Science.gov

Sample records for fine-tuning molecular energy

  1. Fine Tuning Energy Conservation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Business Affairs, 1983

    1983-01-01

    An energy conservation program at a Massachusetts vocational technical high school uses a school-based time switch to program part of the heating system. In addition, some phases of the program provided practical experience for students. (MLF)

  2. Unraveling the interplay between hydrogen bonding and rotational energy barrier to fine-tune the properties of triazine molecular glasses.

    PubMed

    Laventure, Audrey; De Grandpré, Guillaume; Soldera, Armand; Lebel, Olivier; Pellerin, Christian

    2016-01-21

    Mexylaminotriazine derivatives form molecular glasses with outstanding glass-forming ability (GFA), high resistance to crystallization (glass kinetic stability, GS), and a glass transition temperature (Tg) above room temperature that can be conveniently modulated by selection of the headgroup and ancillary groups. A common feature of all these compounds is their secondary amino linkers, suggesting that they play a critical role in their GFA and GS for reasons that remain unclear because they can simultaneously form hydrogen (H) bonds and lead to a high interconversion energy barrier between different rotamers. To investigate independently and better control the influence of H bonding capability and rotational energy barrier on Tg, GFA and GS, a library of twelve analogous molecules was synthesized with different combinations of NH, NMe and O linkers. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) revealed that these compounds form, with a single exception, kinetically stable glasses with Tg values spanning a very broad range from -25 to 94 °C. While variable temperature infrared spectroscopy combined to chemometrics reveals that, on average, around 60% of the NH groups are still H-bonded as high as 40 °C above Tg, critical cooling rates obtained by DSC clearly show that molecules without H-bond donating linkers also present an outstanding GFA, meaning that H bonding plays a dominant role in controlling Tg but is not required to prevent crystallization. It is a high interconversion energy barrier, provoking a distribution of rotamers, that most efficiently promotes both GFA and resistance to crystallization. These new insights pave the way to more efficient glass engineering by extending the possible range of accessible Tg, allowing in particular the preparation of homologous glass-formers with high GS at ambient temperature in either the viscous or vitreous state.

  3. Researchers fine-tune production of energy crops

    SciTech Connect

    Parish, D.J. )

    1990-04-01

    Renewable energy sources, plant materials that can be processed into liquid fuels, are becoming increasingly important as fossil fuel sources dwindle and environmental impacts of releasing fossilized carbon into the atmosphere become more evident. But which plant species provide the most material and can be grown on land not used to produce food, feed, and fiber Switchgrass exceeds all other herbaceous species we have tested in production of biomass on marginal sites in the Virginia Piedmont reports David J. Parrish, Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) professor of crop and soil environmental sciences. In a study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at Virginia Tech, graduate student Steven Nagle, Parrish, professor Dale Wolf, and associate professor W.L. Daniels are comparing the biomass productivity of switchgrass, weeping lovegrass, and tall fescue. Since 1985, the crops - selected for their marginal crop value - have been grown on 12 sites in the Virginia Piedmont. Planting was done using no-till procedures that slice but do not turn the soil, because the sites are subject to erosion. The two warm-season grasses are harvested once a year, the fescue twice. Switchgrass has been the most productive on clay soils, and lovegrass on sandy soil. In a second DOE-sponsored study - this one by graduate student Preston Sullivan, Parish, Wolf, Daniels, and Nagle - the Virginia Tech researchers have begun to investigate planting winter-annual legumes in with switchgrass as a source of nitrogen to reduce cost of production, and as a means to increase biomass. In the fall of 1988, crimson clover, arrowleaf clover, and hairy vetch were planted into the switchgrass stubble. Other plots of switchgrass are being provided with various levels of nitrogen fertilizer to compare those yields with legume-planted plots. Crimson clover had provided the most fall growth, but by mid-May 1989, the hairy vetch had produced a dense webbing of biomass over the new switchgrass.

  4. Perspective: Extremely fine tuning of doping enabled by combinatorial molecular-beam epitaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, J.; Božović, I.

    2015-06-01

    Chemical doping provides an effective method to control the electric properties of complex oxides. However, the state-of-art accuracy in controlling doping is limited to about 1%. This hampers elucidation of the precise doping dependences of physical properties and phenomena of interest, such as quantum phase transitions. Using the combinatorial molecular beam epitaxy, we improve the accuracy in tuning the doping level by two orders of magnitude. We illustrate this novel method by two examples: a systematic investigation of the doping dependence of interface superconductivity, and a study of the competing ground states in the vicinity of the insulator-to-superconductor transition.

  5. Fine-tuning silencing.

    PubMed

    Panning, Barbara

    2010-01-01

    Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) modifies chromatin to silence many embryonic patterning genes, restricting their expression to the appropriate cell populations. Two reports in Cell by Peng et al. (2009) and Shen et al. (2009) identify Jarid2/Jumonji, a new component of PRC2, which inhibits PRC2 enzymatic activity to fine-tune silencing.

  6. Fine-Tuning Corrective Feedback.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Han, ZhaoHong

    2001-01-01

    Explores the notion of "fine-tuning" in connection with the corrective feedback process. Describes a longitudinal case study, conducted in the context of Norwegian as a second a language, that shows how fine-tuning and lack thereof in the provision of written corrective feedback differentially affects a second language learner's restructuring of…

  7. Molecular dynamics simulation study on controlling the adsorption behavior of polyethylene by fine tuning the surface nanodecoration of graphite.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-Lin; Lu, Zhong-Yuan; Li, Ze-Sheng; Sun, Chia-Chung

    2007-01-16

    Molecular dynamics simulations are applied to study the adsorption of polyethylene with different chain lengths on patterned graphite surfaces that contain nanoscale protrusions. The influence of the nanostructure on the strong attractive interaction inherently in the hydrophobic polyethylene and hydrophobic graphite system is investigated by modifying the top surface area and the height and the shape of the protrusions. The results are analyzed in terms of the chain configuration, the adsorption energy, the global orientational order parameter, and the normalized surface-chain contacting pair number in the first adsorption layer. When the size of the protrusion increases, the adsorption energy, the order parameter, and the normalized surface-chain contacting pair number decrease at a fixed chain length. When the size of the protrusion is fixed, the average adsorption energy per monomer and the order parameter decrease with increasing chain length because of the stronger intramolecular interactions between the monomers. Changing the protrusion shape in a suitable way will effectively reduce the strong surface-chain interaction.

  8. Design of Far-Red Sensitizing Squaraine Dyes Aiming Towards the Fine Tuning of Dye Molecular Structure.

    PubMed

    Morimoto, Takuya; Fujikawa, Naotaka; Ogomi, Yuhei; Pandey, Shyam S; Ma, Tingli; Hayase, Shuzi

    2016-04-01

    Model squaraine dyes having sharp and narrow absorptions mainly in the far-red wavelength region has been logically designed, synthesized and used for their application as sensitizer in the dyesensitized solar cells (DSSC). In order to have fine control on energetics, dyes having same mother core and alkyl chain length varying only in molecular symmetry and position of substituent were designed. It has been found that even keeping all other structural factor constant, only positional variation of substituent leads to not only in the variation of energetics by 0.1 eV but affects the photovoltaic characteristics also. Optimum concentration of dye de-aggregating agent was found to be 100 times with respect to the sensitizing dye concentration. Amongst dyes utilized in this work best performance was obtained for unsymmetrical dye SQ-40 giving a photoconversion efficiency of 4.01% under simulated solar irradiation at global AM 1.5. PMID:27451618

  9. Transcriptional coregulators: fine-tuning metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Mouchiroud, Laurent; Eichner, Lillian J.; Shaw, Reuben; Auwerx, Johan

    2014-01-01

    Metabolic homeostasis requires that cellular energy levels are adapted to environmental cues. This adaptation is largely regulated at the transcriptional level, through the interaction between transcription factors, coregulators, and the basal transcriptional machinery. Coregulators, which function both as metabolic sensors and transcriptional effectors, are ideally positioned to synchronize metabolic pathways to environmental stimuli. The balance between inhibitory actions of corepressors and stimulatory effects of coactivators enables the fine-tuning of metabolic processes. The tight regulation opens therapeutic opportunities to manage metabolic dysfunction, by directing the activity of cofactors towards specific transcription factors, pathways, or cells/tissues, thereby restoring whole body metabolic homeostasis. PMID:24794975

  10. Approaching {lambda} without fine-tuning

    SciTech Connect

    Matarrese, Sabino; Baccigalupi, Carlo; Perrotta, Francesca

    2004-09-15

    We address the fine-tuning problem of dark energy cosmologies which arises when the dark energy density needs to initially lie in a narrow range in order for its present value to be consistent with observations. As recently noticed, this problem becomes particularly severe in canonical quintessence scenarios, when trying to reproduce the behavior of a cosmological constant, i.e., when the dark energy equation of state w{sub Q} approaches -1: these models may be reconciled with a large basin of attraction only by requiring a rapid evolution of w{sub Q} at low redshifts, which is in conflict with the most recent estimates from type Ia Supernovae discovered by Hubble space telescope. Next, we focus on scalar-tensor theories of gravity, discussing the implications of a coupling between the quintessence scalar field and the Ricci scalar ('extended quintessence'). We show that, even if the equation of state today is very close to -1, by virtue of the scalar-tensor coupling the quintessence trajectories still possess the attractive feature which allows to reach the present level of cosmic acceleration starting by a set of initial conditions which covers tens of orders of magnitude; this effect, entirely of gravitational origin, represents a new important consequence of the possible coupling between dark energy and gravity. We illustrate this effect in typical extended quintessence scenarios.

  11. Understanding the Fine Tuning in Our Universe

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen, Bernard L.

    2008-01-01

    It is often stated that the physical properties of our universe are "fine tuned"--that is, they must be almost exactly as they are to make the development of intelligent life possible. The implications of this statement, called the "anthropic principle," have been widely discussed in a philosophical context, but the scientific basis for the…

  12. Fine tuning may not be enough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miao, S. P.; Woodard, R. P.

    2015-09-01

    We argue that the fine tuning problems of scalar-driven inflation may be worse than is commonly believed. The reason is that reheating requires the inflaton to be coupled to other matter fields whose vacuum fluctuations alter the inflaton potential. The usual response has been that even more fine-tuning of the classical potential V(varphi) can repair any damage done in this way. We point out that the effective potential in de Sitter background actually depends in a complicated way upon the dimensionless combination of varphi/H. We also show that the factors of H which occur in de Sitter do not even correspond to local functionals of the metric for general geometries, nor are they Planck-suppressed.

  13. A cyclic universe approach to fine tuning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, Stephon; Cormack, Sam; Gleiser, Marcelo

    2016-06-01

    We present a closed bouncing universe model where the value of coupling constants is set by the dynamics of a ghost-like dilatonic scalar field. We show that adding a periodic potential for the scalar field leads to a cyclic Friedmann universe where the values of the couplings vary randomly from one cycle to the next. While the shuffling of values for the couplings happens during the bounce, within each cycle their time-dependence remains safely within present observational bounds for physically-motivated values of the model parameters. Our model presents an alternative to solutions of the fine tuning problem based on string landscape scenarios.

  14. Pre - big bang inflation requires fine tuning

    SciTech Connect

    Turner, Michael S.; Weinberg, Erick J.

    1997-10-01

    The pre-big-bang cosmology inspired by superstring theories has been suggested as an alternative to slow-roll inflation. We analyze, in both the Jordan and Einstein frames, the effect of spatial curvature on this scenario and show that too much curvature --- of either sign --- reduces the duration of the inflationary era to such an extent that the flatness and horizon problems are not solved. Hence, a fine-tuning of initial conditions is required to obtain enough inflation to solve the cosmological problems.

  15. Fine tuning of cytosolic Ca 2+ oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Dupont, Geneviève; Combettes, Laurent

    2016-01-01

    Ca 2+ oscillations, a widespread mode of cell signaling, were reported in non-excitable cells for the first time more than 25 years ago. Their fundamental mechanism, based on the periodic Ca 2+ exchange between the endoplasmic reticulum and the cytoplasm, has been well characterized. However, how the kinetics of cytosolic Ca 2+ changes are related to the extent of a physiological response remains poorly understood. Here, we review data suggesting that the downstream targets of Ca 2+ are controlled not only by the frequency of Ca 2+ oscillations but also by the detailed characteristics of the oscillations, such as their duration, shape, or baseline level. Involvement of non-endoplasmic reticulum Ca 2+ stores, mainly mitochondria and the extracellular medium, participates in this fine tuning of Ca 2+ oscillations. The main characteristics of the Ca 2+ exchange fluxes with these compartments are also reviewed.

  16. Fine tuning of cytosolic Ca (2+) oscillations.

    PubMed

    Dupont, Geneviève; Combettes, Laurent

    2016-01-01

    Ca (2+) oscillations, a widespread mode of cell signaling, were reported in non-excitable cells for the first time more than 25 years ago. Their fundamental mechanism, based on the periodic Ca (2+) exchange between the endoplasmic reticulum and the cytoplasm, has been well characterized. However, how the kinetics of cytosolic Ca (2+) changes are related to the extent of a physiological response remains poorly understood. Here, we review data suggesting that the downstream targets of Ca (2+) are controlled not only by the frequency of Ca (2+) oscillations but also by the detailed characteristics of the oscillations, such as their duration, shape, or baseline level. Involvement of non-endoplasmic reticulum Ca (2+) stores, mainly mitochondria and the extracellular medium, participates in this fine tuning of Ca (2+) oscillations. The main characteristics of the Ca (2+) exchange fluxes with these compartments are also reviewed. PMID:27630768

  17. Fine tuning of cytosolic Ca 2+ oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Dupont, Geneviève; Combettes, Laurent

    2016-01-01

    Ca 2+ oscillations, a widespread mode of cell signaling, were reported in non-excitable cells for the first time more than 25 years ago. Their fundamental mechanism, based on the periodic Ca 2+ exchange between the endoplasmic reticulum and the cytoplasm, has been well characterized. However, how the kinetics of cytosolic Ca 2+ changes are related to the extent of a physiological response remains poorly understood. Here, we review data suggesting that the downstream targets of Ca 2+ are controlled not only by the frequency of Ca 2+ oscillations but also by the detailed characteristics of the oscillations, such as their duration, shape, or baseline level. Involvement of non-endoplasmic reticulum Ca 2+ stores, mainly mitochondria and the extracellular medium, participates in this fine tuning of Ca 2+ oscillations. The main characteristics of the Ca 2+ exchange fluxes with these compartments are also reviewed. PMID:27630768

  18. Focus point in gaugino mediation — Reconsideration of the fine-tuning problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanagida, Tsutomu T.; Yokozaki, Norimi

    2013-05-01

    We reconsider the fine-tuning problem in SUSY models, motivated by the recent observation of the relatively heavy Higgs boson and non-observation of the SUSY particles at the LHC. Based on this thought, we demonstrate a focus point-like behavior in a gaugino mediation model, and show that the fine-tuning is indeed reduced to about 2% level if the ratio of the gluino mass to wino mass is about 0.4 at the GUT scale. We show that such a mass ratio may arise naturally in a product group unification model without the doublet-triplet splitting problem. This fact suggests that the fine-tuning problem crucially depends on the physics at the high energy scale.

  19. A fine tuning free resolution of the cosmological constant problem

    SciTech Connect

    Alexander, Stephon; Vaid, Deepak

    2009-07-06

    In a recent paper we discovered that a fermionic condensate is formed from gravitational interactions due to the covariant coupling of fermions in the presence of a torsion-fermion contact interaction.The condensate gap gives a negative contribution to the bare cosmological constant. In this letter, we show that the cosmological constant problem can be solved without fine tuning of the bare cosmological constant. We demonstrate how a universe with a large initial cosmological constant undergoes inflation, during which time the energy gap grows as the volume of the universe. Eventually the gap becomes large enough to cancel out the bare cosmological term, inflation ends and we end up in a universe with an almost vanishing cosmological term. We provide a detailed numerical analysis of the system of equations governing the self regulating relaxation of the cosmological constant.

  20. Relaxion cosmology and the price of fine-tuning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Chiara, Stefano; Kannike, Kristjan; Marzola, Luca; Racioppi, Antonio; Raidal, Martti; Spethmann, Christian

    2016-05-01

    The relaxion scenario presents an intriguing extension of the standard model in which the particle introduced to solve to the strong C P problem, the axion, also achieves the dynamical relaxation of the Higgs boson mass term. In this work we complete this framework by proposing a scenario of inflationary cosmology that is consistent with all the observational constraints: the relaxion hybrid inflation with an asymmetric waterfall. In our scheme, the vacuum energy of the inflaton drives inflation in a natural way while the relaxion slow rolls. The constraints on the present inflationary observables are then matched through a subsequent inflationary epoch driven by the inflaton. We quantify the amount of fine-tuning of the proposed inflation scenario, concluding that the inflaton sector severely decreases the naturalness of the theory.

  1. On the MSSM Higgsino mass and fine tuning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Graham G.; Schmidt-Hoberg, Kai; Staub, Florian

    2016-08-01

    It is often argued that low fine tuning in the MSSM necessarily requires a rather light Higgsino. In this note we show that this need not be the case when a more complete set of soft SUSY breaking mass terms are included. In particular an Higgsino mass term, that correlates the μ-term contribution with the soft SUSY-breaking Higgsino masses, significantly reduces the fine tuning even for Higgsinos in the TeV mass range where its relic abundance means it can make up all the dark matter.

  2. Dark interactions and cosmological fine-tuning

    SciTech Connect

    Quartin, Miguel; Calvao, Mauricio O; Joras, Sergio E; Reis, Ribamar R R; Waga, Ioav E-mail: orca@if.ufrj.br E-mail: ribamar@if.ufrj.br

    2008-05-15

    Cosmological models involving an interaction between dark matter and dark energy have been proposed in order to solve the so-called coincidence problem. Different forms of coupling have been studied, but there have been claims that observational data seem to narrow (some of) them down to something annoyingly close to the {Lambda}CDM (CDM: cold dark matter) model, thus greatly reducing their ability to deal with the problem in the first place. The smallness problem of the initial energy density of dark energy has also been a target of cosmological models in recent years. Making use of a moderately general coupling scheme, this paper aims to unite these different approaches and shed some light on whether this class of models has any true perspective in suppressing the aforementioned issues that plague our current understanding of the universe, in a quantitative and unambiguous way.

  3. The Fine-Tuning of the Universe for Intelligent Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnes, L. A.

    2012-06-01

    The fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life has received a great deal of attention in recent years, both in the philosophical and scientific literature. The claim is that in the space of possible physical laws, parameters and initial conditions, the set that permits the evolution of intelligent life is very small. I present here a review of the scientific literature, outlining cases of fine-tuning in the classic works of Carter, Carr and Rees, and Barrow and Tipler, as well as more recent work. To sharpen the discussion, the role of the antagonist will be played by Victor Stenger's recent book The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe is Not Designed for Us. Stenger claims that all known fine-tuning cases can be explained without the need for a multiverse. Many of Stenger's claims will be found to be highly problematic. We will touch on such issues as the logical necessity of the laws of nature; objectivity, invariance and symmetry; theoretical physics and possible universes; entropy in cosmology; cosmic inflation and initial conditions; galaxy formation; the cosmological constant; stars and their formation; the properties of elementary particles and their effect on chemistry and the macroscopic world; the origin of mass; grand unified theories; and the dimensionality of space and time. I also provide an assessment of the multiverse, noting the significant challenges that it must face. I do not attempt to defend any conclusion based on the fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life. This paper can be viewed as a critique of Stenger's book, or read independently.

  4. Why Cosmic Fine-Tuning Needs to BE Explained

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manson, Neil Alan

    Discoveries in modern physics and Big Bang cosmology indicate that if either the initial conditions of the universe or the physical laws governing its development had differed even slightly, life could never have developed. It is for this reason that the universe is said to be ``fine-tuned'' for life. I argue that cosmic fine-tuning, which some want to dismiss as the way things just happen to be, in fact needs to be explained. In Chapter One I provide an overview of the evidence that the universe is fine-tuned for life. In Chapter Two I present a set of sufficient conditions for a fact's needing to be explained. The conditions are that the fact is improbable and that a ``tidy'' explanation of it is available. A tidy explanation of a fact is considerably less improbable than that fact and makes the obtaining of that fact considerably less improbable. Chapters Three, Four, and Five are devoted to showing that cosmic Chapter Three I argue that the universe's being finely tuned for life can meaningfully be considered improbable. In Chapter Four I claim that there is at least one tidy explanation of cosmic fine-tuning: that the universe was created by some sort of extramundane designer. In Chapters Four and Five I respond to three objections. The first is that the design hypothesis is ad hoc. The second is that we have no reason to believe a supernatural designer would prefer life-permitting cosmoi to other possible cosmoi and that our tendency to believe otherwise is the result of anthropocentrism. The third is that the design hypothesis never buys us an explanatory advantage.

  5. Microglia and synapse interactions: fine tuning neural circuits and candidate molecules

    PubMed Central

    Miyamoto, Akiko; Wake, Hiroaki; Moorhouse, Andrew J.; Nabekura, Junichi

    2013-01-01

    Brain function depends critically on the interactions among the underlying components that comprise neural circuits. This includes coordinated activity in pre-synaptic and postsynaptic neuronal elements, but also in the non-neuronal elements such as glial cells. Microglia are glial cells in the central nervous system (CNS) that have well-known roles in neuronal immune function, responding to infections and brain injury and influencing the progress of neurodegenerative disorders. However, microglia are also surveyors of the healthy brain, continuously extending and retracting their processes and making contacts with pre- and postsynaptic elements of neural circuits, a process that clearly consumes considerable energy. Pruning of synapses during development and in response to injury has also been documented, and we propose that this extensive surveillance of the brain parenchyma in adult healthy brain results in similar “fine-tuning” of neural circuits. A reasonable extension is that a dysfunction of such a homeostatic role of microglia could be a primary cause of neuronal disease. Indeed, neuronal functions including cognition, personality, and information processing are affected by immune status. In this review we focus on the interactions between microglia and synapses, the possible cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate such contacts, and the possible implications these interactions may have in the fine tuning of neural circuits that is so important for physiological brain function. PMID:23720611

  6. Cosmologically Safe QCD Axion without Fine-Tuning.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Masaki; Yanagida, Tsutomu T; Yonekura, Kazuya

    2016-02-01

    Although QCD axion models are widely studied as solutions to the strong CP problem, they generically confront severe fine-tuning problems to guarantee the anomalous Peccei-Quinn (PQ) symmetry. In this Letter, we propose a simple QCD axion model without any fine-tunings. We introduce an extra dimension and a pair of extra quarks living on two branes separately, which is also charged under a bulk Abelian gauge symmetry. We assume a monopole condensation on our brane at an intermediate scale, which implies that the extra quarks develop chiral symmetry breaking and the PQ symmetry is broken. In contrast to Kim's original model, our model explains the origin of the PQ symmetry thanks to the extra dimension and avoids the cosmological domain wall problem because of chiral symmetry breaking in Abelian gauge theory.

  7. Towards understanding fine-tuning in fundamental physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, Grant Edward

    The standard models of particle physics and cosmology are enjoying wild success, but are beset by surprising features. Chief among these are the mysterious smallness of general relativity's cosmological constant (known as the cosmological constant "problem"), and the mysteriously tremendous strength of all other forces relative to gravity (known as the hierarchy "problem"). Both are instances of a physically relevant quantity that (due to quantum effects) is a sum of many (unknown) quantities; in both cases, these summands seem to cancel out to remarkable precision to give a much smaller sum, a phenomenon called fine-tuning. The size of the cosmological constant has proved robust against explanation on the grounds of physical principles like symmetry. Such explanations of the electroweak/gravity hierarchy abound, but recent experimental efforts have ruled many of them out, or forced them to introduce new fine-tuning. In both cases, arguments about selection effects and priors have emerged. Here, a dialectic approach is taken to understanding this apparent fine-tuning in nature: First, symmetry is employed. Supersymmetry famously resolves the hierarchy problem, but is under siege by increasing experimental constraints ruling out much of its natural parameter space. A class of supersymmetry models with supersymmetry broken at a low scale is proposed which evade experimental constraints without needing fine-tuning. The key ingredient is some anti-correlation between supersymmetry-breaking effects and electroweak-breaking effects on a field, e.g. if the symmetry-breaking fields are localized at different points along an extra dimension. Then, a careful argument employing selection effects and Bayesian reasoning is undertaken to show that the size of the cosmological constant is not surprising. Previous such arguments have suggested many different probability measures on the space of different possibilities, but a careful review of quantum mechanics shows a unique

  8. Adiponectin fine-tuning of liver regeneration dynamics revealed through cellular network modelling.

    PubMed

    Correnti, Jason M; Cook, Daniel; Aksamitiene, Edita; Swarup, Aditi; Ogunnaike, Babatunde; Vadigepalli, Rajanikanth; Hoek, Jan B

    2015-01-15

    Following partial hepatectomy, the liver initiates a regenerative programme involving hepatocyte priming and replication driven by the coordinated actions of cytokine and growth factors. We investigated the mechanisms underlying adiponectin's (Adn) regulation of liver regeneration through modulation of these mediators. Adn(-/-) mice showed delayed onset of hepatocyte replication, but accelerated cell cycle progression relative to wild-type mice, suggesting Adn has multiple effects fine-tuning the kinetics of liver regeneration. We developed a computational model describing the molecular and physiological kinetics of liver regeneration in Adn(-/-) mice. We employed this computational model to evaluate the underlying regulatory mechanisms. Our analysis predicted that Adn is required for an efficient early cytokine response to partial hepatectomy, but is inhibitory to later growth factor actions. Consistent with this prediction, Adn knockout reduced hepatocyte responses to interleukin-6 during the priming phase, but enhanced growth factor levels through peak hepatocyte replication. By contrast, supraphysiological concentrations of Adn resulting from rosiglitazone treatment suppressed regeneration by reducing growth factor levels during S phase, consistent with computational predictions. Together, these results revealed that Adn fine-tunes the progression of liver regeneration through dynamically modulating molecular mediator networks and cellular interactions within the liver.

  9. Adiponectin fine-tuning of liver regeneration dynamics revealed through cellular network modeling.

    PubMed

    Correnti, Jason M; Cook, Daniel; Aksamitiene, Edita; Swarup, Aditi; Ogunnaike, Babatunde; Vadigepalli, Rajanikanth; Hoek, Jan B

    2014-11-10

    Following partial hepatectomy, the liver initiates a regenerative program involving hepatocyte priming and replication driven by coordinated cytokine and growth factor actions. We investigated the mechanisms underlying Adiponectin's (Adn) regulation of liver regeneration through modulation of these mediators. Adn-/- mice showed delayed onset of hepatocyte replication, but accelerated cell cycle progression relative to wild-type mice, suggesting Adn has multiple effects fine-tuning the kinetics of liver regeneration. We developed a computational model describing the molecular and physiological kinetics of liver regeneration in Adn-/- mice. We employed this computational model to evaluate the underlying regulatory mechanisms. Our analysis predicted that Adn is required for an efficient early cytokine response to partial hepatectomy, but is inhibitory to later growth factor actions. Consistent with this prediction, Adn knockout reduced hepatocyte responses to IL-6 during the priming phase, but enhanced growth factor levels through peak hepatocyte replication. By contrast, supraphysiological concentrations of Adn resulting from rosiglitazone treatment suppressed regeneration by reducing growth factor levels during S phase, consistent with computational predictions. Together, these results revealed that Adn fine-tunes the progression of liver regeneration through dynamically modulating molecular mediator networks and cellular interactions within the liver. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  10. Modern Cosmology and Anthropic Fine-Tuning: Three approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, Robin

    The anthropic fine-tuning of the cosmos refers to the claim that the laws of nature, the constants of physics, and the initial conditions of the universe must be set to an enormous degree of precision for embodied conscious agents to exist. Three major responses have been offered to this fine-tuning: the multiverse explanation; theism; and the claim that it is just a brute fact that requires no further explanation. In this chapter, I will consider each explanation in turn, and provide some novel arguments for the superiority of a theistic or related explanation. In the last section, I will show how whether or not one adopts a theistic or related explanation can significantly influence what features of the universe one considers in need of further scientific explanation, and the type of scientific explanation that one should find satisfactory. In particular, I will argue that in some cases atheism, not theism, serves as a science stopper in discouraging a search for deeper scientific explanations of phenomena.

  11. Pentagone internalises glypicans to fine-tune multiple signalling pathways.

    PubMed

    Norman, Mark; Vuilleumier, Robin; Springhorn, Alexander; Gawlik, Jennifer; Pyrowolakis, George

    2016-01-01

    Tight regulation of signalling activity is crucial for proper tissue patterning and growth. Here we investigate the function of Pentagone (Pent), a secreted protein that acts in a regulatory feedback during establishment and maintenance of BMP/Dpp morphogen signalling during Drosophila wing development. We show that Pent internalises the Dpp co-receptors, the glypicans Dally and Dally-like protein (Dlp), and propose that this internalisation is important in the establishment of a long range Dpp gradient. Pent-induced endocytosis and degradation of glypicans requires dynamin- and Rab5, but not clathrin or active BMP signalling. Thus, Pent modifies the ability of cells to trap and transduce BMP by fine-tuning the levels of the BMP reception system at the plasma membrane. In addition, and in accordance with the role of glypicans in multiple signalling pathways, we establish a requirement of Pent for Wg signalling. Our data propose a novel mechanism by which morphogen signalling is regulated. PMID:27269283

  12. Fine-tuning tomato agronomic properties by computational genome redesign.

    PubMed

    Carrera, Javier; Fernández Del Carmen, Asun; Fernández-Muñoz, Rafael; Rambla, Jose Luis; Pons, Clara; Jaramillo, Alfonso; Elena, Santiago F; Granell, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    Considering cells as biofactories, we aimed to optimize its internal processes by using the same engineering principles that large industries are implementing nowadays: lean manufacturing. We have applied reverse engineering computational methods to transcriptomic, metabolomic and phenomic data obtained from a collection of tomato recombinant inbreed lines to formulate a kinetic and constraint-based model that efficiently describes the cellular metabolism from expression of a minimal core of genes. Based on predicted metabolic profiles, a close association with agronomic and organoleptic properties of the ripe fruit was revealed with high statistical confidence. Inspired in a synthetic biology approach, the model was used for exploring the landscape of all possible local transcriptional changes with the aim of engineering tomato fruits with fine-tuned biotechnological properties. The method was validated by the ability of the proposed genomes, engineered for modified desired agronomic traits, to recapitulate experimental correlations between associated metabolites. PMID:22685389

  13. Molecular fine-tuning of affinity maturation in germinal centers.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yee Ling; Rada, Cristina

    2016-01-01

    The development of high-affinity antibodies in response to infection is an iterative process in which B cells cycle between proliferation/somatic hypermutation and antigen-driven selection. These processes occur within specific regions of the secondary lymphoid structures known as germinal centers (GCs) and the environmental and signaling cues provided by these regions guide the GC reactions that drive B cell maturation and antibody production, ultimately determining B cell fate. In this issue of the JCI, Nakagawa and colleagues examine the role of miR-155, a microRNA that is required for GC development and the production of high-affinity antibodies. They show that miR-155 is highly expressed in positively selected B cells and promotes survival of these cells by orienting the Myc transcription program toward survival rather than apoptosis through the inhibition of the transcriptional regulator JARID2. These findings illustrate the fine balance between apoptosis and proliferation that is required for the development of high-affinity antibodies.

  14. Fine tuning of the threshold of T cell selection by the Nck adapters.

    PubMed

    Roy, Edwige; Togbe, Dieudonnée; Holdorf, Amy; Trubetskoy, Dmitry; Nabti, Sabrina; Küblbeck, Günter; Schmitt, Sabine; Kopp-Schneider, Annette; Leithäuser, Frank; Möller, Peter; Bladt, Friedhelm; Hämmerling, Günter J; Arnold, Bernd; Pawson, Tony; Tafuri, Anna

    2010-12-15

    Thymic selection shapes the T cell repertoire to ensure maximal antigenic coverage against pathogens while preventing autoimmunity. Recognition of self-peptides in the context of peptide-MHC complexes by the TCR is central to this process, which remains partially understood at the molecular level. In this study we provide genetic evidence that the Nck adapter proteins are essential for thymic selection. In vivo Nck deletion resulted in a reduction of the thymic cellularity, defective positive selection of low-avidity T cells, and impaired deletion of thymocytes engaged by low-potency stimuli. Nck-deficient thymocytes were characterized by reduced ERK activation, particularly pronounced in mature single positive thymocytes. Taken together, our findings identify a crucial role for the Nck adapters in enhancing TCR signal strength, thereby fine-tuning the threshold of thymocyte selection and shaping the preimmune T cell repertoire.

  15. Fine tuning of the threshold of T cell selection by the Nck adapters.

    PubMed

    Roy, Edwige; Togbe, Dieudonnée; Holdorf, Amy; Trubetskoy, Dmitry; Nabti, Sabrina; Küblbeck, Günter; Schmitt, Sabine; Kopp-Schneider, Annette; Leithäuser, Frank; Möller, Peter; Bladt, Friedhelm; Hämmerling, Günter J; Arnold, Bernd; Pawson, Tony; Tafuri, Anna

    2010-12-15

    Thymic selection shapes the T cell repertoire to ensure maximal antigenic coverage against pathogens while preventing autoimmunity. Recognition of self-peptides in the context of peptide-MHC complexes by the TCR is central to this process, which remains partially understood at the molecular level. In this study we provide genetic evidence that the Nck adapter proteins are essential for thymic selection. In vivo Nck deletion resulted in a reduction of the thymic cellularity, defective positive selection of low-avidity T cells, and impaired deletion of thymocytes engaged by low-potency stimuli. Nck-deficient thymocytes were characterized by reduced ERK activation, particularly pronounced in mature single positive thymocytes. Taken together, our findings identify a crucial role for the Nck adapters in enhancing TCR signal strength, thereby fine-tuning the threshold of thymocyte selection and shaping the preimmune T cell repertoire. PMID:21078909

  16. Pentagone internalises glypicans to fine-tune multiple signalling pathways

    PubMed Central

    Norman, Mark; Vuilleumier, Robin; Springhorn, Alexander; Gawlik, Jennifer; Pyrowolakis, George

    2016-01-01

    Tight regulation of signalling activity is crucial for proper tissue patterning and growth. Here we investigate the function of Pentagone (Pent), a secreted protein that acts in a regulatory feedback during establishment and maintenance of BMP/Dpp morphogen signalling during Drosophila wing development. We show that Pent internalises the Dpp co-receptors, the glypicans Dally and Dally-like protein (Dlp), and propose that this internalisation is important in the establishment of a long range Dpp gradient. Pent-induced endocytosis and degradation of glypicans requires dynamin- and Rab5, but not clathrin or active BMP signalling. Thus, Pent modifies the ability of cells to trap and transduce BMP by fine-tuning the levels of the BMP reception system at the plasma membrane. In addition, and in accordance with the role of glypicans in multiple signalling pathways, we establish a requirement of Pent for Wg signalling. Our data propose a novel mechanism by which morphogen signalling is regulated. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13301.001 PMID:27269283

  17. Fine tuning chloroplast movements through physical interactions between phototropins

    PubMed Central

    Sztatelman, Olga; Łabuz, Justyna; Hermanowicz, Paweł; Banaś, Agnieszka Katarzyna; Bażant, Aneta; Zgłobicki, Piotr; Aggarwal, Chhavi; Nadzieja, Marcin; Krzeszowiec, Weronika; Strzałka, Wojciech; Gabryś, Halina

    2016-01-01

    Phototropins are plant photoreceptors which regulate numerous responses to blue light, including chloroplast relocation. Weak blue light induces chloroplast accumulation, whereas strong light leads to an avoidance response. Two Arabidopsis phototropins are characterized by different light sensitivities. Under continuous light, both can elicit chloroplast accumulation, but the avoidance response is controlled solely by phot2. As well as continuous light, brief light pulses also induce chloroplast displacements. Pulses of 0.1s and 0.2s of fluence rate saturating the avoidance response lead to transient chloroplast accumulation. Longer pulses (up to 20s) trigger a biphasic response, namely transient avoidance followed by transient accumulation. This work presents a detailed study of transient chloroplast responses in Arabidopsis. Phototropin mutants display altered chloroplast movements as compared with the wild type: phot1 is characterized by weaker responses, while phot2 exhibits enhanced chloroplast accumulation, especially after 0.1s and 0.2s pulses. To determine the cause of these differences, the abundance and phosphorylation levels of both phototropins, as well as the interactions between phototropin molecules are examined. The formation of phototropin homo- and heterocomplexes is the most plausible explanation of the observed phenomena. The physiological consequences of this interplay are discussed, suggesting the universal character of this mechanism that fine-tunes plant reactions to blue light. Additionally, responses in mutants of different protein phosphatase 2A subunits are examined to assess the role of protein phosphorylation in signaling of chloroplast movements. PMID:27406783

  18. Fine tuning points of generating function construction for linear recursions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yolcu, Bahar; Demiralp, Metin

    2014-10-01

    Recursions are quite important mathematical tools since many systems are mathematically modelled to ultimately take us to these equations because of their rather easy algebraic natures. They fit computer programming needs quite well in many circumstances to produce solutions. However, it is generally desired to find the asymptotic behaviour of the general term in the relevant sequence for convergence and therefore practicality issues. One of the general tendencies to find the general term asymptotic behaviour, when its ordering number grows unboundedly, is the integral representation over a generating function which does not depend on individual sequence elements. This is tried to be done almost for all types of recursions, even though the linear cases gain more importance than the others because they can be more effectively investigated by using many linear algebraic tools. Despite this may seem somehow to be rather trivial, there are a lot of theoretical fine tuning issues in the construction of true integral representations over true intervals on real axis or paths in complex domains. This work is devoted to focus on this issue starting from scratch for better understanding of the matter. The example cases are chosen to best illuminate the situations to get information for future generalization even though the work can be considered at somehow introductory level.

  19. Fine-tuning of macrophage activation using synthetic rocaglate derivatives

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharya, Bidisha; Chatterjee, Sujoy; Devine, William G.; Kobzik, Lester; Beeler, Aaron B.; Porco, John A.; Kramnik, Igor

    2016-01-01

    Drug-resistant bacteria represent a significant global threat. Given the dearth of new antibiotics, host-directed therapies (HDTs) are especially desirable. As IFN-gamma (IFNγ) plays a central role in host resistance to intracellular bacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, we searched for small molecules to augment the IFNγ response in macrophages. Using an interferon-inducible nuclear protein Ipr1 as a biomarker of macrophage activation, we performed a high-throughput screen and identified molecules that synergized with low concentration of IFNγ. Several active compounds belonged to the flavagline (rocaglate) family. In primary macrophages a subset of rocaglates 1) synergized with low concentrations of IFNγ in stimulating expression of a subset of IFN-inducible genes, including a key regulator of the IFNγ network, Irf1; 2) suppressed the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and type I IFN and 3) induced autophagy. These compounds may represent a basis for macrophage-directed therapies that fine-tune macrophage effector functions to combat intracellular pathogens and reduce inflammatory tissue damage. These therapies would be especially relevant to fighting drug-resistant pathogens, where improving host immunity may prove to be the ultimate resource. PMID:27086720

  20. Zipf's Law and Criticality in Multivariate Data without Fine-Tuning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwab, David J.; Nemenman, Ilya; Mehta, Pankaj

    2014-08-01

    The joint probability distribution of states of many degrees of freedom in biological systems, such as firing patterns in neural networks or antibody sequence compositions, often follows Zipf's law, where a power law is observed on a rank-frequency plot. This behavior has been shown to imply that these systems reside near a unique critical point where the extensive parts of the entropy and energy are exactly equal. Here, we show analytically, and via numerical simulations, that Zipf-like probability distributions arise naturally if there is a fluctuating unobserved variable (or variables) that affects the system, such as a common input stimulus that causes individual neurons to fire at time-varying rates. In statistics and machine learning, these are called latent-variable or mixture models. We show that Zipf's law arises generically for large systems, without fine-tuning parameters to a point. Our work gives insight into the ubiquity of Zipf's law in a wide range of systems.

  1. Spectral fine tuning of cyanine dyes: electron donor-acceptor substituted analogues of thiazole orange.

    PubMed

    Rastede, Elizabeth E; Tanha, Matteus; Yaron, David; Watkins, Simon C; Waggoner, Alan S; Armitage, Bruce A

    2015-09-26

    The introduction of electron donor and acceptor groups at strategic locations on a fluorogenic cyanine dye allows fine-tuning of the absorption and emission spectra while preserving the ability of the dye to bind to biomolecular hosts such as double-stranded DNA and a single-chain antibody fragment originally selected for binding to the parent unsubstituted dye, thiazole orange (TO). The observed spectral shifts are consistent with calculated HOMO-LUMO energy gaps and reflect electron density localization on the quinoline half of TO in the LUMO. A dye bearing donating methoxy and withdrawing trifluoromethyl groups on the benzothiazole and quinoline rings, respectively, shifts the absorption spectrum to sufficiently longer wavelengths to allow excitation at green wavelengths as opposed to the parent dye, which is optimally excited in the blue.

  2. Spectral Fine Tuning of Cyanine Dyes: Electron Donor-Acceptor Substituted Analogues of Thiazole Orange†

    PubMed Central

    Rastede, Elizabeth E.; Tanha, Matteus; Yaron, David; Watkins, Simon C.; Waggoner, Alan S.; Armitage, Bruce A.

    2015-01-01

    The introduction of electron donor and acceptor groups at strategic locations on a fluorogenic cyanine dye allows fine-tuning of the absorption and emission spectra while preserving the ability of the dye to bind to biomolecular hosts such as double-stranded DNA and a single-chain antibody fragment originally selected for binding to the parent unsubstituted dye, thiazole orange (TO). The observed spectral shifts are consistent with calculated HOMO-LUMO energy gaps and reflect electron density localization on the quinoline half of TO in the LUMO. A dye bearing donating methoxy and withdrawing trifluoromethyl groups on the benzothiazole and quinoline rings, respectively, shifts the absorption spectrum to sufficiently longer wavelengths to allow excitation at green wavelengths as opposed to the parent dye, which is optimally excited in the blue. PMID:26171668

  3. A successful pregnancy following SEM fine tuning of hormonal priming

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Susan M; Murphy, Christopher R

    2001-01-01

    Background Manipulation of the uterine epithelium utilising standard dose exogenous oestrogen (E2) and progesterone (P4) has been shown to achieve a mature secretory morphological response. However, in an in vitro fertilisation (IVF) setting, frozen embryo transfer (ET) has had a low success rate. We propose that in patients with previously failed ET attempts, the uterine epithelium can be directly visualised by biopsy and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and that with an individualised fine tuning of the hormone supplementation regime, based on the SEM examination of sequential uterine biopsies, it is possible to provide a uterine environment conducive to successful ET. Methods A 47 year old women was chosen for endometrial biopsy, histopathological dating and endometrial observation utilising SEM to determine the integrity of her secretory uterine epithelium because of her age and several previously failed attempts at frozen ET. Exogenous E2 and P4 supplementation was administered in modified doses according to the SEM result, in consecutive cycles until the epithelial response appeared satisfactory for potential implantation. Results This case study demonstrates the dramatic change in epithelial characteristics that can be achieved as a response to these altered doses of E2 and P4. The uterine morphology changed from a hypotrophic to a mature, receptive epithelium such that ET resulted in the birth of healthy twin boys. Conclusion The comparison between the consecutive biopsies in direct response to the SEM analysis and tailored modification of E2 and P4 dose clearly demonstrates, in this case, the effectiveness of individual morphological monitoring to maximise the successful outcome of ET. PMID:11667953

  4. SUSY models under siege: LHC constraints and electroweak fine-tuning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baer, Howard; Barger, Vernon; Mickelson, Dan; Padeffke-Kirkland, Maren

    2014-06-01

    Recent null results from LHC8 supersymmetry (SUSY) searches along with the discovery of a standard model (SM)-like Higgs boson with mass mh≃125.5 GeV indicates sparticle masses in the TeV range, causing tension with conventional measures of electroweak fine-tuning. We propose a simple fine-tuning rule which should be followed under any credible evaluation of fine-tuning. We believe that overestimates of electroweak fine-tuning by conventional measures all arise from violations of this rule. We show that to gain accord with the fine-tuning rule, then both the Higgs mass and the traditional ΔBG fine-tuning measures reduce to the model-independent electroweak fine-tuning measure ΔEW. This occurs by combining dependent contributions to mZ or mh into independent units. Then, using ΔEW, we evaluate EW fine-tuning for a variety of SUSY models including mSUGRA, NUHM1, NUHM2, mGMSB, mAMSB, hyper-charged AMSB, gaugino AMSB and nine cases of mixed moduli-anomaly (mirage) mediated SUSY breaking models while respecting LHC Higgs mass and B-decay constraints (we do not impose LHC8 sparticle mass constraints due to the possibility of compressed spectra within many of these models). We find mSUGRA, mGMSB and the AMSB models all to be highly fine-tuned. The NUHM1 model is moderately fine-tuned while NUHM2 which allows for radiatively driven naturalness (RNS) allows for fine-tuning at a meager 10% level in the case where m(Higgsinos)˜100-200 GeV and the TeV-scale top squarks are well mixed. Models with RNS may or may not be detectable at LHC14. A √s ˜500 GeV e+e- collider will be required to make a definitive search for the requisite light Higgsinos.

  5. Resonant production of the sterile neutrino dark matter and fine-tunings in the neutrino minimal standard model

    SciTech Connect

    Roy, Ananda; Shaposhnikov, Mikhail

    2010-09-01

    The generation of lepton asymmetry below the electroweak scale has a considerable impact on production of dark matter sterile neutrinos. Oscillations or decays of the heavier sterile neutrinos in the neutrino minimal standard model can give rise to the requisite lepton asymmetry, provided the masses of the heavier neutrinos are sufficiently degenerate. We study the renormalization group evolution of the mass difference of these singlet fermions to understand the degree of necessary fine-tuning. We construct an example of the model that can lead to a technically natural realization of this low-energy degeneracy.

  6. Fine-tuning somatostatin receptor signalling by agonist-selective phosphorylation and dephosphorylation: IUPHAR Review 5.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Stefan; Lehmann, Andreas; Kliewer, Andrea; Nagel, Falko

    2014-04-01

    The biological actions of somatostatin are mediated by a family of five GPCRs, named sst1 to sst5 . Somatostatin receptors exhibit equally high-binding affinities to their natural ligand somatostatin-14 and largely overlapping distributions. The overexpression of somatostatin receptors in human tumours is the molecular basis for diagnostic and therapeutic application of the stable somatostatin analogues octreotide, lanreotide and pasireotide. The efficiency of somatostatin receptor signalling is tightly regulated and ultimately limited by the coordinated phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of intracellular carboxyl-terminal serine and threonine residues. Here, we review and discuss recent progress in the generation and application of phosphosite-specific antibodies for human sst2 and sst5 receptors. These phosphosite-specific antibodies are unique tools to monitor the spatial and temporal dynamics of receptors phosphorylation and dephosphorylation. Using a combined approach of phosphosite-specific antibodies and siRNA knock-down screening, relevant kinases and phosphatases were identified. Emerging evidence suggests distinct mechanisms of agonist-selective fine-tuning for individual somatostatin receptors. The recently uncovered differences in phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of these receptors may hence be of physiological significance in mediating responses to acute, persistent or repeated stimuli in a variety of target tissues.

  7. Does inflation solve the hot big bang model's fine-tuning problems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCoy, C. D.

    2015-08-01

    Cosmological inflation is widely considered an integral and empirically successful component of contemporary cosmology. It was originally motivated (and usually still is) by its solution of certain so-called fine-tuning problems of the hot big bang model, particularly what are known as the horizon problem and the flatness problem. Although the physics behind these problems is clear enough, the nature of the problems depends on the sense in which the hot big bang model is fine-tuned and how the alleged fine-tuning is problematic. Without clear explications of these, it remains unclear precisely what problems inflationary theory is meant to be solving and whether it does in fact solve them. I analyze the structure of these problems and consider various interpretations that may substantiate the alleged fine-tuning. On the basis of this analysis I argue that at present there is no unproblematic interpretation available for which it can be said that inflation solves the big bang model's alleged fine-tuning problems.

  8. Reducing the fine-tuning of gauge-mediated SUSY breaking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casas, J. Alberto; Moreno, Jesús M.; Robles, Sandra; Rolbiecki, Krzysztof

    2016-08-01

    Despite their appealing features, models with gauge-mediated supersymmetry breaking (GMSB) typically present a high degree of fine-tuning, due to the initial absence of the top trilinear scalar couplings, A_t=0. In this paper, we carefully evaluate such a tuning, showing that is worse than per mil in the minimal model. Then, we examine some existing proposals to generate A_t≠ 0 term in this context. We find that, although the stops can be made lighter, usually the tuning does not improve (it may be even worse), with some exceptions, which involve the generation of A_t at one loop or tree level. We examine both possibilities and propose a conceptually simplified version of the latter; which is arguably the optimum GMSB setup (with minimal matter content), concerning the fine-tuning issue. The resulting fine-tuning is better than one per mil, still severe but similar to other minimal supersymmetric standard model constructions. We also explore the so-called "little A_t^2/m^2 problem", i.e. the fact that a large A_t-term is normally accompanied by a similar or larger sfermion mass, which typically implies an increase in the fine-tuning. Finally, we find the version of GMSB for which this ratio is optimized, which, nevertheless, does not minimize the fine-tuning.

  9. Fine-tuning of single-molecule conductance by tweaking both electronic structure and conformation of side substituents.

    PubMed

    Aragonès, Albert C; Darwish, Nadim; Im, JongOne; Lim, Boram; Choi, Jeongae; Koo, Sangho; Díez-Pérez, Ismael

    2015-05-18

    Herein, we describe a method to fine-tune the conductivity of single-molecule wires by employing a combination of chemical composition and geometrical modifications of multiple phenyl side groups as conductance modulators embedded along the main axis of the electronic pathway. We have measured the single-molecule conductivity of a novel series of phenyl-substituted carotenoid wires whose conductivity can be tuned with high precision over an order of magnitude range by modulating both the electron-donating character of the phenyl substituent and its dihedral angle. It is demonstrated that the electronic communication between the phenyl side groups and the molecular wire is maximized when the phenyl groups are twisted closer to the plane of the conjugated molecular wire. These findings can be refined to a general technique for precisely tuning the conductivity of molecular wires.

  10. Zipf's law and criticality in multivariate data without fine-tuning.

    PubMed

    Schwab, David J; Nemenman, Ilya; Mehta, Pankaj

    2014-08-01

    The joint probability distribution of states of many degrees of freedom in biological systems, such as firing patterns in neural networks or antibody sequence compositions, often follows Zipf's law, where a power law is observed on a rank-frequency plot. This behavior has been shown to imply that these systems reside near a unique critical point where the extensive parts of the entropy and energy are exactly equal. Here, we show analytically, and via numerical simulations, that Zipf-like probability distributions arise naturally if there is a fluctuating unobserved variable (or variables) that affects the system, such as a common input stimulus that causes individual neurons to fire at time-varying rates. In statistics and machine learning, these are called latent-variable or mixture models. We show that Zipf's law arises generically for large systems, without fine-tuning parameters to a point. Our work gives insight into the ubiquity of Zipf's law in a wide range of systems. PMID:25148352

  11. Metalloprotease OMA1 Fine-tunes Mitochondrial Bioenergetic Function and Respiratory Supercomplex Stability

    PubMed Central

    Bohovych, Iryna; Fernandez, Mario R.; Rahn, Jennifer J.; Stackley, Krista D.; Bestman, Jennifer E.; Anandhan, Annadurai; Franco, Rodrigo; Claypool, Steven M.; Lewis, Robert E.; Chan, Sherine S. L.; Khalimonchuk, Oleh

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondria are involved in key cellular functions including energy production, metabolic homeostasis, and apoptosis. Normal mitochondrial function is preserved by several interrelated mechanisms. One mechanism – intramitochondrial quality control (IMQC) – is represented by conserved proteases distributed across mitochondrial compartments. Many aspects and physiological roles of IMQC components remain unclear. Here, we show that the IMQC protease Oma1 is required for the stability of the respiratory supercomplexes and thus balanced and tunable bioenergetic function. Loss of Oma1 activity leads to a specific destabilization of respiratory supercomplexes and consequently to unbalanced respiration and progressive respiratory decline in yeast. Similarly, experiments in cultured Oma1-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts link together impeded supercomplex stability and inability to maintain proper respiration under conditions that require maximal bioenergetic output. Finally, transient knockdown of OMA1 in zebrafish leads to impeded bioenergetics and morphological defects of the heart and eyes. Together, our biochemical and genetic studies in yeast, zebrafish and mammalian cells identify a novel and conserved physiological role for Oma1 protease in fine-tuning of respiratory function. We suggest that this unexpected physiological role is important for cellular bioenergetic plasticity and may contribute to Oma1-associated disease phenotypes in humans. PMID:26365306

  12. Preservation of reproductive behaviors during modest cooling: rapid cold-hardening fine-tunes organismal response.

    PubMed

    Shreve, Scott M; Kelty, Jonathan D; Lee, Richard E

    2004-05-01

    The primary objectives of this study were to determine (1) whether rapid cold-hardening (RCH) preserves reproductive behaviors during modest cooling, (2) whether increased mating success at a lower temperature comes at the cost of decreased performance at a higher temperature and (3) whether RCH is associated with an elevated metabolic rate. Drosophila melanogaster (Diptera: Drosphilidae) were rapidly cold-hardened by a 2-h exposure to 16 degrees C prior to experiments. A temperature decrease of only 7 degrees C (23 degrees C to 16 degrees C) prevented half (11/22) of the control pairs of D. melanogaster from engaging in any courtship activity. By contrast, most RCH pairs courted (17/20). Additionally, the 7 degrees C transfer prevented mating in every pair of control flies, whereas more than half (11/20) of the RCH pairs mated. There was no evidence of impaired courtship or mating performance when RCH pairs were tested at 23 degrees C. Finally, RCH is apparently not an energy-demanding process because no increase in the metabolic rate was detected during its induction. Overall, these data demonstrate that RCH serves to constantly fine-tune an insect's physiological state to match slight changes in environmental temperature. Furthermore, the RCH response is not restricted to cryoprotection and survival in the cold but also preserves more subtle behaviors, such as courtship, at moderate to high temperatures throughout the year. PMID:15107435

  13. Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Protects against Atherosclerosis via Fine-Tuning the Multiorgan Crosstalk

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Leigang; Lin, Zhuofeng

    2016-01-01

    Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a metabolic hormone with pleiotropic effects on energy metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Besides its antiobese and antidiabetic activity, FGF21 also possesses the protective effects against atherosclerosis. Circulating levels of FGF21 are elevated in patients with atherosclerosis, macrovascular and microvascular complications of diabetes, possibly due to a compensatory upregulation. In apolipoprotein E-deficient mice, formation of atherosclerotic plaques is exacerbated by genetic depletion of FGF21, but is attenuated upon replenishment with recombinant FGF21. However, the blood vessel is not the direct target of FGF21, and the antiatherosclerotic activity of FGF21 is attributed to its actions in adipose tissues and liver. In adipocytes, FGF21 promotes secretion of adiponectin, which in turn acts directly on blood vessels to reduce endothelial dysfunction, inhibit proliferation of smooth muscle cells and block conversion of macrophages to foam cells. Furthermore, FGF21 suppresses cholesterol biosynthesis and attenuates hypercholesterolemia by inhibiting the transcription factor sterol regulatory element-binding protein-2 in hepatocytes. The effects of FGF21 on elevation of adiponectin and reduction of hypercholesterolemia are also observed in a phase-1b clinical trial in patients with obesity and diabetes. Therefore, FGF21 exerts its protection against atherosclerosis by fine-tuning the interorgan crosstalk between liver, brain, adipose tissue, and blood vessels. PMID:26912152

  14. Localized electrical fine tuning of passive microwave and radio frequency devices

    DOEpatents

    Findikoglu, Alp T.

    2001-04-10

    A method and apparatus for the localized electrical fine tuning of passive multiple element microwave or RF devices in which a nonlinear dielectric material is deposited onto predetermined areas of a substrate containing the device. An appropriate electrically conductive material is deposited over predetermined areas of the nonlinear dielectric and the signal line of the device for providing electrical contact with the nonlinear dielectric. Individual, adjustable bias voltages are applied to the electrically conductive material allowing localized electrical fine tuning of the devices. The method of the present invention can be applied to manufactured devices, or can be incorporated into the design of the devices so that it is applied at the time the devices are manufactured. The invention can be configured to provide localized fine tuning for devices including but not limited to coplanar waveguides, slotline devices, stripline devices, and microstrip devices.

  15. Fine-tuning in GGM and the 126 GeV Higgs particle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lalak, Zygmunt; Lewicki, Marek

    2013-05-01

    In this paper we reanalyze the issue of fine-tuning in supersymmetric models which feature Generalized Gauge Mediation (GGM) in the light of recent measurement of the mass of the light Higgs particle and taking into account available data on the value of the muon magnetic moment {g_{μ }}-2 . We consider GGM models with 3, 5 and 6 input parameters and reduce the fine-tuning by assuming simple relations between them at the high scale. We are able to find solutions which give the correct value of the light Higgs mass and are less fine-tuned than models with standard gauge mediation (and with gravity mediation), however one never finds fine-tung measure lower than about 102 if one neglects the data on {g_{μ }}-2 and and about four times more if one takes the constraint given by {g_{μ }}-2 into account. In general the current {g_{μ }}-2 data push the models towards the high fine-tuning region. It is interesting to note, that once one removes the contributions to the finetuning induced by μ and B μ , then in the case with neglected {g_{μ }}-2 constraint one can easily find realistic vacua with fine-tuning of order 1 or lower, while the fine-tung remains always large when the {g_{μ }}-2 constraint is enforced. One should note, that in the last case even a small shift of the light Higgs mass towards smaller values both reduces fine-tuning and helps to improve agreement of a model with {g_{μ }}-2 data.

  16. Multiple excitatory and inhibitory neural signals converge to fine-tune Caenorhabditis elegans feeding to food availability.

    PubMed

    Dallière, Nicolas; Bhatla, Nikhil; Luedtke, Zara; Ma, Dengke K; Woolman, Jonathan; Walker, Robert J; Holden-Dye, Lindy; O'Connor, Vincent

    2016-02-01

    How an animal matches feeding to food availability is a key question for energy homeostasis. We addressed this in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which couples feeding to the presence of its food (bacteria) by regulating pharyngeal activity (pumping). We scored pumping in the presence of food and over an extended time course of food deprivation in wild-type and mutant worms to determine the neural substrates of adaptive behavior. Removal of food initially suppressed pumping but after 2 h this was accompanied by intermittent periods of high activity. We show pumping is fine-tuned by context-specific neural mechanisms and highlight a key role for inhibitory glutamatergic and excitatory cholinergic/peptidergic drives in the absence of food. Additionally, the synaptic protein UNC-31 [calcium-activated protein for secretion (CAPS)] acts through an inhibitory pathway not explained by previously identified contributions of UNC-31/CAPS to neuropeptide or glutamate transmission. Pumping was unaffected by laser ablation of connectivity between the pharyngeal and central nervous system indicating signals are either humoral or intrinsic to the enteric system. This framework in which control is mediated through finely tuned excitatory and inhibitory drives resonates with mammalian hypothalamic control of feeding and suggests that fundamental regulation of this basic animal behavior may be conserved through evolution from nematode to human. PMID:26514165

  17. Fine-Tuning Language Policy in Hong Kong Education: Stakeholders' Perceptions, Practices and Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chan, Jim Y. H.

    2014-01-01

    The present study evaluates the impact of the fine-tuning medium of instruction (MOI) policy in Hong Kong in the early stages of its implementation. It explores the key stakeholders' perspectives on a school-based policy via a case study, which gathered multiple sources of qualitative data (i.e. focus groups/interviews, open-ended…

  18. Novel players fine-tune plant trade-offs.

    PubMed

    Gimenez-Ibanez, Selena; Boter, Marta; Solano, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    Jasmonates (JAs) are essential signalling molecules that co-ordinate the plant response to biotic and abiotic challenges, as well as co-ordinating several developmental processes. Huge progress has been made over the last decade in understanding the components and mechanisms that govern JA perception and signalling. The bioactive form of the hormone, (+)-7-iso-jasmonyl-L-isoleucine (JA-Ile), is perceived by the COI1-JAZ co-receptor complex. JASMONATE ZIM DOMAIN (JAZ) proteins also act as direct repressors of transcriptional activators such as MYC2. In the emerging picture of JA-Ile perception and signalling, COI1 operates as an E3 ubiquitin ligase that upon binding of JA-Ile targets JAZ repressors for degradation by the 26S proteasome, thereby derepressing transcription factors such as MYC2, which in turn activate JA-Ile-dependent transcriptional reprogramming. It is noteworthy that MYCs and different spliced variants of the JAZ proteins are involved in a negative regulatory feedback loop, which suggests a model that rapidly turns the transcriptional JA-Ile responses on and off and thereby avoids a detrimental overactivation of the pathway. This chapter highlights the most recent advances in our understanding of JA-Ile signalling, focusing on the latest repertoire of new targets of JAZ proteins to control different sets of JA-Ile-mediated responses, novel mechanisms of negative regulation of JA-Ile signalling, and hormonal cross-talk at the molecular level that ultimately determines plant adaptability and survival. PMID:26374889

  19. Novel players fine-tune plant trade-offs.

    PubMed

    Gimenez-Ibanez, Selena; Boter, Marta; Solano, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    Jasmonates (JAs) are essential signalling molecules that co-ordinate the plant response to biotic and abiotic challenges, as well as co-ordinating several developmental processes. Huge progress has been made over the last decade in understanding the components and mechanisms that govern JA perception and signalling. The bioactive form of the hormone, (+)-7-iso-jasmonyl-L-isoleucine (JA-Ile), is perceived by the COI1-JAZ co-receptor complex. JASMONATE ZIM DOMAIN (JAZ) proteins also act as direct repressors of transcriptional activators such as MYC2. In the emerging picture of JA-Ile perception and signalling, COI1 operates as an E3 ubiquitin ligase that upon binding of JA-Ile targets JAZ repressors for degradation by the 26S proteasome, thereby derepressing transcription factors such as MYC2, which in turn activate JA-Ile-dependent transcriptional reprogramming. It is noteworthy that MYCs and different spliced variants of the JAZ proteins are involved in a negative regulatory feedback loop, which suggests a model that rapidly turns the transcriptional JA-Ile responses on and off and thereby avoids a detrimental overactivation of the pathway. This chapter highlights the most recent advances in our understanding of JA-Ile signalling, focusing on the latest repertoire of new targets of JAZ proteins to control different sets of JA-Ile-mediated responses, novel mechanisms of negative regulation of JA-Ile signalling, and hormonal cross-talk at the molecular level that ultimately determines plant adaptability and survival.

  20. A versatile apparatus for the fine-tuned synthesis of cluster-based materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, A.; Kruk, R.; Hahn, H.

    2015-02-01

    In this paper, a custom-designed experimental setup for the fine-tuned synthesis of various cluster-based materials is presented. Providing custom-designed deposition stages and special sample holders it offers a high degree of control over the sample characteristics such as the cluster size, cluster amounts, and sample homogeneity in combination with high sample purity. The system is capable of producing thin films of pure clusters and various cluster-matrix combinations with cluster sizes ranging from single atoms up to aggregates of several thousand atoms. Two custom-designed deposition stages are available, one utilizes the full cluster beam, yielding micrograms of pure clusters within a few hours and the second one uses mass-separated clusters (mass-resolution between 2% and 10%), yielding nanograms of pure clusters in the same timescale. Furthermore, at the second deposition stage, a variety of matrix materials can be co-deposited at a controlled sample temperature between 153 K and 673 K. In order to prove the capabilities of the apparatus, a series of experiments with Fe clusters embedded in Ag matrices with different volume fractions of clusters were carried out. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy measurements revealed that the amount of deposited clusters as well as the sample homogeneity can be controlled with an outstanding accuracy of 10%. Additional measurements of the magnetic properties indicated the presence of separated clusters for volume fractions of clusters around 2 volume percent (vol. %), while above this concentration (10 vol. %) a partial aggregation of the clusters was observed. It was also shown that the resulting thin films are nearly oxygen free, which ascertains that oxygen sensitive materials can be safely handled in this newly developed apparatus.

  1. High-temperature superconductivity from fine-tuning of Fermi-surface singularities in iron oxypnictides

    PubMed Central

    Charnukha, A.; Evtushinsky, D. V.; Matt, C. E.; Xu, N.; Shi, M.; Büchner, B.; Zhigadlo, N. D.; Batlogg, B.; Borisenko, S. V.

    2015-01-01

    In the family of the iron-based superconductors, the REFeAsO-type compounds (with RE being a rare-earth metal) exhibit the highest bulk superconducting transition temperatures (Tc) up to 55 K and thus hold the key to the elusive pairing mechanism. Recently, it has been demonstrated that the intrinsic electronic structure of SmFe0.92Co0.08AsO (Tc = 18 K) is highly nontrivial and consists of multiple band-edge singularities in close proximity to the Fermi level. However, it remains unclear whether these singularities are generic to the REFeAsO-type materials and if so, whether their exact topology is responsible for the aforementioned record Tc. In this work, we use angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) to investigate the inherent electronic structure of the NdFeAsO0.6F0.4 compound with a twice higher Tc = 38 K. We find a similarly singular Fermi surface and further demonstrate that the dramatic enhancement of superconductivity in this compound correlates closely with the fine-tuning of one of the band-edge singularities to within a fraction of the superconducting energy gap Δ below the Fermi level. Our results provide compelling evidence that the band-structure singularities near the Fermi level in the iron-based superconductors must be explicitly accounted for in any attempt to understand the mechanism of superconducting pairing in these materials. PMID:26678565

  2. Finely Tuned Polymer Interlayers Enhance Solar Cell Efficiency.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yao; Page, Zachariah A; Russell, Thomas P; Emrick, Todd

    2015-09-21

    Three conjugated polymer zwitterions (CPZs), containing thiophene-, diketopyrrolopyrrole- (DPP), and naphthalene diimide (NDI) backbones, were synthesized with pendant zwitterions, specifically sulfobetaine groups. Diboronate-ester-functionalized bithiophene and benzothiadiazole monomers were copolymerized with zwitterion-substituted dibromothiophene, DPP, and NDI monomers by A2 + B2 Suzuki polymerization. The CPZs were incorporated into polymer solar cells (PSCs) as interlayers between the photoactive layer and Ag cathode. The thiophene-based CPZs gave power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of about 5%, while the narrow-energy-gap DPP- and NDI-based CPZs performed exceptionally well, giving PCEs of 9.49% and 10.19%, respectively. The interlayer thickness had only a minor impact on the device performance for the DPP- and NDI-CPZs, a finding attributed to their electron-transport properties. Ultraviolet photoelectron and reflectance spectroscopies, combined with external quantum efficiency measurements, provided structure-property relationships that lend insight into the function of CPZ interlayers in PSCs. NDI-based CPZ interlayers provide some of the best performing organic solar cells reported to date, and prove useful in conjunction with high-performing polymer-active layers and stable, high-work-function, metal cathodes.

  3. An Undecanuclear Ferrimagnetic Cu9Dy2 Single Molecule Magnet Achieved through Ligand Fine-Tuning.

    PubMed

    Kühne, Irina A; Kostakis, George E; Anson, Christopher E; Powell, Annie K

    2016-05-01

    We describe the concept of increasing the nuclearity of a previously reported high-spin Cu5Gd2 core using a "fine-tuning" ligand approach. Thus, two Cu9Ln2 coordination clusters, with Ln = Dy (1) and Gd (2), were synthesized with the Gd compound having a ground spin state of (17)/2 and the Dy analogue showing single-molecule-magnet behavior in zero field. PMID:27096219

  4. Atomic Layer Deposition to Fine-Tune the Surface Properties and Diameters of Fabricated Nanopores

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Peng; Mitsui, Toshiyuki; Farmer, Damon B.; Golovchenko, Jene; Gordon, Roy G.; Branton, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    Atomic layer deposition of alumina enhanced the molecule sensing characteristics of fabricated nanopores by fine-tuning their surface properties, reducing 1/f noise, neutralizing surface charge to favor capture of DNA and other negative polyelectrolytes, and controlling the diameter and aspect ratio of the pores with near single Ångstrom precision. The control over the chemical and physical nature of the pore surface provided by atomic layer deposition produced a higher yield of functional nanopore detectors. PMID:24991194

  5. The fine tuning of the cosmological constant in a conformal model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Pankaj; Kashyap, Gopal; Mitra, Subhadip

    2015-10-01

    We consider a conformal model involving two real scalar fields in which the conformal symmetry is broken by a soft mechanism and is not anomalous. One of these scalar fields is representative of the standard model Higgs. The model predicts exactly zero cosmological constant. In the simplest version of the model, some of the couplings need to be fine-tuned to very small values. We formulate the problem of fine tuning of these couplings. We argue that the problem arises since we require a soft mechanism to break conformal symmetry. The symmetry breaking is possible only if the scalar fields do not evolve significantly over the time scale of the Universe. Ignoring contributions due to quantum gravity, we present two solutions to this fine tuning problem. We argue that the problem is solved if the classical value of one of the scalar fields is super-Planckian, i.e. takes a value much larger than the Planck mass. The second solution involves introduction of a strongly coupled hidden sector that we call hypercolor. In this case, the conformal invariance is broken dynamically and triggers the breakdown of the electroweak symmetry. We argue that our analysis applies also to the case of the standard model Higgs multiplet.

  6. Fine-tuned grayscale optofluidic maskless lithography for three-dimensional freeform shape microstructure fabrication.

    PubMed

    Song, Suk-Heung; Kim, Kibeom; Choi, Sung-Eun; Han, Sangkwon; Lee, Ho-Suk; Kwon, Sunghoon; Park, Wook

    2014-09-01

    This article presents free-floating three-dimensional (3D) microstructure fabrication in a microfluidic channel using direct fine-tuned grayscale image lithography. The image is designed as a freeform shape and is composed of gray shades as light-absorbing features. Gray shade levels are modulated through multiple reflections of light in a digital micromirror device (DMD) to produce different height formations. Whereas conventional photolithography has several limitations in producing grayscale colors on photomask features, our method focuses on a maskless, single-shot process for fabrication of freeform 3D micro-scale shapes. The fine-tuned gray image is designed using an 8-bit grayscale color; thus, each pixel is capable of displaying 256 gray shades. The pattern of the UV light reflecting on the DMD is transferred to a photocurable resin flowing through a microfluidic channel. Here, we demonstrate diverse free-floating 3D microstructure fabrication using fine-tuned grayscale image lithography. Additionally, we produce polymeric microstructures with locally embedded gray encoding patterns, such as grayscale-encoded microtags. This functional microstructure can be applied to a biophysical detection system combined with 3D microstructures. This method would be suitable for fabricating 3D microstructures that have a specific morphology to be used for particular biological or medical applications.

  7. Rate of hydrolysis in ATP synthase is fine-tuned by α-subunit motif controlling active site conformation

    PubMed Central

    Beke-Somfai, Tamás; Lincoln, Per; Nordén, Bengt

    2013-01-01

    Computer-designed artificial enzymes will require precise understanding of how conformation of active sites may control barrier heights of key transition states, including dependence on structure and dynamics at larger molecular scale. FoF1 ATP synthase is interesting as a model system: a delicate molecular machine synthesizing or hydrolyzing ATP using a rotary motor. Isolated F1 performs hydrolysis with a rate very sensitive to ATP concentration. Experimental and theoretical results show that, at low ATP concentrations, ATP is slowly hydrolyzed in the so-called tight binding site, whereas at higher concentrations, the binding of additional ATP molecules induces rotation of the central γ-subunit, thereby forcing the site to transform through subtle conformational changes into a loose binding site in which hydrolysis occurs faster. How the 1-Å-scale rearrangements are controlled is not yet fully understood. By a combination of theoretical approaches, we address how large macromolecular rearrangements may manipulate the active site and how the reaction rate changes with active site conformation. Simulations reveal that, in response to γ-subunit position, the active site conformation is fine-tuned mainly by small α-subunit changes. Quantum mechanics-based results confirm that the sub-Ångström gradual changes between tight and loose binding site structures dramatically alter the hydrolysis rate. PMID:23345443

  8. Rate of hydrolysis in ATP synthase is fine-tuned by α-subunit motif controlling active site conformation.

    PubMed

    Beke-Somfai, Tamás; Lincoln, Per; Nordén, Bengt

    2013-02-01

    Computer-designed artificial enzymes will require precise understanding of how conformation of active sites may control barrier heights of key transition states, including dependence on structure and dynamics at larger molecular scale. F(o)F(1) ATP synthase is interesting as a model system: a delicate molecular machine synthesizing or hydrolyzing ATP using a rotary motor. Isolated F(1) performs hydrolysis with a rate very sensitive to ATP concentration. Experimental and theoretical results show that, at low ATP concentrations, ATP is slowly hydrolyzed in the so-called tight binding site, whereas at higher concentrations, the binding of additional ATP molecules induces rotation of the central γ-subunit, thereby forcing the site to transform through subtle conformational changes into a loose binding site in which hydrolysis occurs faster. How the 1-Å-scale rearrangements are controlled is not yet fully understood. By a combination of theoretical approaches, we address how large macromolecular rearrangements may manipulate the active site and how the reaction rate changes with active site conformation. Simulations reveal that, in response to γ-subunit position, the active site conformation is fine-tuned mainly by small α-subunit changes. Quantum mechanics-based results confirm that the sub-Ångström gradual changes between tight and loose binding site structures dramatically alter the hydrolysis rate. PMID:23345443

  9. Fine-tune lens-heating-induced focus drift with different process and illumination settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, Yuanting

    2001-09-01

    This study is to establish the relationship of lens heating (LH) performance with related process variables and develop the methodology for reducing LH induced focus drift for different products based on ASML LH algorithms and experiment data. Focus drift data is collected at certain LH machine constants for different process settings, such as different clear window images (CLW) in stepper jobs, different exposure doses, reticle transmission rates, and substrates. The further study is done at different illumination settings to establish the correlation between NA/sigma settings, focus drift and LH scaling factors ((mu) 1 (mu) 2). The characteristic (mu) 1, (mu) 2 -- NA/Ill relationship for this i-line stepper is generated using production batches. LH machine constants are fine-tuned based on the Poly layer for 0.30 micrometer Logic Mix-mode, 0.30 micrometer SRAM and 0.35 micrometer Embedded SRAM products. This work provides an accurate and practical way to fine-tune LH for all the i-line/DUV steppers based on the critical layer of representative products in a foundry fab.

  10. Fine-tuning of defensive behaviors in the dorsal periaqueductal gray by atypical neurotransmitters.

    PubMed

    Fogaça, M V; Lisboa, S F; Aguiar, D C; Moreira, F A; Gomes, F V; Casarotto, P C; Guimarães, F S

    2012-04-01

    This paper presents an up-to-date review of the evidence indicating that atypical neurotransmitters such as nitric oxide (NO) and endocannabinoids (eCBs) play an important role in the regulation of aversive responses in the periaqueductal gray (PAG). Among the results supporting this role, several studies have shown that inhibitors of neuronal NO synthase or cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) receptor agonists cause clear anxiolytic responses when injected into this region. The nitrergic and eCB systems can regulate the activity of classical neurotransmitters such as glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) that control PAG activity. We propose that they exert a 'fine-tuning' regulatory control of defensive responses in this area. This control, however, is probably complex, which may explain the usually bell-shaped dose-response curves observed with drugs that act on NO- or CB1-mediated neurotransmission. Even if the mechanisms responsible for this complex interaction are still poorly understood, they are beginning to be recognized. For example, activation of transient receptor potential vanilloid type-1 channel (TRPV1) receptors by anandamide seems to counteract the anxiolytic effects induced by CB1 receptor activation caused by this compound. Further studies, however, are needed to identify other mechanisms responsible for this fine-tuning effect.

  11. Fine-tuning with brane-localized flux in 6D supergravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niedermann, Florian; Schneider, Robert

    2016-02-01

    There are claims in the literature that the cosmological constant problem could be solved in a braneworld model with two large (micron-sized) supersymmetric extra dimensions. The mechanism relies on two basic ingredients: first, the cosmological constant only curves the compact bulk geometry into a rugby shape while the 4D curvature stays flat. Second, a brane-localized flux term is introduced in order to circumvent Weinberg's fine-tuning argument, which otherwise enters here through a backdoor via the flux quantization condition. In this paper, we show that the latter mechanism does not work in the way it was designed: the only localized flux coupling that guarantees a flat on-brane geometry is one which preserves the scale invariance of the bulk theory. Consequently, Weinberg's argument applies, making a fine-tuning necessary again. The only remaining window of opportunity lies within scale invariance breaking brane couplings, for which the tuning could be avoided. Whether the corresponding 4D curvature could be kept under control and in agreement with the observed value will be answered in our companion paper [1].

  12. Anthropic Reasoning about Fine-Tuning, and Neoclassical Cosmology: Providence, Omnipresence, and Observation Selection Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Theodore, Jr.

    2011-10-01

    Anthropic reasoning about observation selection effects upon the appearance of cosmic providential fine-tuning (fine-tuning that provides for life) is often motivated by a desire to avoid theological implications (implications favoring the idea of a divine cosmic provider) without appealing to sheer lucky-for-us-cosmic-jackpot happenstance and coincidence. Cosmic coincidence can be rendered less incredible by appealing to a multiverse context. Cosmic providence can be rendered non-theological by appealing to an agent-less providential purpose, or by appealing to less-than-omnipresent/local providers, such as alien intelligences creating life- providing baby universes. Instead of choosing either cosmic coincidence or cosmic providence, as though they were mutually exclusive; it is better to accept both. Neoclassical thought accepts coincidence and providence, plus many local providers and one omnipresent provider. Moreover, fundamental observation selection theory should distinguish the many local observers of some events from the one omnipresent observer of all events. Accepting both coincidence and providence avoids classical theology (providence without coincidence) and classical atheism (coincidence without providence), but not neoclassical theology (providence with coincidence). Cosmology cannot avoid the idea of an all-inclusive omnipresent providential dice-throwing living-creative whole of reality, an idea essential to neoclassical theology, and to neoclassical cosmology.

  13. Nonparametric Fine Tuning of Mixtures: Application to Non-Life Insurance Claims Distribution Estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sardet, Laure; Patilea, Valentin

    When pricing a specific insurance premium, actuary needs to evaluate the claims cost distribution for the warranty. Traditional actuarial methods use parametric specifications to model claims distribution, like lognormal, Weibull and Pareto laws. Mixtures of such distributions allow to improve the flexibility of the parametric approach and seem to be quite well-adapted to capture the skewness, the long tails as well as the unobserved heterogeneity among the claims. In this paper, instead of looking for a finely tuned mixture with many components, we choose a parsimonious mixture modeling, typically a two or three-component mixture. Next, we use the mixture cumulative distribution function (CDF) to transform data into the unit interval where we apply a beta-kernel smoothing procedure. A bandwidth rule adapted to our methodology is proposed. Finally, the beta-kernel density estimate is back-transformed to recover an estimate of the original claims density. The beta-kernel smoothing provides an automatic fine-tuning of the parsimonious mixture and thus avoids inference in more complex mixture models with many parameters. We investigate the empirical performance of the new method in the estimation of the quantiles with simulated nonnegative data and the quantiles of the individual claims distribution in a non-life insurance application.

  14. The tumor suppressor p53 fine-tunes reactive oxygen species levels and neurogenesis via PI3 kinase signaling.

    PubMed

    Forsberg, Kirsi; Wuttke, Anja; Quadrato, Giorgia; Chumakov, Peter M; Wizenmann, Andrea; Di Giovanni, Simone

    2013-09-01

    Mounting evidence points to a role for endogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cell signaling, including in the control of cell proliferation, differentiation, and fate. However, the function of ROS and their molecular regulation in embryonic mouse neural progenitor cells (eNPCs) has not yet been clarified. Here, we describe that physiological ROS are required for appropriate timing of neurogenesis in the developing telencephalon in vivo and in cultured NPCs, and that the tumor suppressor p53 plays a key role in the regulation of ROS-dependent neurogenesis. p53 loss of function leads to elevated ROS and early neurogenesis, while restoration of p53 and antioxidant treatment partially reverse the phenotype associated with premature neurogenesis. Furthermore, we describe that the expression of a number of neurogenic and oxidative stress genes relies on p53 and that both p53 and ROS-dependent induction of neurogenesis depend on PI3 kinase/phospho-Akt signaling. Our results suggest that p53 fine-tunes endogenous ROS levels to ensure the appropriate timing of neurogenesis in eNPCs. This may also have implications for the generation of tumors of neurodevelopmental origin.

  15. Activation of oxygen-mediating pathway using copper ions: fine-tuning of growth kinetics in gold nanorod overgrowth.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wenqi; Zhang, Hui; Wen, Tao; Yan, Jiao; Hou, Shuai; Shi, Xiaowei; Hu, Zhijian; Ji, Yinglu; Wu, Xiaochun

    2014-10-21

    Growth kinetics plays an important role in the shape control of nanocrystals (NCs). Herein, we presented a unique way to fine-tune the growth kinetics via oxidative etching activated by copper ions. For the overgrowth of gold nanorods (Au NRs), competitive adsorption of dissolved oxygen on rod surface was found to slow down the overgrowth rate. Copper ions were able to remove the adsorbed oxygen species from the Au surface via oxidative etching, thus exposing more reaction sites for Au deposition. In this way, copper ions facilitated the overgrowth process. Furthermore, Cu(2+) rather than Cu(+) acted as the catalyst for the oxidative etching. Comparative study with Ag(+) indicated that Cu(2+) cannot regulate NC shapes via an underpotential deposition mechanism. In contrast, Ag(+) led to the formation of Au tetrahexahedra (THH) and a slight decrease of the growth rate at similar growth conditions. Combining the distinct roles of the two ions enabled elongated THH to be produced. Copper ions activating the O2 pathway suggested that dissolved oxygen has a strong affinity for the Au surface. Moreover, the results of NC-sensitized singlet oxygen ((1)O2) indicated that the absorbed oxygen species on the surface of Au NCs bounded with low-index facets mainly existed in the form of molecular O2. PMID:25244407

  16. Seam tracking with adaptive image capture for fine-tuning of a high power laser welding process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lahdenoja, Olli; Säntti, Tero; Laiho, Mika; Paasio, Ari; Poikonen, Jonne K.

    2015-02-01

    This paper presents the development of methods for real-time fine-tuning of a high power laser welding process of thick steel by using a compact smart camera system. When performing welding in butt-joint configuration, the laser beam's location needs to be adjusted exactly according to the seam line in order to allow the injected energy to be absorbed uniformly into both steel sheets. In this paper, on-line extraction of seam parameters is targeted by taking advantage of a combination of dynamic image intensity compression, image segmentation with a focal-plane processor ASIC, and Hough transform on an associated FPGA. Additional filtering of Hough line candidates based on temporal windowing is further applied to reduce unrealistic frame-to-frame tracking variations. The proposed methods are implemented in Matlab by using image data captured with adaptive integration time. The simulations are performed in a hardware oriented way to allow real-time implementation of the algorithms on the smart camera system.

  17. Fine-tuning the etch depth profile via dynamic shielding of ion beam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Lixiang; Qiu, Keqiang; Fu, Shaojun

    2016-08-01

    We introduce a method for finely adjusting the etch depth profile by dynamic shielding in the course of ion beam etching (IBE), which is crucial for the ultra-precision fabrication of large optics. We study the physical process of dynamic shielding and propose a parametric modeling method to quantitatively analyze the shielding effect on etch depths, or rather the shielding rate, where a piecewise Gaussian model is adopted to fit the shielding rate profile. Two experiments were conducted. The experimental result of parametric modeling of shielding rate profiles shows that the shielding rate profile is significantly influenced by the rotary angle of the leaf. The result of the experiment on fine-tuning the etch depth profile shows good agreement with the simulated result, which preliminarily verifies the feasibility of our method.

  18. Phenotypic flexibility of gape anatomy fine-tunes the aquatic prey-capture system of newts.

    PubMed

    Van Wassenbergh, Sam; Heiss, Egon

    2016-01-01

    A unique example of phenotypic flexibility of the oral apparatus is present in newts (Salamandridae) that seasonally change between an aquatic and a terrestrial habitat. Newts grow flaps of skin between their upper and lower jaws, the labial lobes, to partly close the corners of the mouth when they adopt an aquatic lifestyle during their breeding season. Using hydrodynamic simulations based on μCT-scans and cranial kinematics during prey-capture in the smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris), we showed that this phenotypic flexibility is an adaptive solution to improve aquatic feeding performance: both suction distance and suction force increase by approximately 15% due to the labial lobes. As the subsequent freeing of the corners of the mouth by resorption of the labial lobes is assumed beneficial for the terrestrial capture of prey by the tongue, this flexibility of the mouth fine-tunes the process of capturing prey throughout the seasonal switching between water and land. PMID:27383663

  19. How SUMOylation Fine-Tunes the Fanconi Anemia DNA Repair Pathway.

    PubMed

    Coleman, Kate E; Huang, Tony T

    2016-01-01

    Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare human genetic disorder characterized by developmental defects, bone marrow failure and cancer predisposition, primarily due to a deficiency in the repair of DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs). ICL repair through the FA DNA repair pathway is a complicated multi-step process, involving at least 19 FANC proteins and coordination of multiple DNA repair activities, including homologous recombination, nucleotide excision repair and translesion synthesis (TLS). SUMOylation is a critical regulator of several DNA repair pathways, however, the role of this modification in controlling the FA pathway is poorly understood. Here, we summarize recent advances in the fine-tuning of the FA pathway by small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO)-targeted ubiquitin ligases (STUbLs) and other SUMO-related interactions, and discuss the implications of these findings in the design of novel therapeutics for alleviating FA-associated condition, including cancer. PMID:27148358

  20. Phenotypic flexibility of gape anatomy fine-tunes the aquatic prey-capture system of newts.

    PubMed

    Van Wassenbergh, Sam; Heiss, Egon

    2016-07-07

    A unique example of phenotypic flexibility of the oral apparatus is present in newts (Salamandridae) that seasonally change between an aquatic and a terrestrial habitat. Newts grow flaps of skin between their upper and lower jaws, the labial lobes, to partly close the corners of the mouth when they adopt an aquatic lifestyle during their breeding season. Using hydrodynamic simulations based on μCT-scans and cranial kinematics during prey-capture in the smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris), we showed that this phenotypic flexibility is an adaptive solution to improve aquatic feeding performance: both suction distance and suction force increase by approximately 15% due to the labial lobes. As the subsequent freeing of the corners of the mouth by resorption of the labial lobes is assumed beneficial for the terrestrial capture of prey by the tongue, this flexibility of the mouth fine-tunes the process of capturing prey throughout the seasonal switching between water and land.

  1. Phenotypic flexibility of gape anatomy fine-tunes the aquatic prey-capture system of newts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Wassenbergh, Sam; Heiss, Egon

    2016-07-01

    A unique example of phenotypic flexibility of the oral apparatus is present in newts (Salamandridae) that seasonally change between an aquatic and a terrestrial habitat. Newts grow flaps of skin between their upper and lower jaws, the labial lobes, to partly close the corners of the mouth when they adopt an aquatic lifestyle during their breeding season. Using hydrodynamic simulations based on μCT-scans and cranial kinematics during prey-capture in the smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris), we showed that this phenotypic flexibility is an adaptive solution to improve aquatic feeding performance: both suction distance and suction force increase by approximately 15% due to the labial lobes. As the subsequent freeing of the corners of the mouth by resorption of the labial lobes is assumed beneficial for the terrestrial capture of prey by the tongue, this flexibility of the mouth fine-tunes the process of capturing prey throughout the seasonal switching between water and land.

  2. The Orchestra and Its Maestro: Shigella's Fine-Tuning of the Inflammasome Platforms.

    PubMed

    Hermansson, Anna-Karin; Paciello, Ida; Bernardini, Maria Lina

    2016-01-01

    Shigella spp. are the causative agents of bacillary dysentery, leading to extensive mortality and morbidity worldwide. These facultative intracellular bacteria invade the epithelium of the colon and the rectum, inducing a severe inflammatory response from which the symptoms of the disease originate. Shigella are human pathogens able to manipulate and subvert the innate immune system surveillance. Shigella dampens inflammasome activation in epithelial cells. In infected macrophages, inflammasome activation and IL-1β and IL-18 release lead to massive neutrophil recruitment and greatly contribute to inflammation. Here, we describe how Shigella hijacks and finely tunes inflammasome activation in the different cell populations involved in pathogenesis: epithelial cells, macrophages, neutrophils, DCs, and B and T lymphocytes. Shigella emerges as a "sly" pathogen that switches on/off the inflammasome mechanisms in order to optimize the interaction with the host and establish a successful infection. PMID:27460806

  3. Enhancement of impact strength of poly (methyl methacrylate) with surface fine-tuned nano-silica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wen, Bin; Dong, Yixiao; Wu, Lili; Long, Chao; Zhang, Chaocan

    2015-07-01

    Highly dispersible nanoparticles in organic solvent always receive wide interests due to their compatibility with polymer materials. This paper reported a kind of isopropanol alcohol silica dispersion which obtained using a method of azeotropic distillation. The isopropanol alcohol dispersed silica (IPADS) were treated with coupling agents to fine-tune their surface properties. Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) was then used as a research object to test the compatibility between IPADS and polymer. UV-vis spectra indicate that IPADS would reach its high compatibility with PMMA if coupling with trimethoxypropylsilane (PTMS). Followed experiments on PMMA proved that the high compatibility can prominently enhance the impact strength about 30%. The results may provide reference both for nano-silica modification and better understanding of nano-enhanced materials.

  4. A voltage-dependent chloride channel fine-tunes photosynthesis in plants

    PubMed Central

    Herdean, Andrei; Teardo, Enrico; Nilsson, Anders K.; Pfeil, Bernard E.; Johansson, Oskar N.; Ünnep, Renáta; Nagy, Gergely; Zsiros, Ottó; Dana, Somnath; Solymosi, Katalin; Garab, Győző; Szabó, Ildikó; Spetea, Cornelia; Lundin, Björn

    2016-01-01

    In natural habitats, plants frequently experience rapid changes in the intensity of sunlight. To cope with these changes and maximize growth, plants adjust photosynthetic light utilization in electron transport and photoprotective mechanisms. This involves a proton motive force (PMF) across the thylakoid membrane, postulated to be affected by unknown anion (Cl−) channels. Here we report that a bestrophin-like protein from Arabidopsis thaliana functions as a voltage-dependent Cl− channel in electrophysiological experiments. AtVCCN1 localizes to the thylakoid membrane, and fine-tunes PMF by anion influx into the lumen during illumination, adjusting electron transport and the photoprotective mechanisms. The activity of AtVCCN1 accelerates the activation of photoprotective mechanisms on sudden shifts to high light. Our results reveal that AtVCCN1, a member of a conserved anion channel family, acts as an early component in the rapid adjustment of photosynthesis in variable light environments. PMID:27216227

  5. Phenotypic flexibility of gape anatomy fine-tunes the aquatic prey-capture system of newts

    PubMed Central

    Van Wassenbergh, Sam; Heiss, Egon

    2016-01-01

    A unique example of phenotypic flexibility of the oral apparatus is present in newts (Salamandridae) that seasonally change between an aquatic and a terrestrial habitat. Newts grow flaps of skin between their upper and lower jaws, the labial lobes, to partly close the corners of the mouth when they adopt an aquatic lifestyle during their breeding season. Using hydrodynamic simulations based on μCT-scans and cranial kinematics during prey-capture in the smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris), we showed that this phenotypic flexibility is an adaptive solution to improve aquatic feeding performance: both suction distance and suction force increase by approximately 15% due to the labial lobes. As the subsequent freeing of the corners of the mouth by resorption of the labial lobes is assumed beneficial for the terrestrial capture of prey by the tongue, this flexibility of the mouth fine-tunes the process of capturing prey throughout the seasonal switching between water and land. PMID:27383663

  6. Lorentz invariance and quantum gravity: an additional fine-tuning problem?

    PubMed

    Collins, John; Perez, Alejandro; Sudarsky, Daniel; Urrutia, Luis; Vucetich, Héctor

    2004-11-01

    Trying to combine standard quantum field theories with gravity leads to a breakdown of the usual structure of space time at around the Planck length, 1.6x10(-35) m, with possible violations of Lorentz invariance. Calculations of preferred-frame effects in quantum gravity have further motivated high precision searches for Lorentz violation. Here, we explain that combining known elementary particle interactions with a Planck-scale preferred frame gives rise to Lorentz violation at the percent level, some 20 orders of magnitude higher than earlier estimates, unless the bare parameters of the theory are unnaturally strongly fine tuned. Therefore an important task is not just the improvement of the precision of searches for violations of Lorentz invariance, but also the search for theoretical mechanisms for automatically preserving Lorentz invariance.

  7. Permanent fine tuning of silicon microring devices by femtosecond laser surface amorphization and ablation.

    PubMed

    Bachman, Daniel; Chen, Zhijiang; Fedosejevs, Robert; Tsui, Ying Y; Van, Vien

    2013-05-01

    We demonstrate the fine tuning capability of femtosecond laser surface modification as a permanent trimming mechanism for silicon photonic components. Silicon microring resonators with a 15 µm radius were irradiated with single 400 nm wavelength laser pulses at varying fluences. Below the laser ablation threshold, surface amorphization of the crystalline silicon waveguides yielded a tuning rate of 20 ± 2 nm/J · cm(-2)with a minimum resonance wavelength shift of 0.10nm. Above that threshold, ablation yielded a minimum resonance shift of -1.7 nm. There was some increase in waveguide loss for both trimming mechanisms. We also demonstrated the application of the method by using it to permanently correct the resonance mismatch of a second-order microring filter.

  8. A Solution to the Supersymmetric Fine-Tuning Problem within the MSSM

    SciTech Connect

    Kitano, Ryuichiro; Nomura, Yasunori; /UC, Berkeley /LBL, Berkeley

    2005-09-08

    Weak scale supersymmetry has a generic problem of fine-tuning in reproducing the correct scale for electroweak symmetry breaking. The problem is particularly severe in the minimal supersymmetric extension of the standard model (MSSM). We present a solution to this problem that does not require an extension of the MSSM at the weak scale. Superparticle masses are generated by a comparable mixture of moduli and anomaly mediated contributions, and the messenger scale of supersymmetry breaking is effectively lowered to the TeV region. Crucial elements for the solution are a large A term for the top squarks and a small B term for the Higgs doublets. Requiring no fine-tuning worse than 20%, we obtain rather sharp predictions on the spectrum. The gaugino masses are almost universal at the weak scale with the mass between 450 and 900 GeV. The squark and slepton masses are also nearly universal at the weak scale with the mass a factor of {radical}2 smaller than that of the gauginos. The only exception is the top squarks whose masses split from the other squark masses by about m{sub t}/{radical}2. The lightest Higgs boson mass is smaller than 120 GeV, while the ratio of the vacuum expectation values for the two Higgs doublets, tan {beta}, is larger than about 5. The lightest superparticle is the neutral Higgsino of the mass below 190 GeV, which can be dark matter of the universe. The mass of the lighter top squark can be smaller than 300 GeV, which may be relevant for Run II at the Tevatron.

  9. Fine-Tuning Medium-of-Instruction Policy in Hong Kong: Acquisition of Language and Content-Based Subject Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poon, Anita Y. K.; Lau, Connie M. Y.

    2016-01-01

    Facing a dramatic decline in English standards over the past decade, the Hong Kong Government introduced the "Fine-tuning Medium of Instruction (MOI) policy" in 2010 to address the grievances arising from different sectors in the community. Integrating content and language has become popular in second/foreign language teaching in recent…

  10. Asn347 Glycosylation of Corticosteroid-binding Globulin Fine-tunes the Host Immune Response by Modulating Proteolysis by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Neutrophil Elastase.

    PubMed

    Sumer-Bayraktar, Zeynep; Grant, Oliver C; Venkatakrishnan, Vignesh; Woods, Robert J; Packer, Nicolle H; Thaysen-Andersen, Morten

    2016-08-19

    Corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) delivers anti-inflammatory cortisol to inflamed tissues upon elastase-based proteolysis of the exposed reactive center loop (RCL). However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate the RCL proteolysis by co-existing host and bacterial elastases in inflamed/infected tissues remain unknown. We document that RCL-localized Asn(347) glycosylation fine-tunes the RCL cleavage rate by human neutrophil elastase (NE) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa elastase (PAE) by different mechanisms. NE- and PAE-generated fragments of native and exoglycosidase-treated blood-derived CBG of healthy individuals were monitored by gel electrophoresis and LC-MS/MS to determine the cleavage site(s) and Asn(347) glycosylation as a function of digestion time. The site-specific (Val(344)-Thr(345)) and rapid (seconds to minutes) NE-based RCL proteolysis was significantly antagonized by several volume-enhancing Asn(347) glycan features (i.e. occupancy, triantennary GlcNAc branching, and α1,6-fucosylation) and augmented by Asn(347) NeuAc-type sialylation (all p < 0.05). In contrast, the inefficient (minutes to hours) PAE-based RCL cleavage, which occurred equally well at Thr(345)-Leu(346) and Asn(347)-Leu(348), was abolished by the presence of Asn(347) glycosylation but was enhanced by sialoglycans on neighboring CBG N-sites. Molecular dynamics simulations of various Asn(347) glycoforms of uncleaved CBG indicated that multiple Asn(347) glycan features are modulating the RCL digestion efficiencies by NE/PAE. Finally, high concentrations of cortisol showed weak bacteriostatic effects toward virulent P. aeruginosa, which may explain the low RCL potency of the abundantly secreted PAE during host infection. In conclusion, site-specific CBG N-glycosylation regulates the bioavailability of cortisol in inflamed environments by fine-tuning the RCL proteolysis by endogenous and exogenous elastases. This study offers new molecular insight into host- and pathogen

  11. Fine-tuning function: correlation of hinge domain interactions with functional distinctions between LacI and PurR.

    PubMed

    Swint-Kruse, Liskin; Larson, Christopher; Pettitt, B Montgomery; Matthews, Kathleen Shive

    2002-04-01

    LacI and PurR are highly homologous proteins. Their functional units are homodimers, with an N-terminal DNA binding domain that comprises the helix-turn-helix (HTH), N-linker, and hinge regions from both monomers. Hinge structural changes are known to occur upon DNA dissociation but are difficult to monitor experimentally. The initial steps of hinge unfolding were therefore examined using molecular dynamics simulations, utilizing a truncated, chimeric protein comprising the LacI HTH/N-linker and PurR hinge. A terminal Gly-Cys-Gly was added to allow "dimerization" through disulfide bond formation. Simulations indicate that differences in LacI and PurR hinge primary sequence affect the quaternary structure of the hinge x hinge' interface. However, these alternate hinge orientations would be sterically restricted by the core domain. These results prompted detailed comparison of recently available DNA-bound structures for LacI and truncated LacI(1-62) with the PurR structure. Examination revealed that different N-linker and hinge contacts to the core domain of the partner monomer (which binds effector molecule) affect the juxtapositions of the HTH, N-linker, and hinge regions in the DNA binding domain. In addition, the two full-length repressors exhibit significant differences in the interactions between the core and the C-linker connection to the DNA binding domain. Both linkers and the hinge have been implicated in the allosteric response of these repressors. Intriguingly, one functional difference between these two proteins is that they exhibit opposite allosteric response to effector. Simulations and observed structural distinctions are correlated with mutational analysis and sequence information from the LacI/GalR family to formulate a mechanism for fine-tuning individual repressor function.

  12. One-pot synthesis of triangular gold nanoplates allowing broad and fine tuning of edge length

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miranda, Adelaide; Malheiro, Eliana; Skiba, Elżbieta; Quaresma, Pedro; Carvalho, Patrícia A.; Eaton, Peter; de Castro, Baltazar; Shelnutt, John A.; Pereira, Eulália

    2010-10-01

    A photocatalytic approach was used to synthesize triangular nanoplates in aqueous solution. The synthesis is based on the reduction of a gold salt using a tin(iv) porphyrin as photocatalyst, cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) as a stabilizing agent, and triethanolamine (TEA) as the final electron donor. The average edge length of the triangular nanoplates can be easily changed in the range 45-250 nm by varying the concentration of photocatalyst, and fine-tuning of the average edge length is achieved by varying the concentration of CTAB. Study of the mechanism of formation of the nanoplates by UV-vis and by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) shows that there is a first stage where formation of 5 nm seeds takes place, further growth is probably by fusion and by direct reduction of gold onto the preformed nanoparticles. The nanoparticles formed during the photocatalytic reduction of the gold precursor show an irregular shape that evolves to regular triangular nanoplates after ripening in solution for 24 h.A photocatalytic approach was used to synthesize triangular nanoplates in aqueous solution. The synthesis is based on the reduction of a gold salt using a tin(iv) porphyrin as photocatalyst, cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) as a stabilizing agent, and triethanolamine (TEA) as the final electron donor. The average edge length of the triangular nanoplates can be easily changed in the range 45-250 nm by varying the concentration of photocatalyst, and fine-tuning of the average edge length is achieved by varying the concentration of CTAB. Study of the mechanism of formation of the nanoplates by UV-vis and by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) shows that there is a first stage where formation of 5 nm seeds takes place, further growth is probably by fusion and by direct reduction of gold onto the preformed nanoparticles. The nanoparticles formed during the photocatalytic reduction of the gold precursor show an irregular shape that evolves to regular

  13. Fine Tuning of the Lactate and Diacetyl Production through Promoter Engineering in Lactococcus lactis

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Tingting; Kong, Jian; Zhang, Li; Zhang, Chenchen; Hu, Shumin

    2012-01-01

    Lactococcus lactis is a well-studied bacterium widely used in dairy fermentation and capable of producing metabolites with organoleptic and nutritional characteristics. For fine tuning of the distribution of glycolytic flux at the pyruvate branch from lactate to diacetyl and balancing the production of the two metabolites under aerobic conditions, a constitutive promoter library was constructed by randomizing the promoter sequence of the H2O-forming NADH oxidase gene in L. lactis. The library consisted of 30 promoters covering a wide range of activities from 7,000 to 380,000 relative fluorescence units using a green fluorescent protein as reporter. Eleven typical promoters of the library were selected for the constitutive expression of the H2O-forming NADH oxidase gene in L. lactis, and the NADH oxidase activity increased from 9.43 to 58.17-fold of the wild-type strain in small steps of activity change under aerobic conditions. Meanwhile, the lactate yield decreased from 21.15±0.08 mM to 9.94±0.07 mM, and the corresponding diacetyl production increased from 1.07±0.03 mM to 4.16±0.06 mM with the intracellular NADH/NAD+ ratios varying from 0.711±0.005 to 0.383±0.003. The results indicated that the reduced pyruvate to lactate flux was rerouted to the diacetyl with an almost linear flux variation via altered NADH/NAD+ ratios. Therefore, we provided a novel strategy to precisely control the pyruvate distribution for fine tuning of the lactate and diacetyl production through promoter engineering in L. lactis. Interestingly, the increased H2O-forming NADH oxidase activity led to 76.95% lower H2O2 concentration in the recombinant strain than that of the wild-type strain after 24 h of aerated cultivation. The viable cells were significantly elevated by four orders of magnitude within 28 days of storage at 4°C, suggesting that the increased enzyme activity could eliminate H2O2 accumulation and prolong cell survival. PMID:22558426

  14. Fungal Endophytes as a Metabolic Fine-Tuning Regulator for Wine Grape

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zhi-Yu; Yang, Wei-Xi; Zhang, Han-Bo; Huang, Li-Hua; Ren, An-Yun; Shan, Hui

    2016-01-01

    Endophytes proved to exert multiple effects on host plants, including growth promotion, stress resistance. However, whether endophytes have a role in metabolites shaping of grape has not been fully understood. Eight endophytic fungal strains which originally isolated from grapevines were re-inoculated to field-grown grapevines in this study, and their effects on both leaves and berries of grapevines at maturity stage were assessed, with special focused on secondary metabolites and antioxidant activities. High-density inoculation of all these endophytic fungal strains modified the physio-chemical status of grapevine to different degrees. Fungal inoculations promoted the content of reducing sugar (RS), total flavonoids (TF), total phenols (TPh), trans-resveratrol (Res) and activities of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), in both leaves and berries of grapevine. Inoculation of endophytic fungal strains, CXB-11 (Nigrospora sp.) and CXC-13 (Fusarium sp.) conferred greater promotion effects in grape metabolic re-shaping, compared to other used fungal strains. Additionally, inoculation of different strains of fungal endophytes led to establish different metabolites patterns of wine grape. The work implies the possibility of using endophytic fungi as fine-tuning regulator to shape the quality and character of wine grape. PMID:27656886

  15. Dendrites are dispensable for basic motoneuron function but essential for fine tuning of behavior

    PubMed Central

    Ryglewski, Stefanie; Kadas, Dimitrios; Hutchinson, Katie; Schuetzler, Natalie; Vonhoff, Fernando; Duch, Carsten

    2014-01-01

    Dendrites are highly complex 3D structures that define neuronal morphology and connectivity and are the predominant sites for synaptic input. Defects in dendritic structure are highly consistent correlates of brain diseases. However, the precise consequences of dendritic structure defects for neuronal function and behavioral performance remain unknown. Here we probe dendritic function by using genetic tools to selectively abolish dendrites in identified Drosophila wing motoneurons without affecting other neuronal properties. We find that these motoneuron dendrites are unexpectedly dispensable for synaptic targeting, qualitatively normal neuronal activity patterns during behavior, and basic behavioral performance. However, significant performance deficits in sophisticated motor behaviors, such as flight altitude control and switching between discrete courtship song elements, scale with the degree of dendritic defect. To our knowledge, our observations provide the first direct evidence that complex dendrite architecture is critically required for fine-tuning and adaptability within robust, evolutionarily constrained behavioral programs that are vital for mating success and survival. We speculate that the observed scaling of performance deficits with the degree of structural defect is consistent with gradual increases in intellectual disability during continuously advancing structural deficiencies in progressive neurological disorders. PMID:25453076

  16. Finely tuning MOFs towards high-performance post-combustion CO2 capture materials.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qian; Bai, Junfeng; Lu, Zhiyong; Pan, Yi; You, Xiaozeng

    2016-01-11

    CO2 capture science and technology, particularly for the post-combustion CO2 capture, has become one of very important research fields, due to great concern of global warming. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with a unique feature of structural fine-tunability, unlike the traditional porous solid materials, can provide many and powerful platforms to explore high-performance adsorbents for post-combustion CO2 capture. Until now, several strategies for finely tuning MOF structures have been developed, in which either the larger quadrupole moment and polarizability of CO2 are considered: metal ion change (I), functional groups attachment (II) and functional group insertion (III), vary the electronic nature of the pore surface; or targeting the smaller kinetic diameter of CO2 over N2 is focused on: framework interpenetration (IV), ligand shortening (V) and coordination site shifting (VI) contract the pore size of frameworks to improve their CO2 capture properties. In this review, from the viewpoint of synthetic materials scientists/chemists, we would like to introduce and summarize these strategies based upon recent work published by other groups and ourselves. PMID:26512792

  17. Design and fine-tuning redox potentials of metalloproteins involved in electron transfer in bioenergetics.

    PubMed

    Hosseinzadeh, Parisa; Lu, Yi

    2016-05-01

    Redox potentials are a major contributor in controlling the electron transfer (ET) rates and thus regulating the ET processes in the bioenergetics. To maximize the efficiency of the ET process, one needs to master the art of tuning the redox potential, especially in metalloproteins, as they represent major classes of ET proteins. In this review, we first describe the importance of tuning the redox potential of ET centers and its role in regulating the ET in bioenergetic processes including photosynthesis and respiration. The main focus of this review is to summarize recent work in designing the ET centers, namely cupredoxins, cytochromes, and iron-sulfur proteins, and examples in design of protein networks involved these ET centers. We then discuss the factors that affect redox potentials of these ET centers including metal ion, the ligands to metal center and interactions beyond the primary ligand, especially non-covalent secondary coordination sphere interactions. We provide examples of strategies to fine-tune the redox potential using both natural and unnatural amino acids and native and nonnative cofactors. Several case studies are used to illustrate recent successes in this area. Outlooks for future endeavors are also provided. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Biodesign for Bioenergetics--the design and engineering of electronic transfer cofactors, proteins and protein networks, edited by Ronald L. Koder and J.L. Ross Anderson.

  18. Design and fine-tuning redox potentials of metalloproteins involved in electron transfer in bioenergetics.

    PubMed

    Hosseinzadeh, Parisa; Lu, Yi

    2016-05-01

    Redox potentials are a major contributor in controlling the electron transfer (ET) rates and thus regulating the ET processes in the bioenergetics. To maximize the efficiency of the ET process, one needs to master the art of tuning the redox potential, especially in metalloproteins, as they represent major classes of ET proteins. In this review, we first describe the importance of tuning the redox potential of ET centers and its role in regulating the ET in bioenergetic processes including photosynthesis and respiration. The main focus of this review is to summarize recent work in designing the ET centers, namely cupredoxins, cytochromes, and iron-sulfur proteins, and examples in design of protein networks involved these ET centers. We then discuss the factors that affect redox potentials of these ET centers including metal ion, the ligands to metal center and interactions beyond the primary ligand, especially non-covalent secondary coordination sphere interactions. We provide examples of strategies to fine-tune the redox potential using both natural and unnatural amino acids and native and nonnative cofactors. Several case studies are used to illustrate recent successes in this area. Outlooks for future endeavors are also provided. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Biodesign for Bioenergetics--the design and engineering of electronic transfer cofactors, proteins and protein networks, edited by Ronald L. Koder and J.L. Ross Anderson. PMID:26301482

  19. Maternal expression of communicative intentions and pragmatic fine tuning in early infancy.

    PubMed

    Rivero, Magda

    2010-12-01

    This study focuses on pragmatic characteristics of infant-directed speech and pragmatic fine tuning during the first 18 months of life. The subjects of the study were a mother-child dyad involved in a longitudinal/observational study in a familial context. Audiovisual recordings were transcribed according to the conventions of the Child Language Data Exchange System (MacWhinney, 2000; MacWhinney & Snow, 1990). The Ninio and Wheeler's (1988) system for coding communicative intentions was adapted. The results of this research show that most of the communicative exchanges identified at 14, 20 and 32 months by Snow, Pan, Imbens-Bailey, and Herman (1996) appear in mother-child interaction from the beginning, while other communicative interchanges appear later. With respect to speech acts, the results highlight, from an early age, the general tendencies discussed by Snow et al. and some novelties. Interestingly, changes in some pragmatic measures were identified around 8 months of age, and the appearance of new communicative interchanges also took place around this age. These changes are interpreted as maternal adjustments to the child's communicative competence.

  20. A colorimetric detection method of pesticide acetamiprid by fine-tuning aptamer length.

    PubMed

    Tian, Yu; Wang, Yuan; Sheng, Zhi; Li, Tingting; Li, Xu

    2016-11-15

    This work investigates the effect of shortening aptamer sequences on the colorimetric detection of acetamiprid using aptamer-wrapped gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). Truncated 37-mer and 25-mer aptamers were generated by deleting excess flanking nucleotides from parental 49-mer acetamiprid-target aptamer. In comparing the responses of the three sequences, truncated aptamers did not improve the ability to discriminate against other tested pesticides. However, comparison between 49-mer and other shorter aptamers showed that shortening aptamer sequences through removing excess flanking nucleotides outsides of binding region improved colorimetric sensitivity for acetamiprid by 3.3 fold. Due to excess bases, the target-bound aptamer might still adhere to AuNPs, resulting in incomplete dissociation of aptamer from AuNPs and therefore the suppression of aggregation responses. This work provides further insight to the effects of aptamer structure on detection of the target, as well as a method by fine-tuning aptamer length for rapid detection of pesticide residues in environments or food.

  1. Fine Tuning of the UPR by the Ubiquitin Ligases Siah1/2

    PubMed Central

    Scortegagna, Marzia; Kim, Hyungsoo; Li, Jian-Liang; Yao, Hang; Brill, Laurence M.; Han, Jaeseok; Lau, Eric; Bowtell, David; Haddad, Gabriel; Kaufman, Randal J.; Ronai, Ze'ev A.

    2014-01-01

    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) responds to changes in intracellular homeostasis through activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). Yet, it is not known how UPR-signaling coordinates adaptation versus cell death. Previous studies suggested that signaling through PERK/ATF4 is required for cell death. We show that high levels of ER stress (i.e., ischemia-like conditions) induce transcription of the ubiquitin ligases Siah1/2 through the UPR transducers PERK/ATF4 and IRE1/sXBP1. In turn, Siah1/2 attenuates proline hydroxylation of ATF4, resulting in its stabilization, thereby augmenting ER stress output. Conversely, ATF4 activation is reduced upon Siah1/2 KD in cultured cells, which attenuates ER stress-induced cell death. Notably, Siah1a+/−::Siah2−/− mice subjected to neuronal ischemia exhibited smaller infarct volume and were protected from ischemia-induced death, compared with the wild type (WT) mice. In all, Siah1/2 constitutes an obligatory fine-tuning mechanism that predisposes cells to death under severe ER stress conditions. PMID:24809345

  2. Redirecting abiraterone metabolism to fine-tune prostate cancer anti-androgen therapy.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhenfei; Alyamani, Mohammad; Li, Jianneng; Rogacki, Kevin; Abazeed, Mohamed; Upadhyay, Sunil K; Balk, Steven P; Taplin, Mary-Ellen; Auchus, Richard J; Sharifi, Nima

    2016-05-26

    Abiraterone blocks androgen synthesis and prolongs survival in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, which is otherwise driven by intratumoral androgen synthesis. Abiraterone is metabolized in patients to Δ(4)-abiraterone (D4A), which has even greater anti-tumour activity and is structurally similar to endogenous steroidal 5α-reductase substrates, such as testosterone. Here, we show that D4A is converted to at least three 5α-reduced and three 5β-reduced metabolites in human serum. The initial 5α-reduced metabolite, 3-keto-5α-abiraterone, is present at higher concentrations than D4A in patients with prostate cancer taking abiraterone, and is an androgen receptor agonist, which promotes prostate cancer progression. In a clinical trial of abiraterone alone, followed by abiraterone plus dutasteride (a 5α-reductase inhibitor), 3-keto-5α-abiraterone and downstream metabolites were depleted by the addition of dutasteride, while D4A concentrations rose, showing that dutasteride effectively blocks production of a tumour-promoting metabolite and permits D4A accumulation. Furthermore, dutasteride did not deplete the three 5β-reduced metabolites, which were also clinically detectable, demonstrating the specific biochemical effects of pharmacological 5α-reductase inhibition on abiraterone metabolism. Our findings suggest a previously unappreciated and biochemically specific method of clinically fine-tuning abiraterone metabolism to optimize therapy. PMID:27225130

  3. Statistical-Mechanical Analysis of Pre-training and Fine Tuning in Deep Learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohzeki, Masayuki

    2015-03-01

    In this paper, we present a statistical-mechanical analysis of deep learning. We elucidate some of the essential components of deep learning — pre-training by unsupervised learning and fine tuning by supervised learning. We formulate the extraction of features from the training data as a margin criterion in a high-dimensional feature-vector space. The self-organized classifier is then supplied with small amounts of labelled data, as in deep learning. Although we employ a simple single-layer perceptron model, rather than directly analyzing a multi-layer neural network, we find a nontrivial phase transition that is dependent on the number of unlabelled data in the generalization error of the resultant classifier. In this sense, we evaluate the efficacy of the unsupervised learning component of deep learning. The analysis is performed by the replica method, which is a sophisticated tool in statistical mechanics. We validate our result in the manner of deep learning, using a simple iterative algorithm to learn the weight vector on the basis of belief propagation.

  4. Fine-tuning of social play in juvenile lowland gorillas (gorilla gorilla gorilla).

    PubMed

    Palagi, Elisabetta; Antonacci, Daniela; Cordoni, Giada

    2007-05-01

    Social play, which involves cooperation, communication, and learning, may represent a suitable field for the investigation of cognitive ability in a given species. We collected data on a captive group of gorillas in order to evaluate the potential cognitive skill of juveniles in fine-tuning play behavior. This study revealed that juvenile gorillas are able to "place" the play session in a proper spatial/temporal context, thus evaluating a complex net of factors (e.g., play partner, play roughness, group activity, space availability). When animals play fight, they use patterns of agonistic functional contexts. Since these actions are not intrinsically different from their "serious" context, it may be hard to distinguish them. One of the most important function of play in the ontogeny of primate social cognition may be to recognize stimuli, which may indicate the intentions of conspecifics. Accordingly, we found that juvenile gorillas are able to use play signals appropriately when a clear statement of purpose is necessary (i.e., during male-male competitive play sessions and when the escape opportunities are limited). The ability to interpret such ambiguous features of social signaling could represent a central issue in the evolution of behavioral flexibility and intelligence in primates.

  5. Secondary enhancers synergise with primary enhancers to guarantee fine-tuned muscle gene expression.

    PubMed

    Guerrero, Lucia; Marco-Ferreres, Raquel; Serrano, Antonio L; Arredondo, Juan J; Cervera, Margarita

    2010-01-01

    Although tight quantitative control of gene expression is required to ensure that organs and tissues function correctly, the transcriptional mechanisms underlying this process still remain poorly understood. Here, we describe novel and evolutionary conserved secondary enhancers that are needed for the regulation of the expression of Troponin I genes. Secondary enhancers are silent when tested individually in electroporated muscles but interact with the primary enhancers and are required to precisely control the appropriate timing, the tissue and fibre specificity, and the quantitative expression of these genes during muscle differentiation. Synergism is completely dependent of the fully conserved MEF2 site present on the primary enhancers core of skeletal muscle Troponin I genes. Thus, while each of these paired enhancers has a different function, the concerted action of both is crucial to recapitulate endogenous gene expression. Through comparative genomics, we predict that this mechanism has also arisen in other mammalian muscle genes. Our results reveal the existence of a novel mechanism, conserved from flies to mammals, to fine-tune gene expression in each muscle and probably other tissues.

  6. Tissue-Specific Regulation of Gibberellin Signaling Fine-Tunes Arabidopsis Iron-Deficiency Responses.

    PubMed

    Wild, Michael; Davière, Jean-Michel; Regnault, Thomas; Sakvarelidze-Achard, Lali; Carrera, Esther; Lopez Diaz, Isabel; Cayrel, Anne; Dubeaux, Guillaume; Vert, Grégory; Achard, Patrick

    2016-04-18

    Iron is an essential element for most living organisms. Plants acquire iron from the rhizosphere and have evolved different biochemical and developmental responses to adapt to a low-iron environment. In Arabidopsis, FIT encodes a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor that activates the expression of iron-uptake genes in root epidermis upon iron deficiency. Here, we report that the gibberellin (GA)-signaling DELLA repressors contribute substantially in the adaptive responses to iron-deficient conditions. When iron availability decreases, DELLAs accumulate in the root meristem, thereby restraining root growth, while being progressively excluded from epidermal cells in the root differentiation zone. Such DELLA exclusion from the site of iron acquisition relieves FIT from DELLA-dependent inhibition and therefore promotes iron uptake. Consistent with this mechanism, expression of a non-GA-degradable DELLA mutant protein in root epidermis interferes with iron acquisition. Hence, spatial distribution of DELLAs in roots is essential to fine-tune the adaptive responses to iron availability.

  7. Community-integrated omics links dominance of a microbial generalist to fine-tuned resource usage

    PubMed Central

    Muller, Emilie E. L.; Pinel, Nicolás; Laczny, Cédric C.; Hoopmann, Michael R.; Narayanasamy, Shaman; Lebrun, Laura A.; Roume, Hugo; Lin, Jake; May, Patrick; Hicks, Nathan D.; Heintz-Buschart, Anna; Wampach, Linda; Liu, Cindy M.; Price, Lance B.; Gillece, John D.; Guignard, Cédric; Schupp, James M.; Vlassis, Nikos; Baliga, Nitin S.; Moritz, Robert L.; Keim, Paul S.; Wilmes, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Microbial communities are complex and dynamic systems that are primarily structured according to their members’ ecological niches. To investigate how niche breadth (generalist versus specialist lifestyle strategies) relates to ecological success, we develop and apply an integrative workflow for the multi-omic analysis of oleaginous mixed microbial communities from a biological wastewater treatment plant. Time- and space-resolved coupled metabolomic and taxonomic analyses demonstrate that the community-wide lipid accumulation phenotype is associated with the dominance of the generalist bacterium Candidatus Microthrix spp. By integrating population-level genomic reconstructions (reflecting fundamental niches) with transcriptomic and proteomic data (realised niches), we identify finely tuned gene expression governing resource usage by Candidatus Microthrix parvicella over time. Moreover, our results indicate that the fluctuating environmental conditions constrain the accumulation of genetic variation in Candidatus Microthrix parvicella likely due to fitness trade-offs. Based on our observations, niche breadth has to be considered as an important factor for understanding the evolutionary processes governing (microbial) population sizes and structures in situ. PMID:25424998

  8. A colorimetric detection method of pesticide acetamiprid by fine-tuning aptamer length.

    PubMed

    Tian, Yu; Wang, Yuan; Sheng, Zhi; Li, Tingting; Li, Xu

    2016-11-15

    This work investigates the effect of shortening aptamer sequences on the colorimetric detection of acetamiprid using aptamer-wrapped gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). Truncated 37-mer and 25-mer aptamers were generated by deleting excess flanking nucleotides from parental 49-mer acetamiprid-target aptamer. In comparing the responses of the three sequences, truncated aptamers did not improve the ability to discriminate against other tested pesticides. However, comparison between 49-mer and other shorter aptamers showed that shortening aptamer sequences through removing excess flanking nucleotides outsides of binding region improved colorimetric sensitivity for acetamiprid by 3.3 fold. Due to excess bases, the target-bound aptamer might still adhere to AuNPs, resulting in incomplete dissociation of aptamer from AuNPs and therefore the suppression of aggregation responses. This work provides further insight to the effects of aptamer structure on detection of the target, as well as a method by fine-tuning aptamer length for rapid detection of pesticide residues in environments or food. PMID:27612649

  9. Calmodulin-Mediated Signal Transduction Pathways in Arabidopsis Are Fine-Tuned by Methylation[W

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Joydeep; Magnani, Roberta; Nair, Meera; Dirk, Lynnette M.; DeBolt, Seth; Maiti, Indu B.; Houtz, Robert L.

    2013-01-01

    Calmodulin N-methyltransferase (CaM KMT) is an evolutionarily conserved enzyme in eukaryotes that transfers three methyl groups to a highly conserved lysyl residue at position 115 in calmodulin (CaM). We sought to elucidate whether the methylation status of CaM plays a role in CaM-mediated signaling pathways by gene expression analyses of CaM KMT and phenotypic characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana lines wherein CaM KMT was overexpressed (OX), partially silenced, or knocked out. CaM KMT was expressed in discreet spatial and tissue-specific patterns, most notably in root tips, floral buds, stamens, apical meristems, and germinating seeds. Analysis of transgenic plants with genetic dysfunction in CaM KMT revealed a link between the methylation status of CaM and root length. Plants with suppressed CaM methylation had longer roots and CaM KMT OX lines had shorter roots than wild type (Columbia-0). CaM KMT was also found to influence the root radial developmental program. Protein microarray analyses revealed a number of proteins with specificity for methylated forms of CaM, providing candidate functional intermediates between the observed phenotypes and the target pathways. This work demonstrates that the functionality of the large CaM family in plants is fine-tuned by an overarching methylation mechanism. PMID:24285794

  10. Fine-tuning the ubiquitin code at DNA double-strand breaks: deubiquitinating enzymes at work

    PubMed Central

    Citterio, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    Ubiquitination is a reversible protein modification broadly implicated in cellular functions. Signaling processes mediated by ubiquitin (ub) are crucial for the cellular response to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), one of the most dangerous types of DNA lesions. In particular, the DSB response critically relies on active ubiquitination by the RNF8 and RNF168 ub ligases at the chromatin, which is essential for proper DSB signaling and repair. How this pathway is fine-tuned and what the functional consequences are of its deregulation for genome integrity and tissue homeostasis are subject of intense investigation. One important regulatory mechanism is by reversal of substrate ubiquitination through the activity of specific deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs), as supported by the implication of a growing number of DUBs in DNA damage response processes. Here, we discuss the current knowledge of how ub-mediated signaling at DSBs is controlled by DUBs, with main focus on DUBs targeting histone H2A and on their recent implication in stem cell biology and cancer. PMID:26442100

  11. Fine-tuning glycemic control using computerized downloading software: a case-based approach.

    PubMed

    Unger, Jeff

    2007-12-01

    Diabetes self-management is not always the simplest of tasks. Patients with diabetes do not have a functioning pancreas. They rely on their knowledge to guide them through the complex decisions that must be made continually. Glycemic variability is not always a result of patient noncompliance. In fact, most patients are attempting to maintain normal glycemia. Imagine the frustrations that our patients feel when they do not understand why their blood glucose levels vary so greatly, even if they eat the same foods and participate in the same type of physical activities each day. As physicians, we should provide our patients with the best opportunities, tools, and technologies available to minimize their exposure to glycemic variability, oxidative stress, and long-term diabetes-related complications. SBGM is an essential component in diabetes care. Incorporating computerized software into our practices so that we are able to fine-tune our prescribed treatments is an inexpensive and efficient way to improve the quality of our patients' lives.

  12. Fine-tuned ATP signals are acute mediators in osteocyte mechanotransduction.

    PubMed

    Kringelbach, Tina M; Aslan, Derya; Novak, Ivana; Ellegaard, Maria; Syberg, Susanne; Andersen, Christina K B; Kristiansen, Kim A; Vang, Ole; Schwarz, Peter; Jørgensen, Niklas R

    2015-12-01

    Osteocytes are considered the primary mechanosensors of bone, but the signaling pathways they apply in mechanotransduction are still incompletely investigated and characterized. A growing body of data strongly indicates that P2 receptor signaling among osteoblasts and osteoclasts has regulatory effects on bone remodeling. Therefore, we hypothesized that ATP signaling is also applied by osteocytes in mechanotransduction. We applied a short fluid pulse on MLO-Y4 osteocyte-like cells during real-time detection of ATP and demonstrated that mechanical stimulation activates the acute release of ATP and that these acute ATP signals are fine-tuned according to the magnitude of loading. ATP release was then challenged by pharmacological inhibitors, which indicated a vesicular release pathway for acute ATP signals. Finally, we showed that osteocytes express functional P2X2 and P2X7 receptors and respond to even low concentrations of nucleotides by increasing intracellular calcium concentration. These results indicate that in osteocytes, vesicular ATP release is an acute mediator of mechanical signals and the magnitude of loading. These and previous results, therefore, implicate purinergic signaling as an early signaling pathway in osteocyte mechanotransduction.

  13. Postfunctionalization of BN-embedded polycyclic aromatic compounds for fine-tuning of their molecular properties.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-Ye; Yang, Dong-Chu; Zhuang, Fang-Dong; Liu, Jia-Jie; Wang, Jie-Yu; Pei, Jian

    2015-06-01

    New BN-embedded, thiophene-fused, polycyclic aromatic compounds with planar geometry were designed and synthesized. The molecules showed excellent stability and chemical robustness. Postfunctionalization on this skeleton was demonstrated with a series of electrophilic bromination, palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling, and Knoevenagel condensation reactions. The π skeleton remained intact during these late-stage transformations. The optical and electronic properties have been well tuned through incorporation of electron-rich and -deficient groups on the backbone. This work shows the great advantage of the postfunctionalization strategy on BN-containing polycyclic aromatic compounds for fast diversification and materials screening. PMID:25955825

  14. Timing is everything: Fine-tuned molecular machines orchestrate paramyxovirus entry

    SciTech Connect

    Bose, Sayantan; Jardetzky, Theodore S.; Lamb, Robert A.

    2015-05-15

    The Paramyxoviridae include some of the great and ubiquitous disease-causing viruses of humans and animals. In most paramyxoviruses, two viral membrane glycoproteins, fusion protein (F) and receptor binding protein (HN, H or G) mediate a concerted process of recognition of host cell surface molecules followed by fusion of viral and cellular membranes, resulting in viral nucleocapsid entry into the cytoplasm. The interactions between the F and HN, H or G viral glycoproteins and host molecules are critical in determining host range, virulence and spread of these viruses. Recently, atomic structures, together with biochemical and biophysical studies, have provided major insights into how these two viral glycoproteins successfully interact with host receptors on cellular membranes and initiate the membrane fusion process to gain entry into cells. These studies highlight the conserved core mechanisms of paramyxovirus entry that provide the fundamental basis for rational anti-viral drug design and vaccine development. - Highlights: • New structural and functional insights into paramyxovirus entry mechanisms. • Current data on paramyxovirus glycoproteins suggest a core conserved entry mechanism. • Diverse mechanisms preventing premature fusion activation exist in these viruses. • Precise spacio-temporal interplay between paramyxovirus glycoproteins initiate entry.

  15. Timing is everything: Fine-tuned molecular machines orchestrate paramyxovirus entry

    PubMed Central

    Bose, Sayantan; Jardetzky, Theodore S.; Lamb, Robert A.

    2015-01-01

    The Paramyxoviridae include some of the great and ubiquitous disease-causing viruses of humans and animals. In most paramyxoviruses, two viral membrane glycoproteins, fusion protein (F) and receptor binding protein (HN, H or G) mediate a concerted process of recognition of host cell surface molecules followed by fusion of viral and cellular membranes, resulting in viral nucleocapsid entry into the cytoplasm. The interactions between the F and HN, H or G viral glycoproteins and host molecules are critical in determining host range, virulence and spread of these viruses. Recently, atomic structures, together with biochemical and biophysical studies, have provided major insights into how these two viral glycoproteins successfully interact with host receptors on cellular membranes and initiate the membrane fusion process to gain entry into cells. These studies highlight the conserved core mechanisms of paramyxovirus entry that provide the fundamental basis for rational anti-viral drug design and vaccine development. PMID:25771804

  16. Maximizing T2-exchange in Dy3+DOTA-(amide)X chelates: Fine-tuning the water molecule exchange rate for enhanced T2 contrast in MRI

    PubMed Central

    Soesbe, Todd C.; Ratnakar, S. James; Milne, Mark; Zhang, Shanrong; Do, Quyen N.; Kovacs, Zoltan; Sherry, A. Dean

    2014-01-01

    Purpose The water molecule exchange rates in a series of DyDOTA-(amide)X chelates were fine-tuned to maximize the effects of T2-exchange line broadening and improve T2 contrast. Methods Four DyDOTA-(amide)X chelates having a variable number of glycinate side-arms were prepared and characterized as T2-exchange agents. The non-exchanging DyTETA chelate was also used to measure the bulk water T2 reduction due solely to T2*. The total transverse relaxivity (r2tot) at 22, 37, and 52 °C for each chelate was measured in vitro at 9.4 T (400 MHz) by fitting plots of total T2−1 versus concentration. The water molecule exchange rates for each complex were measured by fitting 17O line-width versus temperature data taken at 9.4 T (54.3 MHz). Results The measured transverse relaxivities due to water molecule exchange (r2ex) and bound water lifetimes (τM) were in excellent agreement with Swift-Connick theory, with DyDOTA-(gly)3 giving the largest r2ex = 11.8 s−1 mM−1 at 37 °C. Conclusion By fine-tuning the water molecule exchange rate at 37 °C, the transverse relaxivity has been increased by 2 to 30 times compared to previously studied Dy3+-based chelates. Polymerization or dendrimerization of the optimal chelate could yield a highly sensitive, molecule-sized T2 contrast agent for improved molecular imaging applications. PMID:24390729

  17. Photoassisted photoluminescence fine-tuning of gold nanodots through free radical-mediated ligand-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tseng, Yu-Ting; Cherng, Rochelle; Harroun, Scott G.; Yuan, Zhiqin; Lin, Tai-Yuan; Wu, Chien-Wei; Chang, Huan-Tsung; Huang, Chih-Ching

    2016-05-01

    In this study, we have developed a simple photoassisted ligand assembly to fine-tune the photoluminescence (PL) of (11-mercaptoundecyl)-N,N,N-trimethylammonium bromide-capped gold nanodots (11-MUTAB-Au NDs). The 11-MUTAB-Au NDs (size: ca. 1.8 nm), obtained from the reaction of gold nanoparticles (ca. 3 nm) and 11-MUTAB, exhibited weak, near-infrared (NIR) PL at 700 nm with a quantum yield (QY) of 0.37% upon excitation at 365 nm. The PL QY of the Au NDs increased to 11.43% after reaction with 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid (11-MUA) for 30 min under ultraviolet (UV) light, which was accompanied by a PL wavelength shift to the green region (~520 nm). UV-light irradiation accelerates 11-MUA assembly on the 11-MUTABAu NDs (11-MUA/11-MUTAB-Au NDs) through a radical-mediated reaction. Furthermore, the PL wavelength of the 11-MUA/11-MUTAB-Au NDs can be switched to 640 nm via cysteamine under UV-light irradiation. We propose that the PL of the Au NDs with NIR and visible emissions was originally from the surface thiol-Au complexes and the Au core, respectively. These dramatically different optical properties of the Au NDs were due to variation in the surface ligands, as well as the densities and surface oxidant states of the surface Au atoms/ions. These effects can be controlled by assembling surface thiol ligands and accelerated by UV irradiation.In this study, we have developed a simple photoassisted ligand assembly to fine-tune the photoluminescence (PL) of (11-mercaptoundecyl)-N,N,N-trimethylammonium bromide-capped gold nanodots (11-MUTAB-Au NDs). The 11-MUTAB-Au NDs (size: ca. 1.8 nm), obtained from the reaction of gold nanoparticles (ca. 3 nm) and 11-MUTAB, exhibited weak, near-infrared (NIR) PL at 700 nm with a quantum yield (QY) of 0.37% upon excitation at 365 nm. The PL QY of the Au NDs increased to 11.43% after reaction with 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid (11-MUA) for 30 min under ultraviolet (UV) light, which was accompanied by a PL wavelength shift to the green region

  18. Fine-Tuning of Pten Localization and Phosphatase Activity Is Essential for Zebrafish Angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Stumpf, Miriam; Blokzijl-Franke, Sasja; den Hertog, Jeroen

    2016-01-01

    The lipid- and protein phosphatase PTEN is an essential tumor suppressor that is highly conserved among all higher eukaryotes. As an antagonist of the PI3K/Akt cell survival and proliferation pathway, it exerts its most prominent function at the cell membrane, but (PIP3-independent) functions of nuclear PTEN have been discovered as well. PTEN subcellular localization is tightly controlled by its protein conformation. In the closed conformation, PTEN localizes predominantly to the cytoplasm. Opening up of the conformation of PTEN exposes N-terminal and C-terminal regions of the protein that are required for both interaction with the cell membrane and translocation to the nucleus. Lack of Pten leads to hyperbranching of the intersegmental vessels during zebrafish embryogenesis, which is rescued by expression of exogenous Pten. Here, we observed that expression of mutant PTEN with an open conformation rescued the hyperbranching phenotype in pten double homozygous embryos and suppressed the increased p-Akt levels that are characteristic for embryos lacking Pten. In addition, in pten mutant and wild type embryos alike, open conformation PTEN induced stalled intersegmental vessels, which fail to connect with the dorsal longitudinal anastomotic vessel. Functional hyperactivity of open conformation PTEN in comparison to wild type PTEN seems to result predominantly from its enhanced recruitment to the cell membrane. Enhanced recruitment of phosphatase inactive mutants to the membrane did not induce the stalled vessel phenotype nor did it rescue the hyperbranching phenotype in pten double homozygous embryos, indicating that PTEN phosphatase activity is indispensable for its regulatory function during angiogenesis. Taken together, our data suggest that PTEN phosphatase activity needs to be carefully fine-tuned for normal embryogenesis and that the control of its subcellular localization is a key mechanism in this process. PMID:27138341

  19. Dynamically avoiding fine-tuning the cosmological constant: the ``Relaxed Universe''

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, Florian; Solà, Joan; Štefancić, Hrvoje

    2010-12-01

    We demonstrate that there exists a large class of Script F(R,Script G) action functionals of the scalar curvature and of the Gauß-Bonnet invariant which are able to relax dynamically a large cosmological constant (CC), whatever it be its starting value in the early universe. Hence, it is possible to understand, without fine-tuning, the very small current value Λ0 ~ H02 of the CC as compared to its theoretically expected large value in quantum field theory and string theory. In our framework, this relaxation appears as a pure gravitational effect, where no ad hoc scalar fields are needed. The action involves a positive power of a characteristic mass parameter, Script M, whose value can be, interestingly enough, of the order of a typical particle physics mass of the Standard Model of the strong and electroweak interactions or extensions thereof, including the neutrino mass. The model universe emerging from this scenario (the ``Relaxed Universe'') falls within the class of the so-called ΛXCDM models of the cosmic evolution. Therefore, there is a ``cosmon'' entity X (represented by an effective object, not a field), which in this case is generated by the effective functional Script F(R,Script G) and is responsible for the dynamical adjustment of the cosmological constant. This model universe successfully mimics the essential past epochs of the standard (or ``concordance'') cosmological model (ΛCDM). Furthermore, it provides interesting clues to the coincidence problem and it may even connect naturally with primordial inflation.

  20. Body appendages fine-tune posture and moments in freely manoeuvring fruit flies.

    PubMed

    Berthé, Ruben; Lehmann, Fritz-Olaf

    2015-10-01

    The precise control of body posture by turning moments is key to elevated locomotor performance in flying animals. Although elevated moments for body stabilization are typically produced by wing aerodynamics, animals also steer using drag on body appendages, shifting their centre of body mass, and changing moments of inertia caused by active alterations in body shape. To estimate the instantaneous contribution of each of these components for posture control in an insect, we three-dimensionally reconstructed body posture and movements of body appendages in freely manoeuvring fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) by high-speed video and experimentally scored drag coefficients of legs and body trunk at low Reynolds number. The results show that the sum of leg- and abdomen-induced yaw moments dominates wing-induced moments during 17% of total flight time but is, on average, 7.2-times (roll, 3.4-times) smaller during manoeuvring. Our data reject a previous hypothesis on synergistic moment support, indicating that drag on body appendages and mass-shift inhibit rather than support turning moments produced by the wings. Numerical modelling further shows that hind leg extension alters the moments of inertia around the three main body axes of the animal by not more than 6% during manoeuvring, which is significantly less than previously reported for other insects. In sum, yaw, pitch and roll steering by body appendages probably fine-tune turning behaviour and body posture, without providing a significant advantage for posture stability and moment support. Motion control of appendages might thus be part of the insect's trimming reflexes, which reduce imbalances in moment generation caused by unilateral wing damage and abnormal asymmetries of the flight apparatus.

  1. Conformational Fine-Tuning of Pore-Forming Peptide Potency and Selectivity

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    To better understand the sequence–structure–function relationships that control the activity and selectivity of membrane-permeabilizing peptides, we screened a peptide library, based on the archetypal pore-former melittin, for loss-of-function variants. This was accomplished by assaying library members for failure to cause leakage of entrapped contents from synthetic lipid vesicles at a peptide-to-lipid ratio of 1:20, 10-fold higher than the concentration at which melittin efficiently permeabilizes the same vesicles. Surprisingly, about one-third of the library members are inactive under these conditions. In the negative peptides, two changes of hydrophobic residues to glycine were especially abundant. We show that loss-of-function activity can be completely recapitulated by a single-residue change of the leucine at position 16 to glycine. Unlike the potently cytolytic melittin, the loss-of-function peptides, including the single-site variant, are essentially inactive against phosphatidylcholine vesicles and multiple types of eukaryotic cells. Loss of function is shown to result from a shift in the binding–folding equilibrium away from the active, bound, α-helical state toward the inactive, unbound, random-coil state. Accordingly, the addition of anionic lipids to synthetic lipid vesicles restored binding, α-helical secondary structure, and potent activity of the “negative” peptides. While nontoxic to mammalian cells, the single-site variant has potent bactericidal activity, consistent with the anionic nature of bacterial membranes. The results show that conformational fine-tuning of helical pore-forming peptides is a powerful way to modulate their activity and selectivity. PMID:26632653

  2. Body appendages fine-tune posture and moments in freely manoeuvring fruit flies.

    PubMed

    Berthé, Ruben; Lehmann, Fritz-Olaf

    2015-10-01

    The precise control of body posture by turning moments is key to elevated locomotor performance in flying animals. Although elevated moments for body stabilization are typically produced by wing aerodynamics, animals also steer using drag on body appendages, shifting their centre of body mass, and changing moments of inertia caused by active alterations in body shape. To estimate the instantaneous contribution of each of these components for posture control in an insect, we three-dimensionally reconstructed body posture and movements of body appendages in freely manoeuvring fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) by high-speed video and experimentally scored drag coefficients of legs and body trunk at low Reynolds number. The results show that the sum of leg- and abdomen-induced yaw moments dominates wing-induced moments during 17% of total flight time but is, on average, 7.2-times (roll, 3.4-times) smaller during manoeuvring. Our data reject a previous hypothesis on synergistic moment support, indicating that drag on body appendages and mass-shift inhibit rather than support turning moments produced by the wings. Numerical modelling further shows that hind leg extension alters the moments of inertia around the three main body axes of the animal by not more than 6% during manoeuvring, which is significantly less than previously reported for other insects. In sum, yaw, pitch and roll steering by body appendages probably fine-tune turning behaviour and body posture, without providing a significant advantage for posture stability and moment support. Motion control of appendages might thus be part of the insect's trimming reflexes, which reduce imbalances in moment generation caused by unilateral wing damage and abnormal asymmetries of the flight apparatus. PMID:26347566

  3. Mechanism of Fine-tuning pH Sensors in Proprotein Convertases

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Danielle M.; Elferich, Johannes; Shinde, Ujwal

    2015-01-01

    The propeptides of proprotein convertases (PCs) regulate activation of cognate protease domains by sensing pH of their organellar compartments as they transit the secretory pathway. Earlier experimental work identified a conserved histidine-encoded pH sensor within the propeptide of the canonical PC, furin. To date, whether protonation of this conserved histidine is solely responsible for PC activation has remained unclear because of the observation that various PC paralogues are activated at different organellar pH values. To ascertain additional determinants of PC activation, we analyzed PC1/3, a paralogue of furin that is activated at a pH of ∼5.4. Using biophysical, biochemical, and cell-based methods, we mimicked the protonation status of various histidines within the propeptide of PC1/3 and examined how such alterations can modulate pH-dependent protease activation. Our results indicate that whereas the conserved histidine plays a crucial role in pH sensing and activation of this protease an additional histidine acts as a “gatekeeper” that fine-tunes the sensitivity of the PC1/3 propeptide to facilitate the release inhibition at higher proton concentrations when compared with furin. Coupled with earlier analyses that highlighted the enrichment of the amino acid histidine within propeptides of secreted eukaryotic proteases, our work elucidates how secreted proteases have evolved to exploit the pH of the secretory pathway by altering the spatial juxtaposition of titratable groups to regulate their activity in a spatiotemporal fashion. PMID:26229104

  4. Fine-Tuning of Pten Localization and Phosphatase Activity Is Essential for Zebrafish Angiogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Stumpf, Miriam; Blokzijl-Franke, Sasja; den Hertog, Jeroen

    2016-01-01

    The lipid- and protein phosphatase PTEN is an essential tumor suppressor that is highly conserved among all higher eukaryotes. As an antagonist of the PI3K/Akt cell survival and proliferation pathway, it exerts its most prominent function at the cell membrane, but (PIP3-independent) functions of nuclear PTEN have been discovered as well. PTEN subcellular localization is tightly controlled by its protein conformation. In the closed conformation, PTEN localizes predominantly to the cytoplasm. Opening up of the conformation of PTEN exposes N-terminal and C-terminal regions of the protein that are required for both interaction with the cell membrane and translocation to the nucleus. Lack of Pten leads to hyperbranching of the intersegmental vessels during zebrafish embryogenesis, which is rescued by expression of exogenous Pten. Here, we observed that expression of mutant PTEN with an open conformation rescued the hyperbranching phenotype in pten double homozygous embryos and suppressed the increased p-Akt levels that are characteristic for embryos lacking Pten. In addition, in pten mutant and wild type embryos alike, open conformation PTEN induced stalled intersegmental vessels, which fail to connect with the dorsal longitudinal anastomotic vessel. Functional hyperactivity of open conformation PTEN in comparison to wild type PTEN seems to result predominantly from its enhanced recruitment to the cell membrane. Enhanced recruitment of phosphatase inactive mutants to the membrane did not induce the stalled vessel phenotype nor did it rescue the hyperbranching phenotype in pten double homozygous embryos, indicating that PTEN phosphatase activity is indispensable for its regulatory function during angiogenesis. Taken together, our data suggest that PTEN phosphatase activity needs to be carefully fine-tuned for normal embryogenesis and that the control of its subcellular localization is a key mechanism in this process. PMID:27138341

  5. Ras signaling gets fine-tuned: regulation of multiple pathogenic traits of Candida albicans.

    PubMed

    Inglis, Diane O; Sherlock, Gavin

    2013-10-01

    Candida albicans is an opportunistic fungal pathogen that can cause disseminated infection in patients with indwelling catheters or other implanted medical devices. A common resident of the human microbiome, C. albicans responds to environmental signals, such as cell contact with catheter materials and exposure to serum or CO2, by triggering the expression of a variety of traits, some of which are known to contribute to its pathogenic lifestyle. Such traits include adhesion, biofilm formation, filamentation, white-to-opaque (W-O) switching, and two recently described phenotypes, finger and tentacle formation. Under distinct sets of environmental conditions and in specific cell types (mating type-like a [MTLa]/alpha cells, MTL homozygotes, or daughter cells), C. albicans utilizes (or reutilizes) a single signal transduction pathway-the Ras pathway-to affect these phenotypes. Ras1, Cyr1, Tpk2, and Pde2, the proteins of the Ras signaling pathway, are the only nontranscriptional regulatory proteins that are known to be essential for regulating all of these processes. How does C. albicans utilize this one pathway to regulate all of these phenotypes? The regulation of distinct and yet related processes by a single, evolutionarily conserved pathway is accomplished through the use of downstream transcription factors that are active under specific environmental conditions and in different cell types. In this minireview, we discuss the role of Ras signaling pathway components and Ras pathway-regulated transcription factors as well as the transcriptional regulatory networks that fine-tune gene expression in diverse biological contexts to generate specific phenotypes that impact the virulence of C. albicans.

  6. Leaf color is fine-tuned on the solar spectra to avoid strand direct solar radiation.

    PubMed

    Kume, Atsushi; Akitsu, Tomoko; Nasahara, Kenlo Nishida

    2016-07-01

    The spectral distributions of light absorption rates by intact leaves are notably different from the incident solar radiation spectra, for reasons that remain elusive. Incident global radiation comprises two main components; direct radiation from the direction of the sun, and diffuse radiation, which is sunlight scattered by molecules, aerosols and clouds. Both irradiance and photon flux density spectra differ between direct and diffuse radiation in their magnitude and profile. However, most research has assumed that the spectra of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) can be averaged, without considering the radiation classes. We used paired spectroradiometers to sample direct and diffuse solar radiation, and obtained relationships between the PAR spectra and the absorption spectra of photosynthetic pigments and organs. As monomers in solvent, the spectral absorbance of Chl a decreased with the increased spectral irradiance (W m(-2) nm(-1)) of global PAR at noon (R(2) = 0.76), and was suitable to avoid strong spectral irradiance (λmax = 480 nm) rather than absorb photon flux density (μmol m(-2) s(-1) nm(-1)) efficiently. The spectral absorption of photosystems and the intact thallus and leaves decreased linearly with the increased spectral irradiance of direct PAR at noon (I dir-max), where the wavelength was within the 450-650 nm range (R(2) = 0.81). The higher-order structure of photosystems systematically avoided the strong spectral irradiance of I dir-max. However, when whole leaves were considered, leaf anatomical structure and light scattering in leaf tissues made the leaves grey bodies for PAR and enabled high PAR use efficiency. Terrestrial green plants are fine-tuned to spectral dynamics of incident solar radiation and PAR absorption is increased in various structural hierarchies. PMID:26943164

  7. Cell-Specific Fine-Tuning of Neuronal Excitability by Differential Expression of Modulator Protein Isoforms

    PubMed Central

    Jepson, James; Sheldon, Amanda; Shahidullah, Mohammad; Fei, Hong; Koh, Kyunghee

    2013-01-01

    SLOB (SLOWPOKE-binding protein) modulates the Drosophila SLOWPOKE calcium-activated potassium channel. We have shown previously that SLOB deletion or RNAi knockdown decreases excitability of neurosecretory pars intercerebralis (PI) neurons in the adult Drosophila brain. In contrast, we found that SLOB deletion/knockdown enhances neurotransmitter release from motor neurons at the fly larval neuromuscular junction, suggesting an increase in excitability. Because two prominent SLOB isoforms, SLOB57 and SLOB71, modulate SLOWPOKE channels in opposite directions in vitro, we investigated whether divergent expression patterns of these two isoforms might underlie the differential modulation of excitability in PI and motor neurons. By performing detailed in vitro and in vivo analysis, we found strikingly different modes of regulatory control by the slob57 and slob71 promoters. The slob71, but not slob57, promoter contains binding sites for the Hunchback and Mirror transcriptional repressors. Furthermore, several core promoter elements that are absent in the slob57 promoter coordinately drive robust expression of a luciferase vector by the slob71 promoter in vitro. In addition, we visualized the expression patterns of the slob57 and slob71 promoters in vivo and found clear spatiotemporal differences in promoter activity. SLOB57 is expressed prominently in adult PI neurons, whereas larval motor neurons exclusively express SLOB71. In contrast, at the larval neuromuscular junction, SLOB57 expression appears to be restricted mainly to a subset of glial cells. Our results illustrate how the use of alternative transcriptional start sites within an ion channel modulator locus coupled with functionally relevant alternative splicing can be used to fine-tune neuronal excitability in a cell-specific manner. PMID:24133277

  8. A role for TRIANGULAR HULL1 in fine-tuning spikelet morphogenesis in rice.

    PubMed

    Sato, Dai-Suke; Ohmori, Yoshihiro; Nagashima, Haruka; Toriba, Taiyo; Hirano, Hiro-Yuki

    2014-01-01

    The lemma and palea, which enclose the pistil, stamens, and lodicules, are the most conspicuous organs in the rice spikelet. We isolated a mutant line (ng6569) in which the lemma and palea were narrower than those of the wild type, and found that the mutant had a defect in TRIANGULAR HULL1 (TH1), which encodes a nuclear protein with an ALOG domain. Detailed morphological analysis indicated that the th1 mutation caused a reduction in the size of tubercles, which are convex structures on the surface of the lemma and palea. This reduction was more pronounced in the apical region of the lemma than in the basal region, resulting in the formation of a beak-like spikelet. By contrast, the number of tubercle rows and their spatial distribution on the lemma were not affected in the th1 mutant. Thus, the TH1 gene seems to be involved in fine-tuning the morphogenesis of the lemma and palea. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that TH1 was highly expressed in the primordia of the lemma and palea, but only weakly expressed in the primordia of the sterile lemma and rudimentary glume. We then examined the effect of th1 mutation on the lemma-like structure formed in the long sterile lemma/glume1 (g1) and extra glume1 (eg1) mutants. The result showed that the th1 mutation strongly affected the morphology of the extra lemma of eg1, but had no significant effect on the transformed lemma of g1. PMID:25224972

  9. Leaf color is fine-tuned on the solar spectra to avoid strand direct solar radiation.

    PubMed

    Kume, Atsushi; Akitsu, Tomoko; Nasahara, Kenlo Nishida

    2016-07-01

    The spectral distributions of light absorption rates by intact leaves are notably different from the incident solar radiation spectra, for reasons that remain elusive. Incident global radiation comprises two main components; direct radiation from the direction of the sun, and diffuse radiation, which is sunlight scattered by molecules, aerosols and clouds. Both irradiance and photon flux density spectra differ between direct and diffuse radiation in their magnitude and profile. However, most research has assumed that the spectra of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) can be averaged, without considering the radiation classes. We used paired spectroradiometers to sample direct and diffuse solar radiation, and obtained relationships between the PAR spectra and the absorption spectra of photosynthetic pigments and organs. As monomers in solvent, the spectral absorbance of Chl a decreased with the increased spectral irradiance (W m(-2) nm(-1)) of global PAR at noon (R(2) = 0.76), and was suitable to avoid strong spectral irradiance (λmax = 480 nm) rather than absorb photon flux density (μmol m(-2) s(-1) nm(-1)) efficiently. The spectral absorption of photosystems and the intact thallus and leaves decreased linearly with the increased spectral irradiance of direct PAR at noon (I dir-max), where the wavelength was within the 450-650 nm range (R(2) = 0.81). The higher-order structure of photosystems systematically avoided the strong spectral irradiance of I dir-max. However, when whole leaves were considered, leaf anatomical structure and light scattering in leaf tissues made the leaves grey bodies for PAR and enabled high PAR use efficiency. Terrestrial green plants are fine-tuned to spectral dynamics of incident solar radiation and PAR absorption is increased in various structural hierarchies.

  10. Asn347 Glycosylation of Corticosteroid-binding Globulin Fine-tunes the Host Immune Response by Modulating Proteolysis by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Neutrophil Elastase.

    PubMed

    Sumer-Bayraktar, Zeynep; Grant, Oliver C; Venkatakrishnan, Vignesh; Woods, Robert J; Packer, Nicolle H; Thaysen-Andersen, Morten

    2016-08-19

    Corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) delivers anti-inflammatory cortisol to inflamed tissues upon elastase-based proteolysis of the exposed reactive center loop (RCL). However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate the RCL proteolysis by co-existing host and bacterial elastases in inflamed/infected tissues remain unknown. We document that RCL-localized Asn(347) glycosylation fine-tunes the RCL cleavage rate by human neutrophil elastase (NE) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa elastase (PAE) by different mechanisms. NE- and PAE-generated fragments of native and exoglycosidase-treated blood-derived CBG of healthy individuals were monitored by gel electrophoresis and LC-MS/MS to determine the cleavage site(s) and Asn(347) glycosylation as a function of digestion time. The site-specific (Val(344)-Thr(345)) and rapid (seconds to minutes) NE-based RCL proteolysis was significantly antagonized by several volume-enhancing Asn(347) glycan features (i.e. occupancy, triantennary GlcNAc branching, and α1,6-fucosylation) and augmented by Asn(347) NeuAc-type sialylation (all p < 0.05). In contrast, the inefficient (minutes to hours) PAE-based RCL cleavage, which occurred equally well at Thr(345)-Leu(346) and Asn(347)-Leu(348), was abolished by the presence of Asn(347) glycosylation but was enhanced by sialoglycans on neighboring CBG N-sites. Molecular dynamics simulations of various Asn(347) glycoforms of uncleaved CBG indicated that multiple Asn(347) glycan features are modulating the RCL digestion efficiencies by NE/PAE. Finally, high concentrations of cortisol showed weak bacteriostatic effects toward virulent P. aeruginosa, which may explain the low RCL potency of the abundantly secreted PAE during host infection. In conclusion, site-specific CBG N-glycosylation regulates the bioavailability of cortisol in inflamed environments by fine-tuning the RCL proteolysis by endogenous and exogenous elastases. This study offers new molecular insight into host- and pathogen

  11. Expression analysis of aquaporins from desert truffle mycorrhizal symbiosis reveals a fine-tuned regulation under drought.

    PubMed

    Navarro-Ródenas, Alfonso; Bárzana, Gloria; Nicolás, Emilio; Carra, Andrea; Schubert, Andrea; Morte, Asunción

    2013-09-01

    We have performed the isolation, functional characterization, and expression analysis of aquaporins in roots and leaves of Helianthemum almeriense, in order to evaluate their roles in tolerance to water deficit. Five cDNAs, named HaPIP1;1, HaPIP1;2, HaPIP2;1, HaPIP2;2, and HaTIP1;1, were isolated from H. almeriense. A phylogenetic analysis of deduced proteins confirmed that they belong to the water channel proteins family. The HaPIP1;1, HaPIP2;1, and HaTIP1;1 genes encode functional water channel proteins, as indicated by expression assays in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, showing divergent roles in the transport of water, CO2, and NH3. The expression patterns of the genes isolated from H. almeriense and of a previously described gene from Terfezia claveryi (TcAQP1) were analyzed in mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal plants cultivated under well-watered or drought-stress conditions. Some of the studied aquaporins were subjected to fine-tuned expression only under drought-stress conditions. A beneficial effect on plant physiological parameters was observed in mycorrhizal plants with respect to nonmycorrhizal ones. Moreover, stress induced a change in the mycorrhizal type formed, which was more intracellular under drought stress. The combination of a high intracellular colonization, together with the fine-tuned expression of aquaporins could result in a morphophysiological adaptation of this symbiosis to drought conditions.

  12. The lesson of causal discovery algorithms for quantum correlations: causal explanations of Bell-inequality violations require fine-tuning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Christopher J.; Spekkens, Robert W.

    2015-03-01

    An active area of research in the fields of machine learning and statistics is the development of causal discovery algorithms, the purpose of which is to infer the causal relations that hold among a set of variables from the correlations that these exhibit . We apply some of these algorithms to the correlations that arise for entangled quantum systems. We show that they cannot distinguish correlations that satisfy Bell inequalities from correlations that violate Bell inequalities, and consequently that they cannot do justice to the challenges of explaining certain quantum correlations causally. Nonetheless, by adapting the conceptual tools of causal inference, we can show that any attempt to provide a causal explanation of nonsignalling correlations that violate a Bell inequality must contradict a core principle of these algorithms, namely, that an observed statistical independence between variables should not be explained by fine-tuning of the causal parameters. In particular, we demonstrate the need for such fine-tuning for most of the causal mechanisms that have been proposed to underlie Bell correlations, including superluminal causal influences, superdeterminism (that is, a denial of freedom of choice of settings), and retrocausal influences which do not introduce causal cycles.

  13. Direct flow cytometry measurements reveal a fine-tuning of symbiotic cell dynamics according to the host developmental needs in aphid symbiosis

    PubMed Central

    Simonet, Pierre; Duport, Gabrielle; Gaget, Karen; Weiss-Gayet, Michèle; Colella, Stefano; Febvay, Gérard; Charles, Hubert; Viñuelas, José; Heddi, Abdelaziz; Calevro, Federica

    2016-01-01

    Endosymbiotic associations constitute a driving force in the ecological and evolutionary diversification of metazoan organisms. Little is known about whether and how symbiotic cells are coordinated according to host physiology. Here, we use the nutritional symbiosis between the insect pest, Acyrthosiphon pisum, and its obligate symbiont, Buchnera aphidicola, as a model system. We have developed a novel approach for unculturable bacteria, based on flow cytometry, and used this method to estimate the absolute numbers of symbionts at key stages of aphid life. The endosymbiont population increases exponentially throughout nymphal development, showing a growing rate which has never been characterized by indirect molecular techniques. Using histology and imaging techniques, we have shown that the endosymbiont-bearing cells (bacteriocytes) increase significantly in number and size during the nymphal development, and clustering in the insect abdomen. Once adulthood is reached and the laying period has begun, the dynamics of symbiont and host cells is reversed: the number of endosymbionts decreases progressively and the bacteriocyte structure degenerates during insect aging. In summary, these results show a coordination of the cellular dynamics between bacteriocytes and primary symbionts and reveal a fine-tuning of aphid symbiotic cells to the nutritional demand imposed by the host physiology throughout development. PMID:26822159

  14. Fine-Tuning of β-Substitution to Modulate the Lowest Triplet Excited States: A Bioinspired Approach to Design Phosphorescent Metalloporphyrinoids.

    PubMed

    Ke, Xian-Sheng; Zhao, Hongmei; Zou, Xiaoran; Ning, Yingying; Cheng, Xin; Su, Hongmei; Zhang, Jun-Long

    2015-08-26

    Learning nature's approach to modulate photophysical properties of NIR porphyrinoids by fine-tuning β-substituents including the number and position, in a manner similar to naturally occurring chlorophylls, has the potential to circumvent the disadvantages of traditional "extended π-conjugation" strategy such as stability, molecular size, solubility, and undesirable π-π stacking. Here we show that such subtle structural changes in Pt(II) or Pd(II) cis/trans-porphodilactones (termed by cis/trans-Pt/Pd) influence photophysical properties of the lowest triplet excited states including phosphorescence, Stokes shifts, and even photosensitization ability in triplet-triplet annihilation reactions with rubrene. Prominently, the overall upconversion capability (η, η = ε·Φ(UC)) of Pd or Pt trans-complex is 10(4) times higher than that of cis-analogue. Nanosecond time-resolved infrared (TR-IR) spectroscopy experiments showed larger frequency shift of ν(C═O) bands (ca. 10 cm(-1)) of cis-complexes than those of trans-complexes in the triplet excited states. These spectral features, combining with TD-DFT calculations, suggest the strong electronic coupling between the lactone moieties and the main porphyrin chromophores and thus the importance of precisely positioning β-substituents by mimicking chlorophylls, as an alternative to "extended π-conjugation", in designing NIR active porphyrinoids. PMID:26247480

  15. Fine-Tuning Ligand to Modulate the Magnetic Anisotropy in a Carboxylate-Bridged Dy2 Single-Molecule Magnet System.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yu-Ling; Han, Chang-Bao; Zhang, Yi-Quan; Liu, Qing-Yan; Liu, Cai-Ming; Yin, Shun-Gao

    2016-06-01

    A series of dinuclear Dy(III) compounds with the general formula [Dy2(μ2-anthc)4(anthc)2(L)2] (anthc(-) = 9-anthracenecarboxylate, L = 2,2'-bipyridyl (1), 1,10-phenanthroline (2), and 4,7-dimethyl-1,10-phenanthroline (3)) were synthesized and magnetically characterized. These compounds exhibit single-molecule magnet (SMM) behavior in the absence of the direct-current field, which is rarely observed for carboxylate-bridged dinuclear Dy2 system. With the first coordination sphere of Dy(III) centers being fixed, the energy barrier was modulated by sequentially modifying the terminal neutral L ligands in this Dy2 system. Theoretical calculations revealed that the symmetry of the charge distribution surrounding the Dy(III) centers in 1-3 is the decisive factor to determine the relaxation of the SMMs. The combination of the larger charge distribution along the magnetic axis and lower charge distribution in the equatorial plane (hard plane) formed by five coplanar coordination atoms including two N atoms provided by an L ligand led to a strong easy-axis ligand field in these compounds. This work presents a rational method to modulate the dynamic magnetic relaxation of the lanthanide SMMs through fine-tuning electrostatic potential of the atoms on the hard plane. PMID:27186985

  16. Fine-tuning of a radical-based reaction by radical S-adenosyl-L-methionine tryptophan lyase.

    PubMed

    Sicoli, Giuseppe; Mouesca, Jean-Marie; Zeppieri, Laura; Amara, Patricia; Martin, Lydie; Barra, Anne-Laure; Fontecilla-Camps, Juan C; Gambarelli, Serge; Nicolet, Yvain

    2016-03-18

    The radical S-adenosyl-L-methionine tryptophan lyase NosL converts L-tryptophan into 3-methylindolic acid, which is a precursor in the synthesis of the thiopeptide antibiotic nosiheptide. Using electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and multiple L-tryptophan isotopologues, we trapped and characterized radical intermediates that indicate a carboxyl fragment migration mechanism for NosL. This is in contrast to a proposed fragmentation-recombination mechanism that implied Cα-Cβ bond cleavage of L-tryptophan. Although NosL resembles related tyrosine lyases, subtle substrate motions in its active site are responsible for a fine-tuned radical chemistry, which selects the Cα-C bond for disruption. This mechanism highlights evolutionary adaptation to structural constraints in proteins as a route to alternative enzyme function.

  17. Fine-tuning of magnetic and microfluidic viscous forces for specific magnetic bead-based immunocomplex formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornaglia, M.; Tekin, H. C.; Lehnert, T.; Gijs, M. A. M.

    2013-08-01

    We investigate the working principle of a novel type of microfluidic sandwich immunoassay, as used for the detection of biomarkers. The heterogeneous assay is based on the specific interactions between an array of functionalized superparamagnetic beads and a flow of secondary superparamagnetic beads that carry the antigens and are simultaneously used as detection labels. We identify the main forces governing the immunoassay performance and develop a combined finite element method/analytical model to predict and control these forces. The clue for the improved assay specificity is in the fine-tuning of inter-bead magnetic dipolar and microfluidic viscous forces, which allows strongly reducing non-specific interactions, while enhancing the specific formation of immunocomplexes. We exploit our theoretical model to explain the enhanced sensitivity of magnetic bead-based immunoassay experiments performed in microfluidic chips.

  18. MicroRNA inhibition fine-tunes and provides robustness to the restriction point switch of the cell cycle

    PubMed Central

    del Rosario, Ricardo C. H.; Damasco, Joseph Ray Clarence G.; Aguda, Baltazar D.

    2016-01-01

    The restriction point marks a switch in G1 from growth factor-dependent to growth factor-independent progression of the cell cycle. The proper regulation of this switch is important for normal cell processes; aberrations could result in a number of diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, stroke and myocardial infarction. To further understand the regulation of the restriction point, we extended a mathematical model of the Rb-E2F pathway to include members of the microRNA cluster miR-17-92. Our mathematical analysis shows that microRNAs play an essential role in fine-tuning and providing robustness to the switch. We also demonstrate how microRNA regulation can steer cells in or out of cancer states. PMID:27610602

  19. MicroRNA inhibition fine-tunes and provides robustness to the restriction point switch of the cell cycle.

    PubMed

    Del Rosario, Ricardo C H; Damasco, Joseph Ray Clarence G; Aguda, Baltazar D

    2016-01-01

    The restriction point marks a switch in G1 from growth factor-dependent to growth factor-independent progression of the cell cycle. The proper regulation of this switch is important for normal cell processes; aberrations could result in a number of diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, stroke and myocardial infarction. To further understand the regulation of the restriction point, we extended a mathematical model of the Rb-E2F pathway to include members of the microRNA cluster miR-17-92. Our mathematical analysis shows that microRNAs play an essential role in fine-tuning and providing robustness to the switch. We also demonstrate how microRNA regulation can steer cells in or out of cancer states. PMID:27610602

  20. Fine-tuning of process conditions to improve product uniformity of polystyrene particles used for wind tunnel velocimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ray, Asit K.

    1990-01-01

    Monodisperse polymer particles (having uniform diameter) were used for the last two decades in physical, biological, and chemical sciences. In NASA Langley Research Center monodisperse polystyrene particles are used in wind tunnel laser velocimeters. These polystyrene (PS) particles in latex form were formulated at the Engineering Laboratory of FENGD using emulsion-free emulsion polymerization. Monodisperse PS latices particles having different particle diameters were formulated and useful experimental data involving effects of process conditions on particle size were accumulated. However, similar process conditions and chemical recipes for polymerization of styrene monomer have often yielded monodisperse particles having varying diameters. The purpose was to improve the PS latex product uniformity by fine-tuning the process parameters based on the knowledge of suspension and emulsion polymerization.

  1. In response to partial plant shading, the lack of phytochrome A does not directly induce leaf senescence but alters the fine-tuning of chlorophyll biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Brouwer, Bastiaan; Gardeström, Per; Keech, Olivier

    2014-07-01

    Phytochrome is thought to control the induction of leaf senescence directly, however, the signalling and molecular mechanisms remain unclear. In the present study, an ecophysiological approach was used to establish a functional connection between phytochrome signalling and the physiological processes underlying the induction of leaf senescence in response to shade. With shade it is important to distinguish between complete and partial shading, during which either the whole or only a part of the plant is shaded, respectively. It is first shown here that, while PHYB is required to maintain chlorophyll content in a completely shaded plant, only PHYA is involved in maintaining the leaf chlorophyll content in response to partial plant shading. Second, it is shown that leaf yellowing associated with strong partial shading in phyA-mutant plants actually correlates to a decreased biosynthesis of chlorophyll rather than to an increase of its degradation. Third, it is shown that the physiological impact of this decreased biosynthesis of chlorophyll in strongly shaded phyA-mutant leaves is accompanied by a decreased capacity to adjust the Light Compensation Point. However, the increased leaf yellowing in phyA-mutant plants is not accompanied by an increase of senescence-specific molecular markers, which argues against a direct role of PHYA in inducing leaf senescence in response to partial shade. In conclusion, it is proposed that PHYA, but not PHYB, is essential for fine-tuning the chlorophyll biosynthetic pathway in response to partial shading. In turn, this mechanism allows the shaded leaf to adjust its photosynthetic machinery to very low irradiances, thus maintaining a positive carbon balance and repressing the induction of leaf senescence, which can occur under prolonged periods of shade.

  2. Communication between Discrete Nanostructures Triggered by Fine Tuning of an External Stimulus.

    PubMed

    Schilirò, Matteo; Contino, Annalinda; Millesi, Salvatrice; Maccarrone, Giuseppe; Gulino, Antonino

    2016-09-01

    The design of molecular architectures able to transfer mass to each other is a field of extreme importance. In the present study it is shown that two especially designed covalently assembled nanostructures can interchange Cu(2+) ions upon an external OH(-) trigger. The obtained solid interfaces are of interest for signaling, communication, memory storage and optical devices. PMID:27470925

  3. Over 11% Efficiency in Tandem Polymer Solar Cells Featured by a Low-Band-Gap Polymer with Fine-Tuned Properties.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Zhong; Zhang, Shaoqing; Zhang, Jianqi; Qin, Yunpeng; Li, Wanning; Yu, Runnan; Wei, Zhixiang; Hou, Jianhui

    2016-07-01

    Highly efficient polymer solar cells with tandem structure are fabricated by using two excellent photovoltaic polymers and a highly transparent intermediate recombination layer. Power conversion efficiencies over 11% can be realized featured by a low-band-gap polymer with fine-tuned properties.

  4. Over 11% Efficiency in Tandem Polymer Solar Cells Featured by a Low-Band-Gap Polymer with Fine-Tuned Properties.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Zhong; Zhang, Shaoqing; Zhang, Jianqi; Qin, Yunpeng; Li, Wanning; Yu, Runnan; Wei, Zhixiang; Hou, Jianhui

    2016-07-01

    Highly efficient polymer solar cells with tandem structure are fabricated by using two excellent photovoltaic polymers and a highly transparent intermediate recombination layer. Power conversion efficiencies over 11% can be realized featured by a low-band-gap polymer with fine-tuned properties. PMID:27136384

  5. MicroRNA-15a fine-tunes the level of Delta-like 1 homolog (DLK1) in proliferating 3T3-L1 preadipocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Andersen, Ditte C.; Schneider, Mikael; Eskildsen, Tilde; Teisner, Borge; and others

    2010-06-10

    Delta like 1 homolog (Dlk1) exists in both transmembrane and soluble molecular forms, and is implicated in cellular growth and plays multiple roles in development, tissue regeneration, and cancer. Thus, DLK1 levels are critical for cell function, and abnormal DLK1 expression can be lethal; however, little is known about the underlying mechanisms. We here report that miR-15a modulates DLK1 levels in preadipocytes thus providing a mechanism for DLK1 regulation that further links it to cell cycle arrest and cancer since miR-15a is deregulated in these processes. In preadipocytes, miR-15a increases with cell density, and peaks at the same stage where membrane DLK1{sup M} and soluble DLK1{sup S} are found at maximum levels. Remarkably, miR-15a represses the amount of all Dlk1 variants at the mRNA level but also the level of DLK1{sup M} protein while it increases the amount of DLK1{sup S} supporting a direct repression of DLK1 and a parallel effect on the protease that cleaves off the DLK1 from the membrane. In agreement with previous studies, we found that miR-15a represses cell numbers, but additionally, we report that miR-15a also increases cell size. Conversely, anti-miR-15a treatment decreases cell size while increasing cell numbers, scenarios that were completely rescued by addition of purified DLK1{sup S}. Our data thus imply that miR-15a regulates cell size and proliferation by fine-tuning Dlk1 among others, and further emphasize miR-15a and DLK1 levels to play important roles in growth signaling networks.

  6. Composite bottlebrush mechanics: α-internexin fine-tunes neurofilament network properties.

    PubMed

    Kornreich, M; Malka-Gibor, E; Laser-Azogui, A; Doron, O; Herrmann, H; Beck, R

    2015-08-01

    Neuronal cytoplasmic intermediate filaments are principal structural and mechanical elements of the axon. Their expression during embryonic development follows a differential pattern, while their unregulated expression is correlated to neurodegenerative diseases. The largest neurofilament proteins of medium (NF-M) and high molecular weight (NF-H) were shown to modulate the axonal architecture and inter-filament spacing. However, the individual roles of the remaining α-internexin (α-Inx) and neurofilament of low molecular weight (NF-L) proteins in composite filaments remained elusive. In contrast to previous predictions, we show that when co-assembled with NF-M, the shortest and the least charged α-Inx protein increases inter-filament spacing. These findings suggest a novel structural explanation for the expression pattern of neurofilament proteins during embryonic development. We explain our results by an analysis of ionic cross-links between the disordered polyampholytic C-terminal tails and suggest that a collapsed conformation of the α-Inx tail domain interferes with tail cross-linking near the filament backbone.

  7. Rational design and evolutional fine tuning of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for biomass breakdown.

    PubMed

    Hasunuma, Tomohisa; Ishii, Jun; Kondo, Akihiko

    2015-12-01

    Conferring biomass hydrolysis activity on yeast through genetic engineering has paved the way for the development of groundbreaking processes for producing liquid fuels and commodity chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass. However, the overproduction and misfolding of heterologous and endogenous proteins can trigger cellular stress, increasing the metabolic burden and retarding growth. Improving the efficiency of lignocellulosic breakdown requires engineering of yeast secretory pathway based on system-wide metabolic analysis as well as DNA constructs for enhanced cellulase gene expression with advanced molecular biology tools. Also, yeast is subjected to severe stress due to toxic compounds generated during lignocellulose pretreatment in consolidated saccharification and fermentation processes. The prospect for development of robust yeast strains makes combining evolutionary and rational engineering strategies.

  8. Sequence variation between 462 human individuals fine-tunes functional sites of RNA processing.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Pedro G; Oti, Martin; Barann, Matthias; Wieland, Thomas; Ezquina, Suzana; Friedländer, Marc R; Rivas, Manuel A; Esteve-Codina, Anna; Rosenstiel, Philip; Strom, Tim M; Lappalainen, Tuuli; Guigó, Roderic; Sammeth, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in the cost-efficiency of sequencing technologies enabled the combined DNA- and RNA-sequencing of human individuals at the population-scale, making genome-wide investigations of the inter-individual genetic impact on gene expression viable. Employing mRNA-sequencing data from the Geuvadis Project and genome sequencing data from the 1000 Genomes Project we show that the computational analysis of DNA sequences around splice sites and poly-A signals is able to explain several observations in the phenotype data. In contrast to widespread assessments of statistically significant associations between DNA polymorphisms and quantitative traits, we developed a computational tool to pinpoint the molecular mechanisms by which genetic markers drive variation in RNA-processing, cataloguing and classifying alleles that change the affinity of core RNA elements to their recognizing factors. The in silico models we employ further suggest RNA editing can moonlight as a splicing-modulator, albeit less frequently than genomic sequence diversity. Beyond existing annotations, we demonstrate that the ultra-high resolution of RNA-Seq combined from 462 individuals also provides evidence for thousands of bona fide novel elements of RNA processing-alternative splice sites, introns, and cleavage sites-which are often rare and lowly expressed but in other characteristics similar to their annotated counterparts. PMID:27617755

  9. Chemokine interaction with synergy-inducing molecules: fine tuning modulation of cell trafficking

    PubMed Central

    Cecchinato, Valentina; D’Agostino, Gianluca; Raeli, Lorenzo; Uguccioni, Mariagrazia

    2016-01-01

    Directed migration and arrest of leukocytes during homeostasis, inflammation, and tumor development is mediated by the chemokine system, which governs leukocyte migration and activities. Although we understand well the effects of different chemokines one by one, much less was known about the potential consequences of the concomitant expression of multiple chemokines or of their interaction with inflammatory molecules on leukocyte migration and functions. In the past 10 yr, several studies revealed the existence of additional features of chemokines: they can antagonize chemokine receptors or synergize with other chemokines, also by forming heterocomplexes. Moreover, recent data show that not only chemokines but also the alarmin high-mobility group box 1 can for a complex with CXCL12, enhancing its potency on CXCR4. The molecular mechanism underlying the effect of the heterocomplex has been partially elucidated, whereas its structure is a matter of current investigations. The present review discusses the current knowledge and relevance of the functions of heterocomplexes formed between chemokines or between the chemokine CXCL12 and the alarmin high-mobility group box 1. These studies highlight the importance of taking into account, when approaching innovative therapies targeting the chemokine system, also the fact that some chemokines and molecules released in inflammation, can considerably affect the activity of chemokine receptor agonists. PMID:26715684

  10. Sequence variation between 462 human individuals fine-tunes functional sites of RNA processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2016-09-01

    Recent advances in the cost-efficiency of sequencing technologies enabled the combined DNA- and RNA-sequencing of human individuals at the population-scale, making genome-wide investigations of the inter-individual genetic impact on gene expression viable. Employing mRNA-sequencing data from the Geuvadis Project and genome sequencing data from the 1000 Genomes Project we show that the computational analysis of DNA sequences around splice sites and poly-A signals is able to explain several observations in the phenotype data. In contrast to widespread assessments of statistically significant associations between DNA polymorphisms and quantitative traits, we developed a computational tool to pinpoint the molecular mechanisms by which genetic markers drive variation in RNA-processing, cataloguing and classifying alleles that change the affinity of core RNA elements to their recognizing factors. The in silico models we employ further suggest RNA editing can moonlight as a splicing-modulator, albeit less frequently than genomic sequence diversity. Beyond existing annotations, we demonstrate that the ultra-high resolution of RNA-Seq combined from 462 individuals also provides evidence for thousands of bona fide novel elements of RNA processing—alternative splice sites, introns, and cleavage sites—which are often rare and lowly expressed but in other characteristics similar to their annotated counterparts.

  11. Sequence variation between 462 human individuals fine-tunes functional sites of RNA processing

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Pedro G.; Oti, Martin; Barann, Matthias; Wieland, Thomas; Ezquina, Suzana; Friedländer, Marc R.; Rivas, Manuel A.; Esteve-Codina, Anna; Estivill, Xavier; Guigó, Roderic; Dermitzakis, Emmanouil; Antonarakis, Stylianos; Meitinger, Thomas; Strom, Tim M; Palotie, Aarno; François Deleuze, Jean; Sudbrak, Ralf; Lerach, Hans; Gut, Ivo; Syvänen, Ann-Christine; Gyllensten, Ulf; Schreiber, Stefan; Rosenstiel, Philip; Brunner, Han; Veltman, Joris; Hoen, Peter A.C.T; Jan van Ommen, Gert; Carracedo, Angel; Brazma, Alvis; Flicek, Paul; Cambon-Thomsen, Anne; Mangion, Jonathan; Bentley, David; Hamosh, Ada; Rosenstiel, Philip; Strom, Tim M; Lappalainen, Tuuli; Guigó, Roderic; Sammeth, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in the cost-efficiency of sequencing technologies enabled the combined DNA- and RNA-sequencing of human individuals at the population-scale, making genome-wide investigations of the inter-individual genetic impact on gene expression viable. Employing mRNA-sequencing data from the Geuvadis Project and genome sequencing data from the 1000 Genomes Project we show that the computational analysis of DNA sequences around splice sites and poly-A signals is able to explain several observations in the phenotype data. In contrast to widespread assessments of statistically significant associations between DNA polymorphisms and quantitative traits, we developed a computational tool to pinpoint the molecular mechanisms by which genetic markers drive variation in RNA-processing, cataloguing and classifying alleles that change the affinity of core RNA elements to their recognizing factors. The in silico models we employ further suggest RNA editing can moonlight as a splicing-modulator, albeit less frequently than genomic sequence diversity. Beyond existing annotations, we demonstrate that the ultra-high resolution of RNA-Seq combined from 462 individuals also provides evidence for thousands of bona fide novel elements of RNA processing—alternative splice sites, introns, and cleavage sites—which are often rare and lowly expressed but in other characteristics similar to their annotated counterparts. PMID:27617755

  12. Fine-tuning the space, time, and host distribution of mycobacteria in wildlife

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    molecular typing for surveys at small spatial and temporal scales. PMID:21288321

  13. Fnr (EtrA) acts as a fine-tuning regulator of anaerobic metabolism in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1

    SciTech Connect

    Cruz-Garza, Claribel; Murray, Alison E.; Rodrigues, Jorge L.M.; Gralnick, Jeffrey A.; McCue, Lee Ann; Romine, Margaret F.; Loffler, F. E.; Tiedje, James M.

    2011-03-30

    EtrA in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, a model organism for study of adaptation to varied redox niches, shares 73.6% and 50.8% amino acid sequence identity with the oxygen-sensing regulators Fnr in E. coli and Anr in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, respectively; however, its regulatory role of anaerobic metabolism in Shewanella spp. is not well understood. The expression of the nap genes, nrfA, cymA and hcp was significantly reduced in etrA deletion mutant EtrA7-1; however, limited anaerobic growth and nitrate reduction occurred, suggesting that multiple regulators control nitrate reduction in this strain. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and fumarate reductase gene expression was down regulated at least 2-fold and the EtrA7-1 mutant grew poorly with fumarate and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), suggesting both respiratory pathways are under EtrA control. Transcript analysis further suggested a role of EtrA in prophage activation and down regulation of genes implicated in aerobic metabolism. In contrast to previous studies that attributed a minor regulatory role to EtrA in Shewanella spp., this study demonstrates that EtrA acts as a global transcriptional regulator and confers physiological advantages to strain MR-1 under certain growth conditions. In conjunction with other regulators, EtrA fine-tunes the expression of genes involved in anaerobic metabolism in S. oneidensis strain MR-1.

  14. 5-Azacytidine-induced protein 2 (AZI2) regulates bone mass by fine-tuning osteoclast survival.

    PubMed

    Maruyama, Kenta; Fukasaka, Masahiro; Uematsu, Satoshi; Takeuchi, Osamu; Kondo, Takeshi; Saitoh, Tatsuya; Martino, Mikaël M; Akira, Shizuo

    2015-04-10

    5-Azacytidine-induced protein 2 (AZI2) is a TNF receptor (TNFR)-associated factor family member-associated NF-κB activator-binding kinase 1-binding protein that regulates the production of IFNs. A previous in vitro study showed that AZI2 is involved in dendritic cell differentiation. However, the roles of AZI2 in immunity and its pleiotropic functions are unknown in vivo. Here we report that AZI2 knock-out mice exhibit normal dendritic cell differentiation in vivo. However, we found that adult AZI2 knock-out mice have severe osteoporosis due to increased osteoclast longevity. We revealed that the higher longevity of AZI2-deficient osteoclasts is due to an augmented activation of proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase Src (c-Src), which is a critical player in osteoclast survival. We found that AZI2 inhibits c-Src activity by regulating the activation of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), a chaperone involved in c-Src dephosphorylation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that AZI2 indirectly inhibits c-Src by interacting with the Hsp90 co-chaperone Cdc37. Strikingly, administration of a c-Src inhibitor markedly prevented bone loss in AZI2 knock-out mice. Together, these findings indicate that AZI2 regulates bone mass by fine-tuning osteoclast survival.

  15. The crystal structure of the global anaerobic transcriptional regulator FNR explains its extremely fine-tuned monomer-dimer equilibrium

    PubMed Central

    Volbeda, Anne; Darnault, Claudine; Renoux, Oriane; Nicolet, Yvain; Fontecilla-Camps, Juan C.

    2015-01-01

    The structure of the dimeric holo–fumarate and nitrate reduction regulator (FNR) from Aliivibrio fischeri has been solved at 2.65 Å resolution. FNR globally controls the transition between anaerobic and aerobic respiration in facultative anaerobes through the assembly/degradation of its oxygen-sensitive [4Fe-4S] cluster. In the absence of O2, FNR forms a dimer and specifically binds to DNA, whereas in its presence, the cluster is degraded causing FNR monomerization and DNA dissociation. We have used our crystal structure and the information previously gathered from numerous FNR variants to propose that this process is governed by extremely fine-tuned interactions, mediated by two salt bridges near the amino-terminal cluster-binding domain and an “imperfect” coiled-coil dimer interface. [4Fe-4S] to [2Fe-2S] cluster degradation propagates a conformational signal that indirectly causes monomerization by disrupting the first of these interactions and unleashing the “unzipping” of the FNR dimer in the direction of the carboxyl-terminal DNA binding domain. PMID:26665177

  16. The crystal structure of the global anaerobic transcriptional regulator FNR explains its extremely fine-tuned monomer-dimer equilibrium.

    PubMed

    Volbeda, Anne; Darnault, Claudine; Renoux, Oriane; Nicolet, Yvain; Fontecilla-Camps, Juan C

    2015-12-01

    The structure of the dimeric holo-fumarate and nitrate reduction regulator (FNR) from Aliivibrio fischeri has been solved at 2.65 Å resolution. FNR globally controls the transition between anaerobic and aerobic respiration in facultative anaerobes through the assembly/degradation of its oxygen-sensitive [4Fe-4S] cluster. In the absence of O2, FNR forms a dimer and specifically binds to DNA, whereas in its presence, the cluster is degraded causing FNR monomerization and DNA dissociation. We have used our crystal structure and the information previously gathered from numerous FNR variants to propose that this process is governed by extremely fine-tuned interactions, mediated by two salt bridges near the amino-terminal cluster-binding domain and an "imperfect" coiled-coil dimer interface. [4Fe-4S] to [2Fe-2S] cluster degradation propagates a conformational signal that indirectly causes monomerization by disrupting the first of these interactions and unleashing the "unzipping" of the FNR dimer in the direction of the carboxyl-terminal DNA binding domain. PMID:26665177

  17. Fine tuning of the pH-sensitivity of laponite-doxorubicin nanohybrids by polyelectrolyte multilayer coating.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Shili; Castro, Rita; Maciel, Dina; Gonçalves, Mara; Shi, Xiangyang; Rodrigues, João; Tomás, Helena

    2016-03-01

    Despite the wide research done in the field, the development of advanced drug delivery systems with improved drug delivery properties and effective anticancer capability still remains a great challenge. Based on previous work that showed the potentialities of the nanoclay Laponite as a pH-sensitive doxorubicin (Dox) delivery vehicle, herein we report a simple method to modulate its extent of drug release at different pH values. This was achieved by alternate deposition of cationic poly(allylamine) hydrochloride and anionic poly(sodium styrene sulfonate) (PAH/PSS) polyelectrolytes over the surface of Dox-loaded Laponite nanoparticles using the electrostatic layer-by-layer (LbL) self-assembly approach. The successful formation of polyelectrolyte multilayer-coated Dox/Laponite systems was confirmed by Dynamic Light Scattering and zeta potential measurements. Systematic studies were performed to evaluate their drug release profiles and anticancer efficiency. Our results showed that the presence of the polyelectrolyte multilayers improved the sustained release properties of Laponite and allowed a fine tuning of the extension of drug release at neutral and acidic pH values. The cytotoxicity presented by polyelectrolyte multilayer-coated Dox/Laponite systems towards MCF-7 cells was in accordance with the drug delivery profiles. Furthermore, cellular uptake studies revealed that polyelectrolyte multilayer-coated Dox/Laponite nanoparticles can be effectively internalized by cells conducting to Dox accumulation in cell nucleus. PMID:26706540

  18. Binary Superlattices from {Mo132} Polyoxometalates and Maghemite Nanocrystals: Long-Range Ordering and Fine-Tuning of Dipole Interactions.

    PubMed

    Breitwieser, Romain; Auvray, Thomas; Volatron, Florence; Salzemann, Caroline; Ngo, Anh-Tu; Albouy, Pierre-Antoine; Proust, Anna; Petit, Christophe

    2016-01-13

    In the present article, the successful coassembly of spherical 6.2 nm maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) nanocrystals and giant polyoxometalates (POMs) such as 2.9 nm {Mo132} is demonstrated. To do so, colloidal solutions of oleic acid-capped γ-Fe2O3 and long-chain alkylammonium-encapsulated {Mo132 } dispersed in chloroform are mixed together and supported self-organized binary superlattices are obtained upon the solvent evaporation on immersed substrates. Both electronic microscopy and small angles X-ray scattering data reveal an AB-type structure and an enhanced structuration of the magnetic nanocrystals (MNCs) assembly with POMs in octahedral interstices. Therefore, {Mo132} acts as an efficient binder constituent for improving the nanocrystals ordering in 3D films. Interestingly, in the case of didodecyldimethylammonium (C12)-encapsulated POMs, the long-range ordered binary assemblies are obtained while preserving the nanocrystals magnetic properties due to weak POMs-MNCs interactions. On the other hand, POMs of larger effective diameter can be employed as spacer blocks for MNCs as shown by using {Mo132} capped with dioctadecyldimethylammonium (C18) displaying longer chains. In that case, it is shown that POMs can also be used for fine-tuning the dipolar interactions in γ-Fe2O3 nanocrystal assemblies. PMID:26578032

  19. Large-Scale Phenomics Identifies Primary and Fine-Tuning Roles for CRKs in Responses Related to Oxidative Stress

    PubMed Central

    Rayapuram, Channabasavangowda; Idänheimo, Niina; Hunter, Kerri; Kimura, Sachie; Merilo, Ebe; Vaattovaara, Aleksia; Oracz, Krystyna; Kaufholdt, David; Pallon, Andres; Anggoro, Damar Tri; Glów, Dawid; Lowe, Jennifer; Zhou, Ji; Mohammadi, Omid; Puukko, Tuomas; Albert, Andreas; Lang, Hans; Ernst, Dieter; Kollist, Hannes; Brosché, Mikael; Durner, Jörg; Borst, Jan Willem; Collinge, David B.; Karpiński, Stanisław; Lyngkjær, Michael F.; Robatzek, Silke; Wrzaczek, Michael; Kangasjärvi, Jaakko

    2015-01-01

    Cysteine-rich receptor-like kinases (CRKs) are transmembrane proteins characterized by the presence of two domains of unknown function 26 (DUF26) in their ectodomain. The CRKs form one of the largest groups of receptor-like protein kinases in plants, but their biological functions have so far remained largely uncharacterized. We conducted a large-scale phenotyping approach of a nearly complete crk T-DNA insertion line collection showing that CRKs control important aspects of plant development and stress adaptation in response to biotic and abiotic stimuli in a non-redundant fashion. In particular, the analysis of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-related stress responses, such as regulation of the stomatal aperture, suggests that CRKs participate in ROS/redox signalling and sensing. CRKs play general and fine-tuning roles in the regulation of stomatal closure induced by microbial and abiotic cues. Despite their great number and high similarity, large-scale phenotyping identified specific functions in diverse processes for many CRKs and indicated that CRK2 and CRK5 play predominant roles in growth regulation and stress adaptation, respectively. As a whole, the CRKs contribute to specificity in ROS signalling. Individual CRKs control distinct responses in an antagonistic fashion suggesting future potential for using CRKs in genetic approaches to improve plant performance and stress tolerance. PMID:26197346

  20. 5-Azacytidine-induced Protein 2 (AZI2) Regulates Bone Mass by Fine-tuning Osteoclast Survival*

    PubMed Central

    Maruyama, Kenta; Fukasaka, Masahiro; Uematsu, Satoshi; Takeuchi, Osamu; Kondo, Takeshi; Saitoh, Tatsuya; Martino, Mikaël M.; Akira, Shizuo

    2015-01-01

    5-Azacytidine-induced protein 2 (AZI2) is a TNF receptor (TNFR)-associated factor family member-associated NF-κB activator-binding kinase 1-binding protein that regulates the production of IFNs. A previous in vitro study showed that AZI2 is involved in dendritic cell differentiation. However, the roles of AZI2 in immunity and its pleiotropic functions are unknown in vivo. Here we report that AZI2 knock-out mice exhibit normal dendritic cell differentiation in vivo. However, we found that adult AZI2 knock-out mice have severe osteoporosis due to increased osteoclast longevity. We revealed that the higher longevity of AZI2-deficient osteoclasts is due to an augmented activation of proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase Src (c-Src), which is a critical player in osteoclast survival. We found that AZI2 inhibits c-Src activity by regulating the activation of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), a chaperone involved in c-Src dephosphorylation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that AZI2 indirectly inhibits c-Src by interacting with the Hsp90 co-chaperone Cdc37. Strikingly, administration of a c-Src inhibitor markedly prevented bone loss in AZI2 knock-out mice. Together, these findings indicate that AZI2 regulates bone mass by fine-tuning osteoclast survival. PMID:25691576

  1. Resistin reinforces interferon λ-3 to eliminate hepatitis C virus with fine-tuning from RETN single-nucleotide polymorphisms

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Ming-Ling; Liang, Kung-Hao; Ku, Cheng-Lung; Lo, Chia-Chi; Cheng, Ya-Ting; Hsu, Chen-Ming; Yeh, Chau-Ting; Chiu, Cheng-Tang

    2016-01-01

    The effect of resistin (RETN) on the response to anti-HCV therapy remains unclear. A prospective cohort study was performed using 655 consecutive HCV patients, of whom 513 had completed a course of interferon-based therapy. Multivariate and GEE analyses revealed four RETN single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs34861192, rs3219175, rs3745367 and rs1423096, to be synergistically associated with resistin levels. After adjusting for co-factors such as interferon λ-3 (IFNL3)-rs12979860, the resistin level and the hyper-resistinemic genotype at the 4 RETN SNPs were positively and negatively associated with a sustained virological response (SVR), respectively. RETN-rs3745367 was in linkage disequilibrium with IFNL3-rs12979860. Compared to non-SVR patients, SVR patients had higher levels of pre-therapy resistin, primarily originating from intrahepatic lymphocytes, stellate cells, Kupffer cells, hepatic progenitor cells and hepatocytes. This difference diminished over the course of therapy, as only SVR patients exhibited a 24-week post-therapy decrease in resistin. Both resistin and IFNL3 mRNAs were upregulated, but only resistin mRNA was upregulated by recombinant resistin in peripheral blood mononuclear cells with and without hyper-resistinemic genotypes of the 4 RETN SNPs, respectively. Fine-tuned by RETN SNPs, intrahepatic, multi-cellular resistin reinforced IFNL3 in eliminating HCV via immunomodulation to counteract pro-inflammation. These results encourage the development of novel resistin-targeted anti-viral agents. PMID:27477870

  2. Photocatalytic Deposition of Hydroxyapatite onto a Titanium Dioxide Nanotubular Layer with Fine Tuning of Layer Nanoarchitecture.

    PubMed

    Ulasevich, Sviatlana A; Poznyak, Sergey K; Kulak, Anatoly I; Lisenkov, Aleksey D; Starykevich, Maksim; Skorb, Ekaterina V

    2016-04-26

    A new effective method of photocatalytic deposition of hydroxyapatite (HA) onto semiconductor substrates is proposed. A highly ordered nanotubular TiO2 (TNT) layer formed on titanium via its anodization is chosen as the photoactive substrate. The method is based on photodecomposition of the phosphate anion precursor, triethylphosphate (TEP), on the semiconductor surface with the following reaction of formed phosphate anions with calcium cations presented in the solution. HA can be deposited only on irradiated areas, providing the possibility of photoresist-free HA patterning. It is shown that HA deposition can be controlled via pH, light intensity, and duration of the process. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy profile analysis and glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy of HA-modified TNT prove that HA deposits over the entire TNT depth. High biocompatibility of the surfaces is proven by protein adsorption and pre-osteoblast cell growth. PMID:26991479

  3. Fine tuning of PPAR ligands for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Ramachandran, Uma; Kumar, Rakesh; Mittal, Amit

    2006-05-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is highly prevalent chronic disease. Recently, many biological targets are discovered for treatment of this disease. The identification of the nuclear hormone receptor peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPAR) and their subtypes alpha, gamma and delta or beta as targets for controlling lipid, glucose and energy homeostasis has proved to be exciting. As hyperlipidaemia, obesity and insulin resistance are independent risk factors for coronary heart disease and macrovascular complications of diabetes; new agents that increase insulin sensitivity as well as decrease hyperlipidaemia by distinct yet complementary mechanism are being studied as they may provide improved therapy for T2DM and related disorders. In this article, we review highly potent PPARgamma agonists, PPARalpha/gamma dual agonists, PPAR pan agonists, alternative PPAR ligands like partial agonists or selective PPAR modulators (SPPARMs) and antagonists from a chemist point of view. PMID:16719831

  4. Molecular vibrational energy flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gruebele, M.; Bigwood, R.

    This article reviews some recent work in molecular vibrational energy flow (IVR), with emphasis on our own computational and experimental studies. We consider the problem in various representations, and use these to develop a family of simple models which combine specific molecular properties (e.g. size, vibrational frequencies) with statistical properties of the potential energy surface and wavefunctions. This marriage of molecular detail and statistical simplification captures trends of IVR mechanisms and survival probabilities beyond the abilities of purely statistical models or the computational limitations of full ab initio approaches. Of particular interest is IVR in the intermediate time regime, where heavy-atom skeletal modes take over the IVR process from hydrogenic motions even upon X H bond excitation. Experiments and calculations on prototype heavy-atom systems show that intermediate time IVR differs in many aspects from the early stages of hydrogenic mode IVR. As a result, IVR can be coherently frozen, with potential applications to selective chemistry.

  5. Au@Ag Core-Shell Nanocubes with Finely Tuned and Well-Controlled Sizes, Shell Thicknesses, and Optical Properties

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Yanyun; Li, Weiyang; Cho, Eun Chul; Li, Zhiyuan; Yu, Taekyung; Zeng, Jie; Xie, Zhaoxiong; Xia, Younan

    2010-01-01

    This paper describes a facile method for generating Au@Ag core-shell nanocubes with edge lengths controllable in the range of 13.4 to 50 nm. The synthesis involved the use of single-crystal, spherical Au nanocrystals of 11 nm in size as the seeds in an aqueous system, with ascorbic acid serving as the reductant and cetyltrimethylammonium chloride (CTAC) as the capping agent. The thickness of the Ag shells could be finely tuned from 1.2 to 20 nm by varying the ratio of AgNO3 precursor to Au seeds. We also investigated the growth mechanism by examining the effects of seeds (capped by CTAC or CTAB) and capping agent (CTAC vs. CTAB) on both size and shape of the resultant core-shell nanocrystals. Our results clearly indicate that CTAC worked much better than CTAB as a capping agent in both the syntheses of Au seeds and Au@Ag core-shell nanocubes. We further studied the localized surface plasmon resonance properties of the Au@Ag nanocubes as a function of the Ag shell thickness. By comparing with the extinction spectra obtained from theoretical calculations, we derived a critical value around 3 nm for the shell thickness at which the plasmon excitation of the Au cores would be completely screened by the Ag shells. Moreover, these Au@Ag core-shell nanocubes could be converted into Au-based hollow nanostructures containing the original Au seeds in the interiors through a galvanic replacement reaction. PMID:20964400

  6. High Performance All-Polymer Solar Cells by Synergistic Effects of Fine-Tuned Crystallinity and Solvent Annealing.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhaojun; Xu, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Wei; Meng, Xiangyi; Ma, Wei; Yartsev, Arkady; Inganäs, Olle; Andersson, Mats R; Janssen, René A J; Wang, Ergang

    2016-08-31

    Growing interests have been devoted to the design of polymer acceptors as potential replacement for fullerene derivatives for high-performance all polymer solar cells (all-PSCs). One key factor that is limiting the efficiency of all-PSCs is the low fill factor (FF) (normally <0.65), which is strongly correlated with the mobility and film morphology of polymer:polymer blends. In this work, we find a facile method to modulate the crystallinity of the well-known naphthalene diimide (NDI) based polymer N2200, by replacing a certain amount of bithiophene (2T) units in the N2200 backbone by single thiophene (T) units and synthesizing a series of random polymers PNDI-Tx, where x is the percentage of the single T. The acceptor PNDI-T10 is properly miscible with the low band gap donor polymer PTB7-Th, and the nanostructured blend promotes efficient exciton dissociation and charge transport. Solvent annealing (SA) enables higher hole and electron mobilities, and further suppresses the bimolecular recombination. As expected, the PTB7-Th:PNDI-T10 solar cells attain a high PCE of 7.6%, which is a 2-fold increase compared to that of PTB7-Th:N2200 solar cells. The FF of 0.71 reaches the highest value among all-PSCs to date. Our work demonstrates a rational design for fine-tuned crystallinity of polymer acceptors, and reveals the high potential of all-PSCs through structure and morphology engineering of semicrystalline polymer:polymer blends. PMID:27479751

  7. Tomato yield heterosis is triggered by a dosage sensitivity of the florigen pathway that fine-tunes shoot architecture.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Ke; Liberatore, Katie L; Park, Soon Ju; Alvarez, John P; Lippman, Zachary B

    2013-01-01

    The superiority of hybrids has long been exploited in agriculture, and although many models explaining "heterosis" have been put forth, direct empirical support is limited. Particularly elusive have been cases of heterozygosity for single gene mutations causing heterosis under a genetic model known as overdominance. In tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), plants carrying mutations in SINGLE FLOWER TRUSS (SFT) encoding the flowering hormone florigen are severely delayed in flowering, become extremely large, and produce few flowers and fruits, but when heterozygous, yields are dramatically increased. Curiously, this overdominance is evident only in the background of "determinate" plants, in which the continuous production of side shoots and inflorescences gradually halts due to a defect in the flowering repressor SELF PRUNING (SP). How sp facilitates sft overdominance is unclear, but is thought to relate to the opposing functions these genes have on flowering time and shoot architecture. We show that sft mutant heterozygosity (sft/+) causes weak semi-dominant delays in flowering of both primary and side shoots. Using transcriptome sequencing of shoot meristems, we demonstrate that this delay begins before seedling meristems become reproductive, followed by delays in subsequent side shoot meristems that, in turn, postpone the arrest of shoot and inflorescence production. Reducing SFT levels in sp plants by artificial microRNAs recapitulates the dose-dependent modification of shoot and inflorescence production of sft/+ heterozygotes, confirming that fine-tuning levels of functional SFT transcripts provides a foundation for higher yields. Finally, we show that although flowering delays by florigen mutant heterozygosity are conserved in Arabidopsis, increased yield is not, likely because cyclical flowering is absent. We suggest sft heterozygosity triggers a yield improvement by optimizing plant architecture via its dosage response in the florigen pathway. Exploiting dosage

  8. High Performance All-Polymer Solar Cells by Synergistic Effects of Fine-Tuned Crystallinity and Solvent Annealing.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhaojun; Xu, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Wei; Meng, Xiangyi; Ma, Wei; Yartsev, Arkady; Inganäs, Olle; Andersson, Mats R; Janssen, René A J; Wang, Ergang

    2016-08-31

    Growing interests have been devoted to the design of polymer acceptors as potential replacement for fullerene derivatives for high-performance all polymer solar cells (all-PSCs). One key factor that is limiting the efficiency of all-PSCs is the low fill factor (FF) (normally <0.65), which is strongly correlated with the mobility and film morphology of polymer:polymer blends. In this work, we find a facile method to modulate the crystallinity of the well-known naphthalene diimide (NDI) based polymer N2200, by replacing a certain amount of bithiophene (2T) units in the N2200 backbone by single thiophene (T) units and synthesizing a series of random polymers PNDI-Tx, where x is the percentage of the single T. The acceptor PNDI-T10 is properly miscible with the low band gap donor polymer PTB7-Th, and the nanostructured blend promotes efficient exciton dissociation and charge transport. Solvent annealing (SA) enables higher hole and electron mobilities, and further suppresses the bimolecular recombination. As expected, the PTB7-Th:PNDI-T10 solar cells attain a high PCE of 7.6%, which is a 2-fold increase compared to that of PTB7-Th:N2200 solar cells. The FF of 0.71 reaches the highest value among all-PSCs to date. Our work demonstrates a rational design for fine-tuned crystallinity of polymer acceptors, and reveals the high potential of all-PSCs through structure and morphology engineering of semicrystalline polymer:polymer blends.

  9. Fine-Tuning of the Cpx Envelope Stress Response Is Required for Cell Wall Homeostasis in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Delhaye, Antoine; Collet, Jean-François

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The envelope of Gram-negative bacteria is an essential compartment that constitutes a protective and permeability barrier between the cell and its environment. The envelope also hosts the cell wall, a mesh-like structure made of peptidoglycan (PG) that determines cell shape and provides osmotic protection. Since the PG must grow and divide in a cell-cycle-synchronized manner, its synthesis and remodeling are tightly regulated. Here, we discovered that PG homeostasis is intimately linked to the levels of activation of the Cpx system, an envelope stress response system traditionally viewed as being involved in protein quality control in the envelope. We first show that Cpx is activated when PG integrity is challenged and that this activation provides protection to cells exposed to antibiotics inhibiting PG synthesis. By rerouting the outer membrane lipoprotein NlpE, a known Cpx activator, to a different envelope subcompartment, we managed to manipulate Cpx activation levels. We found that Cpx overactivation leads to aberrant cellular morphologies, to an increased sensitivity to β-lactams, and to dramatic division and growth defects, consistent with a loss of PG homeostasis. Remarkably, these phenotypes were largely abrogated by the deletion of ldtD, a Cpx-induced gene involved in noncanonical PG cross-linkage, suggesting that this transpeptidase is an important link between PG homeostasis and the Cpx system. Altogether our data show that fine-tuning of an envelope quality control system constitutes an important layer of regulation of the highly organized cell wall structure. PMID:26908573

  10. Next-to-minimal supersymmetric model solution to the fine-tuning problem, precision electroweak constraints, and the largest CERN LEP Higgs event excess

    SciTech Connect

    Dermisek, Radovan; Gunion, John F.

    2007-11-01

    We present an extended study of how the next-to-minimal supersymmetric model easily avoids fine-tuning in electroweak symmetry breaking for a SM-like light Higgs with mass in the vicinity of 100 GeV, as beautifully consistent with precision electroweak data, while escaping LEP constraints due to the dominance of h{yields}aa decays with m{sub a}<2m{sub b} so that a{yields}{tau}{sup +}{tau}{sup -} or jets. The residual {approx}10% branching ratio for h{yields}bb explains perfectly the well-known LEP excess at m{sub h}{approx}100 GeV. Details of model parameter correlations and requirements are discussed as a function tan{beta}. Comparisons of fine-tuning in the NMSSM to that in the MSSM are presented. We also discuss fine-tuning associated with scenarios in which the a is essentially pure singlet, has mass m{sub a}>30 GeV, and decays primarily to {gamma}{gamma} leading to an h{yields}aa{yields}4{gamma} Higgs signal.

  11. Optimization by Molecular Fine Tuning of Dihydro-β-agarofuran Sesquiterpenoids as Reversers of P-Glycoprotein-Mediated Multidrug Resistance.

    PubMed

    Callies, Oliver; Sánchez-Cañete, María P; Gamarro, Francisco; Jiménez, Ignacio A; Castanys, Santiago; Bazzocchi, Isabel L

    2016-03-10

    P-glycoprotein (P-gp) plays a crucial role in the development of multidrug resistance (MDR), a major obstacle for successful chemotherapy in cancer. Herein, we report on the development of a natural-product-based library of 81 dihydro-β-agarofuran sesquiterpenes (2-82) by optimization of the lead compound 1. The compound library was evaluated for its ability to inhibit P-gp-mediated daunomycin efflux in MDR cells. Selected analogues were further analyzed for their P-gp inhibition constant, intrinsic toxicity, and potency to reverse daunomycin and vinblastine resistances. Analogues 6, 24, 28, 59, and 66 were identified as having higher potency than compound 1 and verapamil, a first-generation P-gp modulator. SAR analysis revealed the size of the aliphatic chains and presence of nitrogen atoms are important structural characteristics to modulate reversal activity. The present study highlights the potential of these analogues as modulators of P-gp mediated MDR in cancer cells.

  12. Optimization by Molecular Fine Tuning of Dihydro-β-agarofuran Sesquiterpenoids as Reversers of P-Glycoprotein-Mediated Multidrug Resistance.

    PubMed

    Callies, Oliver; Sánchez-Cañete, María P; Gamarro, Francisco; Jiménez, Ignacio A; Castanys, Santiago; Bazzocchi, Isabel L

    2016-03-10

    P-glycoprotein (P-gp) plays a crucial role in the development of multidrug resistance (MDR), a major obstacle for successful chemotherapy in cancer. Herein, we report on the development of a natural-product-based library of 81 dihydro-β-agarofuran sesquiterpenes (2-82) by optimization of the lead compound 1. The compound library was evaluated for its ability to inhibit P-gp-mediated daunomycin efflux in MDR cells. Selected analogues were further analyzed for their P-gp inhibition constant, intrinsic toxicity, and potency to reverse daunomycin and vinblastine resistances. Analogues 6, 24, 28, 59, and 66 were identified as having higher potency than compound 1 and verapamil, a first-generation P-gp modulator. SAR analysis revealed the size of the aliphatic chains and presence of nitrogen atoms are important structural characteristics to modulate reversal activity. The present study highlights the potential of these analogues as modulators of P-gp mediated MDR in cancer cells. PMID:26836364

  13. Enhancing Mn(II)-Binding and Manganese Peroxidase Activity in a Designed Cytochrome c Peroxidase through Fine-Tuning Secondary-Sphere Interactions.

    PubMed

    Hosseinzadeh, Parisa; Mirts, Evan N; Pfister, Thomas D; Gao, Yi-Gui; Mayne, Christopher; Robinson, Howard; Tajkhorshid, Emad; Lu, Yi

    2016-03-15

    Noncovalent second-shell interactions are important in controlling metal-binding affinity and activity in metalloenzymes, but fine-tuning these interactions in designed metalloenzymes has not been fully explored. As a result, most designed metalloenzymes have low metal-binding affinity and activity. Here we identified three mutations in the second coordination shell of an engineered Mn(II)-binding site in cytochrome c peroxidase (called MnCcP.1, containing Glu45, Glu37, and Glu181 ligands) that mimics the native manganese peroxidase (MnP), and explored their effects on both Mn(II)-binding affinity and MnP activity. First, removing a hydrogen bond to Glu45 through Tyr36Phe mutation enhanced Mn(II)-binding affinity, as evidenced by a 2.8-fold decrease in the KM of Mn(II) oxidation. Second, introducing a salt bridge through Lys179Arg mutation improved Glu35 and Glu181 coordination to Mn(II), decreasing KM 2.6-fold. Third, eliminating a steric clash that prevented Glu37 from orienting toward Mn(II) resulted in an 8.6-fold increase in kcat/KM, arising primarily from a 3.6-fold decrease in KM, with a KM value comparable to that of the native enzyme (0.28 mM vs 0.19 mM for Pleurotus eryngii MnP PS3). We further demonstrated that while the effects of Tyr36Phe and Lys179Arg mutations are additive, because involved in secondary-shell interactions to different ligands, other combinations of mutations were antagonistic because they act on different aspects of the Mn(II) coordination at the same residues. Finally, we showed that these MnCcP variants are functional models of MnP that mimic its activity in both Mn(II) oxidation and degradation of a phenolic lignin model compound and kraft lignin. In addition to achieving KM in a designed protein that is similar to the that of native enzyme, our results offer molecular insight into the role of noncovalent interactions around metal-binding sites for improving metal binding and overall activity; such insight can be applied to

  14. Experimental Profiling of a Non-truncated Focused Gaussian Beam and Fine-tuning of the Quadratic Phase in the Fresnel Gaussian Shape Invariant

    SciTech Connect

    S., Juan Manuel Franco; Cywiak, Moises; Cywiak, David; Mourad, Idir

    2015-06-24

    A homodyne profiler is used for recording the intensity distribution of focused non-truncated Gaussian beams. The spatial distributions are obtained at planes in the vicinity of the back-focal plane of a focusing lens placed at different distances from a He–Ne laser beam with a Gaussian intensity profile. Comparisons of the experimental data with those obtained from the analytical equations for an ideal focusing lens allow us to propose formulae to fine-tune the quadratic term in the Fresnel Gaussian shape invariant at each interface of the propagated field. Furthermore, we give analytical expressions to calculate adequately the propagation of the field through an optical system.

  15. A survey of factors contributing to accurate theoretical predictions of atomization energies and molecular structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feller, David; Peterson, Kirk A.; Dixon, David A.

    2008-11-01

    High level electronic structure predictions of thermochemical properties and molecular structure are capable of accuracy rivaling the very best experimental measurements as a result of rapid advances in hardware, software, and methodology. Despite the progress, real world limitations require practical approaches designed for handling general chemical systems that rely on composite strategies in which a single, intractable calculation is replaced by a series of smaller calculations. As typically implemented, these approaches produce a final, or "best," estimate that is constructed from one major component, fine-tuned by multiple corrections that are assumed to be additive. Though individually much smaller than the original, unmanageable computational problem, these corrections are nonetheless extremely costly. This study presents a survey of the widely varying magnitude of the most important components contributing to the atomization energies and structures of 106 small molecules. It combines large Gaussian basis sets and coupled cluster theory up to quadruple excitations for all systems. In selected cases, the effects of quintuple excitations and/or full configuration interaction were also considered. The availability of reliable experimental data for most of the molecules permits an expanded statistical analysis of the accuracy of the approach. In cases where reliable experimental information is currently unavailable, the present results are expected to provide some of the most accurate benchmark values available.

  16. Fine Tuning of Redox Networks on Multiheme Cytochromes from Geobacter sulfurreducens Drives Physiological Electron/Proton Energy Transduction

    PubMed Central

    Morgado, Leonor; Dantas, Joana M.; Bruix, Marta; Londer, Yuri Y.; Salgueiro, Carlos A.

    2012-01-01

    The bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens (Gs) can grow in the presence of extracellular terminal acceptors, a property that is currently explored to harvest electricity from aquatic sediments and waste organic matter into microbial fuel cells. A family composed of five triheme cytochromes (PpcA-E) was identified in Gs. These cytochromes play a crucial role by bridging the electron transfer from oxidation of cytoplasmic donors to the cell exterior and assisting the reduction of extracellular terminal acceptors. The detailed thermodynamic characterization of such proteins showed that PpcA and PpcD have an important redox-Bohr effect that might implicate these proteins in the e−/H+ coupling mechanisms to sustain cellular growth. The physiological relevance of the redox-Bohr effect in these proteins was studied by determining the fractional contribution of each individual redox-microstate at different pH values. For both proteins, oxidation progresses from a particular protonated microstate to a particular deprotonated one, over specific pH ranges. The preferred e−/H+ transfer pathway established by the selected microstates indicates that both proteins are functionally designed to couple e−/H+ transfer at the physiological pH range for cellular growth. PMID:22899897

  17. Fine Tuning of Tissues' Viscosity and Surface Tension through Contractility Suggests a New Role for α-Catenin

    PubMed Central

    Stirbat, Tomita Vasilica; Mgharbel, Abbas; Bodennec, Selena; Ferri, Karine; Mertani, Hichem C.; Rieu, Jean-Paul; Delanoë-Ayari, Hélène

    2013-01-01

    What governs tissue organization and movement? If molecular and genetic approaches are able to give some answers on these issues, more and more works are now giving a real importance to mechanics as a key component eventually triggering further signaling events. We chose embryonic cell aggregates as model systems for tissue organization and movement in order to investigate the origin of some mechanical constraints arising from cells organization. Steinberg et al. proposed a long time ago an analogy between liquids and tissues and showed that indeed tissues possess a measurable tissue surface tension and viscosity. We question here the molecular origin of these parameters and give a quantitative measurement of adhesion versus contractility in the framework of the differential interfacial tension hypothesis. Accompanying surface tension measurements by angle measurements (at vertexes of cell-cell contacts) at the cell/medium interface, we are able to extract the full parameters of this model: cortical tensions and adhesion energy. We show that a tunable surface tension and viscosity can be achieved easily through the control of cell-cell contractility compared to cell-medium one. Moreover we show that -catenin is crucial for this regulation to occur: these molecules appear as a catalyser for the remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton underneath cell-cell contact, enabling a differential contractility between the cell-medium and cell-cell interface to take place. PMID:23390488

  18. Making oxidation potentials predictable: coordination of additives applied to the electronic fine tuning of an iron(II) complex.

    PubMed

    Haslinger, Stefan; Kück, Jens W; Hahn, Eva M; Cokoja, Mirza; Pöthig, Alexander; Basset, Jean-Marie; Kühn, Fritz E

    2014-11-01

    This work examines the impact of axially coordinating additives on the electronic structure of a bioinspired octahedral low-spin iron(II) N-heterocyclic carbene (Fe-NHC) complex. Bearing two labile trans-acetonitrile ligands, the Fe-NHC complex, which is also an excellent oxidation catalyst, is prone to axial ligand exchange. Phosphine- and pyridine-based additives are used for substitution of the acetonitrile ligands. On the basis of the resulting defined complexes, predictability of the oxidation potentials is demonstrated, based on a correlation between cyclic voltammetry experiments and density functional theory calculated molecular orbital energies. Fundamental insights into changes of the electronic properties upon axial ligand exchange and the impact on related attributes will finally lead to target-oriented manipulation of the electronic properties and consequently to the effective tuning of the reactivity of bioinspired systems.

  19. Enhancement of magnetic domain topologies in Co/Pt thin films by fine tuning the magnetic field path throughout the hysteresis loop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westover, Andrew S.; Chesnel, Karine; Hatch, Kelsey; Salter, Philip; Hellwig, Olav

    2016-02-01

    We have studied the influence of magnetic history on the topology of perpendicular magnetic domains in a thin ferromagnetic film made of [Co(8 Å)/Pt(7 Å)]50 multilayers. More specifically, we have followed the morphological changes in the domain pattern when applying a magnetic field perpendicular to the layer, throughout minor and major magnetization loops, and in the resulting remanent state. We carried out this study by using MFM microscopy with an in-situ magnetic field. We find that the morphology of the magnetic domain pattern is greatly influenced by the magnetic history of the material and that some features, such as the degree of bubbliness (i.e., the extent of bubble domain formation) and density of isolated domains can be enhanced by fine tuning the magnetic field path within the major hysteresis loop towards different remanent states. In particular, we see how hysteresis is correlated to irreversible changes in the domain morphology. More interestingly, we find that the magnetic domain morphology at remanence can be changed from an interconnected labyrinthine stripe state to a state of many separated bubble domains by fine tuning the magnitude of the field previously applied to the material. These results agree well with other findings, such as the magnetic reversal behavior and magnetic memory effects in Co/Pt multilayers, and provide opportunities for potential technological applications.

  20. Fine-tuning of voltage sensitivity of the Kv1.2 potassium channel by interhelix loop dynamics.

    PubMed

    Sand, Rheanna; Sharmin, Nazlee; Morgan, Carla; Gallin, Warren J

    2013-04-01

    Many proteins function by changing conformation in response to ligand binding or changes in other factors in their environment. Any change in the sequence of a protein, for example during evolution, which alters the relative free energies of the different functional conformations changes the conditions under which the protein will function. Voltage-gated ion channels are membrane proteins that open and close an ion-selective pore in response to changes in transmembrane voltage. The charged S4 transmembrane helix transduces changes in transmembrane voltage into a change in protein internal energy by interacting with the rest of the channel protein through a combination of non-covalent interactions between adjacent helices and covalent interactions along the peptide backbone. However, the structural basis for the wide variation in the V50 value between different voltage-gated potassium channels is not well defined. To test the role of the loop linking the S3 helix and the S4 helix in voltage sensitivity, we have constructed a set of mutants of the rat Kv1.2 channel that vary solely in the length and composition of the extracellular loop that connects S4 to S3. We evaluated the effect of these different loop substitutions on the voltage sensitivity of the channel and compared these experimental results with molecular dynamics simulations of the loop structures. Here, we show that this loop has a significant role in setting the precise V50 of activation in Kv1 family channels.

  1. Consistency of LEP event excesses with an h{yields}aa decay scenario and low-fine-tuning next-to-minimal supersymmetric standard models

    SciTech Connect

    Dermisek, Radovan; Gunion, John F.

    2006-06-01

    We examine the LEP limits for the Zh{yields}Z+b's final state and find that the excess of observed events for m{sub h}{approx}100 GeV correlates well with there being an m{sub h}{approx}100 GeV Higgs boson with SM-like ZZh coupling that decays partly via h{yields}bb+{tau}{sup +}{tau}{sup -} [with B(h{yields}bb){approx}0.08] but dominantly via h{yields}aa [with B(h{yields}aa){approx}0.9], where m{sub a}<2m{sub b} so that a{yields}{tau}{sup +}{tau}{sup -} (or light quarks and gluons) decays are dominant. This type of scenario is precisely that predicted in the Next-to-Minimal Supersymmetric Model for parameter choices yielding the lowest possible fine-tuning.

  2. Applying high-resolution sequence stratigraphic tools to the Texas continental margin to fine-tune conventional sequence stratigraphic models and improve reservoir prediction

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.A.; Banfield, L.A.; Eckles, B.J.

    1996-12-31

    A regional sequence stratigraphic study of the Texas continental margin resulted in an improved understanding of Pleistocene-Holocene eustatic sea level fluctuations and their influence on depositional environments associated with several distinct systems: the Colorado/Brazos system, the Texas interfluve region, and the Rio Grande system. The dataset consists of approximately 7500 kilometers of high-resolution seismic profiloes, 200 borehole descriptions, and 12 sediment cores. The study involved analysis of three independent variables to better constrain Pleistocene-Holocene sea level history: coastal onlap derived from high-resolution seismic profiles; oxygen isotope data determined from selected sediment cores; and paleoenvironmental data developed from high-resolution micropaleontologic analyses. Combined lithologic data and seismic facies analysis is used to map the distribution of major depositional systems on the shelf during one complete glacial eustatic cycle. Our study provided anopportunity to fine tune conventional stratigraphic models with regard to the distribution of potential reservoirs relative to regionally mappable stratigraphic surfaces.

  3. Applying high-resolution sequence stratigraphic tools to the Texas continental margin to fine-tune conventional sequence stratigraphic models and improve reservoir prediction

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.A.; Banfield, L.A.; Eckles, B.J. )

    1996-01-01

    A regional sequence stratigraphic study of the Texas continental margin resulted in an improved understanding of Pleistocene-Holocene eustatic sea level fluctuations and their influence on depositional environments associated with several distinct systems: the Colorado/Brazos system, the Texas interfluve region, and the Rio Grande system. The dataset consists of approximately 7500 kilometers of high-resolution seismic profiloes, 200 borehole descriptions, and 12 sediment cores. The study involved analysis of three independent variables to better constrain Pleistocene-Holocene sea level history: coastal onlap derived from high-resolution seismic profiles; oxygen isotope data determined from selected sediment cores; and paleoenvironmental data developed from high-resolution micropaleontologic analyses. Combined lithologic data and seismic facies analysis is used to map the distribution of major depositional systems on the shelf during one complete glacial eustatic cycle. Our study provided anopportunity to fine tune conventional stratigraphic models with regard to the distribution of potential reservoirs relative to regionally mappable stratigraphic surfaces.

  4. Fine-Tuning of Polymeric Resins and Their Interfaces with Amorphous Calcium Phosphate. A Strategy for Designing Effective Remineralizing Dental Composites

    PubMed Central

    Antonucci, Joseph M.; Skrtic, Drago

    2011-01-01

    For over a decade our group has been designing, preparing and evaluating bioactive, remineralizing composites based on amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) fillers embedded in polymerized methacrylate resin matrices. In these studies a major focus has been on exploring structure-property relationships of the matrix phase of these composites on their anti-cariogenic potential. The main challenges were to gain a better understanding of polymer matrix/filler interfacial properties through controlling the surface properties of the fillers or through fine-tuning of the resin matrix. In this work, we describe the effect of chemical structure and composition of the resin matrices on some of the critical physicochemical properties of the copolymers and their ACP composites. Such structure-property studies are essential in formulating clinically effective products, and this knowledge base is likely to have strong impact on the future design of therapeutic materials, appropriate for mineral restoration in defective tooth structures. PMID:21283507

  5. Fine Tuning of Nanocrystal and Pore Sizes of TiO2 Submicrospheres toward High Performance Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhao-Qian; Ding, Yong; Mo, Li-E; Hu, Lin-Hua; Wu, Ji-Huai; Dai, Song-Yuan

    2015-10-14

    In general, the properties and performance of mesoporous TiO2 are greatly dependent on its crystal size, crystallinity, porosity, surface area, and morphology; in this regard, design and fine-tuning the crystal and pore sizes of the TiO2 submicrospheres and investigating the effect of these factors on the properties and photoelectric performance of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is essential. In this work, uniform TiO2 submicrospheres were synthesized by a two-step procedure containing hydrolysis and solvothermal process. The crystal and pore sizes of the TiO2 submicrospheres were fine-tuned and controlled in a narrow range by adjusting the quantity of NH4OH during the solvothermal process. The effect of crystal and pore size of TiO2 submicrosphere on the performance of the DSSCs and their properties including dye-loading capacity, light scattering effect, power conversion efficiency (PCE), incident photon-to-electron conversion efficiencies (IPCEs), and electron recombination were compared and analyzed. The results show that increasing pore size plays a more significant role in improving the dye-loading capacity and PCE than increasing surface area, and an overall PCE value of 8.62% was obtained for the device with a 7.0 μm film thickness based on the TiO2 submicrospheres treated with 0.6 mL of NH4OH. Finally, the best TiO2 submicrosphere based photoanode film was optimized by TiCl4 treatment, and increasing film thickness and a remarkable PCE up to 11.11% were achieved.

  6. Fine Tuning of Nanocrystal and Pore Sizes of TiO2 Submicrospheres toward High Performance Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhao-Qian; Ding, Yong; Mo, Li-E; Hu, Lin-Hua; Wu, Ji-Huai; Dai, Song-Yuan

    2015-10-14

    In general, the properties and performance of mesoporous TiO2 are greatly dependent on its crystal size, crystallinity, porosity, surface area, and morphology; in this regard, design and fine-tuning the crystal and pore sizes of the TiO2 submicrospheres and investigating the effect of these factors on the properties and photoelectric performance of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is essential. In this work, uniform TiO2 submicrospheres were synthesized by a two-step procedure containing hydrolysis and solvothermal process. The crystal and pore sizes of the TiO2 submicrospheres were fine-tuned and controlled in a narrow range by adjusting the quantity of NH4OH during the solvothermal process. The effect of crystal and pore size of TiO2 submicrosphere on the performance of the DSSCs and their properties including dye-loading capacity, light scattering effect, power conversion efficiency (PCE), incident photon-to-electron conversion efficiencies (IPCEs), and electron recombination were compared and analyzed. The results show that increasing pore size plays a more significant role in improving the dye-loading capacity and PCE than increasing surface area, and an overall PCE value of 8.62% was obtained for the device with a 7.0 μm film thickness based on the TiO2 submicrospheres treated with 0.6 mL of NH4OH. Finally, the best TiO2 submicrosphere based photoanode film was optimized by TiCl4 treatment, and increasing film thickness and a remarkable PCE up to 11.11% were achieved. PMID:26393366

  7. Dynamic but not constitutive association of calmodulin with rat TRPV6 channels enables fine tuning of Ca2+-dependent inactivation.

    PubMed

    Derler, Isabella; Hofbauer, Michael; Kahr, Heike; Fritsch, Reinhard; Muik, Martin; Kepplinger, Klaus; Hack, Marlene E; Moritz, Sieglinde; Schindl, Rainer; Groschner, Klaus; Romanin, Christoph

    2006-11-15

    The Ca(2+)-selective TRPV6 as well as the L-type Ca(2+) channel are regulated by the Ca(2+)-binding protein calmodulin (CaM). Here, we investigated the interaction of CaM with rat (r)TRPV6 in response to alterations of intracellular Ca(2+), employing Ca(2+)-imaging and patch-clamp techniques. Additionally, confocal Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) microscopy on living cells was utilized as a key method to visualize in vivo protein-protein interactions essential for CaM regulation of rTRPV6 activity. The effects of overexpressed CaM or its Ca(2+)-insensitive mutant (CaM(MUT)) was probed on various rTRPV6 mutants and fragments in an attempt to elucidate the molecular mechanism of Ca(2+)/CaM-dependent regulation and to pinpoint the physiologically relevant rTRPV6-CaM interaction site. A significant reduction of rTRPV6 activity, as well as an increase in current inactivation, were observed when CaM was overexpressed in addition to endogenous CaM. The Ca(2+)-insensitive CaM(MUT), however, failed to affect rTRPV6-derived currents. Accordingly, live cell confocal FRET microscopy revealed a robust interaction for CaM but not CaM(MUT) with rTRPV6, suggesting a strict Ca(2+) dependence for their association. Indeed, interaction of rTRPV6 or its C terminus with CaM increased with rising intracellular Ca(2+) levels, as observed by dynamic FRET measurements. An rTRPV6Delta(695-727) mutant with the very C-terminal end deleted, yielded Ca(2+) currents with a markedly reduced inactivation in accordance with a lack of CaM interaction as substantiated by FRET microscopy. These results, in contrast with those for CaM-dependent L-type Ca(2+) channel inactivation, demonstrate a dynamic association of CaM with the very C-terminal end of rTRPV6 (aa 695-727), and this enables acceleration of the rate of rTRPV6 current inactivation with increasing intracellular CaM concentrations.

  8. Conference on Children and Television: Worldwide Fine Tuning for Children, University of Miami, Parts I and II. Transcript of the Panel Discussion on the Television Series "Big Blue Marble"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Les; And Others

    This paper describes the proceedings of a conference on children and television, "Worldwide Fine Tuning for Children," held on 11 February 1977 by the University of Miami Department of Communications. The purpose of the conference was to survey the world of television as experienced by children and to explore how communications experts, educators,…

  9. Improving Electrocatalysts for O2 Reduction by Fine-Tuning the Pt-Support Interaction: Pt Monolayer on the Surfaces of a Pd3Fe(111) Single-Crystal Alloy

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, W.P.; Yang, X.; Vukmirovic, M.B.; Koel, B.E.; Jiao, J.; Peng, G.; Mavrikakis, M.; Adzic, R.R.

    2009-09-09

    We improved the effectiveness of Pt monolayer electrocatalysts for the oxygen-reduction reaction (ORR) using a novel approach to fine-tuning the Pt monolayer interaction with its support, exemplified by an annealed Pd{sub 3}Fe(111) single-crystal alloy support having a segregated Pd layer. Low-energy ion scattering and low-energy electron diffraction studies revealed that a segregated Pd layer, with the same structure as Pd (111), is formed on the surface of high-temperature-annealed Pd{sub 3}Fe(111). This Pd layer is considerably more active than Pd(111); its ORR kinetics is comparable to that of a Pt(111) surface. The enhanced catalytic activity of the segregated Pd layer compared to that of bulk Pd apparently reflects the modification of Pd surface's electronic properties by underlying Fe. The Pd{sub 3}Fe(111) suffers a large loss in ORR activity when the subsurface Fe is depleted by potential cycling (i.e., repeated excursions to high potentials in acid solutions). The Pd{sub 3}Fe(111) surface is an excellent substrate for a Pt monolayer ORR catalyst, as verified by its enhanced ORR kinetics on PT{sub ML}/Pd/Pd{sub 3}Fe(111). Our density functional theory studies suggest that the observed enhancement of ORR activity originates mainly from the destabilization of OH binding and the decreased Pt-OH coverage on the Pt/Pd/Pd{sub 3}Fe(111) surface. The activity of Pt{sub ML}/Pd(111) and Pt(111) is limited by OH removal, whereas the activity of Pt{sub ML}/Pd/Pd{sub 3}Fe(111) is limited by the O-O bond scission, which places these two surfaces on the two sides of the volcano plot.

  10. Improving Electrocatalysts for O2 Reduction by Fine-Tuning the Pt-Support Interaction: Pt Monolayer on the Surfaces of a Pd3Fe(111) Single-Crystal Alloy

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, Wei-Ping; Yang, Xiaofang; Vukmirovic, Miomir B.; Koel, Bruce E.; Jiao, Jiao; Peng, Guowen; Mavrikakis, Manos; Adzic, Radoslav R.

    2009-09-09

    We improved the effectiveness of Pt monolayer electrocatalysts for the oxygen-reduction reaction (ORR) using a novel approach to fine-tuning the Pt monolayer interaction with its support, exemplified by an annealed Pd3Fe(111) single-crystal alloy support having a segregated Pd layer. Low-energy ion scattering and low-energy electron diffraction studies revealed that a segregated Pd layer, with the same structure as Pd (111), is formed on the surface of high-temperature-annealed Pd3Fe(111). This Pd layer is considerably more active than Pd(111); its ORR kinetics is comparable to that of a Pt(111) surface. The enhanced catalytic activity of the segregated Pd layer compared to that of bulk Pd apparently reflects the modification of Pd surface’s electronic properties by underlying Fe. The Pd3Fe(111) suffers a large loss in ORR activity when the subsurface Fe is depleted by potential cycling (i.e., repeated excursions to high potentials in acid solutions). The Pd3Fe(111) surface is an excellent substrate for a Pt monolayer ORR catalyst, as verified by its enhanced ORR kinetics on PTML/Pd/Pd3Fe(111). Our density functional theory studies suggest that the observed enhancement of ORR activity originates mainly from the destabilization of OH binding and the decreased Pt-OH coverage on the Pt/Pd/Pd3Fe(111) surface. The activity of PtML/Pd(111) and Pt(111) is limited by OH removal, whereas the activity of PtML/Pd/Pd3Fe(111) is limited by the O-O bond scission, which places these two surfaces on the two sides of the volcano plot.

  11. Positive and Negative Regulatory Mechanisms for Fine-Tuning Cellularity and Functions of Medullary Thymic Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Akiyama, Taishin; Tateishi, Ryosuke; Akiyama, Nobuko; Yoshinaga, Riko; Kobayashi, Tetsuya J.

    2015-01-01

    Self-tolerant T cells and regulatory T cells develop in the thymus. A wide variety of cell–cell interactions in the thymus is required for the differentiation, proliferation, and repertoire selection of T cells. Various secreted and cell surface molecules expressed in thymic epithelial cells (TECs) mediate these processes. Moreover, cytokines expressed by cells of hematopoietic origin regulate the cellularity of TECs. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family RANK ligand, lymphotoxin, and CD40 ligand, expressed in T cells and innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), promote the differentiation and proliferation of medullary TECs (mTECs) that play critical roles in the induction of immune tolerance. A recent study suggests that interleukin-22 (IL-22) produced by ILCs promotes regeneration of TECs after irradiation. Intriguingly, tumor growth factor-β and osteoprotegerin limit cellularity of mTECs, thereby attenuating regulatory T cell generation. We will review recent insights into the molecular basis for cell–cell interactions regulating differentiation and proliferation of mTECs and also discuss about a perspective on use of mathematical models for understanding this complicated system. PMID:26441966

  12. PDGF beta targeting in cervical cancer cells suggest a fine-tuning of compensatory signalling pathways to sustain tumourigenic stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Tudoran, Oana Mihaela; Soritau, Olga; Balacescu, Loredana; Pop, Laura; Meurice, Guillaume; Visan, Simona; Lindberg, Staffan; Eniu, Alexandru; Langel, Ulo; Balacescu, Ovidiu; Berindan-Neagoe, Ioana

    2015-01-01

    The platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) signalling pathway has been reported to play an important role in human cancers by modulating autocrine and paracrine processes such as tumour growth, metastasis and angiogenesis. Several clinical trials document the benefits of targeting this pathway; however, in cervical cancer the role of PDGF signalling in still unclear. In this study, we used siRNA against PDGF beta (PDGFBB) to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of PDGFBB signalling in Ca Ski and HeLa cervical cancer cells. Our results show that PDGFBB inhibition in Ca Ski cells led to rapid alterations of the transcriptional pattern of 579 genes, genes that are known to have antagonistic roles in regulating tumour progression. Concomitantly, with the lack of significant effects on cervical cancer cells proliferation, apoptosis, migration or invasion, these findings suggests that cervical cancer cells shift between compensatory signalling pathways to maintain their behaviour. The observed autocrine effects were limited to cervical cancer cells ability to adhere to an endothelial cell (EC) monolayer. However, by inhibiting PDGFBB on cervical cells, we achieved reduced proliferation of ECs in co-culture settings and cellular aggregation in conditioned media. Because of lack of PDGF receptor expression on ECs, we believe that these effects are a result of indirect PDGFBB paracrine signalling mechanisms. Our results shed some light into the understanding of PDGFBB signalling mechanism in cervical cancer cells, which could be further exploited for the development of synergistic anti-tumour and anti-angiogenic therapeutic strategies. PMID:25311137

  13. A Fine-Tuned Fluorinated MOF Addresses the Needs for Trace CO2 Removal and Air Capture Using Physisorption.

    PubMed

    Bhatt, Prashant M; Belmabkhout, Youssef; Cadiau, Amandine; Adil, Karim; Shekhah, Osama; Shkurenko, Aleksander; Barbour, Leonard J; Eddaoudi, Mohamed

    2016-07-27

    The development of functional solid-state materials for carbon capture at low carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, namely, from confined spaces (<0.5%) and in particular from air (400 ppm), is of prime importance with respect to energy and environment sustainability. Herein, we report the deliberate construction of a hydrolytically stable fluorinated metal-organic framework (MOF), NbOFFIVE-1-Ni, with the appropriate pore system (size, shape, and functionality), ideal for the effective and energy-efficient removal of trace carbon dioxide. Markedly, the CO2-selective NbOFFIVE-1-Ni exhibits the highest CO2 gravimetric and volumetric uptake (ca. 1.3 mmol/g and 51.4 cm(3) (STP) cm(-3)) for a physical adsorbent at 400 ppm of CO2 and 298 K. Practically, NbOFFIVE-1-Ni offers the complete CO2 desorption at 328 K under vacuum with an associated moderate energy input of 54 kJ/mol, typical for the full CO2 desorption in conventional physical adsorbents but considerably lower than chemical sorbents. Noticeably, the contracted square-like channels, affording the close proximity of the fluorine centers, permitted the enhancement of the CO2-framework interactions and subsequently the attainment of an unprecedented CO2 selectivity at very low CO2 concentrations. The precise localization of the adsorbed CO2 at the vicinity of the periodically aligned fluorine centers, promoting the selective adsorption of CO2, is evidenced by the single-crystal X-ray diffraction study on NbOFFIVE-1-Ni hosting CO2 molecules. Cyclic CO2/N2 mixed-gas column breakthrough experiments under dry and humid conditions corroborate the excellent CO2 selectivity under practical carbon capture conditions. Pertinently, the notable hydrolytic stability positions NbOFFIVE-1-Ni as the new benchmark adsorbent for direct air capture and CO2 removal from confined spaces. PMID:27388208

  14. A Fine-Tuned Fluorinated MOF Addresses the Needs for Trace CO2 Removal and Air Capture Using Physisorption.

    PubMed

    Bhatt, Prashant M; Belmabkhout, Youssef; Cadiau, Amandine; Adil, Karim; Shekhah, Osama; Shkurenko, Aleksander; Barbour, Leonard J; Eddaoudi, Mohamed

    2016-07-27

    The development of functional solid-state materials for carbon capture at low carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, namely, from confined spaces (<0.5%) and in particular from air (400 ppm), is of prime importance with respect to energy and environment sustainability. Herein, we report the deliberate construction of a hydrolytically stable fluorinated metal-organic framework (MOF), NbOFFIVE-1-Ni, with the appropriate pore system (size, shape, and functionality), ideal for the effective and energy-efficient removal of trace carbon dioxide. Markedly, the CO2-selective NbOFFIVE-1-Ni exhibits the highest CO2 gravimetric and volumetric uptake (ca. 1.3 mmol/g and 51.4 cm(3) (STP) cm(-3)) for a physical adsorbent at 400 ppm of CO2 and 298 K. Practically, NbOFFIVE-1-Ni offers the complete CO2 desorption at 328 K under vacuum with an associated moderate energy input of 54 kJ/mol, typical for the full CO2 desorption in conventional physical adsorbents but considerably lower than chemical sorbents. Noticeably, the contracted square-like channels, affording the close proximity of the fluorine centers, permitted the enhancement of the CO2-framework interactions and subsequently the attainment of an unprecedented CO2 selectivity at very low CO2 concentrations. The precise localization of the adsorbed CO2 at the vicinity of the periodically aligned fluorine centers, promoting the selective adsorption of CO2, is evidenced by the single-crystal X-ray diffraction study on NbOFFIVE-1-Ni hosting CO2 molecules. Cyclic CO2/N2 mixed-gas column breakthrough experiments under dry and humid conditions corroborate the excellent CO2 selectivity under practical carbon capture conditions. Pertinently, the notable hydrolytic stability positions NbOFFIVE-1-Ni as the new benchmark adsorbent for direct air capture and CO2 removal from confined spaces.

  15. Analysis of the Fine-Tuning of Cyanobacterial Circadian Phase by Monochromatic Light and Long-Day Conditions.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Takayuki; Obana, Yuji; Kuboi, Naoyuki; Kitayama, Yohko; Hayashi, Shingo; Oka, Masataka; Wada, Naomichi; Arita, Kyouhei; Shimizu, Toshiyuki; Sato, Mamoru; Kanaly, Robert A; Kutsuna, Shinsuke

    2016-01-01

    The cyanobacterial circadian-related protein, Pex, accumulates in the dark period of the diurnal light-dark cycle. After the diurnal cycle, an approximately 3 h advance in the phase of the circadian bioluminescence rhythm is observed in pex-deficient mutants, as compared with the wild type. However, it is unclear what type of photosensing mechanism regulates the accumulation and the phase change. In monochromatic light irradiation experiments, Pex accumulation was strongly repressed under blue light conditions; however, only small reductions in Pex accumulation were observed under red or green light conditions. After the diurnal cycle of 12 h of white fluorescent light and 12 h of blue light, the phase advance was repressed more than that of the cycle of 12 h red (or green) light. The phase advance also occurred after 16 h light/8 h dark cycles (long-day cycles) but did not occur after 8 h light/16 h dark cycles (short-day cycles). While Pex is a unique winged helix transcription factor harboring secondary structures (α0 and α4 helices), the importance of the structures is not understood. In in vivo experiments with site-directed mutations in the α0 helix, the obtained mutants, in which Pex was missing the hydrophobic side chain at the 28th or 32nd amino acid residue, exhibited no phase delay after the light/dark cycle. In in vitro DNA binding assays, the mutant proteins showed no binding to the promoter region of the clock gene kaiA. From these results, we propose a molecular model which describes the phase delay in cyanobacteria. PMID:26578695

  16. Fine-Tuning of the Actin Cytoskeleton and Cell Adhesion During Drosophila Development by the Unconventional Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors Myoblast City and Sponge.

    PubMed

    Biersmith, Bridget; Wang, Zong-Heng; Geisbrecht, Erika R

    2015-06-01

    The evolutionarily conserved Dock proteins function as unconventional guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs). Upon binding to engulfment and cell motility (ELMO) proteins, Dock-ELMO complexes activate the Rho family of small GTPases to mediate a diverse array of biological processes, including cell motility, apoptotic cell clearance, and axon guidance. Overlapping expression patterns and functional redundancy among the 11 vertebrate Dock family members, which are subdivided into four families (Dock A, B, C, and D), complicate genetic analysis. In both vertebrate and invertebrate systems, the actin dynamics regulator, Rac, is the target GTPase of the Dock-A subfamily. However, it remains unclear whether Rac or Rap1 are the in vivo downstream GTPases of the Dock-B subfamily. Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent genetic model organism for understanding Dock protein function as its genome encodes one ortholog per subfamily: Myoblast city (Mbc; Dock A) and Sponge (Spg; Dock B). Here we show that the roles of Spg and Mbc are not redundant in the Drosophila somatic muscle or the dorsal vessel. Moreover, we confirm the in vivo role of Mbc upstream of Rac and provide evidence that Spg functions in concert with Rap1, possibly to regulate aspects of cell adhesion. Together these data show that Mbc and Spg can have different downstream GTPase targets. Our findings predict that the ability to regulate downstream GTPases is dependent on cellular context and allows for the fine-tuning of actin cytoskeletal or cell adhesion events in biological processes that undergo cell morphogenesis.

  17. Pore radius fine tuning of a silica matrix (MCM-41) based on the synthesis of alumina nanolayers with different thicknesses by atomic layer deposition

    SciTech Connect

    Zemtsova, Elena G. Arbenin, Andrei Yu.; Plotnikov, Alexander F.; Smirnov, Vladimir M.

    2015-03-15

    The authors investigated a new approach to modify the surface of the mesoporous silica matrix MCM-41. This approach is based on manipulating the chemical composition of the porous surface layer and also on fine tuning the pore radius by applying the atomic layer deposition (ALD) technique. The synthesis of alumina nanolayers was performed on the planar and the porous matrix (MCM-41) by the ALD technique using aluminum tri-sec-butoxide and water as precursors. The authors show that one cycle on silicon, using aluminum tri-sec-butoxide and water as precursors, results in a 1–1.2 Å increase in alumina nanolayer thickness. This is comparable to the increase in thickness per cycle for other precursors such as trimethylaluminum and aluminum chloride. The authors show that the synthesis of an Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} nanolayer on the pore surface of the mesoporous silica matrix MCM-41 by the ALD technique results in a regular change in the porous structure of the samples. The specific porosity (ml/g) of the MCM-41 was 0.95 and that of MCM-41 after 5 ALD cycles was 0.39. The pore diameter (nm) of MCM-41 was 3.3 and that of MCM-41 after 5 ALD cycles was 2.3.

  18. A Fine-Tuned Interaction between Trimeric Autotransporter Haemophilus Surface Fibrils and Vitronectin Leads to Serum Resistance and Adherence to Respiratory Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Birendra; Su, Yu-Ching; Al-Jubair, Tamim; Mukherjee, Oindrilla; Hallström, Teresia; Mörgelin, Matthias; Blom, Anna M.

    2014-01-01

    Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) escapes the host immune system by recruitment of the complement regulator vitronectin, which inhibits the formation of the membrane attack complex (MAC) by inhibiting C5b-C7 complex formation and C9 polymerization. We reported previously that Hib acquires vitronectin at the surface by using Haemophilus surface fibrils (Hsf). Here we studied in detail the interaction between Hsf and vitronectin and its role in the inhibition of MAC formation and the invasion of lung epithelial cells. The vitronectin-binding region of Hsf was defined at the N-terminal region comprising Hsf amino acids 429 to 652. Moreover, the Hsf recognition site on vitronectin consisted of the C-terminal amino acids 352 to 374. H. influenzae was killed more rapidly in vitronectin-depleted serum than in normal human serum (NHS), and increased MAC deposition was observed at the surface of an Hsf-deficient H. influenzae mutant. In parallel, Hsf-expressing Escherichia coli selectively acquired vitronectin from serum, resulting in significant inhibition of the MAC. Moreover, when vitronectin was bound to Hsf, increased bacterial adherence and internalization into epithelial cells were observed. Taking our findings together, we have defined a fine-tuned protein-protein interaction between Hsf and vitronectin that may contribute to increased Hib virulence. PMID:24664511

  19. Fine tuning of emission property of white light-emitting diodes by quantum-dot-coating on YAG:Ce nanophosphors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, Dal Sung; Kim, Min Jeong; Song, Hee Jo; Cho, In Sun; Jeong, Sohee; Shin, Hyunjung; Lee, Sangwook; Jung, Hyun Suk

    2016-08-01

    We report fine tuning of emission color of Ce-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Y3Al5O12:Ce3+, YAG:Ce) nanophosphor-based white light-emitting diodes (WLED), by coating CdSe/CdS/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) onto the surface of the YAG:Ce nanoparticles via surface functionalization of both the QDs and the YAG:Ce. Mixture of bromo-functionalized QDs and amino-functionalized YAG:Ce nanoparticles results in conformal coating of the QDs onto the YAG:Ce nanoparticles (QD@YAG:Ce). By varying the QD to YAG:Ce weight ratios, the luminescence spectra of the QD@YAG:Ce are tuned. A high-quality warm-white-light emission is achieved by appropriate combination of the yellow and red emissions from the QD@YAG:Ce, and the blue emission from InGaN LED chip. However, without surface functionalization, irregular mixtures of YAG:Ce and QDs are formed, which consequently make it hard to control the emission spectra. This study demonstrates a promising way to prepare uniformly QD-coated nanophosphors and an approach to control the emission spectra the nanophosphors.

  20. The Catalytic and Non-catalytic Functions of the Brahma Chromatin-Remodeling Protein Collaborate to Fine-Tune Circadian Transcription in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Kwok, Rosanna S; Li, Ying H; Lei, Anna J; Edery, Isaac; Chiu, Joanna C

    2015-07-01

    Daily rhythms in gene expression play a critical role in the progression of circadian clocks, and are under regulation by transcription factor binding, histone modifications, RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) recruitment and elongation, and post-transcriptional mechanisms. Although previous studies have shown that clock-controlled genes exhibit rhythmic chromatin modifications, less is known about the functions performed by chromatin remodelers in animal clockwork. Here we have identified the Brahma (Brm) complex as a regulator of the Drosophila clock. In Drosophila, CLOCK (CLK) is the master transcriptional activator driving cyclical gene expression by participating in an auto-inhibitory feedback loop that involves stimulating the expression of the main negative regulators, period (per) and timeless (tim). BRM functions catalytically to increase nucleosome density at the promoters of per and tim, creating an overall restrictive chromatin landscape to limit transcriptional output during the active phase of cycling gene expression. In addition, the non-catalytic function of BRM regulates the level and binding of CLK to target promoters and maintains transient RNAPII stalling at the per promoter, likely by recruiting repressive and pausing factors. By disentangling its catalytic versus non-catalytic functions at the promoters of CLK target genes, we uncovered a multi-leveled mechanism in which BRM fine-tunes circadian transcription.

  1. The cell-specific activity of the estrogen receptor α may be fine-tuned by phosphorylation-induced structural gymnastics

    PubMed Central

    Gburcik, Valentina; Picard, Didier

    2006-01-01

    The estrogen receptor α (ERα) regulates the transcription of target genes by recruiting coregulator proteins through several domains including the two activation functions AF1 and AF2. The contribution of the N-terminally located AF1 activity is particularly important in differentiated cells, and for ERα to integrate inputs from other signaling pathways. However, how the phosphorylation of key residues influences AF1 activity has long remained mysterious, in part because the naturally disordered AF1 domain has resisted a structural characterization. The recent discovery of two coregulators that are specific for a phosphorylated form of AF1 suggests that phosphorylation, possibly in conjunction with the subsequent binding of these coregulators, may enforce a stable structure. The binding of the "pioneer" coregulators might facilitate the subsequent recruitment of yet other coregulators. Different AF1 folds may be enabled by the combinatorial action of posttranslational modifications and coregulator binding thereby fine-tuning ERα activities in a cell- and promoter-specific fashion. PMID:16604168

  2. 3′-UTR engineering to improve soluble expression and fine-tuning of activity of cascade enzymes in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Song, Ji-Won; Woo, Ji-Min; Jung, Gyoo Yeol; Bornscheuer, Uwe T.; Park, Jin-Byung

    2016-01-01

    3′-Untranslated region (3′UTR) engineering was investigated to improve solubility of heterologous proteins (e.g., Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs)) in Escherichia coli. Insertion of gene fragments containing putative RNase E recognition sites into the 3′UTR of the BVMO genes led to the reduction of mRNA levels in E. coli. Importantly, the amounts of soluble BVMOs were remarkably enhanced resulting in a proportional increase of in vivo catalytic activities. Notably, this increase in biocatalytic activity correlated to the number of putative RNase E endonucleolytic cleavage sites in the 3′UTR. For instance, the biotransformation activity of the BVMO BmoF1 (from Pseudomonas fluorescens DSM50106) in E. coli was linear to the number of RNase E cleavage sites in the 3′UTR. In summary, 3′UTR engineering can be used to improve the soluble expression of heterologous enzymes, thereby fine-tuning the enzyme activity in microbial cells. PMID:27406241

  3. Full phosphorescent white-light organic light-emitting diodes with improved color stability and efficiency by fine tuning primary emission contributions

    SciTech Connect

    Hua, Wang E-mail: wanghua001@tyut.edu.cn; Du, Xiaogang; Su, Wenming E-mail: wanghua001@tyut.edu.cn; Zhang, Dongyu; Lin, Wenjing

    2014-02-15

    In this paper, a novel type of white-light organic light emitting diode (OLED) with high color stability was reported, in which the yellow-light emission layer of (4,4{sup ′}-N,N{sup ′}-dicarbazole)biphenyl (CBP) : tris(2-phenylquinoline-C2,N{sup ′})iridium(III) (Ir(2-phq){sub 3}) was sandwiched by double blue-light emission layers of 1,1-bis-[(di-4-tolylamino)pheny1]cyclohexane (TAPC) : bis[4,6-(di-fluorophenyl)-pyridinato-N,C2{sup ′}]picolinate (FIrpic) and tris[3-(3-pyridyl)mesityl]borane (3TPYMB):FIrpic. And, it exhibited the maximum current efficiency of 33.1 cd/A, the turn-on voltage at about 3 V and the maximum luminance in excess of 20000 cd/m{sup 2}. More important, it realized very stable white-light emission, and its CIE(x, y) coordinates only shift from (0.34, 0.37) to (0.33, 0.37) as applied voltage increased from 5 V to 12 V. It is believed that the new scheme in emission layer of white-light OLED can fine tune the contribution of primary emission with applied voltage changed, resulting in high quality white-light OLED.

  4. Enzymatic profiling of cellulosomal enzymes from the human gut bacterium, Ruminococcus champanellensis, reveals a fine-tuned system for cohesin-dockerin recognition.

    PubMed

    Moraïs, Sarah; Ben David, Yonit; Bensoussan, Lizi; Duncan, Sylvia H; Koropatkin, Nicole M; Martens, Eric C; Flint, Harry J; Bayer, Edward A

    2016-02-01

    Ruminococcus champanellensis is considered a keystone species in the human gut that degrades microcrystalline cellulose efficiently and contains the genetic elements necessary for cellulosome production. The basic elements of its cellulosome architecture, mainly cohesin and dockerin modules from scaffoldins and enzyme-borne dockerins, have been characterized recently. In this study, we cloned, expressed and characterized all of the glycoside hydrolases that contain a dockerin module. Among the 25 enzymes, 10 cellulases, 4 xylanases, 3 mannanases, 2 xyloglucanases, 2 arabinofuranosidases, 2 arabinanases and one β-glucanase were assessed for their comparative enzymatic activity on their respective substrates. The dockerin specificities of the enzymes were examined by ELISA, and 80 positives out of 525 possible interactions were detected. Our analysis reveals a fine-tuned system for cohesin-dockerin specificity and the importance of diversity among the cohesin-dockerin sequences. Our results imply that cohesin-dockerin pairs are not necessarily assembled at random among the same specificity types, as generally believed for other cellulosome-producing bacteria, but reveal a more organized cellulosome architecture. Moreover, our results highlight the importance of the cellulosome paradigm for cellulose and hemicellulose degradation by R. champanellensis in the human gut.

  5. Fine-tuning of catalytic tin nanoparticles by the reverse micelle method for direct deposition of silicon nanowires by a plasma-enhanced chemical vapour technique.

    PubMed

    Poinern, Gérrard E J; Ng, Yan-Jing; Fawcett, Derek

    2010-12-15

    The reverse micelle method was used for the reduction of a tin (Sn) salt solution to produce metallic Sn nanoparticles ranging from 85 nm to 140 nm in diameter. The reverse micellar system used in this process was hexane-butanol-cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB). The diameters of the Sn nanoparticles were proportional to the concentration of the aqueous Sn salt solution. Thus, the size of the Sn nanoparticles can easily be controlled, enabling a simple, reproducible mechanism for the growth of silicon nanowires (SiNWs) using plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD). Both the Sn nanoparticles and silicon nanowires were characterised using field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). Further characterisations of the SiNW's were made using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Raman spectroscopy. In addition, dynamic light scattering (DLS) was used to investigate particle size distributions. This procedure demonstrates an economical route for manufacturing reproducible silicon nanowires using fine-tuned Sn nanoparticles for possible solar cell applications.

  6. Capability for Fine Tuning of the Refractive Index Sensing Properties of Long-Period Gratings by Atomic Layer Deposited Al2O3 Overlays

    PubMed Central

    Śmietana, Mateusz; Myśliwiec, Marcin; Mikulic, Predrag; Witkowski, Bartłomiej S.; Bock, Wojtek J.

    2013-01-01

    This work presents an application of thin aluminum oxide (Al2O3) films obtained using atomic layer deposition (ALD) for fine tuning the spectral response and refractive-index (RI) sensitivity of long-period gratings (LPGs) induced in optical fibers. The technique allows for an efficient and well controlled deposition at monolayer level (resolution ∼ 0.12 nm) of excellent quality nano-films as required for optical sensors. The effect of Al2O3 deposition on the spectral properties of the LPGs is demonstrated experimentally and numerically. We correlated both the increase in Al2O3 thickness and changes in optical properties of the film with the shift of the LPG resonance wavelength and proved that similar films are deposited on fibers and oxidized silicon reference samples in the same process run. Since the thin overlay effectively changes the distribution of the cladding modes and thus also tunes the device's RI sensitivity, the tuning can be simply realized by varying number of cycles, which is proportional to thickness of the high-refractive-index (n > 1.6 in infrared spectral range) Al2O3 film. The advantage of this approach is the precision in determining the film properties resulting in RI sensitivity of the LPGs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that an ultra-precise method for overlay deposition has been applied on LPGs for RI tuning purposes and the results have been compared with numerical simulations based on LP mode approximation.

  7. Fine-Tuning of CD8(+) T Cell Mitochondrial Metabolism by the Respiratory Chain Repressor MCJ Dictates Protection to Influenza Virus.

    PubMed

    Champagne, Devin P; Hatle, Ketki M; Fortner, Karen A; D'Alessandro, Angelo; Thornton, Tina M; Yang, Rui; Torralba, Daniel; Tomás-Cortázar, Julen; Jun, Yong Woong; Ahn, Kyo Han; Hansen, Kirk C; Haynes, Laura; Anguita, Juan; Rincon, Mercedes

    2016-06-21

    Mitochondrial respiration is regulated in CD8(+) T cells during the transition from naive to effector and memory cells, but mechanisms controlling this process have not been defined. Here we show that MCJ (methylation-controlled J protein) acted as an endogenous break for mitochondrial respiration in CD8(+) T cells by interfering with the formation of electron transport chain respiratory supercomplexes. Metabolic profiling revealed enhanced mitochondrial metabolism in MCJ-deficient CD8(+) T cells. Increased oxidative phosphorylation and subcellular ATP accumulation caused by MCJ deficiency selectively increased the secretion, but not expression, of interferon-γ. MCJ also adapted effector CD8(+) T cell metabolism during the contraction phase. Consequently, memory CD8(+) T cells lacking MCJ provided superior protection against influenza virus infection. Thus, MCJ offers a mechanism for fine-tuning CD8(+) T cell mitochondrial metabolism as an alternative to modulating mitochondrial mass, an energetically expensive process. MCJ could be a therapeutic target to enhance CD8(+) T cell responses. PMID:27234056

  8. Fine-tuning of NFκB by Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β directs the fate of glomerular podocytes upon injury

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Hui; Ge, Yan; Peng, Ai; Gong, Rujun

    2014-01-01

    NFκB is regulated by a myriad of signaling cascades including glycogen synthase kinase (GSK) 3β and plays a Janus role in podocyte injury. In vitro, lipopolysaccharide or adriamycin elicited podocyte injury and cytoskeletal disruption, associated with NFκB activation and induced expression of NFκB target molecules, including pro-survival Bcl-xL and podocytopathic mediators like MCP-1, cathepsin L and B7-1. Broad range inhibition of NFκB diminished the expression of all NFκB target genes, restored cytoskeleton integrity, but potentiated apoptosis. In contrast, blockade of GSK3β by lithium or TDZD-8, mitigated the expression of podocytopathic mediators, ameliorated podocyte injury, but barely affected Bcl-xL expression or sensitized apoptosis. Mechanistically, GSK3β was sufficient and essential for RelA/p65 phosphorylation specifically at serine 467, which specifies the expression of selective NFκB target molecules, including podocytopathic mediators, but not Bcl-xL. In vivo, lithium or TDZD-8 therapy improved podocyte injury and proteinuria in mice treated with lipopolysaccharide or adriamycin, concomitant with suppression of podocytopathic mediators but retained Bcl-xL in glomerulus. Broad range inhibition of NFκB conferred similar but much weakened antiproteinuric and podoprotective effects accompanied with a blunted glomerular expression of Bcl-xL and marked podocyte apoptosis. Thus, the GSK3β dictated fine-tuning of NFκB may serve as a novel therapeutic target for podocytopathy. PMID:25629551

  9. Fine-tuned broad binding capability of human lipocalin-type prostaglandin D synthase for various small lipophilic ligands.

    PubMed

    Kume, Satoshi; Lee, Young-Ho; Nakatsuji, Masatoshi; Teraoka, Yoshiaki; Yamaguchi, Keisuke; Goto, Yuji; Inui, Takashi

    2014-03-18

    The hydrophobic cavity of lipocalin-type prostaglandin D synthase (L-PGDS) has been suggested to accommodate various lipophilic ligands through hydrophobic effects, but its energetic origin remains unknown. We characterized 18 buffer-independent binding systems between human L-PGDS and lipophilic ligands using isothermal titration calorimetry. Although the classical hydrophobic effect was mostly detected, all complex formations were driven by favorable enthalpic gains. Gibbs energy changes strongly correlated with the number of hydrogen bond acceptors of ligand. Thus, the broad binding capability of L-PGDS for ligands should be viewed as hydrophilic interactions delicately tuned by enthalpy-entropy compensation using combined effects of hydrophilic and hydrophobic interactions. PMID:24530534

  10. Fine tuning of photophysical properties of meso-meso-linked ZnII-diporphyrins by dihedral angle control.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Naoya; Ishizuka, Tomoya; Osuka, Atsuhiro; Jeong, Dae Hong; Cho, Hyun Sun; Kim, Dongho; Matsuzaki, Yoichi; Nogami, Atsushi; Tanaka, Kazuyoshi

    2003-01-01

    throughout the S(n) series. These photophysical properties can be explained in terms of INDO/S-SCI calculations, which have revealed charge transfer (CT) transitions accidentally located close in energy to the excitonic Soret transitions. This feature arises from a close proximity of the two porphyrins in meso-meso-linked diporphyrins. In addition to the gradual red-shift of the exciton split Soret band, the calculations predict that the high-energy absorption band at about 400 nm, the lower energy Cotton effect, and the RR spectra taken for excitation at 457.9 nm are due to the CT states which are intensified upon a decrease in the dihedral angle.

  11. Fine-tuning Philippine transactions

    SciTech Connect

    Vitale, R.

    1994-11-01

    Expanding the power generation and distribution capability of the Philippines remains a top priority of the Philippine government. It is therefore not surprising that a number of the most significant legislative initiatives approved by the Philippine legislature in the past few years have been designed to encourage these activities in particular. There are several recent, significant statutes that will affect both power and non-power projects undertaken in the Philippines.

  12. Fine-Tuning Teacher Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Kim

    2012-01-01

    As many states and districts rethink teacher supervision and evaluation, the team at the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has analyzed thousands of lesson videotapes and studied the shortcomings of current practices. The tentative conclusion: Teachers should be evaluated on three…

  13. Enhancing signal to noise ratio by fine-tuning tapers of cladded/uncladded buffer rods in ultrasonic time domain reflectometry in smelters.

    PubMed

    Viumdal, Håkon; Mylvaganam, Saba

    2014-03-01

    Buffer rods (BR) as waveguides in ultrasonic time domain reflectometry (TDR) can somewhat extend the range of industrial applications of ultrasonics. Level, temperature and flow measurements involving elevated temperatures, corrosive fluids and generally harsh environments are some of the applications in which conventional ultrasonic transducers cannot be used directly in contact with the media. In such cases, BRs with some design modifications can make ultrasonic TDR measurements possible with limited success. This paper deals with TDR in conjunction with distance measurements in extremely hot fluids, using conventional ultrasonic transducers in combination with BRs. When using BRs in the ultrasonic measurement systems in extreme temperatures, problems associated with size and the material of the buffer, have to be addressed. The resonant frequency of the transducer and the relative size of the transducer with respect to the diameter of BR are also important parameters influencing the signal to noise ratio (SNR) of the signal processing system used in the ultrasonic TDR. This paper gives an overview of design aspects related to the BRs with special emphasis on tapers and cladding used on BRs. As protective cladding, zirconium oxide-yttrium oxide composite was used, with its proven thermal stability in withstanding temperatures in rocket and jet engines up to 1650 °C. In general a BR should guide the signals through to the medium and from and back to the transducer without excessive attenuation and at the same time not exacerbate the noise in the measurement system. The SNR is the decisive performance indicator to consider in the design of BR based ultrasonic TDR, along with appropriate transducer, with suitable size and operating frequency. This work presents and analyses results from extensive experiments related to fine-tuning both geometry of and signals in cladded/uncladded BRs used in high temperature ultrasonic TDR with focus on overall performance based on

  14. Fine Tuning of CaV1.3 Ca2+ Channel Properties in Adult Inner Hair Cells Positioned in the Most Sensitive Region of the Gerbil Cochlea

    PubMed Central

    Zampini, Valeria; Johnson, Stuart L.; Franz, Christoph; Knipper, Marlies; Holley, Matthew C.; Magistretti, Jacopo; Russo, Giancarlo; Marcotti, Walter; Masetto, Sergio

    2014-01-01

    Hearing relies on faithful signal transmission by cochlear inner hair cells (IHCs) onto auditory fibres over a wide frequency and intensity range. Exocytosis at IHC ribbon synapses is triggered by Ca2+ inflow through CaV1.3 (L-type) Ca2+ channels. We investigated the macroscopic (whole-cell) and elementary (cell-attached) properties of Ca2+ currents in IHCs positioned at the middle turn (frequency ∼2 kHz) of the adult gerbil cochlea, which is their most sensitive hearing region. Using near physiological recordings conditions (body temperature and a Na+ based extracellular solution), we found that the macroscopic Ca2+ current activates and deactivates very rapidly (time constant below 1 ms) and inactivates slowly and only partially. Single-channel recordings showed an elementary conductance of 15 pS, a sub-ms latency to first opening, and a very low steady-state open probability (Po: 0.024 in response to 500-ms depolarizing steps at ∼−18 mV). The value of Po was significantly larger (0.06) in the first 40 ms of membrane depolarization, which corresponds to the time when most Ca2+ channel openings occurred clustered in bursts (mean burst duration: 19 ms). Both the Po and the mean burst duration were smaller than those previously reported in high-frequency basal IHCs. Finally, we found that middle turn IHCs are likely to express about 4 times more Ca2+ channels per ribbon than basal cells. We propose that middle-turn IHCs finely-tune CaV1.3 Ca2+ channel gating in order to provide reliable information upon timing and intensity of lower-frequency sounds. PMID:25409445

  15. The human papillomavirus E7-E2 interaction mechanism in vitro reveals a finely tuned system for modulating available E7 and E2 proteins.

    PubMed

    Smal, Clara; Wetzler, Diana E; Dantur, Karina I; Chemes, Lucia B; Garcia-Alai, María M; Dellarole, Mariano; Alonso, Leonardo G; Gaston, Kevin; de Prat-Gay, Gonzalo

    2009-12-22

    Transcription of the human papillomavirus E7 oncoprotein is negatively controlled by the viral E2 protein, and loss of this repression leads to irreversible transformation and carcinogenesis. Here we show that interaction of the HPV16 E7 protein with the DNA binding domain of the E2 protein (E2C) leads to ionic strength-dependent hetero-oligomerization even at the lowest concentrations measurable. Titration experiments followed by light scattering and native gel electrophoresis show insoluble oligomeric complexes with a >or=2000 nm diameter and intermediate soluble complexes 40 and 115 nm in diameter, respectively, formed in excess of E2C. A discrete oligomeric soluble complex formed in excess of E7 displays a diameter of 12 nm. The N-terminal domain of E7 interacts with E2C with a K(D) of 0.1 muM, where the stretch of residues 25-40 of E7, encompassing both a PEST motif and phosphorylation sites, is sufficient for the interaction. Displacement of the soluble E7-E2C complex by an E2 site DNA duplex and site-directed mutagenesis indicate that the protein-protein interface involves the DNA binding helix of E2. The formation of complexes of different sizes and properties in excess of either of the viral proteins reveals a finely tuned mechanism that could regulate the intracellular levels of both proteins as infection and transformation progress. Sequestering E2 into E7-E2 oligomers provides a possible additional route to uncontrolled E7 expression, in addition and prior to the disruption of the E2 gene during viral integration into the host genome.

  16. Fine-Tuning Control of phoBR Expression in Vibrio cholerae by Binding of PhoB to Multiple Pho Boxes ▿

    PubMed Central

    Diniz, Michelle Menezes Passos; Goulart, Carolina Lage; Barbosa, Livia Carvalho; Farache, Júlia; Lery, Letícia Miranda Santos; Pacheco, Ana Beatriz Furlanetto; Bisch, Paulo Mascarello; von Krüger, Wanda Maria de Almeida

    2011-01-01

    The control of Vibrio cholerae phoBR expression by PhoB involves its binding to Pho boxes at −35 (box 1), −60 (box 2), and −80 (box 3) from the putative phoB translation start site. These loci were located in the sense (box 1) and antisense (boxes 2 and 3) strands of the phoBR regulatory region, and PhoB binds to these individual boxes with distinct affinities. Fusions of sequences containing different combinations of these boxes upstream of the lacZ reporter in a plasmid demonstrated that only those carrying boxes 1, 2, and 3, or 1 alone, activated transcription under inorganic phosphate (Pi) limitation. When a fragment, including only boxes 1 and 2, was fused to lacZ, expression was no longer induced by low Pi, suggesting a repressive role for PhoB∼box2 (PhoB bound to box 2) over the transcriptional activity induced by PhoB∼box1. The similarity between lacZ expression levels from promoter fragments containing the three boxes or box 1 alone showed that PhoB∼box3 eliminated the repressive effect imposed by PhoB∼box2 on phoBR transcription. Complementation assays with a phoBR-containing plasmid demonstrated that the 234-bp promoter fragment carrying the three boxes is absolutely required for operon expression in Vibrio cholerae ΔphoBR cells. This was observed under Pi abundance, when phoBR was expressed at a basal level and, also in low Pi conditions, when Pho regulon genes were fully expressed. Thus, under Pi limitation, PhoB exerts dual regulatory functions by binding sequentially distinct Pho boxes to enable the fine-tuning and precise control of phoBR expression in V. cholerae cells. PMID:21984792

  17. PERK regulated miR-424(322)-503 cluster fine-tunes activation of IRE1 and ATF6 during Unfolded Protein Response

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Ananya; Hossain, Muhammad Mosaraf; Read, Danielle E.; Hetz, Claudio; Samali, Afshin; Gupta, Sanjeev

    2015-01-01

    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) responds to changes in intracellular homeostasis through activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). UPR can facilitate the restoration of cellular homeostasis, via the concerted activation of three ER stress sensors, namely IRE1, PERK and ATF6. Global approaches in several cellular contexts have revealed that UPR regulates the expression of many miRNAs that play an important role in the regulation of life and death decisions during UPR. Here we show that expression of miR-424(322)-503 cluster is downregulated during UPR. IRE1 inhibitor (4 μ8C) and deficiency of XBP1 had no effect on downregulation of miR-424(322)-503 during UPR. Treatment of cells with CCT030312, a selective activator of EIF2AK3/PERK signalling, leads to the downregulation of miR-424(322)-503 expression. The repression of miR-424(322)-503 cluster during conditions of ER stress is compromised in PERK-deficient MEFs. miR-424 regulates the expression of ATF6 via a miR-424 binding site in its 3′ UTR and attenuates the ATF6 transcriptional activity during UPR. Further miR-424 had no effect on IRE1-XBP1 axis but enhanced the regulated IRE1-dependent decay (RIDD). Our results suggest that miR-424 constitutes an obligatory fine-tuning mechanism where PERK-mediated downregulation of miR-424(322)-503 cluster regulates optimal activation of IRE1 and ATF6 during conditions of ER stress. PMID:26674075

  18. Functional Characterization of MODY2 Mutations Highlights the Importance of the Fine-Tuning of Glucokinase and Its Role in Glucose Sensing

    PubMed Central

    García-Herrero, Carmen-María; Rubio-Cabezas, Oscar; Azriel, Sharona; Gutierrez-Nogués, Angel; Aragonés, Angel; Vincent, Olivier; Campos-Barros, Angel; Argente, Jesús; Navas, María-Angeles

    2012-01-01

    Glucokinase (GK) acts as a glucose sensor in the pancreatic beta-cell and regulates insulin secretion. Heterozygous mutations in the human GK-encoding GCK gene that reduce the activity index increase the glucose-stimulated insulin secretion threshold and cause familial, mild fasting hyperglycaemia, also known as Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young type 2 (MODY2). Here we describe the biochemical characterization of five missense GK mutations: p.Ile130Thr, p.Asp205His, p.Gly223Ser, p.His416Arg and p.Ala449Thr. The enzymatic analysis of the corresponding bacterially expressed GST-GK mutant proteins show that all of them impair the kinetic characteristics of the enzyme. In keeping with their position within the protein, mutations p.Ile130Thr, p.Asp205His, p.Gly223Ser, and p.His416Arg strongly decrease the activity index of GK, affecting to one or more kinetic parameters. In contrast, the p.Ala449Thr mutation, which is located in the allosteric activator site, does not affect significantly the activity index of GK, but dramatically modifies the main kinetic parameters responsible for the function of this enzyme as a glucose sensor. The reduced Kcat of the mutant (3.21±0.28 s−1 vs 47.86±2.78 s−1) is balanced by an increased glucose affinity (S0.5 = 1.33±0.08 mM vs 7.86±0.09 mM) and loss of cooperativity for this substrate. We further studied the mechanism by which this mutation impaired GK kinetics by measuring the differential effects of several competitive inhibitors and one allosteric activator on the mutant protein. Our results suggest that this mutation alters the equilibrium between the conformational states of glucokinase and highlights the importance of the fine-tuning of GK and its role in glucose sensing. PMID:22291974

  19. Codon optimization of xylA gene for recombinant glucose isomerase production in Pichia pastoris and fed-batch feeding strategies to fine-tune bioreactor performance.

    PubMed

    Ata, Özge; Boy, Erdem; Güneş, Hande; Çalık, Pınar

    2015-05-01

    The objectives of this work are the optimization of the codons of xylA gene from Thermus thermophilus to enhance the production of recombinant glucose isomerase (rGI) in P. pastoris and to investigate the effects of feeding strategies on rGI production. Codons of xylA gene from T. thermophilus were optimized, ca. 30 % of the codons were replaced with those with higher frequencies according to the codon usage bias of P. pastoris, codon optimization resulted in a 2.4-fold higher rGI activity. To fine-tune bioreactor performance, fed-batch bioreactor feeding strategies were designed as continuous exponential methanol feeding with pre-calculated feeding rate based on the pre-determined specific growth rate, and fed-batch methanol-stat feeding. Six feeding strategies were designed, as follows: (S1) continuous exponential methanol- and pulse- sorbitol feeding; (S2) continuous exponential methanol- and peptone- feeding; (S3) continuous exponential methanol- and pulse- mannitol feeding; (S4) continuous exponential methanol- and peptone- feeding and pulse-mannitol feeding; (S5) methanol-stat feeding by keeping methanol concentration at 5 g L(-1); and, (S6) methanol-stat feeding by keeping methanol concentration at 5 g L(-1) and pulse-mannitol feeding. The highest cell and rGI activity was attained as 117 g L(-1) at t = 66 h and 32530 U L(-1) at t = 53 h, in strategy-S5. The use of the co-substrate mannitol does not increase the rGI activity in methanol-stat feeding, where 4.1-fold lower rGI activity was obtained in strategy-S6. The overall cell yield on total substrate was determined at t = 53 h as 0.21 g g(-1) in S5 strategy.

  20. Inadequate fine-tuning of protein synthesis and failure of amino acid homeostasis following inhibition of the ATPase VCP/p97

    PubMed Central

    Parzych, K; Chinn, T M; Chen, Z; Loaiza, S; Porsch, F; Valbuena, G N; Kleijnen, M F; Karadimitris, A; Gentleman, E; Keun, H C; Auner, H W

    2015-01-01

    The cellular mechanisms that control protein degradation may constitute a non-oncogenic cancer cell vulnerability and, therefore, a therapeutic target. Although this proposition is supported by the clinical success of proteasome inhibitors in some malignancies, most cancers are resistant to proteasome inhibition. The ATPase valosin-containing protein (VCP; p97) is an essential regulator of protein degradation in multiple pathways and has emerged as a target for cancer therapy. We found that pharmacological depletion of VCP enzymatic activity with mechanistically different inhibitors robustly induced proteotoxic stress in solid cancer and multiple myeloma cells, including cells that were insensitive, adapted, or clinically resistant to proteasome inhibition. VCP inhibition had an impact on two key regulators of protein synthesis, eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) and mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), and attenuated global protein synthesis. However, a block on protein translation that was itself cytotoxic alleviated stress signaling and reduced cell death triggered by VCP inhibition. Some of the proteotoxic effects of VCP depletion depended on the eIF2α phosphatase, protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 15A (PPP1R15A)/PP1c, but not on mTORC1, although there appeared to be cross-talk between them. Thus, cancer cell death following VCP inhibition was linked to inadequate fine-tuning of protein synthesis and activity of PPP1R15A/PP1c. VCP inhibitors also perturbed intracellular amino acid levels, activated eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α kinase 4 (EIF2AK4), and enhanced cellular dependence on amino acid supplies, consistent with a failure of amino acid homeostasis. Many of the observed effects of VCP inhibition differed from the effects triggered by proteasome inhibition or by protein misfolding. Thus, depletion of VCP enzymatic activity triggers cancer cell death in part through inadequate regulation of protein synthesis and

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Taste Recognition: Considerations about the Role of Saliva

    PubMed Central

    Fábián, Tibor Károly; Beck, Anita; Fejérdy, Pál; Hermann, Péter; Fábián, Gábor

    2015-01-01

    The gustatory system plays a critical role in determining food preferences and food intake, in addition to nutritive, energy and electrolyte balance. Fine tuning of the gustatory system is also crucial in this respect. The exact mechanisms that fine tune taste sensitivity are as of yet poorly defined, but it is clear that various effects of saliva on taste recognition are also involved. Specifically those metabolic polypeptides present in the saliva that were classically considered to be gut and appetite hormones (i.e., leptin, ghrelin, insulin, neuropeptide Y, peptide YY) were considered to play a pivotal role. Besides these, data clearly indicate the major role of several other salivary proteins, such as salivary carbonic anhydrase (gustin), proline-rich proteins, cystatins, alpha-amylases, histatins, salivary albumin and mucins. Other proteins like glucagon-like peptide-1, salivary immunoglobulin-A, zinc-α-2-glycoprotein, salivary lactoperoxidase, salivary prolactin-inducible protein and salivary molecular chaperone HSP70/HSPAs were also expected to play an important role. Furthermore, factors including salivary flow rate, buffer capacity and ionic composition of saliva should also be considered. In this paper, the current state of research related to the above and the overall emerging field of taste-related salivary research alongside basic principles of taste perception is reviewed. PMID:25782158

  2. Molecular mechanisms of taste recognition: considerations about the role of saliva.

    PubMed

    Fábián, Tibor Károly; Beck, Anita; Fejérdy, Pál; Hermann, Péter; Fábián, Gábor

    2015-01-01

    The gustatory system plays a critical role in determining food preferences and food intake, in addition to nutritive, energy and electrolyte balance. Fine tuning of the gustatory system is also crucial in this respect. The exact mechanisms that fine tune taste sensitivity are as of yet poorly defined, but it is clear that various effects of saliva on taste recognition are also involved. Specifically those metabolic polypeptides present in the saliva that were classically considered to be gut and appetite hormones (i.e., leptin, ghrelin, insulin, neuropeptide Y, peptide YY) were considered to play a pivotal role. Besides these, data clearly indicate the major role of several other salivary proteins, such as salivary carbonic anhydrase (gustin), proline-rich proteins, cystatins, alpha-amylases, histatins, salivary albumin and mucins. Other proteins like glucagon-like peptide-1, salivary immunoglobulin-A, zinc-α-2-glycoprotein, salivary lactoperoxidase, salivary prolactin-inducible protein and salivary molecular chaperone HSP70/HSPAs were also expected to play an important role. Furthermore, factors including salivary flow rate, buffer capacity and ionic composition of saliva should also be considered. In this paper, the current state of research related to the above and the overall emerging field of taste-related salivary research alongside basic principles of taste perception is reviewed.

  3. Potential energy hypersurface and molecular flexibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koča, Jaroslav

    1993-02-01

    The molecular flexibility phenomenon is discussed from the conformational potential energy(hyper) surface (PES) point of view. Flexibility is considered as a product of three terms: thermodynamic, kinetic and geometrical. Several expressions characterizing absolute and relative molecular flexibility are introduced, depending on a subspace studied of the entire conformational space, energy level E of PES as well as absolute temperature. Results obtained by programs DAISY, CICADA and PANIC in conjunction with molecular mechanics program MMX for flexibility analysis of isopentane, 2,2-dimethylpentane and isohexane molecules are introduced.

  4. [Molecular and genetic aspects of interactions of the circadian clock and the energy-producing substrate metabolism in mammals].

    PubMed

    Podkolodnaia, O A

    2014-02-01

    The circadian clock system coordinates al the processes occurring in the body and controls the rhythmic pattern in metabolic system functioning. The reciprocal relationship between molecular and genetic systems of the circadian clock and the systems responsible for carbohydrate and lipid turnover provide fine tuning both of metabolic processes and the circadian clock regulation system, permitting the body to adapt to a variable environment. NAD-dependent enzymes, protein-kinases, and transcription regulators could serve as presumable molecular components, which are responsible for such a type of relationship. Genetic models and epidemiological studies demonstrate an association between mutations in the circadian clock genes with the risk of a disturbance of metabolic processes regulation, obesity development, and other maniifestations of metabolic syndrome.

  5. Metal-organic Frameworks as A Tunable Platform for Designing Functional Molecular Materials

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Cheng; Liu, Demin

    2013-01-01

    Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), also known as coordination polymers, represent an interesting class of crystalline molecular materials that are synthesized by combining metal-connecting points and bridging ligands. The modular nature of and mild conditions for MOF synthesis have permitted the rational structural design of numerous MOFs and the incorporation of various functionalities via constituent building blocks. The resulting designer MOFs have shown promise for applications in a number of areas, including gas storage/separation, nonlinear optics/ferroelectricity, catalysis, energy conversion/storage, chemical sensing, biomedical imaging, and drug delivery. The structure-property relationships of MOFs can also be readily established by taking advantage of the knowledge of their detailed atomic structures, which enables fine-tuning of their functionalities for desired applications. Through the combination of molecular synthesis and crystal engineering MOFs thus present an unprecedented opportunity for the rational and precise design of functional materials. PMID:23944646

  6. Fine-Tuning of Electronic Structure of Cobalt(II) Ion in Nonplanar Porphyrins and Tracking of a Cross-Hybrid Stage: Implications for the Distortion of Natural Tetrapyrrole Macrocycles.

    PubMed

    Liu, Qiuhua; Zhang, Xi; Zeng, Wennan; Wang, Jianxiu; Zhou, Zaichun

    2015-11-01

    The core size of the porphyrin macrocycles was closely related to their stability of the different electron structure in the central metal ion. Cobalt(II) ions can undergo a conversion in electron configurations upon N4 core contraction of 0.05 Å in nonplanar porphyrins, and these ions still maintain low spin forms after and before conversion. The structural fine-tuning can induce the appearance of a cross-hybrid stage [d(x(2)-y(2))sp(2) ↔ d(z(2))sp(2)] based on quadrilateral coordination of the planar core. The results indicate that the configuration conversion plays a key role in electron transfer in redox catalysis involving cobalt complexes. The electronic properties of six monostrapped cobalt(II) porphyrins were investigated by spectral, paramagnetic, and electrochemical methods. The macrocyclic deformations and size parameters of Co-containing model compounds were directly obtained from their crystal structures. PMID:26461496

  7. Development of Molecular Electrocatalysts for Energy Storage

    SciTech Connect

    DuBois, Daniel L.

    2014-02-20

    Molecular electrocatalysts can play an important role in energy storage and utilization reactions needed for intermittent renewable energy sources. This manuscript describes three general themes that our laboratories have found useful in the development of molecular electrocatalysts for reduction of CO2 to CO and for H2 oxidation and production. The first theme involves a conceptual partitioning of catalysts into first, second, and outer coordination spheres. This is illustrated with the design of electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction to CO using first and second coordination spheres and for H2 production catalysts using all three coordination spheres. The second theme focuses on the development of thermodynamic models that can be used to design catalysts to avoid high energy and low energy intermediates. In this research, new approaches to the measurement of thermodynamic hydride donor and acceptor abilities of transition metal complexes were developed. Combining this information with other thermodynamic information such as pKa values and redox potentials led to more complete thermodynamic descriptions of transition metal hydride, dihydride, and related species. Relationships extracted from this information were then used to develop models that are powerful tools for predicting and understanding the relative free energies of intermediates in catalytic reactions. The third theme is the control of proton movement during electrochemical fuel generation and utilization reactions. This research involves the incorporation of pendant amines in the second coordination sphere that can facilitate H-H bond heterolysis and heteroformation, intramolecular and intermolecular proton transfer steps, and the coupling of proton and electron transfer steps. Studies also indicate an important role for outer coordination sphere in the delivery of protons to the second coordination sphere. Understanding these proton transfer reactions and their

  8. Energy pooling upconversion in organic molecular systems.

    PubMed

    LaCount, Michael D; Weingarten, Daniel; Hu, Nan; Shaheen, Sean E; van de Lagemaat, Jao; Rumbles, Garry; Walba, David M; Lusk, Mark T

    2015-04-30

    A combination of molecular quantum electrodynamics, perturbation theory, and ab initio calculations was used to create a computational methodology capable of estimating the rate of three-body singlet upconversion in organic molecular assemblies. The approach was applied to quantify the conditions under which such relaxation rates, known as energy pooling, become meaningful for two test systems, stilbene-fluorescein and hexabenzocoronene-oligothiophene. Both exhibit low intramolecular conversion, but intermolecular configurations exist in which pooling efficiency is at least 90% when placed in competition with more conventional relaxation pathways. For stilbene-fluorescein, the results are consistent with data generated in an earlier experimental investigation. Exercising these model systems facilitated the development of a set of design rules for the optimization of energy pooling. PMID:25793313

  9. Fine tuning of emission color of iridium(III) complexes from yellow to red via substituent effect on 2-phenylbenzothiazole ligands: synthesis, photophysical, electrochemical and DFT study.

    PubMed

    Li, Ming; Zeng, Hui; Meng, Yanyan; Sun, Huiqin; Liu, Song; Lu, Zhiyun; Huang, Yan; Pu, Xuemei

    2011-07-21

    Four novel iridium(III) complexes bearing biphenyl (7a-7c) or fluorenyl (7d) modified benzothiazole cyclometallate ligands are synthesized. In comparison with the yellow parent complex, bis(2-phenylbenzothiozolato-N,C(2')) iridium(III) (acetylacetonate) [(pbt)(2)Ir(acac)] (λ(PLmax) = 557 nm, φ(PL) = 0.26), 7a-7d show 20-43 nm bathochromic shifted orange or red phosphorescence in solution, with maximum photoluminescence (PL) quantum yield of 0.62, and PL lifetime of 1.8-2.0 μs. Meanwhile, the resulting complexes also exhibit intense orange or red phosphorescence of λ(PLmax) = 588-611 nm in solid films. The complex 7c with two tert-butyl substituents possesses the highest phosphorescent efficiency both in dilute solution and thin solid films, therefore may be a prospective candidate for both doping and host emitting electrophosphorescent material. Furthermore, despite the observation of severe oxygen quenching for 7a-7d in solution, 7a and 7c even show efficient emission intensity quenching by oxygen in their solid state due to the existence of void channels in crystals; consequently, they are promising molecular oxygen sensor reagents. Electrochemical measurement and DFT calculation results suggest that all these chelates own declined LUMOs of 0.1 eV relative to that of (pbt)(2)Ir(acac) owing to the contribution of the phenyl substituents; whereas only 7d shows a more destabilized HOMO (∼0.1 eV) compared with the parent chelate. PMID:21666891

  10. Fine-Tuning of Photoautotrophic Protein Production by Combining Promoters and Neutral Sites in the Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. Strain PCC 6803

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Andrew H.; Berla, Bertram M.

    2015-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic cell factories that use solar energy to convert CO2 into useful products. Despite this attractive feature, the development of tools for engineering cyanobacterial chassis has lagged behind that for heterotrophs such as Escherichia coli or Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Heterologous genes in cyanobacteria are often integrated at presumptively “neutral” chromosomal sites, with unknown effects. We used transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) data for the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 to identify neutral sites from which no transcripts are expressed. We characterized the two largest such sites on the chromosome, a site on an endogenous plasmid, and a shuttle vector by integrating an enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) expression cassette expressed from either the Pcpc560 or the Ptrc1O promoter into each locus. Expression from the endogenous plasmid was as much as 14-fold higher than that from the chromosome, with intermediate expression from the shuttle vector. The expression characteristics of each locus correlated predictably with the promoters used. These findings provide novel, characterized tools for synthetic biology and metabolic engineering in cyanobacteria. PMID:26209663

  11. Fine-Tuning of Photoautotrophic Protein Production by Combining Promoters and Neutral Sites in the Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. Strain PCC 6803.

    PubMed

    Ng, Andrew H; Berla, Bertram M; Pakrasi, Himadri B

    2015-10-01

    Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic cell factories that use solar energy to convert CO2 into useful products. Despite this attractive feature, the development of tools for engineering cyanobacterial chassis has lagged behind that for heterotrophs such as Escherichia coli or Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Heterologous genes in cyanobacteria are often integrated at presumptively "neutral" chromosomal sites, with unknown effects. We used transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) data for the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 to identify neutral sites from which no transcripts are expressed. We characterized the two largest such sites on the chromosome, a site on an endogenous plasmid, and a shuttle vector by integrating an enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) expression cassette expressed from either the Pcpc560 or the Ptrc1O promoter into each locus. Expression from the endogenous plasmid was as much as 14-fold higher than that from the chromosome, with intermediate expression from the shuttle vector. The expression characteristics of each locus correlated predictably with the promoters used. These findings provide novel, characterized tools for synthetic biology and metabolic engineering in cyanobacteria. PMID:26209663

  12. Fine-tuning the fruit-tracking hypothesis: spatiotemporal links between fruit availability and fruit consumption by birds in Andean mountain forests.

    PubMed

    Blendinger, Pedro G; Ruggera, Román A; Núñez Montellano, M Gabriela; Macchi, Leandro; Zelaya, Patricia V; Álvarez, M Eva; Martín, Eduardo; Acosta, Oriana Osinaga; Sánchez, Rocío; Haedo, Josefina; Boots, Mike

    2012-11-01

    described fruit-frugivore relationships better than traditional measurements. Moreover, we show that covariation between frugivore abundance, frequency of fruit consumption and fruit availability must be included in the fruit-tracking hypothesis framework to demonstrate (or reject) spatiotemporal fruit tracking. We propose that estimation of nutrient and energy availability in fruits could be a new frontier to understanding the forces driving foraging decisions that lead to fruit tracking. PMID:22742825

  13. Extended Lagrangian free energy molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Niklasson, Anders M N; Steneteg, Peter; Bock, Nicolas

    2011-10-28

    Extended free energy Lagrangians are proposed for first principles molecular dynamics simulations at finite electronic temperatures for plane-wave pseudopotential and local orbital density matrix-based calculations. Thanks to the extended Lagrangian description, the electronic degrees of freedom can be integrated by stable geometric schemes that conserve the free energy. For the local orbital representations both the nuclear and electronic forces have simple and numerically efficient expressions that are well suited for reduced complexity calculations. A rapidly converging recursive Fermi operator expansion method that does not require the calculation of eigenvalues and eigenfunctions for the construction of the fractionally occupied density matrix is discussed. An efficient expression for the Pulay force that is valid also for density matrices with fractional occupation occurring at finite electronic temperatures is also demonstrated.

  14. Scalable Quantum Simulation of Molecular Energies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Malley, P. J. J.; Babbush, R.; Kivlichan, I. D.; Romero, J.; McClean, J. R.; Barends, R.; Kelly, J.; Roushan, P.; Tranter, A.; Ding, N.; Campbell, B.; Chen, Y.; Chen, Z.; Chiaro, B.; Dunsworth, A.; Fowler, A. G.; Jeffrey, E.; Lucero, E.; Megrant, A.; Mutus, J. Y.; Neeley, M.; Neill, C.; Quintana, C.; Sank, D.; Vainsencher, A.; Wenner, J.; White, T. C.; Coveney, P. V.; Love, P. J.; Neven, H.; Aspuru-Guzik, A.; Martinis, J. M.

    2016-07-01

    We report the first electronic structure calculation performed on a quantum computer without exponentially costly precompilation. We use a programmable array of superconducting qubits to compute the energy surface of molecular hydrogen using two distinct quantum algorithms. First, we experimentally execute the unitary coupled cluster method using the variational quantum eigensolver. Our efficient implementation predicts the correct dissociation energy to within chemical accuracy of the numerically exact result. Second, we experimentally demonstrate the canonical quantum algorithm for chemistry, which consists of Trotterization and quantum phase estimation. We compare the experimental performance of these approaches to show clear evidence that the variational quantum eigensolver is robust to certain errors. This error tolerance inspires hope that variational quantum simulations of classically intractable molecules may be viable in the near future.

  15. Molecular Recognition and Free Energy Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cannon, William Robert

    This dissertation describes the study of molecular recognition processes by free energy computer simulations. The introductory chapter briefly outlines the scientific development and significance of molecular recognition, and then describes statistical thermodynamic approaches to computer simulations. Chapter 1 analyzes the relationship of small guest molecules to a synthetic host in which one guest molecule is preorganized to be structurally complementary to the host while the second guest molecule must organize itself in order to obtain the same complementarity. The preferential recognition of imidazolidone over N,N^' -dimethylurea to the host is described in terms of the energetic cost of preorganizing the N,N^' -dimethylurea which can exist in several rotationally isomeric states. Chapter 2 describes the development of potential functions for molecular simulations and analyzes the structural, dynamic and thermodynamic aspects of sulfate anion solvation. Finally, chapter 3 describes the binding of sulfate anion to a periplasmic receptor and analyzes three mutants that have anomalous binding affinities for sulfate. Two of the mutants that have a greater than expected affinity for the anion are proposed to recognize and bind a water-anion complex rather than the anion alone, and the third mutant is proposed to have a dramatically decreased affinity for the anion due to steric and polarization effects.

  16. Fine-Tuning Your Ensemble's Jazz Style.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcia, Antonio J.

    1991-01-01

    Proposes instructional strategies for directors of jazz groups, including guidelines for developing of skills necessary for good performance. Includes effective methods for positive changes in ensemble style. Addresses jazz group problems such as beat, tempo, staying in tune, wind power, and solo/ensemble lines. Discusses percussionists, bassists,…

  17. Riboregulators: Fine-Tuning Virulence in Shigella

    PubMed Central

    Fris, Megan E.; Murphy, Erin R.

    2016-01-01

    Within the past several years, RNA-mediated regulation (ribo-regulation) has become increasingly recognized for its importance in controlling critical bacterial processes. Regulatory RNA molecules, or riboregulators, are perpetually responsive to changes within the micro-environment of a bacterium. Notably, several characterized riboregulators control virulence in pathogenic bacteria, as is the case for each riboregulator characterized to date in Shigella. The timing of virulence gene expression and the ability of the pathogen to adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions is critical to the establishment and progression of infection by Shigella species; ribo-regulators mediate each of these important processes. This mini review will present the current state of knowledge regarding RNA-mediated regulation in Shigella by detailing the characterization and function of each identified riboregulator in these pathogens. PMID:26858941

  18. Energy transformation in molecular electronic systems

    SciTech Connect

    Kasha, M.

    1985-07-25

    Our new optical pumping spectroscopy (steady state, and double-laser pulse) allows the production and study of the unstable rare tautomer in its ground and excited states, including picosecond dynamic studies. Molecules under study here included 7-azaindole (model for biological purines), 3-hydroxyflavone (model for plant flavones), lumichrome, and other heterocyclics. New detailed molecular mechanisms for proton transfer are derived, especially with catalytic assisting molecules. A new proton-transfer laser of extraordinary efficiency has become a side dividend, possibly worth of industrial development. The excited and highly reactive singlet molecular oxygen species /sup 1/..delta../sub g/) has proven to be ubiquitous in chemical peroxide systems and in physically excited sensitizer-oxygen systems. Hyperbaric oxygen mechanisms in biology probably involve singlet oxygen. We have undertaken a spectroscopic study of tris - dibenzoylmethane chelates of Al, Gd, Eu, and Yb trivalent ions. These chelates offer a variety of electronic behaviors, from Z-effects on ..pi..-electron spin-orbital coupling (Al, Gd) to Weissman intramolecular energy transfer to 4f mestable levels (Eu, Gd). Elegant new spectroscopic resolution at 77K permits separation of tautomeric, parasitic self-absorption, dissociation, and cage effects to be resolved. 18 refs., 4 figs.

  19. Energy transformation in molecular electronic systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasha, M.

    1985-07-01

    Our new optical pumping spectroscopy allows the production and study of the unstable rate tautomer in its ground and excited states, including picosecond dynamic studies. Molecules under study here included 7-azaindole 3-hydroxyflavone, lumichrome, and other heterocyclics. New detailed molecular mechanisms for proton transfer are derived, especially with catalytic assisting molecules. A new proton-transfer laser of extraordinary efficiency has become a side dividend, possibly worthy of industrial development. The excited and highly reactive singlet molecular oxygen species (1) DELTA sub g has proven to be ubiquitous in chemical peroxide systems and in physically excited sensitizer-oxygen systems. Hyperbaric oxygen mechanisms in biology probably involve singlet oxygen. We have undertaken a spectroscopic study of trisdibenzoylmethane chelates of Al, Gd, Eu, and Yb trivalent ions. These chelates offer a variety of electronic behaviors, from Z-effects on (PI)--electron spin-orbital coupling (Al, Gd) to Weissman intramolecular energy transfer to 4f mestable levels (Eu, Gd). Elegant new spectroscopic resolution at 77K permits separation of tautomeric, parasitic self-absorption, dissociation, and cage effects to be resolved.

  20. Electro-magnetic free energy transduction by molecular motors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yakovlev, V. V.

    2009-02-01

    It is generally accepted that molecular motors are utilizing the chemical energy of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis to convert it to the mechanical energy. A set of preliminary data demonstrates that the periodic electric field can induce transport as well, thus providing the energy to the molecular system.

  1. Molecular-level assemblies on metal oxide surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Schoonover, J.R.; Bignozzi, C.; Meyer, T.

    1996-07-01

    This is the final report of a one-year, Laboratory-Directed Research and Development project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The objective of this project was to explore molecular-level assemblies based on polypyridyl transition metal complexes attached to metal oxide surfaces to provide the basis for applications such as energy conversion and electricity generation, photoremediation of hazardous waste, chemical sensors, and optical storage and photorefractive devices for communications and optical computing. We have elucidated the fundamental factors that determine the photochemistry and photophysics of a series of these photoactive inorganic complexes in solution and on metal oxide substrates by exploiting our unique transient laser capabilities. This data is being utilized to design and fabricate molecular-level photonic devices. The rich chemistry of transition metal polypyridyl complexes can be utilized to prepare molecular assemblies having well-defined redox or excited-state properties that can be finely tuned to produce desired materials properties. We plan to explore other novel applications such as photorefractive switches and optical sensors using this molecular engineering approach.

  2. Orbital Energy Levels in Molecular Hydrogen. A Simple Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Willis, Christopher J.

    1988-01-01

    Described are the energetics involved in the formation of molecular hydrogen using concepts that should be familiar to students beginning the study of molecular orbital theory. Emphasized are experimental data on ionization energies. Included are two-electron atomic and molecular systems. (CW)

  3. Advanced Potential Energy Surfaces for Molecular Simulation.

    PubMed

    Albaugh, Alex; Boateng, Henry A; Bradshaw, Richard T; Demerdash, Omar N; Dziedzic, Jacek; Mao, Yuezhi; Margul, Daniel T; Swails, Jason; Zeng, Qiao; Case, David A; Eastman, Peter; Wang, Lee-Ping; Essex, Jonathan W; Head-Gordon, Martin; Pande, Vijay S; Ponder, Jay W; Shao, Yihan; Skylaris, Chris-Kriton; Todorov, Ilian T; Tuckerman, Mark E; Head-Gordon, Teresa

    2016-09-22

    Advanced potential energy surfaces are defined as theoretical models that explicitly include many-body effects that transcend the standard fixed-charge, pairwise-additive paradigm typically used in molecular simulation. However, several factors relating to their software implementation have precluded their widespread use in condensed-phase simulations: the computational cost of the theoretical models, a paucity of approximate models and algorithmic improvements that can ameliorate their cost, underdeveloped interfaces and limited dissemination in computational code bases that are widely used in the computational chemistry community, and software implementations that have not kept pace with modern high-performance computing (HPC) architectures, such as multicore CPUs and modern graphics processing units (GPUs). In this Feature Article we review recent progress made in these areas, including well-defined polarization approximations and new multipole electrostatic formulations, novel methods for solving the mutual polarization equations and increasing the MD time step, combining linear-scaling electronic structure methods with new QM/MM methods that account for mutual polarization between the two regions, and the greatly improved software deployment of these models and methods onto GPU and CPU hardware platforms. We have now approached an era where multipole-based polarizable force fields can be routinely used to obtain computational results comparable to state-of-the-art density functional theory while reaching sampling statistics that are acceptable when compared to that obtained from simpler fixed partial charge force fields.

  4. Computing molecular correlation energies with guaranteed precision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bischoff, Florian A.; Valeev, Edward F.

    2013-09-01

    We present an approach to compute accurate correlation energies for atoms and molecules in the framework of multiresolution analysis (MRA), using an adaptive discontinuous multiresolution spectral-element representation for the six-dimensional (two-electron) pair function. The key features of our approach that make it feasible, namely (1) low-rank tensor approximations of functions and operators and (2) analytic elimination of operator singularities via explicit correlation, were retained from the previous work [F. A. Bischoff, R. J. Harrison, and E. F. Valeev, J. Chem. Phys. 137, 104103 (2012)]. Here we generalized the working equations to handle general (non-symmetric) many-electron systems at the MP2 level. The numerical performance is shown for the beryllium atom and the water molecule where literature data for the basis set limits could be reproduced to a few tens of μEh. The key advantages of molecular MRA-MP2 are the absence of bias and arbitrariness in the choice of the basis set, high accuracy, and low scaling with respect to the system size.

  5. Engineering Molecular Transformations for Sustainable Energy Conversion

    SciTech Connect

    Neurock, Matthew

    2010-12-03

    Future strategies for sustainable energy production will undoubtedly require processes and materials that can efficiently convert renewable resources into fuels. Nature’s enzymes can exquisitely integrate highly active catalytic centers within flexible environments that can adaptively guide reactants to products with very high activities and selectivities. They are limited, however, by their stability and ability to integrate into large scale production processes. The design of more robust heterogeneous catalytic materials that mimic the performance of enzymes, however, has been hindered by our limited understanding of how such transformations proceed. The tremendous advances in ab initio quantum mechanical methods, atomistic simulations, and high performance computing that have occurred over the past two decades, however, provide unprecedented ability to track molecular transformations and how they proceed at specific sites and within particular environments. This information together with the advances in in situ spectroscopic methods that follow such transformations can begin to enable the design of atomic surface ensembles and nanoscale reaction environments. This paper provides the author’s perspective on how theory and simulation can be used to move from current onedimensional design efforts based on catalytic descriptors to the design of two-dimensional surfaces, threedimensional reaction environments, and proton-coupled electron transfer systems that mimic enzymes in the transformation of molecules.

  6. Advanced Potential Energy Surfaces for Molecular Simulation.

    PubMed

    Albaugh, Alex; Boateng, Henry A; Bradshaw, Richard T; Demerdash, Omar N; Dziedzic, Jacek; Mao, Yuezhi; Margul, Daniel T; Swails, Jason; Zeng, Qiao; Case, David A; Eastman, Peter; Wang, Lee-Ping; Essex, Jonathan W; Head-Gordon, Martin; Pande, Vijay S; Ponder, Jay W; Shao, Yihan; Skylaris, Chris-Kriton; Todorov, Ilian T; Tuckerman, Mark E; Head-Gordon, Teresa

    2016-09-22

    Advanced potential energy surfaces are defined as theoretical models that explicitly include many-body effects that transcend the standard fixed-charge, pairwise-additive paradigm typically used in molecular simulation. However, several factors relating to their software implementation have precluded their widespread use in condensed-phase simulations: the computational cost of the theoretical models, a paucity of approximate models and algorithmic improvements that can ameliorate their cost, underdeveloped interfaces and limited dissemination in computational code bases that are widely used in the computational chemistry community, and software implementations that have not kept pace with modern high-performance computing (HPC) architectures, such as multicore CPUs and modern graphics processing units (GPUs). In this Feature Article we review recent progress made in these areas, including well-defined polarization approximations and new multipole electrostatic formulations, novel methods for solving the mutual polarization equations and increasing the MD time step, combining linear-scaling electronic structure methods with new QM/MM methods that account for mutual polarization between the two regions, and the greatly improved software deployment of these models and methods onto GPU and CPU hardware platforms. We have now approached an era where multipole-based polarizable force fields can be routinely used to obtain computational results comparable to state-of-the-art density functional theory while reaching sampling statistics that are acceptable when compared to that obtained from simpler fixed partial charge force fields. PMID:27513316

  7. Dynamics of Dark Energy

    SciTech Connect

    Copeland, Edmund J.

    2007-11-20

    I briefly review attempts that have been made to model dark energy. These include models of a cosmological constant, dynamical models where a scalar field may be responsible for the observed late time acceleration through to the possibility that we are not fully in control of the gravity sector and the acceleration may be some manifestation of modified gravity. In all cases we will see some degree of fine tuning is required with the current models.

  8. Low Molecular Weight Norbornadiene Derivatives for Molecular Solar-Thermal Energy Storage.

    PubMed

    Quant, Maria; Lennartson, Anders; Dreos, Ambra; Kuisma, Mikael; Erhart, Paul; Börjesson, Karl; Moth-Poulsen, Kasper

    2016-09-01

    Molecular solar-thermal energy storage systems are based on molecular switches that reversibly convert solar energy into chemical energy. Herein, we report the synthesis, characterization, and computational evaluation of a series of low molecular weight (193-260 g mol(-1) ) norbornadiene-quadricyclane systems. The molecules feature cyano acceptor and ethynyl-substituted aromatic donor groups, leading to a good match with solar irradiation, quantitative photo-thermal conversion between the norbornadiene and quadricyclane, as well as high energy storage densities (396-629 kJ kg(-1) ). The spectroscopic properties and energy storage capability have been further evaluated through density functional theory calculations, which indicate that the ethynyl moiety plays a critical role in obtaining the high oscillator strengths seen for these molecules. PMID:27492997

  9. Low Molecular Weight Norbornadiene Derivatives for Molecular Solar-Thermal Energy Storage.

    PubMed

    Quant, Maria; Lennartson, Anders; Dreos, Ambra; Kuisma, Mikael; Erhart, Paul; Börjesson, Karl; Moth-Poulsen, Kasper

    2016-09-01

    Molecular solar-thermal energy storage systems are based on molecular switches that reversibly convert solar energy into chemical energy. Herein, we report the synthesis, characterization, and computational evaluation of a series of low molecular weight (193-260 g mol(-1) ) norbornadiene-quadricyclane systems. The molecules feature cyano acceptor and ethynyl-substituted aromatic donor groups, leading to a good match with solar irradiation, quantitative photo-thermal conversion between the norbornadiene and quadricyclane, as well as high energy storage densities (396-629 kJ kg(-1) ). The spectroscopic properties and energy storage capability have been further evaluated through density functional theory calculations, which indicate that the ethynyl moiety plays a critical role in obtaining the high oscillator strengths seen for these molecules.

  10. Localization of energy on the molecular scale

    SciTech Connect

    Lindenberg, K.; Brown, D.W.

    1997-12-31

    We discuss the spontaneous localization of vibrational energy in translationally invariant anharmonic chains at finite temperatures. In addition to the familiar energy-driven coherent mechanisms, which are rapidly degraded by thermal fluctuations, we identify the entropy-driven phenomenon we call {open_quotes}stochastic localization{close_quotes}, within which we include a number of characteristics of soft anharmonic oscillators in thermal equilibrium. Principal among these are a tendency for soft oscillators to spend more time at higher energies than comparable harmonic oscillators, and for high-energy fluctuations in soft oscillators to persist for longer times than lower-energy fluctuations, leading to a tendency for energy fluctuations to be organized into {open_quotes}bursts{close_quotes} separated by intervals of relative quiet. We illustrate the effects of stochastic localization on a bistable impurity embedded in a chain of soft oscillators by comparing it to an impurity embedded in a harmonic chain. Effects on transition rates at a given system energy can be quite dramatic.

  11. Energy Transformation in Molecular Electronic Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Kasha, Michael

    1999-05-17

    This laboratory has developed many new ideas and methods in the electronic spectroscopy of molecules. This report covers the contract period 1993-1995. A number of the projects were completed in 1996, and those papers are included in the report. The DOE contract was terminated at the end of 1995 owing to a reorganizational change eliminating nationally the projects under the Office of Health and Environmental Research, U. S. Department of Energy.

  12. State-to-state dynamics of molecular energy transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Gentry, W.R.; Giese, C.F.

    1993-12-01

    The goal of this research program is to elucidate the elementary dynamical mechanisms of vibrational and rotational energy transfer between molecules, at a quantum-state resolved level of detail. Molecular beam techniques are used to isolate individual molecular collisions, and to control the kinetic energy of collision. Lasers are used both to prepare specific quantum states prior to collision by stimulated-emission pumping (SEP), and to measure the distribution of quantum states in the collision products by laser-induced fluorescence (LIF). The results are interpreted in terms of dynamical models, which may be cast in a classical, semiclassical or quantum mechanical framework, as appropriate.

  13. Study on Properties of Energy Spectra of the Molecular Crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pang, Xiao-Feng; Chen, Xiang-Rong

    The energy-spectra of nonlinear vibration of molecular crystals such as acetanilide have been calculated by using discrete nonlinear Schrödinger equation appropriate to the systems, containing various interactions. The energy levels including higher excited states are basically consistent with experimental values obtained by infrared absorption and Raman scattering in acetanilide. We further give the features of distribution of the energy-spectra for the acetanilide. Using the energy spectra we also explained well experimental results obtained by Careri et al..

  14. Electron energy-loss spectra in molecular fluorine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nishimura, H.; Cartwright, D. C.; Trajmar, S.

    1979-01-01

    Electron energy-loss spectra in molecular fluorine, for energy losses from 0 to 17.0 eV, have been taken at incident electron energies of 30, 50, and 90 eV and scattering angles from 5 to 140 deg. Features in the spectra above 11.5 eV energy loss agree well with the assignments recently made from optical spectroscopy. Excitations of many of the eleven repulsive valence excited electronic states are observed and their location correlates reasonably well with recent theoretical results. Several of these excitations have been observed for the first time and four features, for which there are no identifications, appear in the spectra.

  15. Molecular clock integration of brown adipose tissue formation and function.

    PubMed

    Nam, Deokhwa; Yechoor, Vijay K; Ma, Ke

    2016-01-01

    The circadian clock is an essential time-keeping mechanism that entrains internal physiology to environmental cues. Despite the well-established link between the molecular clock and metabolic homeostasis, an intimate interplay between the clock machinery and the metabolically active brown adipose tissue (BAT) is only emerging. Recently, we came to appreciate that the formation and metabolic functions of BAT, a key organ for body temperature maintenance, are under an orchestrated circadian clock regulation. Two complementary studies from our group uncover that the cell-intrinsic clock machinery exerts concerted control of brown adipogenesis with consequent impacts on adaptive thermogenesis, which adds a previously unappreciated temporal dimension to the regulatory mechanisms governing BAT development and function. The essential clock transcriptional activator, Bmal1, suppresses adipocyte lineage commitment and differentiation, whereas the clock repressor, Rev-erbα, promotes these processes. This newly discovered temporal mechanism in fine-tuning BAT thermogenic capacity may enable energy utilization and body temperature regulation in accordance with external timing signals during development and functional recruitment. Given the important role of BAT in whole-body metabolic homeostasis, pharmacological interventions targeting the BAT-modulatory activities of the clock circuit may offer new avenues for the prevention and treatment of metabolic disorders, particularly those associated with circadian dysregulation. PMID:27385482

  16. Molecular clock integration of brown adipose tissue formation and function

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Deokhwa; Yechoor, Vijay K.; Ma, Ke

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The circadian clock is an essential time-keeping mechanism that entrains internal physiology to environmental cues. Despite the well-established link between the molecular clock and metabolic homeostasis, an intimate interplay between the clock machinery and the metabolically active brown adipose tissue (BAT) is only emerging. Recently, we came to appreciate that the formation and metabolic functions of BAT, a key organ for body temperature maintenance, are under an orchestrated circadian clock regulation. Two complementary studies from our group uncover that the cell-intrinsic clock machinery exerts concerted control of brown adipogenesis with consequent impacts on adaptive thermogenesis, which adds a previously unappreciated temporal dimension to the regulatory mechanisms governing BAT development and function. The essential clock transcriptional activator, Bmal1, suppresses adipocyte lineage commitment and differentiation, whereas the clock repressor, Rev-erbα, promotes these processes. This newly discovered temporal mechanism in fine-tuning BAT thermogenic capacity may enable energy utilization and body temperature regulation in accordance with external timing signals during development and functional recruitment. Given the important role of BAT in whole-body metabolic homeostasis, pharmacological interventions targeting the BAT-modulatory activities of the clock circuit may offer new avenues for the prevention and treatment of metabolic disorders, particularly those associated with circadian dysregulation. PMID:27385482

  17. Molecular clock integration of brown adipose tissue formation and function.

    PubMed

    Nam, Deokhwa; Yechoor, Vijay K; Ma, Ke

    2016-01-01

    The circadian clock is an essential time-keeping mechanism that entrains internal physiology to environmental cues. Despite the well-established link between the molecular clock and metabolic homeostasis, an intimate interplay between the clock machinery and the metabolically active brown adipose tissue (BAT) is only emerging. Recently, we came to appreciate that the formation and metabolic functions of BAT, a key organ for body temperature maintenance, are under an orchestrated circadian clock regulation. Two complementary studies from our group uncover that the cell-intrinsic clock machinery exerts concerted control of brown adipogenesis with consequent impacts on adaptive thermogenesis, which adds a previously unappreciated temporal dimension to the regulatory mechanisms governing BAT development and function. The essential clock transcriptional activator, Bmal1, suppresses adipocyte lineage commitment and differentiation, whereas the clock repressor, Rev-erbα, promotes these processes. This newly discovered temporal mechanism in fine-tuning BAT thermogenic capacity may enable energy utilization and body temperature regulation in accordance with external timing signals during development and functional recruitment. Given the important role of BAT in whole-body metabolic homeostasis, pharmacological interventions targeting the BAT-modulatory activities of the clock circuit may offer new avenues for the prevention and treatment of metabolic disorders, particularly those associated with circadian dysregulation.

  18. Molecular ion sources for low energy semiconductor ion implantation (invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hershcovitch, A.; Gushenets, V. I.; Seleznev, D. N.; Bugaev, A. S.; Dugin, S.; Oks, E. M.; Kulevoy, T. V.; Alexeyenko, O.; Kozlov, A.; Kropachev, G. N.; Kuibeda, R. P.; Minaev, S.; Vizir, A.; Yushkov, G. Yu.

    2016-02-01

    Smaller semiconductors require shallow, low energy ion implantation, resulting space charge effects, which reduced beam currents and production rates. To increase production rates, molecular ions are used. Boron and phosphorous (or arsenic) implantation is needed for P-type and N-type semiconductors, respectively. Carborane, which is the most stable molecular boron ion leaves unacceptable carbon residue on extraction grids. A self-cleaning carborane acid compound (C4H12B10O4) was synthesized and utilized in the ITEP Bernas ion source resulting in large carborane ion output, without carbon residue. Pure gaseous processes are desired to enable rapid switch among ion species. Molecular phosphorous was generated by introducing phosphine in dissociators via 4PH3 = P4 + 6H2; generated molecular phosphorous in a pure gaseous process was then injected into the HCEI Calutron-Bernas ion source, from which P4+ ion beams were extracted. Results from devices and some additional concepts are described.

  19. Molecular ion sources for low energy semiconductor ion implantation (invited).

    PubMed

    Hershcovitch, A; Gushenets, V I; Seleznev, D N; Bugaev, A S; Dugin, S; Oks, E M; Kulevoy, T V; Alexeyenko, O; Kozlov, A; Kropachev, G N; Kuibeda, R P; Minaev, S; Vizir, A; Yushkov, G Yu

    2016-02-01

    Smaller semiconductors require shallow, low energy ion implantation, resulting space charge effects, which reduced beam currents and production rates. To increase production rates, molecular ions are used. Boron and phosphorous (or arsenic) implantation is needed for P-type and N-type semiconductors, respectively. Carborane, which is the most stable molecular boron ion leaves unacceptable carbon residue on extraction grids. A self-cleaning carborane acid compound (C4H12B10O4) was synthesized and utilized in the ITEP Bernas ion source resulting in large carborane ion output, without carbon residue. Pure gaseous processes are desired to enable rapid switch among ion species. Molecular phosphorous was generated by introducing phosphine in dissociators via 4PH3 = P4 + 6H2; generated molecular phosphorous in a pure gaseous process was then injected into the HCEI Calutron-Bernas ion source, from which P4(+) ion beams were extracted. Results from devices and some additional concepts are described.

  20. Photoinduced charge and energy transfer in molecular wires.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Mélina; Albinsson, Bo

    2015-02-21

    Exploring charge and energy transport in donor-bridge-acceptor systems is an important research field which is essential for the fundamental knowledge necessary to develop future applications. These studies help creating valuable knowledge to respond to today's challenges to develop functionalized molecular systems for artificial photosynthesis, photovoltaics or molecular scale electronics. This tutorial review focuses on photo-induced charge/energy transfer in covalently linked donor-bridge-acceptor (D-B-A) systems. Of utmost importance in such systems is to understand how to control signal transmission, i.e. how fast electrons or excitation energy could be transferred between the donor and acceptor and the role played by the bridge (the "molecular wire"). After a brief description of the electron and energy transfer theory, we aim to give a simple yet accurate picture of the complex role played by the bridge to sustain donor-acceptor electronic communication. Special emphasis is put on understanding bridge energetics and conformational dynamics effects on the distance dependence of the donor-acceptor electronic coupling and transfer rates. Several examples of donor-bridge-acceptor systems from the literature are described as a support to the discussion. Finally, porphyrin-based molecular wires are introduced, and the relationship between their electronic structure and photophysical properties is outlined. In strongly conjugated porphyrin systems, limitations of the existing electron transfer theory to interpret the distance dependence of the transfer rates are also discussed.

  1. A molecularly based theory for electron transfer reorganization energy

    SciTech Connect

    Zhuang, Bilin; Wang, Zhen-Gang

    2015-12-14

    Using field-theoretic techniques, we develop a molecularly based dipolar self-consistent-field theory (DSCFT) for charge solvation in pure solvents under equilibrium and nonequilibrium conditions and apply it to the reorganization energy of electron transfer reactions. The DSCFT uses a set of molecular parameters, such as the solvent molecule’s permanent dipole moment and polarizability, thus avoiding approximations that are inherent in treating the solvent as a linear dielectric medium. A simple, analytical expression for the free energy is obtained in terms of the equilibrium and nonequilibrium electrostatic potential profiles and electric susceptibilities, which are obtained by solving a set of self-consistent equations. With no adjustable parameters, the DSCFT predicts activation energies and reorganization energies in good agreement with previous experiments and calculations for the electron transfer between metallic ions. Because the DSCFT is able to describe the properties of the solvent in the immediate vicinity of the charges, it is unnecessary to distinguish between the inner-sphere and outer-sphere solvent molecules in the calculation of the reorganization energy as in previous work. Furthermore, examining the nonequilibrium free energy surfaces of electron transfer, we find that the nonequilibrium free energy is well approximated by a double parabola for self-exchange reactions, but the curvature of the nonequilibrium free energy surface depends on the charges of the electron-transferring species, contrary to the prediction by the linear dielectric theory.

  2. Photoswitchable Molecular Rings for Solar-Thermal Energy Storage

    SciTech Connect

    Durgun, E; Grossman, JC

    2013-03-21

    Solar-thermal fuels reversibly store solar energy in the chemical bonds of molecules by photoconversion, and can release this stored energy in the form of heat upon activation. Many conventional photoswichable molecules could be considered as solar thermal fuels, although they suffer from low energy density or short lifetime in the photoinduced high-energy metastable state, rendering their practical use unfeasible. We present a new approach to the design of chemistries for solar thermal fuel applications, wherein well-known photoswitchable molecules are connected by different linker agents to form molecular rings. This approach allows for a significant increase in both the amount of stored energy per molecule and the stability of the fuels. Our results suggest a range of possibilities for tuning the energy density and thermal stability as a function of the type of the photoswitchable molecule, the ring size, or the type of linkers.

  3. Photoswitchable Molecular Rings for Solar-Thermal Energy Storage.

    PubMed

    Durgun, E; Grossman, Jeffrey C

    2013-03-21

    Solar-thermal fuels reversibly store solar energy in the chemical bonds of molecules by photoconversion, and can release this stored energy in the form of heat upon activation. Many conventional photoswichable molecules could be considered as solar thermal fuels, although they suffer from low energy density or short lifetime in the photoinduced high-energy metastable state, rendering their practical use unfeasible. We present a new approach to the design of chemistries for solar thermal fuel applications, wherein well-known photoswitchable molecules are connected by different linker agents to form molecular rings. This approach allows for a significant increase in both the amount of stored energy per molecule and the stability of the fuels. Our results suggest a range of possibilities for tuning the energy density and thermal stability as a function of the type of the photoswitchable molecule, the ring size, or the type of linkers.

  4. Molecular partitioning based on the kinetic energy density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noorizadeh, Siamak

    2016-05-01

    Molecular partitioning based on the kinetic energy density is performed to a number of chemical species, which show non-nuclear attractors (NNA) in their gradient maps of the electron density. It is found that NNAs are removed using this molecular partitioning and although the virial theorem is not valid for all of the basins obtained in the being used AIM, all of the atoms obtained using the new approach obey this theorem. A comparison is also made between some atomic topological parameters which are obtained from the new partitioning approach and those calculated based on the electron density partitioning.

  5. Harnessing Reversible Electronic Energy Transfer: From Molecular Dyads to Molecular Machines.

    PubMed

    Denisov, Sergey A; Yu, Shinlin; Pozzo, Jean-Luc; Jonusauskas, Gediminas; McClenaghan, Nathan D

    2016-06-17

    Reversible electronic energy transfer (REET) may be instilled in bi-/multichromophoric molecule-based systems, following photoexcitation, upon judicious structural integration of matched chromophores. This leads to a new set of photophysical properties for the ensemble, which can be fully characterized by steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopic methods. Herein, we take a comprehensive look at progress in the development of this type of supermolecule in the last five years, which has seen systems evolve from covalently tethered dyads to synthetic molecular machines, exemplified by two different pseudorotaxanes. Indeed, REET holds promise in the control of movement in molecular machines, their assembly/disassembly, as well as in charge separation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

  7. Influence of Copolyester Composition on Adhesion to Soda-Lime Glass via Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Ben; Hofmann, John; Pasquinelli, Melissa A

    2016-06-01

    Copolyesters are a subset of polymers that have the desirable properties of strength and clarity while retaining chemical resistance, and are thus potential candidates for enhancing the impact resistance of soda-lime glass. Adhesion between the polymer and the glass relates to the impact performance of the system, as well as the longevity of the bond between the polymer and the glass under various conditions. Modifying the types of diols and diacids present in the copolyester provides a method for fine-tuning the physical properties of the polymer. In this study, we used molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to examine the influence of the chemical composition of the polymers on adhesion of polymer film laminates to two soda-lime glass surfaces, one tin-rich and one oxygen-rich. By calculating properties such as adhesion energies and contact angles, these results provide insights into how the polymer-glass interaction is impacted by the polymer composition, temperature, and other factors such as the presence of free volume or pi stacking. These results can be used to optimize the adhesion of copolyester films to glass surfaces.

  8. Calculating Free Energies Using Scaled-Force Molecular Dynamics Algorithm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Darve, Eric; Wilson, Micahel A.; Pohorille, Andrew

    2000-01-01

    One common objective of molecular simulations in chemistry and biology is to calculate the free energy difference between different states of the system of interest. Examples of problems that have such an objective are calculations of receptor-ligand or protein-drug interactions, associations of molecules in response to hydrophobic, and electrostatic interactions or partition of molecules between immiscible liquids. Another common objective is to describe evolution of the system towards a low energy (possibly the global minimum energy), 'native' state. Perhaps the best example of such a problem is folding of proteins or short RNA molecules. Both types of problems share the same difficulty. Often, different states of the system are separated by high energy barriers, which implies that transitions between these states are rare events. This, in turn, can greatly impede exploration of phase space. In some instances this can lead to 'quasi non-ergodicity', whereby a part of phase space is inaccessible on timescales of the simulation. A host of strategies has been developed to improve efficiency of sampling the phase space. For example, some Monte Carlo techniques involve large steps which move the system between low-energy regions in phase space without the need for sampling the configurations corresponding to energy barriers (J-walking). Most strategies, however, rely on modifying probabilities of sampling low and high-energy regions in phase space such that transitions between states of interest are encouraged. Perhaps the simplest implementation of this strategy is to increase the temperature of the system. This approach was successfully used to identify denaturation pathways in several proteins, but it is clearly not applicable to protein folding. It is also not a successful method for determining free energy differences. Finally, the approach is likely to fail for systems with co-existing phases, such as water-membrane systems, because it may lead to spontaneous

  9. Protecting High Energy Barriers: A New Equation to Regulate Boost Energy in Accelerated Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) is one of the most common tools in computational chemistry. Recently, our group has employed accelerated molecular dynamics (aMD) to improve the conformational sampling over conventional molecular dynamics techniques. In the original aMD implementation, sampling is greatly improved by raising energy wells below a predefined energy level. Recently, our group presented an alternative aMD implementation where simulations are accelerated by lowering energy barriers of the potential energy surface. When coupled with thermodynamic integration simulations, this implementation showed very promising results. However, when applied to large systems, such as proteins, the simulation tends to be biased to high energy regions of the potential landscape. The reason for this behavior lies in the boost equation used since the highest energy barriers are dramatically more affected than the lower ones. To address this issue, in this work, we present a new boost equation that prevents oversampling of unfavorable high energy conformational states. The new boost potential provides not only better recovery of statistics throughout the simulation but also enhanced sampling of statistically relevant regions in explicit solvent MD simulations. PMID:22241967

  10. Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory Operations System: Version 4.0 - system requirements specification

    SciTech Connect

    Kashporenko, D.

    1996-07-01

    This document is intended to provide an operations standard for the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory OPerations System (EMSL OPS). It is directed toward three primary audiences: (1) Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) facility and operations personnel; (2) laboratory line managers and staff; and (3) researchers, equipment operators, and laboratory users. It is also a statement of system requirements for software developers of EMSL OPS. The need for a finely tuned, superior research environment as provided by the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory has never been greater. The abrupt end of the Cold War and the realignment of national priorities caused major US and competing overseas laboratories to reposition themselves in a highly competitive research marketplace. For a new laboratory such as the EMSL, this means coming into existence in a rapidly changing external environment. For any major laboratory, these changes create funding uncertainties and increasing global competition along with concomitant demands for higher standards of research product quality and innovation. While more laboratories are chasing fewer funding dollars, research ideas and proposals, especially for molecular-level research in the materials and biological sciences, are burgeoning. In such an economically constrained atmosphere, reduced costs, improved productivity, and strategic research project portfolio building become essential to establish and maintain any distinct competitive advantage. For EMSL, this environment and these demands require clear operational objectives, specific goals, and a well-crafted strategy. Specific goals will evolve and change with the evolution of the nature and definition of DOE`s environmental research needs. Hence, EMSL OPS is designed to facilitate migration of these changes with ease into every pertinent job function, creating a facile {open_quotes}learning organization.{close_quotes}

  11. Monte Carlo simulation of energy deposition by low-energy electrons in molecular hydrogen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heaps, M. G.; Furman, D. R.; Green, A. E. S.

    1975-01-01

    A set of detailed atomic cross sections has been used to obtain the spatial deposition of energy by 1-20-eV electrons in molecular hydrogen by a Monte Carlo simulation of the actual trajectories. The energy deposition curve (energy per distance traversed) is quite peaked in the forward direction about the entry point for electrons with energies above the threshold of the electronic states, but the peak decreases and broadens noticeably as the electron energy decreases below 10 eV (threshold for the lowest excitable electronic state of H2). The curve also assumes a very symmetrical shape for energies below 10 eV, indicating the increasing importance of elastic collisions in determining the shape of the curve, although not the mode of energy deposition.

  12. Molecular Dynamics and Energy Minimization Based on Embedded Atom Method

    1995-03-01

    This program performs atomic scale computer simulations of the structure and dynamics of metallic system using energetices based on the Embedded Atom Method. The program performs two types of calculations. First, it performs local energy minimization of all atomic positions to determine ground state and saddle point energies and structures. Second, it performs molecular dynamics simulations to determine thermodynamics or miscroscopic dynamics of the system. In both cases, various constraints can be applied to themore » system. The volume of the system can be varied automatically to achieve any desired external pressure. The temperature in molecular dynamics simulations can be controlled by a variety of methods. Further, the temperature control can be applied either to the entire system or just a subset of the atoms that would act as a thermal source/sink. The motion of one or more of the atoms can be constrained to either simulate the effects of bulk boundary conditions or to facilitate the determination of saddle point configurations. The simulations are performed with periodic boundary conditions.« less

  13. Ecotin-Like ISP of L. major Promastigotes Fine-Tunes Macrophage Phagocytosis by Limiting the Pericellular Release of Bradykinin from Surface-Bound Kininogens: A Survival Strategy Based on the Silencing of Proinflammatory G-Protein Coupled Kinin B2 and B1 Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Svensjö, Erik; Vellasco, Lucas; Scharfstein, Julio

    2014-01-01

    Inhibitors of serine peptidases (ISPs) expressed by Leishmania major enhance intracellular parasitism in macrophages by targeting neutrophil elastase (NE), a serine protease that couples phagocytosis to the prooxidative TLR4/PKR pathway. Here we investigated the functional interplay between ISP-expressing L. major and the kallikrein-kinin system (KKS). Enzymatic assays showed that NE inhibitor or recombinant ISP-2 inhibited KKS activation in human plasma activated by dextran sulfate. Intravital microscopy in the hamster cheek pouch showed that topically applied L. major promastigotes (WT and Δisp2/3 mutants) potently induced plasma leakage through the activation of bradykinin B2 receptors (B2R). Next, using mAbs against kininogen domains, we showed that these BK-precursor proteins are sequestered by L. major promastigotes, being expressed at higher % in the Δisp2/3 mutant population. Strikingly, analysis of the role of kinin pathway in the phagocytic uptake of L. major revealed that antagonists of B2R or B1R reversed the upregulated uptake of Δisp2/3 mutants without inhibiting macrophage internalization of WT L. major. Collectively, our results suggest that L. major ISP-2 fine-tunes macrophage phagocytosis by inhibiting the pericellular release of proinflammatory kinins from surface bound kininogens. Ongoing studies should clarify whether L. major ISP-2 subverts TLR4/PKR-dependent prooxidative responses of macrophages by preventing activation of G-protein coupled B2R/B1R. PMID:25294952

  14. Ecotin-like ISP of L. major promastigotes fine-tunes macrophage phagocytosis by limiting the pericellular release of bradykinin from surface-bound kininogens: a survival strategy based on the silencing of proinflammatory G-protein coupled kinin B2 and B1 receptors.

    PubMed

    Svensjö, Erik; Nogueira de Almeida, Larissa; Vellasco, Lucas; Juliano, Luiz; Scharfstein, Julio

    2014-01-01

    Inhibitors of serine peptidases (ISPs) expressed by Leishmania major enhance intracellular parasitism in macrophages by targeting neutrophil elastase (NE), a serine protease that couples phagocytosis to the prooxidative TLR4/PKR pathway. Here we investigated the functional interplay between ISP-expressing L. major and the kallikrein-kinin system (KKS). Enzymatic assays showed that NE inhibitor or recombinant ISP-2 inhibited KKS activation in human plasma activated by dextran sulfate. Intravital microscopy in the hamster cheek pouch showed that topically applied L. major promastigotes (WT and Δisp2/3 mutants) potently induced plasma leakage through the activation of bradykinin B2 receptors (B2R). Next, using mAbs against kininogen domains, we showed that these BK-precursor proteins are sequestered by L. major promastigotes, being expressed at higher % in the Δisp2/3 mutant population. Strikingly, analysis of the role of kinin pathway in the phagocytic uptake of L. major revealed that antagonists of B2R or B1R reversed the upregulated uptake of Δisp2/3 mutants without inhibiting macrophage internalization of WT L. major. Collectively, our results suggest that L. major ISP-2 fine-tunes macrophage phagocytosis by inhibiting the pericellular release of proinflammatory kinins from surface bound kininogens. Ongoing studies should clarify whether L. major ISP-2 subverts TLR4/PKR-dependent prooxidative responses of macrophages by preventing activation of G-protein coupled B2R/B1R. PMID:25294952

  15. Unraveling the binding mechanism of polyoxyethylene sorbitan esters with bovine serum albumin: a novel theoretical model based on molecular dynamic simulations.

    PubMed

    Delgado-Magnero, Karelia H; Valiente, Pedro A; Ruiz-Peña, Miriam; Pérez-Gramatges, Aurora; Pons, Tirso

    2014-04-01

    To gain a better understanding of the interactions governing the binding mechanism of proteins with non-ionic surfactants, the association processes of Tween 20 and Tween 80 with the bovine serum albumin (BSA) protein were investigated using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Protein:surfactant molar ratios were chosen according to the critical micelle concentration (CMC) of each surfactant in the presence of BSA. It was found that both the hydrophilic and the hydrophobic groups of the BSA equally contribute to the surface area of interaction with the non-ionic surfactants. A novel theoretical model for the interactions between BSA and these surfactants at the atomic level is proposed, where both surfactants bind to non-specific domains of the BSA three-dimensional structure mainly through their polyoxyethylene groups, by hydrogen bonds and van der Waals interactions. This is well supported by the strong electrostatic and van der Waals interaction energies obtained in the calculations involving surfactant polyoxyethylene groups and different protein regions. The results obtained from the MD simulations suggest that the formation of surfactant clusters over the BSA structure, due to further cooperative self-assembly of Tween molecules, could increase the protein conformational stability. These results extend the current knowledge on molecular interactions between globular proteins and non-ionic surfactants, and contribute to the fine-tuning design of protein formulations using polysorbates as excipients for minimizing the undesirable effects of protein adsorption and aggregation.

  16. Fine-Tuning of PI3K/AKT Signalling by the Tumour Suppressor PTEN Is Required for Maintenance of Flight Muscle Function and Mitochondrial Integrity in Ageing Adult Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Mensah, Lawrence B.; Davison, Claire; Fan, Shih-Jung; Morris, John F.; Goberdhan, Deborah C. I.; Wilson, Clive

    2015-01-01

    Insulin/insulin-like growth factor signalling (IIS), acting primarily through the PI3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT kinase signalling cassette, plays key evolutionarily conserved regulatory roles in nutrient homeostasis, growth, ageing and longevity. The dysfunction of this pathway has been linked to several age-related human diseases including cancer, Type 2 diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders. However, it remains unclear whether minor defects in IIS can independently induce the age-dependent functional decline in cells that accompany some of these diseases or whether IIS alters the sensitivity to other aberrant signalling. We identified a novel hypomorphic allele of PI3K’s direct antagonist, Phosphatase and tensin homologue on chromosome 10 (Pten), in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Adults carrying combinations of this allele, Pten5, combined with strong loss-of-function Pten mutations exhibit subtle or no increase in mass, but are highly susceptible to a wide range of stresses. They also exhibit dramatic upregulation of the oxidative stress response gene, GstD1, and a progressive loss of motor function that ultimately leads to defects in climbing and flight ability. The latter phenotype is associated with mitochondrial disruption in indirect flight muscles, although overall muscle structure appears to be maintained. We show that the phenotype is partially rescued by muscle-specific expression of the Bcl-2 homologue Buffy, which in flies, maintains mitochondrial integrity, modulates energy homeostasis and suppresses cell death. The flightless phenotype is also suppressed by mutations in downstream IIS signalling components, including those in the mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway, suggesting that elevated IIS is responsible for functional decline in flight muscle. Our data demonstrate that IIS levels must be precisely regulated by Pten in adults to maintain the function of the highly metabolically active indirect flight muscles

  17. Ab initio molecular dynamics calculations of ion hydration free energies

    SciTech Connect

    Leung, Kevin; Rempe, Susan B.; Lilienfeld, O. Anatole von

    2009-05-28

    We apply ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) methods in conjunction with the thermodynamic integration or '{lambda}-path' technique to compute the intrinsic hydration free energies of Li{sup +}, Cl{sup -}, and Ag{sup +} ions. Using the Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof functional, adapting methods developed for classical force field applications, and with consistent assumptions about surface potential ({phi}) contributions, we obtain absolute AIMD hydration free energies ({Delta}G{sub hyd}) within a few kcal/mol, or better than 4%, of Tissandier et al.'s [J. Phys. Chem. A 102, 7787 (1998)] experimental values augmented with the SPC/E water model {phi} predictions. The sums of Li{sup +}/Cl{sup -} and Ag{sup +}/Cl{sup -} AIMD {Delta}G{sub hyd}, which are not affected by surface potentials, are within 2.6% and 1.2 % of experimental values, respectively. We also report the free energy changes associated with the transition metal ion redox reaction Ag{sup +}+Ni{sup +}{yields}Ag+Ni{sup 2+} in water. The predictions for this reaction suggest that existing estimates of {Delta}G{sub hyd} for unstable radiolysis intermediates such as Ni{sup +} may need to be extensively revised.

  18. (Molecular understanding of mutagenicity using potential energy methods)

    SciTech Connect

    Broyde, S.

    1990-01-01

    The objective of our work has been, for many year, to elucidate on a molecular level at atomic resolution the structures of DNAs modified by highly mutagenic polycyclic aromatic amines and hydrocarbons, and their less mutagenic chemically related analogs and unmodified DNAs, as controls. The ultimate purpose of this undertaking is to obtain an understanding of the relationship DNA structures and mutagenicity. Our methods for elucidating structures are computational, but we keep in close contact with experimental developments, and have, very recently, been able to incorporate the first experimental information from NMR studies by other workers in our calculations. The specific computational methods we employ are minimized potential energy calculations using the torsion angle space program DUPLEX, developed and written by Dr. Brain Hingerty to yield static views. Molecular dynamics simulations of the important static structures with full solvation and salt are carried out with the program AMBER; this yields mobile views in a milieu that best mimics the natural environment of the cell. In addition, we have been developing new strategies for searching conformation space and building DNA duplexes from favored subunit structures. 30 refs., 12 figs.

  19. Exploring the free energy surface using ab initio molecular dynamics

    DOE PAGES

    Samanta, Amit; Morales, Miguel A.; Schwegler, Eric

    2016-04-22

    Efficient exploration of the configuration space and identification of metastable structures are challenging from both computational as well as algorithmic perspectives. Here, we extend the recently proposed orderparameter aided temperature accelerated sampling schemes to efficiently and systematically explore free energy surfaces, and search for metastable states and reaction pathways within the framework of density functional theory based molecular dynamics. The sampling method is applied to explore the relevant parts of the configuration space in prototypical materials SiO2 and Ti to identify the different metastable structures corresponding to different phases in these materials. In addition, we use the string method inmore » collective variables to study the melting pathways in the high pressure cotunnite phase of SiO2 and the hcp to fcc phase transition in Ti.« less

  20. Photoinduced Charge and Energy Transfer Processes in Molecular Aggregates

    SciTech Connect

    John F. Endicott

    2009-10-20

    This project involved the experimental probing of the electronic excited states generated by photoinduced (center-to-center) electron and energy transfer processes in several classes of transition metal donor/acceptor (D/A) complexes. Some of the general properties inferred from these studies should be useful in the design of new systems for energy conversion applications. Pursuit of the project goals has involved the determination of electron transfer efficiencies and the detailed study of variations in the electronic spectra of D/A complexes. This has resulted in the study of some very fundamental issues of photoinduced charge transfer and the identification of some of the constraints on its efficiency. The experimental studies of the competition between the degradative non-radiative unimolecular relaxation of transition metal excited states and their transfer of charge from these excited states to external acceptors have involved a range of techniques such as transient decay kinetics, photoacoustic calorimetry and transient or stationary state spectroscopy. The substrates synthesized for these studies were selected to provide model systems, or series of model systems to probe the validity of models of electronic excited states and their reactivity. The work during the last few years has focused largely, but not exclusively, on the use of emission spectral band shapes to probe the properties of charge transfer (CT) excited states. Bandshape variations are one of the very few approaches for systematically probing electronic excited states and good band shape resolution is necessary in order to gain information about the structural variations that correlate with excited state reactivity. Differences in molecular structure correlate with differences in chemical reactivity, and the variations in emission bandshapes are well known to relate to variations in the molecular structural differences between the excited and ground electronic states. However, it is has been

  1. Selectivity of pyoverdine recognition by the FpvA receptor of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Bouvier, Benjamin; Cézard, Christine; Sonnet, Pascal

    2015-07-21

    The Gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a ubiquitous human opportunistic pathogen, has developed resistances to multiple antibiotics. It uses its primary native siderophore, pyoverdine, to scavenge the iron essential to its growth in the outside medium and transport it back into its cytoplasm. The FpvA receptor on the bacterial outer membrane recognizes and internalizes pyoverdine bearing its iron payload, but can also bind pyoverdines from other Pseudomonads or synthetic analogues. Pyoverdine derivatives could therefore be used as vectors to deliver antibiotics into the bacterium. In this study, we use molecular dynamics and free energy calculations to characterize the mechanisms and thermodynamics of the recognition of the native pyoverdines of P. aeruginosa and P. fluorescens by FpvA. Based on these results, we delineate the features that pyoverdines with high affinity for FpvA should possess. In particular, we show that (i) the dynamics and interaction of the unbound pyoverdines with water should be optimized with equal care as the interface contacts in the complex with FpvA; (ii) the C-terminal extremity of the pyoverdine chain, which appears to play no role in the bound complex, is involved in the intermediate stages of recognition; and (iii) the length and cyclicity of the pyoverdine chain can be used to fine-tune the kinetics of the recognition mechanism. PMID:26098682

  2. Equiparatition of energy for turbulent astrophysical fluids: Accounting for the unseen energy in molecular clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zweibel, Ellen G.; Mckee, Christopher F.

    1995-01-01

    Molecular clouds are observed to be partially supported by turbulent pressure. The kinetic energy of the turbulence is directly measurable, but the potential energy, which consists of magnetic, thermal, and gravitational potential energy, is largly unseen. We have extended previous results on equipartition between kinetic and potential energy to show that it is likely to be a very good approximation in molecular clouds. We have used two separate approaches to demonstrate this result: For small-amplitude perturbations of a static equilibrium, we have used the energy principle analysis of Bernstein et al. (1958); this derivation applies to perturbations of arbitary wavelength. To treat perturbations of a nonstatic equilibrium, we have used the Lagrangian analysis of Dewar (1970); this analysis applies only to short-wavelength perturbations. Both analysis assume conservation of energy. Wave damping has only a small effect on equipartition if the wave frequency is small compared to the neutral-ion collision frequency; for the particular case we considered, radiative losses have no effect on equipartition. These results are then incorporated in a simple way into analyses of cloud equilibrium and global stability. We discuss the effect of Alfvenic turbulence on the Jeans mass and show that it has little effect on the magnetic critical mass.

  3. Application of potential constants: Empirical determination of molecular energy components for diatomic molecules—II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohwada, Ken

    The harmonic and anharmonic potential (force) constants which are usually available from a normal coordinate analysis for a diatomic molecule are applied to determine the molecular energy components such as the electronic kinetic energy, the total electrostatic potential energy, the electron—nuclear attraction energy, the electron—electron repulsion energy, the nuclear—nuclear repulsion energy, and the Hartree—Fock eigen-value sum. The method developed here is based on an inhomogeneous linear third-order differential equation derived from the quantum mechanical virial theorem, and a homogeneity hypothesis of the molecular energy with respect to the atomic number. To confirm the utility of the method, the calculated molecular energy components of diatomic molecules are compared with available Hartree—Fock data. It is concluded from this data that the present method is simple and useful for evaluating the molecular energy components of various diatomic molecules.

  4. Using collective intelligence to fine-tune public health policy.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Andy; Carroll, Denis; Foggie, Richard

    2010-01-01

    The European Union Future Internet Assembly, the roadmap for the Web heading towards semantic interoperability and building on the UK's adoption of the Internet and social media are accelerating the development of Web 3.0. A number of health portals are opening, some with facilities for the capture of Patient Based Records. Collective Intelligence will be generated that, applied to health, has potential to support Public Health policy. By using the Internet, millions of people in the course of their daily activities contribute to uncertified data stores, some explicitly collaborating to create collective knowledge bases, some contributing implicitly through the patterns of their choices and actions. An application of soft computing, called Collective Health Intelligence, that reasons uncertified and certified data could enhance the social pool of existing health knowledge available to the public health agencies. Collective Health Intelligence could be used to complement national programmes by employing innovative sampling techniques, cost-effectively generating anonymous data trends that would quantify policy, indicate epidemiological effects and supply metrics to test policy efficacy. PMID:20543334

  5. Prediction of fine-tuned promoter activity from DNA sequence.

    PubMed

    Siwo, Geoffrey; Rider, Andrew; Tan, Asako; Pinapati, Richard; Emrich, Scott; Chawla, Nitesh; Ferdig, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The quantitative prediction of transcriptional activity of genes using promoter sequence is fundamental to the engineering of biological systems for industrial purposes and understanding the natural variation in gene expression. To catalyze the development of new algorithms for this purpose, the Dialogue on Reverse Engineering Assessment and Methods (DREAM) organized a community challenge seeking predictive models of promoter activity given normalized promoter activity data for 90 ribosomal protein promoters driving expression of a fluorescent reporter gene. By developing an unbiased modeling approach that performs an iterative search for predictive DNA sequence features using the frequencies of various k-mers, inferred DNA mechanical properties and spatial positions of promoter sequences, we achieved the best performer status in this challenge. The specific predictive features used in the model included the frequency of the nucleotide G, the length of polymeric tracts of T and TA, the frequencies of 6 distinct trinucleotides and 12 tetranucleotides, and the predicted protein deformability of the DNA sequence. Our method accurately predicted the activity of 20 natural variants of ribosomal protein promoters (Spearman correlation r = 0.73) as compared to 33 laboratory-mutated variants of the promoters (r = 0.57) in a test set that was hidden from participants. Notably, our model differed substantially from the rest in 2 main ways: i) it did not explicitly utilize transcription factor binding information implying that subtle DNA sequence features are highly associated with gene expression, and ii) it was entirely based on features extracted exclusively from the 100 bp region upstream from the translational start site demonstrating that this region encodes much of the overall promoter activity. The findings from this study have important implications for the engineering of predictable gene expression systems and the evolution of gene expression in naturally occurring biological systems. PMID:27347373

  6. Forecasting RVF Outbreaks-FineTuning a Model

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An outbreak of Rift Valley Fever, causing severe illness in more than 600 people, resulting in more than 150 deaths, occurred in several locations in Kenya from November 2006 until early March 2007. The symposium (I and II) will review the epidemic and present findings from the multi-faceted invest...

  7. A presynaptic gain control mechanism fine-tunes olfactory behavior.

    PubMed

    Root, Cory M; Masuyama, Kaoru; Green, David S; Enell, Lina E; Nässel, Dick R; Lee, Chi-Hon; Wang, Jing W

    2008-07-31

    Early sensory processing can play a critical role in sensing environmental cues. We have investigated the physiological and behavioral function of gain control at the first synapse of olfactory processing in Drosophila. Olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) express the GABA(B) receptor (GABA(B)R), and its expression expands the dynamic range of ORN synaptic transmission that is preserved in projection neuron responses. Strikingly, each ORN channel has a unique baseline level of GABA(B)R expression. ORNs that sense the aversive odorant CO(2) do not express GABA(B)Rs and do not have significant presynaptic inhibition. In contrast, pheromone-sensing ORNs express a high level of GABA(B)Rs and exhibit strong presynaptic inhibition. Furthermore, pheromone-dependent mate localization is impaired in flies that lack GABA(B)Rs in specific ORNs. These findings indicate that different olfactory receptor channels employ heterogeneous presynaptic gain control as a mechanism to allow an animal's innate behavioral responses to match its ecological needs.

  8. Fine tuning of graphene-metal adhesion by surface alloying.

    PubMed

    Alfè, D; Pozzo, M; Miniussi, E; Günther, S; Lacovig, P; Lizzit, S; Larciprete, R; Santos Burgos, B; Menteş, T O; Locatelli, A; Baraldi, A

    2013-01-01

    We show that bimetallic surface alloying provides a viable route for governing the interaction between graphene and metal through the selective choice of the elemental composition of the surface alloy. This concept is illustrated by an experimental and theoretical characterization of the properties of graphene on a model PtRu surface alloy on Ru(0001), with a concentration of Pt atoms in the first layer between 0 and 50%. The progressive increase of the Pt content determines the gradual detachment of graphene from the substrate, which results from the modification of the carbon orbital hybridization promoted by Pt. Alloying is also found to affect the morphology of graphene, which is strongly corrugated on bare Ru, but becomes flat at a Pt coverage of 50%. The method here proposed can be readily extended to several supports, thus opening the way to the conformal growth of graphene on metals and to a full tunability of the graphene-substrate interaction. PMID:23938361

  9. Fine-tuning of bioactive glass for root canal disinfection.

    PubMed

    Waltimo, T; Mohn, D; Paqué, F; Brunner, T J; Stark, W J; Imfeld, T; Schätzle, M; Zehnder, M

    2009-03-01

    An ideal preparation of 45S5 bioactive glass suspensions/slurries for root canal disinfection should combine high pH induction with capacity for continuing release of alkaline species. The hypothesis of this study was that more material per volume of bioactive glass slurry is obtained with a micrometric material (< 5 microm particle size) or a micrometric/ nanometric hybrid, rather than a solely nanometric counterpart. This should correlate with alkaline capacity and antimicrobial effectiveness. Slurries at the plastic limit were prepared with test and reference materials in physiological saline. Total mass and specific surface area of glass material per volume were determined. Continuous titration with hydrochloric acid was performed, and antimicrobial effectiveness was tested in extracted human premolars mono-infected with E. faecalis ATTC 29212 (N = 12 per material). While the nanometric slurry had a 12-fold higher specific surface area than the micrometric counterpart, the latter had a considerably higher alkaline capacity and disinfected significantly better (Fisher's exact test, P < 0.05). The hybrid slurry behaved similarly to the micrometric preparation.

  10. ESP Needs Washback and the Fine Tuning of Driving Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freiermuth, Mark R.

    2007-01-01

    Workplace needs are often difficult for English for Specific Purposes (ESP) teachers to assess due to a variety of obstacles that can restrict opportunities to analyze the existing needs. Nevertheless, the workers' needs may be recognized by employing techniques aimed at extracting information from the workers themselves. Japanese university…

  11. Fine-tuning structural RNA alignments in the twilight zone

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background A widely used method to find conserved secondary structure in RNA is to first construct a multiple sequence alignment, and then fold the alignment, optimizing a score based on thermodynamics and covariance. This method works best around 75% sequence similarity. However, in a "twilight zone" below 55% similarity, the sequence alignment tends to obscure the covariance signal used in the second phase. Therefore, while the overall shape of the consensus structure may still be found, the degree of conservation cannot be estimated reliably. Results Based on a combination of available methods, we present a method named planACstar for improving structure conservation in structural alignments in the twilight zone. After constructing a consensus structure by alignment folding, planACstar abandons the original sequence alignment, refolds the sequences individually, but consistent with the consensus, aligns the structures, irrespective of sequence, by a pure structure alignment method, and derives an improved sequence alignment from the alignment of structures, to be re-submitted to alignment folding, etc.. This circle may be iterated as long as structural conservation improves, but normally, one step suffices. Conclusions Employing the tools ClustalW, RNAalifold, and RNAforester, we find that for sequences with 30-55% sequence identity, structural conservation can be improved by 10% on average, with a large variation, measured in terms of RNAalifold's own criterion, the structure conservation index. PMID:20433706

  12. Prediction of fine-tuned promoter activity from DNA sequence

    PubMed Central

    Siwo, Geoffrey; Rider, Andrew; Tan, Asako; Pinapati, Richard; Emrich, Scott; Chawla, Nitesh; Ferdig, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The quantitative prediction of transcriptional activity of genes using promoter sequence is fundamental to the engineering of biological systems for industrial purposes and understanding the natural variation in gene expression. To catalyze the development of new algorithms for this purpose, the Dialogue on Reverse Engineering Assessment and Methods (DREAM) organized a community challenge seeking predictive models of promoter activity given normalized promoter activity data for 90 ribosomal protein promoters driving expression of a fluorescent reporter gene. By developing an unbiased modeling approach that performs an iterative search for predictive DNA sequence features using the frequencies of various k-mers, inferred DNA mechanical properties and spatial positions of promoter sequences, we achieved the best performer status in this challenge. The specific predictive features used in the model included the frequency of the nucleotide G, the length of polymeric tracts of T and TA, the frequencies of 6 distinct trinucleotides and 12 tetranucleotides, and the predicted protein deformability of the DNA sequence. Our method accurately predicted the activity of 20 natural variants of ribosomal protein promoters (Spearman correlation r = 0.73) as compared to 33 laboratory-mutated variants of the promoters (r = 0.57) in a test set that was hidden from participants. Notably, our model differed substantially from the rest in 2 main ways: i) it did not explicitly utilize transcription factor binding information implying that subtle DNA sequence features are highly associated with gene expression, and ii) it was entirely based on features extracted exclusively from the 100 bp region upstream from the translational start site demonstrating that this region encodes much of the overall promoter activity. The findings from this study have important implications for the engineering of predictable gene expression systems and the evolution of gene expression in naturally occurring biological systems. PMID:27347373

  13. Fine-Tuning the Craft of Teaching by Discussion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Li-Shih

    2005-01-01

    Extensive research in cognitive psychology and education shows that discussion facilitates "depth of processing" (Craik & Lockhart, 1972), which in turn promotes thinking, understanding, and retaining information. It is also well recognized that an effectively facilitated discussion is one of the most valuable vehicles for learning. In MBA…

  14. Fine tuning of graphene properties by modification with aryl halogens.

    PubMed

    Bouša, D; Pumera, M; Sedmidubský, D; Šturala, J; Luxa, J; Mazánek, V; Sofer, Z

    2016-01-21

    Graphene and its derivatives belong to one of the most intensively studied materials. The radical reaction using halogen derivatives of arene-diazonium salts can be used for effective control of graphene's electronic properties. In our work we investigated the influence of halogen atoms (fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine) as well as their position on the benzene ring towards the electronic and electrochemical properties of modified graphenes. The electronegativity as well as the position of the halogen atoms on the benzene ring has crucial influence on graphene's properties due to the inductive and mesomeric effects. The results of resistivity measurement are in good agreement with the theoretical calculations of electron density within chemically modified graphene sheets. Such simple chemical modifications of graphene can be used for controllable and scalable synthesis of graphene with tunable transport properties.

  15. The fine-tuning of proteolytic pathways in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Cecarini, Valentina; Bonfili, Laura; Cuccioloni, Massimiliano; Mozzicafreddo, Matteo; Angeletti, Mauro; Keller, Jeffrey N; Eleuteri, Anna Maria

    2016-09-01

    Several integrated proteolytic systems contribute to the maintenance of cellular homeostasis through the continuous removal of misfolded, aggregated or oxidized proteins and damaged organelles. Among these systems, the proteasome and autophagy play the major role in protein quality control, which is a fundamental issue in non-proliferative cells such as neurons. Disturbances in the functionality of these two pathways are frequently observed in neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's disease, and reflect the accumulation of protease-resistant, deleterious protein aggregates. In this review, we explored the sophisticated crosstalk between the ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy in the removal of the harmful structures that characterize Alzheimer's disease neurons. We also dissected the role of the numerous shuttle factors and chaperones that, directly or indirectly interacting with ubiquitin and LC3, are used for cargo selection and delivery to one pathway or the other. PMID:27120560

  16. Herpesvirus gB: A Finely Tuned Fusion Machine

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Rebecca S.; Heldwein, Ekaterina E.

    2015-01-01

    Enveloped viruses employ a class of proteins known as fusogens to orchestrate the merger of their surrounding envelope and a target cell membrane. Most fusogens accomplish this task alone, by binding cellular receptors and subsequently catalyzing the membrane fusion process. Surprisingly, in herpesviruses, these functions are distributed among multiple proteins: the conserved fusogen gB, the conserved gH/gL heterodimer of poorly defined function, and various non-conserved receptor-binding proteins. We summarize what is currently known about gB from two closely related herpesviruses, HSV-1 and HSV-2, with emphasis on the structure of the largely uncharted membrane interacting regions of this fusogen. We propose that the unusual mechanism of herpesvirus fusion could be linked to the unique architecture of gB. PMID:26690469

  17. Silicon quantum dots: fine-tuning to maturity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morello, Andrea

    2015-12-01

    Quantum dots in semiconductor heterostructures provide one of the most flexible platforms for the study of quantum phenomena at the nanoscale. The surging interest in using quantum dots for quantum computation is forcing researchers to rethink fabrication and operation methods, to obtain highly tunable dots in spin-free host materials, such as silicon. Borselli and colleagues report in Nanotechnology the fabrication of a novel Si/SiGe double quantum dot device, which combines an ultra-low disorder Si/SiGe accumulation-mode heterostructure with a stack of overlapping control gates, ensuring tight confining potentials and exquisite tunability. This work signals the technological maturity of silicon quantum dots, and their readiness to be applied to challenging projects in quantum information science.

  18. Silicon quantum dots: fine-tuning to maturity.

    PubMed

    Morello, Andrea

    2015-12-18

    Quantum dots in semiconductor heterostructures provide one of the most flexible platforms for the study of quantum phenomena at the nanoscale. The surging interest in using quantum dots for quantum computation is forcing researchers to rethink fabrication and operation methods, to obtain highly tunable dots in spin-free host materials, such as silicon. Borselli and colleagues report in Nanotechnology the fabrication of a novel Si/SiGe double quantum dot device, which combines an ultra-low disorder Si/SiGe accumulation-mode heterostructure with a stack of overlapping control gates, ensuring tight confining potentials and exquisite tunability. This work signals the technological maturity of silicon quantum dots, and their readiness to be applied to challenging projects in quantum information science. PMID:26584678

  19. Fine-Tuning Cancer Immunotherapy: Optimizing the Gut Microbiome.

    PubMed

    Pitt, Jonathan M; Vétizou, Marie; Waldschmitt, Nadine; Kroemer, Guido; Chamaillard, Mathias; Boneca, Ivo Gomperts; Zitvogel, Laurence

    2016-08-15

    The equilibrium linking the intestinal microbiota, the intestinal epithelium, and the host immune system establishes host health and homeostasis, with perturbations of this balance resulting in chronic inflammatory and autoimmune immunopathologies. The mutualistic symbiosis between gut microbiota and host immunity raises the possibility that dysbiosis of the intestinal content also influences the outcome of cancer immunotherapy. Here, we present our recent findings that specific gut-resident bacteria determine the immunotherapeutic responses associated with CTLA-4 checkpoint blockade. This new evidence hints that interindividual differences in the microbiome may account for the significant heterogeneity in therapeutic and immunopathologic responses to immune checkpoint therapies. We discuss how this new understanding could improve the therapeutic coverage of immune checkpoint inhibitors, and potentially limit their immune-mediated toxicity, through the use of adjunctive "oncomicrobiotics" that indirectly promote beneficial immune responses through optimizing the gut microbiome. Cancer Res; 76(16); 4602-7. ©2016 AACR. PMID:27474734

  20. Fine-tuning anti-tumor immunotherapies via stochastic simulations

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Anti-tumor therapies aim at reducing to zero the number of tumor cells in a host within their end or, at least, aim at leaving the patient with a sufficiently small number of tumor cells so that the residual tumor can be eradicated by the immune system. Besides severe side-effects, a key problem of such therapies is finding a suitable scheduling of their administration to the patients. In this paper we study the effect of varying therapy-related parameters on the final outcome of the interplay between a tumor and the immune system. Results This work generalizes our previous study on hybrid models of such an interplay where interleukins are modeled as a continuous variable, and the tumor and the immune system as a discrete-state continuous-time stochastic process. The hybrid model we use is obtained by modifying the corresponding deterministic model, originally proposed by Kirschner and Panetta. We consider Adoptive Cellular Immunotherapies and Interleukin-based therapies, as well as their combination. By asymptotic and transitory analyses of the corresponding deterministic model we find conditions guaranteeing tumor eradication, and we tune the parameters of the hybrid model accordingly. We then perform stochastic simulations of the hybrid model under various therapeutic settings: constant, piece-wise constant or impulsive infusion and daily or weekly delivery schedules. Conclusions Results suggest that, in some cases, the delivery schedule may deeply impact on the therapy-induced tumor eradication time. Indeed, our model suggests that Interleukin-based therapies may not be effective for every patient, and that the piece-wise constant is the most effective delivery to stimulate the immune-response. For Adoptive Cellular Immunotherapies a metronomic delivery seems more effective, as it happens for other anti-angiogenesis therapies and chemotherapies, and the impulsive delivery seems more effective than the piece-wise constant. The expected synergistic effects have been observed when the therapies are combined. PMID:22536975

  1. Is Fine-Tuning Possible with Grade-Focused Students?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frost, Gail; Connolly, Maureen

    2016-01-01

    In our service-learning courses, students work with real people and record and reflect on these experiences, to learn appropriate professional behavior, how to think creatively, and how to respond to changing circumstances. Many of our students are strategic learners, characterized by alertness to assessment and intention to achieve the highest…

  2. Fine tuning the graphesthesia assessment: one stroke versus two.

    PubMed

    Santa Maria, M P; Pinkston, J B; Browndyke, J N; Drew Gouvier, W

    1997-01-01

    The Finger-Tip Number-Writing test (Reitan, 1967; Reitan & Wolfson, 1993) is a standardized neuropsychological procedure for the evaluation of tactile perception. Test standardization has neglected to consider the variability associated with the way in which the numerals are traced. We present findings that suggest that the sensitivity of the test can be increased by tracing all numerals with one stroke.

  3. Fine-tuning Food Safety Objectives and risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Havelaar, Arie H; Nauta, Maarten J; Jansen, Jaap T

    2004-05-15

    Food Safety Objectives (FSOs) have been proposed as a practical tool to translate public health targets for food safety into tolerable levels of pathogens in a food product. The FSO concept is subject to intensive debate, and has not been developed in detail. We evaluate the proposed definition of FSOs and their implementation from the perspective of Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment (QMRA). The relationship between QMRA and FSOs is illustrated by a model for the public health risk of Shiga-producing Escherichia coli in steak tartare. We conclude that the proposed definition of FSOs needs to be modified to properly account for variability in and uncertainty about the contamination of food with pathogenic microorganisms and emphasize that both prevalence and concentration of pathogens must be considered. For this purpose, we propose the P-D equivalence curve, a simple graphical tool to separate "tolerable" from "non-tolerable" combinations of prevalence and concentration (dose).

  4. Fine-Tuning Next-Generation Genome Editing Tools.

    PubMed

    Kanchiswamy, Chidananda Nagamangala; Maffei, Massimo; Malnoy, Mickael; Velasco, Riccardo; Kim, Jin-Soo

    2016-07-01

    The availability of genome sequences of numerous organisms and the revolution brought about by genome editing tools (e.g., ZFNs, TALENs, and CRISPR/Cas9 or RGENs) has provided a breakthrough in introducing targeted genetic changes both to explore emergent phenotypes and to introduce new functionalities. However, the wider application of these tools in biology, agriculture, medicine, and biotechnology is limited by off-target mutation effects. In this review, we compare available methods for detecting, measuring, and analyzing off-target mutations. Furthermore, we particularly focus on CRISPR/Cas9 regarding various methods, tweaks, and software tools available to nullify off-target effects. PMID:27167723

  5. Fine tuning of graphene properties by modification with aryl halogens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouša, D.; Pumera, M.; Sedmidubský, D.; Šturala, J.; Luxa, J.; Mazánek, V.; Sofer, Z.

    2016-01-01

    Graphene and its derivatives belong to one of the most intensively studied materials. The radical reaction using halogen derivatives of arene-diazonium salts can be used for effective control of graphene's electronic properties. In our work we investigated the influence of halogen atoms (fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine) as well as their position on the benzene ring towards the electronic and electrochemical properties of modified graphenes. The electronegativity as well as the position of the halogen atoms on the benzene ring has crucial influence on graphene's properties due to the inductive and mesomeric effects. The results of resistivity measurement are in good agreement with the theoretical calculations of electron density within chemically modified graphene sheets. Such simple chemical modifications of graphene can be used for controllable and scalable synthesis of graphene with tunable transport properties.Graphene and its derivatives belong to one of the most intensively studied materials. The radical reaction using halogen derivatives of arene-diazonium salts can be used for effective control of graphene's electronic properties. In our work we investigated the influence of halogen atoms (fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine) as well as their position on the benzene ring towards the electronic and electrochemical properties of modified graphenes. The electronegativity as well as the position of the halogen atoms on the benzene ring has crucial influence on graphene's properties due to the inductive and mesomeric effects. The results of resistivity measurement are in good agreement with the theoretical calculations of electron density within chemically modified graphene sheets. Such simple chemical modifications of graphene can be used for controllable and scalable synthesis of graphene with tunable transport properties. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr06295k

  6. Fine-tuned shuttles for bone morphogenetic proteins.

    PubMed

    Wharton, Kristi A; Serpe, Mihaela

    2013-08-01

    Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are potent secreted signaling factors that trigger phosphorylation of Smad transcriptional regulators through receptor complex binding at the cell-surface. Resulting changes in target gene expression impact critical cellular responses during development and tissue homeostasis. BMP activity is tightly regulated in time and space by secreted modulators that control BMP extracellular distribution and availability for receptor binding. Such extracellular regulation is key for BMPs to function as morphogens and/or in the formation of morphogen activity gradients. Here, we review shuttling systems utilized to control the distribution of BMP ligands in tissue of various geometries, developing under different temporal constraints. We discuss the biological advantages for employing specific strategies for BMP shuttling and roles of varied ligand forms.

  7. Molecular evolution of aerobic energy metabolism in primates.

    PubMed

    Grossman, L I; Schmidt, T R; Wildman, D E; Goodman, M

    2001-01-01

    As part of our goal to reconstruct human evolution at the DNA level, we have been examining changes in the biochemical machinery for aerobic energy metabolism. We find that protein subunits of two of the electron transfer complexes, complex III and complex IV, and cytochrome c, the protein carrier that connects them, have all undergone a period of rapid protein evolution in the anthropoid lineage that ultimately led to humans. Indeed, subunit IV of cytochrome c oxidase (COX; complex IV) provides one of the best examples of positively selected changes of any protein studied. The rate of subunit IV evolution accelerated in our catarrhine ancestors in the period between 40 to 18 million years ago and then decelerated in the descendant hominid lineages, a pattern of rate changes indicative of positive selection of adaptive changes followed by purifying selection acting against further changes. Besides clear evidence that adaptive evolution occurred for cytochrome c and subunits of complexes III (e.g., cytochrome c(1)) and IV (e.g., COX2 and COX4), modest rate accelerations in the lineage that led to humans are seen for other subunits of both complexes. In addition the contractile muscle-specific isoform of COX subunit VIII became a pseudogene in an anthropoid ancestor of humans but appears to be a functional gene in the nonanthropoid primates. These changes in the aerobic energy complexes coincide with the expansion of the energy-dependent neocortex during the emergence of the higher primates. Discovering the biochemical adaptations suggested by molecular evolutionary analysis will be an exciting challenge.

  8. Molecular mimicry of photosynthetic energy and electron transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Gust, D.; Moore, T.A.; Moore, A.L. )

    1993-04-01

    Proper application of reaction design considerations can yield artificial photosynthetic devices which credibility mimic the three natural photochemical processes. One approach is to use pigments and electron donors and acceptors related to those found in natural photosynthesis (and thus presumably optimal for that system), but to replace the protein with covalent bonds as an organizing precept. Molecular pentads described herein exemplify the success of this approach. At the heart of these molecules, are two covalently linked synthetic porphyrin moieties (P-P). One of these models for chlorophyll is attached to a carotenoid polyene (C), whereas the other is linked to a rigid diquinone (Q-Q). As discussed later in this paper, excitation of such a pentad is followed by photoinitiated electron transfer steps which ultimately give a C[sup [center dot]+]-P-P-Q-Q[sup [center dot]-] charge-separated state. Depending upon the structure of the pentad and the conditions, these states are formed with quantum yields of up to 0.83, have lifetimes approaching 0.5 ms, and store about one-half of the energy of the exciting singlet state. Related photosynthesis mimics display singlet-singlet energy transfer from carotenoid polyenes to porphyrins and among porphyrin chromophores, and rapid quenching of porphyrin triplet states by attached carotenoids. How have the structures of these and other successful artificial reaction centers evolved, and what will be the next steps in their development The authors will address these questions from the point of view of photoinitiated electron transfer, and then singlet and triplet energy transfer will briefly be considered. 37 refs., 4 figs.

  9. Molecular spinless energies of the modified Rosen-Morse potential energy model in higher spatial dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Chun-Sheng; Dai, Jian-Wei; Zhang, Lie-Hui; Liu, Jian-Yi; Zhang, Guang-Dong

    2015-01-01

    We solve the Klein-Gordon equation with the modified Rosen-Morse potential energy model in D spatial dimensions. The bound state energy equation has been obtained by using the supersymmetric WKB approximation approach. We find that the inter-dimensional degeneracy symmetry exists for the molecular system represented by the modified Rosen-Morse potential. For fixed vibrational and rotational quantum numbers, the relativistic energies for the 61Πu state of the 7Li2 molecule and the X3Π state of the SiC radical increase as D increases. We observe that the behavior of the relativistic vibrational energies in higher dimensions remains similar to that of the three-dimensional system.

  10. Intramolecular vibrational energy redistribution in bridged azulene-anthracene compounds: ballistic energy transport through molecular chains.

    PubMed

    Schwarzer, D; Kutne, P; Schröder, C; Troe, J

    2004-07-22

    Intramolecular vibrational energy flow in excited bridged azulene-anthracene compounds is investigated by time-resolved pump-probe laser spectroscopy. The bridges consist of molecular chains and are of the type (CH(2))(m) with m up to 6 as well as (CH(2)OCH(2))(n) (n=1,2) and CH(2)SCH(2). After light absorption into the azulene S(1) band and subsequent fast internal conversion, excited molecules are formed where the vibrational energy is localized at the azulene side. The vibrational energy transfer through the molecular bridge to the anthracene side and, finally, to the surrounding medium is followed by probing the red edge of the azulene S(3) absorption band at 300 nm and/or the anthracene S(1) absorption band at 400 nm. In order to separate the time scales for intramolecular and intermolecular energy transfer, most of the experiments were performed in supercritical xenon where vibrational energy transfer to the bath is comparably slow. The intramolecular equilibration proceeds in two steps. About 15%-20% of the excitation energy leaves the azulene side within a short period of 300 fs. This component accompanies the intramolecular vibrational energy redistribution (IVR) within the azulene chromophore and it is caused by dephasing of normal modes contributing to the initial local excitation of the azulene side and extending over large parts of the molecule. Later, IVR in the whole molecule takes place transferring vibrational energy from the azulene through the bridge to the anthracene side and thereby leading to microcanonical equilibrium. The corresponding time constants tau(IVR) for short bridges increase with the chain length. For longer bridges consisting of more than three elements, however, tau(IVR) is constant at around 4-5 ps. Comparison with molecular dynamics simulations suggests that the coupling of these chains to the two chromophores limits the rate of intramolecular vibrational energy transfer. Inside the bridges the energy transport is essentially

  11. Molecular approaches to solar energy conversion: the energetic cost of charge separation from molecular-excited states.

    PubMed

    Durrant, James R

    2013-08-13

    This review starts with a brief overview of the technological potential of molecular-based solar cell technologies. It then goes on to focus on the core scientific challenge associated with using molecular light-absorbing materials for solar energy conversion, namely the separation of short-lived, molecular-excited states into sufficiently long-lived, energetic, separated charges capable of generating an external photocurrent. Comparisons are made between different molecular-based solar cell technologies, with particular focus on the function of dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical solar cells as well as parallels with the function of photosynthetic reaction centres. The core theme of this review is that generating charge carriers with sufficient lifetime and a high quantum yield from molecular-excited states comes at a significant energetic cost-such that the energy stored in these charge-separated states is typically substantially less than the energy of the initially generated excited state. The role of this energetic loss in limiting the efficiency of solar energy conversion by such devices is emphasized, and strategies to minimize this energy loss are compared and contrasted.

  12. Energy landscape of LeuT from molecular simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gur, Mert; Zomot, Elia; Cheng, Mary Hongying; Bahar, Ivet

    2015-12-01

    The bacterial sodium-coupled leucine transporter (LeuT) has been broadly used as a structural model for understanding the structure-dynamics-function of mammalian neurotransmitter transporters as well as other solute carriers that share the same fold (LeuT fold), as the first member of the family crystallographically resolved in multiple states: outward-facing open, outward-facing occluded, and inward-facing open. Yet, a complete picture of the energy landscape of (sub)states visited along the LeuT transport cycle has been elusive. In an attempt to visualize the conformational spectrum of LeuT, we performed extensive simulations of LeuT dimer dynamics in the presence of substrate (Ala or Leu) and co-transported Na+ ions, in explicit membrane and water. We used both conventional molecular dynamics (MD) simulations (with Anton supercomputing machine) and a recently introduced method, collective MD, that takes advantage of collective modes of motions predicted by the anisotropic network model. Free energy landscapes constructed based on ˜40 μs trajectories reveal multiple substates occluded to the extracellular (EC) and/or intracellular (IC) media, varying in the levels of exposure of LeuT to EC or IC vestibules. The IC-facing transmembrane (TM) helical segment TM1a shows an opening, albeit to a smaller extent and in a slightly different direction than that observed in the inward-facing open crystal structure. The study provides insights into the spectrum of conformational substates and paths accessible to LeuT and highlights the differences between Ala- and Leu-bound substates.

  13. Calculations of Solvation Free Energy through Energy Reweighting from Molecular Mechanics to Quantum Mechanics.

    PubMed

    Jia, Xiangyu; Wang, Meiting; Shao, Yihan; König, Gerhard; Brooks, Bernard R; Zhang, John Z H; Mei, Ye

    2016-02-01

    In this work, the solvation free energies of 20 organic molecules from the 4th Statistical Assessment of the Modeling of Proteins and Ligands (SAMPL4) have been calculated. The sampling of phase space is carried out at a molecular mechanical level, and the associated free energy changes are estimated using the Bennett Acceptance Ratio (BAR). Then the quantum mechanical (QM) corrections are computed through the indirect Non-Boltzmann Bennett's acceptance ratio (NBB) or the thermodynamics perturbation (TP) method. We show that BAR+TP gives a minimum analytic variance for the calculated solvation free energy at the Gaussian limit and performs slightly better than NBB in practice. Furthermore, the expense of the QM calculations in TP is only half of that in NBB. We also show that defining the biasing potential as the difference of the solute-solvent interaction energy, instead of the total energy, can converge the calculated solvation free energies much faster but possibly to different values. Based on the experimental solvation free energies which have been published before, it is discovered in this study that BLYP yields better results than MP2 and some other later functionals such as B3LYP, M06-2X, and ωB97X-D. PMID:26731197

  14. Calculations of Solvation Free Energy through Energy Reweighting from Molecular Mechanics to Quantum Mechanics.

    PubMed

    Jia, Xiangyu; Wang, Meiting; Shao, Yihan; König, Gerhard; Brooks, Bernard R; Zhang, John Z H; Mei, Ye

    2016-02-01

    In this work, the solvation free energies of 20 organic molecules from the 4th Statistical Assessment of the Modeling of Proteins and Ligands (SAMPL4) have been calculated. The sampling of phase space is carried out at a molecular mechanical level, and the associated free energy changes are estimated using the Bennett Acceptance Ratio (BAR). Then the quantum mechanical (QM) corrections are computed through the indirect Non-Boltzmann Bennett's acceptance ratio (NBB) or the thermodynamics perturbation (TP) method. We show that BAR+TP gives a minimum analytic variance for the calculated solvation free energy at the Gaussian limit and performs slightly better than NBB in practice. Furthermore, the expense of the QM calculations in TP is only half of that in NBB. We also show that defining the biasing potential as the difference of the solute-solvent interaction energy, instead of the total energy, can converge the calculated solvation free energies much faster but possibly to different values. Based on the experimental solvation free energies which have been published before, it is discovered in this study that BLYP yields better results than MP2 and some other later functionals such as B3LYP, M06-2X, and ωB97X-D.

  15. Exploring the free energy surface using ab initio molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Samanta, Amit; Morales, Miguel A; Schwegler, Eric

    2016-04-28

    Efficient exploration of configuration space and identification of metastable structures in condensed phase systems are challenging from both computational and algorithmic perspectives. In this regard, schemes that utilize a set of pre-defined order parameters to sample the relevant parts of the configuration space [L. Maragliano and E. Vanden-Eijnden, Chem. Phys. Lett. 426, 168 (2006); J. B. Abrams and M. E. Tuckerman, J. Phys. Chem. B 112, 15742 (2008)] have proved useful. Here, we demonstrate how these order-parameter aided temperature accelerated sampling schemes can be used within the Born-Oppenheimer and the Car-Parrinello frameworks of ab initio molecular dynamics to efficiently and systematically explore free energy surfaces, and search for metastable states and reaction pathways. We have used these methods to identify the metastable structures and reaction pathways in SiO2 and Ti. In addition, we have used the string method [W. E, W. Ren, and E. Vanden-Eijnden, Phys. Rev. B 66, 052301 (2002); L. Maragliano et al., J. Chem. Phys. 125, 024106 (2006)] within the density functional theory to study the melting pathways in the high pressure cotunnite phase of SiO2 and the hexagonal closed packed to face centered cubic phase transition in Ti. PMID:27131525

  16. Energy Conversion by Molecular Motors Coupled to Nucleotide Hydrolysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipowsky, Reinhard; Liepelt, Steffen; Valleriani, Angelo

    2009-06-01

    Recent theoretical work on the energy conversion by molecular motors coupled to nucleotide hydrolysis is reviewed. The most abundant nucleotide is provided by adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is cleaved into adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and inorganic phosphate. The motors have several catalytic domains (or active sites), each of which can be empty or occupied by ATP or ADP. The chemical composition of all catalytic domains defines distinct nucleotide states of the motor which form a discrete state space. Each of these motor states is connected to several other states via chemical transitions. For stepping motors such as kinesin, which walk along cytoskeletal filaments, some motor states are also connected by mechanical transitions, during which the motor is displaced along the filament and able to perform mechanical work. The different motor states together with the possible chemical and mechanical transitions provide a network representation for the chemomechanical coupling of the motor molecule. The stochastic motor dynamics on these networks exhibits several distinct motor cycles, which represent the dominant pathways for different regimes of nucleotide concentrations and load force. For the kinesin motor, the competition of two such cycles determines the stall force, at which the motor velocity vanishes and the motor reverses its direction of motion. In general, kinesin is found to be governed by the competition of three distinct chemomechanical cycles. The corresponding network representation provides a unified description for all motor properties that have been determined by single molecule experiments.

  17. Control of Electronic Symmetry and Rectification through Energy Level Variations in Bilayer Molecular Junctions.

    PubMed

    Bayat, Akhtar; Lacroix, Jean-Christophe; McCreery, Richard L

    2016-09-21

    Two layers of molecular oligomers were deposited on flat carbon electrode surfaces by electrochemical reduction of diazonium reagents, then a top contact applied to complete a solid-state molecular junction containing a molecular bilayer. The structures and energy levels of the molecular layers included donor molecules with relatively high energy occupied orbitals and acceptors with low energy unoccupied orbitals. When the energy levels of the two molecular layers were similar, the device had electronic characteristics similar to a thick layer of a single molecule, but if the energy levels differed, the current voltage behavior exhibited pronounced rectification. Higher current was observed when the acceptor molecule was biased negatively in eight different bilayer combinations, and the direction of rectification was reversed if the molecular layers were also reversed. Rectification persisted at very low temperature (7 K), and was activationless between 7 and 100 K. The results are a clear example of a "molecular signature" in which electronic behavior is directly affected by molecular structure and orbital energies. The rectification mechanism is discussed, and may provide a basis for rational design of electronic properties by variation of molecular structure.

  18. Control of Electronic Symmetry and Rectification through Energy Level Variations in Bilayer Molecular Junctions.

    PubMed

    Bayat, Akhtar; Lacroix, Jean-Christophe; McCreery, Richard L

    2016-09-21

    Two layers of molecular oligomers were deposited on flat carbon electrode surfaces by electrochemical reduction of diazonium reagents, then a top contact applied to complete a solid-state molecular junction containing a molecular bilayer. The structures and energy levels of the molecular layers included donor molecules with relatively high energy occupied orbitals and acceptors with low energy unoccupied orbitals. When the energy levels of the two molecular layers were similar, the device had electronic characteristics similar to a thick layer of a single molecule, but if the energy levels differed, the current voltage behavior exhibited pronounced rectification. Higher current was observed when the acceptor molecule was biased negatively in eight different bilayer combinations, and the direction of rectification was reversed if the molecular layers were also reversed. Rectification persisted at very low temperature (7 K), and was activationless between 7 and 100 K. The results are a clear example of a "molecular signature" in which electronic behavior is directly affected by molecular structure and orbital energies. The rectification mechanism is discussed, and may provide a basis for rational design of electronic properties by variation of molecular structure. PMID:27563739

  19. Reviews Book: At Home: A Short History of Private Life Book: The Story of Mathematics Book: Time Travel: A Writer's Guide to the Real Science of Plausible Time Travel Equipment: Rotational Inertial Wands DVD: Planets Book: The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning Equipment: Scale with Dial Equipment: Infrared Thermometers Book: 300 Science and History Projects Book: The Nature of Light and Colour in the Open Air Equipment: Red Tide Spectrometer Web Watch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2011-09-01

    WE RECOMMEND The Story of Mathematics Book shows the link between maths and physics Time Travel: A Writer's Guide to the Real Science of Plausible Time Travel Book explains how to write good time-travelling science fiction Rotational Inertial Wands Wands can help explore the theory of inertia Infrared Thermometers Kit measures temperature differences Red Tide Spectrometer Spectrometer gives colour spectra WORTH A LOOK At Home: A Short History of Private Life Bryson explores the history of home life The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning Book wades into the science/religion debate Scale with Dial Cheap scales can be turned into Newton measuring scales 300 Science History Projects Fun science projects for kids to enjoy The Nature of Light and Colour in the Open Air Text looks at fascinating optical effects HANDLE WITH CARE Planets DVD takes a trip through the solar system WEB WATCH Websites offer representations of nuclear chain reactions

  20. Exploring the Molecular Design of Protein Interaction Sites with Molecular Dynamics Simulations and Free Energy Calculations†

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Shide; Li, Liwei; Hsu, Wei-Lun; Pilcher, Meaghan N.; Uversky, Vladimir; Zhou, Yaoqi; Dunker, A. Keith; Meroueh, Samy O.

    2009-01-01

    The significant work that has been invested toward understanding protein–protein interaction has not translated into significant advances in structure-based predictions. In particular redesigning protein surfaces to bind to unrelated receptors remains a challenge, partly due to receptor flexibility, which is often neglected in these efforts. In this work, we computationally graft the binding epitope of various small proteins obtained from the RCSB database to bind to barnase, lysozyme, and trypsin using a previously derived and validated algorithm. In an effort to probe the protein complexes in a realistic environment, all native and designer complexes were subjected to a total of nearly 400 ns of explicit-solvent molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. The MD data led to an unexpected observation: some of the designer complexes were highly unstable and decomposed during the trajectories. In contrast, the native and a number of designer complexes remained consistently stable. The unstable conformers provided us with a unique opportunity to define the structural and energetic factors that lead to unproductive protein–protein complexes. To that end we used free energy calculations following the MM-PBSA approach to determine the role of nonpolar effects, electrostatics and entropy in binding. Remarkably, we found that a majority of unstable complexes exhibited more favorable electrostatics than native or stable designer complexes, suggesting that favorable electrostatic interactions are not prerequisite for complex formation between proteins. However, nonpolar effects remained consistently more favorable in native and stable designer complexes reinforcing the importance of hydrophobic effects in protein–protein binding. While entropy systematically opposed binding in all cases, there was no observed trend in the entropy difference between native and designer complexes. A series of alanine scanning mutations of hot-spot residues at the interface of native and

  1. Sulphur hexaflouride: low energy (e,2e) experiments and molecular three-body distorted wave theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nixon, Kate L.; Murray, Andrew J.; Chaluvadi, H.; Ning, C. G.; Colgan, James; Madison, Don H.

    2016-10-01

    Experimental and theoretical triple differential ionisation cross-sections (TDCSs) are presented for the highest occupied molecular orbital of sulphur hexafluoride. These measurements were performed in the low energy regime, with outgoing electron energies ranging from 5 to 40 eV in a coplanar geometry, and with energies of 10 and 20 eV in a perpendicular geometry. Complementary theoretical predictions of the TDCS were calculated using the molecular three-body distorted wave formalism. Calculations were performed using a proper average over molecular orientations as well as the orientation-averaged molecular orbital approximation. This more sophisticated model was found to be in closer agreement with the experimental data, however neither model accurately predicts the TDCS over all geometries and energies.

  2. Basis set effects on frontier molecular orbital energies and energy gaps: a comparative study between plane waves and localized basis functions in molecular systems.

    PubMed

    Matus, Myrna H; Garza, Jorge; Galván, Marcelo

    2004-06-01

    In order to study the Kohn-Sham frontier molecular orbital energies in the complete basis limit, a comparative study between localized functions and plane waves, obtained with the local density approximation exchange-correlation functional is made. The analyzed systems are ethylene and butadiene, since they are theoretical and experimentally well characterized. The localized basis sets used are those developed by Dunning. For the plane-waves method, the pseudopotential approximation is employed. The results obtained by the localized basis sets suggest that it is possible to get an estimation of the orbital energies in the limit of the complete basis set, when the basis set size is large. It is shown that the frontier molecular orbital energies and the energy gaps obtained with plane waves are similar to those obtained with a large localized basis set, when the size of the supercell and the plane-wave expansion have been appropriately calibrated.

  3. Realizing molecular pixel system for full-color fluorescence reproduction: RGB-emitting molecular mixture free from energy transfer crosstalk.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Ji Eon; Park, Sanghyuk; Park, Soo Young

    2013-07-31

    A full-color molecular pixel system is realized for the first time using simple mixtures composed of RGB-emitting excited-state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) dyes, each of which has delicately tailored Stokes shift and independent emission capability completely free from energy transfer crosstalk between them. It is demonstrated that the whole range of emission colors enclosed within the RGB color triangle on the CIE 1931 diagram is predictable and conveniently reproducible from the RGB molecular pixels not only in the solution but also in the polymer film. It must be noted that mixing ratios to reproduce the desired color coordinates can be precisely calculated on the basis of additive color theory according to their molecular pixel behavior. PMID:23876082

  4. A stepwise atomic, valence-molecular, and full-molecular optimisation of the Hartree-Fock/Kohn-Sham energy.

    PubMed

    Jansík, Branislav; Høst, Stinne; Johansson, Mikael P; Olsen, Jeppe; Jørgensen, Poul; Helgaker, Trygve

    2009-07-21

    A hierarchical optimisation strategy has been introduced for minimising the Hartree-Fock/Kohn-Sham energy, consisting of three levels (3L): an atom-in-a-molecule optimisation, a valence-basis molecular optimisation, and a full-basis molecular optimisation. The density matrix formed at one level is used as a starting density matrix at the next level with no loss of information. To ensure a fast and reliable convergence to a minimum, the augmented Roothaan-Hall (ARH) algorithm is used in both the valence-basis and full-basis molecular optimisations. The performance of the ARH-3L method is compared with standard optimisation algorithms. Both for efficiency and reliability, we recommend to use the ARH-3L algorithm.

  5. Realizing molecular pixel system for full-color fluorescence reproduction: RGB-emitting molecular mixture free from energy transfer crosstalk.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Ji Eon; Park, Sanghyuk; Park, Soo Young

    2013-07-31

    A full-color molecular pixel system is realized for the first time using simple mixtures composed of RGB-emitting excited-state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) dyes, each of which has delicately tailored Stokes shift and independent emission capability completely free from energy transfer crosstalk between them. It is demonstrated that the whole range of emission colors enclosed within the RGB color triangle on the CIE 1931 diagram is predictable and conveniently reproducible from the RGB molecular pixels not only in the solution but also in the polymer film. It must be noted that mixing ratios to reproduce the desired color coordinates can be precisely calculated on the basis of additive color theory according to their molecular pixel behavior.

  6. Molecular Breeding of Sorghum bicolor, A Novel Energy Crop.

    PubMed

    Ordonio, Reynante; Ito, Yusuke; Morinaka, Yoichi; Sazuka, Takashi; Matsuoka, Makoto

    2016-01-01

    Currently, molecular breeding is regarded as an important tool for the improvement of many crop species. However, in sorghum, recently heralded as an important bioenergy crop, progress in this field has been relatively slow and limited. In this review, we present existing efforts targeted at genetic characterization of sorghum mutants. We also comprehensively review the different attempts made toward the isolation of genes involved in agronomically important traits, including the dissection of some sorghum quantitative trait loci (QTLs). We also explore the current status of the use of transgenic techniques in sorghum, which should be crucial for advancing sorghum molecular breeding. Through this report, we provide a useful benchmark to help assess how much more sorghum genomics and molecular breeding could be improved.

  7. Properties of Energy Spectra of Molecular Crystals Investigated by Nonlinear Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pang, Xiao-Feng; Zhang, Huai-Wu

    We calculate the quantum energy spectra of molecular crystals, such as acetanilide, by using discrete nonlinear Schrodinger equation, containing various interactions, appropriate to the systems. The energy spectra consist of many energy bands, in each energy band there are a lot of energy levels including some higher excited states. The result of energy spectrum is basically consistent with experimental values obtained by infrared absorption and Raman scattering in acetanilide and can also explain some experimental results obtained by Careri et al. Finally, we further discuss the influences of variously characteristic parameters on the energy spectra of the systems.

  8. Theory of Energy Level Tuning in Quantum Dots by Surfactants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zherebetskyy, Danylo; Wang, Lin-Wang; Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Team

    2015-03-01

    Besides quantum confinement that provides control of the quantum dot (QD) band gap, surface ligands allow control of the absolute energy levels. We theoretically investigate energy level tuning in PbS QD by surfactant exchange. We perform direct calculations of real-size QD with various surfactants within the frame of the density functional theory and explicitly analyze the influence of the surfactants on the electronic properties of the QD. This work provides a hint for predictable control of the absolute energy levels and their fine tuning within 3 eV range by modification of big and small surfactants that simultaneously passivate the QD surface.

  9. Discovery and optimization of triazine derivatives as ROCK1 inhibitors: molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations.

    PubMed

    Shen, Mingyun; Zhou, Shunye; Li, Youyong; Pan, Peichen; Zhang, Liling; Hou, Tingjun

    2013-03-01

    Rho-associated protein kinases (ROCK1 and ROCK2) are promising targets for a number of diseases, including cardiovascular disorders, nervous system diseases, cancers, etc. Recently, we have successfully identified a ROCK1 inhibitor (1) with the triazine core. In order to gain a deeper insight into the microscopic binding of this inhibitor with ROCK1 and design derivatives with improved potency, the interactions between ROCK1 and a series of triazine/pyrimidine-based inhibitors were studied by using an integrated computational protocol that combines molecular docking, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, binding free energy calculations, and binding energy decomposition analysis. First, three docking protocols, rigid receptor docking, induced fit docking, QM-polarized ligand docking, were used to determine the binding modes of the studied inhibitors in the active site of ROCK1. The results illustrate that rigid receptor docking achieves the best performance to rank the binding affinities of the studied inhibitors. Then, based on the predicted structures from molecular docking, MD simulations and MM/GBSA free energy calculations were employed to determine the dynamic binding process and compare the binding modes of the inhibitors with different activities. The binding free energies predicted by MM/GBSA are in good agreement with the experimental bioactivities, and the analysis of the individual energy terms suggests that the van der Waals interaction is the major driving force for ligand binding. In addition, the residue-inhibitor interaction spectra were obtained by the MM/GBSA free energy decomposition analysis, and the important residues for achieving strong binding were highlighted, which affords important guidance for the rational design of novel ROCK inhibitors. Finally, a variety of derivatives of inhibitor 1 were designed and four of them showed promising potency according to the predictions. We expect that our study can provide significant insight into the

  10. Use of Nonequilibrium Work Methods to Compute Free Energy Differences Between Molecular Mechanical and Quantum Mechanical Representations of Molecular Systems.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Phillip S; Woodcock, H Lee; Boresch, Stefan

    2015-12-01

    Carrying out free energy simulations (FES) using quantum mechanical (QM) Hamiltonians remains an attractive, albeit elusive goal. Renewed efforts in this area have focused on using "indirect" thermodynamic cycles to connect "low level" simulation results to "high level" free energies. The main obstacle to computing converged free energy results between molecular mechanical (MM) and QM (ΔA(MM→QM)), as recently demonstrated by us and others, is differences in the so-called "stiff" degrees of freedom (e.g., bond stretching) between the respective energy surfaces. Herein, we demonstrate that this problem can be efficiently circumvented using nonequilibrium work (NEW) techniques, i.e., Jarzynski's and Crooks' equations. Initial applications of computing ΔA(NEW)(MM→QM), for blocked amino acids alanine and serine as well as to generate butane's potentials of mean force via the indirect QM/MM FES method, showed marked improvement over traditional FES approaches. PMID:26539729

  11. Use of Nonequilibrium Work Methods to Compute Free Energy Differences Between Molecular Mechanical and Quantum Mechanical Representations of Molecular Systems.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Phillip S; Woodcock, H Lee; Boresch, Stefan

    2015-12-01

    Carrying out free energy simulations (FES) using quantum mechanical (QM) Hamiltonians remains an attractive, albeit elusive goal. Renewed efforts in this area have focused on using "indirect" thermodynamic cycles to connect "low level" simulation results to "high level" free energies. The main obstacle to computing converged free energy results between molecular mechanical (MM) and QM (ΔA(MM→QM)), as recently demonstrated by us and others, is differences in the so-called "stiff" degrees of freedom (e.g., bond stretching) between the respective energy surfaces. Herein, we demonstrate that this problem can be efficiently circumvented using nonequilibrium work (NEW) techniques, i.e., Jarzynski's and Crooks' equations. Initial applications of computing ΔA(NEW)(MM→QM), for blocked amino acids alanine and serine as well as to generate butane's potentials of mean force via the indirect QM/MM FES method, showed marked improvement over traditional FES approaches.

  12. Thermoelectric efficiency of molecular junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perroni, C. A.; Ninno, D.; Cataudella, V.

    2016-09-01

    Focus of the review is on experimental set-ups and theoretical proposals aimed to enhance thermoelectric performances of molecular junctions. In addition to charge conductance, the thermoelectric parameter commonly measured in these systems is the thermopower, which is typically rather low. We review recent experimental outcomes relative to several junction configurations used to optimize the thermopower. On the other hand, theoretical calculations provide estimations of all the thermoelectric parameters in the linear and non-linear regime, in particular of the thermoelectric figure of merit and efficiency, completing our knowledge of molecular thermoelectricity. For this reason, the review will mainly focus on theoretical studies analyzing the role of not only electronic, but also of the vibrational degrees of freedom. Theoretical results about thermoelectric phenomena in the coherent regime are reviewed focusing on interference effects which play a significant role in enhancing the figure of merit. Moreover, we review theoretical studies including the effects of molecular many-body interactions, such as electron–vibration couplings, which typically tend to reduce the efficiency. Since a fine tuning of many parameters and coupling strengths is required to optimize the thermoelectric conversion in molecular junctions, new theoretically proposed set-ups are discussed in the conclusions.

  13. Thermoelectric efficiency of molecular junctions.

    PubMed

    Perroni, C A; Ninno, D; Cataudella, V

    2016-09-21

    Focus of the review is on experimental set-ups and theoretical proposals aimed to enhance thermoelectric performances of molecular junctions. In addition to charge conductance, the thermoelectric parameter commonly measured in these systems is the thermopower, which is typically rather low. We review recent experimental outcomes relative to several junction configurations used to optimize the thermopower. On the other hand, theoretical calculations provide estimations of all the thermoelectric parameters in the linear and non-linear regime, in particular of the thermoelectric figure of merit and efficiency, completing our knowledge of molecular thermoelectricity. For this reason, the review will mainly focus on theoretical studies analyzing the role of not only electronic, but also of the vibrational degrees of freedom. Theoretical results about thermoelectric phenomena in the coherent regime are reviewed focusing on interference effects which play a significant role in enhancing the figure of merit. Moreover, we review theoretical studies including the effects of molecular many-body interactions, such as electron-vibration couplings, which typically tend to reduce the efficiency. Since a fine tuning of many parameters and coupling strengths is required to optimize the thermoelectric conversion in molecular junctions, new theoretically proposed set-ups are discussed in the conclusions. PMID:27420149

  14. Thermoelectric efficiency of molecular junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perroni, C. A.; Ninno, D.; Cataudella, V.

    2016-09-01

    Focus of the review is on experimental set-ups and theoretical proposals aimed to enhance thermoelectric performances of molecular junctions. In addition to charge conductance, the thermoelectric parameter commonly measured in these systems is the thermopower, which is typically rather low. We review recent experimental outcomes relative to several junction configurations used to optimize the thermopower. On the other hand, theoretical calculations provide estimations of all the thermoelectric parameters in the linear and non-linear regime, in particular of the thermoelectric figure of merit and efficiency, completing our knowledge of molecular thermoelectricity. For this reason, the review will mainly focus on theoretical studies analyzing the role of not only electronic, but also of the vibrational degrees of freedom. Theoretical results about thermoelectric phenomena in the coherent regime are reviewed focusing on interference effects which play a significant role in enhancing the figure of merit. Moreover, we review theoretical studies including the effects of molecular many-body interactions, such as electron-vibration couplings, which typically tend to reduce the efficiency. Since a fine tuning of many parameters and coupling strengths is required to optimize the thermoelectric conversion in molecular junctions, new theoretically proposed set-ups are discussed in the conclusions.

  15. Thermoelectric efficiency of molecular junctions.

    PubMed

    Perroni, C A; Ninno, D; Cataudella, V

    2016-09-21

    Focus of the review is on experimental set-ups and theoretical proposals aimed to enhance thermoelectric performances of molecular junctions. In addition to charge conductance, the thermoelectric parameter commonly measured in these systems is the thermopower, which is typically rather low. We review recent experimental outcomes relative to several junction configurations used to optimize the thermopower. On the other hand, theoretical calculations provide estimations of all the thermoelectric parameters in the linear and non-linear regime, in particular of the thermoelectric figure of merit and efficiency, completing our knowledge of molecular thermoelectricity. For this reason, the review will mainly focus on theoretical studies analyzing the role of not only electronic, but also of the vibrational degrees of freedom. Theoretical results about thermoelectric phenomena in the coherent regime are reviewed focusing on interference effects which play a significant role in enhancing the figure of merit. Moreover, we review theoretical studies including the effects of molecular many-body interactions, such as electron-vibration couplings, which typically tend to reduce the efficiency. Since a fine tuning of many parameters and coupling strengths is required to optimize the thermoelectric conversion in molecular junctions, new theoretically proposed set-ups are discussed in the conclusions.

  16. Exploring the inter-molecular interactions in amyloid-β protofibril with molecular dynamics simulations and molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area free energy calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Fu-Feng; Liu, Zhen; Bai, Shu; Dong, Xiao-Yan; Sun, Yan

    2012-04-01

    Aggregation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides correlates with the pathology of Alzheimer's disease. However, the inter-molecular interactions between Aβ protofibril remain elusive. Herein, molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area analysis based on all-atom molecular dynamics simulations was performed to study the inter-molecular interactions in Aβ17-42 protofibril. It is found that the nonpolar interactions are the important forces to stabilize the Aβ17-42 protofibril, while electrostatic interactions play a minor role. Through free energy decomposition, 18 residues of the Aβ17-42 are identified to provide interaction energy lower than -2.5 kcal/mol. The nonpolar interactions are mainly provided by the main chain of the peptide and the side chains of nine hydrophobic residues (Leu17, Phe19, Phe20, Leu32, Leu34, Met35, Val36, Val40, and Ile41). However, the electrostatic interactions are mainly supplied by the main chains of six hydrophobic residues (Phe19, Phe20, Val24, Met35, Val36, and Val40) and the side chains of the charged residues (Glu22, Asp23, and Lys28). In the electrostatic interactions, the overwhelming majority of hydrogen bonds involve the main chains of Aβ as well as the guanidinium group of the charged side chain of Lys28. The work has thus elucidated the molecular mechanism of the inter-molecular interactions between Aβ monomers in Aβ17-42 protofibril, and the findings are considered critical for exploring effective agents for the inhibition of Aβ aggregation.

  17. Molecular modeling study of chiral drug crystals: lattice energy calculations.

    PubMed

    Li, Z J; Ojala, W H; Grant, D J

    2001-10-01

    The lattice energies of a number of chiral drugs with known crystal structures were calculated using Dreiding II force field. The lattice energies, including van der Waals, Coulombic, and hydrogen-bonding energies, of homochiral and racemic crystals of some ephedrine derivatives and of several other chiral drugs, are compared. The calculated energies are correlated with experimental data to probe the underlying intermolecular forces responsible for the formation of racemic species, racemic conglomerates, or racemic compounds, termed chiral discrimination. Comparison of the calculated energies among ephedrine derivatives reveals that a greater Coulombic energy corresponds to a higher melting temperature, while a greater van der Waals energy corresponds to a larger enthalpy of fusion. For seven pairs of homochiral and racemic compounds, correlation of the differences between the two forms in the calculated energies and experimental enthalpy of fusion suggests that the van der Waals interactions play a key role in the chiral discrimination in the crystalline state. For salts of the chiral drugs, the counter ions diminish chiral discrimination by increasing the Coulombic interactions. This result may explain why salt forms favor the formation of racemic conglomerates, thereby facilitating the resolution of racemates.

  18. Quality Assessment of Predicted Protein Models Using Energies Calculated by the Fragment Molecular Orbital Method.

    PubMed

    Simoncini, David; Nakata, Hiroya; Ogata, Koji; Nakamura, Shinichiro; Zhang, Kam Yj

    2015-02-01

    Protein structure prediction directly from sequences is a very challenging problem in computational biology. One of the most successful approaches employs stochastic conformational sampling to search an empirically derived energy function landscape for the global energy minimum state. Due to the errors in the empirically derived energy function, the lowest energy conformation may not be the best model. We have evaluated the use of energy calculated by the fragment molecular orbital method (FMO energy) to assess the quality of predicted models and its ability to identify the best model among an ensemble of predicted models. The fragment molecular orbital method implemented in GAMESS was used to calculate the FMO energy of predicted models. When tested on eight protein targets, we found that the model ranking based on FMO energies is better than that based on empirically derived energies when there is sufficient diversity among these models. This model diversity can be estimated prior to the FMO energy calculations. Our result demonstrates that the FMO energy calculated by the fragment molecular orbital method is a practical and promising measure for the assessment of protein model quality and the selection of the best protein model among many generated.

  19. Efficient Radioisotope Energy Transfer by Gold Nanoclusters for Molecular Imaging.

    PubMed

    Volotskova, Olga; Sun, Conroy; Stafford, Jason H; Koh, Ai Leen; Ma, Xiaowei; Cheng, Zhen; Cui, Bianxiao; Pratx, Guillem; Xing, Lei

    2015-08-26

    Beta-emitting isotopes Fluorine-18 and Yttrium-90 are tested for their potential to stimulate gold nanoclusters conjugated with blood serum proteins (AuNCs). AuNCs excited by either medical radioisotope are found to be highly effective ionizing radiation energy transfer mediators, suitable for in vivo optical imaging. AuNCs synthesized with protein templates convert beta-decaying radioisotope energy into tissue-penetrating optical signals between 620 and 800 nm. Optical signals are not detected from AuNCs incubated with Technetium-99m, a pure gamma emitter that is used as a control. Optical emission from AuNCs is not proportional to Cerenkov radiation, indicating that the energy transfer between the radionuclide and AuNC is only partially mediated by Cerenkov photons. A direct Coulombic interaction is proposed as a novel and significant mechanism of energy transfer between decaying radionuclides and AuNCs.

  20. Molecular scale energy dissipation in oligothiophene monolayers measured by dynamic force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Nicolas F; Kamiński, Wojciech; Gómez, Carlos J; Albonetti, Cristiano; Biscarini, Fabio; Pérez, Rubén; García, Ricardo

    2009-10-28

    We perform a combined experimental and theoretical approach to establish the atomistic origin of energy dissipation occurring while imaging a molecular surface with an amplitude modulation atomic force microscope. We show that the energy transferred by a single nano-asperity to a sexithiophene monolayer is about 0.15 eV/cycle. The configuration space sampled by the tip depends on whether it approaches or withdraws from the surface. The asymmetry arises because of the presence of energy barriers among different deformations of the molecular geometry. This is the source of the material contrast provided by the phase-shift images. PMID:19801766

  1. Molecular scale energy dissipation in oligothiophene monolayers measured by dynamic force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Nicolas F; Kamiński, Wojciech; Gómez, Carlos J; Albonetti, Cristiano; Biscarini, Fabio; Pérez, Rubén; García, Ricardo

    2009-10-28

    We perform a combined experimental and theoretical approach to establish the atomistic origin of energy dissipation occurring while imaging a molecular surface with an amplitude modulation atomic force microscope. We show that the energy transferred by a single nano-asperity to a sexithiophene monolayer is about 0.15 eV/cycle. The configuration space sampled by the tip depends on whether it approaches or withdraws from the surface. The asymmetry arises because of the presence of energy barriers among different deformations of the molecular geometry. This is the source of the material contrast provided by the phase-shift images.

  2. Molecular mechanisms for mediating light-dependent nucleo/cytoplasmic partitioning of phytochrome photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Klose, Cornelia; Viczián, András; Kircher, Stefan; Schäfer, Eberhard; Nagy, Ferenc

    2015-05-01

    The photoreceptors phytochromes monitor the red/far-red part of the spectrum, exist in the biologically active Pfr (far-red absorbing) or inactive Pr (red absorbing) forms, and function as red/far-red light-regulated molecular switches to modulate plant development and growth. Phytochromes are synthesized in the cytoplasm, and light induces translocation of the Pfr conformer into the nucleus. Nuclear import of phytochromes is a highly regulated process and is fine-tuned by the quality and quantity of light. It appears that phytochrome A (phyA) and phytochrome B (phyB) do not possess active endogenous nuclear import signals (NLSs), thus light-induced translocation of these photoreceptors into the nucleus requires direct protein–protein interactions with their NLS-containing signaling partners. Sub-cellular partitioning of the various phytochrome species is mediated by different molecular machineries. Translocation of phyA into the nucleus is promoted by FAR-RED ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL 1 (FHY1) and FHY1-LIKE (FHL), but the identity of nuclear transport facilitators mediating the import of phyB-E into the nucleus remains elusive. Phytochromes localized in the nucleus are associated with specific protein complexes, termed photobodies. The size and distribution of these structures are regulated by the intensity and duration of irradiation, and circumstantial evidence indicates that they are involved in fine-tuning phytochrome signaling.

  3. Molecular mechanisms for mediating light-dependent nucleo/cytoplasmic partitioning of phytochrome photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Klose, Cornelia; Viczián, András; Kircher, Stefan; Schäfer, Eberhard; Nagy, Ferenc

    2015-01-01

    The photoreceptors phytochromes monitor the red/far-red part of the spectrum, exist in the biologically active Pfr (far-red absorbing) or inactive Pr (red absorbing) forms, and function as red/far-red light-regulated molecular switches to modulate plant development and growth. Phytochromes are synthesized in the cytoplasm, and light induces translocation of the Pfr conformer into the nucleus. Nuclear import of phytochromes is a highly regulated process and is fine-tuned by the quality and quantity of light. It appears that phytochrome A (phyA) and phytochrome B (phyB) do not possess active endogenous nuclear import signals (NLSs), thus light-induced translocation of these photoreceptors into the nucleus requires direct protein–protein interactions with their NLS-containing signaling partners. Sub-cellular partitioning of the various phytochrome species is mediated by different molecular machineries. Translocation of phyA into the nucleus is promoted by FAR-RED ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL 1 (FHY1) and FHY1-LIKE (FHL), but the identity of nuclear transport facilitators mediating the import of phyB-E into the nucleus remains elusive. Phytochromes localized in the nucleus are associated with specific protein complexes, termed photobodies. The size and distribution of these structures are regulated by the intensity and duration of irradiation, and circumstantial evidence indicates that they are involved in fine-tuning phytochrome signaling. PMID:26042244

  4. Fourier transform photoelectron diffraction and its application to molecular orbitals and surface structure

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, Xin

    1998-11-30

    Photoemission intensities from the molecular orbitals of c(2x2)CO/Pt(111) over a wide photon energy range were measured and analyzed by the same methods developed for structural studies using core levels. The 4{sigma} orbital center of gravity is found to be concentrated between the C and O atoms, while that of the 5{sigma} orbital lies between the C atom and the Pt surface. The C 1s photoelectron diffraction was used to determine the adsorption geometry. The earlier ambiguity that multiple scattering is needed to correctly model a {chi} curve while single scattering is sufficient for understanding major peaks in the ARPEFS-FTS is clarified by studying the clean Ni(111) surface. In the normal emission case, several different combinations of scattering events have similar path length differences (PLDs), and can either cancel each other or enhance the corresponding FT peak. In the off-normal case the degeneracy is greatly reduced due to the lower degree of symmetry. In normal emission AR PEFS, up to third order multiple scattering is needed to describe fully both the {chi} curve and its FT spectrum. To improve the spectral resolution in the ARPEFS-FT analysis, several new spectral analysis methods are introduced. With both autocorrelation autoregression (ACAR) and autocorrelation eigenvector (ACE), we can produce a reliable power spectrum by following the order-closing procedure. The best spectra are usually obtained when the autocorrelation sequence is computed with lags up to half the data range. A simple way of determining surface adsorption sites is proposed as follows: First use a single scattering cluster for possible adsorption sites to construct the geometrical PLDs from the strong backscattering events; then compare these PLDs with those obtained from the ARPEFS-FT analysis of the experimental data. After the preferred adsorption site is determined, fine tune the interlayer distances according to the positional R-factor.

  5. Nonequilibrium molecular transport photoinduced by potential energy fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dekhtyar, Marina L.; Rozenbaum, Viktor M.

    2011-01-01

    The mechanism of directed substrate-parallel motion of molecules caused by photoinduced potential energy fluctuations is investigated. Unlike simplistic models (e.g., an on-off ratchet), the approach suggested implies that the necessary asymmetry of the potential energy can arise not only from the asymmetry of the substrate potential but also from an asymmetric distribution of the fluctuating charge density in the molecule. The thus induced asymmetry of the potential energy governs the direction motion and enables, under certain conditions, its reversal at some frequencies of resonant laser pulses or temperature. These inferences are exemplified by the model charge distributions in the molecule and substrate, and the charge density fluctuations which are obtained by quantum chemical calculations for the realistic molecule of a substituted phenylpyrene compound on a model substrate.

  6. Structural and energy properties of interstitial molecular hydrogen in single-crystal silicon

    SciTech Connect

    Melnikov, V. V.

    2015-06-15

    The structural and energy characteristics of interstitial molecular hydrogen in single-crystal silicon are theoretically studied. The dependence of the potential energy of the system on the position and orientation of the interstitial defect is investigated, and the mechanism of interaction of a hydrogen molecule with a silicon crystal is considered. A three-dimensional model is employed to calculate the energy spectrum of H{sub 2} in Si, and the obtained dispersion law is analyzed.

  7. An adaptive interpolation scheme for molecular potential energy surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowalewski, Markus; Larsson, Elisabeth; Heryudono, Alfa

    2016-08-01

    The calculation of potential energy surfaces for quantum dynamics can be a time consuming task—especially when a high level of theory for the electronic structure calculation is required. We propose an adaptive interpolation algorithm based on polyharmonic splines combined with a partition of unity approach. The adaptive node refinement allows to greatly reduce the number of sample points by employing a local error estimate. The algorithm and its scaling behavior are evaluated for a model function in 2, 3, and 4 dimensions. The developed algorithm allows for a more rapid and reliable interpolation of a potential energy surface within a given accuracy compared to the non-adaptive version.

  8. An adaptive interpolation scheme for molecular potential energy surfaces.

    PubMed

    Kowalewski, Markus; Larsson, Elisabeth; Heryudono, Alfa

    2016-08-28

    The calculation of potential energy surfaces for quantum dynamics can be a time consuming task-especially when a high level of theory for the electronic structure calculation is required. We propose an adaptive interpolation algorithm based on polyharmonic splines combined with a partition of unity approach. The adaptive node refinement allows to greatly reduce the number of sample points by employing a local error estimate. The algorithm and its scaling behavior are evaluated for a model function in 2, 3, and 4 dimensions. The developed algorithm allows for a more rapid and reliable interpolation of a potential energy surface within a given accuracy compared to the non-adaptive version. PMID:27586901

  9. An adaptive interpolation scheme for molecular potential energy surfaces.

    PubMed

    Kowalewski, Markus; Larsson, Elisabeth; Heryudono, Alfa

    2016-08-28

    The calculation of potential energy surfaces for quantum dynamics can be a time consuming task-especially when a high level of theory for the electronic structure calculation is required. We propose an adaptive interpolation algorithm based on polyharmonic splines combined with a partition of unity approach. The adaptive node refinement allows to greatly reduce the number of sample points by employing a local error estimate. The algorithm and its scaling behavior are evaluated for a model function in 2, 3, and 4 dimensions. The developed algorithm allows for a more rapid and reliable interpolation of a potential energy surface within a given accuracy compared to the non-adaptive version.

  10. Measurement and Analysis of Rotational Energy of Nitrogen Molecular Beam by REMPI

    SciTech Connect

    Mori, H.; Yamaguchi, H.; Kataoka, K.; Sugiyama, N.; Ide, K.; Niimi, T.

    2008-12-31

    Molecular beams are powerful tools for diagnoses of solid surfaces and gas-surface interaction tests. Unfortunately, there are very few reports about experimental analysis of internal energy distribution (e.g. rotational energy) of molecular beams of diatomic or polyatomic molecules, because measurement of internal energy distribution is very difficult. Spectroscopic measurement techniques based on resonantly enhanced multiphoton ionization (REMPI) is very powerful for measurement in highly rarefied gas flows. In this study, the REMPI method is applied to measurement of rotational energy distribution of nitrogen molecular beams. The REMPI spectrum of the molecular beam indicates the rotational temperature higher than the translational temperature of 7.2 K estimated by assuming isentropic flows. The O and P branches of the REMPI spectrum correspond to the rotational temperature of 30 K, but the S branch of the spectrum deviates from that at 30 K. It seems to be because the non-equilibrium rotational energy distribution of the molecular beam deviates from the Boltzmann distribution.

  11. 2013 MOLECULAR ENERGY TRANSFER GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCE (JANUARY 13-18, 2013 - VENTURA BEACH MARRIOTT, VENTURA CA

    SciTech Connect

    Reid, Scott A.

    2012-10-18

    Sessions covered all areas of molecular energy transfer, with 10 sessions of talks and poster sessions covering the areas of :  Energy Transfer in Inelastic and Reactive Scattering  Energy Transfer in Photoinitiated and Unimolecular Reactions  Non-adiabatic Effects in Energy Transfer  Energy Transfer at Surfaces and Interfaces  Energy Transfer in Clusters, Droplets, and Aerosols  Energy Transfer in Solution and Solid  Energy Transfer in Complex Systems  Energy Transfer: New vistas and horizons  Molecular Energy Transfer: Where Have We Been and Where are We Going?

  12. Internal Energy Dependence of Molecular Condensation Coefficients Determined from Molecular Beam Surface Scattering Experiments

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    Sibener, S. J.; Lee, Y. T.

    1978-05-01

    An experiment was performed which confirms the existence of an internal mode dependence of molecular sticking probabilities for collisions of molecules with a cold surface. The scattering of a velocity selected effusive beam of CCl{sub 4} from a 90 K CC1{sub 4} ice surface has been studied at five translational velocities and for two different internal temperatures. At a surface temperature of 90 K (approx. 99% sticking probability) a four fold increase in reflected intensity was observed for the internally excited (560 K) CC1{sub 4} relative to the room temperature (298 K) CC1{sub 4} at a translational velocity of 2.5 X 10{sup 4} cm/sec. For a surface temperature of 90 K all angular distributions were found to peak 15{sup 0} superspecularly independent of incident velocity.

  13. Foraging on the potential energy surface: a swarm intelligence-based optimizer for molecular geometry.

    PubMed

    Wehmeyer, Christoph; Falk von Rudorff, Guido; Wolf, Sebastian; Kabbe, Gabriel; Schärf, Daniel; Kühne, Thomas D; Sebastiani, Daniel

    2012-11-21

    We present a stochastic, swarm intelligence-based optimization algorithm for the prediction of global minima on potential energy surfaces of molecular cluster structures. Our optimization approach is a modification of the artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm which is inspired by the foraging behavior of honey bees. We apply our modified ABC algorithm to the problem of global geometry optimization of molecular cluster structures and show its performance for clusters with 2-57 particles and different interatomic interaction potentials. PMID:23181297

  14. Foraging on the potential energy surface: A swarm intelligence-based optimizer for molecular geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wehmeyer, Christoph; Falk von Rudorff, Guido; Wolf, Sebastian; Kabbe, Gabriel; Schärf, Daniel; Kühne, Thomas D.; Sebastiani, Daniel

    2012-11-01

    We present a stochastic, swarm intelligence-based optimization algorithm for the prediction of global minima on potential energy surfaces of molecular cluster structures. Our optimization approach is a modification of the artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm which is inspired by the foraging behavior of honey bees. We apply our modified ABC algorithm to the problem of global geometry optimization of molecular cluster structures and show its performance for clusters with 2-57 particles and different interatomic interaction potentials.

  15. Electronic structure, molecular bonding and potential energy surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Ruedenberg, K.

    1993-12-01

    By virtue of the universal validity of the generalized Born-Oppenheimer separation, potential energy surfaces (PES`) represent the central conceptual as well as quantitative entities of chemical physics and provide the basis for the understanding of most physicochemical phenomena in many diverse fields. The research in this group deals with the elucidation of general properties of PES` as well as with the quantitative determination of PES` for concrete systems, in particular pertaining to reactions involving carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen molecules.

  16. Energy level realignment in weakly interacting donor-acceptor binary molecular networks.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Jian-Qiang; Qin, Xinming; Zhang, Jia-Lin; Kera, Satoshi; Ueno, Nobuo; Wee, Andrew Thye Shen; Yang, Jinlong; Chen, Wei

    2014-02-25

    Understanding the effect of intermolecular and molecule-substrate interactions on molecular electronic states is key to revealing the energy level alignment mechanism at organic-organic heterojunctions or organic-inorganic interfaces. In this paper, we investigate the energy level alignment mechanism in weakly interacting donor-acceptor binary molecular superstructures, comprising copper hexadecafluorophthalocyanine (F16CuPc) intermixed with copper phthalocyanine (CuPc), or manganese phthalocynine (MnPc) on graphite. The molecular electronic structures have been systematically studied by in situ ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) and low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (LT-STM/STS) experiments and corroborated by density functional theory (DFT) calculations. As demonstrated by the UPS and LT-STM/STS measurements, the observed unusual energy level realignment (i.e., a large downward shift in donor HOMO level and a corresponding small upward shift in acceptor HOMO level) in the CuPc-F16CuPc binary superstructures originates from the balance between intermolecular and molecule-substrate interactions. The enhanced intermolecular interactions through the hydrogen bonding between neighboring CuPc and F16CuPc can stabilize the binary superstructures and modify the local molecular electronic states. The obvious molecular energy level shift was explained by gap-state-mediated interfacial charge transfer. PMID:24433044

  17. Advanced Nanostructured Molecular Sieves for Energy Efficient Industrial Separations

    SciTech Connect

    Kunhao Li, Michael Beaver

    2012-01-18

    Due to the very small relative volatility difference between propane and propylene, current propane/propylene separation by distillation requires very tall distillation towers (150-250 theoretical plates) and large reflux ratios (up to 15), which is considered to be the most energy consuming large-scale separation process. Adsorptive separation processes are widely considered to be more energy-efficient alternatives to distillation. However, slow diffusion kinetics/mass transport rate through the adsorbent bed often limits the performance of such processes, so further improvements are possible if intra-particle mass transfer rates can be improved. Rive Technology, Inc. is developing and commercializing its proprietary mesoporous zeolite technology for catalysis and separation. With well-controlled intracrystalline mesoporosity, diffusion kinetics through such mesoporous zeolite based catalysts is much improved relative to conventional zeolites, leading to significantly better product selectivity. This 'proof-of-principle' project (DE-EE0003470) is intended to demonstrate that Rive mesoporous zeolite technology can be extended and applied in adsorptive propane/propylene separation and lead to significant energy saving compared to the current distillation process. In this project, the mesoporous zeolite Y synthesis technology was successfully extended to X and A zeolites that are more relevant to adsorbent applications. Mesoporosity was introduced to zeolite X and A for the first time while maintaining adequate adsorption capacity. Zeolite adsorbents were tested for liquid phase separation performance using a pulse flow test unit and the test results show that the separation selectivity of the mesoporous zeolite adsorbent is much closer to optimal for a Simulated Moving Bed (SMB) separation process and the enhanced mesoporosity lead to >100% increase of overall mass transport rate for propane and propylene. These improvements will significantly improve the

  18. Vibrational Spectra of Molecular Crystals with the Generalized Energy-Based Fragmentation Approach.

    PubMed

    Fang, Tao; Jia, Junteng; Li, Shuhua

    2016-05-01

    The generalized energy-based fragmentation (GEBF) approach for molecular crystals with periodic boundary condition (PBC) (denoted as PBC-GEBF) is extended to allow vibrational spectra of molecular crystals to be easily computed at various theory levels. Within the PBC-GEBF approach, the vibrational frequencies of a molecular crystal can be directly evaluated from molecular quantum chemistry calculations on a series of nonperiodic molecular systems. With this approach, the vibrational spectra of molecular crystals can be calculated with much reduced computational costs at various theory levels, as compared to those required by the methods based on periodic electronic structure theory. By testing the performance of the PBC-GEBF method for two molecular crystals (CO2 and imidazole), we demonstrate that the PBC-GEBF approach can reproduce the results of the methods based on periodic electronic structure theory in predicting vibrational spectra of molecular crystals. We apply the PBC-GEBF method at second-order Møller-Plesset perturbation theory (PBC-GEBF-MP2 in short) to investigate the vibrational spectra of the urea and ammonia borane crystals. Our results show that the PBC-GEBF-MP2 method can provide quite accurate descriptions for the observed vibrational spectra of the two systems under study.

  19. Development of Ultra Small Shock Tube for High Energy Molecular Beam Source

    SciTech Connect

    Miyoshi, Nobuya; Nagata, Shuhei; Kinefuchi, Ikuya; Shimizu, Kazuya; Matsumoto, Yoichiro; Takagi, Shu

    2008-12-31

    A molecular beam source exploiting a small shock tube is described for potential generation of high energy beam in a range of 1-5 eV without any undesirable impurities. The performance of a non-diaphragm type shock tube with an inner diameter of 2 mm was evaluated by measuring the acceleration and attenuation process of shock waves. With this shock tube installed in a molecular beam source, we measured the time-of-flight distributions of shock-heated beams, which demonstrated the ability of controlling the beam energy with the initial pressure ratio of the shock tube.

  20. Phosphorescent Molecular Butterflies with Controlled Potential-Energy Surfaces and Their Application as Luminescent Viscosity Sensor.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chenkun; Yuan, Lin; Yuan, Zhao; Doyle, Nicholas Kelly; Dilbeck, Tristan; Bahadur, Divya; Ramakrishnan, Subramanian; Dearden, Albert; Huang, Chen; Ma, Biwu

    2016-09-01

    We report precise manipulation of the potential-energy surfaces (PESs) of a series of butterfly-like pyrazolate-bridged platinum binuclear complexes, by synthetic control of the electronic structure of the cyclometallating ligand and the steric bulkiness of the pyrazolate bridging ligand. Color tuning of dual emission from blue/red, to green/red and red/deep red were achieved for these phosphorescent molecular butterflies, which have two well-controlled energy minima on the PESs. The environmentally dependent photoluminescence of these molecular butterflies enabled their application as self-referenced luminescent viscosity sensor. PMID:27500886

  1. Phosphorescent Molecular Butterflies with Controlled Potential-Energy Surfaces and Their Application as Luminescent Viscosity Sensor.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chenkun; Yuan, Lin; Yuan, Zhao; Doyle, Nicholas Kelly; Dilbeck, Tristan; Bahadur, Divya; Ramakrishnan, Subramanian; Dearden, Albert; Huang, Chen; Ma, Biwu

    2016-09-01

    We report precise manipulation of the potential-energy surfaces (PESs) of a series of butterfly-like pyrazolate-bridged platinum binuclear complexes, by synthetic control of the electronic structure of the cyclometallating ligand and the steric bulkiness of the pyrazolate bridging ligand. Color tuning of dual emission from blue/red, to green/red and red/deep red were achieved for these phosphorescent molecular butterflies, which have two well-controlled energy minima on the PESs. The environmentally dependent photoluminescence of these molecular butterflies enabled their application as self-referenced luminescent viscosity sensor.

  2. Molecular links between early energy metabolism alterations and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Pedros, Ignacio; Patraca, Ivan; Martinez, Nohora; Petrov, Dmitry; Sureda, Francesc X; Auladell, Carme; Beas-Zarate, Carlos; Folch, Jaume

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that the neurobiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology could not be explained solely by an increase in beta-amyloid levels. In fact, success with potential therapeutic drugs that inhibit the generation of beta amyloid has been low. Therefore, due to therapeutic failure in recent years, the scientists are looking for alternative hypotheses to explain the causes of the disease and the cognitive loss. Accordingly, alternative hypothesis propose a link between AD and peripheral metabolic alteration. Then, we review in depth changes related to insulin signalling and energy metabolism in the context of the APPSwe/PS1dE9 (APP/PS1) mice model of AD. We show an integrated view of the changes that occur in the early stages of the amyloidogenic process in the APP/PS1 double transgenic mice model. These early changes affect several key metabolic processes related to glucose uptake and insulin signalling, cellular energy homeostasis, mitochondrial biogenesis and increased Tau phosphorylation by kinase molecules like mTOR and Cdk5.

  3. Can we predict lattice energy from molecular structure?

    PubMed

    Ouvrard, Carole; Mitchell, John B O

    2003-10-01

    By using simply the numbers of occurrences of different atom types as descriptors, a conceptually transparent and remarkably accurate model for the prediction of the enthalpies of sublimation of organic compounds has been generated. The atom types are defined on the basis of atomic number, hybridization state and bonded environment. Models of this kind were applied firstly to aliphatic hydrocarbons, secondly to both aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, thirdly to a wide range of non-hydrogen-bonding molecules, and finally to a set of 226 organic compounds including 70 containing hydrogen-bond donors and acceptors. The final model gives squared correlation coefficients of 0.925 for the 226 compounds in the training set and 0.937 for an independent test set of 35 compounds. The success of such a simple model implies that the enthalpy of sublimation can be predicted accurately without knowledge of the crystal packing. This hypothesis is in turn consistent with the idea that, rather than being determined by the particular features of the lowest-energy packing, the lattice energy is similar for a number of hypothetical alternative crystal structures of a molecule.

  4. Deflation of the cosmological constant associated with inflation and dark energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geng, Chao-Qiang; Lee, Chung-Chi

    2016-06-01

    In order to solve the fine-tuning problem of the cosmological constant, we propose a simple model with the vacuum energy non-minimally coupled to the inflaton field. In this model, the vacuum energy decays to the inflaton during pre-inflation and inflation eras, so that the cosmological constant effectively deflates from the Planck mass scale to a much smaller one after inflation and plays the role of dark energy in the late-time of the universe. We show that our deflationary scenario is applicable to arbitrary slow-roll inflation models. We also take two specific inflation potentials to illustrate our results.

  5. Hierarchical particle swarm optimizer for minimizing the non-convex potential energy of molecular structure.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Ngaam J; Shen, Hong-Bin

    2014-11-01

    The stable conformation of a molecule is greatly important to uncover the secret of its properties and functions. Generally, the conformation of a molecule will be the most stable when it is of the minimum potential energy. Accordingly, the determination of the conformation can be solved in the optimization framework. It is, however, not an easy task to achieve the only conformation with the lowest energy among all the potential ones because of the high complexity of the energy landscape and the exponential computation increasing with molecular size. In this paper, we develop a hierarchical and heterogeneous particle swarm optimizer (HHPSO) to deal with the problem in the minimization of the potential energy. The proposed method is evaluated over a scalable simplified molecular potential energy function with up to 200 degrees of freedom and a realistic energy function of pseudo-ethane molecule. The experimental results are compared with other six PSO variants and four genetic algorithms. The results show HHPSO is significantly better than the compared PSOs with p-value less than 0.01277 over molecular potential energy function.

  6. Molecular mechanism of energy conservation in polysulfide respiration

    PubMed Central

    Jormakka, Mika; Yokoyama, Ken; Yano, Takahiro; Tamakoshi, Masatada; Akimoto, Satoru; Shimamura, Tatsuro; Curmi, Paul; Iwata, So

    2010-01-01

    Bacterial polysulfide reductase (PsrABC) is an integral membrane protein complex responsible for quinone coupled reduction of polysulfide, a process important in extreme environments such as deep-sea vents and hot springs. We determined the structure of polysulfide reductase from Thermus thermophilus at 2.4 Å resolution, revealing how the PsrA subunit recognizes and reduces its unique poly anionic substrate. The integral membrane subunit PsrC was characterized using the natural substrate menaquinone-7 and inhibitors, providing a comprehensive representation of a quinone binding site and revealing the presence of a water filled cavity connecting the quinone binding site on the periplasmic side to the cytoplasm. These results suggest that polysulfide reductase could be a key energy-conserving enzyme of the T. thermophilus respiratory chain, utilizing polysulfide as the terminal electron acceptor and pumping protons across the membrane via a previously unknown mechanism. PMID:18536726

  7. Universal transport signatures in two-electron molecular quantum dots: gate-tunable Hund's rule, underscreened Kondo effect and quantum phase transitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Florens, Serge; Freyn, Axel; Roch, Nicolas; Wernsdorfer, Wolfgang; Balestro, Franck; Roura-Bas, Pablo; Aligia, A. A.

    2011-06-01

    We review here some universal aspects of the physics of two-electron molecular transistors in the absence of strong spin-orbit effects. Several recent quantum dot experiments have shown that an electrostatic backgate could be used to control the energy dispersion of magnetic levels. We discuss how the generally asymmetric coupling of the metallic contacts to two different molecular orbitals can indeed lead to a gate-tunable Hund's rule in the presence of singlet and triplet states in the quantum dot. For gate voltages such that the singlet constitutes the (non-magnetic) ground state, one generally observes a suppression of low voltage transport, which can yet be restored in the form of enhanced cotunneling features at finite bias. More interestingly, when the gate voltage is controlled to obtain the triplet configuration, spin S = 1 Kondo anomalies appear at zero bias, with non-Fermi liquid features related to the underscreening of a spin larger than 1/2. Finally, the small bare singlet-triplet splitting in our device allows fine-tuning with the gate between these two magnetic configurations, leading to an unscreening quantum phase transition. This transition occurs between the non-magnetic singlet phase, where a two-stage Kondo effect occurs, and the triplet phase, where the partially compensated (underscreened) moment is akin to a magnetically 'ordered' state. These observations are put theoretically into a consistent global picture by using new numerical renormalization group simulations, tailored to capture sharp finite-voltage cotunneling features within the Coulomb diamonds, together with complementary out-of-equilibrium diagrammatic calculations on the two-orbital Anderson model. This work should shed further light on the complicated puzzle still raised by multi-orbital extensions of the classic Kondo problem.

  8. Nonadiabatic molecular dynamics simulations of the energy transfer between building blocks in a phenylene ethynylene dendrimer.

    PubMed

    Fernandez-Alberti, Sebastian; Kleiman, Valeria D; Tretiak, Sergei; Roitberg, Adrian E

    2009-07-01

    The ultrafast dynamics of electronic and vibrational energy transfer between two- and three-ring linear poly(phenylene ethynylene) units linked by meta-substitution is studied by nonadiabatic molecular dynamics simulations. The molecular dynamics with quantum transitions (1, 2) method is used including an "on the fly" calculation of the potential energy surfaces and electronic couplings. The results show that during the first 40 fs after a vertical photoexcitation to the S(2) state, the nonadiabatic coupling between S(2) and S(1) states causes a fast transfer of the electronic populations. A rapid decrease of the S(1)-S(2) energy gap is observed, reaching a first conical intersection at approximately 5 fs. Therefore, the first hopping events take place, and the S(2) state starts to depopulate. The analysis of the structural and energetic properties of the molecule during the jumps reveals the main role that the ethynylene triple bond plays in the unidirectional energy transfer process. PMID:19378966

  9. Exploring the energy landscapes of flexible molecular loops using higher-dimensional continuation.

    PubMed

    Porta, Josep M; Jaillet, Léonard

    2013-01-30

    The conformational space of a flexible molecular loop includes the set of conformations fulfilling the geometric loop-closure constraints and its energy landscape can be seen as a scalar field defined on this implicit set. Higher-dimensional continuation tools, recently developed in dynamical systems and also applied to robotics, provide efficient algorithms to trace out implicitly defined sets. This article describes these tools and applies them to obtain full descriptions of the energy landscapes of short molecular loops that, otherwise, can only be partially explored, mainly via sampling. Moreover, to deal with larger loops, this article exploits the higher-dimensional continuation tools to find local minima and minimum energy transition paths between them, without deviating from the loop-closure constraints. The proposed techniques are applied to previously studied molecules revealing the intricate structure of their energy landscapes.

  10. Exploring the energy landscapes of flexible molecular loops using higher-dimensional continuation.

    PubMed

    Porta, Josep M; Jaillet, Léonard

    2013-01-30

    The conformational space of a flexible molecular loop includes the set of conformations fulfilling the geometric loop-closure constraints and its energy landscape can be seen as a scalar field defined on this implicit set. Higher-dimensional continuation tools, recently developed in dynamical systems and also applied to robotics, provide efficient algorithms to trace out implicitly defined sets. This article describes these tools and applies them to obtain full descriptions of the energy landscapes of short molecular loops that, otherwise, can only be partially explored, mainly via sampling. Moreover, to deal with larger loops, this article exploits the higher-dimensional continuation tools to find local minima and minimum energy transition paths between them, without deviating from the loop-closure constraints. The proposed techniques are applied to previously studied molecules revealing the intricate structure of their energy landscapes. PMID:23015474

  11. Synthetic molecular systems based on porphyrins as models for the study of energy transfer in photosynthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konovalova, Nadezhda V.; Evstigneeva, Rima P.; Luzgina, Valentina N.

    2001-11-01

    The published data on the synthesis and photochemical properties of porphyrin-based molecular ensembles which represent models of natural photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes are generalised and systematised. The dependence of the transfer of excitation energy on the distance between donor and acceptor components, their mutual arrangement, electronic and environmental factors are discussed. Two mechanisms of energy transfer reactions, viz., 'through space' and 'through bond', are considered. The bibliography includes 96 references.

  12. Accelerating chemical reactions: Exploring reactive free-energy surfaces using accelerated ab initio molecular dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Pierce, Levi C. T.; Markwick, Phineus R. L.; McCammon, J. Andrew; Doltsinis, Nikos L.

    2011-01-01

    A biased potential molecular dynamics simulation approach, accelerated molecular dynamics (AMD), has been implemented in the framework of ab initio molecular dynamics for the study of chemical reactions. Using two examples, the double proton transfer reaction in formic acid dimer and the hypothetical adiabatic ring opening and subsequent rearrangement reactions in methylenecyclopropane, it is demonstrated that ab initio AMD can be readily employed to efficiently explore the reactive potential energy surface, allowing the prediction of chemical reactions and the identification of metastable states. An adaptive variant of the AMD method is developed, which additionally affords an accurate representation of both the free-energy surface and the mechanism associated with the chemical reaction of interest and can also provide an estimate of the reaction rate. PMID:21548673

  13. A New Maximum Likelihood Approach for Free Energy Profile Construction from Molecular Simulations.

    PubMed

    Lee, Tai-Sung; Radak, Brian K; Pabis, Anna; York, Darrin M

    2013-01-01

    A novel variational method for construction of free energy profiles from molecular simulation data is presented. The variational free energy profile (VFEP) method uses the maximum likelihood principle applied to the global free energy profile based on the entire set of simulation data (e.g from multiple biased simulations) that spans the free energy surface. The new method addresses common obstacles in two major problems usually observed in traditional methods for estimating free energy surfaces: the need for overlap in the re-weighting procedure and the problem of data representation. Test cases demonstrate that VFEP outperforms other methods in terms of the amount and sparsity of the data needed to construct the overall free energy profiles. For typical chemical reactions, only ~5 windows and ~20-35 independent data points per window are sufficient to obtain an overall qualitatively correct free energy profile with sampling errors an order of magnitude smaller than the free energy barrier. The proposed approach thus provides a feasible mechanism to quickly construct the global free energy profile and identify free energy barriers and basins in free energy simulations via a robust, variational procedure that determines an analytic representation of the free energy profile without the requirement of numerically unstable histograms or binning procedures. It can serve as a new framework for biased simulations and is suitable to be used together with other methods to tackle with the free energy estimation problem.

  14. High-Energy Molecular Beam Source Using a Non-Diaphragm Type Small Shock Tube

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshimoto, Yuta; Miyoshi, Nobuya; Kinefuchi, Ikuya; Shimizu, Kazuya; Takagi, Shu; Matsumoto, Yoichiro

    2010-11-01

    The molecular beam technique is one of the powerful tools to analyze gas-surface interactions. In order to generate high-energy molecular beam in a range of 1 - 5 eV, which corresponds to the typical activation energy of surface reactions, we are developing a beam source using a non-diaphragm type shock tube, which can operate at a repetition rate high enough for efficient data acquisition. We made the volume of a tube much smaller than that of conventional ones so that the evacuation time between each shot becomes as short as possible. Our measurement of shock Mach numbers showed that even small diameter (2 or 4 mm) tubes, in which the wall boundary layer has a large influence on the propagation of shock waves, could generate molecular beam with the translational energy of more than 1 eV. This is because the reduction of shock formation distance by rapid opening of the valve, which separates a high pressure room from a low pressure room, weakened the effect of viscous damping on the accelerating shock wave. In addition, the convergent shock tubes of which diameters linearly decrease from 4 to 2 mm exhibited higher Mach numbers than straight ones. This indicates that the application of the convergent tube with the optimized geometry would be promising for generating high-energy molecular beam.

  15. Relating polarizability to volume, ionization energy, electronegativity, hardness, moments of momentum, and other molecular properties

    SciTech Connect

    Blair, Shamus A.; Thakkar, Ajit J.

    2014-08-21

    Semiquantitative relationships between the mean static dipole polarizability and other molecular properties such as the volume, ionization energy, electronegativity, hardness, and moments of momentum are explored. The relationships are tested using density functional theory computations on the 1641 neutral, ground-state, organic molecules in the TABS database. The best polarizability approximations have median errors under 5%.

  16. Molecular and Functional Characterization of Bacopa monniera: A Retrospective Review.

    PubMed

    Rajan, Koilmani Emmanuvel; Preethi, Jayakumar; Singh, Hemant K

    2015-01-01

    Over the last 50 years, laboratories around the world analyzed the pharmacological effect of Bacopa monniera extract in different dimensions, especially as a nerve tonic and memory enhancer. Studies in animal model evidenced that Bacopa treatment can attenuate dementia and enhances memory. Further, they demonstrate that Bacopa primarily either acts via antioxidant mechanism (i.e., neuroprotection) or alters different neurotransmitters (serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT), dopamine (DA), acetylcholine (ACh), γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)) to execute the pharmacological effect. Among them, 5-HT has been shown to fine tune the neural plasticity, which is a substrate for memory formation. This review focuses on the studies which trace the effect of Bacopa treatment on serotonergic system and 5-HT mediated key molecular changes that are associated with memory formation.

  17. Molecular and Functional Characterization of Bacopa monniera: A Retrospective Review

    PubMed Central

    Rajan, Koilmani Emmanuvel; Preethi, Jayakumar; Singh, Hemant K.

    2015-01-01

    Over the last 50 years, laboratories around the world analyzed the pharmacological effect of Bacopa monniera extract in different dimensions, especially as a nerve tonic and memory enhancer. Studies in animal model evidenced that Bacopa treatment can attenuate dementia and enhances memory. Further, they demonstrate that Bacopa primarily either acts via antioxidant mechanism (i.e., neuroprotection) or alters different neurotransmitters (serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT), dopamine (DA), acetylcholine (ACh), γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)) to execute the pharmacological effect. Among them, 5-HT has been shown to fine tune the neural plasticity, which is a substrate for memory formation. This review focuses on the studies which trace the effect of Bacopa treatment on serotonergic system and 5-HT mediated key molecular changes that are associated with memory formation. PMID:26413131

  18. Dihydroazulene: from controlling photochromism to molecular electronics devices.

    PubMed

    Broman, Søren Lindbæk; Nielsen, Mogens Brøndsted

    2014-10-21

    Recent synthetic advances allowing large-scale preparation and systematic functionalization of the dihydroazulene (DHA)-vinylheptafulvene (VHF) photo-/thermoswitch have enabled detailed studies on how to tune optical and switching properties and have paved the way for using this system as a functional unit in molecular electronics and materials chemistry. Since discovery of its photochromism in the 1980'ies, numerous examples of DHA-VHF systems have been developed, allowing multimode switching, fluorescence-control and fine tuning of absorbance and VHF half-lives, giving insights into the mechanism of the switching event. Here, we present an overview of the properties of the DHA-VHF system, together with some selected synthetic procedures which have paved the way for its development.

  19. Molecular and Functional Characterization of Bacopa monniera: A Retrospective Review.

    PubMed

    Rajan, Koilmani Emmanuvel; Preethi, Jayakumar; Singh, Hemant K

    2015-01-01

    Over the last 50 years, laboratories around the world analyzed the pharmacological effect of Bacopa monniera extract in different dimensions, especially as a nerve tonic and memory enhancer. Studies in animal model evidenced that Bacopa treatment can attenuate dementia and enhances memory. Further, they demonstrate that Bacopa primarily either acts via antioxidant mechanism (i.e., neuroprotection) or alters different neurotransmitters (serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT), dopamine (DA), acetylcholine (ACh), γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)) to execute the pharmacological effect. Among them, 5-HT has been shown to fine tune the neural plasticity, which is a substrate for memory formation. This review focuses on the studies which trace the effect of Bacopa treatment on serotonergic system and 5-HT mediated key molecular changes that are associated with memory formation. PMID:26413131

  20. Exploring the vibrational fingerprint of the electronic excitation energy via molecular dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Deyne, Andy Van Yperen-De; Pauwels, Ewald; Ghysels, An; Waroquier, Michel; Van Speybroeck, Veronique; Hemelsoet, Karen; De Meyer, Thierry; De Clerck, Karen

    2014-04-07

    A Fourier-based method is presented to relate changes of the molecular structure during a molecular dynamics simulation with fluctuations in the electronic excitation energy. The method implies sampling of the ground state potential energy surface. Subsequently, the power spectrum of the velocities is compared with the power spectrum of the excitation energy computed using time-dependent density functional theory. Peaks in both spectra are compared, and motions exhibiting a linear or quadratic behavior can be distinguished. The quadratically active motions are mainly responsible for the changes in the excitation energy and hence cause shifts between the dynamic and static values of the spectral property. Moreover, information about the potential energy surface of various excited states can be obtained. The procedure is illustrated with three case studies. The first electronic excitation is explored in detail and dominant vibrational motions responsible for changes in the excitation energy are identified for ethylene, biphenyl, and hexamethylbenzene. The proposed method is also extended to other low-energy excitations. Finally, the vibrational fingerprint of the excitation energy of a more complex molecule, in particular the azo dye ethyl orange in a water environment, is analyzed.

  1. Reorganization energy of electron transfer processes in ionic fluids: A molecular Debye-Hückel approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Tiejun; Song, Xueyu

    2013-03-01

    The reorganization energy of electron transfer processes in ionic fluids is studied under the linear response approximation using a molecule Debye-Hückel theory. Reorganization energies of some model reactants of electron transfer reactions in molten salts are obtained from molecular simulations and a molecule Debye-Hückel approach. Good agreements between simulation results and the results from our theoretical calculations using the same model Hamiltonian are found. Applications of our theory to electron transfer reactions in room temperature ionic liquids further demonstrate that our theoretical approach presents a reliable and accurate methodology for the estimation of reorganization energies of electron transfer reactions in ionic fluids.

  2. Monte Carlo approach to the spatial deposition of energy by electrons in molecular hydrogen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heaps, M. G.; Green, A. E. S.

    1974-01-01

    The Monte Carlo (MC) and continuous slowdown approximation (CSDA) approaches to the spatial deposition of energy by electrons are compared using the same detailed atomic cross section (DACS). It is found that the CSDA method overestimates the amount of energy that is deposited near the end of the path for electrons above a few hundred electron volts. The MC results are in approximate agreement with experimental data in such a way as to be relatively independent of the actual gas used. Our MC results are extended to obtain the three-dimensional deposition of energy by sub-keV electrons in molecular hydrogen.

  3. Molecular dynamics analysis of metal surface sputtering due to bombardment of high energy particles

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, K. Kishore; Donbosco, Ferdin Sagai; Kumar, Rakesh

    2014-12-09

    Dependence of sputtering yield of Cu (100) and Ni (100) metal surface by bombardment of 200 Ar ions at various energies and angles of projections is investigated in this paper. The sputtering yield has been calculated by performing molecular dynamics simulation and the same is compared with experiments and theoretical predictions wherever possible. Additionally the kinetic energy, velocity and scattering angle distribution for sputtered and incident atoms are also observed. The results obtained from the present molecular dynamics simulations are found to be in good agreement with experimental data and theoretical estimates. It is observed that the sputtering yield increases as the energy of the bombarding ion increases. Furthermore as the incidence angle increases, the sputtering yield increases until a specific angle and then decreases as normal incidence is approached.

  4. Molecular approaches to improvement of Jatropha curcas Linn. as a sustainable energy crop.

    PubMed

    Sudhakar Johnson, T; Eswaran, Nalini; Sujatha, M

    2011-09-01

    With the increase in crude oil prices, climate change concerns and limited reserves of fossil fuel, attention has been diverted to alternate renewable energy sources such as biofuel and biomass. Among the potential biofuel crops, Jatropha curcas L, a non-domesticated shrub, has been gaining importance as the most promising oilseed, as it does not compete with the edible oil supplies. Economic relevance of J. curcas for biodiesel production has promoted world-wide prospecting of its germplasm for crop improvement and breeding. However, lack of adequate genetic variation and non-availability of improved varieties limited its prospects of being a successful energy crop. In this review, we present the progress made in molecular breeding approaches with particular reference to tissue culture and genetic transformation, genetic diversity assessment using molecular markers, large-scale transcriptome and proteome studies, identification of candidate genes for trait improvement, whole genome sequencing and the current interest by various public and private sector companies in commercial-scale cultivation, which highlights the revival of Jatropha as a sustainable energy crop. The information generated from molecular markers, transcriptome profiling and whole genome sequencing could accelerate the genetic upgradation of J. curcas through molecular breeding.

  5. Energy-weighted sum rules and the analysis of vibrational structure in molecular spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, W. L.

    2015-10-01

    The energy-weighted sum SV = Σn (E‧n - E″m)|<ψ″m|ψ‧n>|2 = <ψ″m|ΔV|ψ″m> for the vibrational potential functions V‧, V″ associated with transitions between two electronic states of diatomic molecular species is investigated and specific formulae are given using Morse functions for V‧ and V″. It is found that these formulae are useful approximations which provide a convenient way to analyse the vibrational structure of real spectra to give estimates of molecular parameters such as the change in internuclear distance accompanying a transition.

  6. A note on compressibility and energy cascade in turbulent molecular clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleck, R. C., Jr.

    1983-01-01

    Observed velocity-size correlations are reexamined in the light of an improved theory of turbulent energy cascade that is developed. It is shown that observed velocity-size correlations cannot be compared with the Kolmogorov law, which is based on incompressible turbulent flow. The fact that the log v-log(l/rho) scaling law (v the turbulent velocity, l the associated region size, and rho the fluid density) predicted for compressible energy cascade is always steeper than that observed in molecular clouds indicates the injection rather than the dissipation of mechanical energy at smaller scales of motion. It is also shown that the concept of strict energy cascade may not be generally applicable in the interstellar medium. The agreement between theory and observation turns out to be best for small cool clouds and cloud cores, suggesting that, for these regions at least, the dominant process in establishing the observed v-l-rho correlation is a turbulent energy cascade.

  7. Analytic second derivatives of the energy in the fragment molecular orbital method.

    PubMed

    Nakata, Hiroya; Nagata, Takeshi; Fedorov, Dmitri G; Yokojima, Satoshi; Kitaura, Kazuo; Nakamura, Shinichiro

    2013-04-28

    We developed the analytic second derivatives of the energy for the fragment molecular orbital (FMO) method. First we derived the analytic expressions and then introduced some approximations related to the first and second order coupled perturbed Hartree-Fock equations. We developed a parallel program for the FMO Hessian with approximations in GAMESS and used it to calculate infrared (IR) spectra and Gibbs free energies and to locate the transition states in SN2 reactions. The accuracy of the Hessian is demonstrated in comparison to ab initio results for polypeptides and a water cluster. By using the two residues per fragment division, we achieved the accuracy of 3 cm(-1) in the reduced mean square deviation of vibrational frequencies from ab initio for all three polyalanine isomers, while the zero point energy had the error not exceeding 0.3 kcal/mol. The role of the secondary structure on IR spectra, zero point energies, and Gibbs free energies is discussed.

  8. Analytic second derivatives of the energy in the fragment molecular orbital method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakata, Hiroya; Nagata, Takeshi; Fedorov, Dmitri G.; Yokojima, Satoshi; Kitaura, Kazuo; Nakamura, Shinichiro

    2013-04-01

    We developed the analytic second derivatives of the energy for the fragment molecular orbital (FMO) method. First we derived the analytic expressions and then introduced some approximations related to the first and second order coupled perturbed Hartree-Fock equations. We developed a parallel program for the FMO Hessian with approximations in GAMESS and used it to calculate infrared (IR) spectra and Gibbs free energies and to locate the transition states in SN2 reactions. The accuracy of the Hessian is demonstrated in comparison to ab initio results for polypeptides and a water cluster. By using the two residues per fragment division, we achieved the accuracy of 3 cm-1 in the reduced mean square deviation of vibrational frequencies from ab initio for all three polyalanine isomers, while the zero point energy had the error not exceeding 0.3 kcal/mol. The role of the secondary structure on IR spectra, zero point energies, and Gibbs free energies is discussed.

  9. Adsorption energies for a nanoporous carbon from gas-solid chromatography and molecular mechanics.

    PubMed

    Rybolt, Thomas R; Ziegler, Katherine A; Thomas, Howard E; Boyd, Jennifer L; Ridgeway, Mark E

    2006-04-01

    Gas-solid chromatography was used to obtain second gas-solid virial coefficients, B2s, in the temperature range 342-613 K for methane, ethane, propane, butane, 2-methylpropane, chloromethane, chlorodifluoromethane, dichloromethane, and dichlorodifluoromethane. The adsorbent used was Carbosieve S-III (Supelco), a carbon powder with fairly uniform, predominately 0.55 nm slit width pores and a N2 BET surface area of 995 m2/g. The temperature dependence of B2s was used to determine experimental values of the gas-solid interaction energy, E*, for each of these molecular adsorbates. MM2 and MM3 molecular mechanics calculations were used to determine the gas-solid interaction energy, E*(cal), for each of the molecules on various flat and nanoporous model surfaces. The flat model consisted of three parallel graphene layers with each graphene layer containing 127 interconnected benzene rings. The nanoporous model consisted of two sets of three parallel graphene layers adjacent to one another but separated to represent the pore diameter. A variety of calculated adsorption energies, E*(cal), were compared and correlated to the experimental E* values. It was determined that simple molecular mechanics could be used to calculate an attraction energy parameter between an adsorbed molecule and the carbon surface. The best correlation between the E*(cal) and E* values was provided by a 0.50 nm nanoporous model using MM2 parameters.

  10. Computation of methodology-independent ionic solvation free energies from molecular simulations. I. The electrostatic potential in molecular liquids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kastenholz, M. A.; Hünenberger, Philippe H.

    2006-03-01

    The computation of ionic solvation free energies from atomistic simulations is a surprisingly difficult problem that has found no satisfactory solution for more than 15years. The reason is that the charging free energies evaluated from such simulations are affected by very large errors. One of these is related to the choice of a specific convention for summing up the contributions of solvent charges to the electrostatic potential in the ionic cavity, namely, on the basis of point charges within entire solvent molecules (M scheme) or on the basis of individual point charges (P scheme). The use of an inappropriate convention may lead to a charge-independent offset in the calculated potential, which depends on the details of the summation scheme, on the quadrupole-moment trace of the solvent molecule, and on the approximate form used to represent electrostatic interactions in the system. However, whether the M or P scheme (if any) represents the appropriate convention is still a matter of on-going debate. The goal of the present article is to settle this long-standing controversy by carefully analyzing (both analytically and numerically) the properties of the electrostatic potential in molecular liquids (and inside cavities within them). Restricting the discussion to real liquids of "spherical" solvent molecules (represented by a classical solvent model with a single van der Waals interaction site), it is concluded that (i) for Coulombic (or straight-cutoff truncated) electrostatic interactions, the M scheme is the appropriate way of calculating the electrostatic potential; (ii) for non-Coulombic interactions deriving from a continuously differentiable function, both M and P schemes generally deliver an incorrect result (for which an analytical correction must be applied); and (iii) finite-temperature effects, including intermolecular orientation correlations and a preferential orientational structure in the neighborhood of a liquid-vacuum interface, must be taken

  11. Chemical Energy Release and Radical Formation in Cluster-Induced Sputtering of Diatomic Molecular Targets: A Molecular-Dynamics Model Study

    SciTech Connect

    Anders, Christian; Urbassek, Herbert M.

    2007-07-13

    Using molecular-dynamics simulation, we perform a systematic study of cluster-induced sputtering. Two model systems of diatomic molecular solids are employed, which have identical cohesive energy but differ in their dissociation energy and the possible reaction pathways. Sputtering occurs by the flow of gasified material out of the spike volume into the vacuum above it. Because of the entrainment of radicals and reaction products with the flow, only a minority of this debris is left behind in the target. The excitation of internal molecular degrees of freedom (rotation and vibration) slightly reduces the sputter yield in comparison to the sputtering of an atomic system, while the chemical energy release due to exothermic reactions of radicals formed enhances the yield in proportion to the chemical energy release.

  12. Designing molecular complexes using free-energy derivatives from liquid-state integral equation theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mrugalla, Florian; Kast, Stefan M.

    2016-09-01

    Complex formation between molecules in solution is the key process by which molecular interactions are translated into functional systems. These processes are governed by the binding or free energy of association which depends on both direct molecular interactions and the solvation contribution. A design goal frequently addressed in pharmaceutical sciences is the optimization of chemical properties of the complex partners in the sense of minimizing their binding free energy with respect to a change in chemical structure. Here, we demonstrate that liquid-state theory in the form of the solute-solute equation of the reference interaction site model provides all necessary information for such a task with high efficiency. In particular, computing derivatives of the potential of mean force (PMF), which defines the free-energy surface of complex formation, with respect to potential parameters can be viewed as a means to define a direction in chemical space toward better binders. We illustrate the methodology in the benchmark case of alkali ion binding to the crown ether 18-crown-6 in aqueous solution. In order to examine the validity of the underlying solute-solute theory, we first compare PMFs computed by different approaches, including explicit free-energy molecular dynamics simulations as a reference. Predictions of an optimally binding ion radius based on free-energy derivatives are then shown to yield consistent results for different ion parameter sets and to compare well with earlier, orders-of-magnitude more costly explicit simulation results. This proof-of-principle study, therefore, demonstrates the potential of liquid-state theory for molecular design problems.

  13. Designing molecular complexes using free-energy derivatives from liquid-state integral equation theory.

    PubMed

    Mrugalla, Florian; Kast, Stefan M

    2016-09-01

    Complex formation between molecules in solution is the key process by which molecular interactions are translated into functional systems. These processes are governed by the binding or free energy of association which depends on both direct molecular interactions and the solvation contribution. A design goal frequently addressed in pharmaceutical sciences is the optimization of chemical properties of the complex partners in the sense of minimizing their binding free energy with respect to a change in chemical structure. Here, we demonstrate that liquid-state theory in the form of the solute-solute equation of the reference interaction site model provides all necessary information for such a task with high efficiency. In particular, computing derivatives of the potential of mean force (PMF), which defines the free-energy surface of complex formation, with respect to potential parameters can be viewed as a means to define a direction in chemical space toward better binders. We illustrate the methodology in the benchmark case of alkali ion binding to the crown ether 18-crown-6 in aqueous solution. In order to examine the validity of the underlying solute-solute theory, we first compare PMFs computed by different approaches, including explicit free-energy molecular dynamics simulations as a reference. Predictions of an optimally binding ion radius based on free-energy derivatives are then shown to yield consistent results for different ion parameter sets and to compare well with earlier, orders-of-magnitude more costly explicit simulation results. This proof-of-principle study, therefore, demonstrates the potential of liquid-state theory for molecular design problems.

  14. Designing molecular complexes using free-energy derivatives from liquid-state integral equation theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mrugalla, Florian; Kast, Stefan M.

    2016-09-01

    Complex formation between molecules in solution is the key process by which molecular interactions are translated into functional systems. These processes are governed by the binding or free energy of association which depends on both direct molecular interactions and the solvation contribution. A design goal frequently addressed in pharmaceutical sciences is the optimization of chemical properties of the complex partners in the sense of minimizing their binding free energy with respect to a change in chemical structure. Here, we demonstrate that liquid-state theory in the form of the solute–solute equation of the reference interaction site model provides all necessary information for such a task with high efficiency. In particular, computing derivatives of the potential of mean force (PMF), which defines the free-energy surface of complex formation, with respect to potential parameters can be viewed as a means to define a direction in chemical space toward better binders. We illustrate the methodology in the benchmark case of alkali ion binding to the crown ether 18-crown-6 in aqueous solution. In order to examine the validity of the underlying solute–solute theory, we first compare PMFs computed by different approaches, including explicit free-energy molecular dynamics simulations as a reference. Predictions of an optimally binding ion radius based on free-energy derivatives are then shown to yield consistent results for different ion parameter sets and to compare well with earlier, orders-of-magnitude more costly explicit simulation results. This proof-of-principle study, therefore, demonstrates the potential of liquid-state theory for molecular design problems.

  15. Constructing multiscale gravitational energy spectra from molecular cloud surface density PDF - interplay between turbulence and gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Guang-Xing; Burkert, Andreas

    2016-09-01

    Gravity is believed to be important on multiple physical scales in molecular clouds. However, quantitative constraints on gravity are still lacking. We derive an analytical formula which provides estimates on multiscale gravitational energy distribution using the observed surface density probability distribution function (PDF). Our analytical formalism also enables one to convert the observed column density PDF into an estimated volume density PDF, and to obtain average radial density profile ρ(r). For a region with N_col ˜ N^{-γ _N}, the gravitational energy spectra is E_p(k)˜ k^{-4(1 - 1/γ _N)}. We apply the formula to observations of molecular clouds, and find that a scaling index of -2 of the surface density PDF implies that ρ ˜ r-2 and Ep(k) ˜ k-2. The results are valid from the cloud scale (a few parsec) to around ˜ 0.1 pc. Because of the resemblance the scaling index of the gravitational energy spectrum and the that of the kinetic energy power spectrum of the Burgers turbulence (where E ˜ k-2), our result indicates that gravity can act effectively against turbulence over a multitude of physical scales. This is the critical scaling index which divides molecular clouds into two categories: clouds like Orion and Ophiuchus have shallower power laws, and the amount of gravitational energy is too large for turbulence to be effective inside the cloud. Because gravity dominates, we call this type of cloud g-type clouds. On the other hand, clouds like the California molecular cloud and the Pipe nebula have steeper power laws, and turbulence can overcome gravity if it can cascade effectively from the large scale. We call this type of cloud t-type clouds. The analytical formula can be used to determine if gravity is dominating cloud evolution when the column density PDF can be reliably determined.

  16. Molecular dynamics simulations of high energy cascade in ordered alloys: Defect production and subcascade division

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crocombette, Jean-Paul; Van Brutzel, Laurent; Simeone, David; Luneville, Laurence

    2016-06-01

    Displacement cascades have been calculated in two ordered alloys (Ni3Al and UO2) in the molecular dynamics framework using the CMDC (Cell Molecular Dynamics for Cascade) code (J.-P. Crocombette and T. Jourdan, Nucl. Instrum. Meth. B 352, 9 (2015)) for energies ranking between 0.1 and 580 keV. The defect production has been compared to the prediction of the NRT (Norgett, Robinson and Torrens) standard. One observes a decrease with energy of the number of defects compared to the NRT prediction at intermediate energies but, unlike what is commonly observed in elemental solids, the number of produced defects does not always turn to a linear variation with ballistic energy at high energies. The fragmentation of the cascade into subcascades has been studied through the analysis of surviving defect pockets. It appears that the common knowledge equivalence of linearity of defect production and subcascades division does not hold in general for alloys. We calculate the average number of subcascades and average number of defects per subcascades as a function of ballistic energy. We find an unexpected variety of behaviors for these two average quantities above the threshold for subcascade formation.

  17. Recent Advances in Cardiac Computed Tomography: Dual Energy, Spectral and Molecular CT Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Danad, Ibrahim; Fayad, Zahi A.; Willemink, Martin J.; Min, James K.

    2015-01-01

    Computed tomography (CT) evolved into a powerful diagnostic tool and it is impossible to imagine current clinical practice without CT imaging. Due to its widespread availability, ease of clinical application, superb sensitivity for detection of CAD, and non-invasive nature, CT has become a valuable tool within the armamentarium of the cardiologist. In the last few years, numerous technological advances in CT have occurred—including dual energy CT (DECT), spectral CT and CT-based molecular imaging. By harnessing the advances in technology, cardiac CT has advanced beyond the mere evaluation of coronary stenosis to an imaging modality tool that permits accurate plaque characterization, assessment of myocardial perfusion and even probing of molecular processes that are involved in coronary atherosclerosis. Novel innovations in CT contrast agents and pre-clinical spectral CT devices have paved the way for CT-based molecular imaging. PMID:26068288

  18. Calculating solution redox free energies with ab initio quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical minimum free energy path method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Xiancheng; Hu, Hao; Hu, Xiangqian; Yang, Weitao

    2009-04-01

    A quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical minimum free energy path (QM/MM-MFEP) method was developed to calculate the redox free energies of large systems in solution with greatly enhanced efficiency for conformation sampling. The QM/MM-MFEP method describes the thermodynamics of a system on the potential of mean force surface of the solute degrees of freedom. The molecular dynamics (MD) sampling is only carried out with the QM subsystem fixed. It thus avoids "on-the-fly" QM calculations and thus overcomes the high computational cost in the direct QM/MM MD sampling. In the applications to two metal complexes in aqueous solution, the new QM/MM-MFEP method yielded redox free energies in good agreement with those calculated from the direct QM/MM MD method. Two larger biologically important redox molecules, lumichrome and riboflavin, were further investigated to demonstrate the efficiency of the method. The enhanced efficiency and uncompromised accuracy are especially significant for biochemical systems. The QM/MM-MFEP method thus provides an efficient approach to free energy simulation of complex electron transfer reactions.

  19. Calculating solution redox free energies with ab initio quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical minimum free energy path method

    SciTech Connect

    Zeng Xiancheng; Hu Hao; Hu Xiangqian; Yang Weitao

    2009-04-28

    A quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical minimum free energy path (QM/MM-MFEP) method was developed to calculate the redox free energies of large systems in solution with greatly enhanced efficiency for conformation sampling. The QM/MM-MFEP method describes the thermodynamics of a system on the potential of mean force surface of the solute degrees of freedom. The molecular dynamics (MD) sampling is only carried out with the QM subsystem fixed. It thus avoids 'on-the-fly' QM calculations and thus overcomes the high computational cost in the direct QM/MM MD sampling. In the applications to two metal complexes in aqueous solution, the new QM/MM-MFEP method yielded redox free energies in good agreement with those calculated from the direct QM/MM MD method. Two larger biologically important redox molecules, lumichrome and riboflavin, were further investigated to demonstrate the efficiency of the method. The enhanced efficiency and uncompromised accuracy are especially significant for biochemical systems. The QM/MM-MFEP method thus provides an efficient approach to free energy simulation of complex electron transfer reactions.

  20. Conversion of light-energy into molecular strain in the photocycle of the photoactive yellow protein.

    PubMed

    Gamiz-Hernandez, Ana P; Kaila, Ville R I

    2016-01-28

    The Photoactive Yellow Protein (PYP) is a light-driven photoreceptor, responsible for the phototaxis of halophilic bacteria. Recently, a new short-lived intermediate (pR0) was characterized in the PYP photocycle using combined time-resolved X-ray crystallography and density functional theory calculations. The pR0 species was identified as a highly contorted cis-intermediate, which is stabilized by hydrogen bonds with protein residues. Here we show by hybrid quantum mechanics/classical mechanics (QM/MM) molecular dynamics simulations, and first-principles calculations of optical properties, that the optical shifts in the early steps of the PYP photocycle originate from the conversion of light energy into molecular strain, stored in the pR0 state, and its relaxation in subsequent reaction steps. Our calculations quantitatively reproduce experimental data, which enables us to identify molecular origins of the optical shifts. Our combined approach suggests that the short-lived pR0 intermediate stores ∼1/3 of the photon energy as molecular strain, thus providing the thermodynamic driving force for later conformational changes in the protein.

  1. Artificial light-harvesting antennae: electronic energy transfer by way of molecular funnels.

    PubMed

    Ziessel, Raymond; Harriman, Anthony

    2011-01-14

    Electronic energy transfer (EET) plays a critical role in many biological processes and is used by nature to direct energy to a site where chemical reactions need to be initiated. Such EET can occur over large distances and can involve many individual molecules of identical, similar or disparate chemical identity. Advances in spectroscopy and data processing have allowed the rates of EET to be measured on extremely fast timescales such that improved mechanistic insight becomes feasible. At the same time, highly sophisticated synthetic operations have been devised that facilitate the isolation and purification of elaborate multi-component molecular arrays. A key feature of these arrays concerns the logical positioning of individual units in a way that favours directed EET along the molecular axis or along some other preferred pathway. The availability of these novel molecular materials allows close examination of popular theoretical models and paves the way for the development of advanced molecular sensors, artificial light harvesters, fluorescent labels and sensitizers. Of particular interest is the spectacular growth in the application of boron dipyrromethene dyes as basic reagents in such artificial photon collectors and these compounds have dominated the market in recent years because of their synthetic versatility and valuable photophysical properties. In this article, recent developments in the field are highlighted in terms of synthesis and subsequent spectroscopic exploration. PMID:20957235

  2. Bioinspired molecular electrets: bottom-up approach to energy materials and applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, Jillian M.; Espinoza, Eli M.; Vullev, Valentine I.

    2015-01-01

    The diversity of life on Earth is made possible through an immense variety of proteins that stems from less than a couple of dozen native amino acids. Is it possible to achieve similar engineering freedom and precision to design electronic materials? What if a handful of non-native residues with a wide range of characteristics could be rationally placed in sequences to form organic macromolecules with specifically targeted properties and functionalities? Referred to as molecular electrets, dipolar oligomers and polymers composed of non-native aromatic beta-amino acids, anthranilamides (Aa) provide venues for pursuing such possibilities. The electret molecular dipoles play a crucial role in rectifying charge transfer, e.g., enhancing charge separation and suppressing undesired charge recombination, which is essential for photovoltaics, photocatalysis, and other solar-energy applications. A set of a few Aa residues can serve as building blocks for molecular electrets with widely diverse electronic properties, presenting venues for bottom-up designs. We demonstrate how three substituents and structural permutations within an Aa residue widely alter its reduction potential. Paradigms of diversity in electronic properties, originating from a few changes within a basic molecular structure, illustrate the promising potentials of biological inspiration for energy science and engineering.

  3. Parallel AFMPB solver with automatic surface meshing for calculation of molecular solvation free energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Bo; Peng, Bo; Huang, Jingfang; Pitsianis, Nikos P.; Sun, Xiaobai; Lu, Benzhuo

    2015-05-01

    We present PAFMPB, an updated and parallel version of the AFMPB software package for fast calculation of molecular solvation-free energy. The new version has the following new features: (1) The adaptive fast multipole method and the boundary element methods are parallelized; (2) A tool is embedded for automatic molecular VDW/SAS surface mesh generation, leaving the requirement for a mesh file at input optional; (3) The package provides fast calculation of the total solvation-free energy, including the PB electrostatic and nonpolar interaction contributions. PAFMPB is implemented in C and Fortran programming languages, with the Cilk Plus extension to harness the computing power of both multicore and vector processing. Computational experiments demonstrate the successful application of PAFMPB to the calculation of the PB potential on a dengue virus system with more than one million atoms and a mesh with approximately 20 million triangles.

  4. A Molecular Necklace: Threading β-Cyclodextrins onto Polymers Derived from Bile Acids.

    PubMed

    Jia, Yong-Guang; Malveau, Cedric; Mezour, Mohamed A; Perepichka, Dmitrii F; Zhu, X X

    2016-09-19

    A molecular necklace of polypseudorotaxanes was prepared by threading β-cyclodextrins (β-CD) onto biodegradable and thermoresponsive polyurethanes derived from bile acids. These polyurethanes were synthesized via a simple step condensation of bile acid-based dicarbonate with poly(ethylene glycol)-diamine. The β-CD rings slide onto the poly(ethylene glycol) segments and selectively recognize the bile acid units of the polyurethane chains, whereas the poly(ethylene glycol) segments remain crystalline with a lower crystallinity. This bio-compound-derived molecular necklace can be visualized by scanning tunneling microscopy. The polypseudorotaxanes show thermosensitivity in water and the phase transition temperature may be fine-tuned by varying the molar ratios of β-CD to the bile acid units. Such an interesting necklace model of polypseudorotaxane constructed from natural compounds may lead to the further exploration of their applications, such as as an enzyme model, due to their biological nature. PMID:27558980

  5. A Molecular Necklace: Threading β-Cyclodextrins onto Polymers Derived from Bile Acids.

    PubMed

    Jia, Yong-Guang; Malveau, Cedric; Mezour, Mohamed A; Perepichka, Dmitrii F; Zhu, X X

    2016-09-19

    A molecular necklace of polypseudorotaxanes was prepared by threading β-cyclodextrins (β-CD) onto biodegradable and thermoresponsive polyurethanes derived from bile acids. These polyurethanes were synthesized via a simple step condensation of bile acid-based dicarbonate with poly(ethylene glycol)-diamine. The β-CD rings slide onto the poly(ethylene glycol) segments and selectively recognize the bile acid units of the polyurethane chains, whereas the poly(ethylene glycol) segments remain crystalline with a lower crystallinity. This bio-compound-derived molecular necklace can be visualized by scanning tunneling microscopy. The polypseudorotaxanes show thermosensitivity in water and the phase transition temperature may be fine-tuned by varying the molar ratios of β-CD to the bile acid units. Such an interesting necklace model of polypseudorotaxane constructed from natural compounds may lead to the further exploration of their applications, such as as an enzyme model, due to their biological nature.

  6. Affinity and competition for TBP are molecular determinants of gene expression noise

    PubMed Central

    Ravarani, Charles N. J.; Chalancon, Guilhem; Breker, Michal; de Groot, Natalia Sanchez; Babu, M. Madan

    2016-01-01

    Cell-to-cell variation in gene expression levels (noise) generates phenotypic diversity and is an important phenomenon in evolution, development and disease. TATA-box binding protein (TBP) is an essential factor that is required at virtually every eukaryotic promoter to initiate transcription. While the presence of a TATA-box motif in the promoter has been strongly linked with noise, the molecular mechanism driving this relationship is less well understood. Through an integrated analysis of multiple large-scale data sets, computer simulation and experimental validation in yeast, we provide molecular insights into how noise arises as an emergent property of variable binding affinity of TBP for different promoter sequences, competition between interaction partners to bind the same surface on TBP (to either promote or disrupt transcription initiation) and variable residence times of TBP complexes at a promoter. These determinants may be fine-tuned under different conditions and during evolution to modulate eukaryotic gene expression noise. PMID:26832815

  7. A classical molecular dynamics investigation of the free energy and structure of short polyproline conformers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moradi, Mahmoud; Babin, Volodymyr; Roland, Christopher; Sagui, Celeste

    2010-09-01

    Folded polyproline peptides can exist as either left-(PPII) or right-handed (PPI) helices, depending on their environment. In this work, we have characterized the conformations and the free energy landscapes of Ace-(Pro)n-Nme, n =2,3,…,9, and 13 peptides both in vacuo and in an implicit solvent environment. In order to enhance the sampling provided by regular molecular dynamics simulations, we have used the recently developed adaptively biased molecular dynamics method—which provides an accurate description of the free energy landscapes in terms of a set of relevant collective variables—combined with Hamiltonian and temperature replica exchange molecular dynamics methods. The collective variables, which are chosen so as to reflect the stable structures and the "slow modes" of the polyproline system, were based primarily on properties of length and of the cis/trans isomerization associated with the prolyl bonds. Results indicate that the space of peptide structures is characterized not just by pure PPII and PPI structures, but rather by a broad distribution of stable minima with similar free energies. These results are in agreement with recent experimental work. In addition, we have used steered molecular dynamics methods in order to quantitatively estimate the free energy difference of PPI and PPII for peptides of the length n =2,…,5 in vacuo and implicit water and qualitatively investigate transition pathways and mechanisms for the PPII to PPI transitions. A zipper-like mechanism, starting from either the center of the peptide or the amidated end, appear to be the most likely mechanisms for the PPII→PPI transition for the longer peptides.

  8. Permutationally invariant polynomial basis for molecular energy surface fitting via monomial symmetrization.

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, Z.; Bowman, J. M.; Mathematics and Computer Science; Emory Univ.

    2010-01-01

    We describe a procedure to develop a fitting basis for molecular potential energy surfaces (PESs) that is invariant with respect to permutation of like atoms. The method is based on a straightforward symmetrization of a primitive monomial basis and illustrated for several classes of molecules. A numerically efficient method to evaluate the resulting expression for the PES is also described. The fitting basis is used to obtain a new PES for H{sub 3}O{sup +} based on roughly 62000 ab initio energies.

  9. Analytic Methods for Predicting Significant Multi-Quanta Effects in Collisional Molecular Energy Transfer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bieniek, Ronald J.

    1996-01-01

    Collision-induced transitions can significantly affect molecular vibrational-rotational populations and energy transfer in atmospheres and gaseous systems. This, in turn. can strongly influence convective heat transfer through dissociation and recombination of diatomics. and radiative heat transfer due to strong vibrational coupling. It is necessary to know state-to-state rates to predict engine performance and aerothermodynamic behavior of hypersonic flows, to analyze diagnostic radiative data obtained from experimental test facilities, and to design heat shields and other thermal protective systems. Furthermore, transfer rates between vibrational and translational modes can strongly influence energy flow in various 'disturbed' environments, particularly where the vibrational and translational temperatures are not equilibrated.

  10. Proposed Molecular Beam Determination of Energy Partition in the Photodissociation of Polyatomic Molecules

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    Zare, P. N.; Herschbach, D. R.

    1964-01-29

    Conventional photochemical experiments give no information about the partitioning of energy between translational recoil and internal excitation of the fragment molecules formed in photodissociation of a polyatomic molecule. In a molecular beam experiment, it becomes possible to determine the energy partition from the form of the laboratory angular distribution of one of the photodissociation products. A general kinematic analysis is worked out in detail, and the uncertainty introduced by the finite angular resolution of the apparatus and the velocity spread in the parent beam is examined. The experimental requirements are evaluated for he photolysis of methyl iodide by the 2537 angstrom Hg line.

  11. Exploring polymorphism of benzene and naphthalene with free energy based enhanced molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Elia; Vogt, Leslie; Tuckerman, Mark E

    2016-08-01

    Prediction and exploration of possible polymorphism in organic crystal compounds are of great importance for industries ranging from organic electronics to pharmaceuticals to high-energy materials. Here we apply our crystal structure prediction procedure and the enhanced molecular dynamics based sampling approach called the Crystal-Adiabatic Free Energy Dynamics (Crystal-AFED) method to benzene and naphthalene. Crystal-AFED allows the free energy landscape of structures to be explored efficiently at any desired temperature and pressure. For each system, we successfully predict the most stable crystal structures at atmospheric pressure and explore the relative Gibbs free energies of predicted polymorphs at high pressures. Using Crystal-AFED sampling, we find that mixed structures, which typically cannot be discovered by standard crystal structure prediction methods, are prevalent in the solid forms of these compounds at high pressure. PMID:27484375

  12. Free Energy Calculations using a Swarm-Enhanced Sampling Molecular Dynamics Approach.

    PubMed

    Burusco, Kepa K; Bruce, Neil J; Alibay, Irfan; Bryce, Richard A

    2015-10-26

    Free energy simulations are an established computational tool in modelling chemical change in the condensed phase. However, sampling of kinetically distinct substates remains a challenge to these approaches. As a route to addressing this, we link the methods of thermodynamic integration (TI) and swarm-enhanced sampling molecular dynamics (sesMD), where simulation replicas interact cooperatively to aid transitions over energy barriers. We illustrate the approach by using alchemical alkane transformations in solution, comparing them with the multiple independent trajectory TI (IT-TI) method. Free energy changes for transitions computed by using IT-TI grew increasingly inaccurate as the intramolecular barrier was heightened. By contrast, swarm-enhanced sampling TI (sesTI) calculations showed clear improvements in sampling efficiency, leading to more accurate computed free energy differences, even in the case of the highest barrier height. The sesTI approach, therefore, has potential in addressing chemical change in systems where conformations exist in slow exchange.

  13. Defect-induced discriminative modulation of the highest occupied molecular orbital energies of graphene

    SciTech Connect

    Yuan, Wenjuan E-mail: luojunkink@126.com; Yang, Hongping; Zhu, Jing; Luo, Jun E-mail: luojunkink@126.com

    2015-11-15

    Defects are capable of modulating various properties of graphene, and thus controlling defects is useful in the development of graphene-based devices. Here we present first-principles calculations, which reveal a new avenue for defect engineering of graphene: the modulation by defects on the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) energy of a charged monolayer graphene quantum dot (GQD) is discriminative. When the charge of a GQD increases its HOMO energy also increases. Importantly, when the GQD contains one particular class of defects its HOMO energy is sometimes higher and sometimes lower than that of the corresponding GQD without any defects, but when the GQD contains another class of defects its HOMO energy is always higher or lower than that of the corresponding intact GQD as its excess charge reaches a critical value. This discriminative modulation could allow defect engineering to control secondary electron ejection in graphene, leading to a new way to develop graphene-based devices.

  14. Molecular dynamics studies of sticking and reflection of low-energy deuterium on single crystal tungsten

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maya, P. N.

    2016-11-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations have been performed to study deuterium sticking and reflection properties of single crystal tungsten surfaces using two different Tersoff-type tungsten-hydrogen potentials. Single crystal tungsten surfaces of (001) and (110) orientations were bombarded with deuterium atoms up to 100 eV energy at 300 K sample temperature. The potentials show differences in the nature of sticking as well as in the sticking coefficient. In order to understand the variation in the observed sticking coefficient, detailed potential energy analysis has been carried out using both the potentials. The analysis is able to explain the nature of the sticking for various surfaces as well as the observed minima in sticking coefficient in both the potentials. The variation in the sticking and reflection coefficients with energy can be explained from the local variation of the repulsive and attractive potential energy in the near-surface region which are considerably different in both the potentials.

  15. Extra precision docking, free energy calculation and molecular dynamics simulation studies of CDK2 inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Tripathi, Sunil Kumar; Muttineni, Ravikumar; Singh, Sanjeev Kumar

    2013-10-01

    Molecular docking, free energy calculation and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation studies have been performed, to explore the putative binding modes of 3,5-diaminoindazoles, imidazo(1,2-b)pyridazines and triazolo(1,5-a) pyridazines series of Cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK2) inhibitors. To evaluate the effectiveness of docking protocol in flexible docking, we have selected crystallographic bound compound to validate our docking procedure as evident from root mean square deviations (RMSDs). We found different binding sites namely catalytic, inhibitory phosphorylation, cyclin binding and CKS-binding site of the CDK2 contributing towards the binding of these compounds. Moreover, correlation between free energy of binding and biological activity yielded a statistically significant correlation coefficient. Finally, three representative protein-ligand complexes were subjected to molecular dynamics simulation to determine the stability of the predicted conformations. The low value of the RMSDs between the initial complex structure and the energy minimized final average complex structure suggests that the derived docked complexes are close to equilibrium. We suggest that the phenylacetyl type of substituents and cyclohexyl moiety make the favorable interactions with a number of residues in the active site, and show better inhibitory activity to improve the pharmacokinetic profile of compounds against CDK2. The structure-based drug design strategy described in this study will be highly useful for the development of new inhibitors with high potency and selectivity.

  16. Incorporating replacement free energy of binding-site waters in molecular docking.

    PubMed

    Sun, Hanzi; Zhao, Lifeng; Peng, Shiming; Huang, Niu

    2014-09-01

    Binding-site water molecules play a crucial role in protein-ligand recognition, either being displaced upon ligand binding or forming water bridges to stabilize the complex. However, rigorously treating explicit binding-site waters is challenging in molecular docking, which requires to fully sample ensembles of waters and to consider the free energy cost of replacing waters. Here, we describe a method to incorporate structural and energetic properties of binding-site waters into molecular docking. We first developed a solvent property analysis (SPA) program to compute the replacement free energies of binding-site water molecules by post-processing molecular dynamics trajectories obtained from ligand-free protein structure simulation in explicit water. Next, we implemented a distance-dependent scoring term into DOCK scoring function to take account of the water replacement free energy cost upon ligand binding. We assessed this approach in protein targets containing important binding-site waters, and we demonstrated that our approach is reliable in reproducing the crystal binding geometries of protein-ligand-water complexes, as well as moderately improving the ligand docking enrichment performance. In addition, SPA program (free available to academic users upon request) may be applied in identifying hot-spot binding-site residues and structure-based lead optimization.

  17. A bifurcated molecular pentad capable of sequential electronic energy transfer and intramolecular charge transfer.

    PubMed

    Harriman, Anthony; Stachelek, Patrycja; Sutter, Alexandra; Ziessel, Raymond

    2015-10-21

    An extended molecular array, comprising three distinct types of chromophores and two additional redox-active subunits, that harvests photons over most of the visible spectral range has been synthesized and characterised. The array exhibits a rich variety of electrochemical waves when examined by cyclic voltammetry but assignment can be made on the basis of control compounds and molecular orbital calculations. Stepwise electronic energy transfer occurs along the molecular axis, corresponding to a gradient of excitation energies, to populate the lowest-energy excited state of the ultimate acceptor. The latter species, which absorbs and emits in the far-red region, enters into light-induced charge transfer with a terminal amine group. The array is relatively stable under illumination with white light but degrades slowly via a series of well-defined steps, the first of which is autocatalytic. One of the main attributes of this system is the capability to harvest an unusually high fraction of sunlight while providing protection against exposure to UV light.

  18. On the nature of intramolecular vibrational energy transfer in dense molecular environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Benten, Rebekka S.; Abel, Bernd

    2010-12-01

    Transient femtosecond-IR-pump-UV-absorption probe-spectroscopy has been employed to shed light on the nature of intramolecular vibrational energy transfer (IVR) in dense molecular environments ranging from the diluted gas phase to the liquid. A general feature in our experiments and those of others is that IVR proceeds via multiple timescales if overtones or combination vibrations of high frequency modes are excited. It has been found that collisions enhance IVR if its (slower) timescales can compete with collisions. This enhancement is, however, much more weaker and rather inefficient as opposed to the effect of collisions on intermolecular energy transfer which is well known. In a series of experiments we found that IVR depends not significantly on the average energy transferred in a collision but rather on the number of collisions. The collisions are much less efficient in affecting IVR than VET. We conclude that collision induced broadening of vibrational energy levels reduces the energy gaps and enhances existing couplings between tiers. The present results are an important step forward to rationalize and understand apparently different and not consistent results from different groups on different molecular systems between gas and liquid phases.

  19. Field-dependent molecular ionization and excitation energies: Implications for electrically insulating liquids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davari, N.; Åstrand, P.-O.; Unge, M.; Lundgaard, L. E.; Linhjell, D.

    2014-03-01

    The molecular ionization potential has a relatively strong electric-field dependence as compared to the excitation energies which has implications for electrical insulation since the excited states work as an energy sink emitting light in the UV/VIS region. At some threshold field, all the excited states of the molecule have vanished and the molecule is a two-state system with the ground state and the ionized state, which has been hypothesized as a possible origin of different streamer propagation modes. Constrained density-functional theory is used to calculate the field-dependent ionization potential of different types of molecules relevant for electrically insulating liquids. The low singlet-singlet excitation energies of each molecule have also been calculated using time-dependent density functional theory. It is shown that low-energy singlet-singlet excitation of the type n → π* (lone pair to unoccupied π* orbital) has the ability to survive at higher fields. This type of excitation can for example be found in esters, diketones and many color dyes. For alkanes (as for example n-tridecane and cyclohexane) on the other hand, all the excited states, in particular the σ → σ* excitations vanish in electric fields higher than 10 MV/cm. Further implications for the design of electrically insulating dielectric liquids based on the molecular ionization potential and excitation energies are discussed.

  20. Unraveling the Interplay of Backbone Rigidity and Electron Rich Side-Chains on Electron Transfer in Peptides: The Realization of Tunable Molecular Wires

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Electrochemical studies are reported on a series of peptides constrained into either a 310-helix (1–6) or β-strand (7–9) conformation, with variable numbers of electron rich alkene containing side chains. Peptides (1 and 2) and (7 and 8) are further constrained into these geometries with a suitable side chain tether introduced by ring closing metathesis (RCM). Peptides 1, 4 and 5, each containing a single alkene side chain reveal a direct link between backbone rigidity and electron transfer, in isolation from any effects due to the electronic properties of the electron rich side-chains. Further studies on the linear peptides 3–6 confirm the ability of the alkene to facilitate electron transfer through the peptide. A comparison of the electrochemical data for the unsaturated tethered peptides (1 and 7) and saturated tethered peptides (2 and 8) reveals an interplay between backbone rigidity and effects arising from the electron rich alkene side-chains on electron transfer. Theoretical calculations on β-strand models analogous to 7, 8 and 9 provide further insights into the relative roles of backbone rigidity and electron rich side-chains on intramolecular electron transfer. Furthermore, electron population analysis confirms the role of the alkene as a “stepping stone” for electron transfer. These findings provide a new approach for fine-tuning the electronic properties of peptides by controlling backbone rigidity, and through the inclusion of electron rich side-chains. This allows for manipulation of energy barriers and hence conductance in peptides, a crucial step in the design and fabrication of molecular-based electronic devices. PMID:25122122

  1. Surface Modification and Chemical Sputtering of Graphite Induced by Low Energy Atomic and Molecular Deuterium Ions

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Hengda; Meyer, Fred W; Meyer III, Harry M; Lance, Michael J

    2008-01-01

    The surface morphology, and chemical/structural modifications induced during chemical sputtering of ATJ graphite by low-energy (<200 eV/D) deuterium atomic and molecular ions are explored by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Raman and Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES) diagnostics. At the lowest impact energies, the ion range may become less than the probe depth of Raman and AES spectroscopy diagnostics. We show that such diagnostics are still useful probes at these energies. As demonstration, we used these surface diagnostics to confirm the characteristic changes of surface texture, increased amorphization, enhanced surface reactivity to impurity species, and increased sp{sup 3} content that low-energy deuterium ion bombardment to steady-state chemical sputtering conditions produces. To put these studies into proper context, we also present new chemical sputtering yields for methane production of ATJ graphite at room temperature by impact of D{sub 2}{sup +} in the energy range 10-250 eV/D, and by impact of D{sup +} and D{sub 3}{sup +} at 30 eV/D and 125 eV/D, obtained using a Quadrupole Mass Spectroscopy (QMS) approach. Below 100 eV/D, the methane production in ATJ graphite is larger than that in HOPG by a factor of {approx} 2. In the energy range 10-60 eV/D, the methane production yield is almost independent of energy and then decreases with increasing ion energies. The results are in good agreement with recent molecular dynamics simulations.

  2. Direct molecular simulation of nitrogen dissociation based on an ab initio potential energy surface

    SciTech Connect

    Valentini, Paolo Schwartzentruber, Thomas E. Bender, Jason D. Nompelis, Ioannis Candler, Graham V.

    2015-08-15

    The direct molecular simulation (DMS) approach is used to predict the internal energy relaxation and dissociation dynamics of high-temperature nitrogen. An ab initio potential energy surface (PES) is used to calculate the dynamics of two interacting nitrogen molecules by providing forces between the four atoms. In the near-equilibrium limit, it is shown that DMS reproduces the results obtained from well-established quasiclassical trajectory (QCT) analysis, verifying the validity of the approach. DMS is used to predict the vibrational relaxation time constant for N{sub 2}–N{sub 2} collisions and its temperature dependence, which are in close agreement with existing experiments and theory. Using both QCT and DMS with the same PES, we find that dissociation significantly depletes the upper vibrational energy levels. As a result, across a wide temperature range, the dissociation rate is found to be approximately 4–5 times lower compared to the rates computed using QCT with Boltzmann energy distributions. DMS calculations predict a quasi-steady-state distribution of rotational and vibrational energies in which the rate of depletion of high-energy states due to dissociation is balanced by their rate of repopulation due to collisional processes. The DMS approach simulates the evolution of internal energy distributions and their coupling to dissociation without the need to precompute rates or cross sections for all possible energy transitions. These benchmark results could be used to develop new computational fluid dynamics models for high-enthalpy flow applications.

  3. A molecular Debye-Hückel approach to the reorganization energy of electron transfer reactions in an electric cell

    SciTech Connect

    Xiao, Tiejun; Song, Xueyu

    2014-10-07

    Electron transfer near an electrode immersed in ionic fluids is studied using the linear response approximation, namely, mean value of the vertical energy gap can be used to evaluate the reorganization energy, and hence any linear response model that can treat Coulomb interactions successfully can be used for the reorganization energy calculation. Specifically, a molecular Debye-Hückel theory is used to calculate the reorganization energy of electron transfer reactions in an electric cell. Applications to electron transfer near an electrode in molten salts show that the reorganization energies from our molecular Debye-Hückel theory agree well with the results from MD simulations.

  4. The molecular potential energy surface and vibrational energy levels of methyl fluoride. Part II.

    PubMed

    Manson, Steven A; Law, Mark M; Atkinson, Ian A; Thomson, Grant A

    2006-06-28

    New analytical bending and stretching, ground electronic state, potential energy surfaces for CH(3)F are reported. The surfaces are expressed in bond-length, bond-angle internal coordinates. The four-dimensional stretching surface is an accurate, least squares fit to over 2000 symmetrically unique ab initio points calculated at the CCSD(T) level. Similarly, the five-dimensional bending surface is a fit to over 1200 symmetrically unique ab initio points. This is an important first stage towards a full nine-dimensional potential energy surface for the prototype CH(3)F molecule. Using these surfaces, highly excited stretching and (separately) bending vibrational energy levels of CH(3)F are calculated variationally using a finite basis representation method. The method uses the exact vibrational kinetic energy operator derived for XY(3)Z systems by Manson and Law (preceding paper, Part I, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2006, 8, DOI: 10.1039/b603106d). We use the full C(3v) symmetry and the computer codes are designed to use an arbitrary potential energy function. Ultimately, these results will be used to design a compact basis for fully coupled stretch-bend calculations of the vibrational energy levels of the CH(3)F system.

  5. Voids as alternatives to dark energy and the propagation of γ rays through the universe.

    PubMed

    DeLavallaz, Arnaud; Fairbairn, Malcolm

    2012-04-27

    We test the opacity of a void universe to TeV energy γ rays having obtained the extragalactic background light in that universe using a simple model and the observed constraints on the star formation rate history. We find that the void universe has significantly more opacity than a Λ cold dark matter universe, putting it at odds with observations of BL-Lac objects. We argue that while this method of distinguishing between the two cosmologies contains uncertainties, it circumvents any debates over fine-tuning.

  6. Statistical Characterization of Medium-Duty Electric Vehicle Drive Cycles; NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

    SciTech Connect

    Prohaska, R.; Duran, A.; Ragatz, A.; Kelly, K.

    2015-05-03

    With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducts real-world performance evaluations of advanced medium- and heavy-duty fleet vehicles. Evaluation results can help vehicle manufacturers fine-tune their designs and assist fleet managers in selecting fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicles that meet their economic and operational goals. In 2011, NREL launched a large-scale performance evaluation of medium-duty electric vehicles. With support from vehicle manufacturers Smith and Navistar, NREL research focused on characterizing vehicle operation and drive cycles for electric delivery vehicles operating in commercial service across the nation.

  7. College Chemistry Students' Understanding of Potential Energy in the Context of Atomic-Molecular Interactions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Becker, Nicole M.; Cooper, Melanie M.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the energy changes that occur as atoms and molecules interact forms the foundation for understanding the macroscopic energy changes that accompany chemical processes. In order to identify ways to scaffold students' understanding of the connections between atomic-molecular and macroscopic energy perspectives, we conducted a…

  8. Predicting Low Energy Dopant Implant Profiles in Semiconductors using Molecular Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Beardmore, K.M.; Gronbech-Jensen, N.

    1999-05-02

    The authors present a highly efficient molecular dynamics scheme for calculating dopant density profiles in group-IV alloy, and III-V zinc blende structure materials. Their scheme incorporates several necessary methods for reducing computational overhead, plus a rare event algorithm to give statistical accuracy over several orders of magnitude change in the dopant concentration. The code uses a molecular dynamics (MD) model to describe ion-target interactions. Atomic interactions are described by a combination of 'many-body' and pair specific screened Coulomb potentials. Accumulative damage is accounted for using a Kinchin-Pease type model, inelastic energy loss is represented by a Firsov expression, and electronic stopping is described by a modified Brandt-Kitagawa model which contains a single adjustable ion-target dependent parameter. Thus, the program is easily extensible beyond a given validation range, and is therefore truly predictive over a wide range of implant energies and angles. The scheme is especially suited for calculating profiles due to low energy and to situations where a predictive capability is required with the minimum of experimental validation. They give examples of using the code to calculate concentration profiles and 2D 'point response' profiles of dopants in crystalline silicon and gallium-arsenide. Here they can predict the experimental profile over five orders of magnitude for <100> and <110> channeling and for non-channeling implants at energies up to hundreds of keV.

  9. Connecting metabolism and reproduction: roles of central energy sensors and key molecular mediators.

    PubMed

    Roa, Juan; Tena-Sempere, Manuel

    2014-11-01

    It is well established that pubertal activation of the reproductive axis and maintenance of fertility are critically dependent on the magnitude of body energy reserves and the metabolic state of the organism. Hence, conditions of impaired energy homeostasis often result in deregulation of puberty and reproduction, whereas gonadal dysfunction can be associated with the worsening of the metabolic profile and, eventually, changes in body weight. While much progress has taken place in our knowledge about the neuroendocrine mechanisms linking metabolism and reproduction, our understanding of how such dynamic interplay happens is still incomplete. As paradigmatic example, much has been learned in the last two decades on the reproductive roles of key metabolic hormones (such as leptin, insulin and ghrelin), their brain targets and the major transmitters and neuropeptides involved. Yet, the molecular mechanisms whereby metabolic information is translated and engages into the reproductive circuits remain largely unsolved. In this work, we will summarize recent developments in the characterization of the putative central roles of key cellular energy sensors, such as mTOR, in this phenomenon, and will relate these with other molecular mechanisms likely contributing to the brain coupling of energy balance and fertility. In doing so, we aim to provide an updated view of an area that, despite still underdeveloped, may be critically important to fully understand how reproduction and metabolism are tightly connected in health and disease.

  10. Molecular dynamics simulation on generalized stacking fault energies of FCC metals under preloading stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Liang; Cheng, Lü; Kiet, Tieu; Zhao, Xing; Pei, Lin-Qing; Guillaume, Michal

    2015-08-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are performed to investigate the effects of stress on generalized stacking fault (GSF) energy of three fcc metals (Cu, Al, and Ni). The simulation model is deformed by uniaxial tension or compression in each of [111], [11-2], and [1-10] directions, respectively, before shifting the lattice to calculate the GSF curve. Simulation results show that the values of unstable stacking fault energy (γusf), stable stacking fault energy (γsf), and unstable twin fault energy (γutf) of the three elements can change with the preloaded tensile or compressive stress in different directions. The ratio of γsf/γusf, which is related to the energy barrier for full dislocation nucleation, and the ratio of γutf/γusf, which is related to the energy barrier for twinning formation are plotted each as a function of the preloading stress. The results of this study reveal that the stress state can change the energy barrier of defect nucleation in the crystal lattice, and thereby can play an important role in the deformation mechanism of nanocrystalline material. Project supported by Australia Research Council Discovery Projects (Grant No. DP130103973). L. Zhang, X. Zhao and L. Q. Pei were financially supported by the China Scholarship Council (CSC).

  11. Molecular dynamics simulation of energy exchanges during hydrogen collision with graphite sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Jizhong; Li, Shouyang; Stirner, Thomas; Chen, Junlin; Wang, Dezhen

    2010-06-01

    Experiments show that the energy of particles incident on divertor plates in fusion devices seldom exceeds 100 eV. Trim code and its variants are not suitable to predict the sputtering yield of carbon-based divertor plates for this energy range and, therefore, a dynamic model, taking into account the C-H bond formation and breaking, and the structure of carbon, is needed. In this paper, the molecular dynamics method is employed to investigate collision processes between incident hydrogen atoms and a graphene sheet. The simulation results demonstrate that the collision processes cannot be adequately described by a simple binary approximation. The energy transfer from the projectile to the graphite sheet exhibits a very complicated behavior when the kinetic energy of the incident hydrogen atom is below 30 eV, strongly depending on the impact position. When its kinetic energy is lower than 0.35 eV, the incident hydrogen is always reflected back from the single, perfect graphite sheet; when its kinetic energy is higher than 0.35 eV, then whether the incident particle penetrates the graphite sheet, is reflected back or is adsorbed depends on the impact position. In certain areas of the graphite sheet, either adsorption or reflection of an incident hydrogen atom can occur in two different energy ranges.

  12. Spectroscopic features of dual fluorescence/luminescence resonance energy-transfer molecular beacons.

    PubMed

    Tsourkas, Andrew; Behlke, Mark A; Xu, Yangqing; Bao, Gang

    2003-08-01

    Molecular beacons have the potential to become a powerful tool in gene detection and quantification in living cells. Here we report a novel dual molecular beacons approach to reduce false-positive signals in detecting target nucleic acids in homogeneous assays. A pair of molecular beacons, each containing a fluorescence quencher and a reporter fluorophore, one with a donor and a second with an acceptor fluorophore, hybridize to adjacent regions on the same target resulting in fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). The detection of a FRET signal leads to a substantially increased signal-to-background ratio compared with that seen in single molecular beacon assays and enables discrimination between fluorescence due to specific probe/target hybridization and a variety of possible false-positive events. Further, when a lanthanide chelate is used as a donor in a dual-probe assay, extremely high signal-to-background ratios can be achieved owing to the long lifetime and sharp emission peaks of the donor and the time-gated detection of acceptor fluorescence emission. These new approaches allow for the ultrasensitive detection of target molecules in a way that could be readily applied to real-time imaging of gene expression in living cells.

  13. Beyond the Lorentzian Model in Quantum Transport: Energy-Dependent Resonance Broadening in Molecular Junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhenfei; Neaton, Jeffrey B.

    In quantum transport calculations, transmission functions of molecular junctions, as well as spectral functions of metal-organic interfaces, often feature peaks originating from molecular resonances. These resonance peaks are often assumed to be Lorentzian, with an energy-independent broadening function Γ. However, in the general case, the wide-band-limit breaks down, and the Lorentzian approximation is no longer valid. Here, we develop a new energy-dependent broadening function Γ (E) , based on diagonalization of non-Hermitian matrices within a non-equilbrium Green's function (NEGF) formalism. As defined, Γ (E) can describe resonances of non-Lorentzian nature and can be decomposed into components associated with the left and right leads, respectively; and it is particularly useful in understanding transport properties in terms of molecular orbitals in asymmetric junctions. We compute this quantity via an ab initio NEGF approach based on density functional theory and illustrate its utility with several junctions of experimental relevance, including recent work on rectification in Au-graphite junctions. This work is supported by the DOE, and computational resources are provided by NERSC.

  14. Bond energy effects on strength, cooperativity and robustness of molecular structures.

    PubMed

    Chou, Chia-Ching; Buehler, Markus J

    2011-10-01

    A fundamental challenge in engineering biologically inspired materials and systems is the identification of molecular structures that define fundamental building blocks. Here, we report a systematic study of the effect of the energy of chemical bonds on the mechanical properties of molecular structures, specifically, their strength and robustness. By considering a simple model system of an assembly of bonds in a cluster, we demonstrate that weak bonding, as found for example in H-bonds, results in a highly cooperative behaviour where clusters of bonds operate synergistically to form relatively strong molecular clusters. The cooperative effect of bonding results in an enhanced robustness since the drop of strength owing to the loss of a bond in a larger cluster only results in a marginal reduction of the strength. Strong bonding, as found in covalent interactions such as disulphide bonds or in the backbone of proteins, results in a larger mechanical strength. However, the ability for bonds to interact cooperatively is lost, and, as a result, the overall robustness is lower since the mechanical strength hinges on individual bonds rather than a cluster of bonds. The systematic analysis presented here provides general insight into the interplay of bond energy, robustness and other geometric parameters such as bond spacing. We conclude our analysis with a correlation of structural data of natural protein structures, which confirms the conclusions derived from our study. PMID:23050078

  15. Intra-molecular Triplet Energy Transfer is a General Approach to Improve Organic Fluorophore Photostability

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Qinsi; Jockusch, Steffen; Rodríguez-Calero, Gabriel G.; Zhou, Zhou; Zhao, Hong; Altman, Roger B.; Abruña, Héctor D.; Blanchard, Scott C.

    2015-01-01

    Bright, long-lasting and non-phototoxic organic fluorophores are essential to the continued advancement of biological imaging. Traditional approaches towards achieving photostability, such as the removal of molecular oxygen and the use of small-molecule additives in solution, suffer from potentially toxic side effects, particularly in the context of living cells. The direct conjugation of small-molecule triplet state quenchers, such as cyclooctatetraene (COT), to organic fluorophores has the potential to bypass these issues by restoring reactive fluorophore triplet states to the ground state through intra-molecular triplet energy transfer. Such methods have enabled marked improvement in cyanine fluorophore photostability spanning the visible spectrum. However, the generality of this strategy to chemically and structurally diverse fluorophore species has yet to be examined. Here, we show that the proximal linkage of COT increases the photon yield of a diverse range of organic fluorophores widely used in biological imaging applications, demonstrating that the intra-molecular triplet energy transfer mechanism is a potentially general approach for improving organic fluorophore performance and photostability. PMID:26700693

  16. Energy spreading and angular distribution of a beam of electrons in molecular hydrogen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heaps, M. G.; Green, A. E. S.

    1975-01-01

    A Monte Carlo approach is used to obtain the energy spreading and angular distribution of initially monoenergetic and monodirectional beams of electron incident on a gas of molecular hydrogen. Several beams of primary electrons and the resultant secondaries are degraded in a step-by-step procedure which utilizes a detailed set of cross sections, together with reasonable approximations for the creation of secondary electrons. Particular attention is paid to the initial angular distribution of secondary electrons. An analytic function which characterizes current experimental differential cross-section data is used to provide realistic inputs into our calculations. The results for energy distribution as a function of distance and angular distribution at selected energies and distances are illustrated.

  17. Simulation of the energy spectra of original versus recombined H{sub 2}{sup +} molecular ions transmitted through thin foils

    SciTech Connect

    Barriga-Carrasco, Manuel D.; Garcia-Molina, Rafael

    2004-09-01

    This work presents the results of computer simulations for the energy spectra of original versus recombined H{sub 2}{sup +} molecular ions transmitted through thin amorphous carbon foils, for a broad range of incident energies. A detailed description of the projectile motion through the target has been done, including nuclear scattering and Coulomb repulsion as well as electronic self-retarding and wake forces; the two latter are calculated in the dielectric formalism framework. Differences in the energy spectra of recombined and original transmitted H{sub 2}{sup +} molecular ions clearly appear in the simulations, in agreement with the available experimental data. Our simulation code also differentiates the contributions due to original and to recombined H{sub 2}{sup +} molecular ions when the energy spectra contain both contributions, a feature that could be used for experimental purposes in estimating the ratio between the number of original and recombined H{sub 2}{sup +} molecular ions transmitted through thin foils.

  18. Molecular Dynamics Study of Thermally Augmented Nanodroplet Motion on Chemical Energy Induced Wettability Gradient Surfaces.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Monojit; Chowdhury, Anamika; Bhusan, Richa; DasGupta, Sunando

    2015-10-20

    Droplet motion on a surface with chemical energy induced wettability gradient has been simulated using molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to highlight the underlying physics of molecular movement near the solid-liquid interface including the contact line friction. The simulations mimic experiments in a comprehensive manner wherein microsized droplets are propelled by the surface wettability gradient against forces opposed to motion. The liquid-wall Lennard-Jones interaction parameter and the substrate temperature are varied to explore their effects on the three-phase contact line friction coefficient. The contact line friction is observed to be a strong function of temperature at atomistic scales, confirming their experimentally observed inverse functionality. Additionally, the MD simulation results are successfully compared with those from an analytical model for self-propelled droplet motion on gradient surfaces. PMID:26381847

  19. Broad-wing molecular lines without internal energy sources. [in interstellar clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blitz, Leo; Magnani, Loris; Wandel, Amri

    1988-01-01

    The discovery of broad CO wings in four high-latitude molecular clouds which do not have associated internal energy sources is reported. The velocity width of the wings is as much as five times greater than the width of the cloud cores. Neither visible stars brighter than the background population, optical nebulosity, nor IRAS point sources are found at the position of the wings, except for one case with an IRAS source 3 arcmin from the peak position of the wings. The possibility that the wings are the result of conductive interfaces resulting from cold molecular clouds in a hotter ambient medium is examined, and it is concluded that the expected column density of such gas is more than three orders of magnitude smaller than that observed.

  20. Molecular (Feshbach) treatment of charge exchange Li/sup 3 +/+He collisions. I. Energies and couplings

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, F.; Riera, A.; Yanez, M.

    1986-05-15

    We point out a fundamental difference between the molecular treatment of charge exchange X/sup n/++H(1s) and X/sup n/++He(1s/sup 2/) collisions, which is that the latter process involves molecular states that are formally autoionizing. Then standard ab initio methods do not, in general, yield the relevant wave functions that are needed in the collision treatment, irrespective of whether quasimolecular autoionization be significant or not during the collision. We implement a particularly simple and useful form of the Feshbach formalism to calculate the energies of those two electron systems, and a method to evaluate the corresponding dynamical couplings is presented for the first time. Our implementation of this formalism together with the new computational techniques involved are presented in detail.

  1. An application of a statistical model for the calculation of the logarithmic mean excitation energy of molecules Molecular hydrogen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kamaratos, E.

    1985-01-01

    A statistical model, the local plasma approximation, is considered for the calculation of the logarithmic mean excitation energy for stopping power of chemically bound particles by taking into consideration chemical bonding. This statistical model is applied to molecular hydrogen and leads to results that suggest a value for the logarithmic mean excitation energy of molecular hydrogen that is larger than the accepted experimental and theoretical values.

  2. CCSD(T)/CBS fragment-based calculations of lattice energy of molecular crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Červinka, Ctirad; Fulem, Michal; Růžička, Květoslav

    2016-02-01

    A comparative study of the lattice energy calculations for a data set of 25 molecular crystals is performed using an additive scheme based on the individual energies of up to four-body interactions calculated using the coupled clusters with iterative treatment of single and double excitations and perturbative triples correction (CCSD(T)) with an estimated complete basis set (CBS) description. The CCSD(T)/CBS values on lattice energies are used to estimate sublimation enthalpies which are compared with critically assessed and thermodynamically consistent experimental values. The average absolute percentage deviation of calculated sublimation enthalpies from experimental values amounts to 13% (corresponding to 4.8 kJ mol-1 on absolute scale) with unbiased distribution of positive to negative deviations. As pair interaction energies present a dominant contribution to the lattice energy and CCSD(T)/CBS calculations still remain computationally costly, benchmark calculations of pair interaction energies defined by crystal parameters involving 17 levels of theory, including recently developed methods with local and explicit treatment of electronic correlation, such as LCC and LCC-F12, are also presented. Locally and explicitly correlated methods are found to be computationally effective and reliable methods enabling the application of fragment-based methods for larger systems.

  3. CCSD(T)/CBS fragment-based calculations of lattice energy of molecular crystals.

    PubMed

    Červinka, Ctirad; Fulem, Michal; Růžička, Květoslav

    2016-02-14

    A comparative study of the lattice energy calculations for a data set of 25 molecular crystals is performed using an additive scheme based on the individual energies of up to four-body interactions calculated using the coupled clusters with iterative treatment of single and double excitations and perturbative triples correction (CCSD(T)) with an estimated complete basis set (CBS) description. The CCSD(T)/CBS values on lattice energies are used to estimate sublimation enthalpies which are compared with critically assessed and thermodynamically consistent experimental values. The average absolute percentage deviation of calculated sublimation enthalpies from experimental values amounts to 13% (corresponding to 4.8 kJ mol(-1) on absolute scale) with unbiased distribution of positive to negative deviations. As pair interaction energies present a dominant contribution to the lattice energy and CCSD(T)/CBS calculations still remain computationally costly, benchmark calculations of pair interaction energies defined by crystal parameters involving 17 levels of theory, including recently developed methods with local and explicit treatment of electronic correlation, such as LCC and LCC-F12, are also presented. Locally and explicitly correlated methods are found to be computationally effective and reliable methods enabling the application of fragment-based methods for larger systems. PMID:26874495

  4. Supercell convergence of charge-transfer energies in pentacene molecular crystals from constrained DFT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turban, David H. P.; Teobaldi, Gilberto; O'Regan, David D.; Hine, Nicholas D. M.

    2016-04-01

    Singlet fission (SF) is a multiexciton generation process that could be harnessed to improve the efficiency of photovoltaic devices. Experimentally, systems derived from the pentacene molecule have been shown to exhibit ultrafast SF with high yields. Charge-transfer (CT) configurations are likely to play an important role as intermediates in the SF process in these systems. In molecular crystals, electrostatic screening effects and band formation can be significant in lowering the energy of CT states, enhancing their potential to effectively participate in SF. In order to simulate these, it desirable to adopt a computational approach which is acceptably accurate, relatively inexpensive, and which scales well to larger systems, thus enabling the study of screening effects. We propose an electrostatically corrected constrained density functional theory (cDFT) approach as a low-cost solution to the calculation of CT energies in molecular crystals such as pentacene. Here we consider an implementation in the context of the onetep linear-scaling DFT code, but our electrostatic correction method is in principle applicable in combination with any constrained DFT implementation, also outside the linear-scaling framework. Our newly developed method allows us to estimate CT energies in the infinite crystal limit, and with these to validate the accuracy of the cluster approximation.

  5. Molecular-Based Theory for Electron-Transfer Reorganization Energy in Solvent Mixtures.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Bilin; Wang, Zhen-Gang

    2016-07-01

    Using statistical-field techniques, we develop a molecular-based dipolar self-consistent-field theory (DSCFT) for charge solvation in liquid mixtures under equilibrium and nonequilibrium conditions, and apply it to compute the solvent reorganization energy of electron-transfer reactions. In addition to the nonequilibrium orientational polarization, the reorganization energy in liquid mixtures is also determined by the out-of-equilibrium solvent composition around the reacting species due to preferential solvation. Using molecular parameters that are readily available, the DSCFT naturally accounts for the dielectric saturation effect and the spatially varying solvent composition in the vicinity of the reacting species. We identify three general categories of binary solvent mixtures, classified by the relative optical and static dielectric permittivities of the solvent components. Each category of mixture is shown to produce a characteristic local solvent composition profile in the vicinity of the reacting species, which gives rise to the distinctive composition dependence of the reorganization energy that cannot be predicted using the dielectric permittivities of the homogeneous solvent mixtures. PMID:27187110

  6. Overcoming potential energy distortions in constrained internal coordinate molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kandel, Saugat; Salomon-Ferrer, Romelia; Larsen, Adrien B.; Jain, Abhinandan; Vaidehi, Nagarajan

    2016-01-01

    The Internal Coordinate Molecular Dynamics (ICMD) method is an attractive molecular dynamics (MD) method for studying the dynamics of bonded systems such as proteins and polymers. It offers a simple venue for coarsening the dynamics model of a system at multiple hierarchical levels. For example, large scale protein dynamics can be studied using torsional dynamics, where large domains or helical structures can be treated as rigid bodies and the loops connecting them as flexible torsions. ICMD with such a dynamic model of the protein, combined with enhanced conformational sampling method such as temperature replica exchange, allows the sampling of large scale domain motion involving high energy barrier transitions. Once these large scale conformational transitions are sampled, all-torsion, or even all-atom, MD simulations can be carried out for the low energy conformations sampled via coarse grained ICMD to calculate the energetics of distinct conformations. Such hierarchical MD simulations can be carried out with standard all-atom forcefields without the need for compromising on the accuracy of the forces. Using constraints to treat bond lengths and bond angles as rigid can, however, distort the potential energy landscape of the system and reduce the number of dihedral transitions as well as conformational sampling. We present here a two-part solution to overcome such distortions of the potential energy landscape with ICMD models. To alleviate the intrinsic distortion that stems from the reduced phase space in torsional MD, we use the Fixman compensating potential. To additionally alleviate the extrinsic distortion that arises from the coupling between the dihedral angles and bond angles within a force field, we propose a hybrid ICMD method that allows the selective relaxing of bond angles. This hybrid ICMD method bridges the gap between all-atom MD and torsional MD. We demonstrate with examples that these methods together offer a solution to eliminate the potential

  7. Overcoming potential energy distortions in constrained internal coordinate molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Kandel, Saugat; Salomon-Ferrer, Romelia; Larsen, Adrien B; Jain, Abhinandan; Vaidehi, Nagarajan

    2016-01-28

    The Internal Coordinate Molecular Dynamics (ICMD) method is an attractive molecular dynamics (MD) method for studying the dynamics of bonded systems such as proteins and polymers. It offers a simple venue for coarsening the dynamics model of a system at multiple hierarchical levels. For example, large scale protein dynamics can be studied using torsional dynamics, where large domains or helical structures can be treated as rigid bodies and the loops connecting them as flexible torsions. ICMD with such a dynamic model of the protein, combined with enhanced conformational sampling method such as temperature replica exchange, allows the sampling of large scale domain motion involving high energy barrier transitions. Once these large scale conformational transitions are sampled, all-torsion, or even all-atom, MD simulations can be carried out for the low energy conformations sampled via coarse grained ICMD to calculate the energetics of distinct conformations. Such hierarchical MD simulations can be carried out with standard all-atom forcefields without the need for compromising on the accuracy of the forces. Using constraints to treat bond lengths and bond angles as rigid can, however, distort the potential energy landscape of the system and reduce the number of dihedral transitions as well as conformational sampling. We present here a two-part solution to overcome such distortions of the potential energy landscape with ICMD models. To alleviate the intrinsic distortion that stems from the reduced phase space in torsional MD, we use the Fixman compensating potential. To additionally alleviate the extrinsic distortion that arises from the coupling between the dihedral angles and bond angles within a force field, we propose a hybrid ICMD method that allows the selective relaxing of bond angles. This hybrid ICMD method bridges the gap between all-atom MD and torsional MD. We demonstrate with examples that these methods together offer a solution to eliminate the potential

  8. Overcoming potential energy distortions in constrained internal coordinate molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Kandel, Saugat; Salomon-Ferrer, Romelia; Larsen, Adrien B; Jain, Abhinandan; Vaidehi, Nagarajan

    2016-01-28

    The Internal Coordinate Molecular Dynamics (ICMD) method is an attractive molecular dynamics (MD) method for studying the dynamics of bonded systems such as proteins and polymers. It offers a simple venue for coarsening the dynamics model of a system at multiple hierarchical levels. For example, large scale protein dynamics can be studied using torsional dynamics, where large domains or helical structures can be treated as rigid bodies and the loops connecting them as flexible torsions. ICMD with such a dynamic model of the protein, combined with enhanced conformational sampling method such as temperature replica exchange, allows the sampling of large scale domain motion involving high energy barrier transitions. Once these large scale conformational transitions are sampled, all-torsion, or even all-atom, MD simulations can be carried out for the low energy conformations sampled via coarse grained ICMD to calculate the energetics of distinct conformations. Such hierarchical MD simulations can be carried out with standard all-atom forcefields without the need for compromising on the accuracy of the forces. Using constraints to treat bond lengths and bond angles as rigid can, however, distort the potential energy landscape of the system and reduce the number of dihedral transitions as well as conformational sampling. We present here a two-part solution to overcome such distortions of the potential energy landscape with ICMD models. To alleviate the intrinsic distortion that stems from the reduced phase space in torsional MD, we use the Fixman compensating potential. To additionally alleviate the extrinsic distortion that arises from the coupling between the dihedral angles and bond angles within a force field, we propose a hybrid ICMD method that allows the selective relaxing of bond angles. This hybrid ICMD method bridges the gap between all-atom MD and torsional MD. We demonstrate with examples that these methods together offer a solution to eliminate the potential

  9. Counterpoise-corrected interaction energy analysis based on the fragment molecular orbital scheme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okiyama, Yoshio; Fukuzawa, Kaori; Yamada, Haruka; Mochizuki, Yuji; Nakano, Tatsuya; Tanaka, Shigenori

    2011-06-01

    Basis set superposition error (BSSE) correction with counterpoise (CP) procedure under the environmental electrostatic potential is newly introduced to interfragment interaction energy (IFIE), which is important for interaction analysis in the fragment molecular orbital method. The CP correction for IFIE is applied to a stacked dimer of base pair and a protein-ligand complex of estrogen receptor and 17β-estradiol with scaled third-order Møller-Plesset perturbation theory. The BSSEs amount to about quarter of IFIE for hydrogen-bonding and electrostatic interactions and half or even more for dispersion interactions. Estimation of IFIE with the CP correction is therefore preferred for the quantitative discussion.

  10. Identifying low variance pathways for free energy calculations of molecular transformations in solution phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pham, Tri T.; Shirts, Michael R.

    2011-07-01

    Improving the efficiency of free energy calculations is important for many biological and materials design applications, such as protein-ligand binding affinities in drug design, partitioning between immiscible liquids, and determining molecular association in soft materials. We show that for any pair potential, moderately accurate estimation of the radial distribution function for a solute molecule is sufficient to accurately estimate the statistical variance of a sampling along a free energy pathway. This allows inexpensive analytical identification of low statistical error free energy pathways. We employ a variety of methods to estimate the radial distribution function (RDF) and find that the computationally cheap two-body "dilute gas" limit performs as well or better than 3D-RISM theory and other approximations for identifying low variance free energy pathways. With a RDF estimate in hand, we can search for pairwise interaction potentials that produce low variance. We give an example of a search minimizing statistical variance of solvation free energy over the entire parameter space of a generalized "soft core" potential. The free energy pathway arising from this optimization procedure has lower curvature in the variance and reduces the total variance by at least 50% compared to the traditional soft core solvation pathway. We also demonstrate that this optimized pathway allows free energies to be estimated with fewer intermediate states due to its low curvature. This free energy variance optimization technique is generalizable to solvation in any homogeneous fluid and for any type of pairwise potential and can be performed in minutes to hours, depending on the method used to estimate g(r).

  11. Cellular and Molecular Basis of Liver Development

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Donghun; Singh Monga, Satdarshan Pal

    2015-01-01

    Liver is a prime organ responsible for synthesis, metabolism, and detoxification. The organ is endodermal in origin and its development is regulated by temporal, complex, and finely balanced cellular and molecular interactions that dictate its origin, growth, and maturation. We discuss the relevance of endoderm patterning, which truly is the first step toward mapping of domains that will give rise to specific organs. Once foregut patterning is completed, certain cells within the foregut endoderm gain competence in the form of expression of certain transcription factors that allow them to respond to certain inductive signals. Hepatic specification is then a result of such inductive signals, which often emanate from the surrounding mesenchyme. During hepatic specification bipotential hepatic stem cells or hepatoblasts become apparent and undergo expansion, which results in a visible liver primordium during the stage of hepatic morphogenesis. Hepatoblasts next differentiate into either hepatocytes or cholangiocytes. The expansion and differentiation is regulated by cellular and molecular interactions between hepatoblasts and mesenchymal cells including sinusoidal endothelial cells, stellate cells, and also innate hematopoietic elements. Further maturation of hepatocytes and cholangiocytes continues during late hepatic development as a function of various growth factors. At this time, liver gains architectural novelty in the form of zonality and at cellular level acquires polarity. A comprehensive elucidation of such finely tuned developmental cues have been the basis of transdifferentiation of various types of stem cells to hepatocyte-like cells for purposes of understanding health and disease and for therapeutic applications. PMID:23720330

  12. Colloidal analogs of molecular chain stoppers

    PubMed Central

    Klinkova, Anna; Thérien-Aubin, Héloïse; Choueiri, Rachelle M.; Rubinstein, Michael; Kumacheva, Eugenia

    2013-01-01

    A similarity between chemical reactions and self-assembly of nanoparticles offers a strategy that can enrich both the synthetic chemistry and the nanoscience fields. Synthetic methods should enable quantitative control of the structural characteristics of nanoparticle ensembles such as their aggregation number or directionality, whereas the capability to visualize and analyze emerging nanostructures using characterization tools can provide insight into intelligent molecular design and mechanisms of chemical reactions. We explored this twofold concept for an exemplary system including the polymerization of bifunctional nanoparticles in the presence of monofunctional colloidal chain stoppers. Using reaction-specific design rules, we synthesized chain stoppers with controlled reactivity and achieved quantitative fine-tuning of the self-assembled structures. Analysis of the nanostructures provided information about polymerization kinetics, side reactions, and the distribution of all of the species in the reaction system. A quantitative model was developed to account for the reactivity, kinetics, and side reactions of nanoparticles, all governed by the design of colloidal chain stoppers. This work provided the ability to test theoretical models developed for molecular polymerization. PMID:24190993

  13. On the energy components governing molecular recognition in the framework of continuum approaches

    PubMed Central

    Li, Lin; Wang, Lin; Alexov, Emil

    2015-01-01

    Molecular recognition is a process that brings together several biological macromolecules to form a complex and one of the most important characteristics of the process is the binding free energy. Various approaches exist to model the binding free energy, provided the knowledge of the 3D structures of bound and unbound molecules. Among them, continuum approaches are quite appealing due to their computational efficiency while at the same time providing predictions with reasonable accuracy. Here we review recent developments in the field emphasizing on the importance of adopting adequate description of physical processes taking place upon the binding. In particular, we focus on the efforts aiming at capturing some of the atomistic details of the binding phenomena into the continuum framework. When possible, the energy components are reviewed independently of each other. However, it is pointed out that rigorous approaches should consider all energy contributions on the same footage. The two major schemes for utilizing the individual energy components to predict binding affinity are outlined as well. PMID:25988173

  14. Picosecond fluctuating protein energy landscape mapped by pressure temperature molecular dynamics simulation.

    SciTech Connect

    Meinhold, Lars; Smith, Jeremy C; Kitao, Akio; Zewail, Ahmed H.

    2007-10-01

    Microscopic statistical pressure fluctuations can, in principle, lead to corresponding fluctuations in the shape of a protein energy landscape. To examine this, nanosecond molecular dynamics simulations of lysozyme are performed covering a range of temperatures and pressures. The well known dynamical transition with temperature is found to be pressure-independent, indicating that the effective energy barriers separating conformational substates are not significantly influenced by pressure. In contrast, vibrations within substates stiffen with pressure, due to increased curvature of the local harmonic potential in which the atoms vibrate. The application of pressure is also shown to selectively increase the damping of the anharmonic, low-frequency collective modes in the protein, leaving the more local modes relatively unaffected. The critical damping frequency, i.e., the frequency at which energy is most efficiently dissipated, increases linearly with pressure. The results suggest that an invariant description of protein energy landscapes should be subsumed by a fluctuating picture and that this may have repercussions in, for example, mechanisms of energy dissipation accompanying functional, structural, and chemical relaxation.

  15. Picosecond Fluctuating Protein Energy Landscape Mapped by Pressure-Temperature Molecular Dynamics Simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Meinhold, Lars; Smith, Jeremy C; Kitao, Akio; Zewail, Ahmed H.

    2007-08-01

    Microscopic statistical pressure fluctuations can, in principle, lead to corresponding fluctuations in the shape of a protein energy landscape. To examine this, nanosecond molecular dynamics simulations of lysozyme are performed covering a range of temperatures and pressures. The well known dynamical transition with temperature is found to be pressure-independent, indicating that the effective energy barriers separating conformational substates are not significantly influenced by pressure. In contrast, vibrations within substates stiffen with pressure, due to increased curvature of the local harmonic potential in which the atoms vibrate. The application of pressure is also shown to selectively increase the damping of the anharmonic, low-frequency collective modes in the protein, leaving the more local modes relatively unaffected. The critical damping frequency, i.e., the frequency at which energy is most efficiently dissipated, increases linearly with pressure. The results suggest that an invariant description of protein energy landscapes should be subsumed by a fluctuating picture and that this may have repercussions in, for example, mechanisms of energy dissipation accompanying functional, structural, and chemical relaxation.

  16. Converting conformational changes to electrostatic energy in molecular motors: The energetics of ATP synthase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trajbl, Marek; Shurki, Avital; Warshel, Arieh

    2003-12-01

    F1-ATPase is the catalytic component of the ATP synthase molecular machine responsible for most of the uphill synthesis of ATP in living systems. The enormous advances in biochemical and structural studies of this machine provide an opportunity for detailed understanding of the nature of its rotary mechanism. However, further quantitative progress in this direction requires development of reliable ways of translating the observed structural changes to the corresponding energies. This requirement is particularly challenging because we are dealing with a large system that couples major structural changes with a chemical process. The present work provides such a structure-function correlation by using the linear response approximation to describe the rotary mechanism. This approach allows one to evaluate the energy of transitions between different conformational states by considering only the changes in the corresponding electrostatic energies of the ligands. The relevant energetics are also obtained by calculating the linear response approximation-based free energies of transferring the ligands from water to the different sites of F1-ATPase in their different conformational states. We also use the empirical valence bond approach to evaluate the actual free-energy profile for the ATP synthesis in the different conformational states of the system. Integrating the information from the different approaches provides a semiquantitative structure-function correlation for F1-ATPase. It is found that the conformational changes are converted to changes in the electrostatic interaction between the protein and its ligands, which drives the ATP synthesis.

  17. Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study on Energy Exchange Between Vibration Modes of a Square Graphene Nanoflake Oscillator.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eunae; Kang, Jeong Won; Kim, Ki-Sub; Kwon, Oh-Kuen

    2016-02-01

    Superlubricity in nanoscale graphene structures has been of interest for developing graphene-based nanoelectromechanical systems, as well as for the study of basic mechanical properties. Here, we investigated the translational and rotational motions of a square graphene nanoflake with retracting motions by performing classical molecular dynamics simulations. Our results show that the kinetic energy of the translational motion was exchanged into the kinetic energy of the rotational motion. Thus, square graphene nanoflake oscillators have very low quality factors in translational motions. We discuss that square graphene nanoflakes have great potential to be a core component in nanoelectromechanical systems by detecting their motions with ultrahigh sensitivity to facilitate the development of sensor, memory, and quantum computing.

  18. Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study on Energy Exchange Between Vibration Modes of a Square Graphene Nanoflake Oscillator.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eunae; Kang, Jeong Won; Kim, Ki-Sub; Kwon, Oh-Kuen

    2016-02-01

    Superlubricity in nanoscale graphene structures has been of interest for developing graphene-based nanoelectromechanical systems, as well as for the study of basic mechanical properties. Here, we investigated the translational and rotational motions of a square graphene nanoflake with retracting motions by performing classical molecular dynamics simulations. Our results show that the kinetic energy of the translational motion was exchanged into the kinetic energy of the rotational motion. Thus, square graphene nanoflake oscillators have very low quality factors in translational motions. We discuss that square graphene nanoflakes have great potential to be a core component in nanoelectromechanical systems by detecting their motions with ultrahigh sensitivity to facilitate the development of sensor, memory, and quantum computing. PMID:27433628

  19. Lattice energies of molecular solids from the random phase approximation with singles corrections.

    PubMed

    Klimeš, Jiří

    2016-09-01

    We use the random phase approximation (RPA) method with the singles correlation energy contributions to calculate lattice energies of ten molecular solids. While RPA gives too weak binding, underestimating the reference data by 13.7% on average, much improved results are obtained when the singles are included at the GW singles excitations (GWSE) level, with average absolute difference to the reference data of only 3.7%. Consistently with previous results, we find a very good agreement with the reference data for hydrogen bonded systems, while the binding is too weak for systems where dispersion forces dominate. In fact, the overall accuracy of the RPA+GWSE method is similar to an estimated accuracy of the reference data. PMID:27609003

  20. Lattice energies of molecular solids from the random phase approximation with singles corrections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klimeš, Jiří

    2016-09-01

    We use the random phase approximation (RPA) method with the singles correlation energy contributions to calculate lattice energies of ten molecular solids. While RPA gives too weak binding, underestimating the reference data by 13.7% on average, much improved results are obtained when the singles are included at the GW singles excitations (GWSE) level, with average absolute difference to the reference data of only 3.7%. Consistently with previous results, we find a very good agreement with the reference data for hydrogen bonded systems, while the binding is too weak for systems where dispersion forces dominate. In fact, the overall accuracy of the RPA+GWSE method is similar to an estimated accuracy of the reference data.

  1. Correlating Molecular Character of NIR Imaging Agents with Tissue-Specific Uptake

    PubMed Central

    Owens, Eric A.; Hyun, Hoon; Tawney, Joseph G.; Choi, Hak Soo; Henary, Maged

    2015-01-01

    Near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent contrast agents are emerging in optical imaging as sensitive, cost-effective, and nonharmful alternatives to current agents that emit harmful ionizing radiation. Developing spectrally distinct NIR fluorophores to visualize sensitive vital tissues to selectively avoid them during surgical resection of diseased tissue is of great significance. Herein, we report the synthetic variation of pentamethine cyanine fluorophores with modifications of physicochemical properties toward prompting tissue-specific uptake into sensitive tissues (i.e., endocrine glands). Tissue-specific targeting and biodistribution studies revealed localization of contrast agents in the adrenal and pituitary glands, pancreas, and lymph nodes with dependence on molecular characteristics. Incorporation of hydrophobic heterocyclic rings, alkyl groups, and halogens allowed a fine-tuning capability to the hydrophobic character and dipole moment for observing perturbation in biological activity in response to minor structural alterations. These NIR contrast agents have potential for clinical translation for intraoperative imaging in the delineation of delicate glands. PMID:25923454

  2. MOIL-opt: Energy-Conserving Molecular Dynamics on a GPU/CPU system.

    PubMed

    Ruymgaart, A Peter; Cardenas, Alfredo E; Elber, Ron

    2011-08-26

    We report an optimized version of the molecular dynamics program MOIL that runs on a shared memory system with OpenMP and exploits the power of a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). The model is of heterogeneous computing system on a single node with several cores sharing the same memory and a GPU. This is a typical laboratory tool, which provides excellent performance at minimal cost. Besides performance, emphasis is made on accuracy and stability of the algorithm probed by energy conservation for explicit-solvent atomically-detailed-models. Especially for long simulations energy conservation is critical due to the phenomenon known as "energy drift" in which energy errors accumulate linearly as a function of simulation time. To achieve long time dynamics with acceptable accuracy the drift must be particularly small. We identify several means of controlling long-time numerical accuracy while maintaining excellent speedup. To maintain a high level of energy conservation SHAKE and the Ewald reciprocal summation are run in double precision. Double precision summation of real-space non-bonded interactions improves energy conservation. In our best option, the energy drift using 1fs for a time step while constraining the distances of all bonds, is undetectable in 10ns simulation of solvated DHFR (Dihydrofolate reductase). Faster options, shaking only bonds with hydrogen atoms, are also very well behaved and have drifts of less than 1kcal/mol per nanosecond of the same system. CPU/GPU implementations require changes in programming models. We consider the use of a list of neighbors and quadratic versus linear interpolation in lookup tables of different sizes. Quadratic interpolation with a smaller number of grid points is faster than linear lookup tables (with finer representation) without loss of accuracy. Atomic neighbor lists were found most efficient. Typical speedups are about a factor of 10 compared to a single-core single-precision code.

  3. Large-scale molecular dynamics simulation: Effect of polarization on thrombin-ligand binding energy.

    PubMed

    Duan, Li L; Feng, Guo Q; Zhang, Qing G

    2016-01-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations lasting 500 ns were performed in explicit water to investigate the effect of polarization on the binding of ligands to human α-thrombin based on the standard nonpolarizable AMBER force field and the quantum-derived polarized protein-specific charge (PPC). The PPC includes the electronic polarization effect of the thrombin-ligand complex, which is absent in the standard force field. A detailed analysis and comparison of the results of the MD simulation with experimental data provided strong evidence that intra-protein, protein-ligand hydrogen bonds and the root-mean-square deviation of backbone atoms were significantly stabilized through electronic polarization. Specifically, two critical hydrogen bonds between thrombin and the ligand were broken at approximately 190 ns when AMBER force field was used and the number of intra-protein backbone hydrogen bonds was higher under PPC than under AMBER. The thrombin-ligand binding energy was computed using the molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MM/PBSA) method, and the results were consistent with the experimental value obtained using PPC. Because hydrogen bonds were unstable, it was failed to predict the binding affinity under the AMBER force field. Furthermore, the results of the present study revealed that differences in the binding free energy between AMBER and PPC almost comes from the electrostatic interaction. Thus, this study provides evidence that protein polarization is critical to accurately describe protein-ligand binding. PMID:27507430

  4. Large-scale molecular dynamics simulation: Effect of polarization on thrombin-ligand binding energy

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Li L.; Feng, Guo Q.; Zhang, Qing G.

    2016-01-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations lasting 500 ns were performed in explicit water to investigate the effect of polarization on the binding of ligands to human α-thrombin based on the standard nonpolarizable AMBER force field and the quantum-derived polarized protein-specific charge (PPC). The PPC includes the electronic polarization effect of the thrombin-ligand complex, which is absent in the standard force field. A detailed analysis and comparison of the results of the MD simulation with experimental data provided strong evidence that intra-protein, protein-ligand hydrogen bonds and the root-mean-square deviation of backbone atoms were significantly stabilized through electronic polarization. Specifically, two critical hydrogen bonds between thrombin and the ligand were broken at approximately 190 ns when AMBER force field was used and the number of intra-protein backbone hydrogen bonds was higher under PPC than under AMBER. The thrombin-ligand binding energy was computed using the molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MM/PBSA) method, and the results were consistent with the experimental value obtained using PPC. Because hydrogen bonds were unstable, it was failed to predict the binding affinity under the AMBER force field. Furthermore, the results of the present study revealed that differences in the binding free energy between AMBER and PPC almost comes from the electrostatic interaction. Thus, this study provides evidence that protein polarization is critical to accurately describe protein-ligand binding. PMID:27507430

  5. Fluorescent Resonance Energy Transfer: A Tool for Probing Molecular Cell-Biomaterial Interactions in Three Dimensions

    PubMed Central

    Huebsch, Nathaniel D.; Mooney, David J.

    2007-01-01

    The current paradigm in designing biomaterials is to optimize material chemical and physical parameters based on correlations between these parameters and downstream biological responses, whether in vitro or in vivo. Extensive developments in molecular design of biomaterials have facilitated identification of several biophysical and biochemical variables (e.g. adhesion peptide density, substrate elastic modulus) as being critical to cell response. However, these empirical observations do not indicate whether different parameters elicit cell responses by modulating redundant variables of the cell-material interface (e.g. number of cell-material bonds, cell-matrix mechanics). Recently, a molecular fluorescence technique, Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) has been applied to quantitatively analyze parameters of the cell-material interface for both two and three-dimensional adhesion substrates. Tools based on FRET have been utilized to quantify several parameters of the cell-material interface relevant to cell response, including molecular changes in matrix proteins induced by interactions both with surfaces and cells, the number of bonds between integrins and their adhesion ligands, and changes in the crosslink density of hydrogel synthetic extracellular matrix analogs. As such techniques allow both dynamic and 3D analyses they will be useful to quantitatively relate downstream cellular responses (e.g. gene expression) to the composition of this interface. Such understanding will allow bioengineers to fully exploit the potential of biomaterials engineered on the molecular scale, by optimizing material chemical and physical properties to a measurable set of interfacial parameters known to elicit a predictable response in a specific cell population. This will facilitate the rational design of complex, multi-functional biomaterials used as model systems for studying diseases or for clinical applications. PMID:17270268

  6. Free molecular collision cross section calculation methods for nanoparticles and complex ions with energy accommodation

    SciTech Connect

    Larriba, Carlos Hogan, Christopher J.

    2013-10-15

    The structures of nanoparticles, macromolecules, and molecular clusters in gas phase environments are often studied via measurement of collision cross sections. To directly compare structure models to measurements, it is hence necessary to have computational techniques available to calculate the collision cross sections of structural models under conditions matching measurements. However, presently available collision cross section methods contain the underlying assumption that collision between gas molecules and structures are completely elastic (gas molecule translational energy conserving) and specular, while experimental evidence suggests that in the most commonly used background gases for measurements, air and molecular nitrogen, gas molecule reemission is largely inelastic (with exchange of energy between vibrational, rotational, and translational modes) and should be treated as diffuse in computations with fixed structural models. In this work, we describe computational techniques to predict the free molecular collision cross sections for fixed structural models of gas phase entities where inelastic and non-specular gas molecule reemission rules can be invoked, and the long range ion-induced dipole (polarization) potential between gas molecules and a charged entity can be considered. Specifically, two calculation procedures are described detail: a diffuse hard sphere scattering (DHSS) method, in which structures are modeled as hard spheres and collision cross sections are calculated for rectilinear trajectories of gas molecules, and a diffuse trajectory method (DTM), in which the assumption of rectilinear trajectories is relaxed and the ion-induced dipole potential is considered. Collision cross section calculations using the DHSS and DTM methods are performed on spheres, models of quasifractal aggregates of varying fractal dimension, and fullerene like structures. Techniques to accelerate DTM calculations by assessing the contribution of grazing gas

  7. Accurate calculation of binding energies for molecular clusters - Assessment of different models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedrich, Joachim; Fiedler, Benjamin

    2016-06-01

    In this work we test different strategies to compute high-level benchmark energies for medium-sized molecular clusters. We use the incremental scheme to obtain CCSD(T)/CBS energies for our test set and carefully validate the accuracy for binding energies by statistical measures. The local errors of the incremental scheme are <1 kJ/mol. Since they are smaller than the basis set errors, we obtain higher total accuracy due to the applicability of larger basis sets. The final CCSD(T)/CBS benchmark values are ΔE = - 278.01 kJ/mol for (H2O)10, ΔE = - 221.64 kJ/mol for (HF)10, ΔE = - 45.63 kJ/mol for (CH4)10, ΔE = - 19.52 kJ/mol for (H2)20 and ΔE = - 7.38 kJ/mol for (H2)10 . Furthermore we test state-of-the-art wave-function-based and DFT methods. Our benchmark data will be very useful for critical validations of new methods. We find focal-point-methods for estimating CCSD(T)/CBS energies to be highly accurate and efficient. For foQ-i3CCSD(T)-MP2/TZ we get a mean error of 0.34 kJ/mol and a standard deviation of 0.39 kJ/mol.

  8. Hydration free energies of cyanide and hydroxide ions from molecular dynamics simulations with accurate force fields

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, M.W.; Meuwly, M.

    2013-01-01

    The evaluation of hydration free energies is a sensitive test to assess force fields used in atomistic simulations. We showed recently that the vibrational relaxation times, 1D- and 2D-infrared spectroscopies for CN(-) in water can be quantitatively described from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with multipolar force fields and slightly enlarged van der Waals radii for the C- and N-atoms. To validate such an approach, the present work investigates the solvation free energy of cyanide in water using MD simulations with accurate multipolar electrostatics. It is found that larger van der Waals radii are indeed necessary to obtain results close to the experimental values when a multipolar force field is used. For CN(-), the van der Waals ranges refined in our previous work yield hydration free energy between -72.0 and -77.2 kcal mol(-1), which is in excellent agreement with the experimental data. In addition to the cyanide ion, we also study the hydroxide ion to show that the method used here is readily applicable to similar systems. Hydration free energies are found to sensitively depend on the intermolecular interactions, while bonded interactions are less important, as expected. We also investigate in the present work the possibility of applying the multipolar force field in scoring trajectories generated using computationally inexpensive methods, which should be useful in broader parametrization studies with reduced computational resources, as scoring is much faster than the generation of the trajectories.

  9. Ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of threshold displacement energies in SrTiO3

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Bin; Xiao, Haiyan; Zhang, Yanwen; Aidhy, Dilpuneet S; Weber, William J

    2013-01-01

    Ab initio molecular dynamics simulations have been carried out to study low-energy recoil events in SrTiO3. The threshold displacement energies are shown to be strongly dependent on both the orientation and the corresponding atomic arrangement. The minimum threshold displacement energies are 13 eV for an O recoil along the <100> O-O chain, 25 eV for a Sr recoil along the <100> Sr-Sr chain and 38 eV for a Ti recoil along the <110> Ti-Ti chain. The weighted average threshold displacement energies along the primary crystallographic directions are 35.7, 53.5 and > 64.9 eV for O, Sr and Ti, respectively. The interstitial configurations produced by the recoil events are <100> and <111> split-interstitials for O and Sr, respectively, together with a Ti interstitial occupying a distorted bridge position between two Sr sites. It is found that the recoil events in SrTiO3 are partial- charge transfer assisted processes, and the partial- charge transfer plays an important role in these recoil events.

  10. Energy transport analysis in ultrashort pulse laser ablation through combined molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Hu Wenqian; Shin, Yung C.; King, Galen

    2010-09-01

    Mechanisms of energy transport during ultrashort laser pulses (USLPs) ablation are investigated in this paper. Nonequilibrium electron-transport, material ionization, as well as density change effects, are studied using atomistic models--the molecular dynamics (MD) and Monte Carlo (MC) methods, in addition to the previously studied laser absorption, heat conduction, and stress wave propagation. The target material is treated as consisting of two subsystems: valence-electron system and lattice system. MD method is applied to analyze the motion of atoms while MC method is applied for simulating electron dynamics and multiscattering events between particles. Early-time laser-energy absorption and redistribution as well as later-time material ablation and expansion processes are analyzed. This model is validated in terms of ablation depth, lattice/electron temperature distribution as well as evolution, and plume front velocity, through comparisons with experimental or theoretical results in literature. It is generally believed that the hydrodynamic motion of the ablated material is negligible for USLP but this study shows it is true only for its effect on laser-energy deposition. This study shows that the consideration of hydrodynamic expansion and fast density change in both electron and lattice systems is important for obtaining a reliable energy transport mechanism in the locally heated zone.

  11. Modeling Molecular Interactions in Water: From Pairwise to Many-Body Potential Energy Functions.

    PubMed

    Cisneros, Gerardo Andrés; Wikfeldt, Kjartan Thor; Ojamäe, Lars; Lu, Jibao; Xu, Yao; Torabifard, Hedieh; Bartók, Albert P; Csányi, Gábor; Molinero, Valeria; Paesani, Francesco

    2016-07-13

    Almost 50 years have passed from the first computer simulations of water, and a large number of molecular models have been proposed since then to elucidate the unique behavior of water across different phases. In this article, we review the recent progress in the development of analytical potential energy functions that aim at correctly representing many-body effects. Starting from the many-body expansion of the interaction energy, specific focus is on different classes of potential energy functions built upon a hierarchy of approximations and on their ability to accurately reproduce reference data obtained from state-of-the-art electronic structure calculations and experimental measurements. We show that most recent potential energy functions, which include explicit short-range representations of two-body and three-body effects along with a physically correct description of many-body effects at all distances, predict the properties of water from the gas to the condensed phase with unprecedented accuracy, thus opening the door to the long-sought "universal model" capable of describing the behavior of water under different conditions and in different environments.

  12. Modeling Molecular Interactions in Water: From Pairwise to Many-Body Potential Energy Functions.

    PubMed

    Cisneros, Gerardo Andrés; Wikfeldt, Kjartan Thor; Ojamäe, Lars; Lu, Jibao; Xu, Yao; Torabifard, Hedieh; Bartók, Albert P; Csányi, Gábor; Molinero, Valeria; Paesani, Francesco

    2016-07-13

    Almost 50 years have passed from the first computer simulations of water, and a large number of molecular models have been proposed since then to elucidate the unique behavior of water across different phases. In this article, we review the recent progress in the development of analytical potential energy functions that aim at correctly representing many-body effects. Starting from the many-body expansion of the interaction energy, specific focus is on different classes of potential energy functions built upon a hierarchy of approximations and on their ability to accurately reproduce reference data obtained from state-of-the-art electronic structure calculations and experimental measurements. We show that most recent potential energy functions, which include explicit short-range representations of two-body and three-body effects along with a physically correct description of many-body effects at all distances, predict the properties of water from the gas to the condensed phase with unprecedented accuracy, thus opening the door to the long-sought "universal model" capable of describing the behavior of water under different conditions and in different environments. PMID:27186804

  13. Fast Computation of Solvation Free Energies with Molecular Density Functional Theory: Thermodynamic-Ensemble Partial Molar Volume Corrections.

    PubMed

    Sergiievskyi, Volodymyr P; Jeanmairet, Guillaume; Levesque, Maximilien; Borgis, Daniel

    2014-06-01

    Molecular density functional theory (MDFT) offers an efficient implicit-solvent method to estimate molecule solvation free-energies, whereas conserving a fully molecular representation of the solvent. Even within a second-order approximation for the free-energy functional, the so-called homogeneous reference fluid approximation, we show that the hydration free-energies computed for a data set of 500 organic compounds are of similar quality as those obtained from molecular dynamics free-energy perturbation simulations, with a computer cost reduced by 2-3 orders of magnitude. This requires to introduce the proper partial volume correction to transform the results from the grand canonical to the isobaric-isotherm ensemble that is pertinent to experiments. We show that this correction can be extended to 3D-RISM calculations, giving a sound theoretical justification to empirical partial molar volume corrections that have been proposed recently.

  14. Exploring the energy landscape of the charge transport levels in organic semiconductors at the molecular scale.

    PubMed

    Cornil, J; Verlaak, S; Martinelli, N; Mityashin, A; Olivier, Y; Van Regemorter, T; D'Avino, G; Muccioli, L; Zannoni, C; Castet, F; Beljonne, D; Heremans, P

    2013-02-19

    strongly interacting electron-hole pairs can potentially escape from their Coulomb well, a process that is at the heart of photoconversion or molecular doping. Yet they do, with near-quantitative yield in some cases. Limited screening by the low dielectric medium in organic materials leads to subtle static and dynamic electronic polarization effects that strongly impact the energy landscape for charges, which offers a rationale for this apparent inconsistency. In this Account, we use different theoretical approaches to predict the energy landscape of charge carriers at the molecular level and review a few case studies highlighting the role of electrostatic interactions in conjugated organic molecules. We describe the pros and cons of different theoretical approaches that provide access to the energy landscape defining the motion of charge carriers. We illustrate the applications of these approaches through selected examples involving OFETs, OLEDs, and solar cells. The three selected examples collectively show that energetic disorder governs device performances and highlights the relevance of theoretical tools to probe energy landscapes in molecular assemblies.

  15. Exploring the energy landscape of the charge transport levels in organic semiconductors at the molecular scale.

    PubMed

    Cornil, J; Verlaak, S; Martinelli, N; Mityashin, A; Olivier, Y; Van Regemorter, T; D'Avino, G; Muccioli, L; Zannoni, C; Castet, F; Beljonne, D; Heremans, P

    2013-02-19

    strongly interacting electron-hole pairs can potentially escape from their Coulomb well, a process that is at the heart of photoconversion or molecular doping. Yet they do, with near-quantitative yield in some cases. Limited screening by the low dielectric medium in organic materials leads to subtle static and dynamic electronic polarization effects that strongly impact the energy landscape for charges, which offers a rationale for this apparent inconsistency. In this Account, we use different theoretical approaches to predict the energy landscape of charge carriers at the molecular level and review a few case studies highlighting the role of electrostatic interactions in conjugated organic molecules. We describe the pros and cons of different theoretical approaches that provide access to the energy landscape defining the motion of charge carriers. We illustrate the applications of these approaches through selected examples involving OFETs, OLEDs, and solar cells. The three selected examples collectively show that energetic disorder governs device performances and highlights the relevance of theoretical tools to probe energy landscapes in molecular assemblies. PMID:23140088

  16. How does the plasmonic enhancement of molecular absorption depend on the energy gap between molecular excitation and plasmon modes: a mixed TDDFT/FDTD investigation.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jin; Li, Guang; Liang, WanZhen

    2015-07-14

    A real-time time-dependent density functional theory coupled with the classical electrodynamics finite difference time domain technique is employed to systematically investigate the optical properties of hybrid systems composed of silver nanoparticles (NPs) and organic adsorbates. The results demonstrate that the molecular absorption spectra throughout the whole energy range can be enhanced by the surface plasmon resonance of Ag NPs; however, the absorption enhancement ratio (AER) for each absorption band differs significantly from the others, leading to the quite different spectral profiles of the hybrid complexes in contrast to those of isolated molecules or sole NPs. Detailed investigations reveal that the AER is sensitive to the energy gap between the molecular excitation and plasmon modes. As anticipated, two separate absorption bands, corresponding to the isolated molecules and sole NPs, have been observed at a large energy gap. When the energy gap approaches zero, the molecular excitation strongly couples with the plasmon mode to form the hybrid exciton band, which possesses the significantly enhanced absorption intensity, a red-shifted peak position, a surprising strongly asymmetric shape of the absorption band, and the nonlinear Fano effect. Furthermore, the dependence of surface localized fields and the scattering response functions (SRFs) on the geometrical parameters of NPs, the NP-molecule separation distance, and the external-field polarizations has also been depicted.

  17. Molecular recognition with nanostructures fabricated by photopolymerization within metallic subwavelength apertures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urraca, J. L.; Barrios, C. A.; Canalejas-Tejero, V.; Orellana, G.; Moreno-Bondi, M. C.

    2014-07-01

    The first demonstration of fabrication of submicron lateral resolution molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) patterns by photoinduced local polymerization within metal subwavelength apertures is reported. The size of the photopolymerized MIP features is finely tuned by the dose of 532 nm radiation. Rhodamine 123 (R123) has been selected as a fluorescent model template to prove the recognition capability of the MIP nanostructures, which has been evaluated by fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) with single photon timing measurements. The binding selectivity provided by the imprinting effect has been confirmed in the presence of compounds structurally related to R123. These results pave the way to the development of nanomaterial architectures with biomimetic artificial recognition properties for environmental, clinical and food testing.The first demonstration of fabrication of submicron lateral resolution molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) patterns by photoinduced local polymerization within metal subwavelength apertures is reported. The size of the photopolymerized MIP features is finely tuned by the dose of 532 nm radiation. Rhodamine 123 (R123) has been selected as a fluorescent model template to prove the recognition capability of the MIP nanostructures, which has been evaluated by fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) with single photon timing measurements. The binding selectivity provided by the imprinting effect has been confirmed in the presence of compounds structurally related to R123. These results pave the way to the development of nanomaterial architectures with biomimetic artificial recognition properties for environmental, clinical and food testing. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Fig. SI.1: chemical structure and acronyms of the different fluorescent dyes; optimization of polymer composition; Table SI.1. Template recovery after polymerization; determination of the binding capacity by equilibrium rebinding

  18. Water droplet excess free energy determined by cluster mitosis using guided molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Lau, Gabriel V; Hunt, Patricia A; Müller, Erich A; Jackson, George; Ford, Ian J

    2015-12-28

    Atmospheric aerosols play a vital role in affecting climate by influencing the properties and lifetimes of clouds and precipitation. Understanding the underlying microscopic mechanisms involved in the nucleation of aerosol droplets from the vapour phase is therefore of great interest. One key thermodynamic quantity in nucleation is the excess free energy of cluster formation relative to that of the saturated vapour. In our current study, the excess free energy is extracted for clusters of pure water modelled with the TIP4P/2005 intermolecular potential using a method based on nonequilibrium molecular dynamics and the Jarzynski relation. The change in free energy associated with the "mitosis" or division of a cluster of N water molecules into two N/2 sub-clusters is evaluated. This methodology is an extension of the disassembly procedure used recently to calculate the excess free energy of argon clusters [H. Y. Tang and I. J. Ford, Phys. Rev. E 91, 023308 (2015)]. Our findings are compared to the corresponding excess free energies obtained from classical nucleation theory (CNT) as well as internally consistent classical theory (ICCT). The values of the excess free energy that we obtain with the mitosis method are consistent with CNT for large cluster sizes but for the smallest clusters, the results tend towards ICCT; for intermediate sized clusters, we obtain values between the ICCT and CNT predictions. Furthermore, the curvature-dependent surface tension which can be obtained by regarding the clusters as spherical droplets of bulk density is found to be a monotonically increasing function of cluster size for the studied range. The data are compared to other values reported in the literature, agreeing qualitatively with some but disagreeing with the values determined by Joswiak et al. [J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 4, 4267 (2013)] using a biased mitosis approach; an assessment of the differences is the main motivation for our current study.

  19. Water droplet excess free energy determined by cluster mitosis using guided molecular dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Lau, Gabriel V.; Müller, Erich A.; Jackson, George; Hunt, Patricia A.; Ford, Ian J.

    2015-12-28

    Atmospheric aerosols play a vital role in affecting climate by influencing the properties and lifetimes of clouds and precipitation. Understanding the underlying microscopic mechanisms involved in the nucleation of aerosol droplets from the vapour phase is therefore of great interest. One key thermodynamic quantity in nucleation is the excess free energy of cluster formation relative to that of the saturated vapour. In our current study, the excess free energy is extracted for clusters of pure water modelled with the TIP4P/2005 intermolecular potential using a method based on nonequilibrium molecular dynamics and the Jarzynski relation. The change in free energy associated with the “mitosis” or division of a cluster of N water molecules into two N/2 sub-clusters is evaluated. This methodology is an extension of the disassembly procedure used recently to calculate the excess free energy of argon clusters [H. Y. Tang and I. J. Ford, Phys. Rev. E 91, 023308 (2015)]. Our findings are compared to the corresponding excess free energies obtained from classical nucleation theory (CNT) as well as internally consistent classical theory (ICCT). The values of the excess free energy that we obtain with the mitosis method are consistent with CNT for large cluster sizes but for the smallest clusters, the results tend towards ICCT; for intermediate sized clusters, we obtain values between the ICCT and CNT predictions. Furthermore, the curvature-dependent surface tension which can be obtained by regarding the clusters as spherical droplets of bulk density is found to be a monotonically increasing function of cluster size for the studied range. The data are compared to other values reported in the literature, agreeing qualitatively with some but disagreeing with the values determined by Joswiak et al. [J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 4, 4267 (2013)] using a biased mitosis approach; an assessment of the differences is the main motivation for our current study.

  20. Aqueous Cation-Amide Binding: Free Energies and IR Spectral Signatures by Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Pluharova, Eva; Baer, Marcel D.; Mundy, Christopher J.; Schmidt, Burkhard; Jungwirth, Pavel

    2014-07-03

    Understanding specific ion effects on proteins remains a considerable challenge. N-methylacetamide serves as a useful proxy for the protein backbone that can be well characterized both experimentally and theoretically. The spectroscopic signatures in the amide I band reflecting the strength of the interaction of alkali cations and alkali earth dications with the carbonyl group remain difficult to assign and controversial to interpret. Herein, we directly compute the IR shifts corresponding to the binding of either sodium or calcium to aqueous N-methylacetamide using ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. We show that the two cations interact with aqueous N-methylacetamide with different affinities and in different geometries. Since sodium exhibits a weak interaction with the carbonyl group, the resulting amide I band is similar to an unperturbed carbonyl group undergoing aqueous solvation. In contrast, the stronger calcium binding results in a clear IR shift with respect to N-methylacetamide in pure water. Support from the Czech Ministry of Education (grant LH12001) is gratefully acknowledged. EP thanks the International Max-Planck Research School for support and the Alternative Sponsored Fellowship program at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). PJ acknowledges the Praemium Academie award from the Academy of Sciences. Calculations of the free energy profiles were made possible through generous allocation of computer time from the North-German Supercomputing Alliance (HLRN). Calculations of vibrational spectra were performed in part using the computational resources in the National Energy Research Supercomputing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This work was supported by National Science Foundation grant CHE-0431312. CJM is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy`s (DOE) Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences and Biosciences. PNNL is operated for the Department of Energy by Battelle. MDB is

  1. Water droplet excess free energy determined by cluster mitosis using guided molecular dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, Gabriel V.; Hunt, Patricia A.; Müller, Erich A.; Jackson, George; Ford, Ian J.

    2015-12-01

    Atmospheric aerosols play a vital role in affecting climate by influencing the properties and lifetimes of clouds and precipitation. Understanding the underlying microscopic mechanisms involved in the nucleation of aerosol droplets from the vapour phase is therefore of great interest. One key thermodynamic quantity in nucleation is the excess free energy of cluster formation relative to that of the saturated vapour. In our current study, the excess free energy is extracted for clusters of pure water modelled with the TIP4P/2005 intermolecular potential using a method based on nonequilibrium molecular dynamics and the Jarzynski relation. The change in free energy associated with the "mitosis" or division of a cluster of N water molecules into two N/2 sub-clusters is evaluated. This methodology is an extension of the disassembly procedure used recently to calculate the excess free energy of argon clusters [H. Y. Tang and I. J. Ford, Phys. Rev. E 91, 023308 (2015)]. Our findings are compared to the corresponding excess free energies obtained from classical nucleation theory (CNT) as well as internally consistent classical theory (ICCT). The values of the excess free energy that we obtain with the mitosis method are consistent with CNT for large cluster sizes but for the smallest clusters, the results tend towards ICCT; for intermediate sized clusters, we obtain values between the ICCT and CNT predictions. Furthermore, the curvature-dependent surface tension which can be obtained by regarding the clusters as spherical droplets of bulk density is found to be a monotonically increasing function of cluster size for the studied range. The data are compared to other values reported in the literature, agreeing qualitatively with some but disagreeing with the values determined by Joswiak et al. [J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 4, 4267 (2013)] using a biased mitosis approach; an assessment of the differences is the main motivation for our current study.

  2. Double synchronized switch harvesting (DSSH): a new energy harvesting scheme for efficient energy extraction.

    PubMed

    Lallart, Mickaël; Garbuio, Lauric; Petit, Lionel; Richard, Claude; Guyomar, Daniel

    2008-10-01

    This paper presents a new technique for optimized energy harvesting using piezoelectric microgenerators called double synchronized switch harvesting (DSSH). This technique consists of a nonlinear treatment of the output voltage of the piezoelectric element. It also integrates an intermediate switching stage that ensures an optimal harvested power whatever the load connected to the microgenerator. Theoretical developments are presented considering either constant vibration magnitude, constant driving force, or independent extraction. Then experimental measurements are carried out to validate the theoretical predictions. This technique exhibits a constant output power for a wide range of load connected to the microgenerator. In addition, the extracted power obtained using such a technique allows a gain up to 500% in terms of maximal power output compared with the standard energy harvesting method. It is also shown that such a technique allows a fine-tuning of the trade-off between vibration damping and energy harvesting. PMID:18986861

  3. High Efficiency Molecular Delivery with Sequential Low-Energy Sonoporation Bursts.

    PubMed

    Song, Kang-Ho; Fan, Alexander C; Brlansky, John T; Trudeau, Tammy; Gutierrez-Hartmann, Arthur; Calvisi, Michael L; Borden, Mark A

    2015-01-01

    Microbubbles interact with ultrasound to induce transient microscopic pores in the cellular plasma membrane in a highly localized thermo-mechanical process called sonoporation. Theranostic applications of in vitro sonoporation include molecular delivery (e.g., transfection, drug loading and cell labeling), as well as molecular extraction for measuring intracellular biomarkers, such as proteins and mRNA. Prior research focusing mainly on the effects of acoustic forcing with polydisperse microbubbles has identified a "soft limit" of sonoporation efficiency at 50% when including dead and lysed cells. We show here that this limit can be exceeded with the judicious use of monodisperse microbubbles driven by a physiotherapy device (1.0 MHz, 2.0 W/cm(2), 10% duty cycle). We first examined the effects of microbubble size and found that small-diameter microbubbles (2 µm) deliver more instantaneous power than larger microbubbles (4 & 6 µm). However, owing to rapid fragmentation and a short half-life (0.7 s for 2 µm; 13.3 s for 6 µm), they also deliver less energy over the sonoporation time. This translates to a higher ratio of FITC-dextran (70 kDa) uptake to cell death/lysis (4:1 for 2 µm; 1:2 for 6 µm) in suspended HeLa cells after a single sonoporation. Sequential sonoporations (up to four) were consequently employed to increase molecular delivery. Peak uptake was found to be 66.1 ± 1.2% (n=3) after two sonoporations when properly accounting for cell lysis (7.0 ± 5.6%) and death (17.9 ± 2.0%), thus overcoming the previously reported soft limit. Substitution of TRITC-dextran (70 kDa) on the second sonoporation confirmed the effects were multiplicative. Overall, this study demonstrates the possibility of utilizing monodisperse small-diameter microbubbles as a means to achieve multiple low-energy sonoporation bursts for efficient in vitro cellular uptake and sequential molecular delivery. PMID:26681986

  4. High Efficiency Molecular Delivery with Sequential Low-Energy Sonoporation Bursts

    PubMed Central

    Song, Kang-Ho; Fan, Alexander C.; Brlansky, John T.; Trudeau, Tammy; Gutierrez-Hartmann, Arthur; Calvisi, Michael L.; Borden, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    Microbubbles interact with ultrasound to induce transient microscopic pores in the cellular plasma membrane in a highly localized thermo-mechanical process called sonoporation. Theranostic applications of in vitro sonoporation include molecular delivery (e.g., transfection, drug loading and cell labeling), as well as molecular extraction for measuring intracellular biomarkers, such as proteins and mRNA. Prior research focusing mainly on the effects of acoustic forcing with polydisperse microbubbles has identified a “soft limit” of sonoporation efficiency at 50% when including dead and lysed cells. We show here that this limit can be exceeded with the judicious use of monodisperse microbubbles driven by a physiotherapy device (1.0 MHz, 2.0 W/cm2, 10% duty cycle). We first examined the effects of microbubble size and found that small-diameter microbubbles (2 µm) deliver more instantaneous power than larger microbubbles (4 & 6 µm). However, owing to rapid fragmentation and a short half-life (0.7 s for 2 µm; 13.3 s for 6 µm), they also deliver less energy over the sonoporation time. This translates to a higher ratio of FITC-dextran (70 kDa) uptake to cell death/lysis (4:1 for 2 µm; 1:2 for 6 µm) in suspended HeLa cells after a single sonoporation. Sequential sonoporations (up to four) were consequently employed to increase molecular delivery. Peak uptake was found to be 66.1 ± 1.2% (n=3) after two sonoporations when properly accounting for cell lysis (7.0 ± 5.6%) and death (17.9 ± 2.0%), thus overcoming the previously reported soft limit. Substitution of TRITC-dextran (70 kDa) on the second sonoporation confirmed the effects were multiplicative. Overall, this study demonstrates the possibility of utilizing monodisperse small-diameter microbubbles as a means to achieve multiple low-energy sonoporation bursts for efficient in vitro cellular uptake and sequential molecular delivery. PMID:26681986

  5. Relationships among Ionic Lattice Energies, Molecular (Formula Unit) Volumes, and Thermochemical Radii.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, H. Donald B.; Roobottom, Helen K.; Passmore, Jack; Glasser, Leslie

    1999-08-01

    The linear generalized equation described in this paper provides a further dimension to the prediction of lattice potential energies/enthalpies of ionic solids. First, it offers an alternative (and often more direct) approach to the well-established Kapustinskii equation (whose capabilities have also recently been extended by our recent provision of an extended set of thermochemical radii). Second, it makes possible the acquisition of lattice energy estimates for salts which, up until now, except for simple 1:1 salts, could not be considered because of lack of crystal structure data. We have generalized Bartlett's correlation for MX (1:1) salts, between the lattice enthalpy and the inverse cube root of the molecular (formula unit) volume, such as to render it applicable across an extended range of ionic salts for the estimation of lattice potential energies. When new salts are synthesized, acquisition of full crystal structure data is not always possible and powder data provides only minimal structural information-unit cell parameters and the number of molecules per cell. In such cases, lack of information about cation-anion distances prevents use of the Kapustinskii equation to predict the lattice energy of the salt. However, our new equation can be employed even when the latter information is not available. As is demonstrated, the approach can be utilized to predict and rationalize the thermochemistry in topical areas of synthetic inorganic chemistry as well as in emerging areas. This is illustrated by accounting for the failure to prepare diiodinetetrachloroaluminum(III), [I(2)(+)][AlCl(4)(-)] and the instability of triiodinetetrafluoroarsenic(III), [I(3)(+)][AsF(6)(-)]. A series of effective close-packing volumes for a range of ions, which will be of interest to chemists, as measures of relative ionic size and which are of use in making our estimates of lattice energies, is generated from our approach.

  6. Absolute Binding Free Energy Calculations Using Molecular Dynamics Simulations with Restraining Potentials

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jiyao; Deng, Yuqing; Roux, Benoît

    2006-01-01

    The absolute (standard) binding free energy of eight FK506-related ligands to FKBP12 is calculated using free energy perturbation molecular dynamics (FEP/MD) simulations with explicit solvent. A number of features are implemented to improve the accuracy and enhance the convergence of the calculations. First, the absolute binding free energy is decomposed into sequential steps during which the ligand-surrounding interactions as well as various biasing potentials restraining the translation, orientation, and conformation of the ligand are turned “on” and “off.” Second, sampling of the ligand conformation is enforced by a restraining potential based on the root mean-square deviation relative to the bound state conformation. The effect of all the restraining potentials is rigorously unbiased, and it is shown explicitly that the final results are independent of all artificial restraints. Third, the repulsive and dispersive free energy contribution arising from the Lennard-Jones interactions of the ligand with its surrounding (protein and solvent) is calculated using the Weeks-Chandler-Andersen separation. This separation also improves convergence of the FEP/MD calculations. Fourth, to decrease the computational cost, only a small number of atoms in the vicinity of the binding site are simulated explicitly, while all the influence of the remaining atoms is incorporated implicitly using the generalized solvent boundary potential (GSBP) method. With GSBP, the size of the simulated FKBP12/ligand systems is significantly reduced, from ∼25,000 to 2500. The computations are very efficient and the statistical error is small (∼1 kcal/mol). The calculated binding free energies are generally in good agreement with available experimental data and previous calculations (within ∼2 kcal/mol). The present results indicate that a strategy based on FEP/MD simulations of a reduced GSBP atomic model sampled with conformational, translational, and orientational restraining

  7. Molecular tailoring approach for geometry optimization of large molecules: Energy evaluation and parallelization strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ganesh, V.; Dongare, Rameshwar K.; Balanarayan, P.; Gadre, Shridhar R.

    2006-09-01

    A linear-scaling scheme for estimating the electronic energy, gradients, and Hessian of a large molecule at ab initio level of theory based on fragment set cardinality is presented. With this proposition, a general, cardinality-guided molecular tailoring approach (CG-MTA) for ab initio geometry optimization of large molecules is implemented. The method employs energy gradients extracted from fragment wave functions, enabling computations otherwise impractical on PC hardware. Further, the method is readily amenable to large scale coarse-grain parallelization with minimal communication among nodes, resulting in a near-linear speedup. CG-MTA is applied for density-functional-theory-based geometry optimization of a variety of molecules including α-tocopherol, taxol, γ-cyclodextrin, and two conformations of polyglycine. In the tests performed, energy and gradient estimates obtained from CG-MTA during optimization runs show an excellent agreement with those obtained from actual computation. Accuracy of the Hessian obtained employing CG-MTA provides good hope for the application of Hessian-based geometry optimization to large molecules.

  8. On the energy conservation during the active deformation in molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Fan; Zhong, Zheng

    2015-04-01

    In this paper, we examined the energy conservation for the current schemes of applying active deformation in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Specifically, two methods are examined. One is scaling the dimension of the simulation box and the atom positions via an affine transformation, suitable for the periodic system. The other is moving the rigid walls that interact with the atoms in the system, suitable for the non-periodic system. Based on the calculation of the external work and the internal energy change, we present that the atom velocities also need to be updated in the first deformation method; otherwise the energy conservation cannot be satisfied. The classic updating scheme is examined, in which any atom crossing the periodic boundary experiences a velocity delta that is equal to the velocity difference between the opposite boundaries. In addition, a new scheme which scales the velocities of all the atoms according to the strain increment is proposed, which is more efficient and realistic than the classic scheme. It is also demonstrated that the Virial stress instead of its interaction part is the correct stress definition that corresponds to Cauchy stress in the continuum mechanics.

  9. Configurational space discretization and free energy calculation in complex molecular systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Kai; Long, Shiyang; Tian, Pu

    2016-03-01

    We sought to design a free energy calculation scheme with the hope of saving cost for generating dynamical information that is inherent in trajectories. We demonstrated that snapshots in a converged trajectory set are associated with implicit conformers that have invariant statistical weight distribution (ISWD). Since infinite number of sets of implicit conformers with ISWD may be created through independent converged trajectory sets, we hypothesized that explicit conformers with ISWD may be constructed for complex molecular systems through systematic increase of conformer fineness, and tested the hypothesis in lipid molecule palmitoyloleoylphosphatidylcholine (POPC). Furthermore, when explicit conformers with ISWD were utilized as basic states to define conformational entropy, change of which between two given macrostates was found to be equivalent to change of free energy except a mere difference of a negative temperature factor, and change of enthalpy essentially cancels corresponding change of average intra-conformer entropy. By implicitly taking advantage of entropy enthalpy compensation and forgoing all dynamical information, constructing explicit conformers with ISWD and counting thermally accessible number of which for interested end macrostates is likely to be an efficient and reliable alternative end point free energy calculation strategy.

  10. Configurational space discretization and free energy calculation in complex molecular systems.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kai; Long, Shiyang; Tian, Pu

    2016-01-01

    We sought to design a free energy calculation scheme with the hope of saving cost for generating dynamical information that is inherent in trajectories. We demonstrated that snapshots in a converged trajectory set are associated with implicit conformers that have invariant statistical weight distribution (ISWD). Since infinite number of sets of implicit conformers with ISWD may be created through independent converged trajectory sets, we hypothesized that explicit conformers with ISWD may be constructed for complex molecular systems through systematic increase of conformer fineness, and tested the hypothesis in lipid molecule palmitoyloleoylphosphatidylcholine (POPC). Furthermore, when explicit conformers with ISWD were utilized as basic states to define conformational entropy, change of which between two given macrostates was found to be equivalent to change of free energy except a mere difference of a negative temperature factor, and change of enthalpy essentially cancels corresponding change of average intra-conformer entropy. By implicitly taking advantage of entropy enthalpy compensation and forgoing all dynamical information, constructing explicit conformers with ISWD and counting thermally accessible number of which for interested end macrostates is likely to be an efficient and reliable alternative end point free energy calculation strategy. PMID:26974524

  11. Asymmetric energy transfer and optical diffraction in novel molecular glass with carbazole moiety

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsutsumi, Naoto; Eguchi, Junya; Sakai, Wataru

    2006-12-01

    Asymmetric energy transfer and optical diffraction under optically interfered beams was presented in composites with novel star-shaped molecular glass end-caped by carbazole moiety, α,α',α″-tris-(4-(carbazoryl)- n-hexyloxyphenyl)-1,3,5-triisopropylbenzene (Tris). Composite consisted of Tris as host matrix, 2,4,7-trinitro-9-fluorenone (TNF) as a sensitizer, ( S)-(-)-1-(4-nitrophenyl)-2-pyrrolidine-methanol (NPP) as a nonlinear optical dye and either tricresyl phosphate (TCP), n-butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), diphenyl phthalate (DPP), or dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCP) as a plasticizer. Asymmetric two beam coupling (asymmetric energy transfer) and beam diffraction were achieved with no external field. Glass transition temperature of the composites plays an important role for these phenomena of asymmetric energy transfer and optical diffraction with no external field. Highest net gain coefficient of 59.7 cm -1 with optical gain of 151.3 cm -1 and absorption coefficient of 91.6 cm -1 was obtained for Tris/NPP/DPP/TNF (35/20/40/5) composite. TNF anion produced by laser illumination plays a key role of beam diffraction and asymmetric two beam coupling in the composites.

  12. New approach to energy transfer and quantum correlations in a molecular dimer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saberi, M.; Bagheri Harouni, M.; Roknizadeh, R.; Latifi, H.

    2016-09-01

    The dynamics of single-excitation energy transfer in a molecular dimer interacting with a phonon bath is studied. Although there are exact numerical solutions for this system, we propose an approach that provides exact analytical results with few electronic degrees of freedom. This approach is based on considering the phonon subsystem in the coherent state representation. Applying this approach, the long-lived coherence time is evaluated in the weak and strong coupling regimes. Moreover, by calculating the quantum entanglement and global quantum discord, the time evolution of quantum correlations is examined. The effects of two parameters, electronic coupling strength and bath temperature, on the energy transfer and quantum correlations are studied. It is shown, in agreement with previous results, that the long-lived coherence time in the weak coupling regime is longer than in the strong coupling regime. Also, the increasing bath temperature gives rise to faster delocalization of energy transfer. Furthermore, it is illustrated that the bath temperature has a significant effect on the quantum entanglement with respect to the global quantum discord.

  13. Configurational space discretization and free energy calculation in complex molecular systems

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Kai; Long, Shiyang; Tian, Pu

    2016-01-01

    We sought to design a free energy calculation scheme with the hope of saving cost for generating dynamical information that is inherent in trajectories. We demonstrated that snapshots in a converged trajectory set are associated with implicit conformers that have invariant statistical weight distribution (ISWD). Since infinite number of sets of implicit conformers with ISWD may be created through independent converged trajectory sets, we hypothesized that explicit conformers with ISWD may be constructed for complex molecular systems through systematic increase of conformer fineness, and tested the hypothesis in lipid molecule palmitoyloleoylphosphatidylcholine (POPC). Furthermore, when explicit conformers with ISWD were utilized as basic states to define conformational entropy, change of which between two given macrostates was found to be equivalent to change of free energy except a mere difference of a negative temperature factor, and change of enthalpy essentially cancels corresponding change of average intra-conformer entropy. By implicitly taking advantage of entropy enthalpy compensation and forgoing all dynamical information, constructing explicit conformers with ISWD and counting thermally accessible number of which for interested end macrostates is likely to be an efficient and reliable alternative end point free energy calculation strategy. PMID:26974524

  14. Energy corrugation in atomic-scale friction on graphite revisited by molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Xiao-Yu; Qi, Yi-Zhou; Ouyang, Wengen; Feng, Xi-Qiao; Li, Qunyang

    2016-08-01

    Although atomic stick-slip friction has been extensively studied since its first demonstration on graphite, the physical understanding of this dissipation-dominated phenomenon is still very limited. In this work, we perform molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to study the frictional behavior of a diamond tip sliding over a graphite surface. In contrast to the common wisdom, our MD results suggest that the energy barrier associated lateral sliding (known as energy corrugation) comes not only from interaction between the tip and the top layer of graphite but also from interactions among the deformed atomic layers of graphite. Due to the competition of these two subentries, friction on graphite can be tuned by controlling the relative adhesion of different interfaces. For relatively low tip-graphite adhesion, friction behaves normally and increases with increasing normal load. However, for relatively high tip-graphite adhesion, friction increases unusually with decreasing normal load leading to an effectively negative coefficient of friction, which is consistent with the recent experimental observations on chemically modified graphite. Our results provide a new insight into the physical origins of energy corrugation in atomic scale friction.

  15. Analytic second derivative of the energy for density-functional tight-binding combined with the fragment molecular orbital method.

    PubMed

    Nakata, Hiroya; Nishimoto, Yoshio; Fedorov, Dmitri G

    2016-07-28

    The analytic second derivative of the energy is developed for the fragment molecular orbital (FMO) method combined with density-functional tight-binding (DFTB), enabling simulations of infrared and Raman spectra of large molecular systems. The accuracy of the method is established in comparison to full DFTB without fragmentation for a set of representative systems. The performance of the FMO-DFTB Hessian is discussed for molecular systems containing up to 10 041 atoms. The method is applied to the study of the binding of α-cyclodextrin to polyethylene glycol, and the calculated IR spectrum of an epoxy amine oligomer reproduces experiment reasonably well. PMID:27475354

  16. Analytic second derivative of the energy for density-functional tight-binding combined with the fragment molecular orbital method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakata, Hiroya; Nishimoto, Yoshio; Fedorov, Dmitri G.

    2016-07-01

    The analytic second derivative of the energy is developed for the fragment molecular orbital (FMO) method combined with density-functional tight-binding (DFTB), enabling simulations of infrared and Raman spectra of large molecular systems. The accuracy of the method is established in comparison to full DFTB without fragmentation for a set of representative systems. The performance of the FMO-DFTB Hessian is discussed for molecular systems containing up to 10 041 atoms. The method is applied to the study of the binding of α-cyclodextrin to polyethylene glycol, and the calculated IR spectrum of an epoxy amine oligomer reproduces experiment reasonably well.

  17. Tuning upconversion through energy migration in core-shell nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Wang, Feng; Deng, Renren; Wang, Juan; Wang, Qingxiao; Han, Yu; Zhu, Haomiao; Chen, Xueyuan; Liu, Xiaogang

    2011-10-23

    Photon upconversion is promising for applications such as biological imaging, data storage or solar cells. Here, we have investigated upconversion processes in a broad range of gadolinium-based nanoparticles of varying composition. We show that by rational design of a core-shell structure with a set of lanthanide ions incorporated into separated layers at precisely defined concentrations, efficient upconversion emission can be realized through gadolinium sublattice-mediated energy migration for a wide range of lanthanide activators without long-lived intermediary energy states. Furthermore, the use of the core-shell structure allows the elimination of deleterious cross-relaxation. This effect enables fine-tuning of upconversion emission through trapping of the migrating energy by the activators. Indeed, the findings described here suggest a general approach to constructing a new class of luminescent materials with tunable upconversion emissions by controlled manipulation of energy transfer within a nanoscopic region.

  18. An energy dispersive x-ray scattering and molecular dynamics study of liquid dimethyl carbonate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gontrani, Lorenzo; Russina, Olga; Marincola, Flaminia Cesare; Caminiti, Ruggero

    2009-12-01

    In this work, we report on the first x-ray diffraction study on liquid dimethyl carbonate. Diffraction spectra were collected with an energy-dispersive instrument, whose wide Q-range allows the structure determination of weakly ordered systems (such as liquids). The structural correlation in this liquid ranges up to about 20 Å. The observed patterns are interpreted with a structural model derived from classical molecular dynamics simulations. The simulations were run using OPLS force field, only slightly modified to restrain bond distances to the experimental values. The model structure function and radial distribution functions, averaged among the productive trajectory frames, are in very good agreement with the corresponding experimental ones. Molecular dynamics results show that the deviations from C2v cis-cis structure, predicted by ab initio calculations and observed by electron diffraction in the gas phase, are small. By analyzing the intra- and intermolecular pair distribution functions, it was possible to assign the peaks of the experimental radial distribution function to specific structural correlations, and to compute the different average intermolecular coordination numbers. The intermolecular methyl-carbonyl oxygen distance is thoroughly discussed to assess the presence of weak C-H⋯ṡO hydrogen bonds.

  19. Molecular interaction and energy transfer between human serum albumin and bioactive component Aloe dihydrocoumarin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiu-Feng; Xie, Ling; Liu, Yang; Xiang, Jun-Feng; Li, Lin; Tang, Ya-Lin

    2008-10-01

    Aloe dihydrocoumarin is an antioxidant and a candidate of immunomodulatory drug on the immune system and can balance physiological reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels which may be useful to maintain homeostasis. In order to explore the mechanism of drug action at a molecular level, the binding of Aloe dihydrocoumarin with human serum albumin (HSA) has been investigated by fluorescence, ultraviolet (UV), circular dichroism (CD) and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, fluorescence dynamics, and molecular dynamic docking for the first time. We observed a quenching of fluorescence of HSA in the presence of Aloe dihydrocoumarin and also analyzed the quenching results using the Stern-Volmer equation and obtained high affinity binding to HSA. A Förster type fluorescence resonance energy transfer mechanism is involved in this quenching of Trp fluorescence by Aloe dihydrocoumarin. From the CD and FT-IR results, it is apparent that the interaction of Aloe dihydrocoumarin with HSA causes a conformational change of the protein, with the loss of α-helix stability and the gain of β-sheet and β-turn content. Data obtained by fluorescence spectroscopy, fluorescence dynamics, CD, and FT-IR experiments along with the docking studies suggest that Aloe dihydrocoumarin binds to residues located in subdomain IIA of HSA.

  20. Systematic Fragmentation Method and the Effective Fragment Potential: An Efficient Method for Capturing Molecular Energies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mullin, Jonathan M.; Roskop, Luke B.; Pruitt, Spencer R.; Collins, Michael A.; Gordon, Mark S.

    2009-08-01

    The systematic fragmentation method fragments a large molecular system into smaller pieces, in such a way as to greatly reduce the computational cost while retaining nearly the accuracy of the parent ab initio electronic structure method. In order to attain the desired (sub-kcal/mol) accuracy, one must properly account for the nonbonded interactions between the separated fragments. Since, for a large molecular species, there can be a great many fragments and therefore a great many nonbonded interactions, computations of the nonbonded interactions can be very time-consuming. The present work explores the efficacy of employing the effective fragment potential (EFP) method to obtain the nonbonded interactions since the EFP method has been shown previously to capture nonbonded interactions with an accuracy that is often comparable to that of second-order perturbation theory. It is demonstrated that for nonbonded interactions that are not high on the repulsive wall (generally >2.7 Å), the EFP method appears to be a viable approach for evaluating the nonbonded interactions. The efficacy of the EFP method for this purpose is illustrated by comparing the method to ab initio methods for small water clusters, the ZOVGAS molecule, retinal, and the α-helix. Using SFM with EFP for nonbonded interactions yields an error of 0.2 kcal/mol for the retinal cis-trans isomerization and a mean error of 1.0 kcal/mol for the isomerization energies of five small (120-170 atoms) α-helices.