational molecular simulation

    DOE PAGES

    Breuer, Marian; Rosso, Kevin  M.; Blumberger, Jochen

    2015-12-15

    Here, certain dissimilatory bacteria have the remarkable ability to use extracellular metal oxide minerals instead of oxygen as terminal electron sinks, using a process known as “extracellular respiration”. Specialized multiheme cytochromes located on the outer membrane of the microbe were shown to be crucial for electron transfer from the cell surface to the mineral. This process is facilitated by soluble, biogenic flavins secreted by the organism for the purpose of acting as an electron shuttle. However, their interactions with the outer-membrane cytochromes are not established on a molecular scale. Here, we study the interaction between the outer-membrane deca-heme cytochrome MtrCmore » from Shewanella oneidensis and flavin mononucleotide (FMN in fully oxidized quinone form) using computational docking. We find that interaction of FMN with MtrC is significantly weaker than with known FMN-binding proteins, but identify a mildly preferred interaction site close to heme 2 with a dissociation constant (Kd) = 490 μM, in good agreement with recent experimental estimates, Kd = 255 μM. The weak interaction with MtrC can be qualitatively explained by the smaller number of hydrogen bonds that the planar headgroup of FMN can form with this protein compared to FMN-binding proteins. Molecular dynamics simulation gives indications for a possible conformational switch upon cleavage of the disulphide bond of MtrC, but without concomitant increase in binding affinities according to this docking study. Overall, our results suggest that binding of FMN to MtrC is reversible and not highly specific, which may be consistent with a role as redox shuttle that facilitates extracellular respiration.« less

  4. Molecular Dynamics Insights into Polyamine-DNA Binding Modes: Implications for Cross-Link Selectivity.

    PubMed

    Bignon, Emmanuelle; Chan, Chen-Hui; Morell, Christophe; Monari, Antonio; Ravanat, Jean-Luc; Dumont, Elise

    2017-08-16

    Biogenic polyamines, which play a role in DNA condensation and stabilization, are ubiquitous and are found at millimolar concentration in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells. The interaction modes of three polyamines-putrescine (Put), spermine (Spm), and spermidine (Spd)-with a self-complementary 16 base pair (bp) duplex, are investigated by all-atom explicit-solvent molecular dynamics. The length of the amine aliphatic chain leads to a change of the interaction mode from minor groove binding to major groove binding. Through all-atom dynamics, noncovalent interactions that stabilize the polyamine-DNA complex and prefigure the reactivity, leading to the low-barrier formation of deleterious DNA-polyamine cross-links, after one-electron oxidation of a guanine nucleobase, are unraveled. The binding strength is quantified from the obtained trajectories by molecular mechanics generalized Born surface area post-processing (MM-GBSA). The values of binding free energies provide the same affinity order, Put

  5. Flavin Binding to the Deca-heme Cytochrome MtrC: Insights from Computational Molecular Simulation

    PubMed Central

    Breuer, Marian; Rosso, Kevin M.; Blumberger, Jochen

    2015-01-01

    Certain dissimilatory bacteria have the remarkable ability to use extracellular metal oxide minerals instead of oxygen as terminal electron sinks, using a process known as “extracellular respiration”. Specialized multiheme cytochromes located on the outer membrane of the microbe were shown to be crucial for electron transfer from the cell surface to the mineral. This process is facilitated by soluble, biogenic flavins secreted by the organism for the purpose of acting as an electron shuttle. However, their interactions with the outer-membrane cytochromes are not established on a molecular scale. Here, we study the interaction between the outer-membrane deca-heme cytochrome MtrC from Shewanella oneidensis and flavin mononucleotide (FMN in fully oxidized quinone form) using computational docking. We find that interaction of FMN with MtrC is significantly weaker than with known FMN-binding proteins, but identify a mildly preferred interaction site close to heme 2 with a dissociation constant (Kd) = 490 μM, in good agreement with recent experimental estimates, Kd = 255 μM. The weak interaction with MtrC can be qualitatively explained by the smaller number of hydrogen bonds that the planar headgroup of FMN can form with this protein compared to FMN-binding proteins. Molecular dynamics simulation gives indications for a possible conformational switch upon cleavage of the disulphide bond of MtrC, but without concomitant increase in binding affinities according to this docking study. Overall, our results suggest that binding of FMN to MtrC is reversible and not highly specific, which may be consistent with a role as redox shuttle that facilitates extracellular respiration. PMID:26682818

  6. Molecular Phylogeny of the Neotropical Genus Christensonella (Orchidaceae, Maxillariinae): Species Delimitation and Insights into Chromosome Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Koehler, Samantha; Cabral, Juliano S.; Whitten, W. Mark; Williams, Norris H.; Singer, Rodrigo B.; Neubig, Kurt M.; Guerra, Marcelo; Souza, Anete P.; Amaral, Maria do Carmo E.

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims Species' boundaries applied within Christensonella have varied due to the continuous pattern of variation and mosaic distribution of diagnostic characters. The main goals of this study were to revise the species' delimitation and propose a more stable classification for this genus. In order to achieve these aims phylogenetic relationships were inferred using DNA sequence data and cytological diversity within Christensonella was examined based on chromosome counts and heterochromatin patterns. The results presented describe sets of diagnostic morphological characters that can be used for species' identification. Methods Phylogenetic studies were based on sequence data of nuclear and plastid regions, analysed using maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood criteria. Cytogenetic observations of mitotic cells were conducted using CMA and DAPI fluorochromes. Key Results Six of 21 currently accepted species were recovered. The results also support recognition of the ‘C. pumila’ clade as a single species. Molecular phylogenetic relationships within the ‘C. acicularis–C. madida’ and ‘C. ferdinandiana–C. neowiedii’ species' complexes were not resolved and require further study. Deeper relationships were incongruent between plastid and nuclear trees, but with no strong bootstrap support for either, except for the position of C. vernicosa. Cytogenetic data indicated chromosome numbers of 2n = 36, 38 and 76, and with substantial variation in the presence and location of CMA/DAPI heterochromatin bands. Conclusions The recognition of ten species of Christensonella is proposed according to the molecular and cytogenetic patterns observed. In addition, diagnostic morphological characters are presented for each recognized species. Banding patterns and chromosome counts suggest the occurrence of centric fusion/fission events, especially for C. ferdinandiana. The results suggest that 2n = 36 karyotypes evolved from 2n = 38 through descendent

  7. 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

    2016-08-15

    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.

  8. Gene Expression Profiling in Blood Provides Reproducible Molecular Insights into Asthma Control.

    PubMed

    Croteau-Chonka, Damien C; Qiu, Weiliang; Martinez, Fernando D; Strunk, Robert C; Lemanske, Robert F; Liu, Andrew H; Gilliland, Frank D; Millstein, Joshua; Gauderman, W James; Ober, Carole; Krishnan, Jerry A; White, Steven R; Naureckas, Edward T; Nicolae, Dan L; Barnes, Kathleen C; London, Stephanie J; Barraza-Villarreal, Albino; Carey, Vincent J; Weiss, Scott T; Raby, Benjamin A

    2017-01-15

    Maintaining optimal symptom control remains the primary objective of asthma treatment. Better understanding of the biologic underpinnings of asthma control may lead to the development of improved clinical and pharmaceutical approaches. To identify molecular pathways and interrelated genes whose differential expression was associated with asthma control. We performed gene set enrichment analyses of asthma control in 1,170 adults with asthma, each with gene expression data derived from either whole blood (WB) or unstimulated CD4(+) T lymphocytes (CD4), and a self-reported asthma control score representing either the preceding 6 months (chronic) or 7 days (acute). Our study comprised a discovery WB cohort (n = 245, chronic) and three independent, nonoverlapping replication cohorts: a second WB set (n = 448, acute) and two CD4 sets (n = 300, chronic; n = 77, acute). In the WB discovery cohort, we found significant overrepresentation of genes associated with asthma control in 1,106 gene sets from the Molecular Signatures Database (false discovery rate, <5%). Of these, 583 (53%) replicated in at least one replication cohort (false discovery rate, <25%). Suboptimal control was associated with signatures of eosinophilic and granulocytic inflammatory signals, whereas optimal control signatures were enriched for immature lymphocytic patterns. These signatures included two related biologic processes related to activation by TREM-1 (triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1) and lipopolysaccharide. Together, these results demonstrate the existence of specific, reproducible transcriptomic components in blood that vary with degree of asthma control and implicate a novel biologic target (TREM-1).

  9. 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.

  10. Flavin Binding to the Deca-heme Cytochrome MtrC: Insights from Computational Molecular Simulation.

    PubMed

    Breuer, Marian; Rosso, Kevin M; Blumberger, Jochen

    2015-12-15

    Certain dissimilatory bacteria have the remarkable ability to use extracellular metal oxide minerals instead of oxygen as terminal electron sinks, using a process known as "extracellular respiration". Specialized multiheme cytochromes located on the outer membrane of the microbe were shown to be crucial for electron transfer from the cell surface to the mineral. This process is facilitated by soluble, biogenic flavins secreted by the organism for the purpose of acting as an electron shuttle. However, their interactions with the outer-membrane cytochromes are not established on a molecular scale. Here, we study the interaction between the outer-membrane deca-heme cytochrome MtrC from Shewanella oneidensis and flavin mononucleotide (FMN in fully oxidized quinone form) using computational docking. We find that interaction of FMN with MtrC is significantly weaker than with known FMN-binding proteins, but identify a mildly preferred interaction site close to heme 2 with a dissociation constant (Kd) = 490 μM, in good agreement with recent experimental estimates, Kd = 255 μM. The weak interaction with MtrC can be qualitatively explained by the smaller number of hydrogen bonds that the planar headgroup of FMN can form with this protein compared to FMN-binding proteins. Molecular dynamics simulation gives indications for a possible conformational switch upon cleavage of the disulphide bond of MtrC, but without concomitant increase in binding affinities according to this docking study. Overall, our results suggest that binding of FMN to MtrC is reversible and not highly specific, which may be consistent with a role as redox shuttle that facilitates extracellular respiration.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Insights into the molecular mechanism of RGL2-mediated inhibition of seed germination in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Seed germination is of immense significance for agriculture and has been studied for centuries. Yet, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying regulation of dormancy and g