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Sample records for design rational snake

  1. Snakes! Snakes! Snakes!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nature Naturally, 1983

    1983-01-01

    Designed for students in grades 4-6, the teaching unit presents illustrations and facts about snakes. Topics include common snakes found in the United States, how snakes eat, how snakes shed their skin, poisonous snakes, the Eastern Indigo snake, and the anatomy of a snake. A student page includes a crossword puzzle and surprising snake facts. A…

  2. Rational drug design.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Soma; Moudgil, Mee'nal; Mandal, Sanat K

    2009-12-25

    In this article, current knowledge of drug design is reviewed and an approach of rational drug design is presented. The process of drug development is challenging, expensive, and time consuming, although this process has been accelerated due to the development of computational tools and methodologies. The current target based drug design approach is incomplete because most of the drugs developed by structure guided approaches have been shown to have serious toxic side effects. Otherwise these drugs would have been an ideal choice for the treatment of diseases. Hence, rational drug design would require a multidisciplinary approach. In this regard, incorporation of gene expression technology and bioinformatics tools would be indispensable in the structure based drug design. Global gene expression data and analysis of such data using bioinformatics tools will have numerous benefits such as efficiency, cost effectiveness, time saving, and will provide strategies for combination therapy in addition to overcoming toxic side effects. As a result of incorporation of gene expression data, partial benefit of the structure based drug design is slowly emerging and rapidly changing the approach of the drug development process. To achieve the full benefit of developing a successful drug, multidisciplinary approaches (approaches such as computational chemistry and gene expression analysis, as discussed in this article) would be necessary. In the future, there is adequate room for the development of more sophisticated methodologies.

  3. Rational drug design applied to myeloperoxidase inhibition.

    PubMed

    Van Antwerpen, P; Zouaoui Boudjeltia, K

    2015-06-01

    Rational drug design is a general approach using protein-structure technique in which the discovery of a ligand can be driven either by chance, screening, or rational theory. Myeloperoxidase (MPO) was rapidly identified as a therapeutical target because of its involvement in chronic inflammatory syndromes. In this context, the research of MPO inhibitors was intensified and development of new chemical entities was rationally driven by the research of ligands that enter into the MPO catalytic pocket. Actually, as soon as crystallography data of MPO have become available and its structure was virtually designed, the rational drug design has been applied to this peroxidase. Pharmaceutical industries and academic laboratories apply rational drug design on MPO by either optimizing known inhibitors or searching new molecules by high-throughput virtual screening. By these ways, they were able to find efficient MPO inhibitors and understand their interactions with the enzyme. During this quest of MPO inhibition, it appears that Glu268 is a crucial residue in order to optimize ligand-target interaction. This amino acid should be carefully considered by medicinal chemist when they design inhibitors interfering with MPO activity.

  4. Rational design of nanomaterials for water treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Renyuan; Zhang, Lianbin; Wang, Peng

    2015-10-01

    The ever-increasing human demand for safe and clean water is gradually pushing conventional water treatment technologies to their limits. It is now a popular perception that the solutions to the existing and future water challenges will hinge upon further developments in nanomaterial sciences. The concept of rational design emphasizes on `design-for-purpose' and it necessitates a scientifically clear problem definition to initiate the nanomaterial design. The field of rational design of nanomaterials for water treatment has experienced a significant growth in the past decade and is poised to make its contribution in creating advanced next-generation water treatment technologies in the years to come. Within the water treatment context, this review offers a comprehensive and in-depth overview of the latest progress in rational design, synthesis and applications of nanomaterials in adsorption, chemical oxidation and reduction reactions, membrane-based separation, oil-water separation, and synergistic multifunctional all-in-one nanomaterials/nanodevices. Special attention is paid to the chemical concepts related to nanomaterial design throughout the review.

  5. Computational Methods Applied to Rational Drug Design.

    PubMed

    Ramírez, David

    2016-01-01

    Due to the synergic relationship between medical chemistry, bioinformatics and molecular simulation, the development of new accurate computational tools for small molecules drug design has been rising over the last years. The main result is the increased number of publications where computational techniques such as molecular docking, de novo design as well as virtual screening have been used to estimate the binding mode, site and energy of novel small molecules. In this work I review some tools, which enable the study of biological systems at the atomistic level, providing relevant information and thereby, enhancing the process of rational drug design.

  6. Computational Methods Applied to Rational Drug Design

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez, David

    2016-01-01

    Due to the synergic relationship between medical chemistry, bioinformatics and molecular simulation, the development of new accurate computational tools for small molecules drug design has been rising over the last years. The main result is the increased number of publications where computational techniques such as molecular docking, de novo design as well as virtual screening have been used to estimate the binding mode, site and energy of novel small molecules. In this work I review some tools, which enable the study of biological systems at the atomistic level, providing relevant information and thereby, enhancing the process of rational drug design. PMID:27708723

  7. Rational design and synthesis of Janus composites.

    PubMed

    Liang, Fuxin; Zhang, Chengliang; Yang, Zhenzhong

    2014-10-29

    Janus composites with two different components divided on the same object have gained growing interest in many fields, such as solid emulsion stabilizers, sensors, optical probes and self-propellers. Over the past twenty years, various synthesis methods have been developed including Pickering emulsion interfacial modification, block copolymer self-assembly, microfluidics, electro co-jetting, and swelling emulsion polymerization. Anisotropic shape and asymmetric spatial distribution of compositions and functionalities determine their unique performances. Rational design and large scale synthesis of functional Janus materials are crucial for the systematical characterization of performance and exploitation of practical applications.

  8. Rational design of class I MHC ligands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rognan, D.; Scapozza, L.; Folkers, G.; Daser, Angelika

    1995-04-01

    From the knowledge of the three-dimensional structure of a class I MHC protein, several non natural peptides were designed in order to either optimize the interactions of one secondary anchor amino acid with its HLA binding pocket or to substitute the non interacting part with spacer residues. All peptides were synthesized and tested for binding to the class I MHC protein in an in vitro reconstitution assay. As predicted, the non natural peptides present an enhanced binding to the HLA-B27 molecule with respect to their natural parent peptides. This study constitutes the first step towards the rational design of non peptidic MHC ligands that should be very promising tools for the selective immunotherapy of autoimmune diseases.

  9. Rational Design of Biobetters with Enhanced Stability.

    PubMed

    Courtois, Fabienne; Schneider, Curtiss P; Agrawal, Neeraj J; Trout, Bernhardt L

    2015-08-01

    Biotherapeutics are the fastest growing class of pharmaceutical with a rapidly evolving market facing the rise of biosimilar and biobetter products. In contrast to a biosimilar, which is derived from the same gene sequence as the innovator product, a biobetter has enhanced properties, such as enhanced efficacy or reduced immunogenicity. Little work has been carried out so far to increase the intrinsic stability of biotherapeutics via sequence changes, even though, aggregation, the primary degradation pathway of proteins, leads to issues ranging from manufacturing failure to immunological response and to loss of therapeutic activity. Using our spatial aggregation propensity tool as a first step to a rational design approach to identify aggregation-prone regions, biobetters of rituximab have been produced with enhanced stability by introducing site-specific mutations. Significant stabilization against aggregation was achieved for rituximab with no decrease in its binding affinity to the antigen.

  10. Chemogenomic approaches to rational drug design

    PubMed Central

    Rognan, D

    2007-01-01

    Paradigms in drug design and discovery are changing at a significant pace. Concomitant to the sequencing of over 180 several genomes, the high-throughput miniaturization of chemical synthesis and biological evaluation of a multiple compounds on gene/protein expression and function opens the way to global drug-discovery approaches, no more focused on a single target but on an entire family of related proteins or on a full metabolic pathway. Chemogenomics is this emerging research field aimed at systematically studying the biological effect of a wide array of small molecular-weight ligands on a wide array of macromolecular targets. Since the quantity of existing data (compounds, targets and assays) and of produced information (gene/protein expression levels and binding constants) are too large for manual manipulation, information technologies play a crucial role in planning, analysing and predicting chemogenomic data. The present review will focus on predictive in silico chemogenomic approaches to foster rational drug design and derive information from the simultaneous biological evaluation of multiple compounds on multiple targets. State-of-the-art methods for navigating in either ligand or target space will be presented and concrete drug design applications will be mentioned. PMID:17533416

  11. Sunitinib: from rational design to clinical efficacy.

    PubMed

    Chow, Laura Q M; Eckhardt, S Gail

    2007-03-01

    Sunitinib (SU011248) is an oral small molecular tyrosine kinase inhibitor that exhibits potent antiangiogenic and antitumor activity. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as SU6668 and SU5416 (semaxanib) demonstrated poor pharmacologic properties and limited efficacy; therefore, sunitinib was rationally designed and chosen for its high bioavailability and its nanomolar-range potency against the antiangiogenic receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs)--vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) and platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR). Sunitinib inhibits other tyrosine kinases including, KIT, FLT3, colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF-1), and RET, which are involved in a number of malignancies including small-cell lung cancer, GI stromal tumors (GISTs), breast cancer, acute myelogenous leukemia, multiple endocrine neoplasia types 2A and 2B, and familial medullary thyroid carcinoma. Sunitinib demonstrated robust antitumor activity in preclinical studies resulting not only in tumor growth inhibition, but tumor regression in models of colon cancer, non-small-cell lung cancer, melanoma, renal carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma, which were associated with inhibition of VEGFR and PDGFR phosphorylation. Clinical activity was demonstrated in neuroendocrine, colon, and breast cancers in phase II studies, whereas definitive efficacy has been demonstrated in advanced renal cell carcinoma and in imatinib-refractory GISTs, leading to US Food and Drug Administration approval of sunitinib for treatment of these two diseases. Studies investigating sunitinib alone in various tumor types and in combination with chemotherapy are ongoing. The clinical benchmarking of this small-molecule inhibitor of members of the split-kinase domain family of RTKs will lead to additional insights regarding the biology, potential biomarkers, and clinical utility of agents that target multiple signaling pathways in tumor, stromal, and endothelial compartments.

  12. The relationship between rational drug design and drug side effects.

    PubMed

    Wang, Juan; Li, Zhi-xin; Qiu, Cheng-xiang; Wang, Dong; Cui, Qing-hua

    2012-05-01

    Previous analysis of systems pharmacology has revealed a tendency of rational drug design in the pharmaceutical industry. The targets of new drugs tend to be close with the corresponding disease genes in the biological networks. However, it remains unclear whether the rational drug design introduces disadvantages, i.e. side effects. Therefore, it is important to dissect the relationship between rational drug design and drug side effects. Based on a recently released drug side effect database, SIDER, here we analyzed the relationship between drug side effects and the rational drug design. We revealed that the incidence drug side effect is significantly associated with the network distance of drug targets and diseases genes. Drugs with the distances of three or four have the smallest incidence of side effects, whereas drugs with the distances of more than four or smaller than three show significantly greater incidence of side effects. Furthermore, protein drugs and small molecule drugs show significant differences. Drugs hitting membrane targets and drugs hitting cytoplasm targets also show differences. Failure drugs because of severe side effects show smaller network distances than approved drugs. These results suggest that researchers should be prudent on rationalizing the drug design. Too small distances between drug targets and diseases genes may not always be advantageous for rational design for drug discovery.

  13. Rational drug design paradigms: the odyssey for designing better drugs.

    PubMed

    Kellici, Tahsin; Ntountaniotis, Dimitrios; Vrontaki, Eleni; Liapakis, George; Moutevelis-Minakakis, Panagiota; Kokotos, George; Hadjikakou, Sotiris; Tzakos, Andreas G; Afantitis, Antreas; Melagraki, Georgia; Bryant, Sharon; Langer, Thierry; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Mavromoustakos, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Due to the time and effort requirements for the development of a new drug, and the high attrition rates associated with this developmental process, there is an intense effort by academic and industrial researchers to find novel ways for more effective drug development schemes. The first step in the discovery process of a new drug is the identification of the lead compound. The modern research tendency is to avoid the synthesis of new molecules based on chemical intuition, which is time and cost consuming, and instead to apply in silico rational drug design. This approach reduces the consumables and human personnel involved in the initial steps of the drug design. In this review real examples from our research activity aiming to discover new leads will be given for various dire warnings diseases. There is no recipe to follow for discovering new leads. The strategy to be followed depends on the knowledge of the studied system and the experience of the researchers. The described examples constitute successful and unsuccessful efforts and reflect the reality which medicinal chemists have to face in drug design and development. The drug stability is also discussed in both organic molecules and metallotherapeutics. This is an important issue in drug discovery as drug metabolism in the body can lead to various toxic and undesired molecules.

  14. Design of a new therapy to treat snake envenomation

    PubMed Central

    Shahidi Bonjar, Leyla

    2014-01-01

    The prospective removal of snake venoms from the blood of snake-bitten patients is discussed here. Opportune neutralization of killer antigens from the blood of poisoned victims is a vital treatment step. Delays may lead to death, or cripple the patient permanently. The present procedure describes the elimination of venom antigens of a wide range of snakes from the blood of such patients. Compared to conventional treatments, the treatment is administrable in the lack of proper antivenoms, expected to be more effective with less side effects, covers a vast range of snake venoms, minimizes contact of venoms with internal tissues and organs, is applicable in patients sensitive to serum injections, has a high chance of effectiveness because there is no need to identity the snake involved to administer its specific antibody, and is capable of universal application. The principal component to this approach is a “polyvalent venom antibody column” (PVAC), which selectively traps venom antigens from blood in an extracorporeal circuit while detoxified blood returns back to the patient’s body. The PVAC is intended for removal of numerous snake venom antigens in a relatively simple procedure. Detoxification is performed under the supervision of trained personnel using simple blood-circulating machines in which blood circulates from patient to PVAC and back to the patient aseptically. The device acts as a biological filter that selectively immobilizes harmful venom antigens from poisoned blood. For effective neutralization, the PVAC provides a large contact surface area with blood. The PVAC’s reactive sites would consist of carbon nanotubes, on which a vast spectra of venoms’ antibodies are bonded to. In this extracorporeal detoxification process, nocent antigens conjugate with their antibodies and become immobilized, and are eliminated from the poisoned patient blood. Detoxification resuscitation is expected to take 2–3 hours, when the titers of venom antigens in

  15. Computational approaches for rational design of proteins with novel functionalities

    PubMed Central

    Tiwari, Manish Kumar; Singh, Ranjitha; Singh, Raushan Kumar; Kim, In-Won; Lee, Jung-Kul

    2012-01-01

    Proteins are the most multifaceted macromolecules in living systems and have various important functions, including structural, catalytic, sensory, and regulatory functions. Rational design of enzymes is a great challenge to our understanding of protein structure and physical chemistry and has numerous potential applications. Protein design algorithms have been applied to design or engineer proteins that fold, fold faster, catalyze, catalyze faster, signal, and adopt preferred conformational states. The field of de novo protein design, although only a few decades old, is beginning to produce exciting results. Developments in this field are already having a significant impact on biotechnology and chemical biology. The application of powerful computational methods for functional protein designing has recently succeeded at engineering target activities. Here, we review recently reported de novo functional proteins that were developed using various protein design approaches, including rational design, computational optimization, and selection from combinatorial libraries, highlighting recent advances and successes. PMID:24688643

  16. Machine learning in the rational design of antimicrobial peptides.

    PubMed

    Rondón-Villarreal, Paola; Sierra, Daniel A; Torres, Rodrigo

    2014-01-01

    One of the most important public health issues is the microbial and bacterial resistance to conventional antibiotics by pathogen microorganisms. In recent years, many researches have been focused on the development of new antibiotics. Among these, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have raised as a promising alternative to combat antibioticresistant microorganisms. For this reason, many theoretical efforts have been done in the development of new computational tools for the rational design of both better and effective AMPs. In this review, we present an overview of the rational design of AMPs using machine learning techniques and new research fields.

  17. Rational design of reconfigurable prismatic architected materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overvelde, Johannes T. B.; Weaver, James C.; Hoberman, Chuck; Bertoldi, Katia

    2017-01-01

    Advances in fabrication technologies are enabling the production of architected materials with unprecedented properties. Most such materials are characterized by a fixed geometry, but in the design of some materials it is possible to incorporate internal mechanisms capable of reconfiguring their spatial architecture, and in this way to enable tunable functionality. Inspired by the structural diversity and foldability of the prismatic geometries that can be constructed using the snapology origami technique, here we introduce a robust design strategy based on space-filling tessellations of polyhedra to create three-dimensional reconfigurable materials comprising a periodic assembly of rigid plates and elastic hinges. Guided by numerical analysis and physical prototypes, we systematically explore the mobility of the designed structures and identify a wide range of qualitatively different deformations and internal rearrangements. Given that the underlying principles are scale-independent, our strategy can be applied to the design of the next generation of reconfigurable structures and materials, ranging from metre-scale transformable architectures to nanometre-scale tunable photonic systems.

  18. Rational design of efficient modular cells.

    PubMed

    Trinh, Cong T; Liu, Yan; Conner, David J

    2015-11-01

    The modular cell design principle is formulated to devise modular (chassis) cells. These cells can be assembled with exchangeable production modules in a plug-and-play fashion to build microbial cell factories for efficient combinatorial biosynthesis of novel molecules, requiring minimal iterative strain optimization steps. A modular cell is designed to be auxotrophic, containing core metabolic pathways that are necessary but insufficient to support cell growth and maintenance. To be functional, it must tightly couple with an exchangeable production module containing auxiliary metabolic pathways that not only complement cell growth but also enhance production of targeted molecules. We developed a MODCELL (modular cell) framework based on metabolic pathway analysis to implement the modular cell design principle. MODCELL identifies genetic modifications and requirements to construct modular cell candidates and their associated exchangeable production modules. By defining the degree of similarity and coupling metrics, MODCELL can evaluate which exchangeable production module(s) can be tightly coupled with a modular cell candidate. We first demonstrated how MODCELL works in a step-by-step manner for example metabolic networks, and then applied it to design modular Escherichia coli cells for efficient combinatorial biosynthesis of five alcohols (ethanol, propanol, isopropanol, butanol and isobutanol) and five butyrate esters (ethyl butyrate, propyl butyrate, isopropyl butyrate, butyl butyrate and isobutyl butyrate) from pentose sugars (arabinose and xylose) and hexose sugars (glucose, mannose, and galactose) under anaerobic conditions. We identified three modular cells, MODCELL1, MODCELL2 and MODCELL3, that can couple well with Group 1 of modules (ethanol, isobutanol, butanol, ethyl butyrate, isobutyl butyrate, butyl butyrate), Group 2 (isopropanol, isopropyl butyrate), and Group 3 (propanol, isopropanol), respectively. We validated the design of MODCELL1 for anaerobic

  19. Rational Design of Zinc Phosphide Heterojunction Photovoltaics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosco, Jeffrey Paul

    The prospect of terawatt-scale electricity generation using a photovoltaic (PV) device places strict requirements on the active semiconductor optoelectronic properties and elemental abundance. After reviewing the constraints placed on an ``earth-abundant'' solar absorber, we find zinc phosphide (α-Zn 3P2) to be an ideal candidate. In addition to its near-optimal direct band gap of 1.5 eV, high visible-light absorption coefficient (>10. 4cm-1), and long minority-carrier diffusion length (>5 μm), Zn3P 2 is composed of abundant Zn and P elements and has excellent physical properties for scalable thin-film deposition. However, to date, a Zn 3P2 device of sufficient efficiency for commercial applications has not been demonstrated. Record efficiencies of 6.0% for multicrystalline and 4.3% for thin-film cells have been reported, respectively. Performance has been limited by the intrinsic p-type conductivity of Zn3P 2 which restricts us to Schottky and heterojunction device designs. Due to our poor understanding of Zn3P2 interfaces, an ideal heterojunction partner has not yet been found. The goal of this thesis is to explore the upper limit of solar conversion efficiency achievable with a Zn3P2 absorber through the design of an optimal heterojunction PV device. To do so, we investigate three key aspects of material growth, interface energetics, and device design. First, the growth of Zn3P2 on GaAs(001) is studied using compound-source molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE). We successfully demonstrate the pseudomorphic growth of Zn3P2 epilayers of controlled orientation and optoelectronic properties. Next, the energy-band alignments of epitaxial Zn3P2 and II-VI and III-V semiconductor interfaces are measured via high-resolution x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy in order to determine the most appropriate heterojunction partner. From this work, we identify ZnSe as a nearly ideal n-type emitter for a Zn3P 2 PV device. Finally, various II-VI/Zn3P2 heterojunction solar cells designs are

  20. Rational Design of Metal Ion Sequestering Agents

    SciTech Connect

    Raymond, Kenneth N.

    2000-09-30

    The discriminate bonding of metal ions is a challenge to the synthetic chemist and a phenomenon of considerable practical importance.1 An important feature of many technical applications is the specific or preferential binding of a single metal ion in the presence of many metals. Examples range from large-volume uses (e.g. ferric EDTA as a plant food, calcium complexing agents as water softeners or anticaking formulations) to very high technology applications (technetium complexation in radiopharmaceuticals, synthetic metalloenzymes). We are interested in efficient and discriminate binding of actinides for waste stream remediation. Actinides represent a major and long-lived contaminant in nuclear waste. While the separation of actinides from other radioactive components of waste, such as Sr and Cs, is relatively well established, the separation of actinides from each other and in complex solutions (e.g. those found in tank wastes) is not as well resolved. The challenge of designing metal-specific (actinide) ligands is facilitated by examples from nature. Bacteria synthesize Fe(III)-specific ligands, called siderophores, to sequester Fe(III) from the environment and return it to the cell. The similarities between Fe(III) and Pu(IV) (their charge-to-size ratios and acidity), make the siderophores prototypical for designing actinide-specific ligands. The chelating groups present in siderophores are usually hydroxamic acids and catecholamides. We have developed derivatives of these natural products which have improved properties. The catechol derivatives are the 2,3-dihydroxyterephthalamides (TAMs), and 3,4-dihydroxysulfonamides (SFAMs), and the hydroxamic acid derivatives are three isomers of hydroxypyridinones, 1,2- HOPO, 3,2-HOPO, and 3,4-HOPO. All of these ligands are attached to molecular backbones by amides and a very important feature of HOPO and CAM ligands is a strong hydrogen bonds formed between the amide proton and the adjacent phenolic oxygen in the metal

  1. Prodrugs--from serendipity to rational design.

    PubMed

    Huttunen, Kristiina M; Raunio, Hannu; Rautio, Jarkko

    2011-09-01

    The prodrug concept has been used to improve undesirable properties of drugs since the late 19th century, although it was only at the end of the 1950s that the actual term prodrug was introduced for the first time. Prodrugs are inactive, bioreversible derivatives of active drug molecules that must undergo an enzymatic and/or chemical transformation in vivo to release the active parent drug, which can then elicit its desired pharmacological effect in the body. In most cases, prodrugs are simple chemical derivatives that are only one or two chemical or enzymatic steps away from the active parent drug. However, some prodrugs lack an obvious carrier or promoiety but instead result from a molecular modification of the prodrug itself, which generates a new active compound. Numerous prodrugs designed to overcome formulation, delivery, and toxicity barriers to drug utilization have reached the market. In fact, approximately 20% of all small molecular drugs approved during the period 2000 to 2008 were prodrugs. Although the development of a prodrug can be very challenging, the prodrug approach represents a feasible way to improve the erratic properties of investigational drugs or drugs already on the market. This review introduces in depth the rationale behind the use of the prodrug approach from past to present, and also considers the possible problems that can arise from inadequate activation of prodrugs.

  2. Refolding of proteins from inclusion bodies: rational design and recipes.

    PubMed

    Basu, Anindya; Li, Xiang; Leong, Susanna Su Jan

    2011-10-01

    The need to develop protein biomanufacturing platforms that can deliver proteins quickly and cost-effectively is ever more pressing. The rapid rate at which genomes can now be sequenced demands efficient protein production platforms for gene function identification. There is a continued need for the biotech industry to deliver new and more effective protein-based drugs to address new diseases. Bacterial production platforms have the advantage of high expression yields, but insoluble expression of many proteins necessitates the development of diverse and optimised refolding-based processes. Strategies employed to eliminate insoluble expression are reviewed, where it is concluded that inclusion bodies are difficult to eliminate for various reasons. Rational design of refolding systems and recipes are therefore needed to expedite production of recombinant proteins. This review article discusses efforts towards rational design of refolding systems and recipes, which can be guided by the development of refolding screening platforms that yield both qualitative and quantitative information on the progression of a given refolding process. The new opportunities presented by light scattering technologies for developing rational protein refolding buffer systems which in turn can be used to develop new process designs armed with better monitoring and controlling functionalities are discussed. The coupling of dynamic and static light scattering methodologies for incorporation into future bioprocess designs to ensure delivery of high-quality refolded proteins at faster rates is also discussed.

  3. A Rational Approach to the Optimal Design of Drugs.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-07-16

    Recent advances in the rational design of drug molecules based on a graph-theoretical approach are briefly reviewed. Graph theory has not been widely recognized to date as an effective alternative to the empirical procedures currently prevailing in the development of new drugs . Moreover, the problems confronting researchers in this field are daunting in their great complexity. We advocate here a novel yet simple mathematical formalism which opens up a promising

  4. Rational design of inorganic dielectric materials with expected permittivity

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Congwei; Oganov, Artem R.; Dong, Dong; Liu, Ning; Li, Duan; Debela, Tekalign Terfa

    2015-01-01

    Techniques for rapid design of dielectric materials with appropriate permittivity for many important technological applications are urgently needed. It is found that functional structure blocks (FSBs) are helpful in rational design of inorganic dielectrics with expected permittivity. To achieve this, coordination polyhedra are parameterized as FSBs and a simple empirical model to evaluate permittivity based on these FSB parameters is proposed. Using this model, a wide range of examples including ferroelectric, high/low permittivity materials are discussed, resulting in several candidate materials for experimental follow-up. PMID:26617342

  5. Rational design of inorganic dielectric materials with expected permittivity.

    PubMed

    Xie, Congwei; Oganov, Artem R; Dong, Dong; Liu, Ning; Li, Duan; Debela, Tekalign Terfa

    2015-11-30

    Techniques for rapid design of dielectric materials with appropriate permittivity for many important technological applications are urgently needed. It is found that functional structure blocks (FSBs) are helpful in rational design of inorganic dielectrics with expected permittivity. To achieve this, coordination polyhedra are parameterized as FSBs and a simple empirical model to evaluate permittivity based on these FSB parameters is proposed. Using this model, a wide range of examples including ferroelectric, high/low permittivity materials are discussed, resulting in several candidate materials for experimental follow-up.

  6. Natural infection as a blueprint for rational HIV vaccine design.

    PubMed

    van Haaren, Marlies M; van den Kerkhof, Tom L G M; van Gils, Marit J

    2017-01-02

    So far, the development of a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine has been unsuccessful. However, recent progress in the field of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) has reinvigorated the search for an HIV vaccine. bNAbs develop in a minority of HIV infected individuals and passive transfer of these bNAbs to non-human primates provides protection from HIV infection. Studies in a number of HIV infected individuals on bNAb maturation alongside viral evolution and escape have shed light on the features important for bNAb elicitation. Here we review the observations from these studies, and how they influence the rational design of HIV vaccines.

  7. Using Fitness Landscapes for Rational Hepatitis C Immunogen Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hart, Gregory; Ferguson, Andrew

    2015-03-01

    Hepatitis C virus afflicts 170 million people worldwide, 2-3% of the global population. Prophylactic vaccination offers the most realistic and cost effective hope of controlling this epidemic, particularly in the developing world where expensive drug therapies are unavailable. Despite 20 years of research, the high mutability of the virus, and lack of knowledge of what constitutes effective immune responses, have impeded development of an effective vaccine. Coupling data mining of sequence databases with the Potts model, we have developed a computational approach to systematically identify viral vulnerabilities and perform rational design of vaccine immunogens. We applied our approach to the nonstructural proteins NS3, NSA, NSA, and NSB which are crucial for viral replication.The predictions of our model are in good accord with experimental measurements and clinical observations, and we have used our model to design immunogen candidates to elicit T-cell responses against vulnerable regions of theseviral proteins.

  8. Tailoring recombinant protein quality by rational media design.

    PubMed

    Brühlmann, David; Jordan, Martin; Hemberger, Jürgen; Sauer, Markus; Stettler, Matthieu; Broly, Hervé

    2015-01-01

    Clinical efficacy and safety of recombinant proteins are closely associated with their structural characteristics. The major quality attributes comprise glycosylation, charge variants (oxidation, deamidation, and C- & N-terminal modifications), aggregates, low-molecular-weight species (LMW), and misincorporation of amino acids in the protein backbone. Cell culture media design has a great potential to modulate these quality attributes due to the vital role of medium in mammalian cell culture. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the way both classical cell culture medium components and novel supplements affect the quality attributes of recombinant therapeutic proteins expressed in mammalian hosts, allowing rational and high-throughput optimization of mammalian cell culture media. A selection of specific and/or potent inhibitors and activators of oligosaccharide processing as well as components affecting multiple quality attributes are presented. Extensive research efforts in this field show the feasibility of quality engineering through media design, allowing to significantly modulate the protein function.

  9. Toward rational design of electrical stimulation strategies for epilepsy control

    PubMed Central

    Sunderam, Sridhar; Gluckman, Bruce; Reato, Davide; Bikson, Marom

    2009-01-01

    Electrical stimulation is emerging as a viable alternative for epilepsy patients whose seizures are not alleviated by drugs or surgery. Its attractions are temporal and spatial specificity of action, flexibility of waveform parameters and timing, and the perception that its effects are reversible unlike resective surgery. However, despite significant advances in our understanding of mechanisms of neural electrical stimulation, clinical electrotherapy for seizures relies heavily on empirical tuning of parameters and protocols. We highlight concurrent treatment goals with potentially conflicting design constraints that must be resolved when formulating rational strategies for epilepsy electrotherapy: namely seizure reduction versus cognitive impairment, stimulation efficacy versus tissue safety, and mechanistic insight versus clinical pragmatism. First, treatment markers, objectives, and metrics relevant to electrical stimulation for epilepsy are discussed from a clinical perspective. Then the experimental perspective is presented, with the biophysical mechanisms and modalities of open-loop electrical stimulation, and the potential benefits of closed-loop control for epilepsy. PMID:19926525

  10. A rationally designed CD4 analogue inhibits experimental allergic encephalomyelitis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jameson, Bradford A.; McDonnell, James M.; Marini, Joseph C.; Korngold, Robert

    1994-04-01

    EXPERIMENTAL allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an acute inflammatory autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that can be elicited in rodents and is the major animal model for the study of multiple sclerosis (MS)1,2. The pathogenesis of both EAE and MS directly involves the CD4+ helper T-cell subset3-5. Anti-CD4 monoclonal antibodies inhibit the development of EAE in rodents6-9, and are currently being used in human clinical trials for MS. We report here that similar therapeutic effects can be achieved in mice using a small (rationally designed) synthetic analogue of the CD4 protein surface. It greatly inhibits both clinical incidence and severity of EAE with a single injection, but does so without depletion of the CD4+ subset and without the inherent immunogenicity of an antibody. Furthermore, this analogue is capable of exerting its effects on disease even after the onset of symptoms.

  11. New generation adjuvants--from empiricism to rational design.

    PubMed

    O'Hagan, Derek T; Fox, Christopher B

    2015-06-08

    Adjuvants are an essential component of modern vaccine development. Despite many decades of development, only a few types of adjuvants are currently included in vaccines approved for human use. In order to better understand the reasons that development of some adjuvants succeeded while many others failed, we discuss some of the common attributes of successful first generation adjuvants. Next, we evaluate current trends in the development of second generation adjuvants, including the potential advantages of rationally designed synthetic immune potentiators appropriately formulated. Finally, we discuss desirable attributes of next generation adjuvants. Throughout, we emphasize that the importance of formulation and analytical characterization in all aspects of vaccine adjuvant development is often underappreciated. We highlight the formulation factors that must be evaluated in order to optimize interactions between vaccine antigens, immune potentiators, and particulate formulations, and the resulting effects on safety, biological activity, manufacturability, and stability.

  12. Rational design of the exchange-spring permanent magnet.

    PubMed

    Jiang, J S; Bader, S D

    2014-02-12

    The development of the optimal exchange-spring permanent magnet balances exchange hardening, magnetization enhancement, and the feasibility of scalable fabrication. These requirements can be met with a rational design of the microstructural characteristics. The magnetization processes in several model exchange-spring structures with different geometries have been analyzed with both micromagnetic simulations and nucleation theory. The multilayer geometry and the soft-cylinders-in-hard-matrix geometry have the highest achievable figure of merit (BH)max, while the soft-spheres-in-hard-matrix geometry has the lowest upper limit for (BH)max. The cylindrical geometry permits the soft phase to be larger and does not require strict size control. Exchange-spring permanent magnets based on the cylindrical geometry may be amenable to scaled-up fabrication.

  13. Artificial intelligence approaches for rational drug design and discovery.

    PubMed

    Duch, Włodzisław; Swaminathan, Karthikeyan; Meller, Jarosław

    2007-01-01

    Pattern recognition, machine learning and artificial intelligence approaches play an increasingly important role in rational drug design, screening and identification of candidate molecules and studies on quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR). In this review, we present an overview of basic concepts and methodology in the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). An emphasis is put on methods that enable an intuitive interpretation of the results and facilitate gaining an insight into the structure of the problem at hand. We also discuss representative applications of AI methods to docking, screening and QSAR studies. The growing trend to integrate computational and experimental efforts in that regard and some future developments are discussed. In addition, we comment on a broader role of machine learning and artificial intelligence approaches in biomedical research.

  14. Rational clinical trial design for antibody mediated renal allograft injury

    PubMed Central

    Sandal, Shaifali; Zand, Martin S.

    2015-01-01

    Antibody mediated renal allograft rejection is a significant cause of acute and chronic graft loss. Recent work has revealed that AMR is a complex processes, involving B and plasma cells, donor-specific antibodies, complement, vascular endothelial cells, NK cells, Fc receptors, cytokines and chemokines. These insights have led to the development of numerous new therapies, and adaptation of others originally developed for treatment of hemetologic malignancies, autoimmune and complement mediated conditions. Here we review emerging insights into the pathophysiology of AMR as well as current and emerging therapies for both acute and chronic AMR. Finally, we discuss rational clinical trial design in light of antibody and B cell immunobiology, as well as appropriate efficacy metrics to identify robust protocols and therapeutic agents. PMID:25553476

  15. Rational Co-Design of Polymer Dielectrics for Energy Storage.

    PubMed

    Mannodi-Kanakkithodi, Arun; Treich, Gregory M; Huan, Tran Doan; Ma, Rui; Tefferi, Mattewos; Cao, Yang; Sotzing, Gregory A; Ramprasad, Rampi

    2016-08-01

    Although traditional materials discovery has historically benefited from intuition-driven experimental approaches and serendipity, computational strategies have risen in prominence and proven to be a powerful complement to experiments in the modern materials research environment. It is illustrated here how one may harness a rational co-design approach-involving synergies between high-throughput computational screening and experimental synthesis and testing-with the example of polymer dielectrics design for electrostatic energy storage applications. Recent co-design efforts that can potentially enable going beyond present-day "standard" polymer dielectrics (such as biaxially oriented polypropylene) are highlighted. These efforts have led to the identification of several new organic polymer dielectrics within known generic polymer subclasses (e.g., polyurea, polythiourea, polyimide), and the recognition of the untapped potential inherent in entirely new and unanticipated chemical subspaces offered by organometallic polymers. The challenges that remain and the need for additional methodological developments necessary to further strengthen the co-design concept are then presented.

  16. Potential of fragment recombination for rational design of proteins.

    PubMed

    Eisenbeis, Simone; Proffitt, William; Coles, Murray; Truffault, Vincent; Shanmugaratnam, Sooruban; Meiler, Jens; Höcker, Birte

    2012-03-07

    It is hypothesized that protein domains evolved from smaller intrinsically stable subunits via combinatorial assembly. Illegitimate recombination of fragments that encode protein subunits could have quickly led to diversification of protein folds and their functionality. This evolutionary concept presents an attractive strategy to protein engineering, e.g., to create new scaffolds for enzyme design. We previously combined structurally similar parts from two ancient protein folds, the (βα)(8)-barrel and the flavodoxin-like fold. The resulting "hopeful monster" differed significantly from the intended (βα)(8)-barrel fold by an extra β-strand in the core. In this study, we ask what modifications are necessary to form the intended structure and what potential this approach has for the rational design of functional proteins. Guided by computational design, we optimized the interface between the fragments with five targeted mutations yielding a stable, monomeric protein whose predicted structure was verified experimentally. We further tested binding of a phosphorylated compound and detected that some affinity was already present due to an intact phosphate-binding site provided by one fragment. The affinity could be improved quickly to the level of natural proteins by introducing two additional mutations. The study illustrates the potential of recombining protein fragments with unique properties to design new and functional proteins, offering both a possible pathway of protein evolution and a protocol to rapidly engineer proteins for new applications.

  17. Rational design of MMP degradable peptide-based supramolecular filaments.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yi-An; Ou, Yu-Chuan; Cheetham, Andrew G; Cui, Honggang

    2014-04-14

    One-dimensional nanostructures formed by self-assembly of small molecule peptides have been extensively explored for use as biomaterials in various biomedical contexts. However, unlike individual peptides that can be designed to be specifically degradable by enzymes/proteases of interest, their self-assembled nanostructures, particularly those rich in β-sheets, are generally resistant to enzymatic degradation because the specific cleavage sites are often embedded inside the nanostructures. We report here on the rational design of β-sheet rich supramolecular filaments that can specifically dissociate into less stable micellar assemblies and monomers upon treatment with matrix metalloproteases-2 (MMP-2). Through linkage of an oligoproline segment to an amyloid-derived peptide sequence, we first synthesized an amphiphilic peptide that can undergo a rapid morphological transition in response to pH variations. We then used MMP-2 specific peptide substrates as multivalent cross-linkers to covalently fix the amyloid-like filaments in the self-assembled state at pH 4.5. Our results show that the cross-linked filaments are stable at pH 7.5 but gradually break down into much shorter filaments upon cleavage of the peptidic cross-linkers by MMP-2. We believe that the reported work presents a new design platform for the creation of amyloid-like supramolecular filaments responsive to enzymatic degradation.

  18. Robust control for snake maneuver design of missile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kun, Ya; Chen, Xin; Li, Chuntao

    2017-01-01

    For the performance of missile with high Mach number and strongly nonlinear dynamics, this paper uses robust control to design maneuver controller. Robust servomechanism linear quadratic regulator (RSLQR) control is used to form the inner loop and proportional-plus-integral (PI) control is used to provide yawing tracking with no error. Contrast simulations under three types of deviation have been done to confirm robustness of the RSLQR-plus-PI control. Simulation results shows that RSLQR-plus-PI control would resist the disturbance and maintain the properties of the controller, guarantee the robustness and stability of missile more effectively than pure PI control.

  19. Rationally designed oxaliplatin-nanoparticle for enhanced antitumor efficacy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paraskar, Abhimanyu; Soni, Shivani; Roy, Bhaskar; Papa, Anne-Laure; Sengupta, Shiladitya

    2012-02-01

    Nanoscale drug delivery vehicles have been extensively studied as carriers for cancer chemotherapeutics. However, the formulation of platinum chemotherapeutics in nanoparticles has been a challenge arising from their physicochemical properties. There are only a few reports describing oxaliplatin nanoparticles. In this study, we derivatized the monomeric units of a polyisobutylene maleic acid copolymer with glucosamine, which chelates trans-1,2-diaminocyclohexane (DACH) platinum (II) through a novel monocarboxylato and O → Pt coordination linkage. At a specific polymer to platinum ratio, the complex self-assembled into a nanoparticle, where the polymeric units act as the leaving group, releasing DACH-platinum in a sustained pH-dependent manner. Sizing was done using dynamic light scatter and electron microscopy. The nanoparticles were evaluated for efficacy in vitro and in vivo. Biodistribution was quantified using inductively coupled plasma atomic absorption spectroscopy (ICP-AAS). The PIMA-GA-DACH-platinum nanoparticle was found to be more active than free oxaliplatin in vitro. In vivo, the nanoparticles resulted in greater tumor inhibition than oxaliplatin (equivalent to 5 mg kg-1 platinum dose) with minimal nephrotoxicity or body weight loss. ICP-AAS revealed significant preferential tumor accumulation of platinum with reduced biodistribution to the kidney or liver following PIMA-GA-DACH-platinum nanoparticle administration as compared with free oxaliplatin. These results indicate that the rational engineering of a novel polymeric nanoparticle inspired by the bioactivation of oxaliplatin results in increased antitumor potency with reduced systemic toxicity compared with the parent cytotoxic. Rational design can emerge as an exciting strategy in the synthesis of nanomedicines for cancer chemotherapy.

  20. Rationally designed oxaliplatin-nanoparticle for enhanced antitumor efficacy

    PubMed Central

    Paraskar, Abhimanyu; Soni, Shivani; Roy, Bhaskar; Papa, Anne-Laure; Sengupta, Shiladitya

    2012-01-01

    Nanoscale drug delivery vehicles have been extensively studied as carriers for cancer chemotherapeutics. However the formulation of platinum chemotherapeutics in nanoparticles has been a challenge arising from their physicochemical properties. There are only few reports describing oxaliplatin nanoparticles. In this study, we derivatized the monomeric units of a polyisobutylene maleic acid copolymer with glucosamine, which chelates trans-1,2-diaminocyclohexane (DACH) platinum (II) through a novel monocarboxylato and O→Pt coordination linkage. At a specific polymer to platinum ratio, the complex self assembled into a nanoparticle, where the polymeric units act as the leaving group, releasing DACH-platinum in sustained pH-dependent manner. Sizing was done using dynamic light scatter and electron microscopy. The nanoparticles were evaluated for efficacy in vitro and in vivo. Biodistribution was quantified using inductive-coupled plasma-atomic absorption spectroscopy (ICP-AAS). The PIMA-GA-DACH-platinum nanoparticle was found to be more active than free oxaliplatin in vitro. In vivo, the nanoparticles resulted in greater tumor inhibition than oxaliplatin (equivalent to 5mg/kg platinum dose) with minimal nephrotoxicity or body weight loss. ICP-AAS revealed significant preferential tumor accumulation of platinum with reduced biodistribution to the kidney or liver following PIMA-GA-DACH-platinum nanoparticle administration as compared with free oxaliplatin. These results indicate that the rational engineering of a novel polymeric nanoparticle inspired by the bioactivation of oxaliplatin results in increased antitumor potency with reduced systemic toxicity compared with the parent cytotoxic. Rational design can emerge as an exciting strategy in the synthesis of nanomedicines for cancer chemotherapy. PMID:22275055

  1. Rational Co-Design of Polymer Dielectrics for Energy Storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mannodi-Kanakkithodi, Arun; Tran, Huan; Pilania, Ghanshyam; Lookman, Turab; Ramprasad, Rampi

    While intuition-driven experiments and serendipity have guided traditional materials discovery, computational strategies have become increasingly important and a powerful complement to experiments in modern day materials research. With the example of polymer dielectrics for electrostatic energy storage applications, we demonstrate how a rational co-design approach--involving synergies between high-throughput computational screening and experimental synthesis and testing--can be harnessed for quick and efficient discovery. We highlight recent co-design efforts that can potentially lead to replacement of present-day ``standard'' polymer dielectrics (such as biaxially oriented polypropylene) not only by new organic polymer candidates within known generic polymer subclasses (e.g., polyurea, polythiourea, polyimide), but also by organometallic polymers, a hitherto untapped but promising chemical subspace. We also discuss the utilization of vast computational data (generated in the aforementioned process) towards the development of statistical learning models for relevant properties of dielectric polymers, which can further accelerate the guidance to experiments and thus the successful discovery of new materials.

  2. Automated design of two-zero rational Chebychev filters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le, K. H.

    1981-10-01

    The Rational Chebychev function is used to design elliptic-characteristic filters. The filter has N/2 ripples in the passband but only one ripple in the stopband for all orders. As N increases from three, the result is a substantial saving in number of capacitors in the passive ladder realization of the above function as compared to that of traditional elliptic filters of the same order N. The ladder's element values can be expressed as explicit involving only the coefficients of the transfer function. These expressions can also be used for other types of filters. Numerically, the design can be carried out by a Fortran program or a set of programs on a programmable calculator. The user needs only to give the three specifications: the filter order N, the stopband zeros Z, and the passband ripple amount R sub p. The program automatically selects the starting point for the given case and proceeds. The numerical results of the above programs over a range of specifications relate the above specifications to the minimum stopband attenuation.

  3. Snake bites

    MedlinePlus

    ... bites by any of the following: Cobra Copperhead Coral snake Cottonmouth (water moccasin) Rattlesnake Various snakes found ... Swelling Thirst Tiredness Tissue damage Weakness Weak pulse Coral snake bites may be painless at first. Major ...

  4. In silico ADME/T modelling for rational drug design.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yulan; Xing, Jing; Xu, Yuan; Zhou, Nannan; Peng, Jianlong; Xiong, Zhaoping; Liu, Xian; Luo, Xiaomin; Luo, Cheng; Chen, Kaixian; Zheng, Mingyue; Jiang, Hualiang

    2015-11-01

    In recent decades, in silico absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion (ADME), and toxicity (T) modelling as a tool for rational drug design has received considerable attention from pharmaceutical scientists, and various ADME/T-related prediction models have been reported. The high-throughput and low-cost nature of these models permits a more streamlined drug development process in which the identification of hits or their structural optimization can be guided based on a parallel investigation of bioavailability and safety, along with activity. However, the effectiveness of these tools is highly dependent on their capacity to cope with needs at different stages, e.g. their use in candidate selection has been limited due to their lack of the required predictability. For some events or endpoints involving more complex mechanisms, the current in silico approaches still need further improvement. In this review, we will briefly introduce the development of in silico models for some physicochemical parameters, ADME properties and toxicity evaluation, with an emphasis on the modelling approaches thereof, their application in drug discovery, and the potential merits or deficiencies of these models. Finally, the outlook for future ADME/T modelling based on big data analysis and systems sciences will be discussed.

  5. Systems vaccinology: Enabling rational vaccine design with systems biological approaches.

    PubMed

    Hagan, Thomas; Nakaya, Helder I; Subramaniam, Shankar; Pulendran, Bali

    2015-09-29

    Vaccines have drastically reduced the mortality and morbidity of many diseases. However, vaccines have historically been developed empirically, and recent development of vaccines against current pandemics such as HIV and malaria has been met with difficulty. The advent of high-throughput technologies, coupled with systems biological methods of data analysis, has enabled researchers to interrogate the entire complement of a variety of molecular components within cells, and characterize the myriad interactions among them in order to model and understand the behavior of the system as a whole. In the context of vaccinology, these tools permit exploration of the molecular mechanisms by which vaccines induce protective immune responses. Here we review the recent advances, challenges, and potential of systems biological approaches in vaccinology. If the challenges facing this developing field can be overcome, systems vaccinology promises to empower the identification of early predictive signatures of vaccine response, as well as novel and robust correlates of protection from infection. Such discoveries, along with the improved understanding of immune responses to vaccination they impart, will play an instrumental role in development of the next generation of rationally designed vaccines.

  6. Rational design of enhanced photoresistance in a photoswitchable fluorescent protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duan, Chenxi; Byrdin, Martin; El Khatib, Mariam; Henry, Xavier; Adam, Virgile; Bourgeois, Dominique

    2015-03-01

    Fluorescent proteins are particularly susceptible to photobleaching, the permanent loss of fluorescence emission resulting from photodestruction of the chromophore. In the case of Reversibly Switchable Fluorescent Proteins (RSFPs), which can be switched back and forth between a non-fluorescent and a fluorescent state, the achievable number of switching cycles is limited by photobleaching, a process known as photofatigue. Photofatigue has become a crucial limitation in a number of advanced applications based on repeated photoswitching of RSFPs, notably in the field of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. Here, based on our previous structural investigation of photobleaching mechanisms in IrisFP, an RSFP also capable of green-to-red photoconversion, we present the rational design of a single-mutant IrisFP-M159A that displays considerably enhanced photostability. The results suggest that, under moderate illumination intensities, photobleaching of IrisFP-like Anthozoan fluorescent proteins such as EosFP, Dendra or Dronpa derivatives is mainly driven by an oxygen-dependent mechanism resulting in the irreversible sulfoxidation of methionine 159. The photofatigue decay profiles of IrisFP and its photoresistant mutant IrisFP-M159A were investigated in different experimental conditions, in vitro and in cellulo. Although the performance of the mutant was found to be always superior, the results showed switching behaviors strongly dependent on the nanoenvironment. Thus, in general, assessment of photostability and switching properties of RSFPs should be carried out in real experimental conditions.

  7. Rational design of protamine nanocapsules as antigen delivery carriers.

    PubMed

    González-Aramundiz, José Vicente; Presas, Elena; Dalmau-Mena, Inmaculada; Martínez-Pulgarín, Susana; Alonso, Covadonga; Escribano, José M; Alonso, María J; Csaba, Noemi Stefánia

    2017-01-10

    Current challenges in global immunization indicate the demand for new delivery strategies, which could be applied to the development of new vaccines against emerging diseases, as well as to improve safety and efficacy of currently existing vaccine formulations. Here, we report a novel antigen nanocarrier consisting of an oily core and a protamine shell, further stabilized with pegylated surfactants. These nanocarriers, named protamine nanocapsules, were rationally designed to promote the intracellular delivery of antigens to immunocompetent cells and to trigger an efficient and long-lasting immune response. Protamine nanocapsules have nanometric size, positive zeta potential and high association capacity for H1N1 influenza hemagglutinin, a protein that was used here as a model antigen. The new formulation shows an attractive stability profile both, as an aqueous suspension or a freeze-dried powder formulation. In vitro studies showed that protamine nanocapsules were efficiently internalized by macrophages without eliciting significant toxicity. In vivo studies indicate that antigen-loaded nanocapsules trigger immune responses comparable to those achieved with alum, even when using significantly lower antigen doses, thus indicating their adjuvant properties. These promising in vivo data, alongside with their versatility for the loading of different antigens and oily immunomodulators and their excellent stability profile, make these nanocapsules a promising platform for the delivery of antigens.

  8. Rationally designed small compounds inhibit pilus biogenesis in uropathogenic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Pinkner, Jerome S; Remaut, Han; Buelens, Floris; Miller, Eric; Aberg, Veronica; Pemberton, Nils; Hedenström, Mattias; Larsson, Andreas; Seed, Patrick; Waksman, Gabriel; Hultgren, Scott J; Almqvist, Fredrik

    2006-11-21

    A chemical synthesis platform with broad applications and flexibility was rationally designed to inhibit biogenesis of adhesive pili assembled by the chaperone-usher pathway in Gram-negative pathogens. The activity of a family of bicyclic 2-pyridones, termed pilicides, was evaluated in two different pilus biogenesis systems in uropathogenic Escherichia coli. Hemagglutination mediated by either type 1 or P pili, adherence to bladder cells, and biofilm formation mediated by type 1 pili were all reduced by approximately 90% in laboratory and clinical E. coli strains. The structure of the pilicide bound to the P pilus chaperone PapD revealed that the pilicide bound to the surface of the chaperone known to interact with the usher, the outer-membrane assembly platform where pili are assembled. Point mutations in the pilicide-binding site dramatically reduced pilus formation but did not block the ability of PapD to bind subunits and mediate their folding. Surface plasmon resonance experiments confirmed that the pilicide interfered with the binding of chaperone-subunit complexes to the usher. These pilicides thus target key virulence factors in pathogenic bacteria and represent a promising proof of concept for developing drugs that function by targeting virulence factors.

  9. Harvesting bioenergy with rationally designed complex functional materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuang, Liangju

    A key challenge in renewable energy is to capture, convert and store solar power with earth-abundant materials and environmentally benign technologies. The goal of this thesis is to develop rationally designed complex functional materials for bio-renewable energy applications. On one hand, photoconversion membrane proteins (MPs) are nature's nanoengineering feats for renewable energy management. Harnessing their functions in synthetic systems could help understand, predict, and ultimately control matter and energy at the nanoscale. This is particularly enticing in the post-genome era as recombinant or cell-free expression of many MPs with high yields becomes possible. However, the labile nature of lipid bilayers renders them unsuitable for use in a broad range of engineered systems. A knowledge gap exists about how to design robust synthetic nanomembranes as lipid-bilayer-mimics to support MP functions and how to direct hierarchical MP reconstitution into those membranes to form 2-D or 3-D ordered proteomembrane arrays. Our studies on proteorhodopsin (PR) and bacterial reaction center (BRC), the two light-harvesting MPs, reveal that a charge-interaction-directed reconstitution (CIDR) mechanism induces spontaneous reconstitution of detergent-solubilized MPs into various amphiphilic block copolymer membranes, many of which have far superior stability than lipid bilayers. Our preliminary data also suggest MPs are not enslaved by the biological membranes they derive from; rather, the chemically nonspecific material properties of MP-supporting membranes may act as allosteric regulators. Versatile chemical designs are possible to modulate the conformational energetics of MPs, hence their transport performance in synthetic systems. On the other hand, microalgae are widely regarded as a sustainable feedstock for biofuel production. Microalgae-derived biofuels have not been commercialized yet because current technologies for microalgae dewatering add a huge cost to the

  10. Snake bite: coral snakes.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Michael E

    2006-11-01

    North American coral snakes are distinctively colored beginning with a black snout and an alternating pattern of black, yellow, and red. They have fixed front fangs and a poorly developed system for venom delivery, requiring a chewing action to inject the venom. The severity of a coral snake bite is related to the volume of venom injected and the size of the victim. The length of the snake correlates positively with the snakes venom yield. Coral snake venom is primarily neurotoxic with little local tissue reaction or pain at the bite site. The net effect of the neurotoxins is a curare like syndrome. In canine victims there have been reports of marked hemolysis with severe anemia and hemoglobinuria. The onset of clinical signs may be delayed for as much as 10 to 18 hours. The victim begins to have alterations in mental status and develops generalized weakness and muscle fasciculations. Progression to paralysis of the limbs and respiratory muscles then follows. The best flied response to coral snake envenomation is rapid transport to a veterinary medical facility capable of 24 hour critical care and assisted ventilation. First aid treatment advocated in Australia for Elapid bites is the immediate use of a compression bandage. The victim should be hospitalized for a minimum of 48 hours for continuous monitoring. The only definitive treatment for coral snake envenomation is the administration of antivenin (M. fulvius). Once clinical signs of coral snake envenomation become manifest they progress with alarming rapidity and are difficult to reverse. If antivenin is not available or if its administration is delayed, supportive care includes respiratory support. Assisted mechanical ventilation can be used but may have to be employed for up to 48 to 72 hours.

  11. Achieving nano-gold stability through rational design.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Dean H; Scurrell, Michael S; Rodella, Cristiane B; Diaz, Beatriz; Billing, David G; Franklyn, Paul J

    2016-11-18

    When Au is subdivided to the nanoscale its reactivity changes from an inert nature to one of incredible reactivity which is not replicated by other catalysts. When dispersed onto metal oxides such as TiO2, nano-Au has shown high reactivities for a multitude of reduction and oxidation reactions of industrial importance with potential and current uses such as, CO oxidation, NO x reduction, purification of hydrogen for fuel cells, water gas shift reactions, abatement of volatile organic compounds (VOC's) as well as pollution and emission control systems such as autocatalysts. However, many industrially important reactions and applications operate under harsh conditions where the catalyst is exposed to high temperatures and further needs to operate for extended periods of time. These conditions cause Au nanoparticle sintering whereby small, highly active clusters form large clusters which are catalytically inactive. For this reason, research into stabilizing Au nanoparticles has abounded with a goal of producing durable, thermally stable catalysts for industrial applications. Here we show a durable, thermally stable Au-TiO2 catalyst which has been developed by rational design. The catalyst exhibits a 3-dimensional, radially aligned nanorod structure, already locked into the thermodynamically stable polymorph, via a scalable and facile synthesis, with Au nanoparticles isolated on the support structure. As the Au nanoparticles are highly stable the new catalyst is able to maintain light-off for CO oxidation below 115 °C even after multiple cycles at 800 °C. This ability of the catalyst to resist multiple thermal cycles to high temperature while remaining active at low temperatures shows promise for various industrial applications. The thermal stability of the catalyst is investigated and characterized through morphological and structural studies.

  12. Sidewinding snakes on sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marvi, Hamidreza; Dimenichi, Dante; Chrystal, Robert; Mendelson, Joseph; Goldman, Daniel; Hu, David; Georgia Tech and Zoo Atlanta Collaboration

    2012-11-01

    Desert snakes such as the rattlesnake Crotalus cerastes propel themselves over sand using sidewinding, a mode of locomotion relying upon helical traveling waves. While sidewinding on hard ground has been described, the mechanics of movement on more natural substrates such as granular media remain poorly understood. In this experimental study, we use 3-D high speed video to characterize the motion of a sidewinder rattlesnake as it moves on a granular bed. We study the movement both on natural desert sand and in an air-fluidized bed trackway which we use to challenge the animal on different compactions of granular media. Particular attention is paid to rationalizing the snake's thrust on this media using friction and normal forces on the piles of sand created by the snake's body. The authors thank the NSF (PHY-0848894), Georgia Tech, and the Elizabeth Smithgall Watts endowment for support. We would also like to thank Zoo Atlanta staff for their generous help with this project.

  13. Innovative clinical trial designs to rationalize TB vaccine development.

    PubMed

    Ellis, R D; Hatherill, M; Tait, D; Snowden, M; Churchyard, G; Hanekom, W; Evans, T; Ginsberg, A M

    2015-05-01

    A recent trial of a leading tuberculosis (TB) vaccine candidate in 3000 South African infants failed to show protection over that from BCG alone, and highlights the difficulties in clinical development of TB vaccines. Progression of vaccine candidates to efficacy trials against TB disease rests on demonstration of safety and immunogenicity in target populations and protection against challenge in preclinical models, but immunologic correlates of protection are unknown, and animal models may not be predictive of results in humans. Even in populations most heavily affected by TB the sample sizes required for Phase 2b efficacy trials using TB disease as an endpoint are in the thousands. Novel clinical trial models have been developed to evaluate candidate TB vaccines in selected populations using biologically relevant outcomes and innovative statistical approaches. Such proof of concept studies can be used to more rationally select vaccine candidates for advancement to large scale trials against TB disease.

  14. Rational Design of Molecular Ferroelectric Materials and Nanostructures

    SciTech Connect

    Ducharme, Stephen

    2012-09-25

    The purpose of this project was to gain insight into the properties of molecular ferroelectrics through the detailed study of oligomer analogs of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF). By focusing on interactions at both the molecular level and the nanoscale level, we expect to gain improved understanding about the fundamental mechanism of ferroelectricity and its key properties. The research consisted of three complementary components: 1) Rational synthesis of VDF oligomers by Prof. Takacs' group; 2) Detailed structural and electrical studies of thin by Prof. Ducharme's Group; and 3) First-principles computational studies by DOE Lab Partner Dr. Serge Nakhman-son at Argonne National Laboratory. The main results of the work was a detailed understanding of the relationships between the molecular interactions and macroscopic phenomenology of fer-roelectricity VDF oligomers. This is valuable information supporting the development of im-proved electromechanical materials for, e.g., sonar, ultrasonic imaging, artificial muscles, and compliant actuators. Other potential applications include nonvolatile ferroelectric memories, heat-sensing imaging arrays, photovoltaic devices, and functional biomimetic materials. The pro-ject contributed to the training and professional development of undergraduate students and graduate students, post-doctoral assistants, and a high-school teacher. Project personnel took part in several outreach and education activities each year.

  15. From bricolage to BioBricks™: Synthetic biology and rational design.

    PubMed

    Lewens, Tim

    2013-12-01

    Synthetic biology is often described as a project that applies rational design methods to the organic world. Although humans have influenced organic lineages in many ways, it is nonetheless reasonable to place synthetic biology towards one end of a continuum between purely 'blind' processes of organic modification at one extreme, and wholly rational, design-led processes at the other. An example from evolutionary electronics illustrates some of the constraints imposed by the rational design methodology itself. These constraints reinforce the limitations of the synthetic biology ideal, limitations that are often freely acknowledged by synthetic biology's own practitioners. The synthetic biology methodology reflects a series of constraints imposed on finite human designers who wish, as far as is practicable, to communicate with each other and to intervene in nature in reasonably targeted and well-understood ways. This is better understood as indicative of an underlying awareness of human limitations, rather than as expressive of an objectionable impulse to mastery over nature.

  16. Rational design of orthogonal libraries of protein coding genes.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Daniel; Papamichail, Dimitris

    2013-05-17

    Array-based oligonucleotide synthesis technologies provide access to thousands of custom-designed sequence variants at low cost. Large-scale synthesis and high-throughput assays have become valuable experimental tools to study in detail the interplay between sequence and function. We have developed a methodology and corresponding algorithms for the design of diverse protein coding gene libraries, to exploit the potential of multiplex synthesis and help elucidate the effects of codon utilization and other factors in gene expression. Using our algorithm, we have computationally designed gene libraries with hundreds to thousands of orthogonal codon usage variants, uniformly exploring the design space of codon utilization, while demanding only a small fraction of the synthesis cost that would be required if these variants were synthesized independently.

  17. Application of Absorption Modeling in Rational Design of Drug Product Under Quality-by-Design Paradigm.

    PubMed

    Kesisoglou, Filippos; Mitra, Amitava

    2015-09-01

    Physiologically based absorption models can be an important tool in understanding product performance and hence implementation of Quality by Design (QbD) in drug product development. In this report, we show several case studies to demonstrate the potential application of absorption modeling in rational design of drug product under the QbD paradigm. The examples include application of absorption modeling—(1) prior to first-in-human studies to guide development of a formulation with minimal sensitivity to higher gastric pH and hence reduced interaction when co-administered with PPIs and/or H2RAs, (2) design of a controlled release formulation with optimal release rate to meet trough plasma concentrations and enable QD dosing, (3) understanding the impact of API particle size distribution on tablet bioavailability and guide formulation design in late-stage development, (4) assess impact of API phase change on product performance to guide specification setting, and (5) investigate the effect of dissolution rate changes on formulation bioperformance and enable appropriate specification setting. These case studies are meant to highlight the utility of physiologically based absorption modeling in gaining a thorough understanding of the product performance and the critical factors impacting performance to drive design of a robust drug product that would deliver the optimal benefit to the patients.

  18. Rational, computer-enabled peptide drug design: principles, methods, applications and future directions.

    PubMed

    Diller, David J; Swanson, Jon; Bayden, Alexander S; Jarosinski, Mark; Audie, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Peptides provide promising templates for developing drugs to occupy a middle space between small molecules and antibodies and for targeting 'undruggable' intracellular protein-protein interactions. Importantly, rational or in cerebro design, especially when coupled with validated in silico tools, can be used to efficiently explore chemical space and identify islands of 'drug-like' peptides to satisfy diverse drug discovery program objectives. Here, we consider the underlying principles of and recent advances in rational, computer-enabled peptide drug design. In particular, we consider the impact of basic physicochemical properties, potency and ADME/Tox opportunities and challenges, and recently developed computational tools for enabling rational peptide drug design. Key principles and practices are spotlighted by recent case studies. We close with a hypothetical future case study.

  19. Development of a Rational Design Procedure for Overland Flow Systems,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-02-01

    precipitation and evaporation. TSS is 40 minutes. Since BOD removal is the limiting The land area calculated by this procedure is parameter, the design is based...0.078 (50) volume of 667,750 m3 which includes 567,750 m3 (0.04)1/3 60 for storing wastewater and 100,000 m3 for storing precipitation during winter...loading rate. For example, it the precipitation minus evaporation volume from would be reasonable to assume that the designer the holding pond is 0.15

  20. Multiresolution Subdivision Snakes.

    PubMed

    Badoual, Anais; Schmitter, Daniel; Uhlmann, Virginie; Unser, Michael

    2017-03-01

    We present a new family of snakes that satisfy the property of multiresolution by exploiting subdivision schemes. We show in a generic way how to construct such snakes based on an admissible subdivision mask. We derive the necessary energy formulations and provide the formulas for their efficient computation. Depending on the choice of the mask, such models have the ability to reproduce trigonometric or polynomial curves. They can also be designed to be interpolating, a property that is useful in user-interactive applications. We provide explicit examples of subdivision snakes and illustrate their use for the segmentation of bioimages. We show that they are robust in the presence of noise and provide a multiresolution algorithm to enlarge their basin of attraction, which decreases their dependence on initialization compared to singleresolution snakes. We show the advantages of the proposed model in terms of computation and segmentation of structures with different sizes.

  1. Rational design of mirror-like peptides with alanine regulation.

    PubMed

    Li, Weizhong; Tan, Tingting; Xu, Wei; Xu, Lin; Dong, Na; Ma, Deying; Shan, Anshan

    2016-02-01

    To generate effective antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) with good antimicrobial activities and cell selectivity, many synthetic strategies have been implemented to facilitate the development of AMPs. However, these synthetic strategies represent only a small proportion of the methods used for the development of AMPs and are not optimal with the requirements needed for the design of AMPs. In this investigation, we designed a mirror-like structure with a lower charge and a higher number of hydrophobic amino acids. The amino acid sequence of the designed mirror-like peptides was XXYXXXYXXXYXX [X represents L (Leu) and/or A (Ala); Y represents K (Lys)]. These mirror-like peptides displayed antimicrobial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Hemolysis activity and cytotoxicity, detected by using human red blood cells (hRBCs) and human embryonic kidney cells (HEK293), respectively, demonstrated that the frequency of Ala residues in this structure had a regulatory effect on the high hydrophobic region. In particular, KL4A6 showed a greater antimicrobial potency than the other three mirror-like peptides, folded into an α-helical structure, and displayed the highest therapeutic index, suggesting its good cell selectivity. Observations from fluorescence spectroscopy, flow cytometry, and electron microscopy experiments indicated that KL4A6 exhibited good membrane penetration potential by inducing membrane blebbing, disruption and lysis. Therefore, generating mirror-like peptides is a promising strategy for designing effective AMPs with regions of high hydrophobicity.

  2. Rational design of an organometallic glutathione transferase inhibitor

    SciTech Connect

    Ang, W.H.; Parker, L.J.; De Luca, A.; Juillerat-Jeanneret, L.; Morton, C.J.; LoBello, M.; Parker, M.W.; Dyson, P.J.

    2010-08-17

    A hybrid organic-inorganic (organometallic) inhibitor was designed to target glutathione transferases. The metal center is used to direct protein binding, while the organic moiety acts as the active-site inhibitor. The mechanism of inhibition was studied using a range of biophysical and biochemical methods.

  3. Rational Design of Pathogen-Mimicking Amphiphilic Materials as Nanoadjuvants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulery, Bret D.; Petersen, Latrisha K.; Phanse, Yashdeep; Kong, Chang Sun; Broderick, Scott R.; Kumar, Devender; Ramer-Tait, Amanda E.; Carrillo-Conde, Brenda; Rajan, Krishna; Wannemuehler, Michael J.; Bellaire, Bryan H.; Metzger, Dennis W.; Narasimhan, Balaji

    2011-12-01

    An opportunity exists today for cross-cutting research utilizing advances in materials science, immunology, microbial pathogenesis, and computational analysis to effectively design the next generation of adjuvants and vaccines. This study integrates these advances into a bottom-up approach for the molecular design of nanoadjuvants capable of mimicking the immune response induced by a natural infection but without the toxic side effects. Biodegradable amphiphilic polyanhydrides possess the unique ability to mimic pathogens and pathogen associated molecular patterns with respect to persisting within and activating immune cells, respectively. The molecular properties responsible for the pathogen-mimicking abilities of these materials have been identified. The value of using polyanhydride nanovaccines was demonstrated by the induction of long-lived protection against a lethal challenge of Yersinia pestis following a single administration ten months earlier. This approach has the tantalizing potential to catalyze the development of next generation vaccines against diseases caused by emerging and re-emerging pathogens.

  4. On the rational design of compressible flow ejectors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ortwerth, P. J.

    1979-01-01

    A fluid mechanics review of chemical laser ejectors is presented. The characteristics of ejectors with single and multiple driver nozzles are discussed. Methods to compute an optimized performance map in which secondary Mach number and performance are computed versus mass ratio, to compute the flow distortion at each optimized condition, and to determine the thrust area for the design point to match diffuser impedence are examined.

  5. Lumican Peptides: Rational Design Targeting ALK5/TGFBRI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gesteira, Tarsis Ferreira; Coulson-Thomas, Vivien J.; Yuan, Yong; Zhang, Jianhua; Nader, Helena B.; Kao, Winston W.-Y.

    2017-02-01

    Lumican, a small leucine rich proteoglycan (SLRP), is a component of extracellular matrix which also functions as a matrikine regulating multiple cell activities. In the cornea, lumican maintains corneal transparency by regulating collagen fibrillogenesis, promoting corneal epithelial wound healing, regulating gene expression and maintaining corneal homeostasis. We have recently shown that a peptide designed from the 13 C-terminal amino acids of lumican (LumC13) binds to ALK5/TGFBR1 (type1 receptor of TGFβ) to promote wound healing. Herein we evaluate the mechanism by which this synthetic C-terminal amphiphilic peptide (LumC13), binds to ALK5. These studies clearly reveal that LumC13-ALK5 form a stable complex. In order to determine the minimal amino acids required for the formation of a stable lumican/ALK5 complex derivatives of LumC13 were designed and their binding to ALK5 investigated in silico. These LumC13 derivatives were tested both in vitro and in vivo to evaluate their ability to promote corneal epithelial cell migration and corneal wound healing, respectively. These validations add to the therapeutic value of LumC13 (Lumikine) and aid its clinical relevance of promoting the healing of corneal epithelium debridement. Moreover, our data validates the efficacy of our computational approach to design active peptides based on interactions of receptor and chemokine/ligand.

  6. Lumican Peptides: Rational Design Targeting ALK5/TGFBRI

    PubMed Central

    Gesteira, Tarsis Ferreira; Coulson-Thomas, Vivien J.; Yuan, Yong; Zhang, Jianhua; Nader, Helena B.; Kao, Winston W.-Y.

    2017-01-01

    Lumican, a small leucine rich proteoglycan (SLRP), is a component of extracellular matrix which also functions as a matrikine regulating multiple cell activities. In the cornea, lumican maintains corneal transparency by regulating collagen fibrillogenesis, promoting corneal epithelial wound healing, regulating gene expression and maintaining corneal homeostasis. We have recently shown that a peptide designed from the 13 C-terminal amino acids of lumican (LumC13) binds to ALK5/TGFBR1 (type1 receptor of TGFβ) to promote wound healing. Herein we evaluate the mechanism by which this synthetic C-terminal amphiphilic peptide (LumC13), binds to ALK5. These studies clearly reveal that LumC13-ALK5 form a stable complex. In order to determine the minimal amino acids required for the formation of a stable lumican/ALK5 complex derivatives of LumC13 were designed and their binding to ALK5 investigated in silico. These LumC13 derivatives were tested both in vitro and in vivo to evaluate their ability to promote corneal epithelial cell migration and corneal wound healing, respectively. These validations add to the therapeutic value of LumC13 (Lumikine) and aid its clinical relevance of promoting the healing of corneal epithelium debridement. Moreover, our data validates the efficacy of our computational approach to design active peptides based on interactions of receptor and chemokine/ligand. PMID:28181591

  7. Rational Vehicle Design Ensures Targeted Cutaneous Steroid Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Kircik, Leon; Okumu, Franklin; Sugarman, Jeffrey

    2017-01-01

    Objective: To design a topical vehicle that provided the optimal balance of betamethasone dipropionate penetration and retention in the skin, with minimal systemic absorption. Design: Six test formulations of betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% in vehicles contained the following penetration enhancers: elaidyl alcohol (Formulation-1), hexanol (Formulation-2), dodecanol (Formulation-3), octadecanol (Formulation-4), docosanol (Formulation-5), or oleyl alcohol (Formulation-6). Test agents were applied to human cadaver skin in static Franz-cell chambers containing receptor fluid. Measurements: Betamethasone absorption into the receptor fluid was measured over 24 hours. The distribution of betamethasone and its metabolites in the stratum corneum, epidermis, and dermis was analyzed using LC-MS/MS. The formulation with the optimal balance of penetration, permeation, retention, and minimal absorption was selected for a similar study comparing its penetration and absorption versus several commercially available betamethasone formulations. Results: Formulation-3 resulted in the highest retention of betamethasone in the skin as well as the highest steroid levels in the receptor fluid at 12 and 24 hours. Formulation-6 had the second highest retention of betamethasone in total skin, with relatively low absorption into the receptor fluid. All other variants had both lower steroid retention in the skin and lower absorption into the receptor fluid, with the exception of Formulation-2 which had higher absorption at 24 hours. Formulation-6/DFD-01 was selected for further development. Comparison of Formulation-6/DFD-01 with commercially available formulations of betamethasone dipropionate showed it had the highest steroid levels in the epidermis and dermis combined, with relatively low levels in the receptor fluid. Conclusion: Formulation-6/DFD-01 had the optimal balance of betamethasone retention in the skin, with low systemic absorption. This designed vehicle ensured retention of the

  8. DNA vaccines: a rational design against parasitic diseases.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Joana A; Rodgers, Jean; Atouguia, Jorge; Prazeres, Duarte M F; Monteiro, Gabriel A

    2010-02-01

    Parasitic diseases are one of the most devastating causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although immunization against these infections would be an ideal solution, the development of effective vaccines has been hampered by specific challenges posed by parasitic pathogens. Plasmid-based DNA vaccines may prove to be promising immunization tools in this area because vectors can be designed to integrate several antigens from different stages of the parasite life cycle or different subspecies; vaccines, formulations and immunization protocols can be tuned to match the immune response that offers protective immunity; and DNA vaccination is an affordable platform for developing countries. Partial and full protective immunity have been reported following DNA vaccination against the most significant parasitic diseases in the world.

  9. Intestinal targeting of drugs: rational design approaches and challenges.

    PubMed

    Filipski, Kevin J; Varma, Manthena V; El-Kattan, Ayman F; Ambler, Catherine M; Ruggeri, Roger B; Goosen, Theunis C; Cameron, Kimberly O

    2013-01-01

    Targeting drugs to the gastrointestinal tract has been and continues to be an active area of research. Gut-targeting is an effective means of increasing the local concentration of active substance at the desired site of action while minimizing concentrations elsewhere in the body that could lead to unwanted side-effects. Several approaches to intestinal targeting exist. Physicochemical property manipulation can drive molecules to large, polar, low absorption space or alternatively to lipophilic, high clearance space in order to minimize systemic exposure. Design of compounds that are substrates for transporters within the gastrointestinal tract, either uptake or efflux, or at the hepato-biliary interface, may help to increase intestinal concentration. Prodrug strategies have been shown to be effective particularly for colon targeting, and several different technology formulation approaches are currently being researched. This review provides examples of various approaches to intestinal targeting, and discusses challenges and areas in need of future scientific advances.

  10. Rational design of fluorophores for in vivo applications.

    PubMed

    Ptaszek, Marcin

    2013-01-01

    Several classes of small organic molecules exhibit properties that make them suitable for fluorescence in vivo imaging. The most promising candidates are cyanines, squaraines, boron dipyrromethenes, porphyrin derivatives, hydroporphyrins, and phthalocyanines. The recent designing and synthetic efforts have been dedicated to improving their optical properties (shift the absorption and emission maxima toward longer wavelengths and increase the brightness) as well as increasing their stability and water solubility. The most notable advances include development of encapsulated cyanine dyes with increased stability and water solubility, squaraine rotaxanes with increased stability, long-wavelength-absorbing boron dipyrromethenes, long-wavelength-absorbing porphyrin and hydroporphyrin derivatives, and water-soluble phthalocyanines. Recent advances in luminescence and bioluminescence have made self-illuminating fluorophores available for in vivo applications. Development of new types of hydroporphyrin energy-transfer dyads gives the promise for further advances in in vivo multicolor imaging.

  11. Rational experiment design for sequencing-based RNA structure mapping.

    PubMed

    Aviran, Sharon; Pachter, Lior

    2014-12-01

    Structure mapping is a classic experimental approach for determining nucleic acid structure that has gained renewed interest in recent years following advances in chemistry, genomics, and informatics. The approach encompasses numerous techniques that use different means to introduce nucleotide-level modifications in a structure-dependent manner. Modifications are assayed via cDNA fragment analysis, using electrophoresis or next-generation sequencing (NGS). The recent advent of NGS has dramatically increased the throughput, multiplexing capacity, and scope of RNA structure mapping assays, thereby opening new possibilities for genome-scale, de novo, and in vivo studies. From an informatics standpoint, NGS is more informative than prior technologies by virtue of delivering direct molecular measurements in the form of digital sequence counts. Motivated by these new capabilities, we introduce a novel model-based in silico approach for quantitative design of large-scale multiplexed NGS structure mapping assays, which takes advantage of the direct and digital nature of NGS readouts. We use it to characterize the relationship between controllable experimental parameters and the precision of mapping measurements. Our results highlight the complexity of these dependencies and shed light on relevant tradeoffs and pitfalls, which can be difficult to discern by intuition alone. We demonstrate our approach by quantitatively assessing the robustness of SHAPE-Seq measurements, obtained by multiplexing SHAPE (selective 2'-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension) chemistry in conjunction with NGS. We then utilize it to elucidate design considerations in advanced genome-wide approaches for probing the transcriptome, which recently obtained in vivo information using dimethyl sulfate (DMS) chemistry.

  12. Siberian snakes for the Fermilab Main Injector

    SciTech Connect

    Anferov, V.A.; Baiod, R.; Courant, E.D.

    1993-04-01

    Appropriate Siberian snakes were designed to maintain the proton beam polarization during acceleration in the Fermilab Main Injector from 8 to 150 GeV. Various snake designs were investigated to find one fitting into the 14 m straight section spaces with the required spin rotation axis and the minimum orbit excursion. The authors studied both cold and warm discrete magnet snakes as well as warm snakes with helical magnets. For the warm discrete magnet snake, obtaining small orbit excursions required a nearly longitudinal snake axis, while axes near {+-}45{degrees} are needed when using two snakes in a ring. The authors found acceptable snakes either by using superconducting magnets or by using warm magnets with a helical dipole field.

  13. Kinetic resolution of oxazinones: rational exploration of chemical space through the design of experiments.

    PubMed

    Renzi, Polyssena; Kronig, Christel; Carlone, Armando; Eröksüz, Serap; Berkessel, Albrecht; Bella, Marco

    2014-09-08

    The organocatalytic kinetic resolution of 4-substituted oxazinones has been optimised (selectivity factor S up to 98, chiral oxazinone ee values up to 99.6 % (1 a-g) and product ee values up to 90 % (3 a-g)) in a rational way by applying the Design of Experiments (DoE) approach.

  14. A decade of vaccines: Integrating immunology and vaccinology for rational vaccine design.

    PubMed

    D'Argenio, David A; Wilson, Christopher B

    2010-10-29

    Vaccination stands as one of the most successful public health measures of the last century. New approaches will be needed, however, to develop highly effective vaccines to prevent tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS, and malaria and to eradicate polio. Current advances in immunology and technology have set the stage for rational vaccine design to begin a "Decade of Vaccines."

  15. Plasmonic Solar Cells: From Rational Design to Mechanism Overview.

    PubMed

    Jang, Yoon Hee; Jang, Yu Jin; Kim, Seokhyoung; Quan, Li Na; Chung, Kyungwha; Kim, Dong Ha

    2016-12-28

    Plasmonic effects have been proposed as a solution to overcome the limited light absorption in thin-film photovoltaic devices, and various types of plasmonic solar cells have been developed. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art progress on the design and fabrication of plasmonic solar cells and their enhancement mechanism. The working principle is first addressed in terms of the combined effects of plasmon decay, scattering, near-field enhancement, and plasmonic energy transfer, including direct hot electron transfer and resonant energy transfer. Then, we summarize recent developments for various types of plasmonic solar cells based on silicon, dye-sensitized, organic photovoltaic, and other types of solar cells, including quantum dot and perovskite variants. We also address several issues regarding the limitations of plasmonic nanostructures, including their electrical, chemical, and physical stability, charge recombination, narrowband absorption, and high cost. Next, we propose a few potentially useful approaches that can improve the performance of plasmonic cells, such as the inclusion of graphene plasmonics, plasmon-upconversion coupling, and coupling between fluorescence resonance energy transfer and plasmon resonance energy transfer. This review is concluded with remarks on future prospects for plasmonic solar cell use.

  16. Rationally Designed Peptidomimetic Modulators of Aβ Toxicity in Alzheimer's Disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajasekhar, K.; Suresh, S. N.; Manjithaya, Ravi; Govindaraju, T.

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease is one of the devastating illnesses mankind is facing in the 21st century. The main pathogenic event in Alzheimer's disease is believed to be the aggregation of the β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides into toxic aggregates. Molecules that interfere with this process may act as therapeutic agents for the treatment of the disease. Use of recognition unit based peptidomimetics as inhibitors are a promising approach, as they exhibit greater protease stability compared to natural peptides. Here, we present peptidomimetic inhibitors of Aβ aggregation designed based on the KLVFF (P1) sequence that is known to bind Aβ aggregates. We improved inhibition efficiency of P1 by introducing multiple hydrogen bond donor-acceptor moieties (thymine/barbiturate) at the N-terminal (P2 and P3), and blood serum stability by modifying the backbone by incorporating sarcosine (N-methylglycine) units at alternate positions (P4 and P5). The peptidomimetics showed moderate to good activity in both inhibition and dissolution of Aβ aggregates as depicted by thioflavin assay, circular dichroism (CD) measurements and microscopy (TEM). The activity of P4 and P5 were studied in a yeast cell model showing Aβ toxicity. P4 and P5 could rescue yeast cells from Aβ toxicity and Aβ aggregates were cleared by the process of autophagy.

  17. Rational Design of Potent, Small, Synthetic Allosteric Inhibitors of Thrombin

    PubMed Central

    Sidhu, Preetpal Singh; Liang, Aiye; Mehta, Akul Y.; Abdel Aziz, May H.; Zhou, Qibing; Desai, Umesh R.

    2011-01-01

    Thrombin is a key enzyme targeted by the majority of current anticoagulants that are direct inhibitors. Allosteric inhibition of thrombin may offer a major advantage of finely tuned regulation. We present here sulfated benzofurans as the first examples of potent, small allosteric inhibitors of thrombin. A sulfated benzofuran library of 15 sulfated monomers and 13 sulfated dimers with different charged, polar and hydrophobic substituents was studied in this work. Synthesis of the sulfated benzofurans was achieved through a multiple step, highly branched strategy, which culminated with microwave-assisted chemical sulfation. Of the 28 potential inhibitors, eleven exhibited reasonable inhibition of human α-thrombin at pH 7.4. Structure activity relationship analysis indicated that sulfation at the 5-position of the benzofuran scaffold was essential for targeting thrombin. A t-butyl 5-sulfated benzofuran derivative was found to be the most potent thrombin inhibitor with an IC50 of 7.3 μM under physiologically relevant conditions. Michaelis-Menten studies showed an allosteric inhibition phenomenon. Plasma clotting assays indicate that the sulfated benzofurans prolong both the activated partial thromboplastin time and prothrombin time. Overall, this work puts forward sulfated benzofurans as the first small, synthetic molecules as powerful lead compounds for the design of a new class of allosteric inhibitors of thrombin. PMID:21714536

  18. Rational design of a split-Cas9 enzyme complex

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, Addison V.; Sternberg, Samuel H.; Taylor, David W.; Staahl, Brett T.; Bardales, Jorge A.; Kornfeld, Jack E.; Doudna, Jennifer A.

    2015-02-23

    Cas9, an RNA-guided DNA endonuclease found in clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) bacterial immune systems, is a versatile tool for genome editing, transcriptional regulation, and cellular imaging applications. Structures of Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 alone or bound to single-guide RNA (sgRNA) and target DNA revealed a bilobed protein architecture that undergoes major conformational changes upon guide RNA and DNA binding. To investigate the molecular determinants and relevance of the interlobe rearrangement for target recognition and cleavage, we designed a split-Cas9 enzyme in which the nuclease lobe and α-helical lobe are expressed as separate polypeptides. The lobes do not interact on their own, the sgRNA recruits them into a ternary complex that recapitulates the activity of full-length Cas9 and catalyzes site-specific DNA cleavage. The use of a modified sgRNA abrogates split-Cas9 activity by preventing dimerization, allowing for the development of an inducible dimerization system. We propose that split-Cas9 can act as a highly regulatable platform for genome-engineering applications.

  19. Rational design of a split-Cas9 enzyme complex

    DOE PAGES

    Wright, Addison V.; Sternberg, Samuel H.; Taylor, David W.; ...

    2015-02-23

    Cas9, an RNA-guided DNA endonuclease found in clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) bacterial immune systems, is a versatile tool for genome editing, transcriptional regulation, and cellular imaging applications. Structures of Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 alone or bound to single-guide RNA (sgRNA) and target DNA revealed a bilobed protein architecture that undergoes major conformational changes upon guide RNA and DNA binding. To investigate the molecular determinants and relevance of the interlobe rearrangement for target recognition and cleavage, we designed a split-Cas9 enzyme in which the nuclease lobe and α-helical lobe are expressed as separate polypeptides. The lobes do not interactmore » on their own, the sgRNA recruits them into a ternary complex that recapitulates the activity of full-length Cas9 and catalyzes site-specific DNA cleavage. The use of a modified sgRNA abrogates split-Cas9 activity by preventing dimerization, allowing for the development of an inducible dimerization system. We propose that split-Cas9 can act as a highly regulatable platform for genome-engineering applications.« less

  20. Rational design of a split-Cas9 enzyme complex.

    PubMed

    Wright, Addison V; Sternberg, Samuel H; Taylor, David W; Staahl, Brett T; Bardales, Jorge A; Kornfeld, Jack E; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2015-03-10

    Cas9, an RNA-guided DNA endonuclease found in clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) bacterial immune systems, is a versatile tool for genome editing, transcriptional regulation, and cellular imaging applications. Structures of Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 alone or bound to single-guide RNA (sgRNA) and target DNA revealed a bilobed protein architecture that undergoes major conformational changes upon guide RNA and DNA binding. To investigate the molecular determinants and relevance of the interlobe rearrangement for target recognition and cleavage, we designed a split-Cas9 enzyme in which the nuclease lobe and α-helical lobe are expressed as separate polypeptides. Although the lobes do not interact on their own, the sgRNA recruits them into a ternary complex that recapitulates the activity of full-length Cas9 and catalyzes site-specific DNA cleavage. The use of a modified sgRNA abrogates split-Cas9 activity by preventing dimerization, allowing for the development of an inducible dimerization system. We propose that split-Cas9 can act as a highly regulatable platform for genome-engineering applications.

  1. 50 CFR Table 3 to Part 226 - Hydrologic Units Containing Critical Habitat for Snake River Sockeye Salmon and Snake River...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... Habitat for Snake River Sockeye Salmon and Snake River Spring/Summer and Fall Chinook Salmon 3 Table 3 to... ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT Pt. 226, Table 3 Table 3 to Part 226—Hydrologic Units Containing Critical Habitat for Snake River Sockeye Salmon and Snake...

  2. 50 CFR Table 3 to Part 226 - Hydrologic Units Containing Critical Habitat for Snake River Sockeye Salmon and Snake River...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... Habitat for Snake River Sockeye Salmon and Snake River Spring/Summer and Fall Chinook Salmon 3 Table 3 to... ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT Pt. 226, Table 3 Table 3 to Part 226—Hydrologic Units Containing Critical Habitat for Snake River Sockeye Salmon and Snake...

  3. A rational design of cosolvent exfoliation of layered materials by directly probing liquid–solid interaction

    PubMed Central

    Halim, Udayabagya; Zheng, Chu Ran; Chen, Yu; Lin, Zhaoyang; Jiang, Shan; Cheng, Rui; Huang, Yu; Duan, Xiangfeng

    2014-01-01

    Exfoliation of layered materials such as graphite and transition metal dichalcogenides into mono- or few-layers is of significant interest for both the fundamental studies and potential applications. Here we report a systematic investigation of the fundamental factors governing the liquid exfoliation process and the rational design of a cosolvent approach for the exfoliation of layered materials. We show that Young’s equation can be used to predict the optimal cosolvent concentration for the effective exfoliation of graphite and molybdenum disulphide in water mixtures with methanol, ethanol, isopropanol and t-butyl alcohol. Moreover, we find that the cosolvent molecular size has an important role in the exfoliation yield, attributed to the larger steric repulsion provided by the larger cosolvent molecules. Our study provides critical insight into the exfoliation of layered materials, and defines a rational strategy for the design of an environmentally friendly pathway to the high yield exfoliation of layered materials. PMID:23896793

  4. Controlling the Spin Texture of Topological Insulators by Rational Design of Organic Molecules.

    PubMed

    Jakobs, Sebastian; Narayan, Awadhesh; Stadtmüller, Benjamin; Droghetti, Andrea; Rungger, Ivan; Hor, Yew S; Klyatskaya, Svetlana; Jungkenn, Dominik; Stöckl, Johannes; Laux, Martin; Monti, Oliver L A; Aeschlimann, Martin; Cava, Robert J; Ruben, Mario; Mathias, Stefan; Sanvito, Stefano; Cinchetti, Mirko

    2015-09-09

    We present a rational design approach to customize the spin texture of surface states of a topological insulator. This approach relies on the extreme multifunctionality of organic molecules that are used to functionalize the surface of the prototypical topological insulator (TI) Bi2Se3. For the rational design we use theoretical calculations to guide the choice and chemical synthesis of appropriate molecules that customize the spin texture of Bi2Se3. The theoretical predictions are then verified in angular-resolved photoemission experiments. We show that, by tuning the strength of molecule-TI interaction, the surface of the TI can be passivated, the Dirac point can energetically be shifted at will, and Rashba-split quantum-well interface states can be created. These tailored interface properties-passivation, spin-texture tuning, and creation of hybrid interface states-lay a solid foundation for interface-assisted molecular spintronics in spin-textured materials.

  5. Rational design of new electrolyte materials for electrochemical double layer capacitors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schütter, Christoph; Husch, Tamara; Viswanathan, Venkatasubramanian; Passerini, Stefano; Balducci, Andrea; Korth, Martin

    2016-09-01

    The development of new electrolytes is a centerpiece of many strategies to improve electrochemical double layer capacitor (EDLC) devices. We present here a computational screening-based rational design approach to find new electrolyte materials. As an example application, the known chemical space of almost 70 million compounds is investigated in search of electrochemically more stable solvents. Cyano esters are identified as especially promising new compound class. Theoretical predictions are validated with subsequent experimental studies on a selected case. These studies show that based on theoretical predictions only, a previously untested, but very well performing compound class was identified. We thus find that our rational design strategy is indeed able to successfully identify completely new materials with substantially improved properties.

  6. Residualization Rates of Near Infrared Dyes for the Rational Design of Molecular Imaging Agents

    PubMed Central

    Cilliers, Cornelius; Liao, Jianshan; Atangcho, Lydia; Thurber, Greg M.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Near infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging is widely used for tracking antibodies and biomolecules in vivo. Clinical and preclinical applications include intraoperative imaging, tracking therapeutics, and fluorescent labeling as a surrogate for subsequent radiolabeling. Despite their extensive use, one of the fundamental properties of NIR dyes, the residualization rate within cells following internalization, has not been systematically studied. This rate is required for the rational design of probes and proper interpretation of in vivo results. Procedures In this brief report, we measure the cellular residualization rate of eight commonly used dyes encompassing three core structures (cyanine, BODIPY, and oxazine/thiazine/carbopyronin). Results We identify residualizing (half-life > 24 hrs) and non-residualizing dyes (half-life < 24 hrs) in both the far red (~650-680 nm) and near infrared (~740-800 nm) regions. Conclusions This data will allow researchers to independently and rationally select the wavelength and residualizing nature of dyes for molecular imaging agent design. PMID:25869081

  7. Targeting protein–protein interactions by rational design: mimicry of protein surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Fletcher, Steven; Hamilton, Andrew D

    2006-01-01

    Protein–protein interactions play key roles in a range of biological processes, and are therefore important targets for the design of novel therapeutics. Unlike in the design of enzyme active site inhibitors, the disruption of protein–protein interactions is far more challenging, due to such factors as the large interfacial areas involved and the relatively flat and featureless topologies of these surfaces. Nevertheless, in spite of such challenges, there has been considerable progress in recent years. In this review, we discuss this progress in the context of mimicry of protein surfaces: targeting protein–protein interactions by rational design. PMID:16849232

  8. Rationally designed multifunctional supramolecular iminium catalysis: direct vinylogous Michael addition of unmodified linear dienol substrates.

    PubMed

    Gu, Yun; Wang, Yao; Yu, Tian-Yang; Liang, Yong-Min; Xu, Peng-Fei

    2014-12-15

    The development of a direct vinylogous Michael addition of linear nucleophilic substrates is a long-standing challenge because of the poor reactivity and the considerable difficulty in controlling regioselectivity. By employing a rationally designed multifunctional supramolecular iminium catalysis strategy, the first direct vinylogous Michael addition of unmodified linear substrates to α,β-unsaturated aldehydes, to afford chiral 1,7-dioxo compounds with good yields and excellent regio- as well as enantioselectivity, has been developed.

  9. Rational Canonical Form of Polyphase Matrices with Applications to Designing Paraunitary Filter Banks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-04-01

    Multirate Systems and Filter Banks , Prentice Hall, NJ, 1993. [4] A. Tkacenko and P. P. Vaidyanathan, “Iterative Greedy Algorithm for Solving the FIR...RATIONAL CANONICAL FORM OF POLYPHASE MATRICES WITH APPLICATIONS TO DESIGNING PARAUNITARY FILTER BANKS Peter Vouras, Trac Tran, Michael Ching...arbitrary polyphase matrices and use it to derive a simple implementation of paraunitary filter banks (PUFBs) based on a cascade of elementary building

  10. Quantum Dot Superlattice Enabled Rational Design in Optoelectronics and Hydrogen Generation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-11-25

    in Optoelectronics and Hydrogen Generation 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER FA2386-13-1-4074 5b. GRANT NUMBER Grant AOARD-134074 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT...FA2386-13-1-4074 “Quantum Dot Superlattice Enabled Rational Design in Optoelectronics and Hydrogen Generation” April 21, 2014 PI and Co-PI...impacts on optoelectronic devices, and hydrogen generation under sunlight. Introduction: Intensive research works have been made on inorganic

  11. Tailored immunogens for rationally designed antibody-based HIV-1 vaccines.

    PubMed

    Mouquet, Hugo

    2015-08-01

    Protective HIV-1 vaccines would require the induction of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) to be effective against the vast diversity of circulating viral strains. Three new studies provide in vivo demonstration that rational design of vaccine strategies using engineered and native-like HIV-1 immunogens can be exploited for guiding B-cell evolution towards the genesis of HIV-1 bNAbs.

  12. Rationally designed multifunctional plasmonic nanostructures for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy: a review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Wei; Schlücker, Sebastian

    2014-11-01

    Rationally designed multifunctional plasmonic nanostructures efficiently integrate two or more functionalities into a single entity, for example, with both plasmonic and catalytic activity. This review article is focused on their synthesis and use in surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) as a molecular spectroscopic technique with high sensitivity, fingerprint specificity, and surface selectivity. After a short tutorial on the fundamentals of Raman scattering and SERS in particular, applications ranging from chemistry (heterogeneous catalysis) to biology and medicine (diagnostics/imaging, therapy) are summarized.

  13. Rationally designed multifunctional plasmonic nanostructures for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy: a review.

    PubMed

    Xie, Wei; Schlücker, Sebastian

    2014-11-01

    Rationally designed multifunctional plasmonic nanostructures efficiently integrate two or more functionalities into a single entity, for example, with both plasmonic and catalytic activity. This review article is focused on their synthesis and use in surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) as a molecular spectroscopic technique with high sensitivity, fingerprint specificity, and surface selectivity. After a short tutorial on the fundamentals of Raman scattering and SERS in particular, applications ranging from chemistry (heterogeneous catalysis) to biology and medicine (diagnostics/imaging, therapy) are summarized.

  14. The Development of CK2 Inhibitors: From Traditional Pharmacology to in Silico Rational Drug Design

    PubMed Central

    Cozza, Giorgio

    2017-01-01

    Casein kinase II (CK2) is an ubiquitous and pleiotropic serine/threonine protein kinase able to phosphorylate hundreds of substrates. Being implicated in several human diseases, from neurodegeneration to cancer, the biological roles of CK2 have been intensively studied. Upregulation of CK2 has been shown to be critical to tumor progression, making this kinase an attractive target for cancer therapy. Several CK2 inhibitors have been developed so far, the first being discovered by “trial and error testing”. In the last decade, the development of in silico rational drug design has prompted the discovery, de novo design and optimization of several CK2 inhibitors, active in the low nanomolar range. The screening of big chemical libraries and the optimization of hit compounds by Structure Based Drug Design (SBDD) provide telling examples of a fruitful application of rational drug design to the development of CK2 inhibitors. Ligand Based Drug Design (LBDD) models have been also applied to CK2 drug discovery, however they were mainly focused on methodology improvements rather than being critical for de novo design and optimization. This manuscript provides detailed description of in silico methodologies whose applications to the design and development of CK2 inhibitors proved successful and promising. PMID:28230762

  15. The Development of CK2 Inhibitors: From Traditional Pharmacology to in Silico Rational Drug Design.

    PubMed

    Cozza, Giorgio

    2017-02-20

    Casein kinase II (CK2) is an ubiquitous and pleiotropic serine/threonine protein kinase able to phosphorylate hundreds of substrates. Being implicated in several human diseases, from neurodegeneration to cancer, the biological roles of CK2 have been intensively studied. Upregulation of CK2 has been shown to be critical to tumor progression, making this kinase an attractive target for cancer therapy. Several CK2 inhibitors have been developed so far, the first being discovered by "trial and error testing". In the last decade, the development of in silico rational drug design has prompted the discovery, de novo design and optimization of several CK2 inhibitors, active in the low nanomolar range. The screening of big chemical libraries and the optimization of hit compounds by Structure Based Drug Design (SBDD) provide telling examples of a fruitful application of rational drug design to the development of CK2 inhibitors. Ligand Based Drug Design (LBDD) models have been also applied to CK2 drug discovery, however they were mainly focused on methodology improvements rather than being critical for de novo design and optimization. This manuscript provides detailed description of in silico methodologies whose applications to the design and development of CK2 inhibitors proved successful and promising.

  16. Rational peptide design for functional materials via molecular self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajagopal, Karthikan

    Supra-molecular self-assembly of rationally designed peptides is a promising approach to construct functional materials. This thesis specifically focuses on hydrogels, an important class of materials with potential for applications in tissue engineering, drug delivery and micro-fluidic systems. The objective is to design short peptides that would specifically adopt a stimulus dependent conformation that is strongly amenable to self-assembly resulting in material formation. With this concept the rational design of a 20 amino acid peptide (MAX1) that folds into an amphiphilic beta-hairpin structure and then self-assembles to form a rigid hydrogel under alkaline conditions is presented. The molecular level conformation of MAX1 was characterized using circular dichroism and FTIR spectroscopies. The mesoscale structure of the hydrogel assessed using confocal and transmission electron micron microscopies and neutron scattering techniques shows that peptide self-assembly results in the formation of fibrils that are homogeneously 3 nm in diameter. The mechanical properties of the hydrogel probed using oscillatory rheology shows that MAX1 forms a stiff hydrogel. Since the self-assembly process is coupled to the intra-molecularly folded state of the peptide, stimulus responsiveness can be specifically engineered into the sequence by rational design. This was demonstrated in the design of peptides that form hydrogels in response to a specific stimulus such as temperature, pH or ionic strength. The significance of peptide design in the context of self-assembly and its relationship to the nanostructure was studied by designing a series of peptides derived from MAX1. Evolving from these studies is an understanding of the relationship between molecular level peptide structure and the nanoscale supra-molecular morphology. Based on this, it has been shown that alternate morphologies distinct from those observed with the gel forming peptides, such as non-twisting laminates or tube

  17. Rational design of carbon nitride photocatalysts by identification of cyanamide defects as catalytically relevant sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, Vincent Wing-Hei; Moudrakovski, Igor; Botari, Tiago; Weinberger, Simon; Mesch, Maria B.; Duppel, Viola; Senker, Jürgen; Blum, Volker; Lotsch, Bettina V.

    2016-07-01

    The heptazine-based polymer melon (also known as graphitic carbon nitride, g-C3N4) is a promising photocatalyst for hydrogen evolution. Nonetheless, attempts to improve its inherently low activity are rarely based on rational approaches because of a lack of fundamental understanding of its mechanistic operation. Here we employ molecular heptazine-based model catalysts to identify the cyanamide moiety as a photocatalytically relevant `defect'. We exploit this knowledge for the rational design of a carbon nitride polymer populated with cyanamide groups, yielding a material with 12 and 16 times the hydrogen evolution rate and apparent quantum efficiency (400 nm), respectively, compared with the unmodified melon. Computational modelling and material characterization suggest that this moiety improves coordination (and, in turn, charge transfer kinetics) to the platinum co-catalyst and enhances the separation of the photogenerated charge carriers. The demonstrated knowledge transfer for rational catalyst design presented here provides the conceptual framework for engineering high-performance heptazine-based photocatalysts.

  18. Rational design of carbon nitride photocatalysts by identification of cyanamide defects as catalytically relevant sites

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Vincent Wing-hei; Moudrakovski, Igor; Botari, Tiago; Weinberger, Simon; Mesch, Maria B.; Duppel, Viola; Senker, Jürgen; Blum, Volker; Lotsch, Bettina V.

    2016-01-01

    The heptazine-based polymer melon (also known as graphitic carbon nitride, g-C3N4) is a promising photocatalyst for hydrogen evolution. Nonetheless, attempts to improve its inherently low activity are rarely based on rational approaches because of a lack of fundamental understanding of its mechanistic operation. Here we employ molecular heptazine-based model catalysts to identify the cyanamide moiety as a photocatalytically relevant ‘defect'. We exploit this knowledge for the rational design of a carbon nitride polymer populated with cyanamide groups, yielding a material with 12 and 16 times the hydrogen evolution rate and apparent quantum efficiency (400 nm), respectively, compared with the unmodified melon. Computational modelling and material characterization suggest that this moiety improves coordination (and, in turn, charge transfer kinetics) to the platinum co-catalyst and enhances the separation of the photogenerated charge carriers. The demonstrated knowledge transfer for rational catalyst design presented here provides the conceptual framework for engineering high-performance heptazine-based photocatalysts. PMID:27387536

  19. Inventing and improving ribozyme function: rational design versus iterative selection methods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Breaker, R. R.; Joyce, G. F.

    1994-01-01

    Two major strategies for generating novel biological catalysts exist. One relies on our knowledge of biopolymer structure and function to aid in the 'rational design' of new enzymes. The other, often called 'irrational design', aims to generate new catalysts, in the absence of detailed physicochemical knowledge, by using selection methods to search a library of molecules for functional variants. Both strategies have been applied, with considerable success, to the remodeling of existing ribozymes and the development of ribozymes with novel catalytic function. The two strategies are by no means mutually exclusive, and are best applied in a complementary fashion to obtain ribozymes with the desired catalytic properties.

  20. Inactivation of TNF Signaling by Rationally Designed Dominant-Negative TNF Variants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steed, Paul M.; Tansey, Malú G.; Zalevsky, Jonathan; Zhukovsky, Eugene A.; Desjarlais, John R.; Szymkowski, David E.; Abbott, Christina; Carmichael, David; Chan, Cheryl; Cherry, Lisa; Cheung, Peter; Chirino, Arthur J.; Chung, Hyo H.; Doberstein, Stephen K.; Eivazi, Araz; Filikov, Anton V.; Gao, Sarah X.; Hubert, René S.; Hwang, Marian; Hyun, Linus; Kashi, Sandhya; Kim, Alice; Kim, Esther; Kung, James; Martinez, Sabrina P.; Muchhal, Umesh S.; Nguyen, Duc-Hanh T.; O'Brien, Christopher; O'Keefe, Donald; Singer, Karen; Vafa, Omid; Vielmetter, Jost; Yoder, Sean C.; Dahiyat, Bassil I.

    2003-09-01

    Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a key regulator of inflammatory responses and has been implicated in many pathological conditions. We used structure-based design to engineer variant TNF proteins that rapidly form heterotrimers with native TNF to give complexes that neither bind to nor stimulate signaling through TNF receptors. Thus, TNF is inactivated by sequestration. Dominant-negative TNFs represent a possible approach to anti-inflammatory biotherapeutics, and experiments in animal models show that the strategy can attenuate TNF-mediated pathology. Similar rational design could be used to engineer inhibitors of additional TNF superfamily cytokines as well as other multimeric ligands.

  1. Recent Advances in the Rational Design and Optimization of Antibacterial Agents.

    PubMed

    Jones, Jesse A; Virga, Kristopher G; Gumina, Giuseppe; Hevener, Kirk E

    2016-09-01

    This review discusses next-generation antibacterial agents developed using rational, or targeted, drug design strategies. The focus of this review is on small-molecule compounds that have been designed to bypass developing bacterial resistance, improve the antibacterial spectrum of activity, and/or to optimize other properties, including physicochemical and pharmacokinetic properties. Agents are discussed that affect known antibacterial targets, such as the bacterial ribosome, nucleic acid binding proteins, and proteins involved in cell-wall biosynthesis; as well as some affecting novel bacterial targets which do not have currently marketed agents. The discussion of the agents focuses on the rational design strategies employed and the synthetic medicinal chemistry and structure-based design techniques utilized by the scientists involved in the discoveries, including such methods as ligand- and structure-based strategies, structure-activity relationship (SAR) expansion strategies, and novel synthetic organic chemistry methods. As such, the discussion is limited to small-molecule therapeutics that have confirmed macromolecular targets and encompasses only a fraction of all antibacterial agents recently approved or in late-stage clinical trials. The antibacterial agents selected have been recently approved for use on the U.S. or European markets or have shown promising results in phase 2 or phase 3 U.S.

  2. Multi-step usage of in vivo models during rational drug design and discovery.

    PubMed

    Williams, Charles H; Hong, Charles C

    2011-01-01

    In this article we propose a systematic development method for rational drug design while reviewing paradigms in industry, emerging techniques and technologies in the field. Although the process of drug development today has been accelerated by emergence of computational methodologies, it is a herculean challenge requiring exorbitant resources; and often fails to yield clinically viable results. The current paradigm of target based drug design is often misguided and tends to yield compounds that have poor absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion, toxicology (ADMET) properties. Therefore, an in vivo organism based approach allowing for a multidisciplinary inquiry into potent and selective molecules is an excellent place to begin rational drug design. We will review how organisms like the zebrafish and Caenorhabditis elegans can not only be starting points, but can be used at various steps of the drug development process from target identification to pre-clinical trial models. This systems biology based approach paired with the power of computational biology; genetics and developmental biology provide a methodological framework to avoid the pitfalls of traditional target based drug design.

  3. Rational design and application of a redox-active, photoresponsive, discrete metallogelator.

    PubMed

    Afrasiabi, Rouzbeh; Kraatz, Heinz-Bernhard

    2015-05-18

    A photoresponsive discrete metallogelator was rationally designed by incorporating a photochromic azobenzene subunit in the structure of a redox-active ferrocene-peptide conjugate. The target molecule was purposefully equipped with a dipeptide unit capable of self-assembly in response to sonication. The designed molecule was shown to undergo supramolecular self-assembly and achieve organogelation in response to ultrasound, light, heat, and redox signals. The sol-gel phase transition of the designed gelator was found to be sensitive to a plethora of input stimuli, allowing the application of the sol-gel transition behavior in basic logic gate operations. A gel-based NOT logic gate operation was realized when the redox-active property of the organogel was examined by using different oxidizing agents. The smart response of the gelator was further exploited in designing XOR operations under oxidizing or non-oxidizing conditions.

  4. Recent advances in the rational design of silica-based nanoparticles for gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Niut, Yuting; Popatt, Amirali; Yu, Meihua; Karmakar, Surajit; Gu, Wenyi; Yu, Chengzhong

    2012-10-01

    Gene therapy has attracted much attention in modern society and provides a promising approach for treating genetic disorders, diseases and cancers. Safe and effective vectors are vital tools to deliver genetic molecules to cells. This review summarizes recent advances in the rational design of silica-based nanoparticles and their applications in gene therapy. An overview of different types of genetic agents available for gene therapy is provided. The engineering of various silica nanoparticles is described, which can be used as versatile complexation tools for genetic agents and advanced gene therapy. Several challenges are raised and future research directions in the area of gene therapy using silica-based nanoparticles are proposed.

  5. Crystals of Human Serum Albumin for Use in Genetic Engineering and Rational Drug Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, Daniel C. (Inventor)

    1994-01-01

    This invention pertains to crystals of serum albumin and processes for growing them. The purpose of the invention is to provide crystals of serum albumin which can be studied to determine binding sites for drugs. Form 2 crystals grow in the monoclinic space P2(sub 1), and possesses the following unit cell constraints: a = 58.9 +/- 7, b = 88.3 +/- 7, c = 60.7 +/- 7, Beta = 101.0 +/- 2 degrees. One advantage of the invention is that it will allow rational drug design

  6. Rational design of polyion complex nanoparticles to overcome cisplatin resistance in cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xian-Zhu; Du, Xiao-Jiao; Liu, Yang; Zhu, Yan-Hua; Liu, Yang-Zhong; Li, Ya-Ping; Wang, Jun

    2014-02-12

    Rationally designed PIC nanoparticles as next-generation delivery system: we have developed a core-shell-corona PIC nanoparticle (⊕) NP/Pt@PPC-DA as a next-generation delivery system. (⊕) NP/Pt@PPC-DA exhibits prolonged circulation and enhanced drug accumulation in tumors. Subsequently, tumor pH leads to the release of (⊕) NP/Pt, which facilitates cellular uptake followed by rapid intracellular cisplatin release. Using this delivery strategy cisplatin-resistant tumor growth in a murine xenograft model has been successfully suppressed.

  7. Rationalization and Design of the Complementarity Determining Region Sequences in an Antibody-Antigen Recognition Interface

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Ing-Chien; Lee, Yu-Ching; Chen, Jun-Bo; Tsai, Keng-Chang; Chen, Ching-Tai; Chang, Jeng-Yih; Yang, Ei-Wen; Hsu, Po-Chiang; Jian, Jhih-Wei; Hsu, Hung-Ju; Chang, Hung-Ju; Hsu, Wen-Lian; Huang, Kai-Fa; Ma, Alex Che; Yang, An-Suei

    2012-01-01

    Protein-protein interactions are critical determinants in biological systems. Engineered proteins binding to specific areas on protein surfaces could lead to therapeutics or diagnostics for treating diseases in humans. But designing epitope-specific protein-protein interactions with computational atomistic interaction free energy remains a difficult challenge. Here we show that, with the antibody-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) interaction as a model system, the experimentally observed amino acid preferences in the antibody-antigen interface can be rationalized with 3-dimensional distributions of interacting atoms derived from the database of protein structures. Machine learning models established on the rationalization can be generalized to design amino acid preferences in antibody-antigen interfaces, for which the experimental validations are tractable with current high throughput synthetic antibody display technologies. Leave-one-out cross validation on the benchmark system yielded the accuracy, precision, recall (sensitivity) and specificity of the overall binary predictions to be 0.69, 0.45, 0.63, and 0.71 respectively, and the overall Matthews correlation coefficient of the 20 amino acid types in the 24 interface CDR positions was 0.312. The structure-based computational antibody design methodology was further tested with other antibodies binding to VEGF. The results indicate that the methodology could provide alternatives to the current antibody technologies based on animal immune systems in engineering therapeutic and diagnostic antibodies against predetermined antigen epitopes. PMID:22457753

  8. Rational design of nanofiber scaffolds for orthopedic tissue repair and regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Bing; Xie, Jingwei; Jiang, Jiang; Shuler, Franklin D; Bartlett, David E

    2013-01-01

    This article reviews recent significant advances in the design of nanofiber scaffolds for orthopedic tissue repair and regeneration. It begins with a brief introduction on the limitations of current approaches for orthopedic tissue repair and regeneration. It then illustrates that rationally designed scaffolds made up of electrospun nanofibers could be a promising solution to overcome the problems that current approaches encounter. The article also discusses the intriguing properties of electrospun nanofibers, including control of composition, structures, orders, alignments and mechanical properties, use as carriers for topical drug and/or gene sustained delivery, and serving as substrates for the regulation of cell behaviors, which could benefit musculoskeletal tissue repair and regeneration. It further highlights a few of the many recent applications of electrospun nanofiber scaffolds in repairing and regenerating various orthopedic tissues. Finally, the article concludes with perspectives on the challenges and future directions for better design, fabrication and utilization of nanofiber scaffolds for orthopedic tissue engineering. PMID:23987110

  9. Rational design of mass diffusion metamaterial concentrators based on coordinate transformations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Restrepo-Flórez, Juan Manuel; Maldovan, Martin

    2016-08-01

    Recent advances in coordinate transformations of Fick's equation have paved the way for the design of metamaterial devices that can manipulate mass diffusion flux. The control of diffusion paths has a great potential for the design of novel catalytic and separation systems in chemical and biomolecular engineering. In order to explore these new applications, it is necessary to understand mass diffusion in coordinate transformation metamaterial devices. In this work, we present a comprehensive study on the impact of structure and material properties on the resultant physical properties of mass concentrator metamaterial shells. The concentration gradient at the core, the total mass flow rate towards the core, and the disturbance of the external concentration field are systematically examined in order to provide guidelines for the rational design and fabrication of metamaterial mass concentrators. A practical case is also presented where the concentration of oxygen diffusing in a polymeric system is studied.

  10. Rational design of nanofiber scaffolds for orthopedic tissue repair and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Ma, Bing; Xie, Jingwei; Jiang, Jiang; Shuler, Franklin D; Bartlett, David E

    2013-09-01

    This article reviews recent significant advances in the design of nanofiber scaffolds for orthopedic tissue repair and regeneration. It begins with a brief introduction on the limitations of current approaches for orthopedic tissue repair and regeneration. It then illustrates that rationally designed scaffolds made up of electrospun nanofibers could be a promising solution to overcome the problems that current approaches encounter. The article also discusses the intriguing properties of electrospun nanofibers, including control of composition, structures, orders, alignments and mechanical properties, use as carriers for topical drug and/or gene sustained delivery, and serving as substrates for the regulation of cell behaviors, which could benefit musculoskeletal tissue repair and regeneration. It further highlights a few of the many recent applications of electrospun nanofiber scaffolds in repairing and regenerating various orthopedic tissues. Finally, the article concludes with perspectives on the challenges and future directions for better design, fabrication and utilization of nanofiber scaffolds for orthopedic tissue engineering.

  11. Rational design of the column of a heavy multipurpose machining center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atapin, V. V.; Kurlaev, N. V.

    2016-04-01

    The main purpose in the design of supporting constructions of heavy multipurpose machining center is the reduction of mass at the given precision and productivity of machining. Accomplish these ends the technology of rational design of supporting constructions is offered. This technology is based on the decomposition method and the finite elements method in the combination with optimization methods. The technology has four stages: 1) calculation of external forces and loads, 2) as a result the boundary conditions (force, kinematics) for individual supporting constructions are formed, 3) a problem about final optimal distribution of a material by the individual supporting constructions with the real cross-section is solved; 4) dynamic analysis. By the example of design of the column of a heavy multipurpose machining center the main stages of rational design of the individual supporting constructions are shown. At a design stage of the carrying system consisting of load-bearing structures with simplified geometry, optimum overall dimensions of the column are identified. For the admitted system of preferences, it is necessary to accept the fact that the carrying system with the column with the sizes of cross section of 1.8 m (along x axis) and 2.6 m (along y axis) is the best. The analysis of the work of the column under the torsion condition with the use of method of mechanics shows that the column with square cross sections = 2.46·2.46 m which rigidity on torsion is 26 % higher in comparison with a production version is the best. The results of calculation show that a production-release design of the column with longitudinal and transverse edges of rigidity is 24 % heavier than the column with the edges located on a diagonally at equal rigidity.

  12. Rationally designed cyclic analogues of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone: enhanced enzymatic stability and biological properties.

    PubMed

    Laimou, Despina; Katsila, Theodora; Matsoukas, John; Schally, Andrew; Gkountelias, Kostas; Liapakis, George; Tamvakopoulos, Constantin; Tselios, Theodore

    2012-12-01

    This article describes the rational design, synthesis and pharmacological properties of amide-linked cyclic analogues of Luteinizing Hormone-Releasing Hormone (LHRH) with substitutions at positions 1 (Pro), 6 (D-Leu/D-Trp), 9 (Aze) and 10 (BABA/Acp). These LHRH analogues fulfil the conformational requirements that are known in the literature (bend in the 5-8 segment) to be essential for receptor recognition and activation. Although, they are characterised by an overall low binding affinity to the LHRH-I receptor, the cyclic analogues that were studied and especially the cyclo(1-10)[Pro(1), D-Leu(6), BABA(10)] LHRH, exhibit a profoundly enhanced in vitro and in vivo stability and improved pharmacokinetics in comparison with their linear counterpart and leuprolide. Upon receptor binding, cyclo(1-10)[Pro(1), D-Leu(6), BABA(10)] LHRH causes testosterone release in C57/B16 mice (in vivo efficacy) that is comparable to that of leuprolide. Testosterone release is an acutely dose dependent effect that is blocked by the LHRH-I receptor antagonist, cetrorelix. The pharmacokinetic advantages and efficacy of cyclo(1-10)[Pro(1), D-Leu(6), BABA(10)] LHRH render this analogue a promising platform for future rational drug design studies towards the development of non-peptide LHRH mimetics.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-11

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

  14. Rational design of metal nitride redox materials for solar-driven ammonia synthesis.

    PubMed

    Michalsky, Ronald; Pfromm, Peter H; Steinfeld, Aldo

    2015-06-06

    Fixed nitrogen is an essential chemical building block for plant and animal protein, which makes ammonia (NH3) a central component of synthetic fertilizer for the global production of food and biofuels. A global project on artificial photosynthesis may foster the development of production technologies for renewable NH3 fertilizer, hydrogen carrier and combustion fuel. This article presents an alternative path for the production of NH3 from nitrogen, water and solar energy. The process is based on a thermochemical redox cycle driven by concentrated solar process heat at 700-1200°C that yields NH3 via the oxidation of a metal nitride with water. The metal nitride is recycled via solar-driven reduction of the oxidized redox material with nitrogen at atmospheric pressure. We employ electronic structure theory for the rational high-throughput design of novel metal nitride redox materials and to show how transition-metal doping controls the formation and consumption of nitrogen vacancies in metal nitrides. We confirm experimentally that iron doping of manganese nitride increases the concentration of nitrogen vacancies compared with no doping. The experiments are rationalized through the average energy of the dopant d-states, a descriptor for the theory-based design of advanced metal nitride redox materials to produce sustainable solar thermochemical ammonia.

  15. Improving specific activity and thermostability of Escherichia coli phytase by structure-based rational design.

    PubMed

    Wu, Tzu-Hui; Chen, Chun-Chi; Cheng, Ya-Shan; Ko, Tzu-Ping; Lin, Cheng-Yen; Lai, Hui-Lin; Huang, Ting-Yung; Liu, Je-Ruei; Guo, Rey-Ting

    2014-04-10

    Escherichia coli phytase (EcAppA) which hydrolyzes phytate has been widely applied in the feed industry, but the need to improve the enzyme activity and thermostability remains. Here, we conduct rational design with two strategies to enhance the EcAppA performance. First, residues near the substrate binding pocket of EcAppA were modified according to the consensus sequence of two highly active Citrobacter phytases. One out of the eleven mutants, V89T, exhibited 17.5% increase in catalytic activity, which might be a result of stabilized protein folding. Second, the EcAppA glycosylation pattern was modified in accordance with the Citrobacter phytases. An N-glycosylation motif near the substrate binding site was disrupted to remove spatial hindrance for phytate entry and product departure. The de-glycosylated mutants showed 9.6% increase in specific activity. On the other hand, the EcAppA mutants that adopt N-glycosylation motifs from CbAppA showed improved thermostability that three mutants carrying single N-glycosylation motif exhibited 5.6-9.5% residual activity after treatment at 80°C (1.8% for wild type). Furthermore, the mutant carrying all three glycosylation motifs exhibited 27% residual activity. In conclusion, a successful rational design was performed to obtain several useful EcAppA mutants with better properties for further applications.

  16. Rational design and synthesis of freestanding photoelectric nanodevices as highly efficient photocatalysts.

    PubMed

    Qu, Yongquan; Liao, Lei; Cheng, Rui; Wang, Yue; Lin, Yung-Chen; Huang, Yu; Duan, Xiangfeng

    2010-05-12

    Photocatalysts are of significant interest in solar energy harvesting and conversion into chemical energy. However, the photocatalysts available to date are limited by either poor efficiency in the visible light range or insufficient photoelectrochemical stability. Here we report the rational design of a new generation of freestanding photoelectric nanodevices as highly efficient and stable photocatalysts by integrating a nanoscale photodiode with two redox catalysts in a single nanowire heterostructure. We show that a platinum-silicon-silver nanowire heterostructure can be synthesized to integrate a nanoscale metal-semiconductor Schottky diode encased in a protective insulating shell with two exposed metal catalysts. We further demonstrated that the Schottky diodes exhibited a pronounced photovoltaic effect with nearly unity internal quantum efficiency and that the integrated nanowire heterostructures could be used as highly efficient photocatalysts for a wide range of thermodynamically downhill and uphill reactions including the photocatalytic degradation of organic dyes and the reduction of metal ions and carbon dioxide using visible light. Our studies for the first time demonstrated the integration of multiple distinct functional components into a single nanostructure to form a standalone active nanosystem and for the first time successfully realized a photoelectric nanodevice that is both highly efficient and highly stable throughout the entire solar spectrum. It thus opens a rational avenue to the design and synthesis of a new generation of photoelectric nanosystems with unprecedented efficiency and stability and will have a broad impact in areas including environmental remediation, artificial photosynthesis and solar fuel production.

  17. Rational design of metal nitride redox materials for solar-driven ammonia synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Michalsky, Ronald; Pfromm, Peter H.; Steinfeld, Aldo

    2015-01-01

    Fixed nitrogen is an essential chemical building block for plant and animal protein, which makes ammonia (NH3) a central component of synthetic fertilizer for the global production of food and biofuels. A global project on artificial photosynthesis may foster the development of production technologies for renewable NH3 fertilizer, hydrogen carrier and combustion fuel. This article presents an alternative path for the production of NH3 from nitrogen, water and solar energy. The process is based on a thermochemical redox cycle driven by concentrated solar process heat at 700–1200°C that yields NH3 via the oxidation of a metal nitride with water. The metal nitride is recycled via solar-driven reduction of the oxidized redox material with nitrogen at atmospheric pressure. We employ electronic structure theory for the rational high-throughput design of novel metal nitride redox materials and to show how transition-metal doping controls the formation and consumption of nitrogen vacancies in metal nitrides. We confirm experimentally that iron doping of manganese nitride increases the concentration of nitrogen vacancies compared with no doping. The experiments are rationalized through the average energy of the dopant d-states, a descriptor for the theory-based design of advanced metal nitride redox materials to produce sustainable solar thermochemical ammonia. PMID:26052421

  18. Rational Design of Chiral Nanostructures from Self-Assembly of a Ferrocene-Modified Dipeptide.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuefei; Qi, Wei; Huang, Renliang; Yang, Xuejiao; Wang, Mengfan; Su, Rongxin; He, Zhimin

    2015-06-24

    We report a new paradigm for the rational design of chiral nanostructures that is based on the hierarchical self-assembly of a ferrocene (Fc)-modified dipeptide, ferrocene-L-Phe-L-Phe-OH (Fc-FF). Compared to other chiral self-assembling systems, Fc-FF is unique because of its smaller size, biocompatibility, multiple functions (a redox center), and environmental responsiveness. X-ray and spectroscopic analyses showed that the incorporation of counterions during the hierarchical self-assembly of Fc-FF changed the conformations of the secondary structures from flat β sheets into twisted β sheets. This approach enables chiral self-assembly and the formation of well-defined chiral nanostructures composed of helical twisted β sheets. We identified two elementary forms for the helical twist of the β sheets, which allowed us to create a rich variety of rigid chiral nanostructures over a wide range of scales. Furthermore, through subtle modulations in the counterions, temperature, and solvent, we are able to precisely control the helical pitch, diameter, and handedness of the self-assembled chiral nanostructures. This unprecedented level of control not only offers insights into how rationally designed chiral nanostructures can be formed from simple molecular building blocks but also is of significant practical value for the use in chiroptics, templates, chiral sensing, and separations.

  19. From G Protein-coupled Receptor Structure Resolution to Rational Drug Design.

    PubMed

    Jazayeri, Ali; Dias, Joao M; Marshall, Fiona H

    2015-08-07

    A number of recent technical solutions have led to significant advances in G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) structural biology. Apart from a detailed mechanistic view of receptor activation, the new structures have revealed novel ligand binding sites. Together, these insights provide avenues for rational drug design to modulate the activities of these important drug targets. The application of structural data to GPCR drug discovery ushers in an exciting era with the potential to improve existing drugs and discover new ones. In this review, we focus on technical solutions that have accelerated GPCR crystallography as well as some of the salient findings from structures that are relevant to drug discovery. Finally, we outline some of the approaches used in GPCR structure based drug design.

  20. Rational Design and Synthesis of Efficient Sunscreens To Boost the Solar Protection Factor.

    PubMed

    Losantos, Raúl; Funes-Ardoiz, Ignacio; Aguilera, José; Herrera-Ceballos, Enrique; García-Iriepa, Cristina; Campos, Pedro J; Sampedro, Diego

    2017-03-01

    Skin cancer incidence has been increasing in the last decades, but most of the commercial formulations used as sunscreens are designed to protect only against solar erythema. Many of the active components present in sunscreens show critical weaknesses, such as low stability and toxicity. Thus, the development of more efficient components is an urgent health necessity and an attractive industrial target. We have rationally designed core moieties with increased photoprotective capacities and a new energy dissipation mechanism. Using these scaffolds, we have synthesized a series of compounds with tunable properties suitable for their use in sunscreens, and enhanced properties in terms of stability, light energy dissipation, and toxicity. Moreover, some representative compounds were included in final sunscreen formulations and a relevant solar protection factor boost was measured.

  1. Rational design of crystalline supermicroporous covalent organic frameworks with triangular topologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalapati, Sasanka; Addicoat, Matthew; Jin, Shangbin; Sakurai, Tsuneaki; Gao, Jia; Xu, Hong; Irle, Stephan; Seki, Shu; Jiang, Donglin

    2015-07-01

    Covalent organic frameworks (COFs) are an emerging class of highly ordered porous polymers with many potential applications. They are currently designed and synthesized through hexagonal and tetragonal topologies, limiting the access to and exploration of new structures and properties. Here, we report that a triangular topology can be developed for the rational design and synthesis of a new class of COFs. The triangular topology features small pore sizes down to 12 Å, which is among the smallest pores for COFs reported to date, and high π-column densities of up to 0.25 nm-2, which exceeds those of supramolecular columnar π-arrays and other COF materials. These crystalline COFs facilitate π-cloud delocalization and are highly conductive, with a hole mobility that is among the highest reported for COFs and polygraphitic ensembles.

  2. 20% PARTIAL SIBERIAN SNAKE IN THE AGS.

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, H; Bai, M; Brown, K A; Glenn, W; Luccio, A U; Mackay, W W; Montag, C; Ptitsyn, V; Roser, T; Tsoupas, N; Zeno, K; Ranjbar, V; Spinka, H; Underwood, D

    2002-11-06

    An 11.4% partial Siberian snake was used to successfully accelerate polarized proton through a strong intrinsic depolarizing spin resonance in the AGS. No noticeable depolarization was observed. This opens up the possibility of using a 20% to 30% partial Siberian snake in the AGS to overcome all weak and strong depolarizing spin resonances. Some design and operation issues of the new partial Siberian snake are discussed.

  3. Systems metabolic engineering: the creation of microbial cell factories by rational metabolic design and evolution.

    PubMed

    Furusawa, Chikara; Horinouchi, Takaaki; Hirasawa, Takashi; Shimizu, Hiroshi

    2013-01-01

    It is widely acknowledged that in order to establish sustainable societies, production processes should shift from petrochemical-based processes to bioprocesses. Because bioconversion technologies, in which biomass resources are converted to valuable materials, are preferable to processes dependent on fossil resources, the former should be further developed. The following two approaches can be adopted to improve cellular properties and obtain high productivity and production yield of target products: (1) optimization of cellular metabolic pathways involved in various bioprocesses and (2) creation of stress-tolerant cells that can be active even under severe stress conditions in the bioprocesses. Recent progress in omics analyses has facilitated the analysis of microorganisms based on bioinformatics data for molecular breeding and bioprocess development. Systems metabolic engineering is a new area of study, and it has been defined as a methodology in which metabolic engineering and systems biology are integrated to upgrade the designability of industrially useful microorganisms. This chapter discusses multi-omics analyses and rational design methods for molecular breeding. The first is an example of the rational design of metabolic networks for target production by flux balance analysis using genome-scale metabolic models. Recent progress in the development of genome-scale metabolic models and the application of these models to the design of desirable metabolic networks is also described in this example. The second is an example of evolution engineering with omics analyses for the creation of stress-tolerant microorganisms. Long-term culture experiments to obtain the desired phenotypes and omics analyses to identify the phenotypic changes are described here.

  4. Intrinsic disorder as a generalizable strategy for the rational design of highly responsive, allosterically cooperative receptors.

    PubMed

    Simon, Anna J; Vallée-Bélisle, Alexis; Ricci, Francesco; Plaxco, Kevin W

    2014-10-21

    Control over the sensitivity with which biomolecular receptors respond to small changes in the concentration of their target ligand is critical for the proper function of many cellular processes. Such control could likewise be of utility in artificial biotechnologies, such as biosensors, genetic logic gates, and "smart" materials, in which highly responsive behavior is of value. In nature, the control of molecular responsiveness is often achieved using "Hill-type" cooperativity, a mechanism in which sequential binding events on a multivalent receptor are coupled such that the first enhances the affinity of the next, producing a steep, higher-order dependence on target concentration. Here, we use an intrinsic-disorder-based mechanism that can be implemented without requiring detailed structural knowledge to rationally introduce this potentially useful property into several normally noncooperative biomolecules. To do so, we fabricate a tandem repeat of the receptor that is destabilized (unfolded) via the introduction of a long, unstructured loop. The first binding event requires the energetically unfavorable closing of this loop, reducing its affinity relative to that of the second binding event, which, in contrast occurs at a preformed site. Using this approach, we have rationally introduced cooperativity into three unrelated DNA aptamers, achieving in the best of these a Hill coefficient experimentally indistinguishable from the theoretically expected maximum. The extent of cooperativity and thus the steepness of the binding transition are, moreover, well modeled as simple functions of the energetic cost of binding-induced folding, speaking to the quantitative nature of this design strategy.

  5. Snakes antibodies.

    PubMed

    Gambón-Deza, Francisco; Sánchez-Espinel, Christian; Mirete-Bachiller, Serafín; Magadán-Mompó, Susana

    2012-09-01

    Immunoglobulins are basic molecules of the immune system of vertebrates. In previous studies we described the immunoglobulins found in two squamata reptiles, Anolis carolinensis and Eublepharis macularius. Snakes are squamata reptiles too but they have undergone an extreme evolutionary process. We therefore wanted to know how these changes affected their immunoglobulin coding genes. To perform this analysis we studied five snake transcriptomes and two genome draft sequences. Sequences coding for immunoglobulin M (IgM), immunoglobulin D (IgD) and two classes of immunoglobulin Y (IgY - named IgYa and IgYb-) were found in all of them. Moreover, the Thamnophis elegans transcriptome and Python molurus genome draft sequences showed a third class of IgY, the IgYc, whose constant region only presents three domains and lacks the CH2. All data suggest that the IgYb is the evolutionary origin of this IgYc. An exhaustive search of the light chains were carried out, being lambda the only light chain found in snakes. The results provide a clear picture of the immunoglobulins present in the suborder Serpentes.

  6. Forced Snaking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ponedel, Benjamin; Knobloch, Edgar

    2016-11-01

    We study spatial localization in the real subcritical Ginzburg-Landau equation ut =m0 u +m1 cos2/π l x u +uxx +d | u | 2 u -| u | 4 u with spatially periodic forcing. When d > 0 and m1 = 0 this equation exhibits bistability between the trivial state u = 0 and a homogeneous nontrivial state u =u0 with stationary localized structures which accumulate at the Maxwell point m0 = - 3d2 / 16 . When spatial forcing is included its wavelength is imprinted on u0 creating conditions favorable to front pinning and hence spatial localization. We use numerical continuation to show that under appropriate conditions such forcing generates a sequence of localized states organized within a snakes-and-ladders structure centered on the Maxwell point, and refer to this phenomenon as forced snaking. We determine the stability properties of these states and show that longer lengthscale forcing leads to stationary trains consisting of a finite number of strongly localized, weakly interacting pulses exhibiting foliated snaking.

  7. Rational design of antibodies targeting specific epitopes within intrinsically disordered proteins.

    PubMed

    Sormanni, Pietro; Aprile, Francesco A; Vendruscolo, Michele

    2015-08-11

    Antibodies are powerful tools in life sciences research, as well as in diagnostic and therapeutic applications, because of their ability to bind given molecules with high affinity and specificity. Using current methods, however, it is laborious and sometimes difficult to generate antibodies to target specific epitopes within a protein, in particular if these epitopes are not effective antigens. Here we present a method to rationally design antibodies to enable them to bind virtually any chosen disordered epitope in a protein. The procedure consists in the sequence-based design of one or more complementary peptides targeting a selected disordered epitope and the subsequent grafting of such peptides on an antibody scaffold. We illustrate the method by designing six single-domain antibodies to bind different epitopes within three disease-related intrinsically disordered proteins and peptides (α-synuclein, Aβ42, and IAPP). Our results show that all these designed antibodies bind their targets with good affinity and specificity. As an example of an application, we show that one of these antibodies inhibits the aggregation of α-synuclein at substoichiometric concentrations and that binding occurs at the selected epitope. Taken together, these results indicate that the design strategy that we propose makes it possible to obtain antibodies targeting given epitopes in disordered proteins or protein regions.

  8. Towards the rational design of synthetic cells with prescribed population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Dalchau, Neil; Smith, Matthew J; Martin, Samuel; Brown, James R; Emmott, Stephen; Phillips, Andrew

    2012-11-07

    The rational design of synthetic cell populations with prescribed behaviours is a long-standing goal of synthetic biology, with the potential to greatly accelerate the development of biotechnological applications in areas ranging from medical research to energy production. Achieving this goal requires well-characterized components, modular implementation strategies, simulation across temporal and spatial scales and automatic compilation of high-level designs to low-level genetic parts that function reliably inside cells. Many of these steps are incomplete or only partially understood, and methods for integrating them within a common design framework have yet to be developed. Here, we address these challenges by developing a prototype framework for designing synthetic cells with prescribed population dynamics. We extend the genetic engineering of cells (GEC) language, originally developed for programming intracellular dynamics, with cell population factors such as cell growth, division and dormancy, together with spatio-temporal simulation methods. As a case study, we use our framework to design synthetic cells with predator-prey interactions that, when simulated, produce complex spatio-temporal behaviours such as travelling waves and spatio-temporal chaos. An analysis of our design reveals that environmental factors such as density-dependent dormancy and reduced extracellular space destabilize the population dynamics and increase the range of genetic variants for which complex spatio-temporal behaviours are possible. Our findings highlight the importance of considering such factors during the design process. We then use our analysis of population dynamics to inform the selection of genetic parts, which could be used to obtain the desired spatio-temporal behaviours. By identifying, integrating and automating key stages of the design process, we provide a computational framework for designing synthetic systems, which could be tested in future laboratory studies.

  9. Siberian Snake solenoid for the AGS

    SciTech Connect

    Ratner, L. G.

    1991-01-01

    Recent experiments at the Indiana University Cyclotron Facility (IUCF) have demonstrated that Siberian Snakes'' can be used to preserve the polarization of an accelerated polarized beam in a circular accelerator. Retrofitting full snakes into accelerators such as the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS) at Brookhaven is almost impossible due to space limitations, but a partial snake that can correct depolarization due to imperfection resonances with 1/20 to 1/30 of a full strength snake seems to present a viable option. We describe such a device for the AGS and give the design criteria in terms of simplicity of accelerator operation and level of achievable polarization. 2 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  10. Fibrin-based biomaterials: Modulation of macroscopic properties through rational design at the molecular level

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Ashley C.; Barker, Thomas H.

    2013-01-01

    Fibrinogen is one of the primary components of the coagulation cascade and rapidly forms an insoluble matrix following tissue injury. In addition to its important role in hemostasis, fibrin acts as a scaffold for tissue repair and provides important cues for directing cell phenotype following injury. Because of these properties and the ease of polymerization of the material, fibrin has been widely utilized as a biomaterial for over a century. Modifying the macroscopic properties of fibrin, such as elasticity and porosity, has been somewhat elusive until recently, yet with a molecular-level rational design approach can now be somewhat easily modified through alterations of molecular interactions key to the protein’s polymerization process. This review outlines the biochemistry of fibrin and discusses methods for modification of molecular interactions and their application to fibrin based biomaterials. PMID:24056097

  11. Phenolic melanin precursors provide a rational approach to the design of antitumor agents for melanoma

    SciTech Connect

    Jimbow, K.; Miura, T.; Ito, S.; Ishikawa, K.

    1989-01-01

    A unique biological property of the melanocyte, melanin synthesis may permit a rational approach to design agents for better management of malignant melanoma. This in vivo and in vitro study examined the selective melanocytotoxicity and antimelanoma effects of phenolic compounds, cysteinylphenol (CP), cysteaminylphenol (CAP), and related compounds, and found (1) that both 4-S-CP and 4-S-CAP are melanin precursors, (2) that 4-S-CAP possesses a marked depigmenting potency with selective destruction of melanocytes in black follicles, and (3) a significant inhibition in the protein synthesis and tumor growth of B16 melanoma. Importantly, a whole body autoradiography indicated that these phenolic melanin precursors are selectively incorporated into melanoma tissues after i.p. administration.

  12. Rational design of metallic nanocavities for resonantly enhanced four-wave mixing

    PubMed Central

    Almeida, Euclides; Prior, Yehiam

    2015-01-01

    Optimizing the shape of nanostructures and nano-antennas for specific optical properties has evolved to be a very fruitful activity. With modern fabrication tools a large variety of possibilities is available for shaping both nanoparticles and nanocavities; in particular nanocavities in thin metal films have emerged as attractive candidates for new metamaterials and strong linear and nonlinear optical systems. Here we rationally design metallic nanocavities to boost their Four-Wave Mixing response by resonating the optical plasmonic resonances with the incoming and generated beams. The linear and nonlinear optical responses as well as the propagation of the electric fields inside the cavities are derived from the solution of Maxwell’s equations by using the 3D finite-differences time domain method. The observed conversion-efficiency of near-infrared to visible light equals or surpasses that of BBO of equivalent thickness. Implications to further optimization for efficient and broadband ultrathin nonlinear optical materials are discussed. PMID:25974175

  13. Rational design of metallic nanocavities for resonantly enhanced four-wave mixing.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Euclides; Prior, Yehiam

    2015-05-14

    Optimizing the shape of nanostructures and nano-antennas for specific optical properties has evolved to be a very fruitful activity. With modern fabrication tools a large variety of possibilities is available for shaping both nanoparticles and nanocavities; in particular nanocavities in thin metal films have emerged as attractive candidates for new metamaterials and strong linear and nonlinear optical systems. Here we rationally design metallic nanocavities to boost their Four-Wave Mixing response by resonating the optical plasmonic resonances with the incoming and generated beams. The linear and nonlinear optical responses as well as the propagation of the electric fields inside the cavities are derived from the solution of Maxwell's equations by using the 3D finite-differences time domain method. The observed conversion-efficiency of near-infrared to visible light equals or surpasses that of BBO of equivalent thickness. Implications to further optimization for efficient and broadband ultrathin nonlinear optical materials are discussed.

  14. Rational design of a structure-switching DNA aptamer for potassium ions

    PubMed Central

    Catherine, Andrew T.; Shishido, Stephanie N.; Robbins-Welty, Gregg A.; Diegelman-Parente, Amy

    2014-01-01

    Structure-switching molecules provide a unique means for analyte detection, generating a response to analyte concentration through a binding-specific conformational change between non-binding and binding-competent states. While most ligand-binding molecules are not structure switching by default, many can be engineered to be so through the introduction of an alternative non-binding (and thus non-signalling) conformation. This population-shift mechanism is particularly effective with oligonucleotides and has led to the creation of structure-switching aptamers for many target ligands. Here, we report the rational design of structure-switching DNA aptamers, based on the thrombin binding aptamer (TBA), that bind potassium with affinities that bridge the gap between previously reported weak-binding and strong-binding aptamers. We also demonstrate a correlation between the free energy of the experimentally determined binding affinity for potassium and the computationally estimated free energy of the alternative (non-binding) structure. PMID:25352996

  15. Sleeping Beauty transposase structure allows rational design of hyperactive variants for genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Voigt, Franka; Wiedemann, Lisa; Zuliani, Cecilia; Querques, Irma; Sebe, Attila; Mátés, Lajos; Izsvák, Zsuzsanna; Ivics, Zoltán; Barabas, Orsolya

    2016-03-30

    Sleeping Beauty (SB) is a prominent Tc1/mariner superfamily DNA transposon that provides a popular genome engineering tool in a broad range of organisms. It is mobilized by a transposase enzyme that catalyses DNA cleavage and integration at short specific sequences at the transposon ends. To facilitate SB's applications, here we determine the crystal structure of the transposase catalytic domain and use it to model the SB transposase/transposon end/target DNA complex. Together with biochemical and cell-based transposition assays, our structure reveals mechanistic insights into SB transposition and rationalizes previous hyperactive transposase mutations. Moreover, our data enables us to design two additional hyperactive transposase variants. Our work provides a useful resource and proof-of-concept for structure-based engineering of tailored SB transposases.

  16. Sleeping Beauty transposase structure allows rational design of hyperactive variants for genetic engineering

    PubMed Central

    Voigt, Franka; Wiedemann, Lisa; Zuliani, Cecilia; Querques, Irma; Sebe, Attila; Mátés, Lajos; Izsvák, Zsuzsanna; Ivics, Zoltán; Barabas, Orsolya

    2016-01-01

    Sleeping Beauty (SB) is a prominent Tc1/mariner superfamily DNA transposon that provides a popular genome engineering tool in a broad range of organisms. It is mobilized by a transposase enzyme that catalyses DNA cleavage and integration at short specific sequences at the transposon ends. To facilitate SB's applications, here we determine the crystal structure of the transposase catalytic domain and use it to model the SB transposase/transposon end/target DNA complex. Together with biochemical and cell-based transposition assays, our structure reveals mechanistic insights into SB transposition and rationalizes previous hyperactive transposase mutations. Moreover, our data enables us to design two additional hyperactive transposase variants. Our work provides a useful resource and proof-of-concept for structure-based engineering of tailored SB transposases. PMID:27025571

  17. From empiricism to rational design: a personal perspective of the evolution of vaccine development.

    PubMed

    De Gregorio, Ennio; Rappuoli, Rino

    2014-07-01

    Vaccination, which is the most effective medical intervention that has ever been introduced, originated from the observation that individuals who survived a plague or smallpox would not get the disease twice. To mimic the protective effects of natural infection, Jenner - and later Pasteur - inoculated individuals with attenuated or killed disease-causing agents. This empirical approach inspired a century of vaccine development and the effective prophylaxis of many infectious diseases. From the 1980s, several waves of new technologies have enabled the development of novel vaccines that would not have been possible using the empirical approach. The technological revolution in the field of vaccination is now continuing, and it is delivering novel and safer vaccines. In this Timeline article, we provide our views on the transition from empiricism to rational vaccine design.

  18. Evolving serodiagnostics by rationally designed peptide arrays: the Burkholderia paradigm in Cystic Fibrosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peri, Claudio; Gori, Alessandro; Gagni, Paola; Sola, Laura; Girelli, Daniela; Sottotetti, Samantha; Cariani, Lisa; Chiari, Marcella; Cretich, Marina; Colombo, Giorgio

    2016-09-01

    Efficient diagnosis of emerging and novel bacterial infections is fundamental to guide decisions on therapeutic treatments. Here, we engineered a novel rational strategy to design peptide microarray platforms, which combines structural and genomic analyses to predict the binding interfaces between diverse protein antigens and antibodies against Burkholderia cepacia complex infections present in the sera of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients. The predicted binding interfaces on the antigens are synthesized in the form of isolated peptides and chemically optimized for controlled orientation on the surface. Our platform displays multiple Burkholderia-related epitopes and is shown to diagnose infected individuals even in presence of superinfections caused by other prevalent CF pathogens, with limited cost and time requirements. Moreover, our data point out that the specific patterns determined by combined probe responses might provide a characterization of Burkholderia infections even at the subtype level (genomovars). The method is general and immediately applicable to other bacteria.

  19. Rational design and studies of excimer forming novel dual probes to target RNA.

    PubMed

    Krasheninina, O A; Lomzov, A A; Fishman, V S; Novopashina, D S; Venyaminova, A G

    2017-04-01

    In this paper, we report structure-based rational design and physico-chemical and biological studies of novel pyrene excimer forming dual probes for visualization of intracellular RNAs. Herein, the probes based on 2'-O-methyl RNA with linkers of different structure and length between pyrene moiety and ribose are studied with respect to their hybridization and spectral properties. We found optimal linkers that provide more intense excimer emission (at ∼480nm) of RNA-bound probes; particularly, the length of the linker arm of the 3'-component of dual probes plays a key role in formation of pyrene excimer. Calculated molecular dynamics trajectories and probability distributions of pyrene-pyrene dimer formation upon hybridization of the dual probes with RNA target are in agreement with the obtained fluorescence spectroscopy data for the corresponding duplexes. Our study demonstrates the excellent binding properties of new dual probes to structured RNA and their feasibility for the visualization of intracellular RNA targets.

  20. Rational design of aggregation-resistant bioactive peptides: reengineering human calcitonin.

    PubMed

    Fowler, Susan B; Poon, Stephen; Muff, Roman; Chiti, Fabrizio; Dobson, Christopher M; Zurdo, Jesús

    2005-07-19

    A high propensity to aggregate into intractable deposits is a common problem limiting the production and use of many peptides and proteins in a wide range of biotechnological and pharmaceutical applications. Many therapeutic polypeptides are frequently abandoned at an early stage in their development because of problems with stability and aggregation. It has been shown recently that parameters describing the physicochemical properties of polypeptides can be used as predictors of protein aggregation. Here we demonstrate that these and similar tools can be applied to the rational redesign of bioactive molecules with a significantly reduced aggregation propensity without loss of physiological activity. This strategy has been exemplified by designing variants of the hormone calcitonin that show a significantly reduced aggregation propensity, yet maintain, or even increase, their potency when compared to the current therapeutic forms. The results suggest that this approach could be used successfully to enhance the solubility and efficacy of a wide range of other peptide and protein therapeutics.

  1. In silico rational design of ionic liquids for the exfoliation and dispersion of boron nitride nanosheets.

    PubMed

    García, Gregorio; Atilhan, Mert; Aparicio, Santiago

    2016-01-14

    A requirement for exploiting most of the unique properties of boron-nitride (BN) nanosheets is their isolation from the bulk material. A rational design of task-specific ionic liquids (ILs) through DFT simulations is reported in this work. The applied computational protocol allowed the screening of large IL families, which was carried out bearing in mind the achievement of strong π-π stacking between the anions and BN nanosheets as well as a negative charge transfer from the anion to the surface. The selected ionic liquids yielded strong interaction energies with BN nanosheets and high charge transfer values, while the main features of the ionic liquid are not affected in the presence of nanosheets. DFT simulations provided a detailed picture of the interaction mechanism and useful structure-property relationships in the search of a new ionic liquid for BN exfoliation.

  2. Evolving serodiagnostics by rationally designed peptide arrays: the Burkholderia paradigm in Cystic Fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Peri, Claudio; Gori, Alessandro; Gagni, Paola; Sola, Laura; Girelli, Daniela; Sottotetti, Samantha; Cariani, Lisa; Chiari, Marcella; Cretich, Marina; Colombo, Giorgio

    2016-01-01

    Efficient diagnosis of emerging and novel bacterial infections is fundamental to guide decisions on therapeutic treatments. Here, we engineered a novel rational strategy to design peptide microarray platforms, which combines structural and genomic analyses to predict the binding interfaces between diverse protein antigens and antibodies against Burkholderia cepacia complex infections present in the sera of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients. The predicted binding interfaces on the antigens are synthesized in the form of isolated peptides and chemically optimized for controlled orientation on the surface. Our platform displays multiple Burkholderia-related epitopes and is shown to diagnose infected individuals even in presence of superinfections caused by other prevalent CF pathogens, with limited cost and time requirements. Moreover, our data point out that the specific patterns determined by combined probe responses might provide a characterization of Burkholderia infections even at the subtype level (genomovars). The method is general and immediately applicable to other bacteria. PMID:27615705

  3. Rational design of multifunctional devices based on molybdenum disulfide and graphene hybrid nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, Yi Rang; Lee, Young Bum; Kim, Seong Ku; Kim, Seong Jun; Kim, Yooseok; Jeon, Cheolho; Song, Wooseok; Myung, Sung; Lee, Sun Sook; An, Ki-Seok; Lim, Jongsun

    2017-01-01

    We rationally designed a new type of hybrid materials, molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) synthesized by Mo pre-deposition followed by subsequent sulfurization process directly on thermal chemical vapor deposition (TCVD)-grown graphene, for applications in a multifunctional device. The synthesis of stoichiometric and uniform multilayer MoS2 and high-crystalline monolayer graphene was evaluated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy. To examine the electrical transport and photoelectrical properties of MoS2-graphene hybrid films, field effect transistors (FETs) and visible-light photodetectors based on MoS2-graphene were both fabricated. As a result, the extracted mobility for MoS2-graphene hybrid FETs was two times higher than that of MoS2 FETs. In addition, the MoS2-graphene photodetectors revealed a significant photocurrent with abrupt switching behavior under periodic illumination.

  4. Improving thermal and detergent stability of Bacillus stearothermophilus neopullulanase by rational enzyme design.

    PubMed

    Ece, Selin; Evran, Serap; Janda, Jan-Oliver; Merkl, Rainer; Sterner, Reinhard

    2015-06-01

    Neopullulanase, a glycosyl hydrolase from Bacillus stearothermophilus (bsNpl), is a potentially valuable enzyme for starch and detergent industries. However, as the protein is not active at elevated temperatures and high surfactant concentrations, we aimed to increase its stability by rational enzyme design. Nine potentially destabilizing cavities were identified in the crystal structure of the enzyme. Based on computational predictions, these cavities were filled by residues with bulkier side chains. The five Asp46Glu, Val239Leu, Val404Leu, Ser407Thr and Ala566Leu exchanges resulted in a drastic stabilization of bsNpl against inactivation by heat and detergents. The catalytic activity of the variants was identical to the wild-type enzyme.

  5. Engineering of isoamylase: improvement of protein stability and catalytic efficiency through semi-rational design.

    PubMed

    Li, Youran; Zhang, Liang; Ding, Zhongyang; Gu, Zhenghua; Shi, Guiyang

    2016-01-01

    Isoamylase catalyzes the hydrolysis of α-1,6-glycosidic linkages in glycogen, amylopectin and α/β-limit dextrins. A semi-rational design strategy was performed to improve catalytic properties of isoamylase from Bacillus lentus. Three residues in vicinity of the essential residues, Arg505, Asn513, and Gly608, were chosen as the mutation sites and were substituted by Ala, Pro, Glu, and Lys, respectively. Thermal stability of the mutant R505P and acidic stability of the mutant R505E were enhanced. The k cat /K m values of the mutant G608V have been promoted by 49%, and the specific activity increased by 33%. This work provides an effective strategy for improving the catalytic activity and stability of isoamylase, and the results obtained here may be useful for the improvement of catalytic properties of other α/β barrel enzymes.

  6. Visible-Light-Responsive Graphitic Carbon Nitride: Rational Design and Photocatalytic Applications for Water Treatment.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Qinmin; Durkin, David P; Elenewski, Justin E; Sun, Yingxue; Banek, Nathan A; Hua, Likun; Chen, Hanning; Wagner, Michael J; Zhang, Wen; Shuai, Danmeng

    2016-12-06

    Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) has recently emerged as a promising visible-light-responsive polymeric photocatalyst; however, a molecular-level understanding of material properties and its application for water purification were underexplored. In this study, we rationally designed nonmetal doped, supramolecule-based g-C3N4 with improved surface area and charge separation. Density functional theory (DFT) simulations indicated that carbon-doped g-C3N4 showed a thermodynamically stable structure, promoted charge separation, and had suitable energy levels of conduction and valence bands for photocatalytic oxidation compared to phosphorus-doped g-C3N4. The optimized carbon-doped, supramolecule-based g-C3N4 showed a reaction rate enhancement of 2.3-10.5-fold for the degradation of phenol and persistent organic micropollutants compared to that of conventional, melamine-based g-C3N4 in a model buffer system under the irradiation of simulated visible sunlight. Carbon-doping but not phosphorus-doping improved reactivity for contaminant degradation in agreement with DFT simulation results. Selective contaminant degradation was observed on g-C3N4, likely due to differences in reactive oxygen species production and/or contaminant-photocatalyst interfacial interactions on different g-C3N4 samples. Moreover, g-C3N4 is a robust photocatalyst for contaminant degradation in raw natural water and (partially) treated water and wastewater. In summary, DFT simulations are a viable tool to predict photocatalyst properties and oxidation performance for contaminant removal, and they guide the rational design, fabrication, and implementation of visible-light-responsive g-C3N4 for efficient, robust, and sustainable water treatment.

  7. Physico-Chemical Evaluation of Rationally Designed Melanins as Novel Nature-Inspired Radioprotectors

    PubMed Central

    Schweitzer, Andrew D.; Howell, Robertha C.; Jiang, Zewei; Bryan, Ruth A.; Gerfen, Gary; Chen, Chin-Cheng; Mah, Dennis; Cahill, Sean

    2009-01-01

    Background Melanin, a high-molecular weight pigment that is ubiquitous in nature, protects melanized microorganisms against high doses of ionizing radiation. However, the physics of melanin interaction with ionizing radiation is unknown. Methodology/Principal Findings We rationally designed melanins from either 5-S-cysteinyl-DOPA, L-cysteine/L-DOPA, or L-DOPA with diverse structures as shown by elemental analysis and HPLC. Sulfur-containing melanins had higher predicted attenuation coefficients than non-sulfur-containing melanins. All synthetic melanins displayed strong electron paramagnetic resonance (2.14·1018, 7.09·1018, and 9.05·1017 spins/g, respectively), with sulfur-containing melanins demonstrating more complex spectra and higher numbers of stable free radicals. There was no change in the quality or quantity of the stable free radicals after high-dose (30,000 cGy), high-energy (137Cs, 661.6 keV) irradiation, indicating a high degree of radical stability as well as a robust resistance to the ionizing effects of gamma irradiation. The rationally designed melanins protected mammalian cells against ionizing radiation of different energies. Conclusions/Significance We propose that due to melanin's numerous aromatic oligomers containing multiple π-electron system, a generated Compton recoil electron gradually loses energy while passing through the pigment, until its energy is sufficiently low that it can be trapped by stable free radicals present in the pigment. Controlled dissipation of high-energy recoil electrons by melanin prevents secondary ionizations and the generation of damaging free radical species. PMID:19789711

  8. Rational design of an enzyme mutant for anti-cocaine therapeutics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Fang; Zhan, Chang-Guo

    2008-09-01

    (-)-Cocaine is a widely abused drug and there is no available anti-cocaine therapeutic. The disastrous medical and social consequences of cocaine addiction have made the development of an effective pharmacological treatment a high priority. An ideal anti-cocaine medication would be to accelerate (-)-cocaine metabolism producing biologically inactive metabolites. The main metabolic pathway of cocaine in body is the hydrolysis at its benzoyl ester group. Reviewed in this article is the state-of-the-art computational design of high-activity mutants of human butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) against (-)-cocaine. The computational design of BChE mutants have been based on not only the structure of the enzyme, but also the detailed catalytic mechanisms for BChE-catalyzed hydrolysis of (-)-cocaine and (+)-cocaine. Computational studies of the detailed catalytic mechanisms and the structure-and-mechanism-based computational design have been carried out through the combined use of a variety of state-of-the-art techniques of molecular modeling. By using the computational insights into the catalytic mechanisms, a recently developed unique computational design strategy based on the simulation of the rate-determining transition state has been employed to design high-activity mutants of human BChE for hydrolysis of (-)-cocaine, leading to the exciting discovery of BChE mutants with a considerably improved catalytic efficiency against (-)-cocaine. One of the discovered BChE mutants (i.e., A199S/S287G/A328W/Y332G) has a ˜456-fold improved catalytic efficiency against (-)-cocaine. The encouraging outcome of the computational design and discovery effort demonstrates that the unique computational design approach based on the transition-state simulation is promising for rational enzyme redesign and drug discovery.

  9. FRET-based small-molecule fluorescent probes: rational design and bioimaging applications.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Lin; Lin, Weiying; Zheng, Kaibo; Zhu, Sasa

    2013-07-16

    Fluorescence imaging has emerged as a powerful tool for monitoring biomolecules within the context of living systems with high spatial and temporal resolution. Researchers have constructed a large number of synthetic intensity-based fluorescent probes for bio-imaging. However, intensity-based fluorescent probes have some limitations: variations in probe concentration, probe environment, and excitation intensity may influence the fluorescence intensity measurements. In principle, the use of ratiometric fluorescent probes can alleviate this shortcoming. Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) is one of the most widely used sensing mechanisms for ratiometric fluorescent probes. However, the development of synthetic FRET probes with favorable photophysical properties that are also suitable for biological imaging applications remains challenging. In this Account, we review the rational design and biological applications of synthetic FRET probes, focusing primarily on studies from our laboratory. To construct useful FRET probes, it is a pre-requisite to develop a FRET platform with favorable photophysical properties. The design criteria of a FRET platform include (1) well-resolved absorption spectra of the donor and acceptor, (2) well-separated emission spectra of the donor and acceptor, (3) donors and acceptors with comparable brightness, (4) rigid linkers, and (5) near-perfect efficiency in energy transfer. With an efficient FRET platform in hand, it is then necessary to modulate the donor-acceptor distance or spectral overlap integral in an analyte-dependent fashion for development of FRET probes. Herein, we emphasize our most recent progress on the development of FRET probes by spectral overlap integral, in particular by changing the molar absorption coefficient of the donor dyes such as rhodamine dyes, which undergo unique changes in the absorption profiles during the ring-opening and -closing processes. Although partial success has been obtained in design of

  10. Cellular Uptake and Localization of Polymyxins in Renal Tubular Cells Using Rationally Designed Fluorescent Probes

    PubMed Central

    Yun, Bo; Azad, Mohammad A. K.; Nowell, Cameron J.; Nation, Roger L.; Thompson, Philip E.; Roberts, Kade D.

    2015-01-01

    Polymyxins are cyclic lipopeptide antibiotics that serve as a last line of defense against Gram-negative bacterial superbugs. However, the extensive accumulation of polymyxins in renal tubular cells can lead to nephrotoxicity, which is the major dose-limiting factor in clinical use. In order to gain further insights into the mechanism of polymyxin-induced nephrotoxicity, we have rationally designed novel fluorescent polymyxin probes to examine the localization of polymyxins in rat renal tubular (NRK-52E) cells. Our design strategy focused on incorporating a dansyl fluorophore at the hydrophobic centers of the polymyxin core structure. To this end, four novel regioselectively labeled monodansylated polymyxin B probes (MIPS-9541, MIPS-9542, MIPS-9543, and MIPS-9544) were designed, synthesized, and screened for their antimicrobial activities and apoptotic effects against rat kidney proximal tubular cells. On the basis of the assessment of antimicrobial activities, cellular uptake, and apoptotic effects on renal tubular cells, incorporation of a dansyl fluorophore at either position 6 or 7 (MIPS-9543 and MIPS-9544, respectively) of the polymyxin core structure appears to be an appropriate strategy for generating representative fluorescent polymyxin probes to be utilized in intracellular imaging and mechanistic studies. Furthermore, confocal imaging experiments utilizing these probes showed evidence of partial colocalization of the polymyxins with both the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria in rat renal tubular cells. Our results highlight the value of these new fluorescent polymyxin probes and provide further insights into the mechanism of polymyxin-induced nephrotoxicity. PMID:26392495

  11. Introduction of neutralizing immunogenicity index to the rational design of MERS coronavirus subunit vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Du, Lanying; Tai, Wanbo; Yang, Yang; Zhao, Guangyu; Zhu, Qing; Sun, Shihui; Liu, Chang; Tao, Xinrong; Tseng, Chien-Te K.; Perlman, Stanley; Jiang, Shibo; Zhou, Yusen; Li, Fang

    2016-01-01

    Viral subunit vaccines often contain immunodominant non-neutralizing epitopes that divert host immune responses. These epitopes should be eliminated in vaccine design, but there is no reliable method for evaluating an epitope's capacity to elicit neutralizing immune responses. Here we introduce a new concept ‘neutralizing immunogenicity index' (NII) to evaluate an epitope's neutralizing immunogenicity. To determine the NII, we mask the epitope with a glycan probe and then assess the epitope's contribution to the vaccine's overall neutralizing immunogenicity. As proof-of-concept, we measure the NII for different epitopes on an immunogen comprised of the receptor-binding domain from MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Further, we design a variant form of this vaccine by masking an epitope that has a negative NII score. This engineered vaccine demonstrates significantly enhanced efficacy in protecting transgenic mice from lethal MERS-CoV challenge. Our study may guide the rational design of highly effective subunit vaccines to combat MERS-CoV and other life-threatening viruses. PMID:27874853

  12. Rational protein design: developing next-generation biological therapeutics and nanobiotechnological tools.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Corey J

    2015-01-01

    Proteins are the most functionally diverse macromolecules observed in nature, participating in a broad array of catalytic, biosensing, transport, scaffolding, and regulatory functions. Fittingly, proteins have become one of the most promising nanobiotechnological tools to date, and through the use of recombinant DNA and other laboratory methods we have produced a vast number of biological therapeutics derived from human genes. Our emerging ability to rationally design proteins (e.g., via computational methods) holds the promise of significantly expanding the number and diversity of protein therapies and has opened the gateway to realizing true and uncompromised personalized medicine. In the last decade computational protein design has been transformed from a set of fundamental strategies to stringently test our understanding of the protein structure-function relationship, to practical tools for developing useful biological processes, nano-devices, and novel therapeutics. As protein design strategies improve (i.e., in terms of accuracy and efficiency) clinicians will be able to leverage individual genetic data and biological metrics to develop and deliver personalized protein therapeutics with minimal delay.

  13. Rational design of Nd(3+)-sensitized multifunctional nanoparticles with highly dominant red emission.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xia; Lei, Pengpeng; Dong, Lile; Liu, Xiuling; Su, Yue; Song, Shuyan; Feng, Jing; Zhang, Hongjie

    2016-05-28

    Controlling excitation and emission wavelengths on demand is very significant in bioimaging. Up-conversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) emit visible light upon near-infrared (NIR) light excitation and are well studied in bioimaging. Red emission is usually preferred to green due to its higher tissue penetration depth in bioimaging. Herein, dominant red emission has been achieved under 808 nm excitation based on the designed α-NaYbF4:Mn(2+)/Er(3+)@NaLuF4:Mn(2+)/Yb(3+)@NaNdF4:Yb(3+)@NaGdF4 (C@S1@S2@S3) nanostructure. The rationally designed interlayer shell NaLuF4:Mn(2+)/Yb(3+) could efficiently filter unwanted energy back-transfer from Er(3+) to Nd(3+) and the outmost shell NaGdF4 could prevent excitation energy from surface-related quenching. The lifetime of (4)F9/2→(4)I15/2 transition of Er(3+) could be as high as 0.7 ms. Moreover, C@S1@S2@S3 UCNPs also possess effective contrast efficiency for both X-ray computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. The designed multifunctional UCNPs could be used as a potential multimodal bioprobe in bioimaging applications.

  14. Rationally designed BCL6 inhibitors target activated B cell diffuse large B cell lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    Cardenas, Mariano G.; Yu, Wenbo; Beguelin, Wendy; Teater, Matthew R.; Geng, Huimin; Goldstein, Rebecca L.; Oswald, Erin; Hatzi, Katerina; Yang, Shao-Ning; Cohen, Joanna; Shaknovich, Rita; Vanommeslaeghe, Kenno; Cheng, Huimin; Liang, Dongdong; Cho, Hyo Je; Tam, Wayne; Du, Wei; Leonard, John P.; Elemento, Olivier; Cierpicki, Tomasz; Xue, Fengtian; MacKerell, Alexander D.; Melnick, Ari M.

    2016-01-01

    Diffuse large B cell lymphomas (DLBCLs) arise from proliferating B cells transiting different stages of the germinal center reaction. In activated B cell DLBCLs (ABC-DLBCLs), a class of DLBCLs that respond poorly to current therapies, chromosomal translocations and amplification lead to constitutive expression of the B cell lymphoma 6 (BCL6) oncogene. The role of BCL6 in maintaining these lymphomas has not been investigated. Here, we designed small-molecule inhibitors that display higher affinity for BCL6 than its endogenous corepressor ligands to evaluate their therapeutic efficacy for targeting ABC-DLBCL. We used an in silico drug design functional-group mapping approach called SILCS to create a specific BCL6 inhibitor called FX1 that has 10-fold greater potency than endogenous corepressors and binds an essential region of the BCL6 lateral groove. FX1 disrupted formation of the BCL6 repression complex, reactivated BCL6 target genes, and mimicked the phenotype of mice engineered to express BCL6 with corepressor binding site mutations. Low doses of FX1 induced regression of established tumors in mice bearing DLBCL xenografts. Furthermore, FX1 suppressed ABC-DLBCL cells in vitro and in vivo, as well as primary human ABC-DLBCL specimens ex vivo. These findings indicate that ABC-DLBCL is a BCL6-dependent disease that can be targeted by rationally designed inhibitors that exceed the binding affinity of natural BCL6 ligands. PMID:27482887

  15. Theory and simulation of DNA-coated colloids: a guide for rational design.

    PubMed

    Angioletti-Uberti, Stefano; Mognetti, Bortolo M; Frenkel, Daan

    2016-03-07

    By exploiting the exquisite selectivity of DNA hybridization, DNA-coated colloids (DNACCs) can be made to self-assemble in a wide variety of structures. The beauty of this system stems largely from its exceptional versatility and from the fact that a proper choice of the grafted DNA sequences yields fine control over the colloidal interactions. Theory and simulations have an important role to play in the optimal design of self assembling DNACCs. At present, the powerful model-based design tools are not widely used, because the theoretical literature is fragmented and the connection between different theories is often not evident. In this Perspective, we aim to discuss the similarities and differences between the different models that have been described in the literature, their underlying assumptions, their strengths and their weaknesses. Using the tools described in the present Review, it should be possible to move towards a more rational design of novel self-assembling structures of DNACCs and, more generally, of systems where ligand-receptor are used to control interactions.

  16. Rationally designed squaryldiamides - a novel class of sugar-nucleotide mimics?

    PubMed

    Niewiadomski, Sven; Beebeejaun, Zeenat; Denton, Helen; Smith, Terry K; Morris, Richard J; Wagner, Gerd K

    2010-08-07

    Sugar-nucleotides such as GDP-mannose, GDP-fucose and UDP-glucose are important biomolecules with a central role in carbohydrate and glycoconjugate biosynthesis, metabolism and cell signalling. Analogues and mimics of naturally occurring sugar-nucleotides are sought after as chemical tools and inhibitor candidates for sugar-nucleotide-dependent enzymes including glycosyltransferases. Many sugar-nucleotides bind to their target glycosyltransferases via coordination of the diphosphate group to a divalent metal cofactor in the active site. The identification of uncharged, chemically stable surrogates for the diphosphate group, with the ability to coordinate to a divalent metal, is therefore an important design criteria for the development of sugar-nucleotide mimics. Here, we describe the rational design and synthesis of a novel class of sugar-nucleotide mimics based on a squaryldiamide scaffold, an uncharged phosphate isostere. We demonstrate by comprehensive NMR titration experiments that the new sugar-nucleotide mimics coordinate efficiently to Mg(2+), and provide results from biological studies with a therapeutically relevant mannosyltransferase from Trypanosoma brucei. Our findings suggest that squaryldiamides are a promising template for the development of sugar-nucleotide mimics, and illustrate the considerable potential of the squarylamide group as a fragment for inhibitor design.

  17. Rationally designed BCL6 inhibitors target activated B cell diffuse large B cell lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Cardenas, Mariano G; Yu, Wenbo; Beguelin, Wendy; Teater, Matthew R; Geng, Huimin; Goldstein, Rebecca L; Oswald, Erin; Hatzi, Katerina; Yang, Shao-Ning; Cohen, Joanna; Shaknovich, Rita; Vanommeslaeghe, Kenno; Cheng, Huimin; Liang, Dongdong; Cho, Hyo Je; Abbott, Joshua; Tam, Wayne; Du, Wei; Leonard, John P; Elemento, Olivier; Cerchietti, Leandro; Cierpicki, Tomasz; Xue, Fengtian; MacKerell, Alexander D; Melnick, Ari M

    2016-09-01

    Diffuse large B cell lymphomas (DLBCLs) arise from proliferating B cells transiting different stages of the germinal center reaction. In activated B cell DLBCLs (ABC-DLBCLs), a class of DLBCLs that respond poorly to current therapies, chromosomal translocations and amplification lead to constitutive expression of the B cell lymphoma 6 (BCL6) oncogene. The role of BCL6 in maintaining these lymphomas has not been investigated. Here, we designed small-molecule inhibitors that display higher affinity for BCL6 than its endogenous corepressor ligands to evaluate their therapeutic efficacy for targeting ABC-DLBCL. We used an in silico drug design functional-group mapping approach called SILCS to create a specific BCL6 inhibitor called FX1 that has 10-fold greater potency than endogenous corepressors and binds an essential region of the BCL6 lateral groove. FX1 disrupted formation of the BCL6 repression complex, reactivated BCL6 target genes, and mimicked the phenotype of mice engineered to express BCL6 with corepressor binding site mutations. Low doses of FX1 induced regression of established tumors in mice bearing DLBCL xenografts. Furthermore, FX1 suppressed ABC-DLBCL cells in vitro and in vivo, as well as primary human ABC-DLBCL specimens ex vivo. These findings indicate that ABC-DLBCL is a BCL6-dependent disease that can be targeted by rationally designed inhibitors that exceed the binding affinity of natural BCL6 ligands.

  18. Identification and rational design of novel antimicrobial peptides for plant protection.

    PubMed

    Marcos, Jose F; Muñoz, Alberto; Pérez-Payá, Enrique; Misra, Santosh; López-García, Belén

    2008-01-01

    Peptides and small proteins exhibiting antimicrobial activity have been isolated from many organisms ranging from insects to humans, including plants. Their role in defense is established, and their use in agriculture was already being proposed shortly after their discovery. However, some natural peptides have undesirable properties that complicate their application. Advances in peptide synthesis and high-throughput activity screening have made possible the de novo and rational design of novel peptides with improved properties. This review summarizes findings in the identification and design of short antimicrobial peptides with activity against plant pathogens, and will discuss alternatives for their heterologous production suited to plant disease control. Recent studies suggest that peptide antimicrobial action is not due solely to microbe permeation as previously described, but that more subtle factors might account for the specificity and absence of toxicity of some peptides. The elucidation of the mode of action and interaction with microbes will assist the improvement of peptide design with a view to targeting specific problems in agriculture and providing new tools for plant protection.

  19. Computational approach to the rational design of molecularly imprinted polymers for voltammetric sensing of homovanillic acid.

    PubMed

    Diñeiro, Yolanda; Menéndez, M Isabel; Blanco-López, M Carmen; Lobo-Castañón, M Jesús; Miranda-Ordieres, Arturo J; Tuñón-Blanco, Paulino

    2005-10-15

    A methodology based on density functional theory calculations for the design of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) is described. The method allows the rational choice of the most suitable monomer and polymerization solvent among a set of chemicals traditionally used in MIP formulations for the molecular imprinting of a given template. It is based on the comparison of the stabilization energies of the prepolymerization adducts between the template and different functional monomers. The effect of the polymerization solvent is included using the polarizable continuum model. A voltammetric sensor for homovanillic acid was constructed using different MIPs as recognition element, confirming that the solvent (toluene) and functional monomer (methacrylic acid) selected according to the theoretical predictions lead to the most efficient molecular recognition sensing phase. With the voltammetric sensor prepared using the MIP designed according to the theoretical predictions, a linear response for concentrations of homovanillic acid between 5 x 10(-8) and 1 x 10(-5) M can be obtained. The limit of detection is 7 x 10(-9) M. The selectivity obtained for homovanillic acid over other structurally related compounds buttresses the validity of this strategy of design.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-18

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

  2. Adapting Rational Unified Process (RUP) approach in designing a secure e-Tendering model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohd, Haslina; Robie, Muhammad Afdhal Muhammad; Baharom, Fauziah; Darus, Norida Muhd; Saip, Mohamed Ali; Yasin, Azman

    2016-08-01

    e-Tendering is an electronic processing of the tender document via internet and allow tenderer to publish, communicate, access, receive and submit all tender related information and documentation via internet. This study aims to design the e-Tendering system using Rational Unified Process approach. RUP provides a disciplined approach on how to assign tasks and responsibilities within the software development process. RUP has four phases that can assist researchers to adjust the requirements of various projects with different scope, problem and the size of projects. RUP is characterized as a use case driven, architecture centered, iterative and incremental process model. However the scope of this study only focusing on Inception and Elaboration phases as step to develop the model and perform only three of nine workflows (business modeling, requirements, analysis and design). RUP has a strong focus on documents and the activities in the inception and elaboration phases mainly concern the creation of diagrams and writing of textual descriptions. The UML notation and the software program, Star UML are used to support the design of e-Tendering. The e-Tendering design based on the RUP approach can contribute to e-Tendering developers and researchers in e-Tendering domain. In addition, this study also shows that the RUP is one of the best system development methodology that can be used as one of the research methodology in Software Engineering domain related to secured design of any observed application. This methodology has been tested in various studies in certain domains, such as in Simulation-based Decision Support, Security Requirement Engineering, Business Modeling and Secure System Requirement, and so forth. As a conclusion, these studies showed that the RUP one of a good research methodology that can be adapted in any Software Engineering (SE) research domain that required a few artifacts to be generated such as use case modeling, misuse case modeling, activity

  3. An approach to rational ligand-design based on a thermodynamic analysis.

    PubMed

    Ui, Mihoko; Tsumoto, Kouhei

    2010-11-01

    Thermodynamic analysis is an effective tool in screening of lead-compounds for development of potential drug candidates. In most cases, a ligand achieve high affinity and specificity to a target protein by means of both favorable enthalpy and entropy terms, which can be reflected in binding profiles of Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC). A favorable enthalpy change suggests the contribution of noncovalent contacts such as hydrogen bonding and van der Waals interaction between a ligand and its target protein. In general, optimization of binding enthalpy is more difficult than that of entropies in ligand-design; therefore, it is desirable to choose firstly a lead-compound based on its binding enthalpic gain. In this paper, we demonstrate the utility of thermodynamic approach to ligand screening using anti-ciguatoxin antibody 10C9 as a model of a target protein which possesses a large hydrophobic pocket. As a result of this screening, we have identified three compounds that could bind to the antigen-binding pocket of 10C9 with a few kcal/mol of favorable binding enthalpy. Comparison of their structure with the proper antigen ciguatoxin CTX3C revealed that 10C9 rigorously identifies their cyclic structure and a characteristic hydroxyl group. ITC measurement might be useful and powerful for a rational ligand screening and the optimization of the ligand; the enthalpic gain is an effective index for ligand-design studies.

  4. Towards a rational design of solid drug nanoparticles with optimised pharmacological properties

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Phillip; Smith, Darren; Curley, Paul; McDonald, Tom; Giardiello, Marco; Liptrott, Neill; Rannard, Steve; Owen, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Solid drug nanoparticles (SDNs) are a nanotechnology with favourable characteristics to enhance drug delivery and improve the treatment of several diseases, showing benefit for improved oral bioavailability and injectable long‐acting medicines. The physicochemical properties and composition of nanoformulations can influence the absorption, distribution, and elimination of nanoparticles; consequently, the development of nanoparticles for drug delivery should consider the potential role of nanoparticle characteristics in the definition of pharmacokinetics. The aim of this study was to investigate the pharmacological behaviour of efavirenz SDNs and the identification of optimal nanoparticle properties and composition. Seventy‐seven efavirenz SDNs were included in the analysis. Cellular accumulation was evaluated in HepG2 (hepatic) and Caco‐2 (intestinal), CEM (lymphocyte), THP1 (monocyte), and A‐THP1 (macrophage) cell lines. Apparent intestinal permeability (Papp) was measured using a monolayer of Caco‐2 cells. The Papp values were used to evaluate the potential benefit on pharmacokinetics using a physiologically based pharmacokinetic model. The generated SDNs had an enhanced intestinal permeability and accumulation in different cell lines compared to the traditional formulation of efavirenz. Nanoparticle size and excipient choice influenced efavirenz apparent permeability and cellular accumulation, and this appeared to be cell line dependent. These findings represent a valuable platform for the design of SDNs, giving an empirical background for the selection of optimal nanoparticle characteristics and composition. Understanding how nanoparticle components and physicochemical properties influence pharmacological patterns will enable the rational design of SDNs with desirable pharmacokinetics. PMID:27774308

  5. Glycolipid-based TLR4 Modulators and Fluorescent Probes: Rational Design, Synthesis, and Biological Properties.

    PubMed

    Ciaramelli, Carlotta; Calabrese, Valentina; Sestito, Stefania E; Pérez-Regidor, Lucia; Klett, Javier; Oblak, Alja; Jerala, Roman; Piazza, Matteo; Martín-Santamaría, Sonsoles; Peri, Francesco

    2016-08-01

    The cationic glycolipid IAXO-102, a potent TLR4 antagonist targeting both MD-2 and CD14 co-receptors, has been used as scaffold to design new potential TLR4 modulators and fluorescent labels for the TLR4 receptor complex (membrane TLR4.MD-2 dimer and CD14). The primary amino group of IAXO-102, not involved in direct interaction with MD-2 and CD14 receptors, has been exploited to covalently attach a fluorescein (molecules 1 and 2) or to link two molecules of IAXO-102 through diamine and diammonium spacers, obtaining 'dimeric' molecules 3 and 4. The structure-based rational design of compounds 1-4 was guided by the optimization of MD-2 and CD14 binding. Compounds 1 and 2 inhibited TLR4 activation, in a concentration-dependent manner, and signaling in HEK-Blue TLR4 cells. The fluorescent labeling of murine macrophages by molecule 1 was inhibited by LPS and was also abrogated when cell surface proteins were digested by trypsin, thus suggesting an interaction of fluorescent probe 1 with membrane proteins of the TLR4 receptor system.

  6. Rational design and adaptive management of combination therapies for Hepatitis C virus infection

    SciTech Connect

    Ke, Ruian; Loverdo, Claude; Qi, Hangfei; Sun, Ren; Lloyd-Smith, James O.; Kouyos, Roger Dimitri

    2015-06-30

    Recent discoveries of direct acting antivirals against Hepatitis C virus (HCV) have raised hopes of effective treatment via combination therapies. Yet rapid evolution and high diversity of HCV populations, combined with the reality of suboptimal treatment adherence, make drug resistance a clinical and public health concern. We develop a general model incorporating viral dynamics and pharmacokinetics/ pharmacodynamics to assess how suboptimal adherence affects resistance development and clinical outcomes. We derive design principles and adaptive treatment strategies, identifying a high-risk period when missing doses is particularly risky for de novo resistance, and quantifying the number of additional doses needed to compensate when doses are missed. Using data from large-scale resistance assays, we demonstrate that the risk of resistance can be reduced substantially by applying these principles to a combination therapy of daclatasvir and asunaprevir. By providing a mechanistic framework to link patient characteristics to the risk of resistance, these findings show the potential of rational treatment design.

  7. Rational design and adaptive management of combination therapies for Hepatitis C virus infection

    DOE PAGES

    Ke, Ruian; Loverdo, Claude; Qi, Hangfei; ...

    2015-06-30

    Recent discoveries of direct acting antivirals against Hepatitis C virus (HCV) have raised hopes of effective treatment via combination therapies. Yet rapid evolution and high diversity of HCV populations, combined with the reality of suboptimal treatment adherence, make drug resistance a clinical and public health concern. We develop a general model incorporating viral dynamics and pharmacokinetics/ pharmacodynamics to assess how suboptimal adherence affects resistance development and clinical outcomes. We derive design principles and adaptive treatment strategies, identifying a high-risk period when missing doses is particularly risky for de novo resistance, and quantifying the number of additional doses needed to compensatemore » when doses are missed. Using data from large-scale resistance assays, we demonstrate that the risk of resistance can be reduced substantially by applying these principles to a combination therapy of daclatasvir and asunaprevir. By providing a mechanistic framework to link patient characteristics to the risk of resistance, these findings show the potential of rational treatment design.« less

  8. Rational design and optimization of plasmonic nanoarrays for surface enhanced infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Liberman, Vladimir; Adato, Ronen; Jeys, Thomas H; Saar, Brian G; Erramilli, Shyamsunder; Altug, Hatice

    2012-05-21

    We present an approach for rational design and optimization of plasmonic arrays for ultrasensitive surface enhanced infrared absorption (SEIRA) spectroscopy of specific protein analytes. Motivated by our previous work that demonstrated sub-attomole detection of surface-bound silk fibroin [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 106, 19227 (2009)], we introduce here a general framework that allows for the numerical optimization of metamaterial sensor designs in order to maximize the absorbance signal. A critical feature of our method is the explicit compensation for the perturbative effects of the analyte's refractive index which alters the resonance frequency and line-shape of the metamaterial response, thereby leading to spectral distortion in SEIRA signatures. As an example, we leverage our method to optimize the geometry of periodic arrays of plasmonic nanoparticles on both Si and CaF2 substrates. The optimal geometries result in a three-order of magnitude absorbance enhancement compared to an unstructured Au layer, with the CaF2 substrate offering an additional factor of three enhancement in absorbance over a traditional Si substrate. The latter improvement arises from increase of near-field intensity over the Au nanobar surface for the lower index substrate. Finally, we perform sensitivity analysis for our optimized arrays to predict the effects of fabrication imperfections. We find that <20% deviation from the optimized absorbance response is readily achievable over large areas with modern nanofabrication techniques.

  9. Rational design of ornithine decarboxylase with high catalytic activity for the production of putrescine.

    PubMed

    Choi, Hyang; Kyeong, Hyun-Ho; Choi, Jung Min; Kim, Hak-Sung

    2014-09-01

    Putrescine finds wide industrial applications in the synthesis of polymers, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and surfactants. Owing to economic and environmental concerns, the microbial production of putrescine has attracted a great deal of attention, and ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) is known to be a key enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway. Herein, we present the design of ODC from Escherichia coli with high catalytic efficiency using a structure-based rational approach. Through a substrate docking into the model structure of the enzyme, we first selected residues that might lead to an increase in catalytic activity. Of the selected residues that are located in the α-helix and the loops constituting the substrate entry site, a mutational analysis of the single mutants identified two key residues, I163 and E165. A combination of two single mutations resulted in a 62.5-fold increase in the catalytic efficiency when compared with the wild-type enzyme. Molecular dynamics simulations of the best mutant revealed that the substrate entry site becomes more flexible through mutations, while stabilizing the formation of the dimeric interface of the enzyme. Our approach can be applied to the design of other decarboxylases with high catalytic efficiency for the production of various chemicals through bio-based processes.

  10. SS-Stabilizing Proteins Rationally: Intrinsic Disorder-Based Design of Stabilizing Disulphide Bridges in GFP.

    PubMed

    Melnik, Bogdan S; Povarnitsyna, Tatiana V; Glukhov, Anatoly S; Melnik, Tatyana N; Uversky, Vladimir N; Sarma, Ramaswamy H

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The most attractive and methodologically convenient way to enhance protein stability is via the introduction of disulphide bond(s). However, the effect of the artificially introduced SS-bond on protein stability is often quite unpredictable. This raises the question of how to choose the protein sites in an intelligent manner, so that the 'fastening' of these sites by the SS-bond(s) would provide maximal protein stability. We hypothesize that the successful design of a stabilizing SS-bond requires finding highly mobile protein regions. Using GFP as an illustrative example, we demonstrate that the knowledge of the peculiarities of the intramolecular hydrophobic interactions, combined with the understanding of the local intrinsic disorder propensities (that can be evaluated by various disorder predictors, e.g., PONDRFIT), is sufficient to find the candidate sites for the introduction of stabilizing SS-bridge(s). In fact, our analysis revealed that the insertion of the engineered SS-bridge between two highly flexible regions of GFP noticeably increased the conformational stability of this protein toward the thermal and chemical unfolding. Therefore, our study represents a novel approach for the rational design of stabilizing disulphide bridges in proteins.

  11. Rational design and validation of a vanilloid-sensitive TRPV2 ion channel

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Fan; Vu, Simon; Yarov-Yarovoy, Vladimir; Zheng, Jie

    2016-01-01

    Vanilloids activation of TRPV1 represents an excellent model system of ligand-gated ion channels. Recent studies using cryo-electron microcopy (cryo-EM), computational analysis, and functional quantification revealed the location of capsaicin-binding site and critical residues mediating ligand-binding and channel activation. Based on these new findings, here we have successfully introduced high-affinity binding of capsaicin and resiniferatoxin to the vanilloid-insensitive TRPV2 channel, using a rationally designed minimal set of four point mutations (F467S–S498F–L505T–Q525E, termed TRPV2_Quad). We found that binding of resiniferatoxin activates TRPV2_Quad but the ligand-induced open state is relatively unstable, whereas binding of capsaicin to TRPV2_Quad antagonizes resiniferatoxin-induced activation likely through competition for the same binding sites. Using Rosetta-based molecular docking, we observed a common structural mechanism underlying vanilloids activation of TRPV1 and TRPV2_Quad, where the ligand serves as molecular “glue” that bridges the S4–S5 linker to the S1–S4 domain to open these channels. Our analysis revealed that capsaicin failed to activate TRPV2_Quad likely due to structural constraints preventing such bridge formation. These results not only validate our current working model for capsaicin activation of TRPV1 but also should help guide the design of drug candidate compounds for this important pain sensor. PMID:27298359

  12. Rational design and validation of a vanilloid-sensitive TRPV2 ion channel.

    PubMed

    Yang, Fan; Vu, Simon; Yarov-Yarovoy, Vladimir; Zheng, Jie

    2016-06-28

    Vanilloids activation of TRPV1 represents an excellent model system of ligand-gated ion channels. Recent studies using cryo-electron microcopy (cryo-EM), computational analysis, and functional quantification revealed the location of capsaicin-binding site and critical residues mediating ligand-binding and channel activation. Based on these new findings, here we have successfully introduced high-affinity binding of capsaicin and resiniferatoxin to the vanilloid-insensitive TRPV2 channel, using a rationally designed minimal set of four point mutations (F467S-S498F-L505T-Q525E, termed TRPV2_Quad). We found that binding of resiniferatoxin activates TRPV2_Quad but the ligand-induced open state is relatively unstable, whereas binding of capsaicin to TRPV2_Quad antagonizes resiniferatoxin-induced activation likely through competition for the same binding sites. Using Rosetta-based molecular docking, we observed a common structural mechanism underlying vanilloids activation of TRPV1 and TRPV2_Quad, where the ligand serves as molecular "glue" that bridges the S4-S5 linker to the S1-S4 domain to open these channels. Our analysis revealed that capsaicin failed to activate TRPV2_Quad likely due to structural constraints preventing such bridge formation. These results not only validate our current working model for capsaicin activation of TRPV1 but also should help guide the design of drug candidate compounds for this important pain sensor.

  13. Rational design of aptazyme riboswitches for efficient control of gene expression in mammalian cells

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Guocai; Wang, Haimin; Bailey, Charles C; Gao, Guangping; Farzan, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Efforts to control mammalian gene expression with ligand-responsive riboswitches have been hindered by lack of a general method for generating efficient switches in mammalian systems. Here we describe a rational-design approach that enables rapid development of efficient cis-acting aptazyme riboswitches. We identified communication-module characteristics associated with aptazyme functionality through analysis of a 32-aptazyme test panel. We then developed a scoring system that predicts an aptazymes’s activity by integrating three characteristics of communication-module bases: hydrogen bonding, base stacking, and distance to the enzymatic core. We validated the power and generality of this approach by designing aptazymes responsive to three distinct ligands, each with markedly wider dynamic ranges than any previously reported. These aptayzmes efficiently regulated adeno-associated virus (AAV)-vectored transgene expression in cultured mammalian cells and mice, highlighting one application of these broadly usable regulatory switches. Our approach enables efficient, protein-independent control of gene expression by a range of small molecules. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18858.001 PMID:27805569

  14. Controlling the rate of organic reactions: rational design of allosteric Diels-Alderase ribozymes

    PubMed Central

    Amontov, Sergey; Jäschke, Andres

    2006-01-01

    Allosteric mechanisms are widely used in nature to control the rates of enzymatic reactions, but little is known about RNA catalysts controlled by these principles. The only natural allosteric ribozyme reported to date catalyzes an RNA cleavage reaction, and so do almost all artificial systems. RNA has, however, been shown to accelerate a much wider range of chemical reactions. Here we report that RNA catalysts for organic reactions can be put under the stringent control of effector molecules by straight-forward rational design. This approach uses known RNA sequences with catalytic and ligand-binding properties, and exploits weakly conserved sequence elements and available structural information to induce the formation of alternative, catalytically inactive structures. The potential and general applicability is demonstrated by the design of three different systems in which the rate of a catalytic carbon–carbon bond forming reaction is positively regulated up to 2100-fold by theophylline, tobramycin and a specific mRNA sequence, respectively. Although smaller in size than a tRNA, all three ribozymes show typical features of allosteric metabolic enzymes, namely high rate acceleration and tight allosteric regulation. Not only do these findings demonstrate RNA's power as a catalyst, but also highlight on RNA's capabilities as signaling components in regulatory networks. PMID:16990253

  15. Controlling the rate of organic reactions: rational design of allosteric Diels-Alderase ribozymes.

    PubMed

    Amontov, Sergey; Jäschke, Andres

    2006-01-01

    Allosteric mechanisms are widely used in nature to control the rates of enzymatic reactions, but little is known about RNA catalysts controlled by these principles. The only natural allosteric ribozyme reported to date catalyzes an RNA cleavage reaction, and so do almost all artificial systems. RNA has, however, been shown to accelerate a much wider range of chemical reactions. Here we report that RNA catalysts for organic reactions can be put under the stringent control of effector molecules by straight-forward rational design. This approach uses known RNA sequences with catalytic and ligand-binding properties, and exploits weakly conserved sequence elements and available structural information to induce the formation of alternative, catalytically inactive structures. The potential and general applicability is demonstrated by the design of three different systems in which the rate of a catalytic carbon-carbon bond forming reaction is positively regulated up to 2100-fold by theophylline, tobramycin and a specific mRNA sequence, respectively. Although smaller in size than a tRNA, all three ribozymes show typical features of allosteric metabolic enzymes, namely high rate acceleration and tight allosteric regulation. Not only do these findings demonstrate RNA's power as a catalyst, but also highlight on RNA's capabilities as signaling components in regulatory networks.

  16. Rational Design of Small Molecules Targeting Oncogenic Noncoding RNAs from Sequence.

    PubMed

    Disney, Matthew D; Angelbello, Alicia J

    2016-12-20

    The discovery of RNA catalysis in the 1980s and the dissemination of the human genome sequence at the start of this century inspired investigations of the regulatory roles of noncoding RNAs in biology. In fact, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project has shown that only 1-2% of the human genome encodes protein, yet 75% is transcribed into RNA. Functional studies both preceding and following the ENCODE project have shown that these noncoding RNAs have important roles in regulating gene expression, developmental timing, and other critical functions. RNA's diverse roles are often a consequence of the various folds that it adopts. The single-stranded nature of the biopolymer enables it to adopt intramolecular folds with noncanonical pairings to lower its free energy. These folds can be scaffolds to bind proteins or to form frameworks to interact with other RNAs. Not surprisingly, dysregulation of certain noncoding RNAs has been shown to be causative of disease. Given this as the background, it is easy to see why it would be useful to develop methods that target RNA and manipulate its biology in rational and predictable ways. The antisense approach has afforded strategies to target RNAs via Watson-Crick base pairing and has typically focused on targeting partially unstructured regions of RNA. Small molecule strategies to target RNA would be desirable not only because compounds could be lead optimized via medicinal chemistry but also because structured regions within an RNA of interest could be targeted to directly interfere with RNA folds that contribute to disease. Additionally, small molecules have historically been the most successful drug candidates. Until recently, the ability to design small molecules that target non-ribosomal RNAs has been elusive, creating the perception that they are "undruggable". In this Account, approaches to demystify targeting RNA with small molecules are described. Rather than bulk screening for compounds that bind to singular

  17. Development of bright fluorescent quadracyclic adenine analogues: TDDFT-calculation supported rational design

    PubMed Central

    Foller Larsen, Anders; Dumat, Blaise; Wranne, Moa S.; Lawson, Christopher P.; Preus, Søren; Bood, Mattias; Gradén, Henrik; Marcus Wilhelmsson, L.; Grøtli, Morten

    2015-01-01

    Fluorescent base analogues (FBAs) comprise a family of increasingly important molecules for the investigation of nucleic acid structure and dynamics. We recently reported the quantum chemical calculation supported development of four microenvironment sensitive analogues of the quadracyclic adenine (qA) scaffold, the qANs, with highly promising absorptive and fluorescence properties that were very well predicted by TDDFT calculations. Herein, we report on the efficient synthesis, experimental and theoretical characterization of nine novel quadracyclic adenine derivatives. The brightest derivative, 2-CNqA, displays a 13-fold increased brightness (εΦF = 4500) compared with the parent compound qA and has the additional benefit of being a virtually microenvironment-insensitive fluorophore, making it a suitable candidate for nucleic acid incorporation and use in quantitative FRET and anisotropy experiments. TDDFT calculations, conducted on the nine novel qAs a posteriori, successfully describe the relative fluorescence quantum yield and brightness of all qA derivatives. This observation suggests that the TDDFT-based rational design strategy may be employed for the development of bright fluorophores built up from a common scaffold to reduce the otherwise costly and time-consuming screening process usually required to obtain useful and bright FBAs. PMID:26227585

  18. Rational design of cyclic peptides to disrupt TGF-Β/SMAD7 signaling in heterotopic ossification.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Biao; Zhang, Chi; Guo, Shang; Zhang, Changqing

    2017-03-01

    The human TGF-β/SMAD7 signaling has been recognized as an attractive target of heterotopic ossification (HO). Here, we report a successful rational design of cyclic peptides to disrupt the signaling pathway by targeting TGF-β-receptor complex. The intermolecular interaction between TGF-β and its cognate receptor is characterized in detail using molecular dynamics simulation, binding energetic analysis, and alanine scanning. With the computational analysis a binding loop of receptor protein is identified that plays an essential role in the peptide-mediated TGF-β-receptor interaction. Subsequently, the loop is stripped from the protein context to generate a linear peptide segment, which possesses considerable flexibility and intrinsic disorder, and thus would incur a large entropy penalty upon binding to TGF-β. In order to minimize the unfavorable entropic effect, the linear peptide is cyclized by adding a disulfide bond between the N- and C-terminal cysteine residues of the peptide, resulting in a cyclic peptide. In vitro fluorescence anisotropy assays substantiate that the cyclic peptide can bind tightly to TGF-β with determined Kd value of 54μM. We also demonstrated that structural optimization can further improve the peptide affinity by site-directed mutagenesis of selected residues based on the computationally modeled complex structure of TGF-β with the cyclic peptide.

  19. Specific noncovalent interactions at protein-ligand interface: implications for rational drug design.

    PubMed

    Zhou, P; Huang, J; Tian, F

    2012-01-01

    Specific noncovalent interactions that are indicative of attractive, directional intermolecular forces have always been of key interest to medicinal chemists in their search for the "glue" that holds drugs and their targets together. With the rapid increase in the number of solved biomolecular structures as well as the performance enhancement of computer hardware and software in recent years, it is now possible to give more comprehensive insight into the geometrical characteristics and energetic landscape of certain sophisticated noncovalent interactions present at the binding interface of protein receptors and small ligands based on accumulated knowledge gaining from the combination of two quite disparate but complementary approaches: crystallographic data analysis and quantum-mechanical ab initio calculation. In this perspective, we survey massive body of published works relating to structural characterization and theoretical investigation of three kinds of strong, specific, direct, enthalpy-driven intermolecular forces, including hydrogen bond, halogen bond and salt bridge, involved in the formation of protein-ligand complex architecture in order to characterize their biological functions in conferring affinity and specificity for ligand recognition by host protein. In particular, the biomedical implications of raised knowledge are discussed with respect to potential applications in rational drug design.

  20. 25th Anniversary Article: Rational Design and Applications of Hydrogels in Regenerative Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Annabi, Nasim; Tamayol, Ali; Uquillas, Jorge Alfredo; Akbari, Mohsen; Bertassoni, Luiz E.; Cha, Chaenyung; Camci-Unal, Gulden; Dokmeci, Mehmet R.

    2014-01-01

    Hydrogels are hydrophilic polymer-based materials with high water content and physical characteristics that resemble the native extracellular matrix. Because of their remarkable properties, hydrogel systems are used for a wide range of biomedical applications, such as three-dimensional (3D) matrices for tissue engineering, drug-delivery vehicles, composite biomaterials, and as injectable fillers in minimally invasive surgeries. In addition, the rational design of hydrogels with controlled physical and biological properties can be used to modulate cellular functionality and tissue morphogenesis. Here, the development of advanced hydrogels with tunable physiochemical properties is highlighted, with particular emphasis on elastomeric, light-sensitive, composite, and shape-memory hydrogels. Emerging technologies developed over the past decade to control hydrogel architecture are also discussed and a number of potential applications and challenges in the utilization of hydrogels in regenerative medicine are reviewed. It is anticipated that the continued development of sophisticated hydrogels will result in clinical applications that will improve patient care and quality of life. PMID:24741694

  1. Rational Design of Cathode Structure for High Rate Performance Lithium-Sulfur Batteries.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hongwei; Wang, Changhong; Dai, Yafei; Qiu, Shengqiang; Yang, Jinlong; Lu, Wei; Chen, Liwei

    2015-08-12

    Practical applications of Li-S batteries require not only high specific capacities and long cycle lifetimes but also high rate performance. We report a rationally designed Li-S cathode, which consists of a freestanding composite thin film assembled from S nanoparticles, reduced graphene oxide (rGO), and a multifunctional additive poly(anthraquinonyl sulfide) (PAQS). The S nanoparticles provide a high initial specific capacity, and the layered and porous rGO structure provides electron and ion transport paths and restricts polysulfide shuttling. PAQS is not only a highly efficient sulfide trapping agent but also an excellent Li(+) conductor, which benefits the battery reaction kinetics at a high rate. The resulting cathode exhibits an initial specific capacity of 1255 mAh g(-1) with a decay rate as low as 0.046% per cycles over 1200 cycles. Importantly, it displays a reversible capacity of 615 mAh g(-1) when discharged at a high rate of 8 C (13.744 A g(-1)).

  2. Surface Termination of M1 Phase and Rational Design of Propane Ammoxidation Catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Guliants, Vadim

    2015-02-16

    This final report describes major accomplishments in this research project which has demonstrated that the M1 phase is the only crystalline phase required for propane ammoxidation to acrylonitrile and that a surface monolayer terminating the ab planes of the M1 phase is responsible for their activity and selectivity in this reaction. Fundamental studies of the topmost surface chemistry and mechanism of propane ammoxidation over the Mo-V-(Te,Sb)-(Nb,Ta)-O M1 and M2 phases resulted in the development of quantitative understanding of the surface molecular structure – reactivity relationships for this unique catalytic system. These oxides possess unique catalytic properties among mixed metal oxides, because they selectively catalyze three alkane transformation reactions, namely propane ammoxidation to acrylonitrile, propane oxidation to acrylic acid and ethane oxidative dehydrogenation, all of considerable economic significance. Therefore, the larger goal of this research was to expand this catalysis to other alkanes of commercial interest, and more broadly, demonstrate successful approaches to rational design of improved catalysts that can be applied to other selective (amm)oxidation processes.

  3. Development of bright fluorescent quadracyclic adenine analogues: TDDFT-calculation supported rational design.

    PubMed

    Foller Larsen, Anders; Dumat, Blaise; Wranne, Moa S; Lawson, Christopher P; Preus, Søren; Bood, Mattias; Gradén, Henrik; Wilhelmsson, L Marcus; Grøtli, Morten

    2015-07-31

    Fluorescent base analogues (FBAs) comprise a family of increasingly important molecules for the investigation of nucleic acid structure and dynamics. We recently reported the quantum chemical calculation supported development of four microenvironment sensitive analogues of the quadracyclic adenine (qA) scaffold, the qANs, with highly promising absorptive and fluorescence properties that were very well predicted by TDDFT calculations. Herein, we report on the efficient synthesis, experimental and theoretical characterization of nine novel quadracyclic adenine derivatives. The brightest derivative, 2-CNqA, displays a 13-fold increased brightness (εΦF = 4500) compared with the parent compound qA and has the additional benefit of being a virtually microenvironment-insensitive fluorophore, making it a suitable candidate for nucleic acid incorporation and use in quantitative FRET and anisotropy experiments. TDDFT calculations, conducted on the nine novel qAs a posteriori, successfully describe the relative fluorescence quantum yield and brightness of all qA derivatives. This observation suggests that the TDDFT-based rational design strategy may be employed for the development of bright fluorophores built up from a common scaffold to reduce the otherwise costly and time-consuming screening process usually required to obtain useful and bright FBAs.

  4. Tuning calcite morphology and growth acceleration by a rational design of highly stable protein-mimetics

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Chunlong; Qi, Jiahui; Tao, Jinhui; Zuckermann, Ronald; De Yoreo, James J.

    2014-09-05

    In nature, proteins play a significant role in biomineral formation. One of the ultimate goals of bioinspired materials science is to develop highly stable synthetic molecules that mimic the function of these natural proteins by controlling crystal formation. Here, we demonstrate that both the morphology and the degree of acceleration or inhibition observed during growth of calcite in the presence of peptoids can be rationally tuned by balancing the electrostatic interactions (EI) and hydrophobic interactions (HI), with HI playing the dominant role. While either strong EI or HI inhibit growth and suppress (104) face expression, correlations between peptoid-crystal binding energies and observed changes in calcite growth indicate moderate EI allow peptoids to weakly adsorb while moderate HI cause disruption of surface-adsorbed water layers, leading to growth acceleration with retained expression of (104) faces. This study provides fundamental principles for designing peptoids as crystallization promoters, and offers a straightforward screening method based on macroscopic crystal morphology. Because peptoids are sequence-specific, highly stable, and easily synthesized, peptoid-enhanced crystallization offers a broad range of potential applications.

  5. Phospholipid-based nonlamellar mesophases for delivery systems: bridging the gap between empirical and rational design.

    PubMed

    Martiel, Isabelle; Sagalowicz, Laurent; Mezzenga, Raffaele

    2014-07-01

    Phospholipids are ubiquitous cell membrane components and relatively well-accepted ingredients due to their natural origin. Phosphatidylcholine (PC) in particular offers a promising alternative to monoglycerides for lyotropic liquid crystalline (LLC) delivery system applications in the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, provided its strong tendency to form zero-mean curvature lamellar mesophases in water can be overcome. Higher negative curvatures are usually reached through the addition of a third lipid component, forming a ternary diagram phospholipid/water/oil. The initial part of this work summarizes the potential advantages and the challenges of phospholipid-based delivery system applications. In the next part, various ternary PC/water/oil systems are discussed, with a special emphasis on the PC/water/cyclohexane and PC/water/α-tocopherol systems. We report that R-(+)-limonene has a quantitatively similar effect as cyclohexane. The last part is devoted to the theoretical interpretation of the observed phase behaviors. A fruitful parallel is drawn with PC polymer-like reverse micelles, leading to a thermodynamic description in terms of interfacial bending energy. Investigations at the molecular level are reviewed to help in bridging the empirical and theoretical approaches. Predictive rules are finally derived from this wide-ranging overview, thereby opening the way to a future rational design of PC-based LLC delivery systems.

  6. An Integrated Approach for the Rational Design of NanoVectors for Biomedical Imaging and Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Godin, Biana; Driessen, Wouter H.; Proneth, Bettina; Lee, Sei-Young; Srinivasan, Srimeenakshi; Rumbaut, Rolando; Arap, Wadih; Pasqualini, Renata; Ferrari, Mauro; Decuzzi, Paolo

    2013-01-01

    The use of nanoparticles for the early detection, cure and imaging of diseases has been proved already to have enormous potentials in different biomedical fields, as oncology and cardiology. A broad spectrum of nanoparticles are currently under development exhibiting differences in (i) size, ranging from few tens of nanometers to few microns; (ii) shape, from the classical spherical beads to discoidal, hemispherical, cylindrical and conical; (iii) surface functionalization, with a wide range of electrostatic charges and bio-molecule conjugations. Clearly, the library of nanoparticles generated by combining all possible sizes, shapes and surface physico-chemical properties is enormous. With such a complex scenario, an integrated approach is here proposed and described for the rational design of nanoparticle systems (nanovectors) for the intravascular delivery of therapeutic and imaging contrast agents. The proposed integrated approach combines multi-scale/multi-physics mathematical models with in-vitro assays and in-vivo intravital microscopy experiments and aims at identifying the optimal combination of size, shape and surface properties that maximize the nanovectors localization within the diseased microvasculature. PMID:20807601

  7. Rational design of nitrofuran derivatives: Synthesis and valuation as inhibitors of Trypanosoma cruzi trypanothione reductase.

    PubMed

    Arias, D G; Herrera, F E; Garay, A S; Rodrigues, D; Forastieri, P S; Luna, L E; Bürgi, M D L M; Prieto, C; Iglesias, A A; Cravero, R M; Guerrero, S A

    2017-01-05

    The rational design and synthesis of a series of 5-nitro-2-furoic acid analogues are presented. The trypanocidal activity against epimastigote forms of Trypanosoma cruzi and the toxic effects on human HeLa cells were tested. Between all synthetic compounds, three of thirteen had an IC50 value in the range of Nfx, but compound 13 exhibited an improved effect with an IC50 of 1.0 ± 0.1 μM and a selective index of 70 in its toxicity against HeLa cells. We analyzed the activity of compounds 8, 12 and 13 to interfere in the central redox metabolic pathway in trypanosomatids, which is dependent of reduced trypanothione as the major pivotal thiol. The three compounds behaved as better inhibitors of trypanothione reductase than Nfx (Ki values of 118 μM, 61 μM and 68 μM for 8, 12 and 13, respectively, compared with 245 μM for Nfx), all following an uncompetitive enzyme inhibition pattern. Docking analysis predicted a binding of inhibitors to the enzyme-substrate complex with binding energy calculated in-silico that supports such molecular interaction.

  8. SMET: systematic multiple enzyme targeting - a method to rationally design optimal strains for target chemical overproduction.

    PubMed

    Flowers, David; Thompson, R Adam; Birdwell, Douglas; Wang, Tsewei; Trinh, Cong T

    2013-05-01

    Identifying multiple enzyme targets for metabolic engineering is very critical for redirecting cellular metabolism to achieve desirable phenotypes, e.g., overproduction of a target chemical. The challenge is to determine which enzymes and how much of these enzymes should be manipulated by adding, deleting, under-, and/or over-expressing associated genes. In this study, we report the development of a systematic multiple enzyme targeting method (SMET), to rationally design optimal strains for target chemical overproduction. The SMET method combines both elementary mode analysis and ensemble metabolic modeling to derive SMET metrics including l-values and c-values that can identify rate-limiting reaction steps and suggest which enzymes and how much of these enzymes to manipulate to enhance product yields, titers, and productivities. We illustrated, tested, and validated the SMET method by analyzing two networks, a simple network for concept demonstration and an Escherichia coli metabolic network for aromatic amino acid overproduction. The SMET method could systematically predict simultaneous multiple enzyme targets and their optimized expression levels, consistent with experimental data from the literature, without performing an iterative sequence of single-enzyme perturbation. The SMET method was much more efficient and effective than single-enzyme perturbation in terms of computation time and finding improved solutions.

  9. Biomimetics: From Bioinformatics to Rational Design of Dendrimers as Gene Carriers.

    PubMed

    Márquez-Miranda, Valeria; Camarada, María Belén; Araya-Durán, Ingrid; Varas-Concha, Ignacio; Almonacid, Daniel Eduardo; González-Nilo, Fernando Danilo

    2015-01-01

    Biomimetics, or the use of principles of Nature for developing new materials, is a paradigm that could help Nanomedicine tremendously. One of the current challenges in Nanomedicine is the rational design of new efficient and safer gene carriers. Poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers are a well-known class of nanoparticles, extensively used as non-viral nucleic acid carriers, due to their positively charged end-groups. Yet, there are still several aspects that can be improved for their successful application in in vitro and in vivo systems, including their affinity for nucleic acids as well as lowering their cytotoxicity. In the search of new functional groups that could be used as new dendrimer-reactive groups, we followed a biomimetic approach to determine the amino acids with highest prevalence in protein-DNA interactions. Then we introduced them individually as terminal groups of dendrimers, generating a new class of nanoparticles. Molecular dynamics studies of two systems: PAMAM-Arg and PAMAM-Lys were also performed in order to describe the formation of complexes with DNA. Results confirmed that the introduction of amino acids as terminal groups in a dendrimer increases their affinity for DNA and the interactions in the complexes were characterized at atomic level. We end up by briefly discussing additional modifications that can be made to PAMAM dendrimers to turned them into promising new gene carriers.

  10. Relaxing the coenzyme specificity of 1,3-propanediol oxidoreductase from Klebsiella pneumoniae by rational design.

    PubMed

    Ma, Chengwei; Zhang, Le; Dai, Jianying; Xiu, Zhilong

    2010-04-15

    1,3-Propanediol has wide applications for large volume markets, particularly in the polymer business. Microbial production of 1,3-propanediol has been considered as a competitor to the traditional petrochemical routes. However, the formation of 1,3-propanediol is limited by the amount of NADH supplied by the oxidative pathway of glycerol dismutation. Previous metabolic flux analysis revealed that relaxation of the coenzyme specificity of 1,3-propanediol oxidoreductase for both NADH and NADPH would increase the production of 1,3-propanediol as well as maintaining the NADH-NAD(+) circle. This work tried to accomplish such a relaxation by rational protein design. Overall binding free energy indicated that the electrostatic energy was the major force discriminating NADH from NADPH. Computational alanine-scanning mutagenesis of the active site residues illustrated that Asp41 was the key residue responsible for the coenzyme specificity. Compared with Asp41Ala, Asp41Gly could further weaken the repulsion between Asp41 and the phosphate group esterified to the 2'-hydroxyl group of the ribose at the adenine end of NADPH. Site-directed mutagenesis was conducted and the relaxation was successfully realized.

  11. Rational design of novel cathode materials in solid oxide fuel cells using first-principles simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, YongMan; Lin, M. C.; Liu, Meilin

    The search for clean and renewable sources of energy represents one of the most vital challenges facing us today. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are among the most promising technologies for a clean and secure energy future due to their high energy efficiency and excellent fuel flexibility (e.g., direct utilization of hydrocarbons or renewable fuels). To make SOFCs economically competitive, however, development of new materials for low-temperature operation is essential. Here we report our results on a computational study to achieve rational design of SOFC cathodes with fast oxygen reduction kinetics and rapid ionic transport. Results suggest that surface catalytic properties are strongly correlated with the bulk transport properties in several material systems with the formula of La 0.5Sr 0.5BO 2.75 (where B = Cr, Mn, Fe, or Co). The predictions seem to agree qualitatively with available experimental results on these materials. This computational screening technique may guide us to search for high-efficiency cathode materials for a new generation of SOFCs.

  12. Rational design and controlled synthesis of Te/Bi2Te3 heterostructure nanostring composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yuzhuo; Chen, Hong; Li, Zhiliang; Huang, Ting; Zheng, Shuqi

    2015-07-01

    Te/Bi2Te3 heterostructure nanostring composites composed of several Bi2Te3 nanoplates, which were perpendicularly strung together by Te nanorod, were rationally designed and synthesized via a facile solvothermal method on a large scale. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) characterization demonstrated that the Bi2Te3 nanoplates were rhombohedral phase and the Te nanorods were trigonal phase. The uniform nanostring morphologies were well characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). Detailed heterostructures were proved via energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) and high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM). The morphology transformation from Bi2Te3 nanoplates to Te/Bi2Te3 heterostructure nanostrings could be controlled by adjusting the ratio of bismuth oxide to tellurium oxide. NaOH, serving as catalytic reduction agent and morphology controlling agent, played an important role in the synthesis of Te/Bi2Te3 heterostructure nanostrings. The reaction mechanism was also proposed to explain the formation process of the composites and the specific function of reagents in this reaction system.

  13. Atomic force microscopy as a nanoscience tool in rational food design.

    PubMed

    Morris, Victor J; Woodward, Nicola C; Gunning, Allan P

    2011-09-01

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a nanoscience tool that has been used to provide new information on the molecular structure of food materials. As an imaging tool it has led to solutions to previously intractable problems in food science. This type of information can provide a basis for tailoring food structures to optimise functional behaviour. Such an approach will be illustrated by indicating how a basic understanding of the role of interfacial stability in complex foods systems can be extended to understand how such interfacial structures behave on digestion, and how this in turn suggests routes for the rational design of processed food structures to modify lipolysis and control fat intake. As a force transducer AFM can be used to probe interactions between food structures such as emulsion droplets at the colloidal level. This use of force spectroscopy will be illustrated through showing how it allows the effect of the structural modification of interfacial structures on colloidal interactions to be probed in model emulsion systems. Direct studies on interactions between colliding soft, deformable droplets reveal new types of interactions unique to deformable particles that can be exploited to manipulate the behaviour of processed or natural emulsion structures involved in digestion processes. Force spectroscopy can be adapted to probe specific intermolecular interactions, and this application of the technique will be illustrated through its use to test molecular hypotheses for the bioactivity of modified pectin molecules.

  14. Engineering of genetic control tools in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 using rational design techniques.

    PubMed

    Albers, Stevan C; Gallegos, Victor A; Peebles, Christie A M

    2015-12-20

    Cyanobacteria show promise as photosynthetic microbial factories capable of harnessing sunlight and CO2 to produce valuable end products, but few genetic control tools have been characterized and utilized in these organisms. To develop a suite of control elements capable of gene control at a variety of expression strengths, a library of 10 promoter-constructs were developed and built via rational design techniques by adding individual nucleotides in a step-wise manner within the -10 and -35 cis-acting regions of the tac promoter. This suite produced a dynamic range of expression strength, exhibiting a 78 fold change between the lowest expressing promoter, Psca8- and the highest expressing promoter, Psca3-2 when tested within Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Additionally, this study details the construction of a chemically inducible construct for use in Synechocystis that is based on the tac repressor system most commonly used in Escherichia coli. This research demonstrates the construction of a highly expressed inducible promoter that is also capable of high levels of gene repression. Upon chemical induction with IPTG, this same mutant strain was capable of exhibiting an average 24X increase in GFP expression over that of the repressed state.

  15. Rational Design of a Polymer with Robust Efficacy for Intracellular Protein and Peptide Delivery.

    PubMed

    Chang, Hong; Lv, Jia; Gao, Xin; Wang, Xing; Wang, Hui; Chen, Hui; He, Xu; Li, Lei; Cheng, Yiyun

    2017-03-08

    The efficient delivery of biopharmaceutical drugs such as proteins and peptides into the cytosol of target cells poses substantial challenges owing to their large size and susceptibility to degradation. Current protein delivery vehicles have limitations such as the need for protein modification, insufficient delivery of large-size proteins or small peptides, and loss of protein function after the delivery. Here, we adopted a rational approach to design a polymer with robust efficacy for intracellular protein and peptide delivery. The polymer is composed of a dendrimer scaffold, a hydrophobic membrane-disruptive region, and a multivalent protein binding surface. It allows efficient protein/peptide binding, endocytosis, and endosomal disruption and is capable of efficiently delivering various biomacromolecules including bovine serum albumin, R-phycoerythrin, p53, saporin, β-galactosidase, and peptides into the cytosol of living cells. Transduction of apoptotic proteins and peptides successfully induces apoptosis in cancer cells, suggesting that the activities of proteins and peptides are maintained during the delivery. This technology represents an efficient and useful tool for intracellular protein and peptide delivery and has broad applicability for basic research and clinical applications.

  16. Rational Design of Thermally Stable Novel Biocatalytic Nanomaterials: Enzyme Stability in Restricted Spatial Dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mudhivarthi, Vamsi K.

    Enzyme stability is of intense interest in bio-materials science as biocatalysts, and as sensing platforms. This is essentially because the unique properties of DNA, RNA, PAA can be coupled with the interesting and novel properties of proteins to produce systems with unprecedented control over their properties. In this article, the very first examples of enzyme/NA/inorganic hybrid nanomaterials and enzyme-Polyacrylic acid conjugates will be presented. The basic principles of design, synthesis and control of properties of these hybrid materials will be presented first, and this will be followed by a discussion of selected examples from our recent research findings. Data show that key properties of biological catalysts are improved by the inorganic framework especially when the catalyst is co-embedded with DNA. Several examples of such studies with various enzymes and proteins, including horseradish peroxidase (HRP), glucose oxidase (GO), cytochrome c (Cyt c), met-hemoglobin (Hb) and met-myoglobin (Mb) will be discussed. Additionally, key insights obtained by the standard methods of materials science including XRD, SEM and TEM as well as biochemical, calorimetric and spectroscopic methods will be discussed. Furthermore, improved structure and enhanced activities of the biocatalysts in specific cases will be demonstrated along with the potential stabilization mechanisms. Our hypothesis is that nucleic acids provide an excellent control over the enzyme-solid interactions as well as rational assembly of nanomaterials. These novel nanobiohybrid materials may aid in engineering more effective synthetic materials for gene-delivery, RNA-delivery and drug delivery applications.

  17. Biomimetics: From Bioinformatics to Rational Design of Dendrimers as Gene Carriers

    PubMed Central

    Araya-Durán, Ingrid; Varas-Concha, Ignacio; Almonacid, Daniel Eduardo; González-Nilo, Fernando Danilo

    2015-01-01

    Biomimetics, or the use of principles of Nature for developing new materials, is a paradigm that could help Nanomedicine tremendously. One of the current challenges in Nanomedicine is the rational design of new efficient and safer gene carriers. Poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers are a well-known class of nanoparticles, extensively used as non-viral nucleic acid carriers, due to their positively charged end-groups. Yet, there are still several aspects that can be improved for their successful application in in vitro and in vivo systems, including their affinity for nucleic acids as well as lowering their cytotoxicity. In the search of new functional groups that could be used as new dendrimer-reactive groups, we followed a biomimetic approach to determine the amino acids with highest prevalence in protein-DNA interactions. Then we introduced them individually as terminal groups of dendrimers, generating a new class of nanoparticles. Molecular dynamics studies of two systems: PAMAM-Arg and PAMAM-Lys were also performed in order to describe the formation of complexes with DNA. Results confirmed that the introduction of amino acids as terminal groups in a dendrimer increases their affinity for DNA and the interactions in the complexes were characterized at atomic level. We end up by briefly discussing additional modifications that can be made to PAMAM dendrimers to turned them into promising new gene carriers. PMID:26382062

  18. Rational design of metal-organic electronic devices: A computational perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chilukuri, Bhaskar

    engineers to choose the appropriate metal electrodes considering the chemical interactions at the interface. Additionally, the calculations performed on the interfaces provided valuable insight into binding energies, charge redistribution, change in the energy levels, dipole formation, etc., which are important parameters to consider while fabricating an electronic device. The research described in this dissertation highlights the application of unique computational modeling methods at different levels of theory to guide the experimental chemists and device engineers toward a rational design of transition metal based electronic devices with low cost and high performance.

  19. Rational risk-based decision support for drinking water well managers by optimized monitoring designs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enzenhöfer, R.; Geiges, A.; Nowak, W.

    2011-12-01

    Advection-based well-head protection zones are commonly used to manage the contamination risk of drinking water wells. Considering the insufficient knowledge about hazards and transport properties within the catchment, current Water Safety Plans recommend that catchment managers and stakeholders know, control and monitor all possible hazards within the catchments and perform rational risk-based decisions. Our goal is to supply catchment managers with the required probabilistic risk information, and to generate tools that allow for optimal and rational allocation of resources between improved monitoring versus extended safety margins and risk mitigation measures. To support risk managers with the indispensable information, we address the epistemic uncertainty of advective-dispersive solute transport and well vulnerability (Enzenhoefer et al., 2011) within a stochastic simulation framework. Our framework can separate between uncertainty of contaminant location and actual dilution of peak concentrations by resolving heterogeneity with high-resolution Monte-Carlo simulation. To keep computational costs low, we solve the reverse temporal moment transport equation. Only in post-processing, we recover the time-dependent solute breakthrough curves and the deduced well vulnerability criteria from temporal moments by non-linear optimization. Our first step towards optimal risk management is optimal positioning of sampling locations and optimal choice of data types to reduce best the epistemic prediction uncertainty for well-head delineation, using the cross-bred Likelihood Uncertainty Estimator (CLUE, Leube et al., 2011) for optimal sampling design. Better monitoring leads to more reliable and realistic protection zones and thus helps catchment managers to better justify smaller, yet conservative safety margins. In order to allow an optimal choice in sampling strategies, we compare the trade-off in monitoring versus the delineation costs by accounting for ill

  20. Rational design of the gram-scale synthesis of nearly monodisperse semiconductor nanocrystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Protière, Myriam; Nerambourg, Nicolas; Renard, Olivier; Reiss, Peter

    2011-07-01

    We address two aspects of general interest for the chemical synthesis of colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals: (1) the rational design of the synthesis protocol aiming at the optimization of the reaction parameters in a minimum number of experiments; (2) the transfer of the procedure to the gram scale, while maintaining a low size distribution and maximizing the reaction yield. Concerning the first point, the design-of-experiment (DOE) method has been applied to the synthesis of colloidal CdSe nanocrystals. We demonstrate that 16 experiments, analyzed by means of a Taguchi L16 table, are sufficient to optimize the reaction parameters for controlling the mean size of the nanocrystals in a large range while keeping the size distribution narrow (5-10%). The DOE method strongly reduces the number of experiments necessary for the optimization as compared to trial-and-error approaches. Furthermore, the Taguchi table analysis reveals the degree of influence of each reaction parameter investigated (e.g., the nature and concentration of reagents, the solvent, the reaction temperature) and indicates the interactions between them. On the basis of these results, the synthesis has been scaled up by a factor of 20. Using a 2-L batch reactor combined with a high-throughput peristaltic pump, different-sized samples of CdSe nanocrystals with yields of 2-3 g per synthesis have been produced without sacrificing the narrow size distribution. In a similar setup, the gram-scale synthesis of CdSe/CdS/ZnS core/shell/shell nanocrystals exhibiting a fluorescence quantum yield of 81% and excellent resistance of the photoluminescence in presence of a fluorescent quencher (aromatic thiol) has been achieved. PACS: 81.20.Ka, 81.07.Bc, 78.67.Bf

  1. Rational design of didodecyldimethylammonium bromide-based nanoassemblies for gene delivery.

    PubMed

    Jin, Yiguang; Wang, Shuangmiao; Tong, Li; Du, Lina

    2015-02-01

    Nonviral gene vectors are a hot topic for gene delivery. High cost and low transfection efficiency hinder the application of them. The aim of this study was to find out the optimal gene vectors with lower cost and more effective gene delivery than commonly used gene vectors. A cheap cationic lipid, didodecyldimethylammonium bromide (DDAB) was the basic component and the other components included oleic acid (OA), cholesterol (Chol), cholesteryl succinyl poly(ethylene glycol) 1500 (CHS-PEG), poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide)-methoxy-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLGA-PEG). The combinations of DDAB/OA/Chol, DDAB/OA/CHS-PEG and DDAB/PLGA-PEG were adopted to prepare the nanoassemblies named CNA, CPNA and PPNA, respectively. The optimal component ratios were screened out according to their Langmuir monolayer behavior. The optimal preparation method of nanoassemblies involved firstly compressing DNA or siRNA with the cationic lipid (DDAB) and secondly being coated with the helper lipids (OA and CHS-PEG) or the helper polymer (PLGA-PEG). The complexes of genes and cationic lipids were encapsulated into the core of CPNA and PPNA. The optimal gene vectors (CPNA and PPNA) with small sizes, low negative surface charges and non-exposure of cationic lipids were achieved. They had the advantages of no cytotoxicity, high transfection efficiency and low cost. More importantly, CPNA and PPNA were not sensitive to serum and showed the similar or higher transfection efficiency of pDNA and siRNA compared to Lipofectamine 2000. CPNA could mainly enter cell plasma based on endocytosis. The rational design method is useful for the design and optimization of DDAB-based gene carriers and other cationic lipid-based carriers.

  2. Rational drug design approach for overcoming drug resistance: application to pyrimethamine resistance in malaria.

    PubMed

    McKie, J H; Douglas, K T; Chan, C; Roser, S A; Yates, R; Read, M; Hyde, J E; Dascombe, M J; Yuthavong, Y; Sirawaraporn, W

    1998-04-23

    Pyrimethamine acts by selectively inhibiting malarial dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS). Resistance in the most important human parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, initially results from an S108N mutation in the DHFR domain, with additional mutation (most commonly C59R or N51I or both) imparting much greater resistance. From a homology model of the 3-D structure of DHFR-TS, rational drug design techniques have been used to design and subsequently synthesize inhibitors able to overcome malarial pyrimethamine resistance. Compared to pyrimethamine (Ki 1.5 nM) with purified recombinant DHFR fromP. falciparum, the Ki value of the m-methoxy analogue of pyrimethamine was 1.07 nM, but against the DHFR bearing the double mutation (C59R + S108N), the Ki values for pyrimethamine and the m-methoxy analogue were 71.7 and 14.0 nM, respectively. The m-chloro analogue of pyrimethamine was a stronger inhibitor of both wild-type DHFR (with Ki 0.30 nM) and the doubly mutant (C59R +S108N) purified enzyme (with Ki 2.40 nM). Growth of parasite cultures of P. falciparum in vitro was also strongly inhibited by these compounds with 50% inhibition of growth occurring at 3.7 microM for the m-methoxy and 0.6 microM for the m-chloro compounds with the K1 parasite line bearing the double mutation (S108N + C59R), compared to 10.2 microM for pyrimethamine. These inhibitors were also found in preliminary studies to retain antimalarial activity in vivo in P. berghei-infected mice.

  3. Rational design of hierarchically nanostructured electrodes for solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Çelikbilek, Ӧzden; Jauffrès, David; Siebert, Elisabeth; Dessemond, Laurent; Burriel, Mónica; Martin, Christophe L.; Djurado, Elisabeth

    2016-11-01

    Understanding, controlling and optimizing the mechanisms of electrode reactions need to be addressed for high performance energy and storage conversion devices. Hierarchically structured porous films of mixed ionic electronic conductors (MIECs) and their composites with ionic conductors offer unique properties. However, correlating the intrinsic properties of electrode components to microstructural features remains a challenging task. Here, La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-δ (LSCF) and La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-δ: Ce0.9Gd0.1O2-δ (LSCF:CGO) composite cathodes with hierarchical porosity from nano to micro range are fabricated. The LSCF film exhibits exceptional electrode performance with area specific resistance values of 0.021 and 0.065 Ω cm2 at 650 and 600 °C respectively, whereas LSCF:CGO composite is only slightly superior than pure LSCF below 450 °C. We report for the first time a numerical 3D Finite Element Model (FEM) comprising real micro/nanostructural parameters from 3D reconstructions into a simple geometry similar to experimentally observed columnar features. The model demonstrates that heterogeneities in porosity within the film thickness and percolation of the ionically conducting phase significantly impact bulk transport at low temperatures. Design guidelines relating performance to microstructure and bulk material properties in relation to experimental results are proposed. Our model has potential to be extended for rational design of larger, regular and heterogeneous microstructures.

  4. Rational Design of Orthogonal Multipolar Interactions with Fluorine in Protein-Ligand Complexes.

    PubMed

    Pollock, Jonathan; Borkin, Dmitry; Lund, George; Purohit, Trupta; Dyguda-Kazimierowicz, Edyta; Grembecka, Jolanta; Cierpicki, Tomasz

    2015-09-24

    Multipolar interactions involving fluorine and the protein backbone have been frequently observed in protein-ligand complexes. Such fluorine-backbone interactions may substantially contribute to the high affinity of small molecule inhibitors. Here we found that introduction of trifluoromethyl groups into two different sites in the thienopyrimidine class of menin-MLL inhibitors considerably improved their inhibitory activity. In both cases, trifluoromethyl groups are engaged in short interactions with the backbone of menin. In order to understand the effect of fluorine, we synthesized a series of analogues by systematically changing the number of fluorine atoms, and we determined high-resolution crystal structures of the complexes with menin. We found that introduction of fluorine at favorable geometry for interactions with backbone carbonyls may improve the activity of menin-MLL inhibitors as much as 5- to 10-fold. In order to facilitate the design of multipolar fluorine-backbone interactions in protein-ligand complexes, we developed a computational algorithm named FMAP, which calculates fluorophilic sites in proximity to the protein backbone. We demonstrated that FMAP could be used to rationalize improvement in the activity of known protein inhibitors upon introduction of fluorine. Furthermore, FMAP may also represent a valuable tool for designing new fluorine substitutions and support ligand optimization in drug discovery projects. Analysis of the menin-MLL inhibitor complexes revealed that the backbone in secondary structures is particularly accessible to the interactions with fluorine. Considering that secondary structure elements are frequently exposed at protein interfaces, we postulate that multipolar fluorine-backbone interactions may represent a particularly attractive approach to improve inhibitors of protein-protein interactions.

  5. Rational design of the gram-scale synthesis of nearly monodisperse semiconductor nanocrystals

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    We address two aspects of general interest for the chemical synthesis of colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals: (1) the rational design of the synthesis protocol aiming at the optimization of the reaction parameters in a minimum number of experiments; (2) the transfer of the procedure to the gram scale, while maintaining a low size distribution and maximizing the reaction yield. Concerning the first point, the design-of-experiment (DOE) method has been applied to the synthesis of colloidal CdSe nanocrystals. We demonstrate that 16 experiments, analyzed by means of a Taguchi L16 table, are sufficient to optimize the reaction parameters for controlling the mean size of the nanocrystals in a large range while keeping the size distribution narrow (5-10%). The DOE method strongly reduces the number of experiments necessary for the optimization as compared to trial-and-error approaches. Furthermore, the Taguchi table analysis reveals the degree of influence of each reaction parameter investigated (e.g., the nature and concentration of reagents, the solvent, the reaction temperature) and indicates the interactions between them. On the basis of these results, the synthesis has been scaled up by a factor of 20. Using a 2-L batch reactor combined with a high-throughput peristaltic pump, different-sized samples of CdSe nanocrystals with yields of 2-3 g per synthesis have been produced without sacrificing the narrow size distribution. In a similar setup, the gram-scale synthesis of CdSe/CdS/ZnS core/shell/shell nanocrystals exhibiting a fluorescence quantum yield of 81% and excellent resistance of the photoluminescence in presence of a fluorescent quencher (aromatic thiol) has been achieved. PACS: 81.20.Ka, 81.07.Bc, 78.67.Bf PMID:21791060

  6. Rational and modular design of potent ligands targeting the RNA that causes myotonic dystrophy 2.

    PubMed

    Lee, Melissa M; Pushechnikov, Alexei; Disney, Matthew D

    2009-05-15

    Most ligands targeting RNA are identified through screening a therapeutic target for binding members of a ligand library. A potential alternative way to construct RNA binders is through rational design using information about the RNA motifs ligands prefer to bind. Herein, we describe such an approach to design modularly assembled ligands targeting the RNA that causes myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2), a currently untreatable disease. A previous study identified that 6'-N-5-hexynoate kanamycin A (1) prefers to bind 2x2 nucleotide, pyrimidine-rich RNA internal loops. Multiple copies of such loops are found in the RNA hairpin that causes DM2. The 1 ligand was then modularly displayed on a peptoid scaffold with varied number and spacing to target several internal loops simultaneously. Modularly assembled ligands were tested for binding to a series of RNAs and for inhibiting the formation of the toxic DM2 RNA-muscleblind protein (MBNL-1) interaction. The most potent ligand displays three 1 modules, each separated by four spacing submonomers, and inhibits the formation of the RNA-protein complex with an IC(50) of 25 nM. This ligand has higher affinity and is more specific for binding the DM2 RNA than MBNL-1. It binds the DM2 RNA at least 30 times more tightly than related RNAs and 15-fold more tightly than MBNL-1. A related control peptoid displaying 6'-N-5-hexynoate neamine (2) is >100-fold less potent at inhibiting the RNA-protein interaction and binds to DM2 RNA >125-fold more weakly. Uptake studies into a mouse myoblast cell line also show that the most potent ligand is cell permeable.

  7. The management of snake bite*

    PubMed Central

    Reid, H. A.; Theakston, R. D. G.

    1983-01-01

    The present article reviews current knowledge on the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and treatment of snake bite, with particular reference to the situation in developing countries. There is little reliable information on the incidence of snake bite in many parts of the world, and epidemiological studies are needed, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to identify and quantify serum levels of venom antigen and antibody. The pathophysiology and clinical features of envenoming by medically important snakes are discussed. Antivenom, if used correctly, can reverse systemic poisoning even if given days after the bite. It is therefore wise to wait for the appearance of signs of systemic poisoning before administering antivenom, rather than using it routinely. WHO has designated the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine as a Collaborating Centre for the Control of Antivenoms, and this Centre now holds a collection of reference venoms from several important snake species. Characterization of these and of standard antivenoms should significantly improve the management of snake bite throughout the world. PMID:6609008

  8. Snake Genome Sequencing: Results and Future Prospects

    PubMed Central

    Kerkkamp, Harald M. I.; Kini, R. Manjunatha; Pospelov, Alexey S.; Vonk, Freek J.; Henkel, Christiaan V.; Richardson, Michael K.

    2016-01-01

    Snake genome sequencing is in its infancy—very much behind the progress made in sequencing the genomes of humans, model organisms and pathogens relevant to biomedical research, and agricultural species. We provide here an overview of some of the snake genome projects in progress, and discuss the biological findings, with special emphasis on toxinology, from the small number of draft snake genomes already published. We discuss the future of snake genomics, pointing out that new sequencing technologies will help overcome the problem of repetitive sequences in assembling snake genomes. Genome sequences are also likely to be valuable in examining the clustering of toxin genes on the chromosomes, in designing recombinant antivenoms and in studying the epigenetic regulation of toxin gene expression. PMID:27916957

  9. Reproductive Disorders in Snakes.

    PubMed

    Di Girolamo, Nicola; Selleri, Paolo

    2017-05-01

    Reproduction of snakes is one of the challenging aspects of herpetology medicine. Due to the complexity of reproduction, several disorders may present before, during, or after this process. This article describes the physical examination, and radiographic, ultrasonographic, and endoscopic findings associated with reproductive disorders in snakes. Surgical techniques used to resolve reproductive disorders in snakes are described. Finally, common reproductive disorders in snakes are individually discussed.

  10. Fundamental Investigations and Rational Design of Durable High-Performance SOFC Cathodes

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Yu; Ding, Dong; Wei, Tao; Liu, Meilin

    2016-03-31

    The main objective of this project is to unravel the degradation mechanism of LSCF cathodes under realistic operating conditions with different types of contaminants, aiming towards the rational design of cathodes with high-performance and enhanced durability by combining a porous backbone (such as LSCF) with a thin catalyst coating. The mechanistic understanding will help us to optimize the composition and morphology of the catalyst layer and microstructure of the LSCF backbone for better performance and durability. More specifically, the technical objectives include: (1) to unravel the degradation mechanism of LSCF cathodes under realistic operating conditions with different types of contaminants using in situ and ex situ measurements performed on specially-designed cathodes; (2) to examine the microstructural and compositional evolution of LSCF cathodes as well as the cathode/electrolyte interfaces under realistic operating conditions; (3) to correlate the fuel cell performance instability and degradation with the microstructural and morphological evolution and surface chemistry change of the cathode under realistic operating conditions; (4) to explore new catalyst materials and electrode structures to enhance the stability of the LSCF cathode under realistic operating conditions; and (5) to validate the long term stability of the modified LSCF cathode in commercially available cells under realistic operating conditions. We have systematically evaluated LSCF cathodes in symmetrical cells and anode supported cells under realistic conditions with different types of contaminants such as humidity, CO2, and Cr. Electrochemical models for the design of test cells and understanding of mechanisms have been developed for the exploration of fundamental properties of electrode materials. It is demonstrated that the activity and stability of LSCF cathodes can be degraded by the introduction of contaminants. The microstructural and compositional evolution of LSCF

  11. Rational design of surface/interface chemistry for quantitative in vivo monitoring of brain chemistry.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Meining; Yu, Ping; Mao, Lanqun

    2012-04-17

    To understand the molecular basis of brain functions, researchers would like to be able to quantitatively monitor the levels of neurochemicals in the extracellular fluid in vivo. However, the chemical and physiological complexity of the central nervous system (CNS) presents challenges for the development of these analytical methods. This Account describes the rational design and careful construction of electrodes and nanoparticles with specific surface/interface chemistry for quantitative in vivo monitoring of brain chemistry. We used the redox nature of neurochemicals at the electrode/electrolyte interface to establish a basis for monitoring specific neurochemicals. Carbon nanotubes provide an electrode/electrolyte interface for the selective oxidation of ascorbate, and we have developed both in vivo voltammetry and an online electrochemical detecting system for continuously monitoring this molecule in the CNS. Although Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) are involved in a number of neurochemical signaling processes, they are still difficult to detect in the CNS. These divalent cations can enhance electrocatalytic oxidation of NADH at an electrode modified with toluidine blue O. We used this property to develop online electrochemical detection systems for simultaneous measurements of Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) and for continuous selective monitoring of Mg(2+) in the CNS. We have also harnessed biological schemes for neurosensing in the brain to design other monitoring systems. By taking advantage of the distinct reaction properties of dopamine (DA), we have developed a nonoxidative mechanism for DA sensing and a system that can potentially be used for continuously sensing of DA release. Using "artificial peroxidase" (Prussian blue) to replace a natural peroxidase (horseradish peroxidase, HRP), our online system can simultaneously detect basal levels of glucose and lactate. By substituting oxidases with dehydrogenases, we have used enzyme-based biosensing schemes to develop a physiologically

  12. Rational design of a flavivirus vaccine by abolishing viral RNA 2'-O methylation.

    PubMed

    Li, Shi-Hua; Dong, Hongping; Li, Xiao-Feng; Xie, Xuping; Zhao, Hui; Deng, Yong-Qiang; Wang, Xiao-Yu; Ye, Qing; Zhu, Shun-Ya; Wang, Hong-Jiang; Zhang, Bo; Leng, Qi-Bin; Zuest, Roland; Qin, E-De; Qin, Cheng-Feng; Shi, Pei-Yong

    2013-05-01

    Viruses that replicate in the cytoplasm cannot access the host nuclear capping machinery. These viruses have evolved viral methyltransferase(s) to methylate N-7 and 2'-O cap of their RNA; alternatively, they "snatch" host mRNA cap to form the 5' end of viral RNA. The function of 2'-O methylation of viral RNA cap is to mimic cellular mRNA and to evade host innate immune restriction. A cytoplasmic virus defective in 2'-O methylation is replicative, but its viral RNA lacks 2'-O methylation and is recognized and eliminated by the host immune response. Such a mutant virus could be rationally designed as a live attenuated vaccine. Here, we use Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), an important mosquito-borne flavivirus, to prove this novel vaccine concept. We show that JEV methyltransferase is responsible for both N-7 and 2'-O cap methylations as well as evasion of host innate immune response. Recombinant virus completely defective in 2'-O methylation was stable in cell culture after being passaged for >30 days. The mutant virus was attenuated in mice, elicited robust humoral and cellular immune responses, and retained the engineered mutation in vivo. A single dose of immunization induced full protection against lethal challenge with JEV strains in mice. Mechanistically, the attenuation phenotype was attributed to the enhanced sensitivity of the mutant virus to the antiviral effects of interferon and IFIT proteins. Collectively, the results demonstrate the feasibility of using 2'-O methylation-defective virus as a vaccine approach; this vaccine approach should be applicable to other flaviviruses and nonflaviviruses that encode their own viral 2'-O methyltransferases.

  13. Improving the Thermostability of Acidic Pullulanase from Bacillus naganoensis by Rational Design

    PubMed Central

    Lv, Jinzhi; Li, Qingbin; Tian, Jian; Wu, Ningfeng

    2016-01-01

    Pullulanase (EC 3.2.1.41) plays an important role in the specific hydrolysis of branch points in amylopectin. Enhancing its thermostability is required for its industrial application. In this study, rational protein design was used to improve the thermostability of PulB from Bacillus naganoensis (AB231790.1), which has strong enzymatic properties. Three positive single-site mutants (PulB-D328H, PulB-N387D, and PulB-A414P) were selected from six mutants. After incubation at 65°C for 5 min, the residual activities of PulB-D328H, PulB-N387D, and PulB-A414P were 4.5-, 1.7-, and 1.47-fold higher than PulB-WT, and their Tm values (the temperature at which half protein molecule denature) were 1.8°C, 0.4°C, and 0.9°C higher than PulB-WT, respectively. Then the final combined mutant PulB-328/387/414 was constructed. The t1/2 of it was 12.9-fold longer than that of PulB-WT at 65°C and the total increase in Tm of it (5.0°C) was almost 60% greater than the sum of individual increases (3.1°C). In addition, kinetic studies revealed that the kcat and the kcat/Km of PulB-328/387/414 increased by 38.8% and 12.9%. The remarkable improvement in thermostability and the high catalytic efficiency of PulB-328/387/414 make it suitable for industrial applications. PMID:27764201

  14. Toward rational design of organic dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs): an application to the TA-St-CA dye.

    PubMed

    Mohammadi, Narges; Mahon, Peter J; Wang, Feng

    2013-03-01

    A computer aided rational design has been performed on TA-St-CA dye sensitizer in order to improve the desirable properties for new organic dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC). A number of electron-donating (ED) and electron-withdrawing (EW) units based on Dewar's rules are substituted into the π-conjugated oligo-phenylenevinylene bridge of the reference TA-St-CA dye. The effects of these alternations on the molecular structures and the electron absorption spectra are calculated using time-dependant density functional theory (TDDFT). It is found that chemical modifications using electron donating (ED) substitutions exhibit advantages over the electron withdrawing (EW) substitutes to reduce the HOMO-LUMO energy gap as well as the electron distribution of the frontier orbitals of the new dyes. Dewar's rule is a useful guideline for rational design of new dye sensitizers with desired HOMO-LUMO gap. The impact on the optical spectra of new dyes are, however, less significant.

  15. Rational Ligand Design for U(VI) and Pu(IV)

    SciTech Connect

    Szigethy, Geza

    2009-08-12

    Nuclear power is an attractive alternative to hydrocarbon-based energy production at a time when moving away from carbon-producing processes is widely accepted as a significant developmental need. Hence, the radioactive actinide power sources for this industry are necessarily becoming more widespread, which is accompanied by the increased risk of exposure to both biological and environmental systems. This, in turn, requires the development of technology designed to remove such radioactive threats efficiently and selectively from contaminated material, whether that be contained nuclear waste streams or the human body. Raymond and coworkers (University of California, Berkeley) have for decades investigated the interaction of biologically-inspired, hard Lewis-base ligands with high-valent, early-actinide cations. It has been established that such ligands bind strongly to the hard Lewis-acidic early actinides, and many poly-bidentate ligands have been developed and shown to be effective chelators of actinide contaminants in vivo. Work reported herein explores the effect of ligand geometry on the linear U(IV) dioxo dication (uranyl, UO2 2+). The goal is to utilize rational ligand design to develop ligands that exhibit shape selectivity towards linear dioxo cations and provides thermodynamically favorable binding interactions. The uranyl complexes with a series of tetradentate 3-hydroxy-pyridin-2-one (3,2-HOPO) ligands were studied in both the crystalline state as well as in solution. Despite significant geometric differences, the uranyl affinities of these ligands vary only slightly but are better than DTPA, the only FDA-approved chelation therapy for actinide contamination. The terepthalamide (TAM) moiety was combined into tris-beidentate ligands with 1,2- and 3,2-HOPO moieties were combined into hexadentate ligands whose structural preferences and solution thermodynamics were measured with the uranyl cation. In addition to achieving coordinative

  16. Structure-based methods for predicting target mutation-induced drug resistance and rational drug design to overcome the problem.

    PubMed

    Hao, Ge-Fei; Yang, Guang-Fu; Zhan, Chang-Guo

    2012-10-01

    Drug resistance has become one of the biggest challenges in drug discovery and/or development and has attracted great research interests worldwide. During the past decade, computational strategies have been developed to predict target mutation-induced drug resistance. Meanwhile, various molecular design strategies, including targeting protein backbone, targeting highly conserved residues and dual/multiple targeting, have been used to design novel inhibitors for combating the drug resistance. In this article we review recent advances in development of computational methods for target mutation-induced drug resistance prediction and strategies for rational design of novel inhibitors that could be effective against the possible drug-resistant mutants of the target.

  17. Dangerous snakes, deadly snakes and medically important snakes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    This correspondence argues that the dangerousness of a venomous snake species is not solely determined by the venom characteristics or the lethality of the snake, and recognizes that medical importance comprises a key variable as well. The medical importance of a snake is determined by several factors – including frequency of medical attention after a bite, local or systemic envenomation provoked by the bite, fatal bites, long term consequences, availability of antivenom therapy as well as the size of the population at risk – that may vary from one region to another. PMID:24099013

  18. Rational design and synthesis of substrate-product analogue inhibitors of α-methylacyl-coenzyme A racemase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Pal, Mohan; Khanal, Mandar; Marko, Ryan; Thirumalairajan, Srinath; Bearne, Stephen L

    2016-02-14

    2,2-Bis(4-isobutylphenyl)propanoyl-CoA and 2,2-bis(4-t-butylphenyl)propanoyl-CoA are rationally designed, gem-disubstituted substrate-product analogues that competitively inhibit α-methylacyl-coenzyme A racemase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis with Ki values of 16.9 ± 0.6 and 21 ± 4 μM, respectively, exceeding the enzyme's affinity for the substrate by approximately 5-fold.

  19. Study of spin resonances in the accelerators with snakes

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, S.Y.

    1988-01-01

    Spin resonances in the circular accelerators with snakes are studied to understand the nature of snake resonances. We analyze the effect of snake configuration, and the snake superperiod on the resonance. Defining the critical resonance strength epsilon/sub c/ as the maximum tolerable resonance strength without losing the beam polarization after passing through the resonance, we found that epsilon/sub c/ is a sensitive function of the snake configuration, the snake superperiod at the first order snake resonance, the higher order snake resonance conditions and the spin matching condition. Under properly designed snake configuration, the critical resonance strength epsilon/sub c/ is found to vary linearly with N/sub S/ as = (1/..pi..)sin/sup /minus/1/(/vert bar/cos ..pi nu../sub z//vert bar//sup /1/2//)N/sub S/, where ..nu../sub z/ and N/sub S/ are the betatron tune and the number of snakes respectively. We also study the effect of overlapping intrinsic and imperfection resonances. The imperfection resonance should be corrected to a magnitude of insignificance (e.g., epsilonless than or equal to0.1 for two snakes case) to maintain proper polarization. 23 refs., 25 figs.

  20. P-glycoprotein recognition of substrates and circumvention through rational drug design.

    PubMed

    Raub, Thomas J

    2006-01-01

    It is now well recognized that membrane efflux transporters, especially P-glycoprotein (P-gp; ABCB1), play a role in determining the absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicology behaviors of some drugs and molecules in development. An investment in screening structure-activity relationship (SAR) is warranted in early discovery when exposure and/or target activity in an in vivo efficacy model is not achieved and P-gp efflux is identified as a rate-limiting factor. However, the amount of investment in SAR must be placed into perspective by assessing the risks associated with the intended therapeutic target, the potency and margin of safety of the compound, the intended patient population(s), and the market competition. The task of rationally designing a chemistry strategy for circumventing a limiting P-gp interaction can be daunting. The necessity of retaining biological potency and metabolic stability places restrictions on what can be done, and the factors for P-gp recognition of substrates are complicated and poorly understood. The parameters within the assays that affect overall pump efficiency or net efflux, such as passive diffusion, membrane partitioning, and molecular interaction between pump and substrate, should be understood when interpreting data sets associated with chemistry around a scaffold. No single, functional group alone is often the cause, but one group can accentuate the recognition points existing within a scaffold. This can be likened to a rheostat, rather than an on/off switch, where addition or removal of a key group can increase or decrease the pumping efficiency. The most practical approach to de-emphasize the limiting effects of P-gp on a particular scaffold is to increase passive diffusion. Efflux pumping efficiency may be overcome when passive diffusion is fast enough. Eliminating, or substituting with fewer, groups that solvate in water, or decreasing their hydrogen bonding capacity, and adding halogen groups can

  1. Rational, yet simple, design and synthesis of an antifreeze-protein inspired polymer for cellular cryopreservation.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Daniel E; Cameron, Neil R; Gibson, Matthew I

    2015-08-21

    Antifreeze (glyco) proteins AF(G)Ps are potent ice recrystallization inhibitors, which is a desirable property to enhance cryopreservation of donor tissue/cells. Here we present the rational synthesis of a new, biomimetic, ice-recrystallization inhibiting polymer derived from a cheap commodity polymer, based on an ampholyte structure. The polymer is used to enhance the cryopreservation of red blood cells, demonstrating a macromolecular solution to tissue storage.

  2. Understanding thermal adaptation of enzymes through the multistate rational design and stability prediction of 100 adenylate kinases.

    PubMed

    Howell, Stanley C; Inampudi, Krishna Kishore; Bean, Doyle P; Wilson, Corey J

    2014-02-04

    Careful balance between structural stability and flexibility is a hallmark of enzymatic function, and temperature can affect both properties. Canonical (fixed-backbone) enzyme design strategies currently do not consider the role of these properties. Herein, we describe the rational design of 100 temperature-adapted adenylate kinase enzymes using a multistate design strategy that incorporates the impact of conformational changes to backbone structure and stability, in addition to experimental analysis of thermostability and function. Comparison of the experimental temperature of maximum activity to the melting temperature across all 100 variants reveals a strong correlation between these two parameters. In turn, experimental stability data were used to produce accurate predictions of thermostability, providing the requisite complement for de novo temperature-adapted enzyme design. In principle, this level of design-based analysis can be applied to any protein, paving the way toward identifying and understanding the hallmarks of the thermodynamic and structural limits of function.

  3. Snakes and spin rotators

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, S.Y.

    1990-06-18

    The generalized snake configuration offers advantages of either shorter total snake length and smaller orbit displacement in the compact configuration or the multi-functions in the split configuration. We found that the compact configuration can save about 10% of the total length of a snake. On other hand, the spilt snake configuration can be used both as a snake and as a spin rotator for the helicity state. Using the orbit compensation dipoles, the spilt snake configuration can be located at any distance on both sides of the interaction point of a collider provided that there is no net dipole rotation between two halves of the snake. The generalized configuration is then applied to the partial snake excitation. Simple formula have been obtained to understand the behavior of the partial snake. Similar principle can also be applied to the spin rotators. We also estimate the possible snake imperfections are due to various construction errors of the dipole magnets. Accuracy of field error of better than 10{sup {minus}4} will be significant. 2 refs., 5 figs.

  4. Testing the limits of rational design by engineering pH sensitivity into membrane-active peptides.

    PubMed

    Wiedman, Gregory; Wimley, William C; Hristova, Kalina

    2015-04-01

    In this work, we sought to rationally design membrane-active peptides that are triggered by low pH to form macromolecular-sized pores in lipid bilayers. Such peptides could have broad utility in biotechnology and in nanomedicine as cancer therapeutics or drug delivery vehicles that promote release of macromolecules from endosomes. Our approach to rational design was to combine the properties of a pH-independent peptide, MelP5, which forms large pores allowing passage of macromolecules, with the properties of two pH-dependent membrane-active peptides, pHlip and GALA. We created two hybrid sequences, MelP5_Δ4 and MelP5_Δ6, by using the distribution of acidic residues on pHlip and GALA as a guide to insert acidic amino acids into the amphipathic helix of MelP5. We show that the new peptides bind to lipid bilayers and acquire secondary structure in a pH-dependent manner. The peptides also destabilize bilayers in a pH-dependent manner, such that lipid vesicles release the small molecules ANTS/DPX at low pH only. Thus, we were successful in designing pH-triggered pore-forming peptides. However, no macromolecular release was observed under any conditions. Therefore, we abolished the unique macromolecular poration properties of MelP5 by introducing pH sensitivity into its sequence. We conclude that the properties of pHlip, GALA, and MelP5 are additive, but only partially so. We propose that this lack of additivity is a limitation in the rational design of novel membrane-active peptides, and that high-throughput approaches to discovery will be critical for continued progress in the field.

  5. Trapping the arboreal snake Boiga irregularis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodda, G.H.; Rondeau, R.J.; Fritts, T.H.; Maughan, O.E.

    1992-01-01

    The snake Boiga irregularis, an exotic on Guam, has eliminated the majority of the native vertebrates there. We tested traps designed to control this arboreal snake during three periods of 20-41 days in 1988 and 1989. The relative trapping successes with different baits and trap configurations indicated that this snake will not readily push through a visually obstructed entrance. However, under some conditions, 80% of the snakes escaped from traps lacking a physical blockage at the entrance. Live bait was more successful than odoriferous bait alone, and odoriferous guide ropes that led to trap entrances did not enhance capture rates. These findings corroborate laboratory experiments indicating an unusually strong dependence on visual cues in this highly successful nocturnal predator.

  6. Rational Structure-Based Rescaffolding Approach to De Novo Design of Interleukin 10 (IL-10) Receptor-1 Mimetics

    PubMed Central

    Philipp, Jenny; Künze, Georg; Wodtke, Robert; Löser, Reik; Fahmy, Karim; Pisabarro, M. Teresa

    2016-01-01

    Tackling protein interfaces with small molecules capable of modulating protein-protein interactions remains a challenge in structure-based ligand design. Particularly arduous are cases in which the epitopes involved in molecular recognition have a non-structured and discontinuous nature. Here, the basic strategy of translating continuous binding epitopes into mimetic scaffolds cannot be applied, and other innovative approaches are therefore required. We present a structure-based rational approach involving the use of a regular expression syntax inspired in the well established PROSITE to define minimal descriptors of geometric and functional constraints signifying relevant functionalities for recognition in protein interfaces of non-continuous and unstructured nature. These descriptors feed a search engine that explores the currently available three-dimensional chemical space of the Protein Data Bank (PDB) in order to identify in a straightforward manner regular architectures containing the desired functionalities, which could be used as templates to guide the rational design of small natural-like scaffolds mimicking the targeted recognition site. The application of this rescaffolding strategy to the discovery of natural scaffolds incorporating a selection of functionalities of interleukin-10 receptor-1 (IL-10R1), which are relevant for its interaction with interleukin-10 (IL-10) has resulted in the de novo design of a new class of potent IL-10 peptidomimetic ligands. PMID:27123592

  7. Acceleration of Polarized Beams Using Multiple Strong Partial Siberian Snakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roser, T.; Ahrens, L. A.; Bai, M.; Courant, E. D.; Glenn, J. W.; Gupta, R. C.; Huang, H.; Luccio, A. U.; Mackay, W. W.; Tsoupas, N.; Willen, E.; Okamura, M.; Takano, J.

    2005-08-01

    Acceleration of polarized protons in the energy range of 5 to 25 GeV is particularly difficult since depolarizing spin resonances are strong enough to cause significant depolarization, but full Siberian snakes cause intolerably large orbit excursions. Using a 20 - 30 % partial Siberian snake, both imperfection and intrinsic resonances can be overcome. Such a strong partial Siberian snake was designed for the Brookhaven AGS using a dual pitch helical super-conducting dipole. Multiple strong partial snakes are also discussed for spin matching at beam injection and extraction.

  8. ACCELERATION OF POLARIZED BEAMS USING MULTIPLE STRONG PARTIAL SIBERIAN SNAKES.

    SciTech Connect

    ROSER,T.AHRENS,L.BAI,M.ET AL.

    2004-07-05

    Acceleration of polarized protons in the energy range of 5 to 25 GeV is particularly difficult since depolarizing spin resonances are strong enough to cause significant depolarization but full Siberian snakes cause intolerably large orbit excursions. Using a 20-30% partial Siberian snake both imperfection and intrinsic resonances can be overcome. Such a strong partial Siberian snake was designed for the Brookhaven AGS using a dual pitch helical superconducting dipole. Multiple strong partial snakes are also discussed for spin matching at beam injection and extraction.

  9. ACCELERATION OF POLARIZED BEAMS USING MULTIPLE STRONG PARTIAL SIBERIAN SNAKES.

    SciTech Connect

    ROSER,T.; AHRENS,L.; BAI,M.; COURANT,E.; GLENN,J.W.; GUPTA,R.C.; HUANG,H.; LUCCIO,A.U.; MACKAY,W.W.; TSOUPAS,N.; WILLEN,E.; OKAMURA,M.; TAKANO,J.

    2004-10-10

    Acceleration of polarized protons in the energy range of 5 to 25 GeV is particularly difficult since depolarizing spin resonances are strong enough to cause significant depolarization but full Siberian snakes cause intolerably large orbit excursions. Using a 20-30% partial Siberian snake both imperfection and intrinsic resonances can be overcome. Such a strong partial Siberian snake was designed for the Brookhaven AGS using a dual pitch helical superconducting dipole. Multiple strong partial snakes are also discussed for spin matching at beam injection and extraction.

  10. [Hygienic characteristics of daily ration, designed for military servicemen doing call-up military service].

    PubMed

    Smagulov, N K; Mukhametzhanov, A M

    2016-01-01

    The article gives the hygienic characteristics of the daily diet of soldiers doing call-up military service. The object of study--military servicemen aged 18-22 years doing call-up military service. The material of the study data was obtained from a continuous cross-sectional study of dietary intake among military personnel. Investigation pointed out that consumption of nutrients and energy value of the surveyed military personnel was broadly in accordance with recommended physiological requirements for nutrients and energy for this age group. However; despite the adequacy of energy supply, showed signs of imbalance on the nutrients of rations provided in the military establishment. Structure of consumption of products is not in full compliance with the existing recommendations of the Kazakh academy of Nutrition.

  11. Rational design for the stability improvement of Armillariella tabescens β-mannanase MAN47 based on N-glycosylation modification.

    PubMed

    Hu, Weixiong; Liu, Xiaoyun; Li, Yufeng; Liu, Daling; Kuang, Zhihe; Qian, Chuiwen; Yao, Dongsheng

    2017-02-01

    β-Mannanase has been widely used in industries such as food and feed processing and thus has been a target enzyme for biotechnological development. In this study, we sought to improve the stability and protease resistance of a recombinant β-mannanase, MAN47 from Armillariella tabescens, through rationally designed N-glycosylation. Based on homology modeling, molecular docking, secondary structure analysis and glycosylation feasibility analysis, an enhanced aromatic sequon sequence was introduced into specific MAN47 loop regions to facilitate N-glycosylation. The mutant enzymes were expressed in Pichia pastoris SMD1168, and their thermal stability, pH stability, trypsin resistance and pepsin resistance were determined. Two mutant MAN47 enzymes, g-123 and g-347, were glycosylated as expected when expressed in yeast, and their thermal stability, pH stability, and protease resistance were significantly improved compared to the wild-type enzyme. An enzyme with multiple stability characterizations has broad prospects in practical applications, and the rational design N-glycosylation strategy may have applications in simultaneously improving several properties of other biotechnological targets.

  12. Rational design of lipid molecular structure: a case study involving the C19:1c10 monoacylglycerol.

    PubMed Central

    Misquitta, Y; Caffrey, M

    2001-01-01

    The phase properties of lipids have far-reaching consequences in membrane biology. Their influence ranges from domain formation in intact biomembranes to membrane protein reconstitution and crystallization. To exploit phase behavior in the spirit of rational design, it is imperative that the rules relating lipid molecular structure and liquid crystal or mesophase behavior be established. Phase behavior is quantitatively and concisely represented in the form of temperature-composition phase diagrams. A somewhat limited number of phase diagrams exists for the monoacylglycerols. The objective of the current study was to determine the quality of phase behavior prediction for a specific monoacylglycerol based on an analysis of the existing phase diagrams for related chain homologs. To this end, a phase diagram for the monononadecenoin (19:1c10)/water system was predicted in the temperature range from -15 degrees C to 120 degrees C and from 0% to 80% (w/w) water. The prediction was tested by constructing the corresponding phase diagram using low- and wide-angle x-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, and polarized light microscopy. The results show that the predicted and experimental phase diagrams agree remarkably well. They also highlight the need for additional phase studies of the type described to enlarge the data bank of phase diagrams and to strengthen the foundations of the rational design approach. PMID:11463646

  13. Virtual screening and rational drug design method using structure generation system based on 3D-QSAR and docking.

    PubMed

    Chen, H F; Dong, X C; Zen, B S; Gao, K; Yuan, S G; Panaye, A; Doucet, J P; Fan, B T

    2003-08-01

    An efficient virtual and rational drug design method is presented. It combines virtual bioactive compound generation with 3D-QSAR model and docking. Using this method, it is possible to generate a lot of highly diverse molecules and find virtual active lead compounds. The method was validated by the study of a set of anti-tumor drugs. With the constraints of pharmacophore obtained by DISCO implemented in SYBYL 6.8, 97 virtual bioactive compounds were generated, and their anti-tumor activities were predicted by CoMFA. Eight structures with high activity were selected and screened by the 3D-QSAR model. The most active generated structure was further investigated by modifying its structure in order to increase the activity. A comparative docking study with telomeric receptor was carried out, and the results showed that the generated structures could form more stable complexes with receptor than the reference compound selected from experimental data. This investigation showed that the proposed method was a feasible way for rational drug design with high screening efficiency.

  14. The Rational Design of Allosteric Interactions in a Monomeric Protein and its Applications to the Construction of Biosensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marvin, J. S.; Corcoran, E. E.; Hattangadi, N. A.; Zhang, J. V.; Gere, S. A.; Hellinga, H. W.

    1997-04-01

    Rational protein design is an emerging approach for testing general theories of structure and function. The ability to manipulate function rationally also offers the possibility of creating new proteins of biotechnological value. Here we use the design approach to test the current understanding of the structural principles of allosteric interactions in proteins and demonstrate how a simple allosteric system can form the basis for the construction of a generic biosensor molecular engineering system. We have identified regions in Escherichia coli maltose-binding protein that are predicted to be allosterically linked to its maltose-binding site. Environmentally sensitive fluorophores were covalently attached to unique thiols introduced by cysteine mutations at specific sites within these regions. The fluorescence of such conjugates changes cooperatively with respect to maltose binding, as predicted. Spatial separation of the binding site and reporter groups allows the intrinsic properties of each to be manipulated independently. Provided allosteric linkage is maintained, ligand binding can therefore be altered without affecting transduction of the binding event by fluorescence. To demonstrate applicability to biosensor technology, we have introduced a series of point mutations in the maltose-binding site that lower the affinity of the protein for its ligand. These mutant proteins have been combined in a composite biosensor capable of measuring substrate concentration within 5% accuracy over a concentration range spanning five orders of magnitude.

  15. Evolutionary and Comparative Genomics to Drive Rational Drug Design, with Particular Focus on Neuropeptide Seven-Transmembrane Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Furlong, Michael; Seong, Jae Young

    2017-01-01

    Seven transmembrane receptors (7TMRs), also known as G protein-coupled receptors, are popular targets of drug development, particularly 7TMR systems that are activated by peptide ligands. Although many pharmaceutical drugs have been discovered via conventional bulk analysis techniques the increasing availability of structural and evolutionary data are facilitating change to rational, targeted drug design. This article discusses the appeal of neuropeptide-7TMR systems as drug targets and provides an overview of concepts in the evolution of vertebrate genomes and gene families. Subsequently, methods that use evolutionary concepts and comparative analysis techniques to aid in gene discovery, gene function identification, and novel drug design are provided along with case study examples. PMID:28035082

  16. Line width roughness reduction by rational design of photoacid generator for sub-millisecond laser post-exposure bake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Jing; Thompson, Michael O.; Ober, Christopher K.

    2014-03-01

    Sub-millisecond laser post-exposure bake (PEB) is an alternative technology to address the excessive acid diffusion for chemically amplified photoresist systems. By rationally designing the resist, laser post-exposure bake is able to improve the resolution and reduce the line width roughness (LWR) compared to patterns exposed under the same conditions but using conventional hotplate PEB. It was found that only the resist with high deprotection activation energy and low diffusion activation energy showed improved performance using laser PEB. Accordingly, a PAG was designed to have low acid diffusivity by binding the counter ions to a molecular glass core while keeping photophysical properties and processing conditions similar to a conventional PAG. By reducing the diffusivity of the counter ions, the PAG was able to further reduce LWR by 60% using laser PEB.

  17. The Web-Based DNA Vaccine Database DNAVaxDB and Its Usage for Rational DNA Vaccine Design.

    PubMed

    Racz, Rebecca; He, Yongqun

    2016-01-01

    A DNA vaccine is a vaccine that uses a mammalian expression vector to express one or more protein antigens and is administered in vivo to induce an adaptive immune response. Since the 1990s, a significant amount of research has been performed on DNA vaccines and the mechanisms behind them. To meet the needs of the DNA vaccine research community, we created DNAVaxDB ( http://www.violinet.org/dnavaxdb ), the first Web-based database and analysis resource of experimentally verified DNA vaccines. All the data in DNAVaxDB, which includes plasmids, antigens, vaccines, and sources, is manually curated and experimentally verified. This chapter goes over the detail of DNAVaxDB system and shows how the DNA vaccine database, combined with the Vaxign vaccine design tool, can be used for rational design of a DNA vaccine against a pathogen, such as Mycobacterium bovis.

  18. Snake fungal disease: An emerging threat to wild snakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorch, Jeffrey M.

    2016-01-01

    Snake fungal disease (SFD) is an emerging disease of wild snakes in eastern North America caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola. The data presented here describe: 1) the types of fungi recovered in culture from the skin of snakes with and without fungal skin infections, 2) the presence or absence of skin lesions in populations of snakes surveyed at several sites in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and 3) the various species of snakes that have been found to harbor O. ophiodiicola.

  19. A computational approach for the rational design of stable proteins and enzymes: optimization of surface charge-charge interactions.

    PubMed

    Schweiker, Katrina L; Makhatadze, George I

    2009-01-01

    The design of stable proteins and enzymes is not only of particular biotechnological importance, but also addresses some important fundamental questions. While there are a number of different options available for designing or engineering stable proteins, the field of computational design provides fast and universal methods for stabilizing proteins of interest. One of the successful computational design strategies focuses on stabilizing proteins through the optimization of charge-charge interactions on the protein surface. By optimizing surface interactions, it is possible to alleviate some of the challenges that accompany efforts to redesign the protein core. The rational design of surface charge-charge interactions also allows one to optimize only the interactions that are distant from binding sites or active sites, making it possible to increase stability without adversely affecting activity. The optimization of surface charge-charge interactions is discussed in detail along with the experimental evidence to demonstrate that this is a robust and universal approach to designing proteins with enhanced stability.

  20. Reviewing Ligand-Based Rational Drug Design: The Search for an ATP Synthase Inhibitor

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chia-Hsien; Huang, Hsuan-Cheng; Juan, Hsueh-Fen

    2011-01-01

    Following major advances in the field of medicinal chemistry, novel drugs can now be designed systematically, instead of relying on old trial and error approaches. Current drug design strategies can be classified as being either ligand- or structure-based depending on the design process. In this paper, by describing the search for an ATP synthase inhibitor, we review two frequently used approaches in ligand-based drug design: The pharmacophore model and the quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) method. Moreover, since ATP synthase ligands are potentially useful drugs in cancer therapy, pharmacophore models were constructed to pave the way for novel inhibitor designs. PMID:21954360

  1. A retrospective study of use of polyvalent anti-snake venom and risk factors for mortality from snake bite in a tertiary care setting

    PubMed Central

    Pore, Shraddha M.; Ramanand, Sunita J.; Patil, Praveenkumar T.; Gore, Alka D.; Pawar, Mayur P.; Gaidhankar, Smita L.; Ghanghas, Ravi R.

    2015-01-01

    Aims: Envenomation with poisonous snakes is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. The present study was undertaken with the objectives of assessing anti-snake venom (ASV) use, early adverse reactions to ASV, premedication and clinical outcomes in snake bite patients. Association of various risk factors (age, gender, dose of ASV, time gap between snake bite and ASV administration, use of mechanical ventilation and type of snake bite) with mortality was also assessed. Settings and Design: This retrospective study was conducted at two Tertiary Care Teaching Hospitals. Subjects and Methods: The medical records of 176 patients of snake bite with documented use of ASV were retrospectively analyzed to retrieve relevant data. Statistical Analysis: Descriptive statistics was used to express results about ASV use, early adverse reactions to ASV, premedication and clinical outcomes. Univariate and multivariate analysis was performed to find out significant risk factors associated with mortality. Results: The main indication for ASV was vasculotoxic snake bite (75%) followed by neurotoxic snake bite (16%). Mean dose of ASV was 18.63 ± 14.52 vials. Prophylactic premedication with corticosteroids alone or in combination with antihistaminic was used in more than 70% patients. Early adverse reactions to ASV were seen in 4% patients. Neurotoxic snake bite was a significant risk factor associated with mortality in multivariate analysis. Conclusions: Neurotoxic snake bite is an independent predictor of mortality in snake bite patients. Currently used polyvalent ASV may be less effective in treating neurotoxic snake bite. PMID:26069363

  2. Designing of skull defect implants using C1 rational cubic Bezier and offset curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohamed, Najihah; Majid, Ahmad Abd; Piah, Abd Rahni Mt; Rajion, Zainul Ahmad

    2015-05-01

    Some of the reasons to construct skull implant are due to head trauma after an accident or an injury or an infection or because of tumor invasion or when autogenous bone is not suitable for replacement after a decompressive craniectomy (DC). The main objective of our study is to develop a simple method to redesign missing parts of the skull. The procedure begins with segmentation, data approximation, and estimation process of the outer wall by a C1 continuous curve. Its offset curve is used to generate the inner wall. A metaheuristic algorithm, called harmony search (HS) is a derivative-free real parameter optimization algorithm inspired from the musical improvisation process of searching for a perfect state of harmony. In this study, data approximation by a rational cubic Bézier function uses HS to optimize position of middle points and value of the weights. All the phases contribute significantly in making our proposed technique automated. Graphical examples of several postoperative skulls are displayed to show the effectiveness of our proposed method.

  3. Rational design of MgB2 conductors toward practical applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patel, Dipak; Hossain, Md Shahriar Al; Motaman, Ashkan; Barua, Shaon; Shahabuddin, Mohammed; Kim, Jung Ho

    2014-09-01

    We report the research progress that has been made on developing rational MgB2 superconducting conductors toward practical applications. Owing to the poor performance of the critical current density (Jc) of bare MgB2, various techniques have been developed to overcome this obstacle. Among these, chemical doping has proved to be the most effective way to enhance the superconducting properties, such as Jc and the irreversibility field (Birr). More than a hundred different forms of dopants have been investigated over the past 13 years. Among these, the most effective dopants have been identified to be silicon carbide, carbon, and malic acid. The best results, Birr of 22 T and Jc of 40,000 A cm-2 at 4.2 K and 10 T, have been reported for malic acid treated MgB2 conductors, which have matched the benchmark performance of commercial low temperature superconductor wire such as Nb-Ti. This work will review and discuss the progress on MgB2 conductor development over the past few years at the University of Wollongong and Hyper Tech Research, Inc.

  4. A rational approach to the design and synthesis of a new bradykinin B(1) receptor antagonist.

    PubMed

    Bedos, P; Amblard, M; Subra, G; Dodey, P; Luccarini, J M; Paquet, J L; Pruneau, D; Aumelas, A; Martinez, J

    2000-06-15

    We have previously synthesized a potent and selective B(1) bradykinin receptor antagonist, JMV1645 (H-Lys-Arg-Pro-Hyp-Gly-Igl-Ser-D-BT-OH), containing a dipeptide mimetic ((3S)-amino-5-carbonylmethyl-2,3-dihydro-1, 5-benzothiazepin-4(5H)-one (D-BT) moiety) at the C-terminal. Analogues of this potent B(1) bradykinin receptor antagonist in which the central Pro(2)-Hyp(3)-Gly(4)-Igl(5) tetrapeptide has been replaced by constrained N-1-substituted-1,3,8-triazaspiro¿4. 5decan-4-one ring system were synthesized. Among these analogues, compound JMV1640 (1) was found to have an affinity of 24.10 +/- 9.48 nM for the human cloned B(1) receptor. It antagonized the ¿des-Arg(10)-kallidin-induced contraction of the human umbilical vein (pA(2) = 6.1 +/- 0.1). Compound 1 was devoid of agonist activity at the kinin B(1) receptor. Moreover, it did not bind to the human cloned B(2) receptor. Therefore, JMV1640 constitutes a lead compound for the rational search of nonpeptide B(1) receptor analogues based on the BK sequence.

  5. Physics of icing and rational design of surfaces with extraordinary icephobicity.

    PubMed

    Schutzius, Thomas M; Jung, Stefan; Maitra, Tanmoy; Eberle, Patric; Antonini, Carlo; Stamatopoulos, Christos; Poulikakos, Dimos

    2015-05-05

    Icing of surfaces is commonplace in nature and technology, affecting everyday life and sometimes causing catastrophic events. Understanding (and counteracting) surface icing brings with it significant scientific challenges that requires interdisciplinary knowledge from diverse scientific fields such as nucleation thermodynamics and heat transfer, fluid dynamics, surface chemistry, and surface nanoengineering. Here we discuss key aspects and findings related to the physics of ice formation on surfaces and show how such knowledge could be employed to rationally develop surfaces with extreme resistance to icing (extraordinary icephobicity). Although superhydrophobic surfaces with micro-, nano-, or (often biomimetic) hierarchical roughnesses have shown in laboratory settings (under certain conditions) excellent repellency and low adhesion to water down to temperatures near or below the freezing point, extreme icephobicity necessitates additional important functionalities. Other approaches, such as lubricant-impregnated surfaces, exhibit both advantages and serious limitations with respect to icing. In all, a clear path toward passive surfaces with extreme resistance to ice formation remains a challenge, but it is one well worth undertaking. Equally important to potential applications is scalable surface manufacturing and the ability of icephobic surfaces to perform reliably and sustainably outside the laboratory under adverse conditions. Surfaces should possess mechanical and chemical stability, and they should be thermally resilient. Such issues and related research directions are also addressed in this article.

  6. Rational design of broad spectrum antibacterial activity based on a clinically relevant enoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) reductase inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Schiebel, Johannes; Chang, Andrew; Shah, Sonam; Lu, Yang; Liu, Li; Pan, Pan; Hirschbeck, Maria W; Tareilus, Mona; Eltschkner, Sandra; Yu, Weixuan; Cummings, Jason E; Knudson, Susan E; Bommineni, Gopal R; Walker, Stephen G; Slayden, Richard A; Sotriffer, Christoph A; Tonge, Peter J; Kisker, Caroline

    2014-06-06

    Determining the molecular basis for target selectivity is of particular importance in drug discovery. The ideal antibiotic should be active against a broad spectrum of pathogenic organisms with a minimal effect on human targets. CG400549, a Staphylococcus-specific 2-pyridone compound that inhibits the enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (FabI), has recently been shown to possess human efficacy for the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections, which constitute a serious threat to human health. In this study, we solved the structures of three different FabI homologues in complex with several pyridone inhibitors, including CG400549. Based on these structures, we rationalize the 65-fold reduced affinity of CG400549 toward Escherichia coli versus S. aureus FabI and implement concepts to improve the spectrum of antibacterial activity. The identification of different conformational states along the reaction coordinate of the enzymatic hydride transfer provides an elegant visual depiction of the relationship between catalysis and inhibition, which facilitates rational inhibitor design. Ultimately, we developed the novel 4-pyridone-based FabI inhibitor PT166 that retained favorable pharmacokinetics and efficacy in a mouse model of S. aureus infection with extended activity against Gram-negative and mycobacterial organisms.

  7. Rational design of K173A substitution enhances thermostability coupled with catalytic activity of Enterobacter sp. Bn12 lipase.

    PubMed

    Farrokh, Parisa; Yakhchali, Bagher; Karkhane, Ali Asghar

    2014-01-01

    ELBn12 is a lipase isolated from Enterobacter sp. Bn12 with potential application in biotechnology. Homology modeling and rational design were applied to improve thermal stability of the lipase. K173A substitution introduced an AXXXA motif on the lipase model and it may have role in dimerization and thermostability of the protein. Site-directed mutagenesis was performed to construct the lipase variant. The mutated lipase was expressed in Escherichia coli pLysS and partially purified. Thermostability of the mutated lipase after 1 h of incubation at 70°C was twice that of wild-type lipase under the same conditions. Catalytic activity of the variant was about 1.5-fold towards tricaprylin at 60°C and pH 8.0; moreover, the lipase variant preserved its stability within the pH range of 7.0-11.0. Substitution of superficial hydrophilic Lys with hydrophobic Ala residue increased stability of the mutated lipase in the presence of nonionic surfactants, but this substitution caused lower stability towards polar solvents. Analysis of circular dichroism spectroscopy showed that the K173A mutation altered the secondary structure of the lipase into a more helical one. In conclusion, results of this study demonstrate the positive role of generation of a stabilizing protein motif through rational protein engineering that improves the enzyme characteristics.

  8. Rational design of thermostable vaccines by engineered peptide-induced virus self-biomineralization under physiological conditions

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guangchuan; Cao, Rui-Yuan; Chen, Rong; Mo, Lijuan; Han, Jian-Feng; Wang, Xiaoyu; Xu, Xurong; Jiang, Tao; Deng, Yong-Qiang; Lyu, Ke; Zhu, Shun-Ya; Tang, Ruikang; Qin, Cheng-Feng

    2013-01-01

    The development of vaccines against infectious diseases represents one of the most important contributions to medical science. However, vaccine-preventable diseases still cause millions of deaths each year due to the thermal instability and poor efficacy of vaccines. Using the human enterovirus type 71 vaccine strain as a model, we suggest a combined, rational design approach to improve the thermostability and immunogenicity of live vaccines by self-biomineralization. The biomimetic nucleating peptides are rationally integrated onto the capsid of enterovirus type 71 by reverse genetics so that calcium phosphate mineralization can be biologically induced onto vaccine surfaces under physiological conditions, generating a mineral exterior. This engineered self-biomineralized virus was characterized in detail for its unique structural, virological, and chemical properties. Analogous to many exteriors, the mineral coating confers some new properties on enclosed vaccines. The self-biomineralized vaccine can be stored at 26 °C for more than 9 d and at 37 °C for approximately 1 wk. Both in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrate that this engineered vaccine can be used efficiently after heat treatment or ambient temperature storage, which reduces the dependence on a cold chain. Such a combination of genetic technology and biomineralization provides an economic solution for current vaccination programs, especially in developing countries that lack expensive refrigeration infrastructures. PMID:23589862

  9. A Prospective Study in the Rational Design of Efficient Antisense Oligonucleotides for Exon Skipping in the DMD Gene

    PubMed Central

    Wee, Keng Boon; Wang, Jian Li; Chen, Yi Jun; Xiong, Qian Bin; Lai, Poh San; Yee, Woon Chee

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Antisense oligonucleotide (AON)-mediated exon skipping to restore dystrophin expression in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) therapy shown promise in a number of human clinical trials. Current AON design methods are semi-empirical, involving either trial-and-error and/or preliminary experimentations. Therefore, a rational approach to design efficient AONs to address the wide spectrum of patients' mutations is desirable. Retrospective studies have extracted many AON design variables, but they were not tested prospectively to design AONs for skipping DMD exons. Not only did the variables differ among the various studies, no numerical cutoff for each variable was inferred, which makes their use in AON design difficult. The challenge is to thus select a minimal set of key independent variables that can consistently design efficient AONs. In this prospective study, a novel set of design variables with respective cutoff values was used to design 23 novel AONs, each to skip one of nine DMD exons. Nineteen AONs were found to be efficacious in inducing specific exon skipping (83% of total), of which 14 were considered efficient (61% of total), i.e., they induced exon skipping in >25% of total transcripts. Notably, the satisfactory success rates were achieved by using only three design variables; namely, co-transcriptional binding accessibility of target site, presence of exonic splicing enhancers, and target length. Retrospective analyses revealed that the most efficient AON in every exon targeted has the lowest average cumulative position (ACP) score. Taking the prospective and retrospective studies together, we propose that design guidelines recommend using the ACP score to select the most efficient AON for each exon. PMID:22486275

  10. Rationally designed aberrant kinase-targeted endogenous protein nanomedicine against oncogene mutated/amplified refractory chronic myeloid leukemia.

    PubMed

    Retnakumari, Archana P; Hanumanthu, Prasanna Lakshmi; Malarvizhi, Giridharan L; Prabhu, Raghuveer; Sidharthan, Neeraj; Thampi, Madhavan V; Menon, Deepthy; Mony, Ullas; Menon, Krishnakumar; Keechilat, Pavithran; Nair, Shantikumar; Koyakutty, Manzoor

    2012-11-05

    Deregulated protein kinases play a very critical role in tumorigenesis, metastasis, and drug resistance of cancer. Although molecularly targeted small molecule kinase inhibitors (SMI) are effective against many types of cancer, point mutations in the kinase domain impart drug resistance, a major challenge in the clinic. A classic example is chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) caused by BCR-ABL fusion protein, wherein a BCR-ABL kinase inhibitor, imatinib (IM), was highly successful in the early chronic phase of the disease, but failed in the advanced stages due to amplification of oncogene or point mutations in the drug-binding site of kinase domain. Here, by identifying critical molecular pathways responsible for the drug-resistance in refractory CML patient samples and a model cell line, we have rationally designed an endogenous protein nanomedicine targeted to both cell surface receptors and aberrantly activated secondary kinase in the oncogenic network. Molecular diagnosis revealed that, in addition to point mutations and amplification of oncogenic BCR-ABL kinase, relapsed/refractory patients exhibited significant activation of STAT5 signaling with correlative overexpression of transferrin receptors (TfR) on the cell membrane. Accordingly, we have developed a human serum albumin (HSA) based nanomedicine, loaded with STAT5 inhibitor (sorafenib), and surface conjugated the same with holo-transferrin (Tf) ligands for TfR specific delivery. This dual-targeted "transferrin conjugated albumin bound sorafenib" nanomedicine (Tf-nAlb-Soraf), prepared using aqueous nanoprecipitation method, displayed uniform spherical morphology with average size of ∼150 nm and drug encapsulation efficiency of ∼74%. TfR specific uptake and enhanced antileukemic activity of the nanomedicine was found maximum in the most drug resistant patient sample having the highest level of STAT5 and TfR expression, thereby confirming the accuracy of our rational design and potential of dual

  11. The Promiscuity of [beta]-Strand Pairing Allows for Rational Design of [beta]-Sheet Face Inversion

    SciTech Connect

    Makabe, Koki; Koide, Shohei

    2009-06-17

    Recent studies suggest the dominant role of main-chain H-bond formation in specifying {beta}-sheet topology. Its essentially sequence-independent nature implies a large degree of freedom in designing {beta}-sheet-based nanomaterials. Here we show rational design of {beta}-sheet face inversions by incremental deletions of {beta}-strands from the single-layer {beta}-sheet of Borrelia outer surface protein A. We show that a {beta}-sheet structure can be maintained when a large number of native contacts are removed and that one can design large-scale conformational transitions of a {beta}-sheet such as face inversion by exploiting the promiscuity of strand-strand interactions. High-resolution X-ray crystal structures confirmed the success of the design and supported the importance of main-chain H-bonds in determining {beta}-sheet topology. This work suggests a simple but effective strategy for designing and controlling nanomaterials based on {beta}-rich peptide self-assemblies.

  12. Rational design of a new Trypanosoma rangeli trans-sialidase for efficient sialylation of glycans.

    PubMed

    Jers, Carsten; Michalak, Malwina; Larsen, Dorte M; Kepp, Kasper P; Li, Haiying; Guo, Yao; Kirpekar, Finn; Meyer, Anne S; Mikkelsen, Jørn D

    2014-01-01

    This paper reports rational engineering of Trypanosoma rangeli sialidase to develop an effective enzyme for a potentially important type of reactivity: production of sialylated prebiotic glycans. The Trypanosoma cruzi trans-sialidase and the homologous T. rangeli sialidase has previously been used to investigate the structural requirements for trans-sialidase activity. We observed that the T. cruzi trans-sialidase has a seven-amino-acid motif (197-203) at the border of the substrate binding cleft. The motif differs substantially in chemical properties and substitution probability from the homologous sialidase, and we hypothesised that this motif is important for trans-sialidase activity. The 197-203 motif is strongly positively charged with a marked change in hydrogen bond donor capacity as compared to the sialidase. To investigate the role of this motif, we expressed and characterised a T. rangeli sialidase mutant, Tr13. Conditions for efficient trans-sialylation were determined, and Tr13's acceptor specificity demonstrated promiscuity with respect to the acceptor molecule enabling sialylation of glycans containing terminal galactose and glucose and even monomers of glucose and fucose. Sialic acid is important in association with human milk oligosaccharides, and Tr13 was shown to sialylate a number of established and potential prebiotics. Initial evaluation of prebiotic potential using pure cultures demonstrated, albeit not selectively, growth of Bifidobacteria. Since the 197-203 motif stands out in the native trans-sialidase, is markedly different from the wild-type sialidase compared to previous mutants, and is shown here to confer efficient and broad trans-sialidase activity, we suggest that this motif can serve as a framework for future optimization of trans-sialylation towards prebiotic production.

  13. Rational Design of a New Trypanosoma rangeli Trans-Sialidase for Efficient Sialylation of Glycans

    PubMed Central

    Jers, Carsten; Michalak, Malwina; Larsen, Dorte M.; Kepp, Kasper P.; Li, Haiying; Guo, Yao; Kirpekar, Finn; Meyer, Anne S.; Mikkelsen, Jørn D.

    2014-01-01

    This paper reports rational engineering of Trypanosoma rangeli sialidase to develop an effective enzyme for a potentially important type of reactivity: production of sialylated prebiotic glycans. The Trypanosoma cruzi trans-sialidase and the homologous T. rangeli sialidase has previously been used to investigate the structural requirements for trans-sialidase activity. We observed that the T. cruzi trans-sialidase has a seven-amino-acid motif (197–203) at the border of the substrate binding cleft. The motif differs substantially in chemical properties and substitution probability from the homologous sialidase, and we hypothesised that this motif is important for trans-sialidase activity. The 197–203 motif is strongly positively charged with a marked change in hydrogen bond donor capacity as compared to the sialidase. To investigate the role of this motif, we expressed and characterised a T. rangeli sialidase mutant, Tr13. Conditions for efficient trans-sialylation were determined, and Tr13's acceptor specificity demonstrated promiscuity with respect to the acceptor molecule enabling sialylation of glycans containing terminal galactose and glucose and even monomers of glucose and fucose. Sialic acid is important in association with human milk oligosaccharides, and Tr13 was shown to sialylate a number of established and potential prebiotics. Initial evaluation of prebiotic potential using pure cultures demonstrated, albeit not selectively, growth of Bifidobacteria. Since the 197–203 motif stands out in the native trans-sialidase, is markedly different from the wild-type sialidase compared to previous mutants, and is shown here to confer efficient and broad trans-sialidase activity, we suggest that this motif can serve as a framework for future optimization of trans-sialylation towards prebiotic production. PMID:24404142

  14. Rational Design Synthesis and Evaluation of New Selective Inhibitors of Microbial Class II (Zinc Dependent) Fructose Bis-phosphate Aldolases

    SciTech Connect

    R Daher; M Coincon; M Fonvielle; P Gest; M Guerin; M Jackson; J Sygusch; M Therisod

    2011-12-31

    We report the synthesis and biochemical evaluation of several selective inhibitors of class II (zinc dependent) fructose bis-phosphate aldolases (Fba). The products were designed as transition-state analogues of the catalyzed reaction, structurally related to the substrate fructose bis-phosphate (or sedoheptulose bis-phosphate) and based on an N-substituted hydroxamic acid, as a chelator of the zinc ion present in active site. The compounds synthesized were tested on class II Fbas from various pathogenic microorganisms and, by comparison, on a mammalian class I Fba. The best inhibitor shows Ki against class II Fbas from various pathogens in the nM range, with very high selectivity (up to 105). Structural analyses of inhibitors in complex with aldolases rationalize and corroborate the enzymatic kinetics results. These inhibitors represent lead compounds for the preparation of new synthetic antibiotics, notably for tuberculosis prophylaxis.

  15. Rational Design of a Dephosphorylation-Resistant Reporter Enables Single-Cell Measurement of Tyrosine Kinase Activity.

    PubMed

    Turner, Abigail H; Lebhar, Michael S; Proctor, Angela; Wang, Qunzhao; Lawrence, David S; Allbritton, Nancy L

    2016-02-19

    Although peptide-based reporters of protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) activity have been used to study PTK enzymology in vitro, the application of these reporters to intracellular conditions is compromised by their dephosphorylation, preventing PTK activity measurements. Nonproteinogenic amino acids may be utilized to rationally design selective peptidic ligands by accessing greater chemical and structural diversity than is available using the native amino acids. We describe a peptidic reporter that, upon phosphorylation by the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), is resistant to dephosphorylation both in vitro and in cellulo. The reporter contains a conformationally constrained phosphorylatable moiety (7-(S)-hydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline-3-carboxylic acid) in the place of L-tyrosine and is efficiently phosphorylated in A431 epidermoid carcinoma cells. Dephosphorylation of the reporter occurs 3 orders of magnitude more slowly compared with that of the conventional tyrosine-containing reporter.

  16. Kinetic control over pathway complexity in supramolecular polymerization through modulating the energy landscape by rational molecular design.

    PubMed

    Ogi, Soichiro; Fukui, Tomoya; Jue, Melinda L; Takeuchi, Masayuki; Sugiyasu, Kazunori

    2014-12-22

    Far-from-equilibrium thermodynamic systems that are established as a consequence of coupled equilibria are the origin of the complex behavior of biological systems. Therefore, research in supramolecular chemistry has recently been shifting emphasis from a thermodynamic standpoint to a kinetic one; however, control over the complex kinetic processes is still in its infancy. Herein, we report our attempt to control the time evolution of supramolecular assembly in a process in which the supramolecular assembly transforms from a J-aggregate to an H-aggregate over time. The transformation proceeds through a delicate interplay of these two aggregation pathways. We have succeeded in modulating the energy landscape of the respective aggregates by a rational molecular design. On the basis of this understanding of the energy landscape, programming of the time evolution was achieved through adjusting the balance between the coupled equilibria.

  17. Final Report: Rational Design of Wide Band Gap Buffer Layers for High-Efficiency Thin-Film Photovoltaics

    SciTech Connect

    Lordi, Vincenzo

    2016-09-30

    The main objective of this project is to enable rational design of wide band gap buffer layer materials for CIGS thin-film PV by building understanding of the correlation of atomic-scale defects in the buffer layer and at the buffer/absorber interface with device electrical properties. Optimized wide band gap buffers are needed to reduce efficiency loss from parasitic absorption in the buffer. The approach uses first-principles materials simulations coupled with nanoscale analytical electron microscopy as well as device electrical characterization. Materials and devices are produced by an industrial partner in a manufacturing line to maximize relevance, with the goal of enabling R&D of new buffer layer compositions or deposition processes to push device efficiencies above 21%. Cadmium sulfide (CdS) is the reference material for analysis, as the prototypical high-performing buffer material.

  18. One-pot synthesis of MWW zeolite nanosheets using a rationally designed organic structure-directing agent

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Helen Y.; Michaelis, Vladimir K.; Hodges, Sydney; Griffin, Robert G.

    2015-01-01

    A new material MIT-1 comprised of delaminated MWW zeolite nanosheets is synthesized in one-pot using a rationally designed organic structure-directing agent (OSDA). The OSDA is comprised of a hydrophilic head segment that resembles the OSDA used to synthesize the zeolite precursor MCM22(P), a hydrophobic tail segment that resembles the swelling agent used to swell MCM22(P), and a di-quaternary ammonium linker that connects both segments. MIT-1 features high crystallinity and surface areas exceeding 500 m2g−1, and can be synthesized over a wide synthesis window that includes Si/Al ratios ranging from 13 to 67. Characterization data reveal high mesoporosity and acid strength with no detectable amorphous silica phases. Compared to MCM-22 and MCM-56, MIT-1 shows a three-fold increase in catalytic activity for the Friedel-Crafts alkylation of benzene with benzyl alcohol. PMID:26478803

  19. Controlling resistant bacteria with a novel class of β-lactamase inhibitor peptides: from rational design to in vivo analyses

    PubMed Central

    Mandal, Santi M.; Migliolo, Ludovico; Silva, Osmar N.; Fensterseifer, Isabel C. M.; Faria-Junior, Celio; Dias, Simoni C.; Basak, Amit; Hazra, Tapas K.; Franco, Octávio L.

    2014-01-01

    Peptide rational design was used here to guide the creation of two novel short β-lactamase inhibitors, here named dBLIP-1 and -2, with length of five amino acid residues. Molecular modeling associated with peptide synthesis improved bactericidal efficacy in addition to amoxicillin, ampicillin and cefotaxime. Docked structures were consistent with calorimetric analyses against bacterial β-lactamases. These two compounds were further tested in mice. Whereas commercial antibiotics alone failed to cure mice infected with Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli expressing β-lactamases, infection was cleared when treated with antibiotics in combination with dBLIPs, clearly suggesting that peptides were able to neutralize bacterial resistance. Moreover, immunological assays were also performed showing that dBLIPs were unable to modify mammalian immune response in both models, reducing the risks of collateral effects. In summary, the unusual peptides here described provide leads to overcome β-lactamase-based resistance, a remarkable clinical challenge. PMID:25109311

  20. Rational designed bipolar, conjugated polymer-DNA composite beacon for the sensitive detection of proteins and ions.

    PubMed

    Jia, Yongmei; Zuo, Xiaolei; Lou, Xiaoding; Miao, Mao; Cheng, Yong; Min, Xuehong; Li, Xinchun; Xia, Fan

    2015-04-07

    Nature owns remarkable capabilities in sensing target molecules, while the artificial biosensor lags far behind nature. Inspired by nature, we devise a new sensing platform that can specifically bind the molecules and synchronously initiate a specific signal response. We rationally designed a type of bipolar probe that is comprised of a hydrophilic DNA part and a hydrophobic conjugated polymer (CP) unit. In aqueous solution, they can form micelles with a hydrophobic CP core and a hydrophilic DNA shell. The aggregation-caused quenching suppresses the fluorescence of CP. Adding telomerase, the hydropathical profile of the bipolar probes is drastically regulated that results in the collapse of micelles and liberates fluorescence simultaneously. The probe has been used in both mimic systems and real urine samples (38 samples). We achieve sensitive and specific detection of telomerase and obtain clearly classification for normal people and cancer patients. It can also be used in a signal off sensor that is used to detect mercury ions.

  1. Comparative study of singlet oxygen production by photosensitiser dyes encapsulated in silicone: towards rational design of anti-microbial surfaces.

    PubMed

    Noimark, Sacha; Salvadori, Enrico; Gómez-Bombarelli, Rafael; MacRobert, Alexander J; Parkin, Ivan P; Kay, Christopher W M

    2016-10-12

    Surfaces with built-in antimicrobial activity have the potential to reduce hospital-acquired infections. One promising strategy is to create functionalised surfaces which, following illumination with visible light, are able to generate singlet oxygen under aerobic conditions. In contrast to antibiotics, the mechanism of bacterial kill by species derived from reactions with singlet oxygen is completely unselective, therefore offering little room for evolutionary adaptation. Here we consider five commercially available organic photosensitiser dyes encapsulated in silicone polymer that show varied antimicrobial activity. We correlate density functional theory calculations with UV-Vis spectroscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and singlet oxygen production measurements in order to define and test the elements required for efficacious antimicrobial activity. Our approach forms the basis for the rational in silico design and spectroscopic screening of simple and efficient self-sterilising surfaces made from cheap, low toxicity photosensitiser dyes encapsulated in silicone.

  2. One-pot synthesis of MWW zeolite nanosheets using a rationally designed organic structure-directing agent

    SciTech Connect

    Luo, Helen Y.; Michaelis, Vladimir K.; Hodges, Sydney; Griffin, Robert G.; Roman-Leshkov, Yuriy

    2015-07-22

    A new material MIT-1 comprised of delaminated MWW zeolite nanosheets is synthesized in one-pot using a rationally designed organic structure-directing agent (OSDA). The OSDA is comprised of a hydrophilic head segment that resembles the OSDA used to synthesize the zeolite precursor MCM22(P), a hydrophobic tail segment that resembles the swelling agent used to swell MCM22(P), and a di-quaternary ammonium linker that connects both segments. MIT-1 features high crystallinity and surface areas exceeding 500 m2g-1, and can be synthesized over a wide synthesis window that includes Si/Al ratios ranging from 13 to 67. Characterization data reveal high mesoporosity and acid strength with no detectable amorphous silica phases. In conclusion, compared to MCM-22 and MCM-56, MIT-1 shows a three-fold increase in catalytic activity for the Friedel-Crafts alkylation of benzene with benzyl alcohol.

  3. One-pot synthesis of MWW zeolite nanosheets using a rationally designed organic structure-directing agent

    DOE PAGES

    Luo, Helen Y.; Michaelis, Vladimir K.; Hodges, Sydney; ...

    2015-07-22

    A new material MIT-1 comprised of delaminated MWW zeolite nanosheets is synthesized in one-pot using a rationally designed organic structure-directing agent (OSDA). The OSDA is comprised of a hydrophilic head segment that resembles the OSDA used to synthesize the zeolite precursor MCM22(P), a hydrophobic tail segment that resembles the swelling agent used to swell MCM22(P), and a di-quaternary ammonium linker that connects both segments. MIT-1 features high crystallinity and surface areas exceeding 500 m2g-1, and can be synthesized over a wide synthesis window that includes Si/Al ratios ranging from 13 to 67. Characterization data reveal high mesoporosity and acid strengthmore » with no detectable amorphous silica phases. In conclusion, compared to MCM-22 and MCM-56, MIT-1 shows a three-fold increase in catalytic activity for the Friedel-Crafts alkylation of benzene with benzyl alcohol.« less

  4. Rational Design of Diketopyrrolopyrrole-Based Small Moleculesas Donating Materials for Organic Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Jin, Ruifa; Wang, Kai

    2015-08-27

    A series of diketopyrrolopyrrole-based small molecules have been designed to explore their optical, electronic, and charge transport properties as organic solar cell(OSCs) materials. The calculation results showed that the designed molecules can lower the band gap and extend the absorption spectrum towards longer wavelengths.The designed molecules own the large longest wavelength of absorption spectra,the oscillator strength, and absorption region values. The optical, electronic, and charge transport properties of the designed molecules are affected by the introduction of different π-bridges and end groups. We have also predicted the mobility of the designed molecule with the lowest total energies. Our results reveal that the designed molecules are expected to be promising candidates for OSC materials. Additionally, the designed molecules are expected to be promising candidates for electron and/or hole transport materials. On the basis of our results, we suggest that molecules under investigation are suitable donors for[6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) and its derivatives as acceptors of OSCs.

  5. Model-based rational feedback controller design for closed-loop deep brain stimulation of Parkinson's disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorzelic, P.; Schiff, S. J.; Sinha, A.

    2013-04-01

    Objective. To explore the use of classical feedback control methods to achieve an improved deep brain stimulation (DBS) algorithm for application to Parkinson's disease (PD). Approach. A computational model of PD dynamics was employed to develop model-based rational feedback controller design. The restoration of thalamocortical relay capabilities to patients suffering from PD is formulated as a feedback control problem with the DBS waveform serving as the control input. Two high-level control strategies are tested: one that is driven by an online estimate of thalamic reliability, and another that acts to eliminate substantial decreases in the inhibition from the globus pallidus interna (GPi) to the thalamus. Control laws inspired by traditional proportional-integral-derivative (PID) methodology are prescribed for each strategy and simulated on this computational model of the basal ganglia network. Main Results. For control based upon thalamic reliability, a strategy of frequency proportional control with proportional bias delivered the optimal control achieved for a given energy expenditure. In comparison, control based upon synaptic inhibitory output from the GPi performed very well in comparison with those of reliability-based control, with considerable further reduction in energy expenditure relative to that of open-loop DBS. The best controller performance was amplitude proportional with derivative control and integral bias, which is full PID control. We demonstrated how optimizing the three components of PID control is feasible in this setting, although the complexity of these optimization functions argues for adaptive methods in implementation. Significance. Our findings point to the potential value of model-based rational design of feedback controllers for Parkinson's disease.

  6. Insights into the Rational Design of Multi-Functional Fullerene Systems for Application in Blended Heterojunction Organic Solar Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowart, John S., Jr.

    Elucidating the structure-function relationships of organic semiconductors has been central to the advancement of organic photovoltaics (OPVs). In particular, enhancing the performance of p-type materials in disordered heterojunctions is broadly acknowledged as the principal factor leading to current trends of improved power conversion efficiencies (PCEs). However, two additional factors are crucially important for the next step forward in improving PCEs. First, investigating the influence, design and synthesis of new n-type materials, specifically fullerene acceptors, is of high importance. Second, because fullerene performance is often compromised by the morphological disorder of bulk heterojunctions, developing fullerenes systems that retain fidelity within disordered blends is also of broad interest. In light of these challenges, the field has witnessed a notable shift towards developing a comprehensive understanding of the design rules needed to advance the performance of fullerene acceptors in bulk heterojunctions. This work spotlights two multi-functional fullerene systems designed for blended heterojunctions. First, the synthesis of several novel fullerene-dye adducts with enhanced photon absorption will be presented. The ability of these adducts to absorb visible light in their pure state was evaluated and systematically examined versus their capacity to complement the absorption of low band gap donors and mediate charge transport in bulk heterojunctions. Second, mixed fullerene ternary blends were introduced as a strategy to stabilize the morphology in bulk heterojunctions and prolong operational lifetimes of OPV devices. Combined, these two systems offer unique insight into the rational design of fullerenes for their application in blended systems.

  7. Combined Bioinformatic and Rational Design Approach To Develop Antimicrobial Peptides against Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, C. Seth; Kloos, Zachary; Murray, Brian; Tabe, Ebot; Gupta, Monica; Kwak, Jun Ha; Karande, Pankaj

    2016-01-01

    Drug-resistant pathogens are a growing problem, and novel strategies are needed to combat this threat. Among the most significant of these resistant pathogens is Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is an unusually difficult microbial target due to its complex membrane. Here, we design peptides for specific activity against M. tuberculosis using a combination of “database filtering” bioinformatics, protein engineering, and de novo design. Several variants of these peptides are structurally characterized to validate the design process. The designed peptides exhibit potent activity (MIC values as low as 4 μM) against M. tuberculosis and also exhibit broad activity against a host of other clinically relevant pathogenic bacteria such as Gram-positive bacteria (Streptococcus) and Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli). They also display excellent selectivity, with low cytotoxicity against cultured macrophages and lung epithelial cells. These first-generation antimicrobial peptides serve as a platform for the design of antibiotics and for investigating structure-activity relationships in the context of the M. tuberculosis membrane. The antimicrobial peptide design strategy is expected to be generalizable for any pathogen for which an activity database can be created. PMID:26902758

  8. Rational mutagenesis to support structure-based drug design: MAPKAP kinase 2 as a case study

    PubMed Central

    Argiriadi, Maria A; Sousa, Silvino; Banach, David; Marcotte, Douglas; Xiang, Tao; Tomlinson, Medha J; Demers, Megan; Harris, Christopher; Kwak, Silvia; Hardman, Jennifer; Pietras, Margaret; Quinn, Lisa; DiMauro, Jennifer; Ni, Baofu; Mankovich, John; Borhani, David W; Talanian, Robert V; Sadhukhan, Ramkrishna

    2009-01-01

    Background Structure-based drug design (SBDD) can provide valuable guidance to drug discovery programs. Robust construct design and expression, protein purification and characterization, protein crystallization, and high-resolution diffraction are all needed for rapid, iterative inhibitor design. We describe here robust methods to support SBDD on an oral anti-cytokine drug target, human MAPKAP kinase 2 (MK2). Our goal was to obtain useful diffraction data with a large number of chemically diverse lead compounds. Although MK2 structures and structural methods have been reported previously, reproducibility was low and improved methods were needed. Results Our construct design strategy had four tactics: N- and C-terminal variations; entropy-reducing surface mutations; activation loop deletions; and pseudoactivation mutations. Generic, high-throughput methods for cloning and expression were coupled with automated liquid dispensing for the rapid testing of crystallization conditions with minimal sample requirements. Initial results led to development of a novel, customized robotic crystallization screen that yielded MK2/inhibitor complex crystals under many conditions in seven crystal forms. In all, 44 MK2 constructs were generated, ~500 crystals were tested for diffraction, and ~30 structures were determined, delivering high-impact structural data to support our MK2 drug design effort. Conclusion Key lessons included setting reasonable criteria for construct performance and prioritization, a willingness to design and use customized crystallization screens, and, crucially, initiation of high-throughput construct exploration very early in the drug discovery process. PMID:19296855

  9. Rational Mutagenesis to Support Structure-based Drug Design: MAPKAP Kinase 2 as a Case Study

    SciTech Connect

    M Argiriadi; S Sousa; D Banach; D Marcotte; T Xiang; M Tomlinson; M Demers; C Harris; S Kwak; et al.

    2011-12-31

    Structure-based drug design (SBDD) can provide valuable guidance to drug discovery programs. Robust construct design and expression, protein purification and characterization, protein crystallization, and high-resolution diffraction are all needed for rapid, iterative inhibitor design. We describe here robust methods to support SBDD on an oral anti-cytokine drug target, human MAPKAP kinase 2 (MK2). Our goal was to obtain useful diffraction data with a large number of chemically diverse lead compounds. Although MK2 structures and structural methods have been reported previously, reproducibility was low and improved methods were needed. Our construct design strategy had four tactics: N- and C-terminal variations; entropy-reducing surface mutations; activation loop deletions; and pseudoactivation mutations. Generic, high-throughput methods for cloning and expression were coupled with automated liquid dispensing for the rapid testing of crystallization conditions with minimal sample requirements. Initial results led to development of a novel, customized robotic crystallization screen that yielded MK2/inhibitor complex crystals under many conditions in seven crystal forms. In all, 44 MK2 constructs were generated, {approx}500 crystals were tested for diffraction, and {approx}30 structures were determined, delivering high-impact structural data to support our MK2 drug design effort. Key lessons included setting reasonable criteria for construct performance and prioritization, a willingness to design and use customized crystallization screens, and, crucially, initiation of high-throughput construct exploration very early in the drug discovery process.

  10. Standby Gasoline Rationing Plan

    SciTech Connect

    1980-06-01

    The final rules adopted by the President for a Standby Gasoline Rationing Plan are presented. The plan provides that eligibility for ration allotments will be determined primarily on the basis of motor vehicle registrations, taking into account historical differences in the use of gasoline among states. The regulations also provide authority for supplemental allotments to firms so that their allotment will equal a specified percentage of gasoline use during a base period. Priority classifications, i.e., agriculture, defense, etc., are established to assure adequate gasoline supplies for designated essential services. Ration rights must be provided by end-users to their suppliers for each gallon sold. DOE will regulate the distribution of gasoline at the wholesale level according to the transfer by suppliers of redeemed ration rights and the gasoline allocation regulations. Ration rights are transferable. A ration banking system is created to facilitate transfers of ration rights. Each state will be provided with a reserve of ration rights to provide for hardship needs and to alleviate inequities. (DC)

  11. Roles of glutamates and metal ions in a rationally designed nitric oxide reductase based on myoglobin

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Y.W.; Robinson, H.; Yeung, N.; Gao, Y.-G.; Miner, K. D.; Tian, S.; Lu, Y.

    2010-05-11

    A structural and functional model of bacterial nitric oxide reductase (NOR) has been designed by introducing two glutamates (Glu) and three histidines (His) in sperm whale myoglobin. X-ray structural data indicate that the three His and one Glu (V68E) residues bind iron, mimicking the putative FeB site in NOR, while the second Glu (I107E) interacts with a water molecule and forms a hydrogen bonding network in the designed protein. Unlike the first Glu (V68E), which lowered the heme reduction potential by {approx}110 mV, the second Glu has little effect on the heme potential, suggesting that the negatively charged Glu has a different role in redox tuning. More importantly, introducing the second Glu resulted in a {approx}100% increase in NOR activity, suggesting the importance of a hydrogen bonding network in facilitating proton delivery during NOR reactivity. In addition, EPR and X-ray structural studies indicate that the designed protein binds iron, copper, or zinc in the FeB site, each with different effects on the structures and NOR activities, suggesting that both redox activity and an intermediate five-coordinate heme-NO species are important for high NOR activity. The designed protein offers an excellent model for NOR and demonstrates the power of using designed proteins as a simpler and more well-defined system to address important chemical and biological issues.

  12. Roles of Glutamates and Metal ions in a Rationally Designed Nitric Oxide Reductase Based on Myoglobin

    SciTech Connect

    Y Lin; N Yeung; Y Gao; K Miner; S Tian; H Robinson; Y Lu

    2011-12-31

    A structural and functional model of bacterial nitric oxide reductase (NOR) has been designed by introducing two glutamates (Glu) and three histidines (His) in sperm whale myoglobin. X-ray structural data indicate that the three His and one Glu (V68E) residues bind iron, mimicking the putative FeB site in NOR, while the second Glu (I107E) interacts with a water molecule and forms a hydrogen bonding network in the designed protein. Unlike the first Glu (V68E), which lowered the heme reduction potential by {approx}110 mV, the second Glu has little effect on the heme potential, suggesting that the negatively charged Glu has a different role in redox tuning. More importantly, introducing the second Glu resulted in a {approx}100% increase in NOR activity, suggesting the importance of a hydrogen bonding network in facilitating proton delivery during NOR reactivity. In addition, EPR and X-ray structural studies indicate that the designed protein binds iron, copper, or zinc in the FeB site, each with different effects on the structures and NOR activities, suggesting that both redox activity and an intermediate five-coordinate heme-NO species are important for high NOR activity. The designed protein offers an excellent model for NOR and demonstrates the power of using designed proteins as a simpler and more well-defined system to address important chemical and biological issues.

  13. Development of a rational design procedure for a pressure recovery system for HPCL

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Sehoon; Jin, Jungkun; Kwon, Hyuckmo; Kwon, Sejin

    2005-03-01

    From the geometric parameter study, an optimal ejector design procedure of pressure recovery system for chemical lasers was acquired. For given primary flow reservoir conditions, an up-scaled ejector was designed and manufactured. In the performance test, secondary mass flow rate of 200g/s air was entrained satisfying the design secondary pressure, 40 ~ 50torr. Performance validation of a supersonic ejector system along with an investigation of effects of supersonic diffuser was conducted. Placement of the diffuser at the secondary inlet further reduced diffuser upstream pressure to 7torr. Lastly, the duplicate of apparatus (air 100 g/s secondary mass flow rate each) was built and connected in parallel to assess proportionality behavior on a system to handle larger mass flow rate. Test and comparison of the parallel unit demonstrated the secondary mass flow rate was proportional to the number of individual units that were brought together maintaining the lasing pressure.

  14. Rational design of chemical genetic probes of RNA function and lead therapeutics targeting repeating transcripts

    PubMed Central

    Disney, Matthew D.

    2013-01-01

    RNA is an important yet vastly underexploited target for small molecule chemical probes or lead therapeutics. Small molecules have been used successfully to modulate the function of the bacterial ribosome, viral RNAs and riboswitches. These RNAs are either highly expressed or can be targeted using substrate mimicry, a mainstay in the design of enzyme inhibitors. However, most cellular RNAs are neither highly expressed nor have a lead small molecule inhibitor, a significant challenge for drug discovery efforts. Herein, I describe the design of small molecules targeting expanded repeating transcripts that cause myotonic muscular dystrophy (DM). These test cases illustrate the challenges of designing small molecules that target RNA and the advantages of targeting repeating transcripts. Lastly, I discuss how small molecules might be more advantageous than oligonucleotides for targeting RNA. PMID:23939337

  15. Rational design of chemical genetic probes of RNA function and lead therapeutics targeting repeating transcripts.

    PubMed

    Disney, Matthew D

    2013-12-01

    RNA is an important yet vastly underexploited target for small molecule chemical probes or lead therapeutics. Small molecules have been used successfully to modulate the function of the bacterial ribosome, viral RNAs and riboswitches. These RNAs are either highly expressed or can be targeted using substrate mimicry, a mainstay in the design of enzyme inhibitors. However, most cellular RNAs are neither highly expressed nor have a lead small molecule inhibitor, a significant challenge for drug discovery efforts. Herein, I describe the design of small molecules targeting expanded repeating transcripts that cause myotonic muscular dystrophy (DM). These test cases illustrate the challenges of designing small molecules that target RNA and the advantages of targeting repeating transcripts. Lastly, I discuss how small molecules might be more advantageous than oligonucleotides for targeting RNA.

  16. A minimal length rigid helical peptide motif allows rational design of modular surfactants

    PubMed Central

    Mondal, Sudipta; Varenik, Maxim; Bloch, Daniel Nir; Atsmon-Raz, Yoav; Jacoby, Guy; Adler-Abramovich, Lihi; Shimon, Linda J.W.; Beck, Roy; Miller, Yifat; Regev, Oren; Gazit, Ehud

    2017-01-01

    Extensive work has been invested in the design of bio-inspired peptide emulsifiers. Yet, none of the formulated surfactants were based on the utilization of the robust conformation and self-assembly tendencies presented by the hydrophobins, which exhibited highest surface activity among all known proteins. Here we show that a minimalist design scheme could be employed to fabricate rigid helical peptides to mimic the rigid conformation and the helical amphipathic organization. These designer building blocks, containing natural non-coded α-aminoisobutyric acid (Aib), form superhelical assemblies as confirmed by crystallography and microscopy. The peptide sequence is amenable to structural modularity and provides the highest stable emulsions reported so far for peptide and protein emulsifiers. Moreover, we establish the ability of short peptides to perform the dual functions of emulsifiers and thickeners, a feature that typically requires synergistic effects of surfactants and polysaccharides. This work provides a different paradigm for the molecular engineering of bioemulsifiers. PMID:28084315

  17. A minimal length rigid helical peptide motif allows rational design of modular surfactants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mondal, Sudipta; Varenik, Maxim; Bloch, Daniel Nir; Atsmon-Raz, Yoav; Jacoby, Guy; Adler-Abramovich, Lihi; Shimon, Linda J. W.; Beck, Roy; Miller, Yifat; Regev, Oren; Gazit, Ehud

    2017-01-01

    Extensive work has been invested in the design of bio-inspired peptide emulsifiers. Yet, none of the formulated surfactants were based on the utilization of the robust conformation and self-assembly tendencies presented by the hydrophobins, which exhibited highest surface activity among all known proteins. Here we show that a minimalist design scheme could be employed to fabricate rigid helical peptides to mimic the rigid conformation and the helical amphipathic organization. These designer building blocks, containing natural non-coded α-aminoisobutyric acid (Aib), form superhelical assemblies as confirmed by crystallography and microscopy. The peptide sequence is amenable to structural modularity and provides the highest stable emulsions reported so far for peptide and protein emulsifiers. Moreover, we establish the ability of short peptides to perform the dual functions of emulsifiers and thickeners, a feature that typically requires synergistic effects of surfactants and polysaccharides. This work provides a different paradigm for the molecular engineering of bioemulsifiers.

  18. Rational design of FRET sensor proteins based on mutually exclusive domain interactions.

    PubMed

    Merkx, Maarten; Golynskiy, Misha V; Lindenburg, Laurens H; Vinkenborg, Jan L

    2013-10-01

    Proteins that switch between distinct conformational states are ideal to monitor and control molecular processes within the complexity of biological systems. Inspired by the modular architecture of natural signalling proteins, our group explores generic design strategies for the construction of FRET-based sensor proteins and other protein switches. In the present article, I show that designing FRET sensors based on mutually exclusive domain interactions provides a robust method to engineer sensors with predictable properties and an inherently large change in emission ratio. The modularity of this approach should make it easily transferable to other applications of protein switches in fields ranging from synthetic biology, optogenetics and molecular diagnostics.

  19. Snake Filament Eruption

    NASA Video Gallery

    A very long solar filament that had been snaking around the Sun erupted on Dec. 6, 2010 with a flourish. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) caught the action in dramatic detail in extreme ultr...

  20. Approaching rational epitope vaccine design for hepatitis C virus with meta-server and multivalent scaffolding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Linling; Cheng, Yushao; Kong, Leopold; Azadnia, Parisa; Giang, Erick; Kim, Justin; Wood, Malcolm R.; Wilson, Ian A.; Law, Mansun; Zhu, Jiang

    2015-08-01

    Development of a prophylactic vaccine against hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been hampered by the extraordinary viral diversity and the poor host immune response. Scaffolding, by grafting an epitope onto a heterologous protein scaffold, offers a possible solution to epitope vaccine design. In this study, we designed and characterized epitope vaccine antigens for the antigenic sites of HCV envelope glycoproteins E1 (residues 314-324) and E2 (residues 412-423), for which neutralizing antibody-bound structures are available. We first combined six structural alignment algorithms in a “scaffolding meta-server” to search for diverse scaffolds that can structurally accommodate the HCV epitopes. For each antigenic site, ten scaffolds were selected for computational design, and the resulting epitope scaffolds were analyzed using structure-scoring functions and molecular dynamics simulation. We experimentally confirmed that three E1 and five E2 epitope scaffolds bound to their respective neutralizing antibodies, but with different kinetics. We then investigated a “multivalent scaffolding” approach by displaying 24 copies of an epitope scaffold on a self-assembling nanoparticle, which markedly increased the avidity of antibody binding. Our study thus demonstrates the utility of a multi-scale scaffolding strategy in epitope vaccine design and provides promising HCV immunogens for further assessment in vivo.

  1. Rational Design of Regulators of Programmed Cell Death in Human Breast Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-07-01

    The purpose of this research is to develop a better understanding of the intricate pathways of cell death and their contributions to breast cancers...basis for a set of molecular interactions that regulate programmed cell death , and allow the design of novel interventional agents that have investigative and therapeutic potential.

  2. Rational design of a non-canonical "sticky-ended" collagen triple helix.

    PubMed

    Jalan, Abhishek A; Jochim, Katherine A; Hartgerink, Jeffrey D

    2014-05-28

    In a canonical collagen triple helix, three peptides self-assemble into a supercoiled motif with a one-amino-acid offset between the peptide chains. Design of triple helices that contain more than one residue offset is lucrative, as it leaves the non-covalent interactions unsatisfied at the termini and renders the termini "sticky" to further self-assemble into collagen-like nanofibers. Here we use lysine-glutamate axial salt-bridges to design a heterotrimeric collagen triple helix, ABC-1, containing a non-canonical offset of four residues between the peptide chains. The four-residue offset is necessary to prevent aggregation, which would prevent characterization of the non-canonical chain arrangement at the molecular level by NMR spectroscopy. A second heterotrimer, ABC-2, also stabilized by axial salt-bridges, is designed containing a canonical one-amino-acid offset to facilitate comparison of structure and stability by CD and NMR. ABC-1 and ABC-2 demonstrate our ability to modulate chain offset in a collagen triple helix. This lays the groundwork to design longer, and therefore stickier, offsets allowing access to a new class of collagen-related nanostructures.

  3. Computational Protein Engineering: Bridging the Gap between Rational Design and Laboratory Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Barrozo, Alexandre; Borstnar, Rok; Marloie, Gaël; Kamerlin, Shina Caroline Lynn

    2012-01-01

    Enzymes are tremendously proficient catalysts, which can be used as extracellular catalysts for a whole host of processes, from chemical synthesis to the generation of novel biofuels. For them to be more amenable to the needs of biotechnology, however, it is often necessary to be able to manipulate their physico-chemical properties in an efficient and streamlined manner, and, ideally, to be able to train them to catalyze completely new reactions. Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in different approaches to achieve this, both in the laboratory, and in silico. There remains, however, a gap between current approaches to computational enzyme design, which have primarily focused on the early stages of the design process, and laboratory evolution, which is an extremely powerful tool for enzyme redesign, but will always be limited by the vastness of sequence space combined with the low frequency for desirable mutations. This review discusses different approaches towards computational enzyme design and demonstrates how combining newly developed screening approaches that can rapidly predict potential mutation “hotspots” with approaches that can quantitatively and reliably dissect the catalytic step can bridge the gap that currently exists between computational enzyme design and laboratory evolution studies. PMID:23202907

  4. Peer Mentoring in Long-Term Care: Rational, Design, and Retention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hegeman, Carol; Hoskinson, Debi; Munro, Heather; Maiden, Patricia; Pillemer, Karl

    2007-01-01

    This article describes two successful peer-mentoring programs designed to improve the quality of care in nursing homes and retention rates among direct care staff. The first program, "Growing Strong Roots," examined CNA retention rates and the second program, "Peer Mentoring for Long Term Charge Nurses," examined RN and LPN retention rates. These…

  5. Rationally designed mutations convert de novo amyloid-like fibrils into monomeric beta-sheet proteins.

    PubMed

    Wang, Weixun; Hecht, Michael H

    2002-03-05

    Amyloid fibrils are associated with a variety of neurodegenerative maladies including Alzheimer's disease and the prion diseases. The structures of amyloid fibrils are composed of beta-strands oriented orthogonal to the fibril axis ("cross beta" structure). We previously reported the design and characterization of a combinatorial library of de novo beta-sheet proteins that self-assemble into fibrillar structures resembling amyloid. The libraries were designed by using a "binary code" strategy, in which the locations of polar and nonpolar residues are specified explicitly, but the identities of these residues are not specified and are varied combinatorially. The initial libraries were designed to encode proteins containing amphiphilic beta-strands separated by reverse turns. Each beta-strand was designed to be seven residues long, with polar (open circle) and nonpolar (shaded circle) amino acids arranged with an alternating periodicity ([see text]). The initial design specified the identical polar/nonpolar pattern for all of the beta-strands; no strand was explicitly designated to form the edges of the resulting beta-sheets. With all beta-strands preferring to occupy interior (as opposed to edge) locations, intermolecular oligomerization was favored, and the proteins assembled into amyloid-like fibrils. To assess whether explicit design of edge-favoring strands might tip the balance in favor of monomeric beta-sheet proteins, we have now redesigned the first and/or last beta-strands of several sequences from the original library. In the redesigned beta-strands, the binary pattern is changed from [see text] (K denotes lysine). The presence of a lysine on the nonpolar face of a beta-strand should disfavor fibrillar structures because such structures would bury an uncompensated charge. The nonpolar right arrow lysine mutations, therefore, would be expected to favor monomeric structures in which the [see text] sequences form edge strands with the charged lysine side

  6. Rational design of ultrastable and reversibly photoswitchable fluorescent proteins for super-resolution imaging of the bacterial periplasm

    PubMed Central

    El Khatib, Mariam; Martins, Alexandre; Bourgeois, Dominique; Colletier, Jacques-Philippe; Adam, Virgile

    2016-01-01

    Phototransformable fluorescent proteins are central to several nanoscopy approaches. As yet however, there is no available variant allowing super-resolution imaging in cell compartments that maintain oxidative conditions. Here, we report the rational design of two reversibly switchable fluorescent proteins able to fold and photoswitch in the bacterial periplasm, rsFolder and rsFolder2. rsFolder was designed by hybridisation of Superfolder-GFP with rsEGFP2, and inherited the fast folding properties of the former together with the rapid switching of the latter, but at the cost of a reduced switching contrast. Structural characterisation of the switching mechanisms of rsFolder and rsEGFP2 revealed different scenarios for chromophore cis-trans isomerisation and allowed designing rsFolder2, a variant of rsFolder that exhibits improved switching contrast and is amenable to RESOLFT nanoscopy. The rsFolders can be efficiently expressed in the E. coli periplasm, opening the door to the nanoscale investigation of proteins localised in hitherto non-observable cellular compartments. PMID:26732634

  7. Rational design of alpha-helical tandem repeat proteins with closed architectures

    PubMed Central

    Doyle, Lindsey; Hallinan, Jazmine; Bolduc, Jill; Parmeggiani, Fabio; Baker, David; Stoddard, Barry L.; Bradley, Philip

    2015-01-01

    Tandem repeat proteins, which are formed by repetition of modular units of protein sequence and structure, play important biological roles as macromolecular binding and scaffolding domains, enzymes, and building blocks for the assembly of fibrous materials1,2. The modular nature of repeat proteins enables the rapid construction and diversification of extended binding surfaces by duplication and recombination of simple building blocks3,4. The overall architecture of tandem repeat protein structures – which is dictated by the internal geometry and local packing of the repeat building blocks – is highly diverse, ranging from extended, super-helical folds that bind peptide, DNA, and RNA partners5–9, to closed and compact conformations with internal cavities suitable for small molecule binding and catalysis10. Here we report the development and validation of computational methods for de novo design of tandem repeat protein architectures driven purely by geometric criteria defining the inter-repeat geometry, without reference to the sequences and structures of existing repeat protein families. We have applied these methods to design a series of closed alpha-solenoid11 repeat structures (alpha-toroids) in which the inter-repeat packing geometry is constrained so as to juxtapose the N- and C-termini; several of these designed structures have been validated by X-ray crystallography. Unlike previous approaches to tandem repeat protein engineering12–20, our design procedure does not rely on template sequence or structural information taken from natural repeat proteins and hence can produce structures unlike those seen in nature. As an example, we have successfully designed and validated closed alpha-solenoid repeats with a left-handed helical architecture that – to our knowledge – is not yet present in the protein structure database21. PMID:26675735

  8. Pulmonoscopy of Snakes.

    PubMed

    Knotek, Zdenek; Jekl, Vladimir

    2015-09-01

    Pulmonoscopy is a practical diagnostic tool for investigating respiratory diseases in snakes. Two different approaches exist for pulmonoscopy, tracheal and transcutaneous. The access to the proximal or distal lung is limited by the length and diameter of the endoscope when using the tracheal approach. The transcutaneous approach allows direct evaluation of the lung and distal trachea through the air sac. Both of the methods are safe, and specific contraindications for pulmonoscopy in snakes are not known except for any anesthesia contraindication.

  9. A rational design for the separation of metallic and semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes using a magnetic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Chengzhi; Wan, Da; Jia, Junji; Li, Delong; Pan, Chunxu; Liao, Lei

    2016-06-01

    The separation of metallic (m-) and semiconducting (s-) single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) without causing contamination and damage is a major challenge for SWNT-based devices. As a facile and nondestructive tool, the use of a magnetic field could be an ideal strategy to separate m-/s-SWNTs, based on the difference of magnetic susceptibilities. Here, we designed a novel magnetic field-assisted floating catalyst chemical vapor deposition system to separate m-/s-SWNTs. Briefly, m-SWNTs are attracted toward the magnetic pole, leaving s-SWNTs on the substrate. By using this strategy, s-SWNTs with a purity of 99% could be obtained, which is enough to construct high-performance transistors with a mobility of 230 cm2 V-1 s-1 and an on/off ratio of 106. We also established a model to quantitatively calculate the percentage of m-SWNTs on the substrate and this model shows a good match with the experimental data. Furthermore, our rational design also provides a new avenue for the growth of SWNTs with specific chirality and manipulated arrangement due to the difference of magnetic susceptibilities between different diameters, chiralities, and types.The separation of metallic (m-) and semiconducting (s-) single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) without causing contamination and damage is a major challenge for SWNT-based devices. As a facile and nondestructive tool, the use of a magnetic field could be an ideal strategy to separate m-/s-SWNTs, based on the difference of magnetic susceptibilities. Here, we designed a novel magnetic field-assisted floating catalyst chemical vapor deposition system to separate m-/s-SWNTs. Briefly, m-SWNTs are attracted toward the magnetic pole, leaving s-SWNTs on the substrate. By using this strategy, s-SWNTs with a purity of 99% could be obtained, which is enough to construct high-performance transistors with a mobility of 230 cm2 V-1 s-1 and an on/off ratio of 106. We also established a model to quantitatively calculate the percentage of m

  10. Rationally designed fluorescently labeled sulfate-binding protein mutants: evaluation in the development of a sensing system for sulfate.

    PubMed

    Shrestha, Suresh; Salins, Lyndon L E; Mark Ensor, C; Daunert, Sylvia

    2002-06-05

    Periplasmic binding proteins from E. coli undergo large conformational changes upon binding their respective ligands. By attaching a fluorescent probe at rationally selected unique sites on the protein, these conformational changes in the protein can be monitored by measuring the changes in fluorescence intensity of the probe which allow the development of reagentless sensing systems for their corresponding ligands. In this work, we evaluated several sites on bacterial periplasmic sulfate-binding protein (SBP) for attachment of a fluorescent probe and rationally designed a reagentless sensing system for sulfate. Eight different mutants of SBP were prepared by employing the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to introduce a unique cysteine residue at a specific location on the protein. The sites Gly55, Ser90, Ser129, Ala140, Leu145, Ser171, Val181, and Gly186 were chosen for mutagenesis by studying the three-dimensional X-ray crystal structure of SBP. An environment-sensitive fluorescent probe (MDCC) was then attached site-specifically to the protein through the sulfhydryl group of the unique cysteine residue introduced. Each fluorescent probe-conjugated SBP mutant was characterized in terms of its fluorescence properties and Ser171 was determined to be the best site for the attachment of the fluorescent probe that would allow for the development of a reagentless sensing system for sulfate. Three different environment-sensitive fluorescent probes (1,5-IAEDANS, MDCC, and acylodan) were studied with the SBP171 mutant protein. A calibration curve for sulfate was constructed using the labeled protein and relating the change in the fluorescence intensity with the amount of sulfate present in the sample. The detection limit for sulfate was found to be in the submicromolar range using this system. The selectivity of the sensing system was demonstrated by evaluating its response to other anions. A fast and selective sensing system with detection limits for sulfate in the

  11. Rationally designed fluorescently labeled sulfate-binding protein mutants: evaluation in the development of a sensing system for sulfate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shrestha, Suresh; Salins, Lyndon L E.; Mark Ensor, C.; Daunert, Sylvia

    2002-01-01

    Periplasmic binding proteins from E. coli undergo large conformational changes upon binding their respective ligands. By attaching a fluorescent probe at rationally selected unique sites on the protein, these conformational changes in the protein can be monitored by measuring the changes in fluorescence intensity of the probe which allow the development of reagentless sensing systems for their corresponding ligands. In this work, we evaluated several sites on bacterial periplasmic sulfate-binding protein (SBP) for attachment of a fluorescent probe and rationally designed a reagentless sensing system for sulfate. Eight different mutants of SBP were prepared by employing the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to introduce a unique cysteine residue at a specific location on the protein. The sites Gly55, Ser90, Ser129, Ala140, Leu145, Ser171, Val181, and Gly186 were chosen for mutagenesis by studying the three-dimensional X-ray crystal structure of SBP. An environment-sensitive fluorescent probe (MDCC) was then attached site-specifically to the protein through the sulfhydryl group of the unique cysteine residue introduced. Each fluorescent probe-conjugated SBP mutant was characterized in terms of its fluorescence properties and Ser171 was determined to be the best site for the attachment of the fluorescent probe that would allow for the development of a reagentless sensing system for sulfate. Three different environment-sensitive fluorescent probes (1,5-IAEDANS, MDCC, and acylodan) were studied with the SBP171 mutant protein. A calibration curve for sulfate was constructed using the labeled protein and relating the change in the fluorescence intensity with the amount of sulfate present in the sample. The detection limit for sulfate was found to be in the submicromolar range using this system. The selectivity of the sensing system was demonstrated by evaluating its response to other anions. A fast and selective sensing system with detection limits for sulfate in the

  12. Translating HIV sequences into quantitative fitness landscapes predicts viral vulnerabilities for rational immunogen design.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Andrew L; Mann, Jaclyn K; Omarjee, Saleha; Ndung'u, Thumbi; Walker, Bruce D; Chakraborty, Arup K

    2013-03-21

    A prophylactic or therapeutic vaccine offers the best hope to curb the HIV-AIDS epidemic gripping sub-Saharan Africa, but it remains elusive. A major challenge is the extreme viral sequence variability among strains. Systematic means to guide immunogen design for highly variable pathogens like HIV are not available. Using computational models, we have developed an approach to translate available viral sequence data into quantitative landscapes of viral fitness as a function of the amino acid sequences of its constituent proteins. Predictions emerging from our computationally defined landscapes for the proteins of HIV-1 clade B Gag were positively tested against new in vitro fitness measurements and were consistent with previously defined in vitro measurements and clinical observations. These landscapes chart the peaks and valleys of viral fitness as protein sequences change and inform the design of immunogens and therapies that can target regions of the virus most vulnerable to selection pressure.

  13. Rational design and simple chemistry yield a superior, neuroprotective HDAC6 inhibitor, tubastatin A.

    PubMed

    Butler, Kyle V; Kalin, Jay; Brochier, Camille; Vistoli, Guilio; Langley, Brett; Kozikowski, Alan P

    2010-08-11

    Structure-based drug design combined with homology modeling techniques were used to develop potent inhibitors of HDAC6 that display superior selectivity for the HDAC6 isozyme compared to other inhibitors. These inhibitors can be assembled in a few synthetic steps, and thus are readily scaled up for in vivo studies. An optimized compound from this series, designated Tubastatin A, was tested in primary cortical neuron cultures in which it was found to induce elevated levels of acetylated alpha-tubulin, but not histone, consistent with its HDAC6 selectivity. Tubastatin A also conferred dose-dependent protection in primary cortical neuron cultures against glutathione depletion-induced oxidative stress. Importantly, when given alone at all concentrations tested, this hydroxamate-containing HDAC6-selective compound displayed no neuronal toxicity, thus, forecasting the potential application of this agent and its analogues to neurodegenerative conditions.

  14. Translating HIV sequences into quantitative fitness landscapes predicts viral vulnerabilities for rational immunogen design

    PubMed Central

    Ferguson, Andrew L.; Mann, Jaclyn K.; Omarjee, Saleha; Ndung’u, Thumbi; Walker, Bruce D.; Chakraborty, Arup K.

    2013-01-01

    Summary A prophylactic or therapeutic vaccine offers the best hope to curb the HIV-AIDS epidemic gripping sub-Saharan Africa, but remains elusive. A major challenge is the extreme viral sequence variability among strains. Systematic means to guide immunogen design for highly variable pathogens like HIV are not available. Using computational models, we have developed an approach to translate available viral sequence data into quantitative landscapes of viral fitness as a function of the amino acid sequences of its constituent proteins. Predictions emerging from our computationally defined landscapes for the proteins of HIV-1 clade B Gag were positively tested against new in vitro fitness measurements, and were consistent with previously defined in vitro measurements and clinical observations. These landscapes chart the peaks and valleys of viral fitness as protein sequences change, and inform the design of immunogens and therapies that can target regions of the virus most vulnerable to selection pressure. PMID:23521886

  15. Rational use of plasma protein and tissue binding data in drug design.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xingrong; Wright, Matthew; Hop, Cornelis E C A

    2014-10-23

    It is a commonly accepted assumption that only unbound drug molecules are available to interact with their targets. Therefore, one of the objectives in drug design is to optimize the compound structure to increase in vivo unbound drug concentration. In this review, theoretical analyses and experimental observations are presented to illustrate that low plasma protein binding does not necessarily lead to high in vivo unbound plasma concentration. Similarly, low brain tissue binding does not lead to high in vivo unbound brain tissue concentration. Instead, low intrinsic clearance leads to high in vivo unbound plasma concentration, and low efflux transport activity at the blood-brain barrier leads to high unbound brain concentration. Plasma protein and brain tissue binding are very important parameters in understanding pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and toxicities of drugs, but these parameters should not be targeted for optimization in drug design.

  16. A unique peptide deformylase platform to rationally design and challenge novel active compounds

    PubMed Central

    Fieulaine, Sonia; Alves de Sousa, Rodolphe; Maigre, Laure; Hamiche, Karim; Alimi, Mickael; Bolla, Jean-Michel; Taleb, Abbass; Denis, Alexis; Pagès, Jean-Marie; Artaud, Isabelle; Meinnel, Thierry; Giglione, Carmela

    2016-01-01

    Peptide deformylase (PDF) is considered an excellent target to develop antibiotics. We have performed an extensive characterization of a new PDF from the pathogen Streptococcus agalactiae, showing properties similar to other known PDFs. S. agalactiae PDF could be used as PDF prototype as it allowed to get complete sets of 3-dimensional, biophysical and kinetic data with virtually any inhibitor compound. Structure-activity relationship analysis with this single reference system allowed us to reveal distinct binding modes for different PDF inhibitors and the key role of a hydrogen bond in potentiating the interaction between ligand and target. We propose this protein as an irreplaceable tool, allowing easy and relevant fine comparisons between series, to design, challenge and validate novel series of inhibitors. As proof-of-concept, we report here the design and synthesis of effective specific bacterial PDF inhibitors of an oxadiazole series with potent antimicrobial activity against a multidrug resistant clinical isolate. PMID:27762275

  17. Rational design of metal ion sequestering agents. 1998 annual progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Raymond, K.N.

    1998-06-01

    'This project addresses fundamental issues and requirements in developing hazardous metal ion separation technologies needed in the treatment and disposal of radioactive and chemical toxic waste. It encompasses the synthesis of new agents, followed by their characterization and evaluation, with the aim to optimize their metal ion sequestering properties for use in applied technologies. This research is focused on the following key areas: (1) basic design and synthesis of new metal ion specific sequestering ligands; (2) structural and thermodynamic investigations of these ligands and their complexes formed with the targeted metal ions; and (3) development of sequestering agents and their incorporation into systems designed to be prototypes of inexpensive and highly effective materials for hazardous metal ion decontamination. Basic studies of the sequestration of relevant toxic metals are required in order to develop processes that will treat effluents sufficiently well to allow direct release into the environment and minimize the production of secondary wastes.'

  18. Enhanced Photoelectrochemical Performance from Rationally Designed Anatase/Rutile TiO2 Heterostructures.

    PubMed

    Cao, Fengren; Xiong, Jie; Wu, Fangli; Liu, Qiong; Shi, Zhiwei; Yu, Yanhao; Wang, Xudong; Li, Liang

    2016-05-18

    In a photoelectrochemical (PEC) cell for water splitting, the critical issue is charge separation and transport, which is usually completed by designing semiconductor heterojunctions. TiO2 anatase-rutile mixed junctions could largely improve photocatalytic properties, but impairs PEC water splitting performance. We designed and prepared two types of TiO2 heterostructures with the anatase thin film and rutile nanowire phases organized in different sequences. The two types of heterostructures were used as PEC photoanodes for water splitting and demonstrated completely opposite results. Rutile nanowires on anatase film demonstrated enhanced photocurrent density and onset potential, whereas strong negative performance was obtained from anatase film on rutile nanowire structures. The mechanism was investigated by photoresponse, light absorption and reflectance, and electrochemical impedance spectra. This work revealed the significant role of phase sequence in performance gain of anatase-rutile TiO2 heterostructured PEC photoanodes.

  19. Rational design of substituted diarylureas: a scaffold for binding to G-quadruplex motifs

    PubMed Central

    Drewe, William C.; Nanjunda, Rupesh; Gunaratnam, Mekala; Beltran, Monica; Parkinson, Gary N.; Reszka, Anthony P.; Wilson, W. David; Neidle, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    The design and synthesis of a series of urea-based non-polycyclic aromatic ligands with alkylaminoanilino side chains as telomeric and genomic G-quadruplex DNA interacting agents is described. Their interactions with quadruplexes have been examined by means of Fluorescent Resonance Energy Transfer melting, circular dichroism and surface plasmon resonance-based assays. These validate the design concept for such urea-based ligands and also show that they have significant selectivity for compared to duplex DNA, as well as for particular G-quadruplexes. The ligand-quadruplex complexes were investigated by computational molecular modeling, providing further information on structure activity relationships. Preliminary biological studies using short-term cell growth inhibition assays show that some of the ligands have cancer cell selectivity, although they appear to have low potency for intracellular telomeric G-quadruplex structures, suggesting that their cellular targets may be other, possibly oncogene-related quadruplexes. PMID:19053833

  20. Rationally designed fluorogenic protease reporter visualizes spatiotemporal dynamics of apoptosis in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Piggott, Beverly J.; Makhijani, Kalpana; Yu, Dan; Jan, Yuh Nung; Shu, Xiaokun

    2015-01-01

    Fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based reporters have been widely used in imaging cell signaling; however, their in vivo application has been handicapped because of poor signal. Although fluorogenic reporters overcome this problem, no such reporter of proteases has been demonstrated for in vivo imaging. Now we have redesigned an infrared fluorescent protein so that its chromophore incorporation is regulated by protease activity. Upon protease activation, the infrared fluorogenic protease reporter becomes fluorescent with no requirement of exogenous cofactor. To demonstrate biological applications, we have designed an infrared fluorogenic executioner-caspase reporter, which reveals spatiotemporal coordination between cell apoptosis and embryonic morphogenesis, as well as dynamics of apoptosis during tumorigenesis in Drosophila. The designed scaffold may be used to engineer reporters of other proteases with specific cleavage sequence. PMID:25733847

  1. Rational design of orally-active, pyrrolidine-based progesterone receptor partial agonists

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, Scott K.; Washburn, David G.; Frazee, James S.; Madauss, Kevin P.; Hoang, Tram H.; Lapinski, Leahann; Grygielko, Eugene T.; Glace, Lindsay E.; Trizna, Walter; Williams, Shawn P.; Duraiswami, Chaya; Bray, Jeffrey D.; Laping, Nicholas J.

    2010-09-03

    Using the X-ray crystal structure of an amide-based progesterone receptor (PR) partial agonist bound to the PR ligand binding domain, a novel PR partial agonist class containing a pyrrolidine ring was designed. Members of this class of N-alkylpyrrolidines demonstrate potent and highly selective partial agonism of the progesterone receptor, and one of these analogs was shown to be efficacious upon oral dosing in the OVX rat model of estrogen opposition.

  2. Rational design of dynamic ammonium salt catalysts towards more flexible and selective function

    PubMed Central

    Ishihara, Kazuaki

    2009-01-01

    This review focuses on the development of dynamic ammonium salt catalysis for selective organic transformations conducted in our laboratory since 2002. Several important concepts in designing of catalysts are described with some examples. In particular, the practial synthesis of chiral 1,1′-binaphthyl-2,2′-disulfonic acid (BINSA) and its application in chiral ammonium salt catalysis for the enantioselective direct Mannich-type reaction are described. PMID:19838010

  3. Systematic generation of chemical structures for rational drug design based on QSAR models.

    PubMed

    Funatsu, Kimito; Miyao, Tomoyuki; Arakawa, Masamoto

    2011-03-01

    The first step in the process of drug development is to determine those lead compounds that demonstrate significant biological activity with regard to a target protein. Because this process is often costly and time consuming, there is a need to develop efficient methodologies for the generation of lead compounds for practical drug design. One promising approach for determining a potent lead compound is computational virtual screening. The biological activities of candidate structures found in virtual libraries are estimated by using quantitative structure activity relationship (QSAR) models and/or computational docking simulations. In virtual screening studies, databases of existing drugs or natural products are commonly used as a source of lead candidates. However, these databases are not sufficient for the purpose of finding lead candidates having novel scaffolds. Therefore, a method must be developed to generate novel molecular structures to indicate high activity for efficient lead discovery. In this paper, we review current trends in structure generation methods for drug design and discuss future directions. First, we present an overview of lead discovery and drug design, and then, we review structure generation methods. Here, the structure generation methods are classified on the basis of whether or not they employ QSAR models for generating structures. We conclude that the use of QSAR models for structure generation is an effective method for computational lead discovery. Finally, we discuss the problems regarding the applicability domain of QSAR models and future directions in this field.

  4. Observation of snake resonances at Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bai, M.; Ahrens, L.; Alekseev, I. G.; Alessi, J.; Courant, E.; Drees, A.; Fischer, W.; Gardner, C.; Gill, R.; Glenn, J.; Huang, H.; Litvinenko, V.; Luccio, A.; Luo, Y.; Pilat, F.; MacKay, W. W.; Makdisi, Y.; Marusic, A.; Minty, M.; Montag, C.; Ptitsyn, V.; Roser, T.; Svirida, D.; Satogata, T.; Tepikian, S.; Trbojevic, D.; Tsoupas, N.; Zelenski, A.; Zeno, K.; Zhang, S. Y.

    2011-05-01

    The Siberian snakes are powerful tools in preserving polarization in high energy accelerators has been demonstrated at the Brookhaven Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). Equipped with two full Siberian snakes in each ring, polarization is preserved during acceleration from injection to 100 GeV. However, the Siberian snakes also introduce a new set of depolarization resonances, i.e. snake resonances as first discoverd by Lee and Tepikian [1]. The intrinsic spin resonances above 100 GeV are about a factor of two stronger than those below 100 GeV which raises the challenge to preserve the polarization up to 250 GeV. In 2009, polarized protons collided for the first time at the RHIC design store energy of 250 GeV. This paper presents the experimental measurements of snake resonances at RHIC. The plan for avoiding these resonanances is also presented.

  5. Observation of snake resonances at Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider

    SciTech Connect

    Bai, M.; Ahrens, L.; Alekseev, I.G.; Alessi, J.; et al

    2010-09-27

    The Siberian snakes are powerful tools in preserving polarization in high energy accelerators has been demonstrated at the Brookhaven Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). Equipped with two full Siberian snakes in each ring, polarization is preserved during acceleration from injection to 100 GeV. However, the Siberian snakes also introduce a new set of depolarization resonances, i.e. snake resonances as first discovered by Lee and Tepikian. The intrinsic spin resonances above 100 GeV are about a factor of two stronger than those below 100 GeV which raises the challenge to preserve the polarization up to 250 GeV. In 2009, polarized protons collided for the first time at the RHIC design store energy of 250 GeV. This paper presents the experimental measurements of snake resonances at RHIC. The plan for avoiding these resonances is also presented.

  6. Research on Snake-Like Robot with Controllable Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Kailin; Zhao, Yuting; Chen, Shuping

    The purpose of this paper is to propose a new structure for a snake-like robot. This type of snake-like robot is different from the normal snake-like robot because it has lots of controllable scales which have a large role in helping moving. Besides, a new form of robot gait named as linear motion mode is developed based on theoretical analysis for the new mechanical structure. Through simulation and analysis in simmechanics of matlab, we proved the validity of theories about the motion mode of snake-like robot. The proposed machine construction and control method for the designed motion is verified experimentally by the independent developed snake robot.

  7. Multi-terrain locomotor interactions in flying snakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeaton, Isaac; Baumgardner, Grant; Ross, Shane; Socha, John

    Arboreal snakes of the genus Chrysopelea are the only known snakes to glide. To execute aerial locomotion, a snake uses one of several stereotyped jumps from a tree into the air, while simultaneously flattening its body into an aerodynamically favorable shape. Large amplitude traveling waves are propagated posteriorly during the stable glide, while landing involves body wrapping, passive body compression, and energy absorption through compliance in the landing substrate to dissipate the accumulated kinetic energy from the glide. In all of these locomotor events, from interacting with cylindrical branches, falling through the air, grasping compliant tree branches and leaves, to landing on solid ground, snakes appropriate the same body morphology and perhaps the same basic neural mechanisms. Here we discuss our use of computational models and animal experiments to understand how flying snakes interact with and locomote on and through multiple media, potentially providing principles for legless locomotor designs. Supported by NSF 1351322.

  8. Rational materials design of sorbent coatings for explosives: applications with chemical sensors.

    PubMed

    Houser, E J; Mlsna, T E; Nguyen, V K; Chung, R; Mowery, R L; Andrew McGill, R

    2001-05-10

    A series of chemoselective polymers had been designed and synthesized to enhance the sorption properties of polymer coated chemical sensors for polynitroaromatic analytes. To evaluate the effectiveness of the chemoselective coatings, a polynitroaromatic vapor test bed was utilized to challenge polymer coated surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices with different explosive vapors. Dinitrotoluene detection limits were determined to be in the <100 parts per trillion ranges. ATR-FTIR studies were used to determine the nature of the polymer-polynitroaromatic analyte interactions, and confirm the presence of hydrogen-bonding between polymer pendant groups and the nitro functional groups of polynitroaromatic explosive materials.

  9. Rational design of cyclopropane-based chiral PHOX ligands for intermolecular asymmetric Heck reaction

    PubMed Central

    Rubina, Marina; Sherrill, William M; Barkov, Alexey Yu

    2014-01-01

    Summary A novel class of chiral phosphanyl-oxazoline (PHOX) ligands with a conformationally rigid cyclopropyl backbone was synthesized and tested in the intermolecular asymmetric Heck reaction. Mechanistic modelling and crystallographic studies were used to predict the optimal ligand structure and helped to design a very efficient and highly selective catalytic system. Employment of the optimized ligands in the asymmetric arylation of cyclic olefins allowed for achieving high enantioselectivities and significantly suppressing product isomerization. Factors affecting the selectivity and the rate of the isomerization were identified. It was shown that the nature of this isomerization is different from that demonstrated previously using chiral diphosphine ligands. PMID:25161709

  10. 50 CFR 226.205 - Critical habitat for Snake River sockeye salmon, Snake River fall chinook salmon, and Snake River...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Critical habitat for Snake River sockeye... ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.205 Critical habitat for... critical habitat for each species follows. Hydrologic units (table 3) are those defined by the...

  11. 50 CFR 226.205 - Critical habitat for Snake River sockeye salmon, Snake River fall chinook salmon, and Snake River...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Critical habitat for Snake River sockeye... ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.205 Critical habitat for... critical habitat for each species follows. Hydrologic units (table 3) are those defined by the...

  12. Functionalized Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes as Rationally Designed Vehicles for Tumor-Targeted Drug Delivery

    SciTech Connect

    Chen,J.; Wong,S.; Chen, S.; Zhao, X.; Kuznetsova, L.V.; and Ojima, I.

    2008-11-14

    A novel single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT)-based tumor-targeted drug delivery system (DDS) has been developed, which consists of a functionalized SWNT linked to tumor-targeting modules as well as prodrug modules. There are three key features of this nanoscale DDS: (a) use of functionalized SWNTs as a biocompatible platform for the delivery of therapeutic drugs or diagnostics, (b) conjugation of prodrug modules of an anticancer agent (taxoid with a cleavable linker) that is activated to its cytotoxic form inside the tumor cells upon internalization and in situ drug release, and (c) attachment of tumor-recognition modules (biotin and a spacer) to the nanotube surface. To prove the efficacy of this DDS, three fluorescent and fluorogenic molecular probes were designed, synthesized, characterized, and subjected to the analysis of the receptor-mediated endocytosis and drug release inside the cancer cells (L1210FR leukemia cell line) by means of confocal fluorescence microscopy. The specificity and cytotoxicity of the conjugate have also been assessed and compared with L1210 and human noncancerous cell lines. Then, it has unambiguously been proven that this tumor-targeting DDS works exactly as designed and shows high potency toward specific cancer cell lines, thereby forming a solid foundation for further development.

  13. Current progress in Structure-Based Rational Drug Design marks a new mindset in drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Lounnas, Valère; Ritschel, Tina; Kelder, Jan; McGuire, Ross; Bywater, Robert P.; Foloppe, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    The past decade has witnessed a paradigm shift in preclinical drug discovery with structure-based drug design (SBDD) making a comeback while high-throughput screening (HTS) methods have continued to generate disappointing results. There is a deficit of information between identified hits and the many criteria that must be fulfilled in parallel to convert them into preclinical candidates that have a real chance to become a drug. This gap can be bridged by investigating the interactions between the ligands and their receptors. Accurate calculations of the free energy of binding are still elusive; however progresses were made with respect to how one may deal with the versatile role of water. A corpus of knowledge combining X-ray structures, bioinformatics and molecular modeling techniques now allows drug designers to routinely produce receptor homology models of increasing quality. These models serve as a basis to establish and validate efficient rationales used to tailor and/or screen virtual libraries with enhanced chances of obtaining hits. Many case reports of successful SBDD show how synergy can be gained from the combined use of several techniques. The role of SBDD with respect to two different classes of widely investigated pharmaceutical targets: (a) protein kinases (PK) and (b) G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) is discussed. Throughout these examples prototypical situations covering the current possibilities and limitations of SBDD are presented. PMID:24688704

  14. Rational design of inducible CRISPR guide RNAs for de novo assembly of transcriptional programs

    PubMed Central

    Ferry, Quentin R. V.; Lyutova, Radostina; Fulga, Tudor A.

    2017-01-01

    CRISPR-based transcription regulators (CRISPR-TRs) have transformed the current synthetic biology landscape by allowing specific activation or repression of any target gene. Here we report a modular and versatile framework enabling rapid implementation of inducible CRISPR-TRs in mammalian cells. This strategy relies on the design of a spacer-blocking hairpin (SBH) structure at the 5′ end of the single guide RNA (sgRNA), which abrogates the function of CRISPR-transcriptional activators. By replacing the SBH loop with ligand-controlled RNA-cleaving units, we demonstrate conditional activation of quiescent sgRNAs programmed to respond to genetically encoded or externally delivered triggers. We use this system to couple multiple synthetic and endogenous target genes with specific inducers, and assemble gene regulatory modules demonstrating parallel and orthogonal transcriptional programs. We anticipate that this ‘plug and play' approach will be a valuable addition to the synthetic biology toolkit, facilitating the understanding of natural gene circuits and the design of cell-based therapeutic strategies. PMID:28256578

  15. Modular Dispensability of Dysferlin C2 Domains Reveals Rational Design for Mini-dysferlin Molecules*

    PubMed Central

    Azakir, Bilal A.; Di Fulvio, Sabrina; Salomon, Steven; Brockhoff, Marielle; Therrien, Christian; Sinnreich, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Dysferlin is a large transmembrane protein composed of a C-terminal transmembrane domain, two DysF domains, and seven C2 domains that mediate lipid- and protein-binding interactions. Recessive loss-of-function mutations in dysferlin lead to muscular dystrophies, for which no treatment is currently available. The large size of dysferlin precludes its encapsulation into an adeno-associated virus (AAV), the vector of choice for gene delivery to muscle. To design mini-dysferlin molecules suitable for AAV-mediated gene transfer, we tested internally truncated dysferlin constructs, each lacking one of the seven C2 domains, for their ability to localize to the plasma membrane and to repair laser-induced plasmalemmal wounds in dysferlin-deficient human myoblasts. We demonstrate that the dysferlin C2B, C2C, C2D, and C2E domains are dispensable for correct plasmalemmal localization. Furthermore, we show that the C2B, C2C, and C2E domains and, to a lesser extent, the C2D domain are dispensable for dysferlin membrane repair function. On the basis of these results, we designed small dysferlin molecules that can localize to the plasma membrane and reseal laser-induced plasmalemmal injuries and that are small enough to be incorporated into AAV. These results lay the groundwork for AAV-mediated gene therapy experiments in dysferlin-deficient mouse models. PMID:22736764

  16. Rational design of inducible CRISPR guide RNAs for de novo assembly of transcriptional programs.

    PubMed

    Ferry, Quentin R V; Lyutova, Radostina; Fulga, Tudor A

    2017-03-03

    CRISPR-based transcription regulators (CRISPR-TRs) have transformed the current synthetic biology landscape by allowing specific activation or repression of any target gene. Here we report a modular and versatile framework enabling rapid implementation of inducible CRISPR-TRs in mammalian cells. This strategy relies on the design of a spacer-blocking hairpin (SBH) structure at the 5' end of the single guide RNA (sgRNA), which abrogates the function of CRISPR-transcriptional activators. By replacing the SBH loop with ligand-controlled RNA-cleaving units, we demonstrate conditional activation of quiescent sgRNAs programmed to respond to genetically encoded or externally delivered triggers. We use this system to couple multiple synthetic and endogenous target genes with specific inducers, and assemble gene regulatory modules demonstrating parallel and orthogonal transcriptional programs. We anticipate that this 'plug and play' approach will be a valuable addition to the synthetic biology toolkit, facilitating the understanding of natural gene circuits and the design of cell-based therapeutic strategies.

  17. Rational Design of Single-Chain Polymeric Nanoparticles That Kill Planktonic and Biofilm Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Thuy-Khanh; Lam, Shu Jie; Ho, Kitty K K; Kumar, Naresh; Qiao, Greg G; Egan, Suhelen; Boyer, Cyrille; Wong, Edgar H H

    2017-02-08

    Infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria are on the rise and, therefore, new antimicrobial agents are required to prevent the onset of a postantibiotic era. In this study, we develop new antimicrobial compounds in the form of single-chain polymeric nanoparticles (SCPNs) that exhibit excellent antimicrobial activity against Gram-negative bacteria (e.g., Pseudomonas aeruginosa) at micromolar concentrations (e.g., 1.4 μM) and remarkably kill ≥99.99% of both planktonic cells and biofilm within an hour. Linear random copolymers, which comprise oligoethylene glycol (OEG), hydrophobic, and amine groups, undergo self-folding in aqueous systems due to intramolecular hydrophobic interactions to yield these SCPNs. By systematically varying the hydrophobicity of the polymer, we can tune the extent of cell membrane wall disruption, which in turn governs the antimicrobial activity and rate of resistance acquisition in bacteria. We also show that the incorporation of OEG groups into the polymer design is essential in preventing complexation with proteins in biological medium, thereby maintaining the antimicrobial efficacy of the compound even in in vivo mimicking conditions. In comparison to the last-resort antibiotic colistin, our lead agents have a higher therapeutic index (by ca. 2-3 times) and hence better biocompatibility. We believe that the SCPNs developed here have potential for clinical applications and the information pertaining to their structure-activity relationship will be valuable toward the general design of synthetic antimicrobial (macro)molecules.

  18. Hairpin Ribozyme Genes Curtail Alcohol Drinking: from Rational Design to in vivo Effects in the Rat

    PubMed Central

    Sapag, Amalia; Irrazábal, Thergiory; Lobos-González, Lorena; Muñoz-Brauning, Carlos R; Quintanilla, María Elena; Tampier, Lutske

    2016-01-01

    Ribozyme genes were designed to reduce voluntary alcohol drinking in a rat model of alcohol dependence. Acetaldehyde generated from alcohol in the liver is metabolized by the mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) such that diminishing ALDH2 activity leads to the aversive effects of blood acetaldehyde upon alcohol intake. A stepwise approach was followed to design genes encoding ribozymes targeted to the rat ALDH2 mRNA. In vitro studies of accessibility to oligonucleotides identified suitable target sites in the mRNA, one of which fulfilled hammerhead and hairpin ribozyme requirements (CGGUC). Ribozyme genes delivered in plasmid constructs were tested in rat cells in culture. While the hairpin ribozyme reduced ALDH2 activity 56% by cleavage and blockade (P < 0.0001), the hammerhead ribozyme elicited minor effects by blockade. The hairpin ribozyme was tested in vivo by adenoviral gene delivery to UChB alcohol drinker rats. Ethanol intake was curtailed 47% for 34 days (P < 0.0001), while blood acetaldehyde more than doubled upon ethanol administration and ALDH2 activity dropped 25% in liver homogenates, not affecting other ALDH isoforms. Thus, hairpin ribozymes targeted to 16 nt in the ALDH2 mRNA provide durable and specific effects in vivo, representing an improvement on previous work and encouraging development of gene therapy for alcoholism. PMID:27404720

  19. Rational Design of Potent and Selective Inhibitors of an Epoxide Hydrolase Virulence Factor from Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Kitamura, Seiya; Hvorecny, Kelli L; Niu, Jun; Hammock, Bruce D; Madden, Dean R; Morisseau, Christophe

    2016-05-26

    The virulence factor cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) inhibitory factor (Cif) is secreted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and is the founding member of a distinct class of epoxide hydrolases (EHs) that triggers the catalysis-dependent degradation of the CFTR. We describe here the development of a series of potent and selective Cif inhibitors by structure-based drug design. Initial screening revealed 1a (KB2115), a thyroid hormone analog, as a lead compound with low micromolar potency. Structural requirements for potency were systematically probed, and interactions between Cif and 1a were characterized by X-ray crystallography. On the basis of these data, new compounds were designed to yield additional hydrogen bonding with residues of the Cif active site. From this effort, three compounds were identified that are 10-fold more potent toward Cif than our first-generation inhibitors and have no detectable thyroid hormone-like activity. These inhibitors will be useful tools to study the pathological role of Cif and have the potential for clinical application.

  20. Rational design of self-assembly pathways for complex multicomponent structures.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, William M; Reinhardt, Aleks; Frenkel, Daan

    2015-05-19

    The field of complex self-assembly is moving toward the design of multiparticle structures consisting of thousands of distinct building blocks. To exploit the potential benefits of structures with such "addressable complexity," we need to understand the factors that optimize the yield and the kinetics of self-assembly. Here we use a simple theoretical method to explain the key features responsible for the unexpected success of DNA-brick experiments, which are currently the only demonstration of reliable self-assembly with such a large number of components. Simulations confirm that our theory accurately predicts the narrow temperature window in which error-free assembly can occur. Even more strikingly, our theory predicts that correct assembly of the complete structure may require a time-dependent experimental protocol. Furthermore, we predict that low coordination numbers result in nonclassical nucleation behavior, which we find to be essential for achieving optimal nucleation kinetics under mild growth conditions. We also show that, rather surprisingly, the use of heterogeneous bond energies improves the nucleation kinetics and in fact appears to be necessary for assembling certain intricate 3D structures. This observation makes it possible to sculpt nucleation pathways by tuning the distribution of interaction strengths. These insights not only suggest how to improve the design of structures based on DNA bricks, but also point the way toward the creation of a much wider class of chemical or colloidal structures with addressable complexity.

  1. A mathematical model for the rational design of chimeric ligands in selective drug therapies.

    PubMed

    Doldán-Martelli, V; Guantes, R; Míguez, D G

    2013-02-13

    Chimeric drugs with selective potential toward specific cell types constitute one of the most promising forefronts of modern Pharmacology. We present a mathematical model to test and optimize these synthetic constructs, as an alternative to conventional empirical design. We take as a case study a chimeric construct composed of epidermal growth factor (EGF) linked to different mutants of interferon (IFN). Our model quantitatively reproduces all the experimental results, illustrating how chimeras using mutants of IFN with reduced affinity exhibit enhanced selectivity against cell overexpressing EGF receptor. We also investigate how chimeric selectivity can be improved based on the balance between affinity rates, receptor abundance, activity of ligand subunits, and linker length between subunits. The simplicity and generality of the model facilitate a straightforward application to other chimeric constructs, providing a quantitative systematic design and optimization of these selective drugs against certain cell-based diseases, such as Alzheimer's and cancer.CPT: Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacology (2013) 2, e26; doi:10.1038/psp.2013.2; advance online publication 13 February 2013.

  2. Rational Design of a Hierarchical Tin Dendrite Electrode for Efficient Electrochemical Reduction of CO2.

    PubMed

    Won, Da Hye; Choi, Chang Hyuck; Chung, Jaehoon; Chung, Min Wook; Kim, Eun-Hee; Woo, Seong Ihl

    2015-09-21

    Catalysis is a key technology for the synthesis of renewable fuels through electrochemical reduction of CO2 . However, successful CO2 reduction still suffers from the lack of affordable catalyst design and understanding the factors governing catalysis. Herein, we demonstrate that the CO2 conversion selectivity on Sn (or SnOx /Sn) electrodes is correlated to the native oxygen content at the subsurface. Electrochemical analyses show that the reduced Sn electrode with abundant oxygen species effectively stabilizes a CO2 (.-) intermediate rather than the clean Sn surface, and consequently results in enhanced formate production in the CO2 reduction. Based on this design strategy, a hierarchical Sn dendrite electrode with high oxygen content, consisting of a multi-branched conifer-like structure with an enlarged surface area, was synthesized. The electrode exhibits a superior formate production rate (228.6 μmol h(-1)  cm(-2) ) at -1.36 VRHE without any considerable catalytic degradation over 18 h of operation.

  3. Towards Snakes and Snake Robots on Grannular Terrain

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-26

    REPORT Towards Snakes and Snake Robots on Grannular Terrain 14. ABSTRACT 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: Autonomous ground vehicles are becoming more...and more prevalent in today’s military. Despite the success of various EOD vehicles, the use of ground vehicles is quite limited by their mobility...work seeks to address both of these short comings by looking at sidewinding snakes to model and control the motion of snake robots undergoing a

  4. Rational design of efficient electrode–electrolyte interfaces for solid-state energy storage using ion soft landing

    SciTech Connect

    Prabhakaran, Venkateshkumar; Mehdi, B. Layla; Ditto, Jeffrey J.; Engelhard, Mark H.; Wang, Bingbing; Gunaratne, K. Don D.; Johnson, David C.; Browning, Nigel D.; Johnson, Grant E.; Laskin, Julia

    2016-04-21

    Here, the rational design of improved electrode-electrolyte interfaces (EEI) for energy storage is critically dependent on a molecular-level understanding of ionic interactions and nanoscale phenomena. The presence of non-redox active species at EEI has been shown to strongly influence Faradaic efficiency and long-term operational stability during energy storage processes. Herein, we achieve substantially higher performance and long-term stability of EEI prepared with highly-dispersed discrete redox-active cluster anions (50 ng of pure ~0.7 nm size molybdenum polyoxometalate anions (POM) anions on 25 mg (≈ 0.2 wt%) carbon nanotube (CNT) electrodes) by complete elimination of strongly coordinating non-redox species through ion soft-landing (SL). For the first time, electron microscopy provides atomically-resolved images of individual POM species directly on complex technologically relevant CNT electrodes. In this context, SL is established as a versatile approach for the controlled design of novel surfaces for both fundamental and applied research in energy storage.

  5. Rational approach for design and evaluation of anti-aggregation agents for protein stabilization: A case study of trehalose phenylalaninate.

    PubMed

    Kale, Smita S; Akamanchi, Krishnacharya G

    2017-03-30

    The present work introduces new anti-aggregation agent (AAA) derived through our new approach for design and evaluation of anti-aggregation agent as a multi-purpose excipient to combat protein aggregation. Therapeutic proteins undergo aggregation due to even minor changes in environmental conditions like temperature, pH, shear and stress. Excipients play a vital role in prevention of aggregation. To stabilize a protein formulation different classes of excipients are used in combination after carefully selecting through laborious and time consuming trial and error experiments. To resolve these concerns, we have developed a rational approach based on molecular docking analysis and have designed, synthesized AAAs, and validated the approach by experimental studies. Trehalose phenylalaninate (TPA) has been synthesized and evaluated for stabilization of Bovine serum albumin (BSA). TPA was found to be non-toxic with a LC50 of >80μg/ml. BSA solutions with and without TPA were subjected to thermal and agitation stress and aggregation was monitored using sophisticated analytical techniques. The helical structure of BSA was completely retained in stressed samples at 0.1% concentration of TPA. SEC-HPLC clearly demonstrated the absence of aggregates in presence of TPA. Although aggregation was not seen in fluorescence spectra but quenching due to TPA was evident. Moreover, molecular dynamics study on BSA-TPA complex showed lower RMSD.

  6. Rational design of a low-affinity peptide for the detection of cystatin C in a fast homogeneous immunoassay.

    PubMed

    Dobslaff, Kristin; Zscharnack, Kristin; Kreisig, Thomas; Zuchner, Thole

    2016-02-01

    Immunoassays play an essential role in current research and diagnostics resulting in a variety of detection principles. Thereby, homogeneous assays are often used for a fast signal response as demanded for example in point-of-care diagnostics. These systems often rely on a competitive assay design where the sample analyte and the corresponding dye-labeled substance are competing for binding sites on an antibody present in limited amounts. Due to the similar affinities of the antibody towards the sample analyte and the competitor, both sensitivity and assay time are limited. As a consequence, a competitor with a slightly reduced affinity towards the antibody can potentially overcome these drawbacks. Here, we present the rational design of a low-affinity peptide (donor peptide) as a specific analyte competitor for a FRET-based homogeneous immunoassay for the analysis of the protein cystatin C. Thereby, the strategy of peptide-induced antibody generation was combined with the selective variation of the immunization sequence in order to achieve a lower affinity towards the antibody. We could show that shortened donor peptides improved the resulting quenching efficiency in the immunoassay. In addition, the substitution of small hydrophobic amino acids by those with a higher steric demand appeared to be the most promising strategy providing a fast assay response for cystatin C of only 90 s.

  7. Rational design of efficient electrode–electrolyte interfaces for solid-state energy storage using ion soft landing

    DOE PAGES

    Prabhakaran, Venkateshkumar; Mehdi, B. Layla; Ditto, Jeffrey J.; ...

    2016-04-21

    Here, the rational design of improved electrode-electrolyte interfaces (EEI) for energy storage is critically dependent on a molecular-level understanding of ionic interactions and nanoscale phenomena. The presence of non-redox active species at EEI has been shown to strongly influence Faradaic efficiency and long-term operational stability during energy storage processes. Herein, we achieve substantially higher performance and long-term stability of EEI prepared with highly-dispersed discrete redox-active cluster anions (50 ng of pure ~0.7 nm size molybdenum polyoxometalate anions (POM) anions on 25 mg (≈ 0.2 wt%) carbon nanotube (CNT) electrodes) by complete elimination of strongly coordinating non-redox species through ion soft-landingmore » (SL). For the first time, electron microscopy provides atomically-resolved images of individual POM species directly on complex technologically relevant CNT electrodes. In this context, SL is established as a versatile approach for the controlled design of novel surfaces for both fundamental and applied research in energy storage.« less

  8. Rational design of efficient electrode–electrolyte interfaces for solid-state energy storage using ion soft landing

    PubMed Central

    Prabhakaran, Venkateshkumar; Mehdi, B. Layla; Ditto, Jeffrey J.; Engelhard, Mark H.; Wang, Bingbing; Gunaratne, K. Don D.; Johnson, David C.; Browning, Nigel D.; Johnson, Grant E.; Laskin, Julia

    2016-01-01

    The rational design of improved electrode–electrolyte interfaces (EEI) for energy storage is critically dependent on a molecular-level understanding of ionic interactions and nanoscale phenomena. The presence of non-redox active species at EEI has been shown to strongly influence Faradaic efficiency and long-term operational stability during energy storage processes. Herein, we achieve substantially higher performance and long-term stability of EEI prepared with highly dispersed discrete redox-active cluster anions (50 ng of pure ∼0.75 nm size molybdenum polyoxometalate (POM) anions on 25 μg (∼0.2 wt%) carbon nanotube (CNT) electrodes) by complete elimination of strongly coordinating non-redox species through ion soft landing (SL). Electron microscopy provides atomically resolved images of a uniform distribution of individual POM species soft landed directly on complex technologically relevant CNT electrodes. In this context, SL is established as a versatile approach for the controlled design of novel surfaces for both fundamental and applied research in energy storage. PMID:27097686

  9. Neutralizing antibody and functional mapping of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen-The first step toward a rationally designed anthrax vaccine.

    PubMed

    McComb, Ryan C; Martchenko, Mikhail

    2016-01-02

    Anthrax is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Category A pathogen for its potential use as a bioweapon. Current prevention treatments include Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA). AVA is an undefined formulation of Bacillus anthracis culture supernatant adsorbed to aluminum hydroxide. It has an onerous vaccination schedule, is slow and cumbersome to produce and is slightly reactogenic. Next-generation vaccines are focused on producing recombinant forms of anthrax toxin in a well-defined formulation but these vaccines have been shown to lose potency as they are stored. In addition, studies have shown that a proportion of the antibody response against these vaccines is focused on non-functional, non-neutralizing regions of the anthrax toxin while some essential functional regions are shielded from eliciting an antibody response. Rational vaccinology is a developing field that focuses on designing vaccine antigens based on structural information provided by neutralizing antibody epitope mapping, crystal structure analysis, and functional mapping through amino acid mutations. This information provides an opportunity to design antigens that target only functionally important and conserved regions of a pathogen in order to make a more optimal vaccine product. This review provides an overview of the literature related to functional and neutralizing antibody epitope mapping of the Protective Antigen (PA) component of anthrax toxin.

  10. Rational drug design and synthesis of molecules targeting the angiotensin II type 1 and type 2 receptors.

    PubMed

    Kellici, Tahsin F; Tzakos, Andreas G; Mavromoustakos, Thomas

    2015-03-02

    The angiotensin II (Ang II) type 1 and type 2 receptors (AT1R and AT2R) orchestrate an array of biological processes that regulate human health. Aberrant function of these receptors triggers pathophysiological responses that can ultimately lead to death. Therefore, it is important to design and synthesize compounds that affect beneficially these two receptors. Cardiovascular disease, which is attributed to the overactivation of the vasoactive peptide hormone Αng II, can now be treated with commercial AT1R antagonists. Herein, recent achievements in rational drug design and synthesis of molecules acting on the two AT receptors are reviewed. Quantitative structure activity relationships (QSAR) and molecular modeling on the two receptors aim to assist the search for new active compounds. As AT1R and AT2R are GPCRs and drug action is localized in the transmembrane region the role of membrane bilayers is exploited. The future perspectives in this field are outlined. Tremendous progress in the field is expected if the two receptors are crystallized, as this will assist the structure based screening of the chemical space and lead to new potent therapeutic agents in cardiovascular and other diseases.

  11. Design rules for rational control of polymer glass formation behavior and mechanical properties with small molecular additives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mangalara, Jayachandra Hari; Simmons, David

    Small molecule additives have long been employed to tune polymers' glass formation, mechanical and transport properties. For example, plasticizers are commonly employed to suppress polymer Tg and soften the glassy state, while antiplasticizers, which stiffen the glassy state of a polymer while suppressing its Tg, are employed to enhance protein and tissue preservation in sugar glasses. Recent literature indicates that additives can have a wide range of possible effects, but all of these have not been clearly understood and well appreciated. Here we employ molecular dynamics simulations to establish design rules for the selection of small molecule additives with size, molecular stiffness, and interaction energy chosen to achieve targeted effects on polymer properties. We furthermore find that a given additive's effect on a polymer's Tg can be predicted from its Debye-Waller factor via a function previously found to describe nanoconfinement effects on the glass transition. These results emphasize the potential for a new generation of targeted molecular additives to contribute to more targeted rational design of polymers. We acknowledge the Keck Foundation and the Ohio Supercomputing Center for financial and computational support of this effort, respectively.

  12. Rational design of efficient electrode-electrolyte interfaces for solid-state energy storage using ion soft landing.

    PubMed

    Prabhakaran, Venkateshkumar; Mehdi, B Layla; Ditto, Jeffrey J; Engelhard, Mark H; Wang, Bingbing; Gunaratne, K Don D; Johnson, David C; Browning, Nigel D; Johnson, Grant E; Laskin, Julia

    2016-04-21

    The rational design of improved electrode-electrolyte interfaces (EEI) for energy storage is critically dependent on a molecular-level understanding of ionic interactions and nanoscale phenomena. The presence of non-redox active species at EEI has been shown to strongly influence Faradaic efficiency and long-term operational stability during energy storage processes. Herein, we achieve substantially higher performance and long-term stability of EEI prepared with highly dispersed discrete redox-active cluster anions (50 ng of pure ∼0.75 nm size molybdenum polyoxometalate (POM) anions on 25 μg (∼0.2 wt%) carbon nanotube (CNT) electrodes) by complete elimination of strongly coordinating non-redox species through ion soft landing (SL). Electron microscopy provides atomically resolved images of a uniform distribution of individual POM species soft landed directly on complex technologically relevant CNT electrodes. In this context, SL is established as a versatile approach for the controlled design of novel surfaces for both fundamental and applied research in energy storage.

  13. SUPERCONDUCTING HELICAL SNAKE MAGNETS: CONSTRUCTION AND MEASUREMENTS.

    SciTech Connect

    MACKAY,W.W.

    1999-05-17

    In order to collide polarized protons, the RHIC project will have two snakes in each ring and four rotators around each of two interaction regions. Two snakes on opposite sides of each ring can minimize depolarization during acceleration by keeping the spin tune at a half. Since the spin direction is normally along the vertical direction in a flat ring, spin rotators must be used around an interaction point to have longitudinal polarization in a collider experiment. Each snake or rotator will be composed of four helical dipoles to provide the required rotation of spin with minimal transverse orbit excursions in a compact length of 10m. The basic helical dipole is a superconducting magnet producing a transverse dipole field which is twisted about the magnet axis through 360{degree} in a length of 2.4 m. The design and construction of the magnets is described in this paper.

  14. Rational design of biaryl pharmacophore inserted noscapine derivatives as potent tubulin binding anticancer agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santoshi, Seneha; Manchukonda, Naresh Kumar; Suri, Charu; Sharma, Manya; Sridhar, Balasubramanian; Joseph, Silja; Lopus, Manu; Kantevari, Srinivas; Baitharu, Iswar; Naik, Pradeep Kumar

    2015-03-01

    We have strategically designed a series of noscapine derivatives by inserting biaryl pharmacophore (a major structural constituent of many of the microtubule-targeting natural anticancer compounds) onto the scaffold structure of noscapine. Molecular interaction of these derivatives with α,β-tubulin heterodimer was investigated by molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulation, and binding free energy calculation. The predictive binding affinity indicates that the newly designed noscapinoids bind to tubulin with a greater affinity. The predictive binding free energy (ΔGbind, pred) of these derivatives (ranging from -5.568 to -5.970 kcal/mol) based on linear interaction energy (LIE) method with a surface generalized Born (SGB) continuum solvation model showed improved binding affinity with tubulin compared to the lead compound, natural α-noscapine (-5.505 kcal/mol). Guided by the computational findings, these new biaryl type α-noscapine congeners were synthesized from 9-bromo-α-noscapine using optimized Suzuki reaction conditions for further experimental evaluation. The derivatives showed improved inhibition of the proliferation of human breast cancer cells (MCF-7), human cervical cancer cells (HeLa) and human lung adenocarcinoma cells (A549), compared to natural noscapine. The cell cycle analysis in MCF-7 further revealed that these compounds alter the cell cycle profile and cause mitotic arrest at G2/M phase more strongly than noscapine. Tubulin binding assay revealed higher binding affinity to tubulin, as suggested by dissociation constant (Kd) of 126 ± 5.0 µM for 5a, 107 ± 5.0 µM for 5c, 70 ± 4.0 µM for 5d, and 68 ± 6.0 µM for 5e compared to noscapine (Kd of 152 ± 1.0 µM). In fact, the experimentally determined value of ΔGbind, expt (calculated from the Kd value) are consistent with the predicted value of ΔGbind, pred calculated based on LIE-SGB. Based on these results, one of the derivative 5e of this series was used for further toxicological

  15. Rational design of biaryl pharmacophore inserted noscapine derivatives as potent tubulin binding anticancer agents.

    PubMed

    Santoshi, Seneha; Manchukonda, Naresh Kumar; Suri, Charu; Sharma, Manya; Sridhar, Balasubramanian; Joseph, Silja; Lopus, Manu; Kantevari, Srinivas; Baitharu, Iswar; Naik, Pradeep Kumar

    2015-03-01

    We have strategically designed a series of noscapine derivatives by inserting biaryl pharmacophore (a major structural constituent of many of the microtubule-targeting natural anticancer compounds) onto the scaffold structure of noscapine. Molecular interaction of these derivatives with α,β-tubulin heterodimer was investigated by molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulation, and binding free energy calculation. The predictive binding affinity indicates that the newly designed noscapinoids bind to tubulin with a greater affinity. The predictive binding free energy (ΔG(bind, pred)) of these derivatives (ranging from -5.568 to -5.970 kcal/mol) based on linear interaction energy (LIE) method with a surface generalized Born (SGB) continuum solvation model showed improved binding affinity with tubulin compared to the lead compound, natural α-noscapine (-5.505 kcal/mol). Guided by the computational findings, these new biaryl type α-noscapine congeners were synthesized from 9-bromo-α-noscapine using optimized Suzuki reaction conditions for further experimental evaluation. The derivatives showed improved inhibition of the proliferation of human breast cancer cells (MCF-7), human cervical cancer cells (HeLa) and human lung adenocarcinoma cells (A549), compared to natural noscapine. The cell cycle analysis in MCF-7 further revealed that these compounds alter the cell cycle profile and cause mitotic arrest at G2/M phase more strongly than noscapine. Tubulin binding assay revealed higher binding affinity to tubulin, as suggested by dissociation constant (Kd) of 126 ± 5.0 µM for 5a, 107 ± 5.0 µM for 5c, 70 ± 4.0 µM for 5d, and 68 ± 6.0 µM for 5e compared to noscapine (Kd of 152 ± 1.0 µM). In fact, the experimentally determined value of ΔG(bind, expt) (calculated from the Kd value) are consistent with the predicted value of ΔG(bind, pred) calculated based on LIE-SGB. Based on these results, one of the derivative 5e of this series was used for further

  16. Glutamic acid and its derivatives: candidates for rational design of anticancer drugs.

    PubMed

    Ali, Imran; Wani, Waseem A; Haque, Ashanul; Saleem, Kishwar

    2013-05-01

    Throughout the history of human civilizations, cancer has been a major health problem. Its treatment has been interesting but challenging to scientists. Glutamic acid and its derivative glutamine are known to play interesting roles in cancer genesis, hence, it was realized that structurally variant glutamic acid derivatives may be designed and developed and, might be having antagonistic effects on cancer. The present article describes the state-of-art of glutamic acid and its derivatives as anticancer agents. Attempts have been made to explore the effectivity of drug-delivery systems based on glutamic acid for the delivery of anticancer drugs. Moreover, efforts have also been made to discuss the mechanism of action of glutamic acid derivatives as anticancer agents, clinical applications of glutamic acid derivatives, as well as recent developments and future perspectives of glutamic acid drug development have also been discussed.

  17. Biobased building blocks for the rational design of renewable block polymers.

    PubMed

    Holmberg, Angela L; Reno, Kaleigh H; Wool, Richard P; Epps, Thomas H

    2014-10-14

    Block polymers (BPs) derived from biomass (biobased) are necessary components of a sustainable future that relies minimally on petroleum-based plastics for applications ranging from thermoplastic elastomers and pressure-sensitive adhesives to blend compatibilizers. To facilitate their adoption, renewable BPs must be affordable, durable, processable, versatile, and reasonably benign. Their desirability further depends on the relative sustainability of the renewable resources and the methods employed in the monomer and polymer syntheses. Various strategies allow these BPs' characteristics to be tuned and enhanced for commercial applications, and many of these techniques also can be applied to manipulate the wide-ranging mechanical and thermal properties of biobased and self-assembling block polymers. From feedstock to application, this review article highlights promising renewable BPs, plus their material and assembly properties, in support of de novo design strategies that could revolutionize material sustainability.

  18. Quantum Chemical-Based Protocol for the Rational Design of Covalent Inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Schirmeister, Tanja; Kesselring, Jochen; Jung, Sascha; Schneider, Thomas H; Weickert, Anastasia; Becker, Johannes; Lee, Wook; Bamberger, Denise; Wich, Peter R; Distler, Ute; Tenzer, Stefan; Johé, Patrick; Hellmich, Ute A; Engels, Bernd

    2016-07-13

    We propose a structure-based protocol for the development of customized covalent inhibitors. Starting from a known inhibitor, in the first and second steps appropriate substituents of the warhead are selected on the basis of quantum mechanical (QM) computations and hybrid approaches combining QM with molecular mechanics (QM/MM). In the third step the recognition unit is optimized using docking approaches for the noncovalent complex. These predictions are finally verified by QM/MM or molecular dynamic simulations. The applicability of our approach is successfully demonstrated by the design of reversible covalent vinylsulfone-based inhibitors for rhodesain. The examples show that our approach is sufficiently accurate to identify compounds with the desired properties but also to exclude nonpromising ones.

  19. Synthetic mimetics of actin-binding macrolides: rational design of actin-targeted drugs.

    PubMed

    Perrins, Richard D; Cecere, Giuseppe; Paterson, Ian; Marriott, Gerard

    2008-03-01

    Actin polymerization and dynamics are involved in a wide range of cellular processes such as cell division and migration of tumor cells. At sites of cell lysis, such as those occurring during a stroke or inflammatory lung diseases, actin is released into the serum where it polymerizes, leading to problems with clot dissolution and sputum viscosity. Therefore, drugs that target these actin-mediated processes may provide one mechanism to treat these conditions. Marine-organism-derived macrolides, such as reidispongiolide A, can bind to, sever, and inhibit polymerization of actin. Our studies show that the function of these complex macrolides resides in their tail region, whereas the head group stabilizes the actin-drug complex. Synthetic compounds derived from this tail region could therefore be used as a mimetic of the natural product, providing a range of designer compounds to treat actin-associated diseases or as probes to study actin polymerization.

  20. Rational Design of Glycomimetic Compounds Targeting the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Transglycosylase Gas2.

    PubMed

    Delso, Ignacio; Valero-González, Jessika; Marca, Eduardo; Tejero, Tomás; Hurtado-Guerrero, Ramón; Merino, Pedro

    2016-02-01

    The transglycosylase Saccharomyces cerevisiae Gas2 (ScGas2) belongs to a large family of enzymes that are key players in yeast cell wall remodeling. Despite its biologic importance, no studies on the synthesis of substrate-based compounds as potential inhibitors have been reported. We have synthesized a series of docking-guided glycomimetics that were evaluated by fluorescence spectroscopy and saturation-transfer difference (STD) NMR experiments, revealing that a minimum of three glucose units linked via a β-(1,3) linkage are required for achieving molecular recognition at the binding donor site. The binding mode of our compounds is further supported by STD-NMR experiments using the active site-mutants Y107Q and Y244Q. Our results are important for both understanding of ScGas2-substrate interactions and setting up the basis for future design of glycomimetics as new antifungal agents.

  1. The rational design of a peptide-based hydrogel responsive to H2S.

    PubMed

    Peltier, Raoul; Chen, Ganchao; Lei, Haipeng; Zhang, Mei; Gao, Liqian; Lee, Su Seong; Wang, Zuankai; Sun, Hongyan

    2015-12-18

    The development of hydrogels that are responsive to external stimuli in a well-controlled manner is important for numerous biomedical applications. Herein we reported the first example of a hydrogel responsive to hydrogen sulphide (H2S). H2S is an important gasotransmitter whose deregulation has been associated with a number of pathological conditions. Our hydrogel design is based on the functionalization of an ultrashort hydrogelating peptide sequence with an azidobenzyl moiety, which was reported to react with H2S selectively under physiological conditions. The resulting peptide was able to produce hydrogels at a concentration as low as 0.1 wt%. It could then be fully degraded in the presence of excess H2S. We envision that the novel hydrogel developed in this study may provide useful tools for biomedical research.

  2. Rational design of peptide vaccines for autoimmune disease: harnessing molecular recognition to fix a broken network.

    PubMed

    Weathington, Nathaniel M; Blalock, J Edwin

    2003-02-01

    Autoreactive T-cells and antibodies are found at low levels in normal individuals and are thought to be kept at bay by regulatory T-cells and a network of idiotypic and anti-idiotype-bearing antigen receptors on lymphocytes as well as idiotypic anti-idiotypic antibodies. Disruption of this network by genetic, environmental and unknown factors is thought to result in autoimmune diseases. An obvious, ideal and specific therapy for such disorders would be to harness this regulatory network to re-establish immunologic homeostasis. In practice, however, this is not an easy task as most autoimmune diseases involve polyclonal responses to self antigen. Thus, we are faced with the conundrum of not knowing which autoreactive idiotype-bearing antibody or antigen receptor(s) to target in order to restore or induce network regulatory function. The thesis of this review is that understanding a fundamental property governing peptide/protein shape can be used in part to circumvent the problems of self reactivity and polyclonality in autoimmune disorders. More specifically, an algorithm has been developed to design peptide vaccines with shapes that are thought to be complementary in contour to self epitopes which seem to be the focus of autoimmunity. In theory, such complementary shapes should be engendered in certain autoreactive antigen receptors--these complementary constructs consequently represent receptor mimetics. By targeting an immune response against such mimetics, one generates a polyclonal anti-idiotype response that matches the complexity of the autoimmune response itself. This article will describe the algorithm for vaccine design, summarize the in vitro and in vivo evidence for its efficacy and discuss possible therapeutic utility in human autoimmune diseases.

  3. Rational design of fluorescent membrane probes for apoptosis based on 3-hydroxyflavone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darwich, Zeinab; Kucherak, Oleksandr A.; Kreder, Rémy; Richert, Ludovic; Vauchelles, Romain; Mély, Yves; Klymchenko, Andrey S.

    2013-06-01

    Environment-sensitive probes constitute powerful tools for monitoring changes in the physico-chemical properties of cell plasma membranes. Among these probes, 3-hydroxyflavone probes are of great interest due to their dual emission and ratiometric response. Here, three probes derived from the parent F2N12S were designed, characterized and applied to monitor the membrane changes occurring during apoptosis. These three probes were designed to orient the dye vertically in the membrane. They differ by the length of their alkyl chains (from 4 to 8 carbons), which were included to optimize their affinity to the lipid membranes. Among these three probes, the one with medium chain length (hexyl) showed the best affinity to model and cell membranes, while the one with the longest alkyl chains (octyl) did not efficiently stain the membranes, probably due to aggregation. The new probes were found to be more sensitive than F2N12S to both the lipid phase and surface charge in lipid vesicles and to loss of lipid order in cell plasma membranes after cholesterol extraction. The one with the shortest (butyl) chains was found to be the most sensitive to apoptosis, while the one with medium-length (hexyl) chains was the brightest. Interestingly, apoptosis induced by different agents led to similar spectroscopic effects to those produced by the loss of lipid order and change in the surface charge, confirming that apoptosis decreases the lipid order and increases the negative surface charge in the outer leaflet of cell membranes. In conclusion, these studies report the relationship between the probe structures and their sensitivity to lipid order, surface charge and apoptosis and propose new probes for membrane research.

  4. The role of flexibility in the rational design of modularly assembled ligands targeting the RNAs that cause the myotonic dystrophies.

    PubMed

    Disney, Matthew D; Lee, Melissa M; Pushechnikov, Alexei; Childs-Disney, Jessica L

    2010-02-15

    Modularly assembled ligands were designed to target the RNAs that cause two currently untreatable neuromuscular disorders, myotonic dystrophy types 1 (DM1) and 2 (DM2). DM1 is caused by an expanded repeating sequence of CUG, and DM2 is caused by expanded CCUG repeats. Both are present in noncoding regions and fold into hairpins with either repeating 1x1 nucleotide UU (DM1) or 2x2 nucleotide 5'-CU/3'-UC (DM2) internal loops separated by two GC pairs. The repeats are toxic because they sequester the RNA splicing regulator muscleblind-like 1 protein (MBNL1). Rational design of ligands targeting these RNAs was enabled by a database of RNA motif-ligand partners compiled by using two-dimensional combinatorial screening (2DCS). One 2DCS study found that the 6''-azido-kanamycin A module binds internal loops similar to those found in DM1 and DM2. In order to further enhance affinity and specificity, the ligand was assembled on a peptoid backbone to precisely control valency and the distance between ligand modules. Designed compounds are more potent and specific binders to the toxic RNAs than MBNL1 and inhibit the formation of the RNA-protein complexes with nanomolar IC(50) values. This study shows that three important factors govern potent inhibition: 1) the surface area sequestered by the assembled ligands; 2) the spacing between ligand modules since a longer distance is required to target DM2 RNAs than DM1 RNAs; and 3) flexibility in the modular assembly scaffold used to display the RNA-binding module. These results have impacts on the general design of assembled ligands targeting RNAs present in genomic sequence.

  5. Rational Catalyst Design of Titanium-Silica Materials Aided by Site-Specific Titration Tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eaton, Todd Robert

    between particle and crystal size, as obtained from XRD. In the course of establishing these relationships we've gained the knowledge of how to control TiO x structure, which enables the design of new and better catalysts. Understanding the synthesis-structure-function relationships allow for the design of a tandem photo/thermocatalytic reaction system for producing and consuming H2O2. By partially overcoating a TiO 2 photocatalyst with a ˜2 nm silica layer we observe a 56-fold rate improvement compared to bare-TiO2 for H2O2 synthesis from the proton-assisted reduction of O2. Addition of metal-SiO2 thermocatalysts (metal=Ti, Nb, or Ta) with sites needed for H2O2 activation creates a tandem system wherein the H2O2 produced in situ is utilized for alkene epoxidation. Compared to a thermocatalytic-only system, the tandem system accelerates epoxidation for cis-cyclooctene(11x faster), styrene(20x) and 1-octene(30x). This approach demonstrates a means for epoxidation with O2 that avoids H2O2 purification and transport, simplifies the total process, provides new opportunities for control by independent H2O2 production and consumption in the same reactor, and enhances rates relative to thermocatalytic-only epoxidation by intimately coupling H2O2 generation and consumption. Critically, establishment of titanium-silica synthesis-structure-function relationships enables the design of new catalysts and systems that are less energy- and material-intensive, leading towards more sustainable chemistry.

  6. Electromagnetic modelling and rational design of GLAD thin films for optical applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leontyev, Viktor A.

    This thesis presents a theoretical study of columnar films, fabricated by glancing angle deposition (GLAD), as photonic bandgap structures and metamaterials with predictable dielectric and magnetic response. Glancing angle deposition (GLAD) employs extremely oblique vapour incidence and computerized substrate motion to produce nanocolumns with a variety of shapes. Columns grow in random or periodic arrays and may be periodic in one, two, or three dimensions. The films' optical properties were studied using finite-difference time-domain and finite-difference frequency-domain methods, as well as effective medium theories, with support from experimental research. A large part of the thesis is devoted to column arrays with subwavelength intercolumnar distance and periodically modulated column shape. Among them, s-shaped columns were designed as polarizers for linearly polarized light. Simulations have shown a competitive effect from two structural anisotropy sources, causing a band gap suppression for one of two linear polarizations, and high polarizing ability. Simulations were compared to the measurements with a very good agreement in spectral response. Subwavelength column arrays were further explored as anisotropic interference mirrors with omnidirectional reflection bands. Index graded vertical post films were designed, having up to four times wider reflection bands than in the isotropic analogs. Band gap properties of 3D periodic GLAD columns were studied on the example of square-spiral photonic crystals. A significant influence of column cross-section was shown, that currently prevents fabrication of square spirals with a 3D band gap in the visible range. Inverted square-spiral films have better performance, which is further improved by material redistribution along the spiral. Lastly, this work studies the effective dielectric response of porous columnar films with metal particles. Characteristic matrix formalism was combined with finite-difference modelling to

  7. Rational design of multifunctional micelles against doxorubicin-sensitive and doxorubicin-resistant MCF-7 human breast cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Wei; Shi, Hong; Qiao, Mingxi; Gao, Xiang; Yang, Jie; Tian, Chunlian; Zhang, Dexian; Niu, Shengli; Liu, Mingchun

    2017-01-01

    Even though a tremendous number of multifunctional nanocarriers have been developed to tackle heterogeneous cancer cells, little attention has been paid to elucidate how to rationally design a multifunctional nanocarrier. In this study, three individual functions (active targeting, stimuli-triggered release and endo-lysosomal escape) were evaluated in doxorubicin (DOX)-sensitive MCF-7 cells and DOX-resistant MCF-7/ADR cells by constructing four kinds of micelles with active-targeting (AT-M), passive targeting, pH-triggered release (pHT-M) and endo-lysosomal escape (endoE-M) function, respectively. AT-M demonstrated the strongest cytotoxicity against MCF-7 cells and the highest cellular uptake of DOX due to the folate-mediated endocytosis. However, AT-M failed to exhibit the best efficacy against MCF-7/ADR cells, while endoE-M exhibited the strongest cytotoxicity against MCF-7/ADR cells and the highest cellular uptake of DOX due to the lowest elimination of DOX from the cells. This was attributed to the carrier-facilitated endo-lysosomal escape of DOX, which avoided exocytosis by lysosome secretion, resulting in an effective accumulation of DOX in the cytoplasm. The enhanced elimination of DOX from the MCF-7/ADR cells also accounted for the remarkable decrease in cytotoxicity against the cells of AT-M. Three micelles were further evaluated with MCF-7 cells and MCF-7/ADR-resistant cells xenografted mice model. In accordance with the in vitro results, AT-M and endoE-M demonstrated the strongest inhibition on the MCF-7 and MCF-7/ADR xenografted tumor, respectively. Active targeting and active targeting in combination with endo-lysosomal escape have been demonstrated to be the primary function for a nanocarrier against doxorubicin-sensitive and doxorubicin-resistant MCF-7 cells, respectively. These results indicate that the rational design of multifunctional nanocarriers for cancer therapy needs to consider the heterogeneous cancer cells and the primary function needs

  8. Rationally designed porous polystyrene encapsulated zirconium phosphate nanocomposite for highly efficient fluoride uptake in waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qingrui; Du, Qing; Jiao, Tifeng; Zhang, Zhaoxiang; Wang, Sufeng; Sun, Qina; Gao, Faming

    2013-08-01

    Fluoride pollution in waters has engulfed worldwide regions and an excess of fluoride intake always causes skeletal fluorosis. Herein, a novel hybrid nanomaterial ZrP-MPN was fabricated for fluoride retention by encapsulating nano-ZrP onto macroporous polystyrene materials modified with quaternary ammonium groups. The as-obtained materials exhibited favorable removal of fluoride ions from aqueous solution in presence of common anions (SO42-/NO3-/Cl-) at high contents. Moreover outstanding sorption properties were also detected by involving series of commercial adsorbents (AA/magnetite/GFH/manganese sands) as references. Such satisfactory performances might be ascribed to the structural design of nanocomposite. (1) the CH2N+(CH3)3Cl groups enhances sorption diffusion and preconcentration in sorbent phase theoretically based on Donnan membrane principle; (2) the embedded ZrP nanoparticles also devotes to the efficient adsorption capacities due to its size-dependent specific properties. Additionally, the exhausted ZrP-MPN could be regenerated readily by alkaline solution. Thus, ZrP-MPN was a promising material for fluoride retention in waters.

  9. Rationally designed porous polystyrene encapsulated zirconium phosphate nanocomposite for highly efficient fluoride uptake in waters

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Qingrui; Du, Qing; Jiao, Tifeng; Zhang, Zhaoxiang; Wang, Sufeng; Sun, Qina; Gao, Faming

    2013-01-01

    Fluoride pollution in waters has engulfed worldwide regions and an excess of fluoride intake always causes skeletal fluorosis. Herein, a novel hybrid nanomaterial ZrP-MPN was fabricated for fluoride retention by encapsulating nano-ZrP onto macroporous polystyrene materials modified with quaternary ammonium groups. The as-obtained materials exhibited favorable removal of fluoride ions from aqueous solution in presence of common anions (SO42−/NO3−/Cl−) at high contents. Moreover outstanding sorption properties were also detected by involving series of commercial adsorbents (AA/magnetite/GFH/manganese sands) as references. Such satisfactory performances might be ascribed to the structural design of nanocomposite. (1) the CH2N+(CH3)3Cl groups enhances sorption diffusion and preconcentration in sorbent phase theoretically based on Donnan membrane principle; (2) the embedded ZrP nanoparticles also devotes to the efficient adsorption capacities due to its size-dependent specific properties. Additionally, the exhausted ZrP-MPN could be regenerated readily by alkaline solution. Thus, ZrP-MPN was a promising material for fluoride retention in waters. PMID:23989688

  10. Switching the Regioselectivity of a Cyclohexanone Monooxygenase toward (+)-trans-Dihydrocarvone by Rational Protein Design.

    PubMed

    Balke, Kathleen; Schmidt, Sandy; Genz, Maika; Bornscheuer, Uwe T

    2016-01-15

    The regioselectivity of the Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenase-catalyzed oxidation is governed mostly by electronic effects leading to the migration of the higher substituted residue. However, in some cases, substrate binding occurs in a way that the less substituted residue lies in an antiperiplanar orientation to the peroxy bond in the Criegee intermediate yielding in the formation of the "abnormal" lactone product. We are the first to demonstrate a complete switch in the regioselectivity of the BVMO from Arthrobacter sp. (CHMOArthro) as exemplified for (+)-trans-dihydrocarvone by redesigning the active site of the enzyme. In the designed triple mutant, the substrate binds in an inverted orientation leading to a ratio of 99:1 in favor of the normal lactone instead of exclusive formation of the abnormal lactone in case of the wild type enzyme. In order to validate our computational study, the beneficial mutations were successfully transferred to the CHMO from Acinetobacter sp. (CHMOAcineto), again yielding in a complete switch of regioselectivity.

  11. G3 Assisted Rational Design of Chemical Sensor Array Using Carbonitrile Neutral Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Rosli, Ahmad Nazmi; Bakar, Maizathul Akmam Abu; Manan, Ninie Suhana Abdul; Woi, Pei Meng; Lee, Vannajan Sanghiran; Zain, Sharifuddin Md; Ahmad, Mohd Rais; Alias, Yatimah

    2013-01-01

    Combined computational and experimental strategies for the systematic design of chemical sensor arrays using carbonitrile neutral receptors are presented. Binding energies of acetonitrile, n-pentylcarbonitrile and malononitrile with Ca(II), Mg(II), Be(II) and H+ have been investigated with the B3LYP, G3, CBS-QB3, G4 and MQZVP methods, showing a general trend H+ > Be(II) > Mg(II) > Ca(II). Hydrogen bonding, donor-acceptor and cation-lone pair electron simple models were employed in evaluating the performance of computational methods. Mg(II) is bound to acetonitrile in water by 12.5 kcal/mol, and in the gas phase the receptor is more strongly bound by 33.3 kcal/mol to Mg(II) compared to Ca(II). Interaction of bound cations with carbonitrile reduces the energies of the MOs involved in the proposed σ-p conjugated network. The planar malononitrile-Be(II) complex possibly involves a π-network with a cationic methylene carbon. Fabricated potentiometric chemical sensors show distinct signal patterns that can be exploited in sensor array applications. PMID:24129020

  12. Rational design of dendrimer/lipid nanoassemblies in drug delivery for cancer chemotherapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Qihang

    Nanocarriers can minimize the side effects and improve therapeutic efficacy of anticancer drugs. Although some success has been achieved via active or passive drug delivery to tumor cells, the known nanocarriers are far from satisfying therapeutic efficacy expectations. This is because they usually fail in one of the four crucial requirements, that is, to retain drug in blood circulation but release it reliably in tumor cells and to be stealthy in transport in circulation and tumor tissue but sticky upon arrival at the tumor cell. Therefore, the goal of this work is to fabricate nanoassemblies of dendrimers and lipids to address all these challenges. Particularly, nanoassemblies designed and prepared in this work are illustrated to improve the tumor tissue penetration. Examples of dendrimers synthesized in this work are water-insoluble, pH-dependent water-insoluble and water-soluble biodegradable polyester dendrimers. These dendrimers are shown to be encapsulated by commonly used fusogenic and long-circulating lipids to form reliable nanoassemblies. The dendrimer/lipid nanocarriers are used to demonstrate a cascade drug delivery. They are expected to be stable in circulation, due to their appropriately large size, but to release the drug-loaded dendrimers in tumor tissue. The released dendrimers carrying drugs are much smaller and hence expected to have a much deeper penetration throughout the tumor tissue.

  13. A rational design for the selective detection of dopamine using conducting polymers.

    PubMed

    Fabregat, Georgina; Casanovas, Jordi; Redondo, Edurne; Armelin, Elaine; Alemán, Carlos

    2014-05-07

    Poly(N-methylpyrrole) (PNMPy), poly(N-cyanoethylpyrrole) (PNCPy) and poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) films have been prepared using both single and two polymerization steps for the selective determination of low concentrations of dopamine, ascorbic acid and uric acid in tertiary mixtures. Analysis of the sensitivity and resolution parameters derived from the electrochemical response of such films indicates that PEDOT is the most appropriate for the unambiguous detection of the three species. Indeed, the performance of PEDOT is practically independent of the presence of both gold nanoparticles at the surface of the film and interphases inside the film, even though these two factors are known to improve the electroactivity of conducting polymers. Quantum mechanical calculations on model complexes have been used to examine the intermolecular interaction involved in complexes formed by PEDOT chains and oxidized dopamine, ascorbic acid and uric acid. Results show that such complexes are mainly stabilized by C-HO interactions rather than by conventional hydrogen bonds. In order to improve the sensitivity of PEDOT through the formation of specific hydrogen bonds, a derivative bearing a hydroxymethyl group attached to the dioxane ring of each repeat unit has been designed. Poly(hydroxymethyl-3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PHMeDOT) has been prepared and characterized by FTIR, UV-vis spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry, scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Finally, the performance of PHMeDOT and PEDOT for the selective detection of the species mentioned above has been compared.

  14. Rational design of artificial β-strand-forming antimicrobial peptides with biocompatible properties.

    PubMed

    Rapsch, Karsten; Bier, Frank F; von Nickisch-Rosenegk, Markus

    2014-10-06

    Because the intensive use of antibiotics has led to a large variety of resistant bacterial strains, therapeutic measures have become increasingly challenging. In order to ensure reliable treatment of diseases, alternative antimicrobial agents need to be explored. In this context, antimicrobial peptides have been discussed as novel bioactive molecules, which, however, may be limited in their applicability due to their high manufacturing costs and poor pharmacokinetic properties. Consequently, the design of artificial antimicrobial peptides featuring two flanking cationic regions and a hydrophobic center is presented. These sequences led to distinct antimicrobial activity on the same order of magnitude as that of naturally occurring reference peptides but with less cytotoxic or cytostatic drawbacks. Furthermore, a deletion and substitution library revealed the minimal sequence requirements. By analysis of the computed 3D structures of these peptides, a single characteristic β-strand was identified. This structural motif was pivotal for antimicrobial activity. Consequently, an optimized peptide sequence with antimicrobial and biocompatible properties was derived, and its application was demonstrated in a mixed culture experiment. Thus, it was shown that the optimized artificial antimicrobial peptide is suitable as a therapeutic agent and may be used as template for the development of new antimicrobial peptides with unique secondary structures.

  15. Rational design of a fusion partner for membrane protein expression in E. coli

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Jianying; Choulet, Julie; Samuelson, James C

    2009-01-01

    We have designed a novel protein fusion partner (P8CBD) to utilize the co-translational SRP pathway in order to target heterologous proteins to the E. coli inner membrane. SRP-dependence was demonstrated by analyzing the membrane translocation of P8CBD-PhoA fusion proteins in wt and SRP-ffh77 mutant cells. We also demonstrate that the P8CBD N-terminal fusion partner promotes over-expression of a Thermotoga maritima polytopic membrane protein by replacement of the native signal anchor sequence. Furthermore, the yeast mitochondrial inner membrane protein Oxa1p was expressed as a P8CBD fusion and shown to function within the E. coli inner membrane. In this example, the mitochondrial targeting peptide was replaced by P8CBD. Several practical features were incorporated into the P8CBD expression system to aid in protein detection, purification, and optional in vitro processing by enterokinase. The basis of membrane protein over-expression toxicity is discussed and solutions to this problem are presented. We anticipate that this optimized expression system will aid in the isolation and study of various recombinant forms of membrane-associated protein. PMID:19530231

  16. Rational Design of Potent Antagonists to the Human Growth Hormone Receptor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuh, Germaine; Cunningham, Brian C.; Fukunaga, Rikiro; Nagata, Shigekazu; Goeddel, David V.; Wells, James A.

    1992-06-01

    A hybrid receptor was constructed that contained the extracellular binding domain of the human growth hormone (hGH) receptor linked to the transmembrane and intracellular domains of the murine granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor. Addition of hGH to a myeloid leukemia cell line (FDC-P1) that expressed the hybrid receptor caused proliferation of these cells. The mechanism for signal transduction of the hybrid receptor required dimerization because monoclonal antibodies to the hGH receptor were agonists whereas their monovalent fragments were not. Receptor dimerization occurs sequentially-a receptor binds to site 1 on hGH, and then a second receptor molecule binds to site 2 on hGH. On the basis of this sequential mechanism, which may occur in many other cytokine receptors, inactive hGH analogs were designed that were potent antagonists to hGH-induced cell proliferation. Such antagonists could be useful for treating clinical conditions of hGH excess, such as acromegaly.

  17. Rational design of acridine-based ligands with selectivity for human telomeric quadruplexes.

    PubMed

    Sparapani, Silvia; Haider, Shozeb M; Doria, Filippo; Gunaratnam, Mekala; Neidle, Stephen

    2010-09-08

    Structure-based modeling methods have been used to design a series of disubstituted triazole-linked acridine compounds with selectivity for human telomeric quadruplex DNAs. A focused library of these compounds was prepared using click chemistry and the selectivity concept was validated against two promoter quadruplexes from the c-kit gene with known molecular structures, as well as with duplex DNA using a FRET-based melting method. Lead compounds were found to have reduced effects on the thermal stability of the c-kit quadruplexes and duplex DNA structures. These effects were further explored with a series of competition experiments, which confirmed that binding to duplex DNA is very low even at high duplex:telomeric quadruplex ratios. Selectivity to the c-kit quadruplexes is more complex, with some evidence of their stabilization at increasing excess over human telomeric quadruplex DNA. Selectivity is a result of the dimensions of the triazole-acridine compounds, and in particular the separation of the two alkyl-amino terminal groups. Both lead compounds also have selective inhibitory effects on the proliferation of cancer cell lines compared to a normal cell line, and one has been shown to inhibit the activity of the telomerase enzyme, which is selectively expressed in tumor cells, where it plays a role in maintaining telomere integrity and cellular immortalization.

  18. Rational Design of Materials Interface for Efficient Capture of Circulating Tumor Cells

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yong‐Qiang; Chandran, Bevita K.

    2015-01-01

    Originating from primary tumors and penetrating into blood circulation, circulating tumor cells (CTCs) play a vital role in understanding the biology of metastasis and have great potential for early cancer diagnosis, prognosis and personalized therapy. By exploiting the specific biophysical and biochemical properties of CTCs, various material interfaces have been developed for the capture and detection of CTCs from blood. However, due to the extremely low number of CTCs in peripheral blood, there exists a need to improve the efficiency and specificity of the CTC capture and detection. In this regard, a critical review of the numerous reports of advanced platforms for highly efficient and selective capture of CTCs, which have been spurred by recent advances in nanotechnology and microfabrication, is essential. This review gives an overview of unique biophysical and biochemical properties of CTCs, followed by a summary of the key material interfaces recently developed for improved CTC capture and detection, with focus on the use of microfluidics, nanostructured substrates, and miniaturized nuclear magnetic resonance‐based systems. Challenges and future perspectives in the design of material interfaces for capture and detection of CTCs in clinical applications are also discussed. PMID:27980914

  19. Rational Design and Generation of a Bimodal Bifunctional Ligand for Antibody-Targeted Radiation Cancer Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Chong, Hyun-Soon; Ma, Xiang; Le, Thien; Kwamena, Baidoo; Milenic, Diane E.; Brady, Erik D.; Song, Hyun A.; Brechbiel, Martin W.

    2008-01-01

    An antibody-targeted radiation therapy (radioimmunotherapy, RIT) employs a bifunctional ligand that can effectively hold a cytotoxic metal with clinically acceptable complexation kinetics and stability while being attached to a tumor-specific antibody. Clinical exploration of the therapeutic potential of RIT has been challenged by the absence of adequate ligand, a critical component for enhancing the efficacy of the cancer therapy. To address this deficiency, the bifunctional ligand C-NETA in a unique structural class possessing both a macrocyclic cavity and a flexible acyclic moiety was designed. The practical, reproducible, and readily scalable synthetic route to C-NETA was developed, and its potential as the chelator of 212Bi, 213Bi, and 177Lu for RIT was evaluated in vitro and in vivo. C-NETA rapidly binds both Lu(III) and Bi(III), and the respective metal complexes remain extremely stable in serum for 14 days. 177Lu—C-NETA and 205/6Bi—C-NETA possess an excellent or acceptable in vivo biodistribution profile. PMID:18062661

  20. pH sensitive silica nanotubes as rationally designed vehicles for NSAIDs delivery.

    PubMed

    Sousa, Célia T; Nunes, Cláudia; Proença, Mariana P; Leitão, Diana C; Lima, José L F C; Reis, Salette; Araújo, João P; Lúcio, Marlene

    2012-06-01

    A novel pH-sensitive drug delivery system based on functionalized silica nanotubes was developed for the incorporation of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aimed at a tailored drug release in acidic conditions characteristic of inflamed tissues. Silica nanotubes (SNTs) were synthesized by a nanoporous alumina template assisted sol-gel method. Inner surfaces were physically and chemically modified to improve both the functionalization and subsequent incorporation of the drug. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to characterize the designed nanocarriers and their functionalization. To achieve the highest degree of functionalization, three types of aminosilanes were tested and calcination conditions were optimized. APTES was shown to be the most effective aminosilane regarding the functionalization of the SNTs' inner surface and an adequate calcination temperature (220°C) was found to attain mechanical stability without compromising functionalization efficiency. Finally, the incorporation of naproxen into the nanotubes was accessed by fluorescence measurements and drug release studies were performed, revealing that the electrostatic linkage ensures effective release of the drug in the acidic pH typical of inflamed cells, while maintaining the SNT-drug conjugates stable at the typical bloodstream pH.

  1. A rational approach towards the design of chitosan-based nanoparticles obtained by ionotropic gelation.

    PubMed

    Kleine-Brueggeney, H; Zorzi, G K; Fecker, T; El Gueddari, N E; Moerschbacher, B M; Goycoolea, F M

    2015-11-01

    Chitosan is a linear aminopolysaccharide that has been widely used for the formation of chitosan-based nanoparticles by ionic gelation with sodium tripolyphosphate (TPP). Often, the experimental design used to obtain these systems does not take into consideration important variables, such as the degree of acetylation (DA) and the molecular weight (Mw) of chitosan. In this work, we studied the formation of chitosan-TPP nanoparticles with chitosan samples of varying DA and Mw (DA0 ∼ 0-47% and Mw ∼ 2.5-282 kDa). We addressed the influence the degree of space occupancy and the degree of crosslinking on the physical properties of chitosan-TPP nanoparticles. Nanoparticles that comprised chitosan of DA ∼ 0-21.7% behaved differently than those made of chitosan of DA ∼ 34.7-47%. We attributed these differences to the polymer conformation and chain flexibility of the distinct chitosans in solution. Moreover, chitosan of high Mw were found to have a stronger preference for incorporating into the formed nanoparticles than do low-Mw ones, as determined by SEC-HPLC. These results open new perspectives to understand the formation of chitosan nanoparticles by the ionic gelation technique.

  2. Rational design of redox mediators for advanced Li-O2 batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, Hee-Dae; Lee, Byungju; Zheng, Yongping; Hong, Jihyun; Kim, Jinsoo; Gwon, Hyeokjo; Ko, Youngmin; Lee, Minah; Cho, Kyeongjae; Kang, Kisuk

    2016-06-01

    The discovery of effective catalysts is an important step towards achieving Li-O2 batteries with long cycle life and high round-trip efficiency. Soluble-type catalysts or redox mediators (RMs) possess great advantages over conventional solid catalysts, generally exhibiting much higher efficiency. Here, we select a series of organic RM candidates as a model system to identify the key descriptor in determining the catalytic activities and stabilities in Li-O2 cells. It is revealed that the level of ionization energies, readily available parameters from a database of the molecules, can serve such a role when comparing with the formation energy of Li2O2 and the highest occupied molecular orbital energy of the electrolyte. It is demonstrated that they are critical in reducing the overpotential and improving the stability of Li-O2 cells, respectively. Accordingly, we propose a general principle for designing feasible catalysts and report a RM, dimethylphenazine, with a remarkably low overpotential and high stability.

  3. Design of erosion/abrasion studies--insights and rational concepts.

    PubMed

    Wiegand, Annette; Attin, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    In vitro and in situ studies modelling the wear of dental hard tissues due to erosion and abrasion are characterised by a high variation in study designs and experimental parameters. Based on a summary of the existing protocols, the present review aimed to describe and discuss the parameters which must be carefully considered in erosion-abrasion research, especially when it is intended to simulate clinical conditions. Experimental characteristics and parameters were retrieved from a total of 42 in vitro and 20 in situ studies. The key experimental characteristics included parameters of erosion (duration and pH) and abrasion (duration, kinds of toothbrush and toothpaste, brushing force, and time point) as well as co-factors (e.g. dental hard tissue). The majority of studies used models with alternating erosion/abrasion treatments intended to simulate clinical conditions, while other studies exaggerated clinical conditions intentionally, often using only a single erosion/abrasion treatment. Both in vitro and in situ models shared a high level of standardisation, but several studies showed a trend to severe erosion (e.g. >5 min/cycle) or extensive brushing (e.g. >100 brushing strokes/cycle) at a high frequency and repetition rate. Thus, studies often tend to produce a higher amount of wear than in the clinical situation, especially as modifying biological factors (e.g. the dilution of the erosive solution by saliva and the protective effect of the pellicle) cannot be simulated adequately. With respect to the existing models, it seems advisable to diminish duration and frequency of erosion and abrasion to more realistic clinical conditions when the everyday situation is to be simulated. Experimental parameters must be chosen with care to ensure that the problem is investigated in an appropriate mode at standardised conditions and with adequate measuring systems to allow prediction of clinical outcomes.

  4. Rational design of human DNA ligase inhibitors that target cellular DNA replication and repair.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xi; Zhong, Shijun; Zhu, Xiao; Dziegielewska, Barbara; Ellenberger, Tom; Wilson, Gerald M; MacKerell, Alexander D; Tomkinson, Alan E

    2008-05-01

    Based on the crystal structure of human DNA ligase I complexed with nicked DNA, computer-aided drug design was used to identify compounds in a database of 1.5 million commercially available low molecular weight chemicals that were predicted to bind to a DNA-binding pocket within the DNA-binding domain of DNA ligase I, thereby inhibiting DNA joining. Ten of 192 candidates specifically inhibited purified human DNA ligase I. Notably, a subset of these compounds was also active against the other human DNA ligases. Three compounds that differed in their specificity for the three human DNA ligases were analyzed further. L82 inhibited DNA ligase I, L67 inhibited DNA ligases I and III, and L189 inhibited DNA ligases I, III, and IV in DNA joining assays with purified proteins and in cell extract assays of DNA replication, base excision repair, and nonhomologous end-joining. L67 and L189 are simple competitive inhibitors with respect to nicked DNA, whereas L82 is an uncompetitive inhibitor that stabilized complex formation between DNA ligase I and nicked DNA. In cell culture assays, L82 was cytostatic whereas L67 and L189 were cytotoxic. Concordant with their ability to inhibit DNA repair in vitro, subtoxic concentrations of L67 and L189 significantly increased the cytotoxicity of DNA-damaging agents. Interestingly, the ligase inhibitors specifically sensitized cancer cells to DNA damage. Thus, these novel human DNA ligase inhibitors will not only provide insights into the cellular function of these enzymes but also serve as lead compounds for the development of anticancer agents.

  5. Towards the rational design of organic/inorganic interface for solid supported CO2 capture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Feng

    Monoethanolamine (MEA, HO(CH2)2NH2) aqueous solution based CO2 capture is the current technology used to mitigate power plants' green house gas emission. Solid based CO2 capture technique is regarded as a promising alternative, because it is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than the solution based technique. Recently, solid-supported CO2 capture on MEA modified TiO 2 powders has been demonstrated [1]. It is believed that the main reaction pathway involved in solid-supported amine based CO2 capture is similar to the reaction in the amine solution, where the amine group reacts with CO2 to form carbamate (--NHCOO--). From the previous work on the MEA/TiO2 (110) system [2], it is found that MEA covered rutile TiO2 (110) did not capture CO 2. The main reaction pathway in this system was blocked because the amine group attached to the surface. In order to design a functional system, we proposed two possible mechanisms to free --NH2 from rutile TiO2 (110) surface. In this work, we investigated one of our six candidates, the 3-Amino-1-propanol (3AP, HO(CH2) 3NH2) molecule. The classical reactive force field (ReaxFF) [3] method has been employed to investigate the 3AP/TiO2 (110) system with emphasis on binding configurations and binding energies. We found that the amine group of 3AP did not attach to the rutile TiO2 (110) surface, indicating the CO2 capture capability of the 3AP/TiO 2 (110) system, which was confirmed by our experimental collaborators [4].

  6. The rational designed graphene oxide-Fe2O3 composites with low cytotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Yan, Dong; Zhao, Haiyan; Pei, Jiayun; Wu, Xin; Liu, Yue

    2017-03-01

    Novel two-dimensional materials with a layered structure are of special interest for a variety of promising applications. In current research, the nanostructured graphene oxide-Fe2O3 composite (GO-Fe2O3) was firstly obtained via a carefully elaborated approach of vacuum freeze-drying. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) images revealed that α-Fe2O3 nanoparticles loaded well on the surfaces of graphene. A series of characterization were performed to further elucidate the as-obtained nanomaterial's physicochemical properties. These results suggested the current route could be further extended to obtain the other kinds of two-dimensional materials based composites. For the sake of extending the potential application of herein achieved graphene composites, its cytotoxicity assessment on HeLa cells was systematically investigated. CCK-8 assay in HeLa cells treated by GO-Fe2O3 showed dose- (1-100μg/ml) and time- (24-48h) dependent cytotoxicity, which was comparable to that of GO. The excess generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced by these nanomaterials was responsible for the cytotoxicity. TEM analysis vividly illustrated GO-Fe2O3 internalized by HeLa cells in endomembrane compartments such as lysosomes, and degraded through autophagic pathway. The detrimental biological consequence accompanied by cell internalization was limited. Based on the above results, it expected to render useful information for the development of new and popular strategies to design graphene-based composites, as well as deep insights into the mechanism of graphene-based composites cytotoxicity for further potential application.

  7. 'Magic bullets' for bone diseases: progress in rational design of bone-seeking medicinal agents.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Sufeng; Gangal, Geeti; Uludağ, Hasan

    2007-03-01

    An ideal therapeutic agent for bone diseases should act solely on bone tissue with no pharmacological activity at other anatomical sites. Current therapeutic agents, however, do not usually display a preferential affinity to bones and non-specifically distribute throughout the body after administration. Attempts to design bone-specific agents have relied on engineering a desired therapeutic agent with bone-seeking molecules so that the latter delivers the therapeutic agents specifically to bones. In this critical review, we summarize the latest attempts to engineer bone-seeking therapeutic agents based on formulating therapeutic agents with bisphosphonates, a class of compounds with high affinity to biological apatite. We first provide a relevant summary of the structure of bone mineral and bisphosphonates, highlighting the mode of interaction between these two entities. The use of bisphosphonates in the diagnosis of bone diseases is then presented, since this application helps us to understand the bone-carrier properties of bisphosphonates under physiological conditions. A summary of recent attempts to formulate bisphosphonates with traditional therapeutic agents to restrict their activities to bone tissues is then provided, with special emphasis on the structure-function relationships of the engineered compounds. Finally, attempts to use bisphosphonates to deliver macromolecular therapeutics (i.e., proteins) are summarized, based on recent data from the authors' lab. The collective research into bone-seeking medicinal agents is progressively laying the foundation for next-generation 'magic bullets' that display desirable activities at the disease sites with no undesirable activity on other organ systems. (164 references.).

  8. Structural basis of glycogen branching enzyme deficiency and pharmacologic rescue by rational peptide design

    PubMed Central

    Froese, D. Sean; Michaeli, Amit; McCorvie, Thomas J.; Krojer, Tobias; Sasi, Meitav; Melaev, Esther; Goldblum, Amiram; Zatsepin, Maria; Lossos, Alexander; Álvarez, Rafael; Escribá, Pablo V.; Minassian, Berge A.; von Delft, Frank; Kakhlon, Or; Yue, Wyatt W.

    2015-01-01

    Glycogen branching enzyme 1 (GBE1) plays an essential role in glycogen biosynthesis by generating α-1,6-glucosidic branches from α-1,4-linked glucose chains, to increase solubility of the glycogen polymer. Mutations in the GBE1 gene lead to the heterogeneous early-onset glycogen storage disorder type IV (GSDIV) or the late-onset adult polyglucosan body disease (APBD). To better understand this essential enzyme, we crystallized human GBE1 in the apo form, and in complex with a tetra- or hepta-saccharide. The GBE1 structure reveals a conserved amylase core that houses the active centre for the branching reaction and harbours almost all GSDIV and APBD mutations. A non-catalytic binding cleft, proximal to the site of the common APBD mutation p.Y329S, was found to bind the tetra- and hepta-saccharides and may represent a higher-affinity site employed to anchor the complex glycogen substrate for the branching reaction. Expression of recombinant GBE1-p.Y329S resulted in drastically reduced protein yield and solubility compared with wild type, suggesting this disease allele causes protein misfolding and may be amenable to small molecule stabilization. To explore this, we generated a structural model of GBE1-p.Y329S and designed peptides ab initio to stabilize the mutation. As proof-of-principle, we evaluated treatment of one tetra-peptide, Leu-Thr-Lys-Glu, in APBD patient cells. We demonstrate intracellular transport of this peptide, its binding and stabilization of GBE1-p.Y329S, and 2-fold increased mutant enzymatic activity compared with untreated patient cells. Together, our data provide the rationale and starting point for the screening of small molecule chaperones, which could become novel therapies for this disease. PMID:26199317

  9. Rational design of an auxin antagonist of the SCF(TIR1) auxin receptor complex.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Ken-ichiro; Neve, Joshua; Hirose, Masakazu; Kuboki, Atsuhito; Shimada, Yukihisa; Kepinski, Stefan; Nozaki, Hiroshi

    2012-03-16

    The plant hormone auxin is a master regulator of plant growth and development. By regulating rates of cell division and elongation and triggering specific patterning events, indole 3-acetic acid (IAA) regulates almost every aspect of plant development. The perception of auxin involves the formation of a ternary complex consisting of an F-box protein of the TIR1/AFB family of auxin receptors, the auxin molecule, and a member the Aux/IAA family of co-repressor proteins. In this study, we identified a potent auxin antagonist, α-(phenylethyl-2-oxo)-IAA, as a lead compound for TIR1/AFB receptors by in silico virtual screening. This molecule was used as the basis for the development of a more potent TIR1 antagonist, auxinole (α-[2,4-dimethylphenylethyl-2-oxo]-IAA), using a structure-based drug design approach. Auxinole binds TIR1 to block the formation of the TIR1-IAA-Aux/IAA complex and so inhibits auxin-responsive gene expression. Molecular docking analysis indicates that the phenyl ring in auxinole would strongly interact with Phe82 of TIR1, a residue that is crucial for Aux/IAA recognition. Consistent with this predicted mode of action, auxinole competitively inhibits various auxin responses in planta. Additionally, auxinole blocks auxin responses of the moss Physcomitrella patens, suggesting activity over a broad range of species. Our works not only substantiates the utility of chemical tools for plant biology but also demonstrates a new class of small molecule inhibitor of protein-protein interactions common to mechanisms of perception of other plant hormones, such as jasmonate, gibberellin, and abscisic acid.

  10. A Rational Engineering Strategy for Designing Protein A-Binding Camelid Single-Domain Antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Kevin A.; Sulea, Traian; van Faassen, Henk; Hussack, Greg; Purisima, Enrico O.; MacKenzie, C. Roger; Arbabi-Ghahroudi, Mehdi

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcal protein A (SpA) and streptococcal protein G (SpG) affinity chromatography are the gold standards for purifying monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) in therapeutic applications. However, camelid VHH single-domain Abs (sdAbs or VHHs) are not bound by SpG and only sporadically bound by SpA. Currently, VHHs require affinity tag-based purification, which limits their therapeutic potential and adds considerable complexity and cost to their production. Here we describe a simple and rapid mutagenesis-based approach designed to confer SpA binding upon a priori non-SpA-binding VHHs. We show that SpA binding of VHHs is determined primarily by the same set of residues as in human mAbs, albeit with an unexpected degree of tolerance to substitutions at certain core and non-core positions and some limited dependence on at least one residue outside the SpA interface, and that SpA binding could be successfully introduced into five VHHs against three different targets with no adverse effects on expression yield or antigen binding. Next-generation sequencing of llama, alpaca and dromedary VHH repertoires suggested that species differences in SpA binding may result from frequency variation in specific deleterious polymorphisms, especially Ile57. Thus, the SpA binding phenotype of camelid VHHs can be easily modulated to take advantage of tag-less purification techniques, although the frequency with which this is required may depend on the source species. PMID:27631624

  11. Rational Design of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles as Targeted Nanomedicines for Cancer Therapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kievit, Forrest M.

    2011-07-01

    Nanotechnology provides a flexible platform for the development of effective therapeutic nanomaterials that can interact specifically with a target in a biological system and provoke a desired biological response. Of the nanomaterials studied, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) have emerged as one of top candidates for cancer therapy due to their intrinsic superparamagnetism that enables non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and biodegradability favorable for in vivo application. This dissertation is aimed at development of SPION-based nanomedicines to overcome the current limitations in cancer therapy. These limitations include non-specificity of therapy which can harm healthy tissue, the difficulty in delivering nucleic acids for gene therapy, the formation of drug resistance, and the inability to detect and treat micrometastases. First, a SPION-based non-viral gene delivery vehicle was developed through functionalization of the SPION core with a co-polymer designed to provide stable binding of DNA and low toxicity which showed excellent gene delivery in vitro and in vivo. This SPION-based non-viral gene delivery vehicle was then activated with a targeting agent to improve gene delivery throughout a xenograft tumor of brain cancer. It was found that targeting did not promote the accumulation of SPIONs at the tumor site, but rather improved the distribution of SPIONs throughout the tumor so a higher proportion of cells received treatment. Next, the high surface area of SPIONs was utilized for loading large amounts of drug which was shown to overcome the multidrug resistance acquired by many cancer cells. Drug bound to SPIONs showed significantly higher multidrug resistant cell uptake as compared to free drug which translated into improved cell kill. Also, an antibody activated SPION was developed and was shown to be able to target micrometastases in a transgenic animal model of metastatic breast cancer. These SPION-based nanomedicines

  12. Snakes: An Integrated Unit Plan.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawrence, Lisa

    This document presents an integrated unit plan on snakes targeting second grade students. Objectives of the unit include developing concepts of living things, understanding the contribution and importance of snakes to the environment, and making connections between different disciplines. The unit integrates the topic of snakes into the areas of…

  13. Excess-density-driven snakes in tokamaks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aydemir, A. Y.; Shaing, K. C.; Waelbroeck, F. L.

    2011-10-01

    ``Snakes'' refer to sinusoidal patterns observed on space-time plots of soft-X-ray signals in tokamak plasmas. They are generally attributed to persistent and localized density perturbations that form at a rational surface after pellet injection (Weller, JET 1987), and Parker, Alcator-C 1987), or impurity accumulation (Naujoks, ASDEX 1996, Delgado-Aparicio, C-Mod 2011). It is not clear whether all snake observations have a unique origin. A likely explanation is that material trapped inside an island driven by a temperature hole leads to the observed soft-X-ray signals (Wesson 1995). More recently, it has been suggested that they could be the result of saturated nonlinear internal kinks in low, or reversed-shear geometries (Cooper 2011). We have started an examination of some of these issues using ideas from neoclassical transport theory (Shaing 2007) in conjunction with various magnetohydrodynamic models. In a RMHD model, we demonstrated that excess-density-driven bootstrap current can stabilize a resistive m = 1 island at a small amplitude, leaving a radially and poloidally localized snake-like structure. Extension of this work to more sophisticated models that include diamagnetic effects, and possibly more realistic geometries, will be presented. This research was supported by the Office of Fusion Energy Science of the U.S. Department of Energy.

  14. The dementia and disability project in Thai elderly: rational, design, methodology and early results

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    were free of chronic diseases. Treatment gap (indicating those who have untreated or inadequate treatment) of diabetes mellitus and hypertension in Thai elders in this study was 37% and 55.5% respectively. 62.6% of Thai elders have ApoE3E3 allele. Prevalence of positive ApoE4 gene in this study is 22.85%. 38.6% of Thai elders who had MRI brain study have moderate to severe white matter lesions. Conclusion The large and comprehensive set of measurements in DDP allows a wide-ranging explanation of the functional and clinical features to be investigated in relation to white matter lesions or cortical atrophy of the brain in Thai elderly population. An almost 2 year follow up was made available to those with MCI and dementia and some of the cognitively normal elderly. The longitudinal design will provide great understanding of the possible contributors to disability in the elderly and to the progression of cognitive decline in Thai elders. PMID:23305293

  15. Facile synthesis of optical microcavities by a rationally designed anodization approach: tailoring photonic signals by nanopore structure.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ye; Chen, Yuting; Kumeria, Tushar; Ding, Fuyuan; Evdokiou, Andreas; Losic, Dusan; Santos, Abel

    2015-05-13

    Structural engineering of porous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) nanostructures by anodization has been extensively studied in the past two decades. However, the transition of this technique into the fabrication of AAO-based one-dimensional photonic crystal is still challenging. Herein, we report for the first time on the fabrication of AAO optical microcavities by a rationally designed anodization approach. In our study, two feasible methods are used to fabricate microcavities with tunable resonance peak across the visible and near-infrared spectra. Distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) nanostructures are first fabricated by pulse anodization approach, in which the anodization voltage was periodically manipulated to achieve pseudosinusoidal modulation of the effective refractive index gradient along the depth of the AAO nanostructures. Microcavities were created by creating a nanoporous layer of constant porosity between two AAO-DBR nanostructures, and by introducing a shift of the phase of the porosity gradient along the depth of AAO. The position of the resonance peak in these microcavities can be linearly tuned by means of the duration of the high voltage anodization. These optical nanostructures are sensitive to alterations of the effective media inside the nanopores. The AAO microcavity shows a central wavelength shift of 2.58 ± 0.37 nm when exposed to water vapor. Our research highlights the feasibility of anodization technique to fabricate AAO-based photonic nanostructures for advanced sensing applications.

  16. Rational Design of ZnO:H/ZnO Bilayer Structure for High-Performance Thin-Film Transistors.

    PubMed

    Abliz, Ablat; Huang, Chun-Wei; Wang, Jingli; Xu, Lei; Liao, Lei; Xiao, Xiangheng; Wu, Wen-Wei; Fan, Zhiyong; Jiang, Changzhong; Li, Jinchai; Guo, Shishang; Liu, Chuansheng; Guo, Tailiang

    2016-03-01

    The intriguing properties of zinc oxide-based semiconductors are being extensively studied as they are attractive alternatives to current silicon-based semiconductors for applications in transparent and flexible electronics. Although they have promising properties, significant improvements on performance and electrical reliability of ZnO-based thin film transistors (TFTs) should be achieved before they can be applied widely in practical applications. This work demonstrates a rational and elegant design of TFT, composed of poly crystalline ZnO:H/ZnO bilayer structure without using other metal elements for doping. The field-effect mobility and gate bias stability of the bilayer structured devices have been improved. In this device structure, the hydrogenated ultrathin ZnO:H active layer (∼3 nm) could provide suitable carrier concentration and decrease the interface trap density, while thick pure-ZnO layer could control channel conductance. Based on this novel structure, a high field-effect mobility of 42.6 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1), a high on/off current ratio of 10(8) and a small subthreshold swing of 0.13 V dec(-1) have been achieved. Additionally, the bias stress stability of the bilayer structured devices is enhanced compared to the simple single channel layer ZnO device. These results suggest that the bilayer ZnO:H/ZnO TFTs have a great potential for low-cost thin-film electronics.

  17. Rational optimization of culture conditions for the most efficient ethanol production in Scheffersomyces stipitis using design of experiments.

    PubMed

    Unrean, Pornkamol; Nguyen, Nhung H A

    2012-01-01

    Optimization of culture parameters for achieving the most efficient ethanol fermentation is challenging due to multiple variables involved. Here we presented a rationalized methodology for multi-variables optimization through the design of experiments DoE approach. Three critical parameters, pH, temperature, and agitation speed, affecting ethanol fermentation in S. stipitis was investigated. A predictive model showed that agitation speed significantly affected ethanol synthesis. Reducing pH and temperature also improved ethanol production. The model identified the optimum culture conditions for the most efficient ethanol production with the yield and productivity of 0.46 g/g and 0.28 g/l h, respectively, which is consistent with experimental observation. The results also indicated the scalability of the model from shake flask to bioreactor. Thus, DoE is a promising tool permitting the rapid establishment of culture conditions for the most efficient ethanol fermentation in S. stipitis. The approach could be useful to reduce process development time in lignocellulosic ethanol industry.

  18. Rational design of heat-set and specific-ion-responsive supramolecular hydrogels based on the Hofmeister effect.

    PubMed

    Nebot, Vicent J; Ojeda-Flores, Juan J; Smets, Johan; Fernández-Prieto, Susana; Escuder, Beatriu; Miravet, Juan F

    2014-10-27

    Smart supramolecular hydrogels have been prepared from a bolaamphiphilic L-valine derivative in aqueous solutions of different salts. The hydrogels respond selectively to different ions and are either reinforced or weakened. In one case, in contrast to conventional systems, the hydrogels are formed upon heating of the system. The use of the hydrogels in the controlled release of an entrapped dye is described as a proof of the potential applications of these systems. The responsive hydrogels were rationally designed by taking into account the noticeable effect of different ions from the Hofmeister series in the solubility of the hydrogelator, which was assessed by using NMR experiments. On the one hand, kosmotropic anions such as sulfate produce a remarkable solubility decrease in the gelator, which is associated with gel reinforcement, as measured by rheological experiments. On the other hand, chaotropic species such as perchlorate weaken the gel. A dramatic effect was observed in the presence of guanidinium chloride, which boosted the solubility of the gelator, in accordance with its chaotropic behaviour reported in protein science. In this case, a direct interaction of the guanidinium species with the carbonyl groups of the hydrogelator is detected by (13) C NMR spectroscopy. The weakening of this interaction upon a temperature increase allows for the preparation of heat-set hydrogelating systems.

  19. Improved transferase/hydrolase ratio through rational design of a family 1 β-glucosidase from Thermotoga neapolitana.

    PubMed

    Lundemo, Pontus; Adlercreutz, Patrick; Karlsson, Eva Nordberg

    2013-06-01

    Alkyl glycosides are attractive surfactants because of their high surface activity and good biodegradability and can be produced from renewable resources. Through enzymatic catalysis, one can obtain well-defined alkyl glycosides, something that is very difficult to do using conventional chemistry. However, there is a need for better enzymes to get a commercially feasible process. A thermostable β-glucosidase from the well-studied glycoside hydrolase family 1 from Thermotoga neapolitana, TnBgl1A, was mutated in an attempt to improve its value for synthesis of alkyl glycosides. This was done by rational design using prior knowledge from structural homologues together with a recently generated model of the enzyme in question. Three out of four studied mutations increased the hydrolytic reaction rate in an aqueous environment, while none displayed this property in the presence of an alcohol acceptor. This shows that even if the enzyme resides in a separate aqueous phase, the presence of an organic solvent has a great influence. We could also show that a single amino acid replacement in a less studied part of the aglycone subsite, N220F, improves the specificity for transglycosylation 7-fold and thereby increases the potential yield of alkyl glycoside from 17% to 58%.

  20. Rational design of crystal contact-free space in protein crystals for analyzing spatial distribution of motions within protein molecules.

    PubMed

    Matsuoka, Rei; Shimada, Atsushi; Komuro, Yasuaki; Sugita, Yuji; Kohda, Daisuke

    2016-03-01

    Contacts with neighboring molecules in protein crystals inevitably restrict the internal motions of intrinsically flexible proteins. The resultant clear electron densities permit model building, as crystallographic snapshot structures. Although these still images are informative, they could provide biased pictures of the protein motions. If the mobile parts are located at a site lacking direct contacts in rationally designed crystals, then the amplitude of the movements can be experimentally analyzed. We propose a fusion protein method, to create crystal contact-free space (CCFS) in protein crystals and to place the mobile parts in the CCFS. Conventional model building fails when large amplitude motions exist. In this study, the mobile parts appear as smeared electron densities in the CCFS, by suitable processing of the X-ray diffraction data. We applied the CCFS method to a highly mobile presequence peptide bound to the mitochondrial import receptor, Tom20, and a catalytically relevant flexible segment in the oligosaccharyltransferase, AglB. These two examples demonstrated the general applicability of the CCFS method to the analysis of the spatial distribution of motions within protein molecules.

  1. A rationally designed form of the TLR5 agonist, flagellin, supports superior immunogenicity of Influenza B globular head vaccines.

    PubMed

    Song, Langzhou; Liu, Ge; Umlauf, Scott; Liu, Xiangyu; Li, Hong; Tian, Haijun; Reiserova, Lucia; Hou, Fuxiang; Bell, Rodney; Tussey, Lynda

    2014-07-23

    Previously, we demonstrated that for H1N1 and H5N1 influenza strains, the globular head of the hemagglutinin (HA) antigen fused to flagellin of Salmonella typhimurium fljB (STF2) is highly immunogenic in preclinical models and man (Song et al. (2008) [13]; Song et al. (2009) [14]; Taylor et al. (2012) [12]). Further we showed that the vaccine format, or point of attachment of the vaccine antigen to flagellin, can dramatically affect the immunogenicity and safety profile of the vaccine. However, Influenza B vaccines based on these formats are poor triggers of TLR5 and consequently are poorly immunogenic. Through rational design, here we show that we have identified a fusion position within domain 3 of flagellin that improves TLR5 signaling and consequently, immunogenicity of multiple influenza B vaccines. Our results demonstrate that, similar to influenza A strains, the protective subunit of the influenza B HA can be fused to flagellin and produced in a standard prokaryotic expression system thereby allowing for cost and time efficient production of multivalent seasonal influenza vaccines.

  2. Improved Transferase/Hydrolase Ratio through Rational Design of a Family 1 β-Glucosidase from Thermotoga neapolitana

    PubMed Central

    Adlercreutz, Patrick; Karlsson, Eva Nordberg

    2013-01-01

    Alkyl glycosides are attractive surfactants because of their high surface activity and good biodegradability and can be produced from renewable resources. Through enzymatic catalysis, one can obtain well-defined alkyl glycosides, something that is very difficult to do using conventional chemistry. However, there is a need for better enzymes to get a commercially feasible process. A thermostable β-glucosidase from the well-studied glycoside hydrolase family 1 from Thermotoga neapolitana, TnBgl1A, was mutated in an attempt to improve its value for synthesis of alkyl glycosides. This was done by rational design using prior knowledge from structural homologues together with a recently generated model of the enzyme in question. Three out of four studied mutations increased the hydrolytic reaction rate in an aqueous environment, while none displayed this property in the presence of an alcohol acceptor. This shows that even if the enzyme resides in a separate aqueous phase, the presence of an organic solvent has a great influence. We could also show that a single amino acid replacement in a less studied part of the aglycone subsite, N220F, improves the specificity for transglycosylation 7-fold and thereby increases the potential yield of alkyl glycoside from 17% to 58%. PMID:23524680

  3. Ni And Co Segregations On Selective Surface Facets And Rational Design Of Layered Lithium Transition-metal Oxide Cathodes

    SciTech Connect

    Yan, Pengfei; Zheng, Jianming; Zheng, Jiaxin; Wang, Zhiguo; Teng, Gaofeng; Kuppan, Saravanan; Xiao, Jie; Chen, Guoying; Pan, Feng; Zhang, Jiguang; Wang, Chong M.

    2016-05-05

    The chemical processes occurring on the surface of cathode materials during battery cycling play a crucial role in determining battery’s performance. However, our understanding on such surface chemistry is far from clear due to the complexity of redox chemistry during battery charge/discharge. In this work, through intensive aberration corrected STEM investigation on eight layered oxide cathode materials, we report two important findings on the pristine oxides. First, Ni and Co show strong plane selectivity when building up their respective surface segregation layers (SSL). Specifically, Ni-SSL is exclusively developed on (200)m facet in Li-Mn-rich oxides (monoclinic C2/m symmetry) and (012)h facet in Mn-Ni equally rich oxides (hexagonal R-3m symmetry), while Co-SSL has a strong preference to (20-2)m plane with minimal Co-SSL also developed on some other planes in LMR cathodes. Structurally, Ni-SSLs tend to form spinel-like lattice while Co-SSLs are in a rock-salt-like structure. Secondly, by increasing Ni concentration in these layered oxides, Ni and Co SSLs can be suppressed and even eliminated. Our findings indicate that Ni and Co SSLs are tunable through controlling particle morphology and oxide composition, which opens up a new way for future rational design and synthesis of cathode materials.

  4. Rational design of a monomeric and photostable far-red fluorescent protein for fluorescence imaging in vivo.

    PubMed

    Yu, Dan; Dong, Zhiqiang; Gustafson, William Clay; Ruiz-González, Rubén; Signor, Luca; Marzocca, Fanny; Borel, Franck; Klassen, Matthew P; Makhijani, Kalpana; Royant, Antoine; Jan, Yuh-Nung; Weiss, William A; Guo, Su; Shu, Xiaokun

    2016-02-01

    Fluorescent proteins (FPs) are powerful tools for cell and molecular biology. Here based on structural analysis, a blue-shifted mutant of a recently engineered monomeric infrared fluorescent protein (mIFP) has been rationally designed. This variant, named iBlueberry, bears a single mutation that shifts both excitation and emission spectra by approximately 40 nm. Furthermore, iBlueberry is four times more photostable than mIFP, rendering it more advantageous for imaging protein dynamics. By tagging iBlueberry to centrin, it has been demonstrated that the fusion protein labels the centrosome in the developing zebrafish embryo. Together with GFP-labeled nucleus and tdTomato-labeled plasma membrane, time-lapse imaging to visualize the dynamics of centrosomes in radial glia neural progenitors in the intact zebrafish brain has been demonstrated. It is further shown that iBlueberry can be used together with mIFP in two-color protein labeling in living cells and in two-color tumor labeling in mice.

  5. Rational design of carbonitrile-carboxaldehyde cation receptor models: probing the nature of the heteroatom-metal interaction.

    PubMed

    Rosli, Ahmad Nazmi; Abu Bakar, Maizathul Akmam; Lee, Vannajan Sanghiran; Zain, Sharifuddin Md; Ahmad, Mohd Rais; Abdul Manan, Ninie Suhana; Alias, Yatimah; Woi, Pei Meng

    2014-09-01

    In this work, hybrid functional and G4 methods were employed in the rational design of carbonitrile-carboxaldehyde receptor models for cation recognition. Electron-sharing and ionic interactions between the models and the cations were analyzed utilizing the concepts of overlap population, atomic valence, electrostatic potential, and CHELPG charge in order to elucidate the nature of the heteroatom-metal interaction, the N versus O disparity, and the effect of pH. Receptor fragment models from ionomycin were employed to rationalize the selection of receptor models for discriminating group I cations and enhancing the selectivity for Mg(II) rather than Ca(II), and to examine the effects of keto-enol forms and negatively charged sites. The changes in geometries, overlap population, metal valence, and CHELPG charge upon solvation in heptane medium as compared to the gas phase were negligible. The optimized geometries reveal that the interaction between group II cations and the keto, enol, and enolate forms of 2-cyanoethanal causes 12 % bending of the C-C-N angle from linearity. Overlap populations show that the electron-sharing interaction favors group II cations but that the same mechanism allows Li(I) to compete. The total spin of Li(I) is 17 % greater than that of Ca(II), but the G4 binding energies of the two are separated by more than 50 kcal/mol, favoring group II cations, which may eliminate interference from Li(I). 1,2-Dicyanoethylene, which has only one form, shows similar characteristics. CHELPG analysis shows that Mg(II) transfers 25 and 18 % of its positive charge to 2-cyanoethanal enolate and 1,2-dicyanoethylene, respectively. Hydrogen atoms receive most of the positive charge in both receptors, but the N-termini exhibit strikingly different characteristics. Electrostatic potential contour profiles were found to be in good agreement with the atomic charge distributions. The application of uncharged 1,3-dicarbonyl and 2-cyanocarbonyl receptors and a judicious

  6. Helical Siberian snakes

    SciTech Connect

    Courant, E.D.

    1988-01-01

    To eliminate spin resonances in circular accelerators ''Siberian Snakes'' may be inserted at one or more azimuths in such a way that the overall spin precession tune ..nu../sub s/ equals 1/2. A snake is a sequence of horizontal and vertical deflection magnets whose overall effect is to rotate the spin by ..pi.. about an axis in the plane of the orbit, either longitudinal or transverse or any angle /var phi/ in between. At the same time the magnets of the snake should be arranged so as to produce zero net deflection and displacement of the particle orbit. We investigate here how the orbit deflections can be made small by using helical deflecting magnets rather than discrete horizontal and vertical deflectors.

  7. 50 CFR 226.205 - Critical habitat for Snake River sockeye salmon, Snake River fall chinook salmon, and Snake River...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... salmon, Snake River fall chinook salmon, and Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon. 226.205 Section... Snake River sockeye salmon, Snake River fall chinook salmon, and Snake River spring/summer chinook... River salmon (except reaches above impassable natural falls, and Dworshak and Hells Canyon...

  8. Confucian Rationalism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lam, Chi-Ming

    2014-01-01

    Nowadays, there is still a widely held view that the Chinese and Western modes of thought are quite distinct from each other. In particular, the Chinese mode of thought derived from Confucianism is considered as comparatively less rational than the Western one. In this article, I first argue that although the analogical mode of argumentation,…

  9. Rational Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macmillan, C. J. B.

    1985-01-01

    The recognition of teaching as a special relationship among individuals is currently being overlooked in much contemporary educational research and policymaking. The author examines the philosophy of rationality in teaching and relates it to the educational vision presented in George Orwell's novel, "Nineteen Eighty-Four." (CB)

  10. Rational design of new materials for spintronics: Co2FeZ (Z=Al, Ga, Si, Ge).

    PubMed

    Balke, Benjamin; Wurmehl, Sabine; Fecher, Gerhard H; Felser, Claudia; Kübler, Jürgen

    2008-01-01

    Spintronic is a multidisciplinary field and a new research area. New materials must be found for satisfying the different types of demands. The search for stable half-metallic ferromagnets and ferromagnetic semiconductors with Curie temperatures higher than room temperature is still a challenge for solid state scientists. A general understanding of how structures are related to properties is a necessary prerequisite for material design. Computational simulations are an important tool for a rational design of new materials. The new developments in this new field are reported from the point of view of material scientists. The development of magnetic Heusler compounds specifically designed as material for spintronic applications has made tremendous progress in the very recent past. Heusler compounds can be made as half-metals, showing a high spin polarization of the conduction electrons of up to 100% in magnetic tunnel junctions. High Curie temperatures were found in Co2-based Heusler compounds with values up to 1120 K in Co2FeSi. The latest results at the time of writing are a tunnelling magnet resistance (TMR) device made from the Co2FeAl0.5Si0.5 Heusler compound and working at room temperature with a (TMR) effect higher than 200%. Good interfaces and a well-ordered compound are the precondition to realize the predicted half-metallic properties. The series Co2FeAl1- x Si x is found to exhibit half-metallic ferromagnetism over a broad range, and it is shown that electron doping stabilizes the gap in the minority states for x=0.5. This might be a reason for the exceptional temperature behaviour of Co2FeAl0.5Si0.5 TMR devices. Using x-ray diffraction (XRD), it was shown conclusively that Co2FeAl crystallizes in the B2 structure whereas Co2FeSi crystallizes in the L21 structure. For the compounds Co2FeGa or Co2FeGe, with Curie temperatures expected higher than 1000 K, the standard XRD technique using laboratory sources cannot be used to easily distinguish between the

  11. Enhanced complexity and catalytic efficiency in the hydrolysis of phosphate diesters by rationally designed helix-loop-helix motifs.

    PubMed

    Razkin, Jesus; Lindgren, Johan; Nilsson, Helena; Baltzer, Lars

    2008-08-11

    HJ1, a 42-residue peptide that folds into a helix-loop-helix motif and dimerizes to form a four-helix bundle, successfully catalyzes the cleavage of "early stage" DNA model substrates in an aqueous solution at pH 7.0, with a rate enhancement in the hydrolysis of heptyl 4-nitrophenyl phosphate of over three orders of magnitude over that of the imidazole-catalyzed reaction, k(2)(HJ1)/k(2)(Im) = 3135. The second-order rate constant, k(2)(HJ1) was determined to be 1.58x10(-4) M(-1) s(-1). The catalyst successfully assembles residues that in a single elementary reaction step are capable of general-acid and general-base catalysis as well as transition state stabilization and proximity effects. The reactivity achieved with the HJ1 polypeptide, rationally designed to catalyze the hydrolysis of phosphodiesters, is based on two histidine residues flanked by four arginines and two adjacent tyrosine residues, all located on the surface of a helix-loop-helix motif. The introduction of Tyr residues close to the catalytic site improves efficiency, in the cleavage of activated aryl alkyl phosphates as well as less activated dialkyl phosphates. HJ1 is also effective in the cleavage of an RNA-mimic substrate, uridine-3'-2,2,2-trichloroethyl phosphate (leaving group pK(a) = 12.3) with a second-order rate constant of 8.23x10(-4) M(-1) s(-1) in aqueous solution at pH 7.0, some 500 times faster than the reaction catalyzed by imidazole, k(2)(HJ1)/k(2)(Im) = 496.

  12. Rationally designed graphene-nanotube 3D architectures with a seamless nodal junction for efficient energy conversion and storage

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Yuhua; Ding, Yong; Niu, Jianbing; Xia, Zhenhai; Roy, Ajit; Chen, Hao; Qu, Jia; Wang, Zhong Lin; Dai, Liming

    2015-01-01

    One-dimensional (1D) carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and 2D single-atomic layer graphene have superior thermal, electrical, and mechanical properties. However, these nanomaterials exhibit poor out-of-plane properties due to the weak van der Waals interaction in the transverse direction between graphitic layers. Recent theoretical studies indicate that rationally designed 3D architectures could have desirable out-of-plane properties while maintaining in-plane properties by growing CNTs and graphene into 3D architectures with a seamless nodal junction. However, the experimental realization of seamlessly-bonded architectures remains a challenge. We developed a strategy of creating 3D graphene-CNT hollow fibers with radially aligned CNTs (RACNTs) seamlessly sheathed by a cylindrical graphene layer through a one-step chemical vapor deposition using an anodized aluminum wire template. By controlling the aluminum wire diameter and anodization time, the length of the RACNTs and diameter of the graphene hollow fiber can be tuned, enabling efficient energy conversion and storage. These fibers, with a controllable surface area, meso-/micropores, and superior electrical properties, are excellent electrode materials for all-solid-state wire-shaped supercapacitors with poly(vinyl alcohol)/H2SO4 as the electrolyte and binder, exhibiting a surface-specific capacitance of 89.4 mF/cm2 and length-specific capacitance up to 23.9 mF/cm, — one to four times the corresponding record-high capacities reported for other fiber-like supercapacitors. Dye-sensitized solar cells, fabricated using the fiber as a counter electrode, showed a power conversion efficiency of 6.8% and outperformed their counterparts with an expensive Pt wire counter electrode by a factor of 2.5. These novel fiber-shaped graphene-RACNT energy conversion and storage devices are so flexible they can be woven into fabrics as power sources. PMID:26601246

  13. Site-Directed Mutagenesis of a Hyperthermophilic Endoglucanase Cel12B from Thermotoga maritima Based on Rational Design

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jinfeng; Shi, Hao; Xu, Linyu; Zhu, Xiaoyan; Li, Xiangqian

    2015-01-01

    To meet the demand for the application of high activity and thermostable cellulases in the production of new-generation bioethanol from nongrain-cellulose sources, a hyperthermostable β-1,4-endoglucase Cel12B from Thermotoga maritima was selected for further modification by gene site-directed mutagenesis method in the present study, based on homology modeling and rational design. As a result, two recombinant enzymes showed significant improvement in enzyme activity by 77% and 87%, respectively, higher than the parental enzyme TmCel12B. Furthermore, the two mutants could retain 80% and 90.5% of their initial activity after incubation at 80°C for 8 h, while only 45% for 5 h to TmCel12B. The Km and Vmax of the two recombinant enzymes were 1.97±0.05 mM, 4.23±0.15 μmol·mg-1·min-1 of TmCel12B-E225H-K207G-D37V, and 2.97±0.12 mM, 3.15±0.21 μmol·mg-1·min-1 of TmCel12B-E225H-K207G, respectively, when using CMC-Na as the substrate. The roles of the mutation sites were also analyzed and evaluated in terms of electron density, hydrophobicity of the modeled protein structures. The recombinant enzymes may be used in the hydrolysis of cellulose at higher temperature in the future. It was concluded that the gene mutagenesis approach of a certain active residues may effectively improve the performance of cellulases for the industrial applications and contribute to the study the thermostable mechanism of thermophilic enzymes. PMID:26218520

  14. Rational Design of Charge-Transfer Interactions in Halogen-Bonded Co-crystals toward Versatile Solid-State Optoelectronics.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Weigang; Zheng, Renhui; Zhen, Yonggang; Yu, Zhenyi; Dong, Huanli; Fu, Hongbing; Shi, Qiang; Hu, Wenping

    2015-09-02

    Charge-transfer (CT) interactions between donor (D) and acceptor (A) groups, as well as CT exciton dynamics, play important roles in optoelectronic devices, such as organic solar cells, photodetectors, and light-emitting sources, which are not yet well understood. In this contribution, the self-assembly behavior, molecular stacking structure, CT interactions, density functional theory (DFT) calculations, and corresponding physicochemical properties of two similar halogen-bonded co-crystals are comprehensively investigated and compared, to construct an "assembly-structure-CT-property" relationship. Bpe-IFB wire-like crystals (where Bpe = 1,2-bis(4-pyridyl)ethylene and IFB = 1,3,5-trifluoro-2,4,6-triiodobenzene), packed in a segregated stacking form with CT ground and excited states, are measured to be quasi-one-dimensional (1D) semiconductors and show strong violet-blue photoluminescence (PL) from the lowest CT1 excitons (ΦPL = 26.1%), which can be confined and propagate oppositely along the 1D axial direction. In comparison, Bpe-F4DIB block-like crystals (F4DIB = 1,4-diiodotetrafluorobenzene), packed in a mixed stacking form without CT interactions, are determined to be insulators and exhibit unique white light emission and two-dimensional optical waveguide property. Surprisingly, it seems that the intrinsic spectroscopic states of Bpe and F4DIB do not change after co-crystallization, which is also confirmed by theoretical calculations, thus offering a new design principle for white light emitting materials. More importantly, we show that the CT interactions in co-crystals are related to their molecular packing and can be triggered or suppressed by crystal engineering, which eventually leads to distinct optoelectronic properties. These results help us to rationally control the CT interactions in organic D-A systems by tuning the molecular stacking, toward the development of a fantastic "optoelectronic world".

  15. Broadening the cofactor specificity of a thermostable alcohol dehydrogenase using rational protein design introduces novel kinetic transient behavior.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Elliot; Wheeldon, Ian R; Banta, Scott

    2010-12-01

    Cofactor specificity in the aldo-keto reductase (AKR) superfamily has been well studied, and several groups have reported the rational alteration of cofactor specificity in these enzymes. Although most efforts have focused on mesostable AKRs, several putative AKRs have recently been identified from hyperthermophiles. The few that have been characterized exhibit a strong preference for NAD(H) as a cofactor, in contrast to the NADP(H) preference of the mesophilic AKRs. Using the design rules elucidated from mesostable AKRs, we introduced two site-directed mutations in the cofactor binding pocket to investigate cofactor specificity in a thermostable AKR, AdhD, which is an alcohol dehydrogenase from Pyrococcus furiosus. The resulting double mutant exhibited significantly improved activity and broadened cofactor specificity as compared to the wild-type. Results of previous pre-steady-state kinetic experiments suggest that the high affinity of the mesostable AKRs for NADP(H) stems from a conformational change upon cofactor binding which is mediated by interactions between a canonical arginine and the 2'-phosphate of the cofactor. Pre-steady-state kinetics with AdhD and the new mutants show a rich conformational behavior that is independent of the canonical arginine or the 2'-phosphate. Additionally, experiments with the highly active double mutant using NADPH as a cofactor demonstrate an unprecedented transient behavior where the binding mechanism appears to be dependent on cofactor concentration. These results suggest that the structural features involved in cofactor specificity in the AKRs are conserved within the superfamily, but the dynamic interactions of the enzyme with cofactors are unexpectedly complex.

  16. Helical dipole partial Siberian snake for the AGS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takano, J.; Ahrens, L. A.; Alforque, R.; Bai, M.; Brown, K.; Courant, E. D.; Ganetis, G.; Gardner, C. J.; Glenn, J. W.; Hattori, T.; Huang, H.; Jain, A.; Luccio, A. U.; MacKay, W. W.; Okamura, M.; Roser, T.; Tsoupas, N.; Tepikian, S.; Tuozzolo, J.; Wood, J.; Zelenski, A.; Zeno, K.

    2006-11-01

    Overcoming depolarization resonances in medium class synchrotrons (3 to 50 GeV) is one of the key issues in accelerating a highly polarized proton beam up to very high energies. Since such synchrotrons, including the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS) and the J-PARC Main Ring, generally do not have sufficiently long straight sections to accommodate full Siberian snakes with reasonable beam excursions, the practical solution is to use partial Siberian snakes that rotate the particle spin about a horizontal axis by a fraction of 180 degrees. For the AGS, we designed and installed a new partial Siberian snake consisting of a helical dipole magnet with a double pitch structure. The helical structure reduced the amount of transverse coupling as compared to that achieved by the previous solenoidal partial snake. This coupling led to partial depolarization at certain energies from horizontal betatron oscillations. The helical magnetic field in the snake magnet was calculated using a 3D magnetic field code TOSCA, and was optimized by segmenting the helical pitch and varying the lengths of the segments. Fabrication errors were checked and verified to be within required tolerances. Finally, the transverse field was measured by rotating harmonic coils. After installation, we achieved a 37.5% improvement in polarization - from 40% with the old solenoid to 55% with the new helical snake, thereby demonstrating that the helical partial snake is an effective device to suppress depolarization resonances in medium-sized synchrotrons.

  17. Fear the serpent: A psychometric study of snake phobia.

    PubMed

    Polák, Jakub; Sedláčková, Kristýna; Nácar, David; Landová, Eva; Frynta, Daniel

    2016-08-30

    Millions of people worldwide suffer from specific phobias. Almost any stimulus may trigger a phobic reaction, but snakes are among the most feared objects. Half of the population feel anxious about snakes and 2-3% meet the diagnostic criteria for snake phobia. Despite such a high ratio, only one instrument is commonly used, the Snake Questionnaire (SNAQ). The aim of this study was to develop a standardized Czech translation, describe its psychometric properties and analyze the distribution of snake fears. In a counter-balanced design 755 respondents were asked to complete the English and Czech SNAQ (first or last) with a 2-3 month delay; 300 of them completed both instruments. We found excellent test-retest reliability (0.94), although the total scores differed significantly when the English version was administered first. The mean score was 5.80 and Generalized Linear Models revealed significant effects of sex and field of study (women and people with no biology education scored higher than men and biologists). A cut-off point for snake phobia as derived from a previous study identified 2.6% of the subjects as phobic. Finally, the score distribution was similar to other countries supporting the view that fear of snakes is universal.

  18. Poisonous snakes - slideshow

    MedlinePlus

    ... Rattlesnake URL of this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/presentations/100138.htm Venomous snakes - series—Rattlesnake To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Go to slide 1 out of 3 Go to slide 2 ...

  19. Where Galactic Snakes Live

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows what astronomers are referring to as a 'snake' (upper left) and its surrounding stormy environment. The sinuous object is actually the core of a thick, sooty cloud large enough to swallow dozens of solar systems. In fact, astronomers say the 'snake's belly' may be harboring beastly stars in the process of forming.

    The galactic creepy crawler to the right of the snake is another thick cloud core, in which additional burgeoning massive stars might be lurking. The colorful regions below the two cloud cores are less dense cloud material, in which dust has been heated by starlight and glows with infrared light. Yellow and orange dots throughout the image are monstrous developing stars; the red star on the 'belly' of the snake is 20 to 50 times as massive as our sun. The blue dots are foreground stars.

    The red ball at the bottom left is a 'supernova remnant,' the remains of massive star that died in a fiery blast. Astronomers speculate that radiation and winds from the star before it died, in addition to a shock wave created when it exploded, might have played a role in creating the snake.

    Spitzer was able to spot the two black cloud cores using its heat-seeking infrared vision. The objects are hiding in the dusty plane of our Milky Way galaxy, invisible to optical telescopes. Because their heat, or infrared light, can sneak through the dust, they first showed up in infrared images from past missions. The cloud cores are so thick with dust that if you were to somehow transport yourself into the middle of them, you would see nothing but black, not even a star in the sky. Now, that's spooky!

    Spitzer's new view of the region provides the best look yet at the massive embryonic stars hiding inside the snake. Astronomers say these observations will ultimately help them better understand how massive stars form. By studying the clustering and range of masses of the stellar embryos, they hope

  20. Rational design of artificial riboswitches based on ligand-dependent modulation of internal ribosome entry in wheat germ extract and their applications as label-free biosensors.

    PubMed

    Ogawa, Atsushi

    2011-03-01

    Riboswitches are RNA elements in mRNA that control gene expression in cis in response to their specific ligands. Because artificial riboswitches make it possible to regulate any gene with an arbitrary molecule, they are expected to function as biosensors, in which the output is easily detectable protein expression. I report herein a fully rational design strategy for artificially constructing novel riboswitches that work in a eukaryotic cell-free translation system (wheat germ extract). In these riboswitches, translation mediated by an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) is promoted only in the presence of a specific ligand (ON), while it is inhibited in the absence of the ligand (OFF). The first rationally designed riboswitch, which is regulated by theophylline, showed a high switching efficiency and dependency on theophylline. In addition, based on the design of the theophylline-dependent riboswitch, other three kinds of riboswitches controlled by FMN, tetracycline, and sulforhodamine B, were constructed only by calculating the ΔG value of one stem-loop structure. The rational design strategy described herein is therefore useful for easily producing various ligand-dependent riboswitches, which are available as biosensors for detecting their ligands.

  1. Rational Belief.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-05-01

    numbers; may include program from the Standard Distribution for element number(s), project number(s), task Unclassified Scientific and Technical number...Grant TA - Task Block 13. A.trac.t Include a brief (Maximum PE - Program WU- Work Unit 200 words) factual summary of the most Element Accession No...rational constraints for nondeductive argument and inference. Such a notion would also provide a framework for decision theory. The program of finding

  2. Rational Design and Characterization of the Novel, Broad and Potent Bispecific HIV-1 Neutralizing Antibody iMabm36

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Ming; Pace, Craig S.; Yao, Xin; Yu, Faye; Padte, Neal N.; Huang, Yaoxing; Seaman, Michael S.; Li, Qihan; Ho, David D.

    2014-01-01

    While broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (bNAbs) have always been considered potential therapeutic options for the prophylactic and treatment of HIV infection, their lack of breadth against all HIV variants has been one of the limiting factors. To provide sufficient neutralization breadth and potency against diverse viruses, including neutralization escape variants, strategies to combine different bNAbs have been explored recently. We rationally designed and engineered a novel bispecific HIV-1 neutralizing antibody (bibNAb), iMabm36, for high potency and breadth against HIV. iMabm36 is composed of the anti-CD4 Ab ibalizumab (iMab) linked to two copies of the single-domain Ab m36 which targets a highly conserved CD4-induced epitope. iMabm36 neutralizes a majority of a large, multi-clade panel of pseudoviruses (96%, n=118) at an IC50 concentration of less than 10 μg/mL, with 83% neutralized at an IC50 concentration of less than 0.1μg/ml. In addition, iMabm36 neutralizes six replication-competent transmitted-founder viruses to 100% inhibition at a concentration of less than 0.1μg/ml in a PBMC-based neutralizing assay. Mechanistically, improved antiviral activity of iMabm36 is dependent on both CD4 binding activity of iMab component and CD4i binding activity of the m36 component. After characterizing viral resistance to iMabm36 neutralization was due to mutations residing in the bridging sheet of gp120, an optimized m36 variant was engineered that, when fused to iMab, improved antiviral activity significantly. Together inter-dependency of this dual mechanism of action enables iMabm36 to potently inhibit HIV-1 entry. These results demonstrate that mechanistic-based design of bibNAbs could generate potential preventive and therapeutic candidates for HIV/AIDS. PMID:24853313

  3. Early evolution of the venom system in lizards and snakes.

    PubMed

    Fry, Bryan G; Vidal, Nicolas; Norman, Janette A; Vonk, Freek J; Scheib, Holger; Ramjan, S F Ryan; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Fung, Kim; Hedges, S Blair; Richardson, Michael K; Hodgson, Wayne C; Ignjatovic, Vera; Summerhayes, Robyn; Kochva, Elazar

    2006-02-02

    Among extant reptiles only two lineages are known to have evolved venom delivery systems, the advanced snakes and helodermatid lizards (Gila Monster and Beaded Lizard). Evolution of the venom system is thought to underlie the impressive radiation of the advanced snakes (2,500 of 3,000 snake species). In contrast, the lizard venom system is thought to be restricted to just two species and to have evolved independently from the snake venom system. Here we report the presence of venom toxins in two additional lizard lineages (Monitor Lizards and Iguania) and show that all lineages possessing toxin-secreting oral glands form a clade, demonstrating a single early origin of the venom system in lizards and snakes. Construction of gland complementary-DNA libraries and phylogenetic analysis of transcripts revealed that nine toxin types are shared between lizards and snakes. Toxinological analyses of venom components from the Lace Monitor Varanus varius showed potent effects on blood pressure and clotting ability, bioactivities associated with a rapid loss of consciousness and extensive bleeding in prey. The iguanian lizard Pogona barbata retains characteristics of the ancestral venom system, namely serial, lobular non-compound venom-secreting glands on both the upper and lower jaws, whereas the advanced snakes and anguimorph lizards (including Monitor Lizards, Gila Monster and Beaded Lizard) have more derived venom systems characterized by the loss of the mandibular (lower) or maxillary (upper) glands. Demonstration that the snakes, iguanians and anguimorphs form a single clade provides overwhelming support for a single, early origin of the venom system in lizards and snakes. These results provide new insights into the evolution of the venom system in squamate reptiles and open new avenues for biomedical research and drug design using hitherto unexplored venom proteins.

  4. Accelerators, Colliders, and Snakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Courant, Ernest D.

    2003-12-01

    The author traces his involvement in the evolution of particle accelerators over the past 50 years. He participated in building the first billion-volt accelerator, the Brookhaven Cosmotron, which led to the introduction of the "strong-focusing" method that has in turn led to the very large accelerators and colliders of the present day. The problems of acceleration of spin-polarized protons are also addressed, with discussions of depolarizing resonances and "Siberian snakes" as a technique for mitigating these resonances.

  5. Dystocia in a snake.

    PubMed

    Peters, A R; Coote, J

    1977-05-14

    Herpetology is a rapidly growing interest in this country, reptiles being kept both for research purposes and as pets. However, there is a lack of literature on reptilian medicine and surgery; the authors know of only one available text (Frye 1973). Furthermore, there are only two published case histories of dystocia in the snake (Huff 1976, Hime 1976) and thus this case was considered to be of particular interest.

  6. Reproductive strategies in snakes.

    PubMed Central

    Shine, Richard

    2003-01-01

    Snakes of both sexes display remarkable flexibility and diversity in their reproductive tactics. Many features of reproduction in female snakes (such as reproductive mode and frequency, seasonality and multiple mating) allow flexible maternal control. For example, females can manipulate not only the genotypes of their offspring (through mate choice or enhanced sperm competition) but also the phenotypes of their offspring (through allocation 'decisions', behavioural and physiological thermoregulation, and nest-site selection). Reliance on stored energy ('capital') to fuel breeding results in low frequencies of female reproduction and, in extreme cases, semelparity. A sophisticated vomeronasal system not only allows male snakes to locate reproductive females by following scent trails, but also facilitates pheromonally mediated mate choice by males. Male-male rivalry takes diverse forms, including female mimicry and mate guarding; combat bouts impose strong selection for large body size in males of some species. Intraspecific (geographical) variation and phenotypic plasticity in a wide array of reproductive traits (offspring size and number; reproductive frequency; incidence of multiple mating; male tactics such as mate guarding and combat; mate choice criteria) provide exceptional opportunities for future studies. PMID:12803888

  7. Reproductive strategies in snakes.

    PubMed

    Shine, Richard

    2003-05-22

    Snakes of both sexes display remarkable flexibility and diversity in their reproductive tactics. Many features of reproduction in female snakes (such as reproductive mode and frequency, seasonality and multiple mating) allow flexible maternal control. For example, females can manipulate not only the genotypes of their offspring (through mate choice or enhanced sperm competition) but also the phenotypes of their offspring (through allocation 'decisions', behavioural and physiological thermoregulation, and nest-site selection). Reliance on stored energy ('capital') to fuel breeding results in low frequencies of female reproduction and, in extreme cases, semelparity. A sophisticated vomeronasal system not only allows male snakes to locate reproductive females by following scent trails, but also facilitates pheromonally mediated mate choice by males. Male-male rivalry takes diverse forms, including female mimicry and mate guarding; combat bouts impose strong selection for large body size in males of some species. Intraspecific (geographical) variation and phenotypic plasticity in a wide array of reproductive traits (offspring size and number; reproductive frequency; incidence of multiple mating; male tactics such as mate guarding and combat; mate choice criteria) provide exceptional opportunities for future studies.

  8. Rationalization: A Bibliography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pedrini, D. T.; Pedrini, Bonnie C.

    Rationalization was studied by Sigmund Freud and was specifically labeled by Ernest Jones. Rationalization ought to be differentiated from rational, rationality, logical analysis, etc. On the one hand, rationalization is considered a defense mechanism, on the other hand, rationality is not. Haan has done much work with self-report inventories and…

  9. Snakes Have Feelings, Too: Elements of a Camp Snake Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allen, Robert Ross

    2001-01-01

    A camp snake program can help campers overcome their fear of snakes, and people cannot truly enjoy nature when they carry a phobia about any one part of it. It can also help overcome prejudice by teaching truth and respect, instilling compassion, and helping campers develop empathy. Advice on catching, handling, identifying, keeping, and feeding…

  10. Snake bite envenomation in Ecuador.

    PubMed

    González-Andrade, Fabricio; Chippaux, Jean-Philippe

    2010-09-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the burden of snake bite in Ecuador and to identify the difficulties of snake bite management in Ecuadorian health facilities. A survey based on national health statistics was carried out in Ecuador to estimate the overall incidence and mortality due to snake bites. During the period 1998-2007, the average annual incidence and mortality was respectively 11 and 0.5 per 100 000 inhabitants. The at-risk population was represented mainly by males aged 10-54 years. Snake bite incidence increased during the rainy season and El Niño. According to one data source, the majority of snake bites occurred in the coastal region (56%) compared with the Amazonian rainforest (11%) and the highlands (33%). This geographical variation in snake bite incidence may reflect the distribution of venomous snakes and human population densities and activities. This preliminary national survey on the incidence of the envenomings due to snake bite in Ecuador showed a stable incidence over the time period studied but was heterogeneous in the three geographical regions of Ecuador. The incidence and mortality were higher in the lowland humid regions where Bothrops species are abundant.

  11. Rational design of sub-parts per million specific gas sensors array based on metal nanoparticles decorated nanowire enhancement-mode transistors.

    PubMed

    Zou, Xuming; Wang, Jingli; Liu, Xingqiang; Wang, Chunlan; Jiang, Ying; Wang, Yong; Xiao, Xiangheng; Ho, Johnny C; Li, Jinchai; Jiang, Changzhong; Fang, Ying; Liu, Wei; Liao, Lei

    2013-07-10

    "One key to one lock" hybrid sensor configuration is rationally designed and demonstrated as a direct effective route for the target-gas-specific, highly sensitive, and promptly responsive chemical gas sensing for room temperature operation in a complex ambient background. The design concept is based on three criteria: (i) quasi-one-dimensional metal oxide nanostructures as the sensing platform which exhibits good electron mobility and chemical and thermal stability; (ii) deep enhancement-mode field-effect transistors (E-mode FETs) with appropriate threshold voltages to suppress the nonspecific sensitivity to all gases (decouple the selectivity and sensitivity away from nanowires); (iii) metal nanoparticle decoration onto the nanostructure surface to introduce the gas specific selectivity and sensitivity to the sensing platform. In this work, using Mg-doped In2O3 nanowire E-mode FET sensor arrays decorated with various discrete metal nanoparticles (i.e., Au, Ag, and Pt) as illustrative prototypes here further confirms the feasibility of this design. Particularly, the Au decorated sensor arrays exhibit more than 3 orders of magnitude response to the exposure of 100 ppm CO among a mixture of gases at room temperature. The corresponding response time and detection limit are as low as ∼4 s and ∼500 ppb, respectively. All of these could have important implications for this "one key to one lock" hybrid sensor configuration which potentially open up a rational avenue to the design of advanced-generation chemical sensors with unprecedented selectivity and sensitivity.

  12. Improving sample distribution homogeneity in Three-Dimensional Microfluidic Paper-Based Analytical Devices (3D-μPAD) by rational device design.

    PubMed

    Morbioli, Giorgio Gianini; Mazzu-Nascimento, Thiago; Milan, Luis Aparecido; Stockton, Amanda M; Carrilho, Emanuel

    2017-04-12

    Paper-based devices are a portable, user-friendly and affordable technology that is one of the best analytical tools for inexpensive diagnostic devices. Three-dimensional microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (3D-μPADs) are an evolution of single layer devices and they permit effective sample dispersion, individual layer treatment, and multiplex analytical assays. Here, we present the rational design of a wax-printed 3D-μPAD that enables more homogeneous permeation of fluids along the cellulose matrix than other existing designs in the literature. Moreover, we show the importance of the rational design of channels on these devices using glucose oxidase, peroxidase, and 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) reactions. We present an alternative method for layer stacking using a magnetic apparatus, which facilitates fluidic dispersion and improves the reproducibility of tests performed on 3D-μPADs. We also provide the optimized designs for printing, facilitating further studies using 3D-μPADs.

  13. Quantum snake walk on graphs

    SciTech Connect

    Rosmanis, Ansis

    2011-02-15

    I introduce a continuous-time quantum walk on graphs called the quantum snake walk, the basis states of which are fixed-length paths (snakes) in the underlying graph. First, I analyze the quantum snake walk on the line, and I show that, even though most states stay localized throughout the evolution, there are specific states that most likely move on the line as wave packets with momentum inversely proportional to the length of the snake. Next, I discuss how an algorithm based on the quantum snake walk might potentially be able to solve an extended version of the glued trees problem, which asks to find a path connecting both roots of the glued trees graph. To the best of my knowledge, no efficient quantum algorithm solving this problem is known yet.

  14. Snakes Out of the Plane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCormick, Andrew; Young, Bruce A.; Mahadevan, L.

    2012-02-01

    We develop a new computational model of elastic rods, taking into account shear and full rotational dynamics, as well as friction, adhesion, and collision. This model is used to study the movement of snakes in different environments. By applying different muscular activation patterns to the snake, we observe many different patterns of motion, from planar undulation to sudden strikes. Many of the most interesting behaviors involve the snake rising out of the horizontal plane in the vertical direction. Such behaviors include a sand snake sidewinding over the hot desert sand and a cobra rearing up into a defensive striking position. Experimental videos of live snakes are analyzed and compared with computational results. We identify and explain a new form of movement previously unobserved: ``collateral locomotion.''

  15. Snakebite and Snake Venom Ophthalmia

    PubMed Central

    Ajao, O.G.; Hawtin, J.G.

    1980-01-01

    Snakebite is not necessarily snake envenomation. Of about 2,500 known species of snakes, only about 40 are regarded as being dangerous. A snake will not go out of its way to attack a person and even in defense, snakes bite humans usually to dissuade and not to kill. Early surgical excision of the bitten area is regarded as a most important aspect in the management of a poisonous snakebite, and because of the side effects of horse serum, cautious use of antivenin is advised only in cases of severe systemic poisoning. When a snake spits into the eyes, prompt treatment is indicated to prevent future blindness. ImagesFigure 1Figure 2Figure 3 PMID:6968356

  16. Snake bite in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Habib, A G; Gebi, U I; Onyemelukwe, G C

    2001-09-01

    Four families of venomous snakes are found in Nigeria--Viperidae, Elapidae, Colubridae and Actraspididae but three species carpet viper (Echis ocellatus), black-necked spitting cobra (Naja nigricollis) and puff adder (Bitis arietans), belonging to the first two families, are the most important snakes associated with envenoming in Nigeria. The incidence of bites has been reported as 497 per 100,000 population per year with a 12 percent natural mortality, with Echis ocellatus accounting for at least 66 percent in certain foci. Bites occur more often while victims were farming, herding or walking although the spitting cobra may bite victims who roll upon it in their sleep. Carpet viper venom contains a prothrombin activating procoagulant, haemorrhagin and cytolytic fractions which cause haemorrhage, incoagulable blood, shock and local reactions/ necrosis. The spitting cobra bite manifests with local tissue reaction and occassionally with bleeding from the site of bite, but no classic neurotoxic feature has been observed except following Egyptian cobra (N. haje) bites. Cardiotoxicity and renal failure may occassionally occur following bites by the carpet viper and the puff adder. In the laboratory, haematological and other features are noted and immunodiagnosis has a role in species identification. Immobilisation of the bitten limb is probably the single most important first aid measure. Antivenom should be used cautiously when indicated. As only 8.5 percent of snake bite victims attend hospitals in Nigeria, health education should be the main preventive measure, mean-while, the study of immunisation of occupationally predisposed individuals in endemic areas should be intensified. A new Fab fragment antivenom specific to Nigerian Echis ocellatus was investigated clinically, just as the local herbs-Aristolochia spp, Guiera spp and Schummaniophyton spp are investigated experimentally.

  17. Snake bite: pit vipers.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Michael E

    2006-11-01

    Pit vipers are the largest group of venomous snakes in the United States and are involved in an estimated 150,000 bites annually of dogs and cats. The severity of any pit viper bite is related to the volume and toxicity of the venom injected as well as the location of the bite, which may influence the rate of venom uptake. The toxicity of rattlesnake venom varies widely. It is possible for pit vipers' venom to be strictly neurotoxic with virtually no local signs of envenomation. Venom consists of 90% water and has a minimum of 10 enzymes and 3 to 12 nonenzymatic proteins and peptides in any individual snake. The onset of clinical signs after envenomation may be delayed for several hours. The presence of fang marks does not indicate that envenomation has occurred, only that a bite has taken place. Systemic clinical manifestations encompass a wide variety of problems including pain, weakness, dizziness, nausea, severe hypotension, and thrombocytopenia. The victim's clotting abnormalities largely depend upon the species of snake involved. Venom induced thrombocytopenia occurs in approximately 30% of envenomations. Many first aid measures have been advocated for pit viper bite victims, none has been shown to prevent morbidity or mortality. Current recommendations for first aid in the field are to keep the victim calm, keep the bite site below heart level if possible, and transport the victim to a veterinary medical facility for primary medical intervention. The patient should be hospitalized and monitored closely for a minimum of 8 hours for the onset of signs of envenomation. The only proven specific therapy against pit viper envenomation is the administration of antivenin. The dosage of antivenin needed is calculated relative to the amount of venom injected, the body mass of the victim, and the bite site. The average dosage in dogs and cats is 1 to 2 vials of antivenin.

  18. A rational design for hepatitis B virus X protein refolding and bioprocess development guided by second virial coefficient studies.

    PubMed

    Basu, Anindya; Chen, Wei Ning; Leong, Susanna Su Jan

    2011-04-01

    The hepatitis B virus X (HBx) protein is well known for its role in hepatitis B virus infection that often leads to hepatocellular carcinoma. Despite the clinical importance of HBx, there is little progress in anti-HBx drug development strategies due to shortage of HBx from native sources. Consistent expression of HBx as insoluble inclusion bodies within various expression systems has largely hindered HBx manufacturing via economical biosynthesis routes. Confronted by this roadblock, this study aims to quantitatively understand HBx protein behaviour in solution that will guide the rational development of a refolding-based bioprocess for HBx production. Second virial coefficient (SVC) measurements were employed to study the effects of varying physicochemical parameters on HBx intermolecular protein interaction. The SVC results suggest that covalent HBx aggregates play a key role in protein destabilisation during refolding. The use of an SVC-optimised refolding environment yielded bioactive and soluble HBx proteins from the denatured-reduced inclusion body state. This study provides new knowledge on HBx solubility behaviour in vitro, which is important in structure-function elucidation behaviour of this hydrophobic protein. Importantly, a rational refolding-based Escherichia coli bioprocess that can deliver purified and soluble HBx at large scale is successfully developed, which opens the way for rapid preparation of soluble HBx for further clinical and characterisation studies.

  19. Self-assembling magnetic "snakes"

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-01

    Nickel particles float peacefully in a liquid medium until a giant snake seems to swim by and snatch several particles up, adding to its own mass. The self-assembled "snakes" act like biological systems, but they are not alive and are driven by a magnetic field. The research may someday offer some insight into the organization of life itself. Read more at Wired: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/03/snakes/ Research and video by Alex Snezhko and Igor Aronson, Argonne National Laboratory.

  20. A study of the active site of influenza virus sialidase: an approach to the rational design of novel anti-influenza drugs.

    PubMed

    von Itzstein, M; Dyason, J C; Oliver, S W; White, H F; Wu, W Y; Kok, G B; Pegg, M S

    1996-01-19

    The development of sialidase inhibitor-based potential anti-influenza drugs using rational drug design techniques has been of recent interest. The present study details as investigation of the active site of influenza virus sialidase by using the program GRID in an attempt to design more potent inhibitors in the hope they will eventually lead to anti-influenza drugs. A number of different probes (amino, carboxy, hydroxy, methyl, etc) have been used in an effort to determine the functional groups most likely to improve the binding of the starting template 2-deoxy-2,3-didehydro-N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac2en). The data have correctly predicted the binding regions for the carboxylate, acetamido (NH and methyl), and glycerol (OH) groups of N-acetylneuraminic acid. Moreover, the data suggest that the addition of certain functionalities (amino group) at the C-4 position should enhance the overall binding.

  1. A rationally designed nitrogen-rich metal-organic framework and its exceptionally high CO(2) and H(2) uptake capability.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-Jun; Li, Pei-Zhou; Chen, Yifei; Zhang, Quan; Zhang, Huacheng; Chan, Xiu Xiang; Ganguly, Rakesh; Li, Yongxin; Jiang, Jianwen; Zhao, Yanli

    2013-01-01

    On the way towards a sustainable low-carbon future, the design and construction of chemical or physical adsorbents for CO(2) capture and clean energy storage are vital technology. The incorporation of accessible nitrogen-donor sites into the pore walls of porous adsorbents can dramatically affect the CO(2) uptake capacity and selectivity on account of the dipole-quadrupole interactions between the polarizable CO(2) molecule and the accessible nitrogen site. In the present work, a nitrogen-rich rth-type metal-organic framework (MOF) was constructed based on rational design and careful synthesis. The MOF presents exceptionally high uptake capacity not only for CO(2) but also for H(2), which is attributed to favorable interactions between the gas molecules and the nitrogen-rich triazole units of the MOF proved by both experimental measurements and theoretical molecular simulations.

  2. Rational design and metabolic analysis of Escherichia coli for effective production of L-tryptophan at high concentration.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lin; Zeng, An-Ping

    2017-01-01

    L-tryptophan (L-trp) is a biosynthetic precursor of various bioactive components with pharmaceutical interest. The development of an efficient L-trp production strain using targeted molecular engineering approaches is challenging due to the requirement of several precursors and the complex regulations of the pathways involved. In this study, we present a rationally engineered and genetically stable L-trp overproducing Escherichia coli strain. The streamlined strain E. coli S028 is able to efficiently produce 34-40 g/L of L-trp with a yield of 0.15 g L-trp/g glucose and a productivity of 0.60 g/L/h in fed-batch fermentations. The titer and productivity of L-trp achieved are over twice as much as those reported so far for rationally developed L-trp producers. In addition, for the first time, both intracellular and extracellular concentrations of L-trp and the key metabolites in a L-trp hyperproducer strain were measured with an automated fast-sampling unit which is connected to a well-controlled bioreactor. The time series metabolic analysis gives valuable information about the regulation of L-trp synthesis in a highly productive strain and reveals targets for further improvement. Among others, it was found that L-trp and the byproduct glutamate (L-glu) accumulated to an extremely high level in the cell initially whereas the intracellular concentrations of glutamine (L-gln) stayed at a relatively low level throughout the fermentation. The metabolic analysis suggests that (a) the engineered serine biosynthesis pathway was able to effectively synthesize the substrate serine (intracellular concentration > 8 mM) for L-trp production, while (b) the substrate L-gln with an intracellular concentration of 0.8-1.2 mM seems to limit the biosynthesis of L-trp, even though L-glu was overproduced intra- and extracellularly. Thus, an increased availability of glutamine synthetase which catalyzes L-glu conversion to L-gln and an overexpression of the L-trp exporter gene

  3. Development of Snake Fungal Disease after Experimental Challenge with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorous).

    PubMed

    Allender, Matthew C; Baker, Sarah; Wylie, Daniel; Loper, Daniel; Dreslik, Michael J; Phillips, Christopher A; Maddox, Carol; Driskell, Elizabeth A

    2015-01-01

    Snake fungal disease (SFD) is a clinical syndrome associated with dermatitis, myositis, osteomyelitis, and pneumonia in several species of free-ranging snakes in the US. The causative agent has been suggested as Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, but other agents may contribute to the syndrome and the pathogenesis is not understood. To understand the role of O. ophiodiicola in SFD, a cottonmouth snake model of SFD was designed. Five cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorous) were experimentally challenged by nasolabial pit inoculation with a pure culture of O. ophiodiicola. Development of skin lesions or facial swelling at the site of inoculation was observed in all snakes. Twice weekly swabs of the inoculation site revealed variable presence of O. ophiodiicola DNA by qPCR in all five inoculated snakes for 3 to 58 days post-inoculation; nasolabial flushes were not a useful sampling method for detection. Inoculated snakes had a 40% mortality rate. All inoculated snakes had microscopic lesions unilaterally on the side of the swabbed nasolabial pit, including erosions to ulcerations and heterophilic dermatitis. All signs were consistent with SFD; however, the severity of lesions varied in individual snakes, and fungal hyphae were only observed in 3 of 5 inoculated snakes. These three snakes correlated with post-mortem tissue qPCR evidence of O. ophiodiicola. The findings of this study conclude that O. ophiodiicola inoculation in a cottonmouth snake model leads to disease similar to SFD, although lesion severity and the fungal load are quite variable within the model. Future studies may utilize this model to further understand the pathogenesis of this disease and develop management strategies that mitigate disease effects, but investigation of other models with less variability may be warranted.

  4. Rational design of genetically stable, live-attenuated poliovirus vaccines of all three serotypes: relevance to poliomyelitis eradication.

    PubMed

    Macadam, Andrew J; Ferguson, Geraldine; Stone, David M; Meredith, Janet; Knowlson, Sarah; Auda, Ghazi; Almond, Jeffrey W; Minor, Philip D

    2006-09-01

    The global eradication of poliomyelitis caused by wild-type virus is likely to be completed within the next few years, despite immense logistic and political difficulties, and may ultimately be followed by the cessation of vaccination. However, the existing live-attenuated vaccines have the potential to revert to virulence, causing occasional disease, and viruses can be shed by immunocompromised individuals for prolonged periods of time. Moreover, several outbreaks of poliomyelitis have been shown to be caused by viruses derived from the Sabin vaccine strains. The appearance of such strains depends on the prevailing circumstances but poses a severe obstacle to strategies for stopping vaccination. Vaccine strains that are incapable of reversion at a measurable rate would provide a possible solution. Here, we describe the constructions of strains of type 3 poliovirus that are stabilized by the introduction of four mutations in the 5' noncoding region compared to the present vaccine. The strains are genetically and phenotypically stable under conditions where the present vaccine loses the attenuating mutation in the 5' noncoding region completely. Type 1 and type 2 strains in which the entire 5' noncoding regions of Sabin 1 and Sabin 2 were replaced exactly with that of one of the type 3 strains were also constructed. The genetic stability of 5' noncoding regions of these viruses matched that of the type 3 strains, but significant phenotypic reversion occurred, illustrating the potential limitations of a rational approach to the genetic stabilization of live RNA virus vaccines.

  5. Cutaneous Chromatophoromas in Captive Snakes.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Gutiérrez, J F; Garner, M M; Kiupel, M

    2016-11-01

    Chromatophoromas are neoplasms arising from pigment-bearing cells (chromatophores) of the dermis. While isolated cases have been reported in the literature, the prevalence and biological behavior of chromatophoromas in snakes are unknown. Forty-two chromatophoromas were identified among 4663 submissions (0.9%) to a private diagnostic laboratory in a 16-year period. The most commonly affected snakes were colubrids (23 cases, 55%) and vipers (8 cases, 19%). The San Francisco garter snake was the most commonly affected species (6 cases; 14% of all affected snake species and 3.7% of all garter snake submissions). No sex predilection was found. The age of 28 snakes ranged from 5 to 27 years. Single cutaneous chromatophoromas were most commonly observed and presented as pigmented cutaneous masses or plaques along any body segment. Euthanasia or death due to progressive neoplastic disease or metastasis was reported in 8 (19%) and 4 (10%) cases, respectively. The survival time of 4 animals ranged from 4 to 36 months. Microscopically, xanthophoromas, iridophoromas, melanocytic neoplasms, and mixed chromatophoromas were identified, with melanocytic neoplasms being most common. Microscopic examination alone was generally sufficient for the diagnosis of chromatophoroma, but immunohistochemistry for S-100 and PNL-2 may be helpful for diagnosing poorly pigmented cases. Moderate to marked nuclear atypia appears to be consistently present in cutaneous chromatophoromas with a high risk of metastasis, while mitotic count, lymphatic invasion, the level of infiltration, and the degree of pigmentation or ulceration were not reliable predictors of metastasis.

  6. Rational Design of Disulfide Bonds Increases Thermostability of a Mesophilic 1,3-1,4-β-Glucanase from Bacillus terquilensis

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xin; Li, Qi

    2016-01-01

    1,3–1,4-β-glucanase is an important biocatalyst in brewing industry and animal feed industry, while its low thermostability often reduces its application performance. In this study, the thermostability of a mesophilic β-glucanase from Bacillus terquilensis was enhanced by rational design and engineering of disulfide bonds in the protein structure. Protein spatial configuration was analyzed to pre-exclude the residues pairs which negatively conflicted with the protein structure and ensure the contact of catalytic center. The changes in protein overall and local flexibility among the wild-type enzyme and the designated mutants were predicted to select the potential disulfide bonds for enhancement of thermostability. Two residue pairs (N31C-T187C and P102C-N125C) were chosen as engineering targets and both of them were proved to significantly enhance the protein thermostability. After combinational mutagenesis, the double mutant N31C-T187C/P102C-N125C showed a 48.3% increase in half-life value at 60°C and a 4.1°C rise in melting temperature (Tm) compared to wild-type enzyme. The catalytic property of N31C-T187C/P102C-N125C mutant was similar to that of wild-type enzyme. Interestingly, the optimal pH of double mutant was shifted from pH6.5 to pH6.0, which could also increase its industrial application. By comparison with mutants with single-Cys substitutions, the introduction of disulfide bonds and the induced new hydrogen bonds were proved to result in both local and overall rigidification and should be responsible for the improved thermostability. Therefore, the introduction of disulfide bonds for thermostability improvement could be rationally and highly-effectively designed by combination with spatial configuration analysis and molecular dynamics simulation. PMID:27100881

  7. ISOB: A Database of Indigenous Snake Species of Bangladesh with respective known venom composition

    PubMed Central

    Roly, Zahida Yesmin; Hakim, Md Abdul; Zahan, ASM Shahriar; Hossain, M Monzur; Reza, Md Abu

    2015-01-01

    At present there is no well structured database available for the venomous snakes and venom composition of snakes in the world although venom has immense importance in biomedical research. Searching for a specific venom component from NCBI, PDB or public databases is troublesome, because they contain huge amount of data entries. Therefore, we created a database named “ISOB” which is a web accessible unique secondary database that represents the first online available bioinformatics resource showing venom composition of snakes. This database provides a comprehensive overview of seventy-eight indigenous snake species covering description of snakes supplemented with structural information of the relevant individual available venom proteins. We strongly believe that this database will contribute significantly in the field of bioinformatics, environmental research, proteomics, drug development and rationale drug designing. Availability The database is freely available at http://www.snakebd.com/ PMID:25848172

  8. Overcoming Depolarizing Resonances with Dual Helical Partial Siberian Snakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, H.; Ahrens, L. A.; Bai, M.; Brown, K.; Courant, E. D.; Gardner, C.; Glenn, J. W.; Lin, F.; Luccio, A. U.; Mackay, W. W.; Okamura, M.; Ptitsyn, V.; Roser, T.; Takano, J.; Tepikian, S.; Tsoupas, N.; Zelenski, A.; Zeno, K.

    2007-10-01

    Acceleration of polarized protons in the energy range of 5 to 25 GeV is challenging. In a medium energy accelerator, the depolarizing spin resonances are strong enough to cause significant polarization loss but full Siberian snakes cause intolerably large orbit excursions and are also not feasible since straight sections usually are too short. Recently, two helical partial Siberian snakes with double pitch design have been installed in the Brookhaven Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS). With a careful setup of optics at injection and along the energy ramp, this combination can eliminate the intrinsic and imperfection depolarizing resonances otherwise encountered during acceleration to maintain a high intensity polarized beam in medium energy synchrotrons. The observation of partial snake resonances of higher than second order will also be described.

  9. Overcoming Depolarizing Resonances with Dual Helical Partial Siberian Snakes

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, H.; Ahrens, L. A.; Bai, M.; Brown, K.; Courant, E. D.; Gardner, C.; Glenn, J. W.; Luccio, A. U.; MacKay, W. W.; Okamura, M.; Ptitsyn, V.; Roser, T.; Tepikian, S.; Tsoupas, N.; Zelenski, A.; Zeno, K.; Lin, F.; Takano, J.

    2007-10-12

    Acceleration of polarized protons in the energy range of 5 to 25 GeV is challenging. In a medium energy accelerator, the depolarizing spin resonances are strong enough to cause significant polarization loss but full Siberian snakes cause intolerably large orbit excursions and are also not feasible since straight sections usually are too short. Recently, two helical partial Siberian snakes with double pitch design have been installed in the Brookhaven Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS). With a careful setup of optics at injection and along the energy ramp, this combination can eliminate the intrinsic and imperfection depolarizing resonances otherwise encountered during acceleration to maintain a high intensity polarized beam in medium energy synchrotrons. The observation of partial snake resonances of higher than second order will also be described.

  10. Overcoming depolarizing resonances with dual helical partial Siberian snakes.

    PubMed

    Huang, H; Ahrens, L A; Bai, M; Brown, K; Courant, E D; Gardner, C; Glenn, J W; Lin, F; Luccio, A U; Mackay, W W; Okamura, M; Ptitsyn, V; Roser, T; Takano, J; Tepikian, S; Tsoupas, N; Zelenski, A; Zeno, K

    2007-10-12

    Acceleration of polarized protons in the energy range of 5 to 25 GeV is challenging. In a medium energy accelerator, the depolarizing spin resonances are strong enough to cause significant polarization loss but full Siberian snakes cause intolerably large orbit excursions and are also not feasible since straight sections usually are too short. Recently, two helical partial Siberian snakes with double pitch design have been installed in the Brookhaven Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS). With a careful setup of optics at injection and along the energy ramp, this combination can eliminate the intrinsic and imperfection depolarizing resonances otherwise encountered during acceleration to maintain a high intensity polarized beam in medium energy synchrotrons. The observation of partial snake resonances of higher than second order will also be described.

  11. Energy Scaling of Spin Tune due to RHIC Snakes

    SciTech Connect

    MacKay,W.W.

    2009-01-02

    For a ring like RHIC with two full Siberian snakes on opposite sides of the ring, the spin tune for a flat orbit will be 1/2 if the snake rotation axes are perpendicular, {Delta}{phi} = {phi}{sub 9}-{phi}{sub 3} = {pi}/2. Here {phi}{sup 9} and {phi}{sub 3} are respectively the direction of the rotation axes of the 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock snakes relative to the design trajectory as shown in Figure 1. If the two snakes are slightly detuned by the same amount such that the rotation axes are no longer perpendicular, then the deviation of the closed-orbit spin tune {nu}{sub 0} from 1/2 is given by {Delta}{nu}{sub 0} {approx_equal} ({Delta}{mu}){sup 2}/4{pi} cosG{gamma}{pi} - 2{Delta}{phi}/{pi} {approx_equal} 2{Delta}{phi}/180{sup o} with G{gamma} at a half integer, and where {Delta}{mu} is the deviation of snake rotation angle from 180{sup o}. It should be noted that there is a sign ambiguity in {Delta}{mu}{sub 0} since a spin tune of 0.495 is also a spin tune of 0.505, depending on the direction taken along the stable spin axis. In order to understand the effect of energy scaling on the snake axis direction, I have integrated the trajectory and spin rotation through a model of a RHIC snake (bi9-snk7) and found the energy (U) dependence of the snake axis angle {phi}{sub 9} and rotation angle {mu} as shown. A {approx_equal} p{sup -2} scaling of errors is typical in helical snakes. To first order, the orbit excursion drops as p{sup -1} and the spin precessions about transverse fields increase as {gamma} giving an approximate cancellation with energy, so we do not expect much change during the field ramp. The next order term which comes in is primarily proportional to p{sup -2}; although naively one might expect a slight effect inversely proportional to the velocity since {gamma}/p {proportional_to} c/{nu} {approx_equal} 1 + 1/2{gamma}{sup 2}.

  12. The Application of Ligand-Mapping Molecular Dynamics Simulations to the Rational Design of Peptidic Modulators of Protein-Protein Interactions.

    PubMed

    Tan, Yaw Sing; Spring, David R; Abell, Chris; Verma, Chandra S

    2015-07-14

    A computational ligand-mapping approach to detect protein surface pockets that interact with hydrophobic moieties is presented. In this method, we incorporated benzene molecules into explicit solvent molecular dynamics simulations of various protein targets. The benzene molecules successfully identified the binding locations of hydrophobic hot-spot residues and all-hydrocarbon cross-links from known peptidic ligands. They also unveiled cryptic binding sites that are occluded by side chains and the protein backbone. Our results demonstrate that ligand-mapping molecular dynamics simulations hold immense promise to guide the rational design of peptidic modulators of protein-protein interactions, including that of stapled peptides, which show promise as an exciting new class of cell-penetrating therapeutic molecules.

  13. Physical Characterization of Tobramycin Inhalation Powder: I. Rational Design of a Stable Engineered-Particle Formulation for Delivery to the Lungs.

    PubMed

    Miller, Danforth P; Tan, Trixie; Tarara, Thomas E; Nakamura, John; Malcolmson, Richard J; Weers, Jeffry G

    2015-08-03

    A spray-dried engineered particle formulation, Tobramycin Inhalation Powder (TIP), was designed through rational selection of formulation composition and process parameters. This PulmoSphere powder comprises small, porous particles with a high drug load. As a drug/device combination, TOBI Podhaler enables delivery of high doses of drug per inhalation, a feature critical for dry powder delivery of anti-infectives for treatment of cystic fibrosis. The objective of this work was to characterize TIP on both the particle and molecular levels using multiple orthogonal physical characterization techniques. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD), electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA), and Raman measurements show that a TIP particle consists of two phases: amorphous, glassy tobramycin sulfate with a glass transition temperature of about 100 °C and a gel-phase phospholipid (DSPC) with a gel-to-liquid-crystal transition temperature of about 80 °C. This was by design and constituted a rational formulation approach to provide Tg and Tm values that are well above the temperatures used for long-term storage of TIP. Raman and ESCA data provide support for a core/shell particle architecture of TIP. Particle surfaces are enriched with a porous, hydrophobic coating that reduces cohesive forces, improving powder fluidization and dispersibility. The excellent aerosol dispersibility of TIP enables highly efficient delivery of fine particles to the respiratory tract. Collectively, particle engineering has enabled development of TOBI Podhaler, an approved inhaled drug product that meaningfully reduces the treatment burden to cystic fibrosis patients worldwide.

  14. The oldest known snakes from the Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous provide insights on snake evolution.

    PubMed

    Caldwell, Michael W; Nydam, Randall L; Palci, Alessandro; Apesteguía, Sebastián

    2015-01-27

    The previous oldest known fossil snakes date from ~100 million year old sediments (Upper Cretaceous) and are both morphologically and phylogenetically diverse, indicating that snakes underwent a much earlier origin and adaptive radiation. We report here on snake fossils that extend the record backwards in time by an additional ~70 million years (Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous). These ancient snakes share features with fossil and modern snakes (for example, recurved teeth with labial and lingual carinae, long toothed suborbital ramus of maxillae) and with lizards (for example, pronounced subdental shelf/gutter). The paleobiogeography of these early snakes is diverse and complex, suggesting that snakes had undergone habitat differentiation and geographic radiation by the mid-Jurassic. Phylogenetic analysis of squamates recovers these early snakes in a basal polytomy with other fossil and modern snakes, where Najash rionegrina is sister to this clade. Ingroup analysis finds them in a basal position to all other snakes including Najash.

  15. The burrowing origin of modern snakes

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Hongyu; Norell, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    Modern snakes probably originated as habitat specialists, but it controversial unclear whether they were ancestrally terrestrial burrowers or marine swimmers. We used x-ray virtual models of the inner ear to predict the habit of Dinilysia patagonica, a stem snake closely related to the origin of modern snakes. Previous work has shown that modern snakes perceive substrate vibrations via their inner ear. Our data show that D. patagonica and modern burrowing squamates share a unique spherical vestibule in the inner ear, as compared with swimmers and habitat generalists. We built predictive models for snake habit based on their vestibular shape, which estimated D. patagonica and the hypothetical ancestor of crown snakes as burrowers with high probabilities. This study provides an extensive comparative data set to test fossoriality quantitatively in stem snakes, and it shows that burrowing was predominant in the lineages leading to modern crown snakes. PMID:26702436

  16. The Egg-Eating Snake, Introductory Problem, Explorations in Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mid-Continent Regional Educational Lab., Inc., Kansas City, MO.

    The booklet is designed as an introduction to a series of topics which use the same format, and which are published separately. A series of photographs of a snake eating an egg are used to ask students to identify a puzzling event that they would want to investigate if they were biologists. A scrambled programed text format is used to direct…

  17. Using Magnetic Stir Bars To Determine Digestive Passage Rate in an Ectotherm, the Garter Snake.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Temple, John G.

    2002-01-01

    Details how students, working under the guidance of an instructor, design an experiment to test the relationship of temperature and digestive passage rate in garter snakes. Allows students to formulate and test hypotheses. (DDR)

  18. Computational medicinal chemistry for rational drug design: Identification of novel chemical structures with potential anti-tuberculosis activity.

    PubMed

    Koseki, Yuji; Aoki, Shunsuke

    2014-01-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis and is a common infectious disease with high mortality and morbidity. The increasing prevalence of drug-resistant strains of TB presents a major public health problem. Due to the lack of effective drugs to treat these drug-resistant strains, the discovery or development of novel anti-TB drugs is important. Computer-aided drug design has become an established strategy for the identification of novel active chemicals through a combination of several drug design tools. In this review, we summarise the current chemotherapy for TB, describe attractive target proteins for the development of antibiotics against TB, and detail several computational drug design strategies that may contribute to the further identification of active chemicals for the treatment of not only TB but also other diseases.

  19. Coyotes Are Afraid of Little Snakes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weewish Tree, 1979

    1979-01-01

    Wichita tale of a contest between Coyote and Small Snake to see whose teeth are strongest. They bite each other, and soon big, strong Coyote is dead from the poisoned bite of the tiny snake. Explains why, from that time onward, coyotes have been afraid of little snakes. (DS)

  20. 33 CFR 117.331 - Snake Creek.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Snake Creek. 117.331 Section 117.331 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BRIDGES DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements Florida § 117.331 Snake Creek. The draw of the Snake Creek bridge, at Islamorada, Florida, shall open...

  1. 33 CFR 117.331 - Snake Creek.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Snake Creek. 117.331 Section 117.331 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BRIDGES DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements Florida § 117.331 Snake Creek. The draw of the Snake...

  2. 33 CFR 117.331 - Snake Creek.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Snake Creek. 117.331 Section 117.331 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BRIDGES DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements Florida § 117.331 Snake Creek. The draw of the Snake...

  3. 33 CFR 117.331 - Snake Creek.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Snake Creek. 117.331 Section 117.331 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BRIDGES DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements Florida § 117.331 Snake Creek. The draw of the Snake...

  4. 33 CFR 117.331 - Snake Creek.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Snake Creek. 117.331 Section 117.331 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BRIDGES DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements Florida § 117.331 Snake Creek. The draw of the Snake...

  5. Rational design of a functional metalloenzyme: introduction of a site for manganese binding and oxidation into a heme peroxidase.

    PubMed

    Wilcox, S K; Putnam, C D; Sastry, M; Blankenship, J; Chazin, W J; McRee, D E; Goodin, D B

    1998-12-01

    The design of a series of functionally active models for manganese peroxidase (MnP) is described. Artificial metal binding sites were created near the heme of cytochrome c peroxidase (CCP) such that one of the heme propionates could serve as a metal ligand. At least two of these designs, MP6.1 and MP6.8, bind Mn2+ with Kd congruent with 0.2 mM, react with H2O2 to form stable ferryl heme species, and catalyze the steady-state oxidation of Mn2+ at enhanced rates relative to WT CCP. The kinetic parameters for this activity vary considerably in the presence of various dicarboxylic acid chelators, suggesting that the similar features displayed by native MnP are largely intrinsic to the manganese oxidation reaction rather than due to a specific interaction between the chelator and enzyme. Analysis of pre-steady-state data shows that electron transfer from Mn2+ to both the Trp-191 radical and the ferryl heme center of compound ES is enhanced by the metal site mutations, with transfer to the ferryl center showing the greatest stimulation. These properties are perplexingly similar to those reported for an alternate model for this site (1), despite rather distinct features of the two designs. Finally, we have determined the crystal structure at 1.9 A of one of our designs, MP6.8, in the presence of MnSO4. A weakly occupied metal at the designed site appears to coordinate two of the proposed ligands, Asp-45 and the heme 7-propionate. Paramagnetic nuclear magnetic resonance spectra also suggest that Mn2+ is interacting with the heme 7-propionate in MP6.8. The structure provides a basis for understanding the similar results of Yeung et al. (1), and suggests improvements for future designs.

  6. Solving rational matrix equations in the state space with applications to computer-aided control-system design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Packard, A. K.; Sastry, S. S.

    1986-01-01

    A method of solving a class of linear matrix equations over various rings is proposed, using results from linear geometric control theory. An algorithm, successfully implemented, is presented, along with non-trivial numerical examples. Applications of the method to the algebraic control system design methodology are discussed.

  7. Rational Design of High-Number dsDNA Fragments Based on Thermodynamics for the Construction of Full-Length Genes in a Single Reaction.

    PubMed

    Birla, Bhagyashree S; Chou, Hui-Hsien

    2015-01-01

    Gene synthesis is frequently used in modern molecular biology research either to create novel genes or to obtain natural genes when the synthesis approach is more flexible and reliable than cloning. DNA chemical synthesis has limits on both its length and yield, thus full-length genes have to be hierarchically constructed from synthesized DNA fragments. Gibson Assembly and its derivatives are the simplest methods to assemble multiple double-stranded DNA fragments. Currently, up to 12 dsDNA fragments can be assembled at once with Gibson Assembly according to its vendor. In practice, the number of dsDNA fragments that can be assembled in a single reaction are much lower. We have developed a rational design method for gene construction that allows high-number dsDNA fragments to be assembled into full-length genes in a single reaction. Using this new design method and a modified version of the Gibson Assembly protocol, we have assembled 3 different genes from up to 45 dsDNA fragments at once. Our design method uses the thermodynamic analysis software Picky that identifies all unique junctions in a gene where consecutive DNA fragments are specifically made to connect to each other. Our novel method is generally applicable to most gene sequences, and can improve both the efficiency and cost of gene assembly.

  8. Rational Design of Thermodynamic and Kinetic Binding Profiles by Optimizing Surface Water Networks Coating Protein-Bound Ligands.

    PubMed

    Krimmer, Stefan G; Cramer, Jonathan; Betz, Michael; Fridh, Veronica; Karlsson, Robert; Heine, Andreas; Klebe, Gerhard

    2016-12-08

    A previously studied congeneric series of thermolysin inhibitors addressing the solvent-accessible S2' pocket with different hydrophobic substituents showed modulations of the surface water layers coating the protein-bound inhibitors. Increasing stabilization of water molecules resulted in an enthalpically more favorable binding signature, overall enhancing affinity. Based on this observation, we optimized the series by designing tailored P2' substituents to improve and further stabilize the surface water network. MD simulations were applied to predict the putative water pattern around the bound ligands. Subsequently, the inhibitors were synthesized and characterized by high-resolution crystallography, microcalorimetry, and surface plasmon resonance. One of the designed inhibitors established the most pronounced water network of all inhibitors tested so far, composed of several fused water polygons, and showed 50-fold affinity enhancement with respect to the original methylated parent ligand. Notably, the inhibitor forming the most perfect water network also showed significantly prolonged residence time compared to the other tested inhibitors.

  9. Rational Design of a GFP-Based Fluorogenic Caspase Reporter for Imaging Apoptosis In Vivo.

    PubMed

    To, Tsz-Leung; Schepis, Antonino; Ruiz-González, Rubén; Zhang, Qiang; Yu, Dan; Dong, Zhiqiang; Coughlin, Shaun R; Shu, Xiaokun

    2016-07-21

    Fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based executioner caspase reporters using GFP are important tools for imaging apoptosis. While these reporters are useful for imaging apoptosis in cultured cells, their in vivo application has been handicapped by poor signal to noise. Here, we report the design and characterization of a GFP-based fluorogenic protease reporter, dubbed ZipGFP. ZipGFP-based TEV protease reporter increased fluorescence 10-fold after activation by protease. A ZipGFP-based executioner caspase reporter visualized apoptosis in live zebrafish embryos with spatiotemporal resolution. Thus, the ZipGFP-based caspase reporter may be useful for monitoring apoptosis during animal development and for designing reporters of proteases beyond the executioner caspases.

  10. Rational design of vaccine targets and strategies for HIV: a crossroad of statistical physics, biology, and medicine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakraborty, Arup K.; Barton, John P.

    2017-03-01

    Vaccination has saved more lives than any other medical procedure. Pathogens have now evolved that have not succumbed to vaccination using the empirical paradigms pioneered by Pasteur and Jenner. Vaccine design strategies that are based on a mechanistic understanding of the pertinent immunology and virology are required to confront and eliminate these scourges. In this perspective, we describe just a few examples of work aimed to achieve this goal by bringing together approaches from statistical physics with biology and clinical research.

  11. Rational design of vaccine targets and strategies for HIV: a crossroad of statistical physics, biology, and medicine.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Arup K; Barton, John P

    2017-03-01

    Vaccination has saved more lives than any other medical procedure. Pathogens have now evolved that have not succumbed to vaccination using the empirical paradigms pioneered by Pasteur and Jenner. Vaccine design strategies that are based on a mechanistic understanding of the pertinent immunology and virology are required to confront and eliminate these scourges. In this perspective, we describe just a few examples of work aimed to achieve this goal by bringing together approaches from statistical physics with biology and clinical research.

  12. Design and Development of a Horizontal Form/Fill/Seal Machine for an Automated Combat Ration Manufacturing Facility.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-05-01

    FOOD TECHNOLAOGY Cook College N.J. Agricultual Experiment Station New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903 Principal Investigator T Descovich DR. JACK L ROSSEN ...architecture. During the same trip a visit to NRDEC assisted in defining mold design and foil specifications. CRAMTD personnel (Jack Rossen , CRAMTD...Cook College N.J. Agricultural Experiment Station New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903 DR. JACK L. ROSSEN Program Director, CRAMTD DR. JOHN F COBURN

  13. Multiple Partial Siberian Snakes in the AGS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takano, J.; Ahrens, L. A.; Bai, M.; Brown, K.; Courant, E. D.; Gardner, C. J.; Glenn, J. W.; Hattori, T.; Huang, H.; Lin, F.; Luccio, A. U.; MacKay, W. W.; Okamura, M.; Roser, T.; Tepikian, S.; Tsoupas, N.; Yip, K.; Zelenski, A.; Zeno, K.

    2007-06-01

    Polarized protons are accelerated up to 24.3 GeV in the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). To accelerate the beam with preserving the polarization, two different types of helical dipole partial Siberian snake have been installed to the AGS. One is a superconducting magnet (Cold Snake, CSNK), and the other is a normal conducting one (Warm Snake, WSNK). With these snake magnets, the polarization at the AGS extraction achieved 65%. However, the AGS has spin mismatches at the injection and extraction. This description shows calculated results to have better spin matching with using two or three snakes.

  14. Snake venom toxins: toxicity and medicinal applications.

    PubMed

    Chan, Yau Sang; Cheung, Randy Chi Fai; Xia, Lixin; Wong, Jack Ho; Ng, Tzi Bun; Chan, Wai Yee

    2016-07-01

    Snake venoms are complex mixtures of small molecules and peptides/proteins, and most of them display certain kinds of bioactivities. They include neurotoxic, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic, myotoxic, and many different enzymatic activities. Snake envenomation is a significant health issue as millions of snakebites are reported annually. A large number of people are injured and die due to snake venom poisoning. However, several fatal snake venom toxins have found potential uses as diagnostic tools, therapeutic agent, or drug leads. In this review, different non-enzymatically active snake venom toxins which have potential therapeutic properties such as antitumor, antimicrobial, anticoagulating, and analgesic activities will be discussed.

  15. Multiple Partial Siberian Snakes in the AGS

    SciTech Connect

    Takano, J.; Ahrens, L. A.; Bai, M.; Brown, K.; Courant, E. D.; Gardner, C. J.; Glenn, J. W.; Huang, H.; Luccio, A. U.; MacKay, W. W.; Okamura, M.; Roser, T.; Tepikian, S.; Tsoupas, N.; Yip, K.; Zelenski, A.; Zeno, K.; Hattori, T.; Lin, F.

    2007-06-13

    Polarized protons are accelerated up to 24.3 GeV in the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). To accelerate the beam with preserving the polarization, two different types of helical dipole partial Siberian snake have been installed to the AGS. One is a superconducting magnet (Cold Snake, CSNK), and the other is a normal conducting one (Warm Snake, WSNK). With these snake magnets, the polarization at the AGS extraction achieved 65%. However, the AGS has spin mismatches at the injection and extraction. This description shows calculated results to have better spin matching with using two or three snakes.

  16. Rational design of hetero-ring-expanded guanine analogs with enhanced properties for modified DNA building blocks.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jinmei; Cukier, Robert I; Bu, Yuxiang

    2007-07-19

    The properties and modes of recognition of physiological DNAs associated with the four natural nucleobases might be extended, in principle, by the design of non-natural nucleobase derivatives. The goal is an expansion of the genetic alphabet, with the possible outcome of producing new DNAs with improved physical or biological properties. In this work, a new series of hetero-ring-expanded guanine analogs are proposed, and their relevant structural characteristics and electronic properties are determined by density functional theory. The stabilities of the decamer DNA duplexes (dn.dC)10 (where n represents the corresponding expanded guanine analog designed here) are also examined, using molecular dynamics. The simulations show that the designed motifs can form stable DNA-like structures. We determined the pairing energies for the Watson-Crick (WC) hydrogen-bonded dimers between the expanded G-analogs and the natural C, and found that the pairing energies are close to those of the natural GC pair. The calculated adiabatic ionization potentials (IPs) of the size-expanded guanine analogs and their base pairs, and the corresponding vertical ionization potentials, show that some are distinctly smaller than the corresponding natural versions. The HOMO-LUMO energy gaps for most of the size-expanded guanine analogs and their WC base pairs are considerably lower than those of the corresponding natural base and base pairs. Thus, the expanded G bases may be considered as DNA genetic motifs, and they may serve as building blocks for potential biological applications and the development of molecular electronic devices.

  17. When inhibitors do not inhibit: critical evaluation of rational drug design targeting chorismate mutase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Munack, Steffi; Leroux, Vincent; Roderer, Kathrin; Ökvist, Mats; van Eerde, André; Gundersen, Lise-Lotte; Krengel, Ute; Kast, Peter

    2012-11-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) is a devastating disease that claims millions of lives every year. Hindered access or non-compliance to medication, especially in developing countries, led to drug resistance, further aggravating the situation. With current standard therapies in use for over 50 years and only few new candidates in clinical trials, there is an urgent call for new TB drugs. A powerful tool for the development of new medication is structure-guided design, combined with virtual screening or docking studies. Here, we report the results of a drug-design project, which we based on a publication that claimed the structure-guided discovery of several promising and highly active inhibitors targeting the secreted chorismate mutase (*MtCM) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We set out to further improve on these compounds and synthesized a series of new derivatives. Thorough evaluation of these molecules in enzymatic assays revealed, to our dismay, that neither the claimed lead compounds, nor any of the synthesized derivatives, show any inhibitory effects against *MtCM.

  18. Transport and collision dynamics in periodic asymmetric obstacle arrays: rational design of microfluidic rare-cell immunocapture devices.

    PubMed

    Gleghorn, Jason P; Smith, James P; Kirby, Brian J

    2013-09-01

    Microfluidic obstacle arrays have been used in numerous applications, and their ability to sort particles or capture rare cells from complex samples has broad and impactful applications in biology and medicine. We have investigated the transport and collision dynamics of particles in periodic obstacle arrays to guide the design of convective, rather than diffusive, transport-based immunocapture microdevices. Ballistic and full computational fluid dynamics simulations are used to understand the collision modes that evolve in cylindrical obstacle arrays with various geometries. We identify previously unrecognized collision mode structures and differential size-based collision frequencies that emerge from these arrays. Previous descriptions of transverse displacements that assume unidirectional flow in these obstacle arrays cannot capture mode transitions properly as these descriptions fail to capture the dependence of the mode transitions on column spacing and the attendant change in the flow field. Using these analytical and computational simulations, we elucidate design parameters that induce high collision rates for all particles larger than a threshold size or selectively increase collision frequencies for a narrow range of particle sizes within a polydisperse population. Furthermore, we investigate how the particle Péclet number affects collision dynamics and mode transitions and demonstrate that experimental observations from various obstacle array geometries are well described by our computational model.

  19. A rational design for improving the trypsin resistance of aflatoxin-detoxifizyme (ADTZ) based on molecular structure evaluation.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Yuxin; Wu, Xiyang; Xie, Chunfang; Hu, Yadong; Liu, Daling; Ma, Yi; Yao, Dongsheng

    2016-05-01

    The resistance of feed enzymes against proteases is crucial in livestock farming. In this study, the trypsin resistance of aflatoxin-detoxifizyme (ADTZ) is improved. ADTZ possesses 72 lys/arg residue sites, 45 of which are scattered on the outermost layers of the molecule (RSA≧25%). These 45 lys/arg sites could be target sites for trypsin hydrolysis. By considering shape-matching (including physical and secondary bond interactions) and the "induced fit-effect", we hypothesized that some of these lys/arg sites are vulnerable to trypsin. A protein-protein docking simulation method was used to avoid the massive computational requirements and to address the intricacy of selecting candidate sites, as candidate site selection is affected by space displacement. Optimal mutants (K244Q/K213C/K270T and R356E/K357T/R623C) were predicted by computational design with protein folding energy analysis and molecular dynamics simulations. A trypsin digestion assay was performed, and the mutants displayed much higher stability against trypsin hydrolysis compared to the native enzyme. Moreover, temperature- and pH-activity profiles revealed that the designed mutations did not affect the catalytic activity of the enzyme.

  20. Organochlorine residue levels in Mississippi River water snakes in southern Louisiana

    SciTech Connect

    Sabourin, T.D.; Stickle, W.B.; Michot, T.C.; Villars, C.E.; Garton, D.W.; Mushinsky, H.R.

    1984-04-01

    This study was designed to determine the usefulness of water snakes in pollution monitoring. This was accomplished by assessing the organochlorine load in tissues of snakes inhabiting three sites along the Mississippi River near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Two species of water snakes, Nerodia rhombifera and Nerodia cyclopion, were chosen for analysis of chlorinated hydrocarbons. Fishes account for 95.2 and 98.4%, respectively, of the total volume of food consumed by N. rhombifera and N. cyclopion. Thus, the organochlorine load of both species should reflect considerable biomagnification relative to water column levels.

  1. Optimizing the lattice design of a diffraction-limited storage ring with a rational combination of particle swarm and genetic algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiao, Yi; Xu, Gang

    2017-02-01

    In the lattice design of a diffraction-limited storage ring (DLSR) consisting of compact multi-bend achromats (MBAs), it is challenging to simultaneously achieve an ultralow emittance and a satisfactory nonlinear performance, due to extremely large nonlinearities and limited tuning ranges of the element parameters. Nevertheless, in this paper we show that the potential of a DLSR design can be explored with a successive and iterative implementation of the multi-objective particle swarm optimization (MOPSO) and multi-objective genetic algorithm (MOGA). For the High Energy Photon Source, a planned kilometer-scale DLSR, optimizations indicate that it is feasible to attain a natural emittance of about 50 pm·rad, and simultaneously realize a sufficient ring acceptance for on-axis longitudinal injection, by using a hybrid MBA lattice. In particular, this study demonstrates that a rational combination of the MOPSO and MOGA is more effective than either of them alone, in approaching the true global optima of an explorative multi-objective problem with many optimizing variables and local optima. Supported by NSFC (11475202, 11405187) and Youth Innovation Promotion Association CAS (2015009)

  2. Mechanistic and computational studies of oxidatively-induced aryl-CF3 bond-formation at Pd: rational design of room temperature aryl trifluoromethylation.

    PubMed

    Ball, Nicholas D; Gary, J Brannon; Ye, Yingda; Sanford, Melanie S

    2011-05-18

    This article describes the rational design of first generation systems for oxidatively induced Aryl-CF(3) bond-forming reductive elimination from Pd(II). Treatment of (dtbpy)Pd(II)(Aryl)(CF(3)) (dtbpy = di-tert-butylbipyridine) with NFTPT (N-fluoro-1,3,5-trimethylpyridinium triflate) afforded the isolable Pd(IV) intermediate (dtbpy)Pd(IV)(Aryl)(CF(3))(F)(OTf). Thermolysis of this complex at 80 °C resulted in Aryl-CF(3) bond-formation. Detailed experimental and computational mechanistic studies have been conducted to gain insights into the key reductive elimination step. Reductive elimination from this Pd(IV) species proceeds via pre-equilibrium dissociation of TfO(-) followed by Aryl-CF(3) coupling. DFT calculations reveal that the transition state for Aryl-CF(3) bond formation involves the CF(3) acting as an electrophile with the Aryl ligand serving as a nucleophilic coupling partner. These mechanistic considerations along with DFT calculations have facilitated the design of a second generation system utilizing the tmeda (N,N,N',N'-tetramethylethylenediamine) ligand in place of dtbpy. The tmeda complexes undergo oxidative trifluoromethylation at room temperature.

  3. Rational design of a cytotoxic dinuclear Cu2 complex that binds by molecular recognition at two neighboring phosphates of the DNA backbone.

    PubMed

    Jany, Thomas; Moreth, Alexander; Gruschka, Claudia; Sischka, Andy; Spiering, Andre; Dieding, Mareike; Wang, Ying; Samo, Susan Haji; Stammler, Anja; Bögge, Hartmut; Fischer von Mollard, Gabriele; Anselmetti, Dario; Glaser, Thorsten

    2015-03-16

    The mechanism of the cytotoxic function of cisplatin and related anticancer drugs is based on their binding to the nucleobases of DNA. The development of new classes of anticancer drugs requires establishing other binding modes. Therefore, we performed a rational design for complexes that target two neighboring phosphates of the DNA backbone by molecular recognition resulting in a family of dinuclear complexes based on 2,7-disubstituted 1,8-naphthalenediol. This rigid backbone preorganizes the two metal ions for molecular recognition at the distance of two neighboring phosphates in DNA of 6-7 Å. Additionally, bulky chelating pendant arms in the 2,7-position impede nucleobase complexation by steric hindrance. We successfully synthesized the Cu(II)2 complex of the designed family of dinuclear complexes and studied its binding to dsDNA by independent ensemble and single-molecule methods like gel electrophoresis, precipitation, and titration experiments followed by UV-vis spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), as well as optical tweezers (OT) and magnetic tweezers (MT) DNA stretching. The observed irreversible binding of our dinuclear Cu(II)2 complex to dsDNA leads to a blocking of DNA synthesis as studied by polymerase chain reactions and cytotoxicity for human cancer cells.

  4. Rationally designed chemokine-based toxin targeting the viral G protein-coupled receptor US28 potently inhibits cytomegalovirus infection in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Spiess, Katja; Jeppesen, Mads G.; Malmgaard-Clausen, Mikkel; Krzywkowski, Karen; Dulal, Kalpana; Cheng, Tong; Hjortø, Gertrud M.; Larsen, Olav; Burg, John S.; Jarvis, Michael A.; Christopher Garcia, K.; Zhu, Hua; Kledal, Thomas N.; Rosenkilde, Mette M.

    2015-01-01

    The use of receptor–ligand interactions to direct toxins to kill diseased cells selectively has shown considerable promise for treatment of a number of cancers and, more recently, autoimmune disease. Here we move the fusion toxin protein (FTP) technology beyond cancer/autoimmune therapeutics to target the human viral pathogen, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), on the basis of its expression of the 7TM G protein-coupled chemokine receptor US28. The virus origin of US28 provides an exceptional chemokine-binding profile with high selectivity and improved binding for the CX3C chemokine, CX3CL1. Moreover, US28 is constitutively internalizing by nature, providing highly effective FTP delivery. We designed a synthetic CX3CL1 variant engineered to have ultra-high affinity for US28 and greater specificity for US28 than the natural sole receptor for CX3CL1, CX3CR1, and we fused the synthetic variant with the cytotoxic domain of Pseudomonas Exotoxin A. This novel strategy of a rationally designed FTP provided unparalleled anti-HCMV efficacy and potency in vitro and in vivo. PMID:26080445

  5. Rational design of 5-phenyl-3-isoxazolecarboxylic acid ethyl esters as growth inhibitors of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. a potent and selective series for further drug development.

    PubMed

    Lilienkampf, Annamaria; Pieroni, Marco; Wan, Baojie; Wang, Yuehong; Franzblau, Scott G; Kozikowski, Alan P

    2010-01-28

    New antituberculosis (anti-TB) drugs are urgently needed to shorten the 6-12 month treatment regimen and especially to battle drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) strains. In this study, we have continued our efforts to develop isoxazole-based anti-TB compounds by applying rational drug design approach. The biological activity and the structure-activity relationships (SAR) for a designed series of 5-phenyl-3-isoxazolecarboxylic acid ethyl ester derived anti-TB compounds were investigated. Several compounds were found to exhibit nanomolar activity against the replicating bacteria (R-TB) and low micromolar activity against the nonreplicating bacteria (NRP-TB). The series showed excellent selectivity toward Mtb, and in general, no cytotoxicity was observed in Vero cells (IC(50) > 128 muM). Notably, selected compounds also retained their activity against isoniazid (INH), rifampin (RMP), and streptomycin (SM) resistant Mtb strains. Hence, benzyloxy, benzylamino, and phenoxy derivatives of 5-phenyl-3-isoxazolecarboxylic acid ethyl esters represent a highly potent, selective, and versatile series of anti-TB compounds and as such present attractive lead compounds for further TB drug development.

  6. Affinity enhancement of HER2-binding Z(HER2:342) affibody via rational design approach: a molecular dynamics study.

    PubMed

    Ghaffari, Mohammad Ali; Zeinali, Majid; Barzegari Asadabadi, Ebrahim; Jamalan, Mostafa; Jahandideh, Samad

    2014-12-01

    Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) contributes to the development of breast cancers and malignancies. On the other hand, engineered affibody Z(HER2:342) that binds to HER2 can be successfully used for both diagnostic purposes and specific ablation of malignant HER2-positive cell lines. In the current study, electrostatics-based prediction was applied for improving Z(HER2:342) binding affinity using computational design. The affibody Z(HER2:342) alone and in complex with HER2 was energetically minimized, solvated in explicit water, and neutralized. After heating and equilibration steps, the system was studied by isothermal-isobaric (NPT) MD simulation. According to trajectories, Z(HER2:342) specifically binds to HER2 through hydrogen bonds and salt bridges. Based on the electrostatic binding contributions, two affinity-matured variants namely V1 (Tyr35Arg) and V2 (Asn6Asp and Met9Glu) were rationally designed. More investigations through MD simulation show that V1 interacts with HER2 receptor more strongly, compared to Z(HER2:342) and V2.

  7. Rational Design of Engineered Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides Consisting Exclusively of Arginine and Tryptophan, and Their Activity against Multidrug-Resistant Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Deslouches, Berthony; Steckbeck, Jonathan D.; Craigo, Jodi K.; Doi, Yohei; Mietzner, Timothy A.

    2013-01-01

    The emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens underscores the need for new antimicrobial agents to overcome the resistance mechanisms of these organisms. Cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAPs) provide a potential source of new antimicrobial therapeutics. We previously characterized a lytic base unit (LBU) series of engineered CAPs (eCAPs) of 12 to 48 residues demonstrating maximum antibacterial selectivity at 24 residues. Further, Trp substitution in LBU sequences increased activity against both P. aeruginosa and S. aureus under challenging conditions (e.g., saline, divalent cations, and serum). Based on these findings, we hypothesized that the optimal length and, therefore, the cost for maximum eCAP activity under physiologically relevant conditions could be significantly reduced using only Arg and Trp arranged to form idealized amphipathic helices. Hence, we developed a novel peptide series, composed only of Arg and Trp, in a sequence predicted and verified by circular dichroism to fold into optimized amphipathic helices. The most effective antimicrobial activity was achieved at 12 residues in length (WR12) against a panel of both Gram-negative and Gram-positive clinical isolates, including extensively drug-resistant strains, in saline and broth culture and at various pH values. The results demonstrate that the rational design of CAPs can lead to a significant reduction in the length and the number of amino acids used in peptide design to achieve optimal potency and selectivity against specific pathogens. PMID:23507278

  8. Rational design for cooperative recognition of specific nucleobases using β-cyclodextrin-modified DNAs and fluorescent ligands on DNA and RNA scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Futamura, Akika; Uemura, Asuka; Imoto, Takeshi; Kitamura, Yusuke; Matsuura, Hirotaka; Wang, Chun-Xia; Ichihashi, Toshiki; Sato, Yusuke; Teramae, Norio; Nishizawa, Seiichi; Ihara, Toshihiro

    2013-08-05

    We propose a binary fluorimetric method for DNA and RNA analysis by the combined use of two probes rationally designed to work cooperatively. One probe is an oligonucleotide (ODN) conjugate bearing a β-cyclodextrin (β-CyD). The other probe is a small reporter ligand, which comprises linked molecules of a nucleobase-specific heterocycle and an environment-sensitive fluorophore. The heterocycle of the reporter ligand recognizes a single nucleobase displayed in a gap on the target labeled with the conjugate and, at the same time, the fluorophore moiety forms a luminous inclusion complex with nearby β-CyD. Three reporter ligands, MNDS (naphthyridine-dansyl linked ligand), MNDB (naphthyridine-DBD), and DPDB (pyridine-DBD), were used for DNA and RNA probing with 3'-end or 5'-end modified β-CyD-ODN conjugates. For the DNA target, the β-CyD tethered to the 3'-end of the ODN facing into the gap interacted with the fluorophore sticking out into the major groove of the gap site (MNDS and DPDB). Meanwhile the β-CyD on the 5'-end of the ODN interacted with the fluorophore in the minor groove (MNDB and DPDB). The results obtained by this study could be a guideline for the design of binary DNA/RNA probe systems based on controlling the proximity of functional molecules.

  9. Toward rational design of amines for CO2 capture: Substituent effect on kinetic process for the reaction of monoethanolamine with CO2.

    PubMed

    Xie, Hongbin; Wang, Pan; He, Ning; Yang, Xianhai; Chen, Jingwen

    2015-11-01

    Amines have been considered as promising candidates for post-combustion CO2 capture. A mechanistic understanding for the chemical processes involved in the capture and release of CO2 is important for the rational design of amines. In this study, the structural effects of amines on the kinetic competition among three typical products (carbamates, carbamic acids and bicarbonate) from amines+CO2 were investigated, in contrast to previous thermodynamic studies to tune the reaction of amines with CO2 based on desirable reaction enthalpy and reaction stoichiometry. We used a quantum chemical method to calculate the activation energies (Ea) for the reactions of a range of substituted monoethanolamines with CO2 covering three pathways to the three products. The results indicate that the formation of carbamates is the most favorable, among the three considered products. In addition, we found that the Ea values for all pathways linearly correlate with pKa of amines, and more importantly, the kinetic competition between carbamate and bicarbonate absorption pathways varies with pKa of the amines, i.e. stronger basicity results in less difference in Ea. These results highlight the importance of the consideration of kinetic competition among different reaction pathways in amine design.

  10. [Bites of venomous snakes in Switzerland].

    PubMed

    Plate, Andreas; Kupferschmidt, Hugo; Schneemann, Markus

    2016-06-08

    Although snake bites are rare in Europe, there are a constant number of snake bites in Switzerland. There are two domestic venomous snakes in Switzerland: the aspic viper (Vipera aspis) and the common European adder (Vipera berus). Bites from venomous snakes are caused either by one of the two domestic venomous snakes or by an exotic venomous snake kept in a terrarium. Snake- bites can cause both a local and/or a systemic envenoming. Potentially fatal systemic complications are related to disturbances of the hemostatic- and cardiovascular system as well as the central or peripheral nervous system. Beside a symptomatic therapy the administration of antivenom is the only causal therapy to neutralize the venomous toxins.

  11. Species identification from dried snake venom.

    PubMed

    Singh, Chandra S; Gaur, Ajay; Sreenivas, Ara; Singh, Lalji

    2012-05-01

    Illegal trade in snake parts has increased enormously. In spite of strict protection under wildlife act, a large number of snakes are being killed ruthlessly in India for venom and skin. Here, an interesting case involving confiscation of crystallized dried snake venom and subsequent DNA-based species identification is reported. The analysis using the universal primers for cytochrome b region of the mitochondrial DNA revealed that the venom was extracted from an Indian cobra (Naja naja). On the basis of this report, the forwarding authority booked a case in the court of law against the accused for illegal hunting of an endangered venomous snake and smuggling of snake venom. This approach thus has immense potential for rapid identification of snake species facing endangerment because of illegal trade. This is also the first report of DNA isolation from dried snake venom for species identification.

  12. A description of parasites from Iranian snakes.

    PubMed

    Nasiri, Vahid; Mobedi, Iraj; Dalimi, Abdolhossein; Mirakabadi, Abbas Zare; Ghaffarifar, Fatemeh; Teymurzadeh, Shohreh; Karimi, Gholamreza; Abdoli, Amir; Paykari, Habibollah

    2014-12-01

    Little is known of the parasitic fauna of terrestrial snakes in Iran. This study aimed to evaluate the parasitic infection rates of snakes in Iran. A total of 87 snakes belonging to eight different species, that were collected between May 2012 and September 2012 and died after the hold in captivity, under which they were kept for taking poisons, were examined for the presence of gastrointestinal and blood parasites. According to our study 12 different genera of endoparasites in 64 (73.56%) of 87 examined snakes were determined. Forty one snakes (47.12%) had gastrointestinal parasites. In prepared blood smears, it was found that in 23 (26.43%) of 87 examined snakes there are at least one hemoparasite. To our knowledge, these are the first data on the internal parasitic fauna of Iranian terrestrial snakes and our findings show a higher prevalence of these organisms among them.

  13. Snake fungal disease: An emerging threat to wild snakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorch, Jeffrey M.; Knowles, Susan N.; Lankton, Julia S.; Michell, Kathy; Edwards, Jaime L.; Kapfer, Joshua M.; Staffen, Richard A.; Wild, Erik R.; Schmidt, Katie Z.; Ballmann, Anne; Blodgett, Doug; Farrell, Terence M.; Glorioso, Brad M.; Last, Lisa A.; Price, Steven J.; Schuler, Krysten L.; Smith, Christopher E.; Wellehan, James F. X.; Blehert, David S.

    2016-01-01

    Since 2006, there has been a marked increase in the number of reports of severe and often fatal fungal skin infections in wild snakes in the eastern USA. The emerging condition, referred to as snake fungal disease (SFD), was initially documented in rattlesnakes, where the infections were believed to pose a risk to the viability of affected populations. The disease is caused byOphidiomyces ophiodiicola, a fungus recently split from a complex of fungi long referred to as the Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii (CANV). Here we review the current state of knowledge about O. ophiodiicola and SFD. In addition, we provide original findings which demonstrate that O. ophiodiicola is widely distributed in eastern North America, has a broad host range, is the predominant cause of fungal skin infections in wild snakes and often causes mild infections in snakes emerging from hibernation. This new information, together with what is already available in the scientific literature, advances our knowledge of the cause, pathogenesis and ecology of SFD. However, additional research is necessary to elucidate the factors driving the emergence of this disease and develop strategies to mitigate its impacts.

  14. Snake fungal disease: an emerging threat to wild snakes.

    PubMed

    Lorch, Jeffrey M; Knowles, Susan; Lankton, Julia S; Michell, Kathy; Edwards, Jaime L; Kapfer, Joshua M; Staffen, Richard A; Wild, Erik R; Schmidt, Katie Z; Ballmann, Anne E; Blodgett, Doug; Farrell, Terence M; Glorioso, Brad M; Last, Lisa A; Price, Steven J; Schuler, Krysten L; Smith, Christopher E; Wellehan, James F X; Blehert, David S

    2016-12-05

    Since 2006, there has been a marked increase in the number of reports of severe and often fatal fungal skin infections in wild snakes in the eastern USA. The emerging condition, referred to as snake fungal disease (SFD), was initially documented in rattlesnakes, where the infections were believed to pose a risk to the viability of affected populations. The disease is caused by Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, a fungus recently split from a complex of fungi long referred to as the Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii (CANV). Here we review the current state of knowledge about O. ophiodiicola and SFD. In addition, we provide original findings which demonstrate that O. ophiodiicola is widely distributed in eastern North America, has a broad host range, is the predominant cause of fungal skin infections in wild snakes and often causes mild infections in snakes emerging from hibernation. This new information, together with what is already available in the scientific literature, advances our knowledge of the cause, pathogenesis and ecology of SFD. However, additional research is necessary to elucidate the factors driving the emergence of this disease and develop strategies to mitigate its impacts.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience'.

  15. The Special Education Teacher as an Instructional Designer. Rational, Content, and Strategy for an Innovative Individualized Course on Instructional Design in Special Education. Working Paper 9.14.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thiagarajan, Sivasailam

    Provided are the rationale, content and strategy for an introductory course in instructional design for special education teachers. The teacher's need for varied competencies in instructional design, management and interaction are discussed. It is recommended that teacher training include development of such design skills as task analysis, learner…

  16. Rational design of network properties in guest-host assembled and shear-thinning hyaluronic acid hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Rodell, Christopher B; Kaminski, Adam L; Burdick, Jason A

    2013-11-11

    Shear-thinning hydrogels afford direct injection or catheter delivery to tissues without potential premature gel formation and delivery failure or the use of triggers such as chemical initiators or heat. However, many shear-thinning hydrogels require long reassembly times or exhibit rapid erosion. We developed a shear-thinning hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogel based on the guest-host interactions of adamantane modified HA (guest macromer, Ad-HA) and β-cyclodextrin modified HA (host macromer, CD-HA). The ability of the guest and host molecules to interact with their counterpart following conjugation to HA was confirmed by (1)H NMR spectroscopy and was similar to that of the native complex. Mixing of Ad-HA and CD-HA resulted in rapid formation of a hydrogel composed of guest-host bonds. The hydrogel physical properties, including mechanics and flow characteristics, were dependent on cross-link density and network structure, which were controlled through macromer concentration, the extent of guest macromer modification, and the molar ratio of guest and host functional groups. The guest-host assembly mechanism permitted both shear-thinning behavior for ease of injection and near-instantaneous reassembly for material retention at the target sight. The hydrogel erosion and release of a model biomolecule were also dependent on design parameters and were sustained for over 60 days. These hydrogels show potential as a minimally invasive injectable hydrogel for biomedical applications.

  17. Rational plasmid design and bioprocess optimization to enhance recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) productivity in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Emmerling, Verena V; Pegel, Antje; Milian, Ernest G; Venereo-Sanchez, Alina; Kunz, Marion; Wegele, Jessica; Kamen, Amine A; Kochanek, Stefan; Hoerer, Markus

    2016-02-01

    Viral vectors used for gene and oncolytic therapy belong to the most promising biological products for future therapeutics. Clinical success of recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) based therapies raises considerable demand for viral vectors, which cannot be met by current manufacturing strategies. Addressing existing bottlenecks, we improved a plasmid system termed rep/cap split packaging and designed a minimal plasmid encoding adenoviral helper function. Plasmid modifications led to a 12-fold increase in rAAV vector titers compared to the widely used pDG standard system. Evaluation of different production approaches revealed superiority of processes based on anchorage- and serum-dependent HEK293T cells, exhibiting about 15-fold higher specific and volumetric productivity compared to well-established suspension cells cultivated in serum-free medium. As for most other viral vectors, classical stirred-tank bioreactor production is thus still not capable of providing drug product of sufficient amount. We show that manufacturing strategies employing classical surface-providing culture systems can be successfully transferred to the new fully-controlled, single-use bioreactor system Integrity(TM) iCELLis(TM) . In summary, we demonstrate substantial bioprocess optimizations leading to more efficient and scalable production processes suggesting a promising way for flexible large-scale rAAV manufacturing.

  18. Solid-state supercapacitors with rationally designed heterogeneous electrodes fabricated by large area spray processing for wearable energy storage applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Chun; Zhang, Jin; Young, Neil P.; Snaith, Henry J.; Grant, Patrick S.

    2016-05-01

    Supercapacitors are in demand for short-term electrical charge and discharge applications. Unlike conventional supercapacitors, solid-state versions have no liquid electrolyte and do not require robust, rigid packaging for containment. Consequently they can be thinner, lighter and more flexible. However, solid-state supercapacitors suffer from lower power density and where new materials have been developed to improve performance, there remains a gap between promising laboratory results that usually require nano-structured materials and fine-scale processing approaches, and current manufacturing technology that operates at large scale. We demonstrate a new, scalable capability to produce discrete, multi-layered electrodes with a different material and/or morphology in each layer, and where each layer plays a different, critical role in enhancing the dynamics of charge/discharge. This layered structure allows efficient utilisation of each material and enables conservative use of hard-to-obtain materials. The layered electrode shows amongst the highest combinations of energy and power densities for solid-state supercapacitors. Our functional design and spray manufacturing approach to heterogeneous electrodes provide a new way forward for improved energy storage devices.

  19. Rational design and chromatographic evaluation of histamine imprinted polymers optimised for solid-phase extraction of wine samples.

    PubMed

    Basozabal, Itsaso; Gomez-Caballero, Alberto; Diaz-Diaz, Goretti; Guerreiro, António; Gilby, Stuart; Goicolea, M Aranzazu; Barrio, Ramón J

    2013-09-20

    This article reports on the computational design, development and application of a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) with specific affinity towards histamine. Computational modelling was used to screen a monomer library in order to select the monomers able to form the strongest complex with the target analyte. These were subsequently used for MIP synthesis by radical polymerisation initiated by UV. MIPs were then evaluated by liquid chromatography and solid phase extraction (SPE) and best MIP behaviour was observed when itaconic acid was used as functional monomer. Finally, after optimisation of the polymer composition, MIPs were used as adsorbents for SPE and clean-up of histamine in wine samples. The proposed histamine extraction method with the MIP-SPE cartridge was found to be reproducible (<5% RSD) and accurate (93-99% recovery) and provided clear wine extracts. The described methodology is simple and fast and is suitable for the selective histamine extraction and its subsequent quantification by HPLC-DAD from complex matrices such as wine samples.

  20. Rational design of mutations that change the aggregation rate of a protein while maintaining its native structure and stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camilloni, Carlo; Sala, Benedetta Maria; Sormanni, Pietro; Porcari, Riccardo; Corazza, Alessandra; De Rosa, Matteo; Zanini, Stefano; Barbiroli, Alberto; Esposito, Gennaro; Bolognesi, Martino; Bellotti, Vittorio; Vendruscolo, Michele; Ricagno, Stefano

    2016-05-01

    A wide range of human diseases is associated with mutations that, destabilizing proteins native state, promote their aggregation. However, the mechanisms leading from folded to aggregated states are still incompletely understood. To investigate these mechanisms, we used a combination of NMR spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations to compare the native state dynamics of Beta-2 microglobulin (β2m), whose aggregation is associated with dialysis-related amyloidosis, and its aggregation-resistant mutant W60G. Our results indicate that W60G low aggregation propensity can be explained, beyond its higher stability, by an increased average protection of the aggregation-prone residues at its surface. To validate these findings, we designed β2m variants that alter the aggregation-prone exposed surface of wild-type and W60G β2m modifying their aggregation propensity. These results allowed us to pinpoint the role of dynamics in β2m aggregation and to provide a new strategy to tune protein aggregation by modulating the exposure of aggregation-prone residues.

  1. Near-IR BODIPY Dyes à la Carte-Programmed Orthogonal Functionalization of Rationally Designed Building Blocks.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Durán, Cesar F A; Esnal, Ixone; Valois-Escamilla, Ismael; Urías-Benavides, Arlette; Bañuelos, Jorge; López Arbeloa, Iñigo; García-Moreno, Inmaculada; Peña-Cabrera, Eduardo

    2016-01-18

    Herein, we report the synthesis of polyfunctional BODIPY building blocks suitable to be subjected to several reaction sequences with complete chemoselectivity, thereby allowing the preparation of complex BODIPY derivatives in a versatile and programmable manner. The reactions included the Liebeskind-Srogl cross-coupling reaction (LSCC), nucleophilic aromatic substitution (SN Ar), Suzuki, Sonogashira, and Stille couplings, and a desulfitative reduction of the MeS group. This novel synthetic protocol is a powerful route to design a library of compounds with tailored photophysical properties for advanced applications. In this context, it is noteworthy that it offers a straightforward and cost-effective strategy to shift the BODIPY emission deep into the near-infrared spectral region while retaining high fluorescence quantum yields as well as highly efficient and stable laser action. These new dyes outperform the lasing behaviour of dyes considered as benchmarks over the red spectral region, overcoming the important drawbacks associated with these commercial laser dyes, namely low absorption at the standard pump wavelengths (355 and 532 nm) and/or poor photostability.

  2. Current Experience in Testing Mitochondrial Nutrients in Disorders Featuring Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Dysfunction: Rational Design of Chemoprevention Trials

    PubMed Central

    Pagano, Giovanni; Aiello Talamanca, Annarita; Castello, Giuseppe; Cordero, Mario D.; d’Ischia, Marco; Gadaleta, Maria Nicola; Pallardó, Federico V.; Petrović, Sandra; Tiano, Luca; Zatterale, Adriana

    2014-01-01

    An extensive number of pathologies are associated with mitochondrial dysfunction (MDF) and oxidative stress (OS). Thus, mitochondrial cofactors termed “mitochondrial nutrients” (MN), such as α-lipoic acid (ALA), Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), and l-carnitine (CARN) (or its derivatives) have been tested in a number of clinical trials, and this review is focused on the use of MN-based clinical trials. The papers reporting on MN-based clinical trials were retrieved in MedLine up to July 2014, and evaluated for the following endpoints: (a) treated diseases; (b) dosages, number of enrolled patients and duration of treatment; (c) trial success for each MN or MN combinations as reported by authors. The reports satisfying the above endpoints included total numbers of trials and frequencies of randomized, controlled studies, i.e., 81 trials testing ALA, 107 reports testing CoQ10, and 74 reports testing CARN, while only 7 reports were retrieved testing double MN associations, while no report was found testing a triple MN combination. A total of 28 reports tested MN associations with “classical” antioxidants, such as antioxidant nutrients or drugs. Combinations of MN showed better outcomes than individual MN, suggesting forthcoming clinical studies. The criteria in study design and monitoring MN-based clinical trials are discussed. PMID:25380523

  3. The cancer-immunity cycle as rational design for synthetic cancer drugs: Novel DC vaccines and CAR T-cells.

    PubMed

    Ramachandran, Mohanraj; Dimberg, Anna; Essand, Magnus

    2017-02-28

    Cell therapy is an advanced form of cancer immunotherapy that has had remarkable clinical progress in the past decade in the search for cure of cancer. Most success has been achieved for chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells where CAR T-cells targeting CD19 show very high complete response rates for patients with refractory acute B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and are close to approval for this indication. CD19 CAR T-cells are also effective against B-cell chronic lymphoblastic leukemia (CLL) and B-cell lymphomas. Although encouraging, CAR T-cells have not yet proven clinically effective for solid tumors. This is mainly due to the lack of specific and homogenously expressed targets to direct the T-cells against and a hostile immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment in solid tumors. Cancer vaccines based on dendritic cells (DC) are also making progress although clinical efficacy is still lacking. The likelihood of success is however increasing now when individual tumors can be sequences and patient-specific neoepitopes identified. Neoepitopes and/or neoantigens can then be included in patient-based DC vaccines. This review discusses recent advancements of DC vaccines and CAR T-cells with emphasis on the cancer-immunity cycle, and current efforts to design novel cell therapies.

  4. Rational design of reversible fluorescent probes for live-cell imaging and quantification of fast glutathione dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Umezawa, Keitaro; Yoshida, Masafumi; Kamiya, Mako; Yamasoba, Tatsuya; Urano, Yasuteru

    2016-11-01

    Alterations in glutathione (GSH) homeostasis are associated with a variety of diseases and cellular functions, and therefore, real-time live-cell imaging and quantification of GSH dynamics are important for understanding pathophysiological processes. However, existing fluorescent probes are unsuitable for these purposes due to their irreversible fluorogenic mechanisms or slow reaction rates. In this work, we have successfully overcome these problems by establishing a design strategy inspired by Mayr's work on nucleophilic reaction kinetics. The synthesized probes exhibit concentration-dependent, reversible and rapid absorption/fluorescence changes (t1/2 = 620 ms at [GSH] = 1 mM), as well as appropriate Kd values (1-10 mM: within the range of intracellular GSH concentrations). We also developed FRET-based ratiometric probes, and demonstrated that they are useful for quantifying GSH concentration in various cell types and also for real-time live-cell imaging of GSH dynamics with temporal resolution of seconds.

  5. Rational design of three-dimensional macroporous silicon as high performance Li-ion battery anodes with long cycle life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Hao; Du, Ning; Shi, Xianxing; Yang, Deren

    2016-11-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) macroporous silicon with stable interconnected structure is prepared by magnesiothermic reduction based on deliberate design, while flexible morphological control of zero-dimensional (0D) hollow nanospheres is realized via simply altering the conditions of the same reaction. When used as anode materials in lithium-ion batteries, the empty space in both structures allows for effective accommodation of large volume changes during lithium insertion and extraction. Due to the robustness of the interconnected porous structure, the 3D Si@C electrode exhibits better electrochemical properties with a reversible capacity of 1058 mAh g-1 after 800 cycles and 91% capacity retention (only 0.012% capacity degradation per cycle). The coulombic efficiency of the 3D porous electrode stabilizes at 99.4% in later cycles. The results demonstrated herein provide a better understanding of the controllable magnesiothermic reduction reaction, which is potentially an efficient method for large scale synthesis of high-performance Si anodes.

  6. Solid-state supercapacitors with rationally designed heterogeneous electrodes fabricated by large area spray processing for wearable energy storage applications

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Chun; Zhang, Jin; Young, Neil P.; Snaith, Henry J.; Grant, Patrick S.

    2016-01-01

    Supercapacitors are in demand for short-term electrical charge and discharge applications. Unlike conventional supercapacitors, solid-state versions have no liquid electrolyte and do not require robust, rigid packaging for containment. Consequently they can be thinner, lighter and more flexible. However, solid-state supercapacitors suffer from lower power density and where new materials have been developed to improve performance, there remains a gap between promising laboratory results that usually require nano-structured materials and fine-scale processing approaches, and current manufacturing technology that operates at large scale. We demonstrate a new, scalable capability to produce discrete, multi-layered electrodes with a different material and/or morphology in each layer, and where each layer plays a different, critical role in enhancing the dynamics of charge/discharge. This layered structure allows efficient utilisation of each material and enables conservative use of hard-to-obtain materials. The layered electrode shows amongst the highest combinations of energy and power densities for solid-state supercapacitors. Our functional design and spray manufacturing approach to heterogeneous electrodes provide a new way forward for improved energy storage devices. PMID:27161379

  7. Rational design of urea-based glutamate carboxypeptidase II (GCPII) inhibitors as versatile tools for specific drug targeting and delivery.

    PubMed

    Tykvart, Jan; Schimer, Jiří; Bařinková, Jitka; Pachl, Petr; Poštová-Slavětínská, Lenka; Majer, Pavel; Konvalinka, Jan; Šácha, Pavel

    2014-08-01

    Glutamate carboxypeptidase II (GCPII), also known as prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA), is an established prostate cancer marker and is considered a promising target for specific anticancer drug delivery. Low-molecular-weight inhibitors of GCPII are advantageous specific ligands for this purpose. However, they must be modified with a linker to enable connection of the ligand with an imaging molecule, anticancer drug, and/or nanocarrier. Here, we describe a structure-activity relationship (SAR) study of GCPII inhibitors with linkers suitable for imaging and drug delivery. Structure-assisted inhibitor design and targeting of a specific GCPII exosite resulted in a 7-fold improvement in Ki value compared to the parent structure. X-ray structural analysis of the inhibitor series led to the identification of several inhibitor binding modes. We also optimized the length of the inhibitor linker for effective attachment to a biotin-binding molecule and showed that the optimized inhibitor could be used to target nanoparticles to cells expressing GCPII.

  8. α-Amino acid containing degradable polymers as functional biomaterials: rational design, synthetic pathway, and biomedical applications.

    PubMed

    Sun, Huanli; Meng, Fenghua; Dias, Aylvin A; Hendriks, Marc; Feijen, Jan; Zhong, Zhiyuan

    2011-06-13

    Currently, biomedical engineering is rapidly expanding, especially in the areas of drug delivery, gene transfer, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine. A prerequisite for further development is the design and synthesis of novel multifunctional biomaterials that are biocompatible and biologically active, are biodegradable with a controlled degradation rate, and have tunable mechanical properties. In the past decades, different types of α-amino acid-containing degradable polymers have been actively developed with the aim to obtain biomimicking functional biomaterials. The use of α-amino acids as building units for degradable polymers may offer several advantages: (i) imparting chemical functionality, such as hydroxyl, amine, carboxyl, and thiol groups, which not only results in improved hydrophilicity and possible interactions with proteins and genes, but also facilitates further modification with bioactive molecules (e.g., drugs or biological cues); (ii) possibly improving materials biological properties, including cell-materials interactions (e.g., cell adhesion, migration) and degradability; (iii) enhancing thermal and mechanical properties; and (iv) providing metabolizable building units/blocks. In this paper, recent developments in the field of α-amino acid-containing degradable polymers are reviewed. First, synthetic approaches to prepare α-amino acid-containing degradable polymers will be discussed. Subsequently, the biomedical applications of these polymers in areas such as drug delivery, gene delivery and tissue engineering will be reviewed. Finally, the future perspectives of α-amino acid-containing degradable polymers will be evaluated.

  9. N7-platinated ribonucleotides are not incorporated by RNA polymerases. New perspectives for a rational design of platinum antitumor drugs.

    PubMed

    Benedetti, Michele; Romano, Alessandro; De Castro, Federica; Girelli, Chiara R; Antonucci, Daniela; Migoni, Danilo; Verri, Tiziano; Fanizzi, Francesco P

    2016-10-01

    In this work, we assessed the capacity of RNA polymerases to use platinated ribonucleotides as substrates for RNA synthesis by testing the incorporation of the model compound [Pt(dien)(N7-5'-GTP)] (dien=diethylenetriamine; GTP=5'-guanosine triphosphate) into a natural RNA sequence. The yield of in vitro transcription operated by T7 RNA polymerase, on the LacZ (Escherichia coli gene encoding for β-galactosidase) sequence, decreases progressively with decreasing the concentration of natural GTP, in favor of the platinated nucleotide, [Pt(dien)(N7-5'-GTP)]. Comparison of the T7 RNA polymerase transcription activities for [Pt(dien)(N7-5'-GTP)] compound incorporation reaction test, with respect to the effect of a decreasing concentration of natural GTP, showed no major differences. A specific inhibitory effect of compound [Pt(dien)(N7-5'-GTP)] (which may pair the complementary base on the DNA strand, without being incorporated in the RNA by the T7 RNA polymerase) was evidenced. Our findings therefore suggest that RNA polymerases, unlike DNA polymerases, are unable to incorporate N7-platinated nucleotides into newly synthesized nucleic acids. In this respect, specifically designed N7-platinated nucleotides based compounds could be used in alternative to the classical platinum based drugs. This approach may offer a possible strategy to target specifically DNA, without affecting RNA, and is potentially able to better modulate pharmacological activity.

  10. Rational design of fluorescent bioimaging probes by controlling the aggregation behavior of squaraines: a special effect of ionic liquid pendants.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wenhai; Fu, Afu; Lan, Jingbo; Gao, Ge; You, Jingsong; Chen, Lijuan

    2010-05-03

    We herein present an effective strategy to create water-soluble fluorescent bioimaging dyes by introducing the imidazolium-based ionic liquid (IL) pendants into a fluorescent skeleton. A new type of water-soluble imidazolium-anchored squaraine dye was synthesized accordingly. The relationship between the aggregate of squaraines and their fluorescent cell imaging application was elucidated in detail. Firstly, the aggregation behavior of squaraines in water solutions could be suppressed by varying the alkyl chain attached to the imidazolium unit. Secondly, the capability of cellular uptake and staining of dyes was also dramatically enhanced upon increasing the length of the paraffinic chain. These squaraine dyes displayed an excellent photostability that could permit real-time fluorescence bioimaging experiments to be monitored over a long time period with constant sample irradiation. Additionally, we designed for the first time an Fe(II)-ion probe on the basis of an attack of the hydroxyl radical to the four-membered ring of squaraine. The results demonstrated that the imidazolium-anchored squaraines could perform "naked-eye" detection of the Fe(2+) ion over a wide range of other interfering metals in aqueous media. More surprisingly, this process showed a fluorescence "turn-off" and "-on" response through the regeneration of squaraines in cells.

  11. Rational design of mutations that change the aggregation rate of a protein while maintaining its native structure and stability

    PubMed Central

    Camilloni, Carlo; Sala, Benedetta Maria; Sormanni, Pietro; Porcari, Riccardo; Corazza, Alessandra; De Rosa, Matteo; Zanini, Stefano; Barbiroli, Alberto; Esposito, Gennaro; Bolognesi, Martino; Bellotti, Vittorio; Vendruscolo, Michele; Ricagno, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    A wide range of human diseases is associated with mutations that, destabilizing proteins native state, promote their aggregation. However, the mechanisms leading from folded to aggregated states are still incompletely understood. To investigate these mechanisms, we used a combination of NMR spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations to compare the native state dynamics of Beta-2 microglobulin (β2m), whose aggregation is associated with dialysis-related amyloidosis, and its aggregation-resistant mutant W60G. Our results indicate that W60G low aggregation propensity can be explained, beyond its higher stability, by an increased average protection of the aggregation-prone residues at its surface. To validate these findings, we designed β2m variants that alter the aggregation-prone exposed surface of wild-type and W60G β2m modifying their aggregation propensity. These results allowed us to pinpoint the role of dynamics in β2m aggregation and to provide a new strategy to tune protein aggregation by modulating the exposure of aggregation-prone residues. PMID:27150430

  12. A computational experiment to study hydrogenations of various unsaturated compounds catalyzed by a rationally designed metal-free catalyst.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lili; Lu, Gang; Huang, Fang; Wang, Zhi-Xiang

    2012-04-21

    Metal-free hydrogenation has been proposed to be a green alternative to the conventional hydrogenation mediated by precious transition metal complexes. Thanks to the discovery of FLP (frustrated Lewis pair) chemistry, the field has recently witnessed significant progress. Inspired by the FLP idea of synergically utilizing the catalytic effects of Lewis acid and base, we previously proposed a strategy to construct metal-free active sites for H(2) activation and designed a metal-free molecule (1) that shows high reactivity toward H(2). Encouraged by the recent experimental successes in applying the strategy, we have computationally explored if 1 can go further to serve as a catalyst to promote the hydrogenations of various unsaturated compounds examined by ethylene (CH(2)=CH(2) (4)), silyl enol ether (CH(2)=C(Me)OSiMe(3) (5)), imines (Me(2)C=NMe (6) and Ph(Me)C=NMe (7)), and ketone (Ph(Me)C=O (9)). The energetic results predicted at the M05-2X(IEFPCM, solvent = THF)/6-311++G** level indicate that these reactions have feasible kinetics and thermodynamics for experimental realization. The hydride transfer step follows the concerted mechanism, although the transfer process has asynchronous character for silyl enol ether (5) and imines (6 and 7). In addition, we have investigated the binding of CO(2) to 1 and the 1-mediated hydrogenation of CO(2).

  13. Rational Design of a Low-Cost, High-Performance Metal-Organic Framework for Hydrogen Storage and Carbon Capture.

    PubMed

    Witman, Matthew; Ling, Sanliang; Gladysiak, Andrzej; Stylianou, Kyriakos C; Smit, Berend; Slater, Ben; Haranczyk, Maciej

    2017-01-19

    We present the in silico design of a MOF-74 analogue, hereon known as M2(DHFUMA) [M = Mg, Fe, Co, Ni, Zn], with enhanced small-molecule adsorption properties over the original M2(DOBDC) series. Constructed from 2,3-dihydroxyfumarate (DHFUMA), an aliphatic ligand which is smaller than the aromatic 2,5-dioxidobenzene-1,4-dicarboxylate (DOBDC), the M2(DHFUMA) framework has a reduced channel diameter, resulting in higher volumetric density of open metal sites and significantly improved volumetric hydrogen (H2) storage potential. Furthermore, the reduced distance between two adjacent open metal sites in the pore channel leads to a CO2 binding mode of one molecule per two adjacent metals with markedly stronger binding energetics. Through dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT) calculations of guest-framework interactions and classical simulation of the adsorption behavior of binary CO2:H2O mixtures, we theoretically predict the M2(DHFUMA) series as an improved alternative for carbon capture over the M2(DOBDC) series when adsorbing from wet flue gas streams. The improved CO2 uptake and humidity tolerance in our simulations is tunable based upon metal selection and adsorption temperature which, combined with the significantly reduced ligand expense, elevates this material's potential for CO2 capture and H2 storage. The dynamical and elastic stabilities of Mg2(DHFUMA) were verified by hybrid DFT calculations, demonstrating its significant potential for experimental synthesis.

  14. Mixed inhibitors of angiotensin-converting enzyme and enkephalinase: Rational design, properties, and potential cardiovascular applications of glycopril and alatriopril

    SciTech Connect

    Gros, C.; Noel, N.; Souque, A.; Schwartz, J.C. ); Danvy, D.; Plaquevent, J.C.; Duhamel, L.; Duhamel, P. ); Lecomte, J.M. ); Bralet, J. )

    1991-05-15

    Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and enkephalinase, two cell surface metallopeptidases, are responsible for angiotensin II formation and atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) degradation, respectively, and thereby play a critical role in the metabolism of hormonal peptides exerting essentially opposite actions in cardiovascular regulations. To affect simultaneously both hormonal systems by a single molecular structure, the authors designed glycoprilat and alatrioprilat {l brace}(S)-N-(3-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-(mercaptomethyl)-1-oxopropyl)glycine and -alanine, respectively{r brace}. In vitro the two compounds inhibit both ACE and enkephalinase activities with similar, nanomolar potencies, and in vivo, glycopril and alatriopril, the corresponding diester prodrugs, occupy the two enzyme molecules in lung at similar low dosages. The high potency of these compounds is attributable to interaction of the methylenedioxy group with the S{sub 1} subsite of ACE and of the aromatic ring with the S{prime}{sub 1} subsite of enkephalinase. In rodents, low doses of these mixed inhibitors exert typical actions of ACE inhibitors--i.e., prevention of angiotensin I-induced hypertension-as well as of enkephalinase inhibitors--i.e., protection from {sup 125}I-ANF degradation or enhancement of diuresis and natriuresis following acute extracellular volume expansion. In view of the known counterbalanced physiological actions of the two hormonal peptides, whose metabolism is controlled by ACE and enkephalinase, mixed inhibitors of the two peptidases show promise for the treatment of various cardiovascular and salt-retention disorders.

  15. Rational Design of a Low-Cost, High-Performance Metal–Organic Framework for Hydrogen Storage and Carbon Capture

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    We present the in silico design of a MOF-74 analogue, hereon known as M2(DHFUMA) [M = Mg, Fe, Co, Ni, Zn], with enhanced small-molecule adsorption properties over the original M2(DOBDC) series. Constructed from 2,3-dihydroxyfumarate (DHFUMA), an aliphatic ligand which is smaller than the aromatic 2,5-dioxidobenzene-1,4-dicarboxylate (DOBDC), the M2(DHFUMA) framework has a reduced channel diameter, resulting in higher volumetric density of open metal sites and significantly improved volumetric hydrogen (H2) storage potential. Furthermore, the reduced distance between two adjacent open metal sites in the pore channel leads to a CO2 binding mode of one molecule per two adjacent metals with markedly stronger binding energetics. Through dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT) calculations of guest–framework interactions and classical simulation of the adsorption behavior of binary CO2:H2O mixtures, we theoretically predict the M2(DHFUMA) series as an improved alternative for carbon capture over the M2(DOBDC) series when adsorbing from wet flue gas streams. The improved CO2 uptake and humidity tolerance in our simulations is tunable based upon metal selection and adsorption temperature which, combined with the significantly reduced ligand expense, elevates this material’s potential for CO2 capture and H2 storage. The dynamical and elastic stabilities of Mg2(DHFUMA) were verified by hybrid DFT calculations, demonstrating its significant potential for experimental synthesis. PMID:28127415

  16. A Biophysical Model of CRISPR/Cas9 Activity for Rational Design of Genome Editing and Gene Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Farasat, Iman; Salis, Howard M.

    2016-01-01

    The ability to precisely modify genomes and regulate specific genes will greatly accelerate several medical and engineering applications. The CRISPR/Cas9 (Type II) system binds and cuts DNA using guide RNAs, though the variables that control its on-target and off-target activity remain poorly characterized. Here, we develop and parameterize a system-wide biophysical model of Cas9-based genome editing and gene regulation to predict how changing guide RNA sequences, DNA superhelical densities, Cas9 and crRNA expression levels, organisms and growth conditions, and experimental conditions collectively control the dynamics of dCas9-based binding and Cas9-based cleavage at all DNA sites with both canonical and non-canonical PAMs. We combine statistical thermodynamics and kinetics to model Cas9:crRNA complex formation, diffusion, site selection, reversible R-loop formation, and cleavage, using large amounts of structural, biochemical, expression, and next-generation sequencing data to determine kinetic parameters and develop free energy models. Our results identify DNA supercoiling as a novel mechanism controlling Cas9 binding. Using the model, we predict Cas9 off-target binding frequencies across the lambdaphage and human genomes, and explain why Cas9’s off-target activity can be so high. With this improved understanding, we propose several rules for designing experiments for minimizing off-target activity. We also discuss the implications for engineering dCas9-based genetic circuits. PMID:26824432

  17. Rational Design of Particle Mesh Ewald Compatible Lennard-Jones Parameters for +2 Metal Cations in Explicit Solvent.

    PubMed

    Li, Pengfei; Roberts, Benjamin P; Chakravorty, Dhruva K; Merz, Kenneth M

    2013-06-11

    Metal ions play significant roles in biological systems. Accurate molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on these systems require a validated set of parameters. Although there are more detailed ways to model metal ions, the nonbonded model, which employs a 12-6 Lennard-Jones (LJ) term plus an electrostatic potential is still widely used in MD simulations today due to its simple form. However, LJ parameters have limited transferability due to different combining rules, various water models and diverse simulation methods. Recently, simulations employing a Particle Mesh Ewald (PME) treatment for long-range electrostatics have become more and more popular owing to their speed and accuracy. In the present work we have systematically designed LJ parameters for 24 +2 metal (M(II)) cations to reproduce different experimental properties appropriate for the Lorentz-Berthelot combining rules and PME simulations. We began by testing the transferability of currently available M(II) ion LJ parameters. The results showed that there are differences between simulations employing Ewald summation with other simulation methods and that it was necessary to design new parameters specific for PME based simulations. Employing the thermodynamic integration (TI) method and performing periodic boundary MD simulations employing PME, allowed for the systematic investigation of the LJ parameter space. Hydration free energies (HFEs), the ion-oxygen distance in the first solvation shell (IOD) and coordination numbers (CNs) were obtained for various combinations of the parameters of the LJ potential for four widely used water models (TIP3P, SPC/E, TIP4P and TIP4PEW). Results showed that the three simulated properties were highly correlated. Meanwhile, M(II) ions with the same parameters in different water models produce remarkably different HFEs but similar structural properties. It is difficult to reproduce various experimental values simultaneously because the nonbonded model underestimates the

  18. Rational design of small-molecule stabilizers of spermine synthase dimer by virtual screening and free energy-based approach.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhe; Martiny, Virginie; Lagorce, David; Ikeguchi, Yoshihiko; Alexov, Emil; Miteva, Maria A

    2014-01-01

    Snyder-Robinson Syndrome (SRS) is a rare mental retardation disorder which is caused by the malfunctioning of an enzyme, the spermine synthase (SMS), which functions as a homo-dimer. The malfunctioning of SMS in SRS patients is associated with several identified missense mutations that occur away from the active site. This investigation deals with a particular SRS-causing mutation, the G56S mutation, which was shown computationally and experimentally to destabilize the SMS homo-dimer and thus to abolish SMS enzymatic activity. As a proof-of-concept, we explore the possibility to restore the enzymatic activity of the malfunctioning SMS mutant G56S by stabilizing the dimer through small molecule binding at the mutant homo-dimer interface. For this purpose, we designed an in silico protocol that couples virtual screening and a free binding energy-based approach to identify potential small-molecule binders on the destabilized G56S dimer, with the goal to stabilize it and thus to increase SMS G56S mutant activity. The protocol resulted in extensive list of plausible stabilizers, among which we selected and tested 51 compounds experimentally for their capability to increase SMS G56S mutant enzymatic activity. In silico analysis of the experimentally identified stabilizers suggested five distinctive chemical scaffolds. This investigation suggests that druggable pockets exist in the vicinity of the mutation sites at protein-protein interfaces which can be used to alter the disease-causing effects by small molecule binding. The identified chemical scaffolds are drug-like and can serve as original starting points for development of lead molecules to further rescue the disease-causing effects of the Snyder-Robinson syndrome for which no efficient treatment exists up to now.

  19. Rational Design of Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase Inhibitors that Act by Covalently Bonding to Two Active Site Residues

    PubMed Central

    Otrubova, Katerina; Brown, Monica; McCormick, Michael S.; Han, Gye W.; O’Neal, Scott T.; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Stevens, Raymond C.; Lichtman, Aron H.; Boger, Dale L.

    2013-01-01

    The design and characterization of α-ketoheterocycle fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitors are disclosed that additionally and irreversibly target a cysteine (Cys269) found in the enzyme cytosolic port while maintaining the reversible covalent Ser241 attachment responsible for their rapid and initially reversible enzyme inhibition. Two α-ketooxazoles (3 and 4) containing strategically placed electrophiles at the C5 position of the pyridyl substituent of 2 (OL-135) were prepared and examined as inhibitors of FAAH. Consistent with the observed time-dependent non-competitive inhibition, the co-crystal X-ray structure of 3 bound to a humanized variant of rat FAAH revealed that 3 was not only covalently bound to the active site catalytic nucleophile Ser241 as a deprotonated hemiketal, but also to Cys269 through the pyridyl C5-substituent, thus providing an inhibitor with dual covalent attachment in the enzyme active site. In vivo characterization of the prototypical inhibitors in mice demonstrate that they raise endogenous brain levels of FAAH substrates to a greater extent and for a much longer duration (>6 h) than the reversible inhibitor 2, indicating that the inhibitors accumulate and persist in the brain to completely inhibit FAAH for a prolonged period. Consistent with this behavior and the targeted irreversible enzyme inhibition, 3 reversed cold allodynia in the chronic constriction injury model of neuropathic pain in mice for a sustained period (>6 h) beyond that observed with the reversible inhibitor 2, providing effects that were unchanged over the 1–6 h time course monitored. PMID:23581831

  20. Rational design of D-A1-D-A2 conjugated polymers with superior spectral coverage.

    PubMed

    Hedström, Svante; Tao, Qiang; Wang, Ergang; Persson, Petter

    2015-10-28

    The spectral coverage of a light-harvesting polymer largely determines the maximum achievable photocurrent in organic photovoltaics, and therefore constitutes a crucial parameter for improving their performance. The D-A1-D-A2 copolymer motif is a new and promising design strategy for extending the absorption range by incorporating two acceptor units with complementary photoresponses. The fundamental factors that promote an extended absorption are here determined for three prototype D-A1-D-A2 systems through a combination of experimental and computational methods. Systematic quantum chemical calculations are then used to reveal the intrinsic optical properties of ten further D-A1-D-A2 polymer candidates. These investigated polymers are all predicted to exhibit intense primary absorption peaks at 615-954 nm, corresponding to charge-transfer (CT) transitions to the stronger acceptor, as well as secondary absorption features at 444-647 nm that originate from CT transitions to the weaker acceptors. Realization of D-A1-D-A2 polymers with superior spectral coverage is thereby found to depend critically on the spatial and energetic separation between the two distinct acceptor LUMOs. Two promising D-A1-D-A2 copolymer candidates were finally selected for further theoretical and experimental study, and demonstrate superior light-harvesting properties in terms of significantly extended spectral coverage. This demonstrates great potential for enhanced light-harvesting in D-A1-D-A2 polymers via multiple absorption features compared to traditional D-A polymers.