Science.gov

Sample records for functional link structure

  1. Linking community size structure and ecosystem functioning using metabolic theory

    PubMed Central

    Yvon-Durocher, Gabriel; Allen, Andrew P.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding how biogeochemical cycles relate to the structure of ecological communities is a central research question in ecology. Here we approach this problem by focusing on body size, which is an easily measured species trait that has a pervasive influence on multiple aspects of community structure and ecosystem functioning. We test the predictions of a model derived from metabolic theory using data on ecosystem metabolism and community size structure. These data were collected as part of an aquatic mesocosm experiment that was designed to simulate future environmental warming. Our analyses demonstrate significant linkages between community size structure and ecosystem functioning, and the effects of warming on these links. Specifically, we show that carbon fluxes were significantly influenced by seasonal variation in temperature, and yielded activation energies remarkably similar to those predicted based on the temperature dependencies of individual-level photosynthesis and respiration. We also show that community size structure significantly influenced fluxes of ecosystem respiration and gross primary production, particularly at the annual time-scale. Assessing size structure and the factors that control it, both empirically and theoretically, therefore promises to aid in understanding links between individual organisms and biogeochemical cycles, and in predicting the responses of key ecosystem functions to future environmental change. PMID:23007088

  2. Linking stoichiometric homoeostasis with ecosystem structure, functioning and stability.

    PubMed

    Yu, Qiang; Chen, Quansheng; Elser, James J; He, Nianpeng; Wu, Honghui; Zhang, Guangming; Wu, Jianguo; Bai, Yongfei; Han, Xingguo

    2010-11-01

    Ecosystem structure, functioning and stability have been a focus of ecological and environmental sciences during the past two decades. The mechanisms underlying their relationship, however, are not well understood. Based on comprehensive studies in Inner Mongolia grassland, here we show that species-level stoichiometric homoeostasis was consistently positively correlated with dominance and stability on both 2-year and 27-year temporal scales and across a 1200-km spatial transect. At the community level, stoichiometric homoeostasis was also positively correlated with ecosystem function and stability in most cases. Thus, homoeostatic species tend to have high and stable biomass; and ecosystems dominated by more homoeostatic species have higher productivity and greater stability. By modulating organism responses to key environmental drivers, stoichiometric homoeostasis appears to be a major mechanism responsible for the structure, functioning and stability of grassland ecosystems.

  3. Linking vegetation structure, function and physiology through spectroscopic remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serbin, S.; Singh, A.; Couture, J. J.; Shiklomanov, A. N.; Rogers, A.; Desai, A. R.; Kruger, E. L.; Townsend, P. A.

    2015-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystem process models require detailed information on ecosystem states and canopy properties to properly simulate the fluxes of carbon (C), water and energy from the land to the atmosphere and assess the vulnerability of ecosystems to perturbations. Current models fail to adequately capture the magnitude, spatial variation, and seasonality of terrestrial C uptake and storage, leading to significant uncertainties in the size and fate of the terrestrial C sink. By and large, these parameter and process uncertainties arise from inadequate spatial and temporal representation of plant traits, vegetation structure, and functioning. With increases in computational power and changes to model architecture and approaches, it is now possible for models to leverage detailed, data rich and spatially explicit descriptions of ecosystems to inform parameter distributions and trait tradeoffs. In this regard, spectroscopy and imaging spectroscopy data have been shown to be invaluable observational datasets to capture broad-scale spatial and, eventually, temporal dynamics in important vegetation properties. We illustrate the linkage of plant traits and spectral observations to supply key data constraints for model parameterization. These constraints can come either in the form of the raw spectroscopic data (reflectance, absorbtance) or physiological traits derived from spectroscopy. In this presentation we highlight our ongoing work to build ecological scaling relationships between critical vegetation characteristics and optical properties across diverse and complex canopies, including temperate broadleaf and conifer forests, Mediterranean vegetation, Arctic systems, and agriculture. We focus on work at the leaf, stand, and landscape scales, illustrating the importance of capturing the underlying variability in a range of parameters (including vertical variation within canopies) to enable more efficient scaling of traits related to functional diversity of ecosystems.

  4. Linking structure and function in food webs: maximization of different ecological functions generates distinct food web structures.

    PubMed

    Yen, Jian D L; Cabral, Reniel B; Cantor, Mauricio; Hatton, Ian; Kortsch, Susanne; Patrício, Joana; Yamamichi, Masato

    2016-03-01

    Trophic interactions are central to ecosystem functioning, but the link between food web structure and ecosystem functioning remains obscure. Regularities (i.e. consistent patterns) in food web structure suggest the possibility of regularities in ecosystem functioning, which might be used to relate structure to function. We introduce a novel, genetic algorithm approach to simulate food webs with maximized throughput (a proxy for ecosystem functioning) and compare the structure of these simulated food webs to real empirical food webs using common metrics of food web structure. We repeat this analysis using robustness to secondary extinctions (a proxy for ecosystem resilience) instead of throughput to determine the relative contributions of ecosystem functioning and ecosystem resilience to food web structure. Simulated food webs that maximized robustness were similar to real food webs when connectance (i.e. levels of interaction across the food web) was high, but this result did not extend to food webs with low connectance. Simulated food webs that maximized throughput or a combination of throughput and robustness were not similar to any real food webs. Simulated maximum-throughput food webs differed markedly from maximum-robustness food webs, which suggests that maximizing different ecological functions can generate distinct food web structures. Based on our results, food web structure would appear to have a stronger relationship with ecosystem resilience than with ecosystem throughput. Our genetic algorithm approach is general and is well suited to large, realistically complex food webs. Genetic algorithms can incorporate constraints on structure and can generate outputs that can be compared directly to empirical data. Our method can be used to explore a range of maximization or minimization hypotheses, providing new perspectives on the links between structure and function in ecological systems.

  5. Linking Microbial Community Structure to Function in Representative Simulated Systems

    PubMed Central

    Marcus, Ian M.; Wilder, Hailey A.; Quazi, Shanin J.

    2013-01-01

    Pathogenic bacteria are generally studied as a single strain under ideal growing conditions, although these conditions are not the norm in the environments in which pathogens typically proliferate. In this investigation, a representative microbial community along with Escherichia coli O157:H7, a model pathogen, was studied in three environments in which such a pathogen could be found: a human colon, a septic tank, and groundwater. Each of these systems was built in the lab in order to retain the physical/chemical and microbial complexity of the environments while maintaining control of the feed into the models. The microbial community in the colon was found to have a high percentage of bacteriodetes and firmicutes, while the septic tank and groundwater systems were composed mostly of proteobacteria. The introduction of E. coli O157:H7 into the simulated systems elicited a shift in the structures and phenotypic cell characteristics of the microbial communities. The fate and transport of the microbial community with E. coli O157:H7 were found to be significantly different from those of E. coli O157:H7 studied as a single isolate, suggesting that the behavior of the organism in the environment was different from that previously conceived. The findings in this study clearly suggest that to gain insight into the fate of pathogens, cells should be grown and analyzed under conditions simulating those of the environment in which the pathogens are present. PMID:23396331

  6. Geochip: A high throughput genomic tool for linking community structure to functions

    SciTech Connect

    Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Liang, Yuting; He, Zhili; Li, Guanghe; Zhou, Jizhong

    2009-01-30

    GeoChip is a comprehensive functional gene array that targets key functional genes involved in the geochemical cycling of N, C, and P, sulfate reduction, metal resistance and reduction, and contaminant degradation. Studies have shown the GeoChip to be a sensitive, specific, and high-throughput tool for microbial community analysis that has the power to link geochemical processes with microbial community structure. However, several challenges remain regarding the development and applications of microarrays for microbial community analysis.

  7. Extending CATH: increasing coverage of the protein structure universe and linking structure with function.

    PubMed

    Cuff, Alison L; Sillitoe, Ian; Lewis, Tony; Clegg, Andrew B; Rentzsch, Robert; Furnham, Nicholas; Pellegrini-Calace, Marialuisa; Jones, David; Thornton, Janet; Orengo, Christine A

    2011-01-01

    CATH version 3.3 (class, architecture, topology, homology) contains 128,688 domains, 2386 homologous superfamilies and 1233 fold groups, and reflects a major focus on classifying structural genomics (SG) structures and transmembrane proteins, both of which are likely to add structural novelty to the database and therefore increase the coverage of protein fold space within CATH. For CATH version 3.4 we have significantly improved the presentation of sequence information and associated functional information for CATH superfamilies. The CATH superfamily pages now reflect both the functional and structural diversity within the superfamily and include structural alignments of close and distant relatives within the superfamily, annotated with functional information and details of conserved residues. A significantly more efficient search function for CATH has been established by implementing the search server Solr (http://lucene.apache.org/solr/). The CATH v3.4 webpages have been built using the Catalyst web framework.

  8. Ecological-network models link diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web.

    PubMed

    D'Alelio, Domenico; Libralato, Simone; Wyatt, Timothy; Ribera d'Alcalà, Maurizio

    2016-02-17

    A planktonic food-web model including sixty-three functional nodes (representing auto- mixo- and heterotrophs) was developed to integrate most trophic diversity present in the plankton. The model was implemented in two variants - which we named 'green' and 'blue' - characterized by opposite amounts of phytoplankton biomass and representing, respectively, bloom and non-bloom states of the system. Taxonomically disaggregated food-webs described herein allowed to shed light on how components of the plankton community changed their trophic behavior in the two different conditions, and modified the overall functioning of the plankton food web. The green and blue food-webs showed distinct organizations in terms of trophic roles of the nodes and carbon fluxes between them. Such re-organization stemmed from switches in selective grazing by both metazoan and protozoan consumers. Switches in food-web structure resulted in relatively small differences in the efficiency of material transfer towards higher trophic levels. For instance, from green to blue states, a seven-fold decrease in phytoplankton biomass translated into only a two-fold decrease in potential planktivorous fish biomass. By linking diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web, we discuss the role of internal mechanisms, relying on species-specific functionalities, in driving the 'adaptive' responses of plankton communities to perturbations.

  9. Ecological-network models link diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web

    PubMed Central

    D’Alelio, Domenico; Libralato, Simone; Wyatt, Timothy; Ribera d’Alcalà, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    A planktonic food-web model including sixty-three functional nodes (representing auto- mixo- and heterotrophs) was developed to integrate most trophic diversity present in the plankton. The model was implemented in two variants - which we named ‘green’ and ‘blue’ - characterized by opposite amounts of phytoplankton biomass and representing, respectively, bloom and non-bloom states of the system. Taxonomically disaggregated food-webs described herein allowed to shed light on how components of the plankton community changed their trophic behavior in the two different conditions, and modified the overall functioning of the plankton food web. The green and blue food-webs showed distinct organizations in terms of trophic roles of the nodes and carbon fluxes between them. Such re-organization stemmed from switches in selective grazing by both metazoan and protozoan consumers. Switches in food-web structure resulted in relatively small differences in the efficiency of material transfer towards higher trophic levels. For instance, from green to blue states, a seven-fold decrease in phytoplankton biomass translated into only a two-fold decrease in potential planktivorous fish biomass. By linking diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web, we discuss the role of internal mechanisms, relying on species-specific functionalities, in driving the ‘adaptive’ responses of plankton communities to perturbations. PMID:26883643

  10. Ecological-network models link diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web.

    PubMed

    D'Alelio, Domenico; Libralato, Simone; Wyatt, Timothy; Ribera d'Alcalà, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    A planktonic food-web model including sixty-three functional nodes (representing auto- mixo- and heterotrophs) was developed to integrate most trophic diversity present in the plankton. The model was implemented in two variants - which we named 'green' and 'blue' - characterized by opposite amounts of phytoplankton biomass and representing, respectively, bloom and non-bloom states of the system. Taxonomically disaggregated food-webs described herein allowed to shed light on how components of the plankton community changed their trophic behavior in the two different conditions, and modified the overall functioning of the plankton food web. The green and blue food-webs showed distinct organizations in terms of trophic roles of the nodes and carbon fluxes between them. Such re-organization stemmed from switches in selective grazing by both metazoan and protozoan consumers. Switches in food-web structure resulted in relatively small differences in the efficiency of material transfer towards higher trophic levels. For instance, from green to blue states, a seven-fold decrease in phytoplankton biomass translated into only a two-fold decrease in potential planktivorous fish biomass. By linking diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web, we discuss the role of internal mechanisms, relying on species-specific functionalities, in driving the 'adaptive' responses of plankton communities to perturbations. PMID:26883643

  11. Crystal Structure of Human Senescence Marker Protein 30: Insights Linking Structural, Enzymatic, and Physiological Functions

    SciTech Connect

    Chakraborti, Subhendu; Bahnson, Brian J.

    2010-05-25

    Human senescence marker protein 30 (SMP30), which functions enzymatically as a lactonase, hydrolyzes various carbohydrate lactones. The penultimate step in vitamin-C biosynthesis is catalyzed by this enzyme in nonprimate mammals. It has also been implicated as an organophosphate hydrolase, with the ability to hydrolyze diisopropyl phosphofluoridate and other nerve agents. SMP30 was originally identified as an aging marker protein, whose expression decreased androgen independently in aging cells. SMP30 is also referred to as regucalcin and has been suggested to have functions in calcium homeostasis. The crystal structure of the human enzyme has been solved from X-ray diffraction data collected to a resolution of 1.4 {angstrom}. The protein has a 6-bladed {beta}-propeller fold, and it contains a single metal ion. Crystal structures have been solved with the metal site bound with either a Ca{sup 2+} or a Zn{sup 2+} atom. The catalytic role of the metal ion has been confirmed by mutagenesis of the metal coordinating residues. Kinetic studies using the substrate gluconolactone showed a k{sub cat} preference of divalent cations in the order Zn{sup 2+} > Mn{sup 2+} > Ca{sup 2+} > Mg{sup 2+}. Notably, the Ca{sup 2+} had a significantly higher value of K{sub d} compared to those of the other metal ions tested (566, 82, 7, and 0.6 {micro}m for Ca{sup 2+}, Mg{sup 2+}, Zn{sup 2+}, and Mn{sup 2+}, respectively), suggesting that the Ca{sup 2+}-bound form may be physiologically relevant for stressed cells with an elevated free calcium level.

  12. Allocating structure to function: the strong links between neuroplasticity and natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Michael L.; Finlay, Barbara L.

    2014-01-01

    A central question in brain evolution is how species-typical behaviors, and the neural function-structure mappings supporting them, can be acquired and inherited. Advocates of brain modularity, in its different incarnations across scientific subfields, argue that natural selection must target domain-dedicated, separately modifiable neural subsystems, resulting in genetically-specified functional modules. In such modular systems, specification of neuron number and functional connectivity are necessarily linked. Mounting evidence, however, from allometric, developmental, comparative, systems-physiological, neuroimaging and neurological studies suggests that brain elements are used and reused in multiple functional systems. This variable allocation can be seen in short-term neuromodulation, in neuroplasticity over the lifespan and in response to damage. We argue that the same processes are evident in brain evolution. Natural selection must preserve behavioral functions that may co-locate in variable amounts with other functions. In genetics, the uses and problems of pleiotropy, the re-use of genes in multiple networks have been much discussed, but this issue has been sidestepped in neural systems by the invocation of modules. Here we highlight the interaction between evolutionary and developmental mechanisms to produce distributed and overlapping functional architectures in the brain. These adaptive mechanisms must be robust to perturbations that might disrupt critical information processing and action selection, but must also recognize useful new sources of information arising from internal genetic or environmental variability, when those appear. These contrasting properties of “robustness” and “evolvability” have been discussed for the basic organization of body plan and fundamental cell physiology. Here we extend them to the evolution and development, “evo-devo,” of brain structure. PMID:24431995

  13. Fluorescent structural DNA nanoballs functionalized with phosphate-linked nucleotide triphosphates.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jon P; Reynolds, Bambi L; Baum, Kristin; Williams, John G

    2010-03-10

    Highly labeled DNA nanoballs functionalized with phosphate-linked nucleotide triphosphates (dNTPs) were developed as a source of dNTPs for DNA polymerase. The particles were prepared by strand-displacement polymerization from a self-complementary circular template. Imaged by atomic force microscopy, these functionalized particles appear as condensed fuzzy balls with diameters between 50 and 150 nm. They emit a bright fluorescent signal, detected in 2 ms exposures with a signal-to-noise ratio of 25 when imaged using a TIR fluorescence microscope. PMID:20158249

  14. Fluorescent Structural DNA Nanoballs Functionalized With Phosphate-Linked Nucleotide Triphosphates

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Jon P.; Reynolds, Bambi L.; Baum, Kristin; Williams, John G.

    2010-01-01

    Highly labeled DNA nanoballs functionalized with phosphate-linked nucleotide triphosphates (dNTPs) were developed as a source of dNTPs for DNA polymerase. The particles were prepared by strand-displacement polymerization from a self-complementary circular template. Imaged by atomic force microscopy, these functionalized particles appear as condensed fuzzy balls with diameters between 50–150 nm. They emit a bright fluorescent signal, detected in 2 msec exposures with a signal-to-noise of 25 when imaged using a TIR fluorescence microscope. PMID:20158249

  15. The application of a mathematical model linking structural and functional connectomes in severe brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Kuceyeski, A.; Shah, S.; Dyke, J.P.; Bickel, S.; Abdelnour, F.; Schiff, N.D.; Voss, H.U.; Raj, A.

    2016-01-01

    Following severe injuries that result in disorders of consciousness, recovery can occur over many months or years post-injury. While post-injury synaptogenesis, axonal sprouting and functional reorganization are known to occur, the network-level processes underlying recovery are poorly understood. Here, we test a network-level functional rerouting hypothesis in recovery of patients with disorders of consciousness following severe brain injury. This hypothesis states that the brain recovers from injury by restoring normal functional connections via alternate structural pathways that circumvent impaired white matter connections. The so-called network diffusion model, which relates an individual's structural and functional connectomes by assuming that functional activation diffuses along structural pathways, is used here to capture this functional rerouting. We jointly examined functional and structural connectomes extracted from MRIs of 12 healthy and 16 brain-injured subjects. Connectome properties were quantified via graph theoretic measures and network diffusion model parameters. While a few graph metrics showed groupwise differences, they did not correlate with patients' level of consciousness as measured by the Coma Recovery Scale — Revised. There was, however, a strong and significant partial Pearson's correlation (accounting for age and years post-injury) between level of consciousness and network diffusion model propagation time (r = 0.76, p < 0.05, corrected), i.e. the time functional activation spends traversing the structural network. We concluded that functional rerouting via alternate (and less efficient) pathways leads to increases in network diffusion model propagation time. Simulations of injury and recovery in healthy connectomes confirmed these results. This work establishes the feasibility for using the network diffusion model to capture network-level mechanisms in recovery of consciousness after severe brain injury. PMID:27200264

  16. Linking Remotely Sensed Functional Diversity of Structural Traits to the Radiative Regime of a Temperate Mixed Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, F. D.; Morsdorf, F.; Furrer, R.; Schmid, B.; Schaepman, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    Patterns of functional diversity reflect the inter- and intraspecific variability of plant traits and are linked to other aspects of biodiversity, environmental factors and ecosystem function. To study the patterns at plot and stand level, spatially continuous trait measurements are required. Remote sensing methods based on airborne observations can offer such continuous high-resolution measurements, resolving individual trees of a forest at a regional extent. The study was performed at the Laegern forest, a temperate mixed forest dominated by deciduous and coniferous trees (Fagus sylvatica, Picea abies; 47°28'42.0" N, 8°21'51.8" E, 682 m asl; Switzerland). Canopy height, plant area index and foliage height diversity were derived from full-waveform airborne laser scanning data. These structural traits were used to calculate functional richness, functional evenness and functional divergence at a range of scales. A Bayesian multiresolution scale analysis was used to infer the scales at which functional diversity patterns occur. The radiative regime of the forest was simulated using the 3D radiative transfer model DART. Using a voxel-based forest reconstruction allowed us to derive top of canopy, bottom of canopy and absorbed photosynthetically active radiation. The results of this study will provide new insights on linking forest canopy structure to the radiative regime of the forest. Light availability is a critical factor determining plant growth and competition. Within canopy light scattering is mainly driven by the arrangement of leaves and their leaf optical properties. Therefore, we expect a link between the structural complexity of the forest as encompassed by functional diversity and the light availability within and below the canopy. Ultimately, this information can be used in dynamic ecosystem models such as ED2, allowing us to predict the influence of functional diversity and radiative properties on ecosystem functioning under current conditions and

  17. N-Linked Glycosylation in Archaea: a Structural, Functional, and Genetic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Yan; Meyer, Benjamin H.; Albers, Sonja-Verena; Kaminski, Lina; Eichler, Jerry

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY N-glycosylation of proteins is one of the most prevalent posttranslational modifications in nature. Accordingly, a pathway with shared commonalities is found in all three domains of life. While excellent model systems have been developed for studying N-glycosylation in both Eukarya and Bacteria, an understanding of this process in Archaea was hampered until recently by a lack of effective molecular tools. However, within the last decade, impressive advances in the study of the archaeal version of this important pathway have been made for halophiles, methanogens, and thermoacidophiles, combining glycan structural information obtained by mass spectrometry with bioinformatic, genetic, biochemical, and enzymatic data. These studies reveal both features shared with the eukaryal and bacterial domains and novel archaeon-specific aspects. Unique features of N-glycosylation in Archaea include the presence of unusual dolichol lipid carriers, the use of a variety of linking sugars that connect the glycan to proteins, the presence of novel sugars as glycan constituents, the presence of two very different N-linked glycans attached to the same protein, and the ability to vary the N-glycan composition under different growth conditions. These advances are the focus of this review, with an emphasis on N-glycosylation pathways in Haloferax, Methanococcus, and Sulfolobus. PMID:24847024

  18. Bottom up modeling of the connectome: linking structure and function in the resting brain and their changes in aging.

    PubMed

    Nakagawa, Tristan T; Jirsa, Viktor K; Spiegler, Andreas; McIntosh, Anthony R; Deco, Gustavo

    2013-10-15

    With the increasing availability of advanced imaging technologies, we are entering a new era of neuroscience. Detailed descriptions of the complex brain network enable us to map out a structural connectome, characterize it with graph theoretical methods, and compare it to the functional networks with increasing detail. To link these two aspects and understand how dynamics and structure interact to form functional brain networks in task and in the resting state, we use theoretical models. The advantage of using theoretical models is that by recreating functional connectivity and time series explicitly from structure and pre-defined dynamics, we can extract critical mechanisms by linking structure and function in ways not directly accessible in the real brain. Recently, resting-state models with varying local dynamics have reproduced empirical functional connectivity patterns, and given support to the view that the brain works at a critical point at the edge of a bifurcation of the system. Here, we present an overview of a modeling approach of the resting brain network and give an application of a neural mass model in the study of complexity changes in aging.

  19. Structure and function of phosphonoacetaldehyde dehydrogenase: the missing link in phosphonoacetate formation

    PubMed Central

    Agarwal, Vinayak; Peck, Spencer C.; Chen, Jui-Hui; Borisova, Svetlana A.; Chekan, Jonathan R.; van der Donk, Wilfred A.; Nair, Satish K.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Phosphonates (C-PO32−) have application as antibiotics, herbicides and detergents. In some environments, these molecules represent the predominant source for phosphorus, and several microbes have evolved dedicated enzymatic machineries for phosphonate degradation. For example, most common naturally occurring phosphonates can be catabolized to either phosphonoacetaldehyde or phosphonoacetate, which can then be hydrolyzed to generate inorganic phosphate and acetaldehyde or acetate, respectively. The phosphonoacetaldehyde oxidase gene (phnY) links these two hydrolytic processes and provides a previously unknown catabolic mechanism for phosphonoacetate production in the microbial metabolome. Here, we present biochemical characterization of PhnY and high-resolution crystal structures of the apo state, as well as complexes with substrate, cofactor and product. Kinetic analysis of active site mutants demonstrates how a highly conserved aldehyde dehydrogenase active site has been modified in nature to generate activity with a phosphonate substrate. PMID:24361046

  20. Linking Environmental Régimes, Space and Time: Interpretations of Structural and Functional Connectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wainwright, J.; Ibrahim, T. G.; Lexartza-Artza, I.; Turnbull, L.

    2008-12-01

    Traditional approaches to environmental systems have been heavily constrained by separate disciplinary frameworks within ecology, hydrology and geomorphology. Within these disciplines, there has been a significant amount of attention recently to different ideas of connectivity. These differences have reflected different concepts of structural and functional connectivity, and problems of interpretation have been further exacerbated by a lack of attention to systems connectivity. For example, structural connectivity has tended to focus on static representations of the state of the environment and thereby fail to capture the dynamic behaviour of the system. Approaches to functional connectivity have usually failed to appreciate that this connectivity is process-specific and it is thus difficult to generalize from one disciplinary area to another, and indeed in some cases even within the same disciplinary framework (e.g. dissolved pollutants or eroded soil moving in different ways from the water body). A lack of consideration of connectivity between systems can cause serious misinterpretations of system function due to the importance of what essentially become ill- posed boundary conditions. We argue that a more holistic and transdisciplinary approach to connectivity, based on the integration of a range of structural, functional and systems approaches is fundamental for improved understanding of environmental systems across a wide range of scales. We will illustrate the potential of this holistic approach with reference to a wide range of examples relating to our ongoing work. These examples will include groundwater-stream interactions, slope-channel interactions and land degradation. In all of these settings, there are important interactions in the longitudinal, lateral and vertical dimensions. For the former, the capacity of the hyporheic zone to control the fate of contaminants of stream and groundwater origin in contact with riverbed sediments is critical. Key

  1. Linking structure to function: Recent lessons from inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor mutagenesis.

    PubMed

    Yule, David I; Betzenhauser, Matthew J; Joseph, Suresh K

    2010-06-01

    Great insight has been gained into the structure and function of the inositol 1,4,5 trisphosphate receptor (InsP(3)R) by studies employing mutagenesis of the cDNA encoding the receptor. Notably, early studies using this approach defined the key constituents required for InsP(3) binding in the N-terminus and the membrane spanning regions in the C-terminal domain responsible for channel formation, targeting and function. In this article we evaluate recent studies which have used a similar approach to investigate key residues underlying the in vivo modulation by select regulatory factors. In addition, we review studies defining the structural requirements in the channel domain which comprise the conduction pathway and are suggested to be involved in the gating of the channel.

  2. Hubs of knowledge: using the functional link structure in Biozon to mine for biologically significant entities

    PubMed Central

    Shafer, Paul; Isganitis, Timothy; Yona, Golan

    2006-01-01

    Background Existing biological databases support a variety of queries such as keyword or definition search. However, they do not provide any measure of relevance for the instances reported, and result sets are usually sorted arbitrarily. Results We describe a system that builds upon the complex infrastructure of the Biozon database and applies methods similar to those of Google to rank documents that match queries. We explore different prominence models and study the spectral properties of the corresponding data graphs. We evaluate the information content of principal and non-principal eigenspaces, and test various scoring functions which combine contributions from multiple eigenspaces. We also test the effect of similarity data and other variations which are unique to the biological knowledge domain on the quality of the results. Query result sets are assessed using a probabilistic approach that measures the significance of coherence between directly connected nodes in the data graph. This model allows us, for the first time, to compare different prominence models quantitatively and effectively and to observe unique trends. Conclusion Our tests show that the ranked query results outperform unsorted results with respect to our significance measure and the top ranked entities are typically linked to many other biological entities. Our study resulted in a working ranking system of biological entities that was integrated into Biozon at . PMID:16480496

  3. Balanced translocation linked to psychiatric disorder, glutamate, and cortical structure/function

    PubMed Central

    Thomson, Pippa A; Duff, Barbara; Blackwood, Douglas H R; Romaniuk, Liana; Watson, Andrew; Whalley, Heather C; Li, Xiang; Dauvermann, Maria R; Moorhead, T William J; Bois, Catherine; Ryan, Niamh M; Redpath, Holly; Hall, Lynsey; Morris, Stewart W; van Beek, Edwin J R; Roberts, Neil; Porteous, David J; St. Clair, David; Whitcher, Brandon; Dunlop, John; Brandon, Nicholas J; Hughes, Zoë A; Hall, Jeremy; McIntosh, Andrew; Lawrie, Stephen M

    2016-01-01

    Rare genetic variants of large effect can help elucidate the pathophysiology of brain disorders. Here we expand the clinical and genetic analyses of a family with a (1;11)(q42;q14.3) translocation multiply affected by major psychiatric illness and test the effect of the translocation on the structure and function of prefrontal, and temporal brain regions. The translocation showed significant linkage (LOD score 6.1) with a clinical phenotype that included schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and recurrent major depressive disorder. Translocation carriers showed reduced cortical thickness in the left temporal lobe, which correlated with general psychopathology and positive psychotic symptom severity. They showed reduced gyrification in prefrontal cortex, which correlated with general psychopathology severity. Translocation carriers also showed significantly increased activation in the caudate nucleus on increasing verbal working memory load, as well as statistically significant reductions in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex glutamate concentrations. These findings confirm that the t(1;11) translocation is associated with a significantly increased risk of major psychiatric disorder and suggest a general vulnerability to psychopathology through altered cortical structure and function, and decreased glutamate levels.

  4. Balanced translocation linked to psychiatric disorder, glutamate, and cortical structure/function

    PubMed Central

    Thomson, Pippa A; Duff, Barbara; Blackwood, Douglas H R; Romaniuk, Liana; Watson, Andrew; Whalley, Heather C; Li, Xiang; Dauvermann, Maria R; Moorhead, T William J; Bois, Catherine; Ryan, Niamh M; Redpath, Holly; Hall, Lynsey; Morris, Stewart W; van Beek, Edwin J R; Roberts, Neil; Porteous, David J; St. Clair, David; Whitcher, Brandon; Dunlop, John; Brandon, Nicholas J; Hughes, Zoë A; Hall, Jeremy; McIntosh, Andrew; Lawrie, Stephen M

    2016-01-01

    Rare genetic variants of large effect can help elucidate the pathophysiology of brain disorders. Here we expand the clinical and genetic analyses of a family with a (1;11)(q42;q14.3) translocation multiply affected by major psychiatric illness and test the effect of the translocation on the structure and function of prefrontal, and temporal brain regions. The translocation showed significant linkage (LOD score 6.1) with a clinical phenotype that included schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and recurrent major depressive disorder. Translocation carriers showed reduced cortical thickness in the left temporal lobe, which correlated with general psychopathology and positive psychotic symptom severity. They showed reduced gyrification in prefrontal cortex, which correlated with general psychopathology severity. Translocation carriers also showed significantly increased activation in the caudate nucleus on increasing verbal working memory load, as well as statistically significant reductions in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex glutamate concentrations. These findings confirm that the t(1;11) translocation is associated with a significantly increased risk of major psychiatric disorder and suggest a general vulnerability to psychopathology through altered cortical structure and function, and decreased glutamate levels. PMID:27602385

  5. Balanced translocation linked to psychiatric disorder, glutamate, and cortical structure/function.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Pippa A; Duff, Barbara; Blackwood, Douglas H R; Romaniuk, Liana; Watson, Andrew; Whalley, Heather C; Li, Xiang; Dauvermann, Maria R; Moorhead, T William J; Bois, Catherine; Ryan, Niamh M; Redpath, Holly; Hall, Lynsey; Morris, Stewart W; van Beek, Edwin J R; Roberts, Neil; Porteous, David J; St Clair, David; Whitcher, Brandon; Dunlop, John; Brandon, Nicholas J; Hughes, Zoë A; Hall, Jeremy; McIntosh, Andrew; Lawrie, Stephen M

    2016-01-01

    Rare genetic variants of large effect can help elucidate the pathophysiology of brain disorders. Here we expand the clinical and genetic analyses of a family with a (1;11)(q42;q14.3) translocation multiply affected by major psychiatric illness and test the effect of the translocation on the structure and function of prefrontal, and temporal brain regions. The translocation showed significant linkage (LOD score 6.1) with a clinical phenotype that included schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and recurrent major depressive disorder. Translocation carriers showed reduced cortical thickness in the left temporal lobe, which correlated with general psychopathology and positive psychotic symptom severity. They showed reduced gyrification in prefrontal cortex, which correlated with general psychopathology severity. Translocation carriers also showed significantly increased activation in the caudate nucleus on increasing verbal working memory load, as well as statistically significant reductions in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex glutamate concentrations. These findings confirm that the t(1;11) translocation is associated with a significantly increased risk of major psychiatric disorder and suggest a general vulnerability to psychopathology through altered cortical structure and function, and decreased glutamate levels. PMID:27602385

  6. Constraint Network Analysis (CNA): a Python software package for efficiently linking biomacromolecular structure, flexibility, (thermo-)stability, and function.

    PubMed

    Pfleger, Christopher; Rathi, Prakash Chandra; Klein, Doris L; Radestock, Sebastian; Gohlke, Holger

    2013-04-22

    For deriving maximal advantage from information on biomacromolecular flexibility and rigidity, results from rigidity analyses must be linked to biologically relevant characteristics of a structure. Here, we describe the Python-based software package Constraint Network Analysis (CNA) developed for this task. CNA functions as a front- and backend to the graph-based rigidity analysis software FIRST. CNA goes beyond the mere identification of flexible and rigid regions in a biomacromolecule in that it (I) provides a refined modeling of thermal unfolding simulations that also considers the temperature-dependence of hydrophobic tethers, (II) allows performing rigidity analyses on ensembles of network topologies, either generated from structural ensembles or by using the concept of fuzzy noncovalent constraints, and (III) computes a set of global and local indices for quantifying biomacromolecular stability. This leads to more robust results from rigidity analyses and extends the application domain of rigidity analyses in that phase transition points ("melting points") and unfolding nuclei ("structural weak spots") are determined automatically. Furthermore, CNA robustly handles small-molecule ligands in general. Such advancements are important for applying rigidity analysis to data-driven protein engineering and for estimating the influence of ligand molecules on biomacromolecular stability. CNA maintains the efficiency of FIRST such that the analysis of a single protein structure takes a few seconds for systems of several hundred residues on a single core. These features make CNA an interesting tool for linking biomacromolecular structure, flexibility, (thermo-)stability, and function. CNA is available from http://cpclab.uni-duesseldorf.de/software for nonprofit organizations.

  7. The structural and functional effects of the familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy-linked cardiac troponin C mutation, L29Q

    PubMed Central

    Robertson, Ian M.; Sevrieva, Ivanka; Li, Monica X.; Irving, Malcolm; Sun, Yin-Biao; Sykes, Brian D.

    2015-01-01

    Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHC) is characterized by severe abnormal cardiac muscle growth. The traditional view of disease progression in FHC is that an increase in the Ca2 +-sensitivity of cardiac muscle contraction ultimately leads to pathogenic myocardial remodeling, though recent studies suggest this may be an oversimplification. For example, FHC may be developed through altered signaling that prevents downstream regulation of contraction. The mutation L29Q, found in the Ca2 +-binding regulatory protein in heart muscle, cardiac troponin C (cTnC), has been linked to cardiac hypertrophy. However, reports on the functional effects of this mutation are conflicting, and our goal was to combine in vitro and in situ structural and functional data to elucidate its mechanism of action. We used nuclear magnetic resonance and circular dichroism to solve the structure and characterize the backbone dynamics and stability of the regulatory domain of cTnC with the L29Q mutation. The overall structure and dynamics of cTnC were unperturbed, although a slight rearrangement of site 1, an increase in backbone flexibility, and a small decrease in protein stability were observed. The structure and function of cTnC was also assessed in demembranated ventricular trabeculae using fluorescence for in situ structure. L29Q reduced the cooperativity of the Ca2 +-dependent structural change in cTnC in trabeculae under basal conditions and abolished the effect of force-generating myosin cross-bridges on this structural change. These effects could contribute to the pathogenesis of this mutation. PMID:26341255

  8. The proton-linked monocarboxylate transporter (MCT) family: structure, function and regulation.

    PubMed Central

    Halestrap, A P; Price, N T

    1999-01-01

    Monocarboxylates such as lactate and pyruvate play a central role in cellular metabolism and metabolic communication between tissues. Essential to these roles is their rapid transport across the plasma membrane, which is catalysed by a recently identified family of proton-linked monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs). Nine MCT-related sequences have so far been identified in mammals, each having a different tissue distribution, whereas six related proteins can be recognized in Caenorhabditis elegans and 4 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Direct demonstration of proton-linked lactate and pyruvate transport has been demonstrated for mammalian MCT1-MCT4, but only for MCT1 and MCT2 have detailed analyses of substrate and inhibitor kinetics been described following heterologous expression in Xenopus oocytes. MCT1 is ubiquitously expressed, but is especially prominent in heart and red muscle, where it is up-regulated in response to increased work, suggesting a special role in lactic acid oxidation. By contrast, MCT4 is most evident in white muscle and other cells with a high glycolytic rate, such as tumour cells and white blood cells, suggesting it is expressed where lactic acid efflux predominates. MCT2 has a ten-fold higher affinity for substrates than MCT1 and MCT4 and is found in cells where rapid uptake at low substrate concentrations may be required, including the proximal kidney tubules, neurons and sperm tails. MCT3 is uniquely expressed in the retinal pigment epithelium. The mechanisms involved in regulating the expression of different MCT isoforms remain to be established. However, there is evidence for alternative splicing of the 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions and the use of alternative promoters for some isoforms. In addition, MCT1 and MCT4 have been shown to interact specifically with OX-47 (CD147), a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily with a single transmembrane helix. This interaction appears to assist MCT expression at the cell surface. There is still

  9. Genetic variation in AKT1 is linked to dopamine-associated prefrontal cortical structure and function in humans

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Hao-Yang; Nicodemus, Kristin K.; Chen, Qiang; Li, Zhen; Brooke, Jennifer K.; Honea, Robyn; Kolachana, Bhaskar S.; Straub, Richard E.; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Sei, Yoshitasu; Mattay, Venkata S.; Callicott, Joseph H.; Weinberger, Daniel R.

    2008-01-01

    AKT1-dependent molecular pathways control diverse aspects of cellular development and adaptation, including interactions with neuronal dopaminergic signaling. If AKT1 has an impact on dopaminergic signaling, then genetic variation in AKT1 would be associated with brain phenotypes related to cortical dopaminergic function. Here, we provide evidence that a coding variation in AKT1 that affects protein expression in human B lymphoblasts influenced several brain measures related to dopaminergic function. Cognitive performance linked to frontostriatal circuitry, prefrontal physiology during executive function, and frontostriatal gray-matter volume on MRI were altered in subjects with the AKT1 variation. Moreover, on neuroimaging measures with a main effect of the AKT1 genotype, there was significant epistasis with a functional polymorphism (Val158Met) in catechol-O-methyltransferase [COMT], a gene that indexes cortical synaptic dopamine. This genetic interaction was consistent with the putative role of AKT1 in dopaminergic signaling. Supportive of an earlier tentative association of AKT1 with schizophrenia, we also found that this AKT1 variant was associated with risk for schizophrenia. These data implicate AKT1 in modulating human prefrontal-striatal structure and function and suggest that the mechanism of this effect may be coupled to dopaminergic signaling and relevant to the expression of psychosis. PMID:18497887

  10. Sex Differences in Mental Ability: A Proposed Means to Link Them to Brain Structure and Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Wendy; Bouchard, Thomas J., Jr.

    2007-01-01

    Recent work with the 42 mental ability tests administered to participants of the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart (MISTRA) has suggested that there are important dimensions of mental ability that function independently of "g". Two of these dimensions, rotation-verbal and focus-diffusion, appear to involve trade-offs: greater residual rotation…

  11. The superficial white matter in temporal lobe epilepsy: a key link between structural and functional network disruptions.

    PubMed

    Liu, Min; Bernhardt, Boris C; Hong, Seok-Jun; Caldairou, Benoit; Bernasconi, Andrea; Bernasconi, Neda

    2016-09-01

    Drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy is increasingly recognized as a system-level disorder affecting the structure and function of large-scale grey matter networks. While diffusion magnetic resonance imaging studies have demonstrated deep fibre tract alterations, the superficial white matter immediately below the cortex has so far been neglected despite its proximity to neocortical regions and key role in maintaining cortico-cortical connectivity. Using multi-modal 3 T magnetic resonance imaging, we mapped the topography of superficial white matter diffusion alterations in 61 consecutive temporal lobe epilepsy patients relative to 38 healthy controls and studied the relationship to large-scale structural as well as functional networks. Our approach continuously sampled mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy along surfaces running 2 mm below the cortex. Multivariate statistics mapped superficial white matter diffusion anomalies in patients relative to controls, while correlation and mediation analyses evaluated their relationship to structural (cortical thickness, mesiotemporal volumetry) and functional parameters (resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging amplitude) and clinical variables. Patients presented with overlapping anomalies in mean diffusivity and anisotropy, particularly in ipsilateral temporo-limbic regions. Diffusion anomalies did not relate to cortical thinning; conversely, they mediated large-scale functional amplitude decreases in patients relative to controls in default mode hub regions (i.e. anterior and posterior midline regions, lateral temporo-parietal cortices), and were themselves mediated by hippocampal atrophy. With respect to clinical variables, we observed more marked diffusion anomalies in patients with a history of febrile convulsions and those with longer disease duration. Similarly, more marked diffusion alterations were associated with seizure-free outcome. Bootstrap analyses indicated high reproducibility of our

  12. The superficial white matter in temporal lobe epilepsy: a key link between structural and functional network disruptions.

    PubMed

    Liu, Min; Bernhardt, Boris C; Hong, Seok-Jun; Caldairou, Benoit; Bernasconi, Andrea; Bernasconi, Neda

    2016-09-01

    Drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy is increasingly recognized as a system-level disorder affecting the structure and function of large-scale grey matter networks. While diffusion magnetic resonance imaging studies have demonstrated deep fibre tract alterations, the superficial white matter immediately below the cortex has so far been neglected despite its proximity to neocortical regions and key role in maintaining cortico-cortical connectivity. Using multi-modal 3 T magnetic resonance imaging, we mapped the topography of superficial white matter diffusion alterations in 61 consecutive temporal lobe epilepsy patients relative to 38 healthy controls and studied the relationship to large-scale structural as well as functional networks. Our approach continuously sampled mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy along surfaces running 2 mm below the cortex. Multivariate statistics mapped superficial white matter diffusion anomalies in patients relative to controls, while correlation and mediation analyses evaluated their relationship to structural (cortical thickness, mesiotemporal volumetry) and functional parameters (resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging amplitude) and clinical variables. Patients presented with overlapping anomalies in mean diffusivity and anisotropy, particularly in ipsilateral temporo-limbic regions. Diffusion anomalies did not relate to cortical thinning; conversely, they mediated large-scale functional amplitude decreases in patients relative to controls in default mode hub regions (i.e. anterior and posterior midline regions, lateral temporo-parietal cortices), and were themselves mediated by hippocampal atrophy. With respect to clinical variables, we observed more marked diffusion anomalies in patients with a history of febrile convulsions and those with longer disease duration. Similarly, more marked diffusion alterations were associated with seizure-free outcome. Bootstrap analyses indicated high reproducibility of our

  13. Stereotyped subset #1 chronic lymphocytic leukemia: a direct link between B-cell receptor structure, function, and patients' prognosis.

    PubMed

    Del Giudice, Ilaria; Chiaretti, Sabina; Santangelo, Simona; Tavolaro, Simona; Peragine, Nadia; Marinelli, Marilisa; Ilari, Caterina; Raponi, Sara; Messina, Monica; Nanni, Mauro; Mauro, Francesca Romana; Piciocchi, Alfonso; Bontempi, Katia; Rossi, Davide; Gaidano, Gianluca; Guarini, Anna; Foà, Robin

    2014-01-01

    Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) with stereotyped B-cell receptor (BCR) belonging to subset #1 (IGHV1-5-7/ IGKV1-39) display a poor outcome. To characterize their genetic and genomic features and BCR function, we selected 20 subset #1 CLL from a series of 579 cases. Subset #1 CLL, all showing unmutated IGHV, were associated with the presence of del(11q) (50%) in comparison with unmutated CLL, unmutated stereotyped CLL other than subset #1 and with cases using the same IGHV genes but a heterogeneous VH CDR3 (non-subset #1 CLL). There were no distinctive features regarding CD38, ZAP-70, and TP53 disruption. NOTCH1, SF3B1, and BIRC3 were mutated in 15%, 0%, and 5% of cases, respectively, while BIRC3 was deleted in 22% of cases. Microarray unsupervised analysis on 80 unmutated/mutated/stereotyped/non-stereotyped CLL showed a tight clustering of subset #1 cases. Their genomic signature exhibited several differentially expressed transcripts involved in BCR signal transduction, apoptosis regulation, cell proliferation, and oxidative processes, regardless of del(11q). Accordingly, BCR ligation with anti-IgM revealed a significant higher proliferation of subset #1 versus unmutated non-subset #1 CLL, both at baseline and after 24–48 hr stimulation. Subset #1 CLL represent a paradigmatic example of the direct link between BCR structure, function, and patients prognosis.

  14. Structural and Functional Characteristics in Carriers of X-Linked Retinitis Pigmentosa with a Tapetal-Like Reflex

    PubMed Central

    Genead, Mohamed A.; Fishman, Gerald A.; Lindeman, Martin; affiliation, COMT Institute

    2010-01-01

    Purpose to identify the functional and structural characteristics in three female obligate carriers of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) from the same family by using spectral-domain OCT (SD-OCT), fundus autofluorescence (FAF), and microperimetry (MP). Methods Three female obligate carriers with a tapetal-like reflex (TLR), 21, 49, and 57 years of age, from a single family of XLRP that was seen in the ophthalmology department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, were enrolled in the study. All carriers underwent a complete ophthalmic examination. SD-OCT measurements, a macular MP exam, and FAF testing were performed. Results The SD-OCT exam in all three carriers showed a normal retinal micro-structure and thickness. Microperimeter testing showed subnormal retinal sensitivity in the areas of the TLR. FAF exam showed the presence of speckled areas of enhanced AF. Conclusions Our study demonstrates that the carriers of XLRP with a TLR can show an enhanced reflectance on infrared images, abnormal autofluorescence properties, elevated retinal thresholds, and a normal retinal morphology within the posterior pole on SD-OCT testing PMID:20829740

  15. Tapping linked to function and structure in premanifest and symptomatic Huntington disease(e–Pub ahead of print)

    PubMed Central

    Bechtel, N.; Scahill, R.I.; Rosas, H.D.; Acharya, T.; van den Bogaard, S.J.A.; Jauffret, C.; Say, M.J.; Sturrock, A.; Johnson, H.; Onorato, C.E.; Salat, D.H.; Durr, A.; Leavitt, B.R.; Roos, R.A.C.; Landwehrmeyer, G.B.; Langbehn, D.R.; Stout, J.C.; Tabrizi, S.J.; Reilmann, R.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: Motor signs are functionally disabling features of Huntington disease. Characteristic motor signs define disease manifestation. Their severity and onset are assessed by the Total Motor Score of the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale, a categorical scale limited by interrater variability and insensitivity in premanifest subjects. More objective, reliable, and precise measures are needed which permit clinical trials in premanifest populations. We hypothesized that motor deficits can be objectively quantified by force-transducer-based tapping and correlate with disease burden and brain atrophy. Methods: A total of 123 controls, 120 premanifest, and 123 early symptomatic gene carriers performed a speeded and a metronome tapping task in the multicenter study TRACK-HD. Total Motor Score, CAG repeat length, and MRIs were obtained. The premanifest group was subdivided into A and B, based on the proximity to estimated disease onset, the manifest group into stages 1 and 2, according to their Total Functional Capacity scores. Analyses were performed centrally and blinded. Results: Tapping variability distinguished between all groups and subgroups in both tasks and correlated with 1) disease burden, 2) clinical motor phenotype, 3) gray and white matter atrophy, and 4) cortical thinning. Speeded tapping was more sensitive to the detection of early changes. Conclusion: Tapping deficits are evident throughout manifest and premanifest stages. Deficits are more pronounced in later stages and correlate with clinical scores as well as regional brain atrophy, which implies a link between structure and function. The ability to track motor phenotype progression with force-transducer-based tapping measures will be tested prospectively in the TRACK-HD study. GLOSSARY CoV = coefficient of variation; DBS = disease burden score; Freq = frequency; HD = Huntington disease; ICV = intracranial volume; IOI = interonset interval; ΔIOI = deviation from interonset interval; IPI

  16. In situ infrared spectroscopic and density-functional studies of the cross-linked structure of one-dimensional C{sub 60} polymer

    SciTech Connect

    Takashima, A.; Onoe, J.; Nishii, T.

    2010-08-15

    We have examined the infrared (IR) spectra of electron-beam (EB) irradiated C{sub 60} films, using in situ IR spectroscopy in the temperature range of 60-300 K. The irradiation-time evolution of the IR spectra shows that two highly intense new peaks finally appear around 565 and 1340 cm{sup -1} when the EB-induced C{sub 60} polymerization was saturated. To determine the cross-linked structure of the polymer explicitly, we have compared the IR spectra with theoretical spectra obtained from the cross-linked structure of all C{sub 120} stable isomers derived from the general Stone-Wales (GSW) rearrangement, using first-principles density-functional calculations. Since each C{sub 120} isomer has the same cross-linked structure as that of its corresponding one-dimensional (1D) C{sub 60} polymer, the IR modes obtained from the cross-linked structure of C{sub 120} are close to those obtained from the corresponding 1D polymer. Comparison between the experimental and theoretical IR spectra suggests that the 1D peanut-shaped C{sub 60} polymer has a cross-linked structure roughly similar to that of the P08 peanut-shaped C{sub 120} isomer.

  17. The Architecture of Cross-Hemispheric Communication in the Aging Brain: Linking Behavior to Functional and Structural Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Kragel, James E.; Madden, David J.; Cabeza, Roberto

    2012-01-01

    Contralateral recruitment remains a controversial phenomenon in both the clinical and normative populations. To investigate the neural correlates of this phenomenon, we explored the tendency for older adults to recruit prefrontal cortex (PFC) regions contralateral to those most active in younger adults. Participants were scanned with diffusion tensor imaging and functional magnetic rresonance imaging during a lateralized word matching task (unilateral vs. bilateral). Cross-hemispheric communication was measured behaviorally as greater accuracy for bilateral than unilateral trials (bilateral processing advantage [BPA]) and at the neural level by functional and structural connectivity between contralateral PFC. Compared with the young, older adults exhibited 1) greater BPAs in the behavioral task, 2) greater compensatory activity in contralateral PFC during the bilateral condition, 3) greater functional connectivity between contralateral PFC during bilateral trials, and 4) a positive correlation between fractional anisotropy in the corpus callosum and both the BPA and the functional connectivity between contralateral PFC, indicating that older adults' ability to distribute processing across hemispheres is constrained by white matter integrity. These results clarify how older adults’ ability to recruit extra regions in response to the demands of aging is mediated by existing structural architecture, and how this architecture engenders corresponding functional changes that allow subjects to meet those task demands. PMID:21653286

  18. Linking Tropical Forest Function to Hydraulic Traits in a Size-Structured and Trait-Based Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christoffersen, B. O.; Gloor, E. U.; Fauset, S.; Fyllas, N.; Galbraith, D.; Baker, T. R.; Rowland, L.; Fisher, R.; Binks, O.; Mencuccini, M.; Malhi, Y.; Stahl, C.; Wagner, F. H.; Bonal, D.; da Costa, A. C. L.; Ferreira, L.; Meir, P.

    2014-12-01

    A major weakness of forest ecosystem models applied to Amazonia is their inability to capture the diversity of responses to changes in water availability commonly observed within and across forest communities, severely hampering efforts to predict the fate of Amazon forests under climate change. Such models often prescribe moisture sensitivity using heuristic response functions which are uniform across all individuals and lack important knowledge about trade-offs in hydraulic traits. We address this weakness by implementing a process representation of plant hydraulics into an individual- and trait-based model (Trait Forest Simulator; TFS) intended for application at discrete sites across Amazonia. The model represents a trade-off in the safety and efficiency of water conduction in xylem tissue through hydraulic traits, which then lead to variation in plant water use and growth dynamics. The model accounts for the buffering effects of leaf and stem capacitance on leaf water potential at short time scales, and cavitation-induced reductions in whole-plant conductance over longer periods of water stress. We explore multiple possible links between this hydraulic trait spectrum and other whole-plant traits, such as maximum photosynthetic capacity and wood density. The model is shown to greatly improve the diversity of tree response to seasonal changes in water availability as well as response to drought, as determined by comparison with sap flux and stem dendrometry measurements. Importantly, this individual- and trait-based framework provides a testbed for identifying both critical processes and functional traits needed for inclusion in coarse-scale Dynamic Global Vegetation Models, which will lead to reduced uncertainty in the future state of Amazon tropical forests.

  19. Testing the link between community structure and function for ectomycorrhizal fungi involved in a global tripartite symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Walker, Jennifer K M; Cohen, Hannah; Higgins, Logan M; Kennedy, Peter G

    2014-04-01

    Alnus trees associate with ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi and nitrogen-fixing Frankia bacteria and, although their ECM fungal communities are uncommonly host specific and species poor, it is unclear whether the functioning of Alnus ECM fungal symbionts differs from that of other ECM hosts. We used exoenzyme root tip assays and molecular identification to test whether ECM fungi on Alnus rubra differed in their ability to access organic phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) when compared with ECM fungi on the non-Frankia host Pseudotsuga menziesii. At the community level, potential acid phosphatase (AP) activity of ECM fungal root tips from A. rubra was significantly higher than that from P. menziesii, whereas potential leucine aminopeptidase (LA) activity was significantly lower for A. rubra root tips at one of the two sites. At the individual species level, there was no clear relationship between ECM fungal relative root tip abundance and relative AP or LA enzyme activities on either host. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that ECM fungal communities associated with Alnus trees have enhanced organic P acquisition abilities relative to non-Frankia ECM hosts. This shift, in combination with the chemical conditions present in Alnus forest soils, may drive the atypical structure of Alnus ECM fungal communities. PMID:24320607

  20. Linking plant and ecosystem functional biogeography

    PubMed Central

    Reichstein, Markus; Bahn, Michael; Mahecha, Miguel D.; Kattge, Jens; Baldocchi, Dennis D.

    2014-01-01

    Classical biogeographical observations suggest that ecosystems are strongly shaped by climatic constraints in terms of their structure and function. On the other hand, vegetation function feeds back on the climate system via biosphere–atmosphere exchange of matter and energy. Ecosystem-level observations of this exchange reveal very large functional biogeographical variation of climate-relevant ecosystem functional properties related to carbon and water cycles. This variation is explained insufficiently by climate control and a classical plant functional type classification approach. For example, correlations between seasonal carbon-use efficiency and climate or environmental variables remain below 0.6, leaving almost 70% of variance unexplained. We suggest that a substantial part of this unexplained variation of ecosystem functional properties is related to variations in plant and microbial traits. Therefore, to progress with global functional biogeography, we should seek to understand the link between organismic traits and flux-derived ecosystem properties at ecosystem observation sites and the spatial variation of vegetation traits given geoecological covariates. This understanding can be fostered by synergistic use of both data-driven and theory-driven ecological as well as biophysical approaches. PMID:25225392

  1. Analysis of bacterial core communities in the central Baltic by comparative RNA-DNA-based fingerprinting provides links to structure-function relationships.

    PubMed

    Brettar, Ingrid; Christen, Richard; Höfle, Manfred G

    2012-01-01

    Understanding structure-function links of microbial communities is a central theme of microbial ecology since its beginning. To this end, we studied the spatial variability of the bacterioplankton community structure and composition across the central Baltic Sea at four stations, which were up to 450 km apart and at a depth profile representative for the central part (Gotland Deep, 235 m). Bacterial community structure was followed by 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA)- and 16S rRNA gene-based fingerprints using single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) electrophoresis. Species composition was determined by sequence analysis of SSCP bands. High similarities of the bacterioplankton communities across several hundred kilometers were observed in the surface water using RNA- and DNA-based fingerprints. In these surface communities, the RNA- and DNA-based fingerprints resulted in very different pattern, presumably indicating large difference between the active members of the community as represented by RNA-based fingerprints and the present members represented by the DNA-based fingerprints. This large discrepancy changed gradually over depth, resulting in highly similar RNA- and DNA-based fingerprints in the anoxic part of the water column below 130 m depth. A conceivable mechanism explaining this high similarity could be the reduced oxidative stress in the anoxic zone. The stable communities on the surface and in the anoxic zone indicate the strong influence of the hydrography on the bacterioplankton community structure. Comparative analysis of RNA- and DNA-based community structure provided criteria for the identification of the core community, its key members and their links to biogeochemical functions.

  2. Linking sediment structure, hydrological functioning and biogeochemical cycling in disturbed coastal saltmarshes and implications for vegetation development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spencer, Kate; Harvey, Gemma; James, Tempest; Simon, Carr; Michelle, Morris

    2014-05-01

    Saltmarsh restoration undoubtedly provides environmental enhancement, with vegetation quickly re-establishing following the breach of sea walls and subsequent tidal inundation of previously defended areas. Yet evidence increasingly suggests that the restored saltmarshes do not have the same biological characteristics as their natural counterparts (Mossman et al. 2012) and this may be in part be due to physicochemical parameters at the site including anoxia and poor drainage. Hence, restored saltmarshes may not offer the range and quality of ecosystem services anticipated. These environments will have been 'disturbed' by previous land use and there is little understanding of the impacts of this disturbance on the wider hydrogeomorphic and biogeochemical functioning in restored saltmarshes and the implications for saltmarsh vegetation development. This study examines linkages between physical sediment characteristics, sediment structure (using X-ray microtomography), sub-surface hydrology (using pressure transducers and time series analysis), and sediment and porewater geochemistry (major and trace elements, major anions) in sediment cores collected from undisturbed saltmarshes and those restored by de-embankment. Sub-surface sediments in restored saltmarshes have lower organic matter content, lower moisture content and higher bulk density than undisturbed sites. Using X-ray tomography a clear horizon can be observed which separates relict agricultural soils at depth with less dense and structureless sediments deposited since de-embankment. Ratios of open to closed pore space suggest that while undisturbed saltmarshes have the highest porosity, restored saltmarshes have larger void spaces, but limited pore connectivity. Sub-surface hydrological response to tidal flooding was subdued in the restored compared to the undisturbed site, suggesting that porewater flow may be impeded. Time series analysis indicated that flow pathways differ in restored saltmarsh sediments

  3. Satellite Ecology (SATECO)-linking ecology, remote sensing and micrometeorology, from plot to regional scale, for the study of ecosystem structure and function.

    PubMed

    Muraoka, Hiroyuki; Koizumi, Hiroshi

    2009-01-01

    There is a growing requirement for ecosystem science to help inform a deeper understanding of the effects of global climate change and land use change on terrestrial ecosystem structure and function, from small area (plot) to landscape, regional and global scales. To meet these requirements, ecologists have investigated plant growth and carbon cycling processes at plot scale, using biometric methods to measure plant carbon accumulation, and gas exchange (chamber) methods to measure soil respiration. Also at the plot scale, micrometeorologists have attempted to measure canopy- or ecosystem-scale CO(2) flux by the eddy covariance technique, which reveals diurnal, seasonal and annual cycles. Mathematical models play an important role in integrating ecological and micrometeorological processes into ecosystem scales, which are further useful in interpreting time-accumulated information derived from biometric methods by comparing with CO(2) flux measurements. For a spatial scaling of such plot-level understanding, remote sensing via satellite is used to measure land use/vegetation type distribution and temporal changes in ecosystem structures such as leaf area index. However, to better utilise such data, there is still a need for investigations that consider the structure and function of ecosystems and their processes, especially in mountainous areas characterized by complex terrain and a mosaic distribution of vegetation. For this purpose, we have established a new interdisciplinary approach named 'Satellite Ecology', which aims to link ecology, remote sensing and micrometeorology to facilitate the study of ecosystem function, at the plot, landscape, and regional scale.

  4. Satellite Ecology (SATECO)-linking ecology, remote sensing and micrometeorology, from plot to regional scale, for the study of ecosystem structure and function.

    PubMed

    Muraoka, Hiroyuki; Koizumi, Hiroshi

    2009-01-01

    There is a growing requirement for ecosystem science to help inform a deeper understanding of the effects of global climate change and land use change on terrestrial ecosystem structure and function, from small area (plot) to landscape, regional and global scales. To meet these requirements, ecologists have investigated plant growth and carbon cycling processes at plot scale, using biometric methods to measure plant carbon accumulation, and gas exchange (chamber) methods to measure soil respiration. Also at the plot scale, micrometeorologists have attempted to measure canopy- or ecosystem-scale CO(2) flux by the eddy covariance technique, which reveals diurnal, seasonal and annual cycles. Mathematical models play an important role in integrating ecological and micrometeorological processes into ecosystem scales, which are further useful in interpreting time-accumulated information derived from biometric methods by comparing with CO(2) flux measurements. For a spatial scaling of such plot-level understanding, remote sensing via satellite is used to measure land use/vegetation type distribution and temporal changes in ecosystem structures such as leaf area index. However, to better utilise such data, there is still a need for investigations that consider the structure and function of ecosystems and their processes, especially in mountainous areas characterized by complex terrain and a mosaic distribution of vegetation. For this purpose, we have established a new interdisciplinary approach named 'Satellite Ecology', which aims to link ecology, remote sensing and micrometeorology to facilitate the study of ecosystem function, at the plot, landscape, and regional scale. PMID:18958540

  5. Linking Tropical Forest Function to Hydraulic Traits in a Size-Structured and Trait-Based Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christoffersen, B. O.; Gloor, M.; Fauset, S.; Fyllas, N.; Galbraith, D.; Baker, T. R.; Rowland, L.; Fisher, R.; Binks, O.; Sevanto, S.; Xu, C.; Jansen, S.; Choat, B.; Mencuccini, M.; McDowell, N. G.; Meir, P.

    2015-12-01

    A major weakness of forest ecosystem models is their inability to capture the diversity of responses to changes in water availability, severely hampering efforts to predict the fate of tropical forests under climate change. Such models often prescribe moisture sensitivity using heuristic response functions that are uniform across all individuals and lack important knowledge about trade-offs in hydraulic traits. We address this weakness by implementing a process representation of plant hydraulics into an individual- and trait-based model (Trait Forest Simulator; TFS) intended for application at discrete sites where community-level distributions of stem and leaf trait spectra (wood density, leaf mass per area, leaf nitrogen and phosphorus content) are known. The model represents a trade-off in the safety and efficiency of water conduction in xylem tissue through hydraulic traits, while accounting for the counteracting effects of increasing hydraulic path length and xylem conduit taper on whole-plant hydraulic resistance with increasing tree size. Using existing trait databases and additional meta-analyses from the rich literature on tropical tree ecophysiology, we obtained all necessary hydraulic parameters associated with xylem conductivity, vulnerability curves, pressure-volume curves, and hydraulic architecture (e.g., leaf-to-sapwood area ratios) as a function of the aforementioned traits and tree size. Incorporating these relationships in the model greatly improved the diversity of tree response to seasonal changes in water availability as well as in response to drought, as determined by comparison with field observations and experiments. Importantly, this individual- and trait-based framework provides a testbed for identifying both critical processes and functional traits needed for inclusion in coarse-scale Dynamic Global Vegetation Models, which will lead to reduced uncertainty in the future state of tropical forests.

  6. Linking structure to function: The search for active sites in non-platinum group metal oxygen reduction reaction catalysts

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Holby, Edward F.; Zelenay, Piotr

    2016-05-17

    Atomic-scale structures of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) active sites in non-platinum group metal (non-PGM) catalysts, made from pyrolysis of carbon, nitrogen, and transition-metal (TM) precursors have been the subject of continuing discussion in the fuel cell electrocatalysis research community. We found that quantum chemical modeling is a path forward for understanding of these materials and how they catalyze the ORR. Here, we demonstrate through literature examples of how such modeling can be used to better understand non-PGM ORR active site relative stability and activity and how such efforts can also aid in the interpretation of experimental signatures produced by thesemore » materials.« less

  7. Patterns in benthic biodiversity link lake trophic status to structure and potential function of three large, deep lakes.

    PubMed

    Hayford, Barbara L; Caires, Andrea M; Chandra, Sudeep; Girdner, Scott F

    2015-01-01

    Relative to their scarcity, large, deep lakes support a large proportion of the world's freshwater species. This biodiversity is threatened by human development and is in need of conservation. Direct comparison of biodiversity is the basis of biological monitoring for conservation but is difficult to conduct between large, insular ecosystems. The objective of our study was to conduct such a comparison of benthic biodiversity between three of the world's largest lakes: Lake Tahoe, USA; Lake Hövsgöl, Mongolia; and Crater Lake, USA. We examined biodiversity of common benthic organism, the non-biting midges (Chironomidae) and determined lake trophic status using chironomid-based lake typology, tested whether community structure was similar between the three lakes despite geographic distance; and tested whether chironomid diversity would show significant variation within and between lakes. Typology analysis indicated that Lake Hövsgöl was ultra-oligotrophic, Crater Lake was oligotrophic, and Lake Tahoe was borderline oligotrophic/mesotrophic. These results were similar to traditional pelagic measures of lake trophic status for Lake Hövsgöl and Crater Lake but differed for Lake Tahoe, which has been designated as ultra-oligotrophic by traditional pelagic measures such as transparency found in the literature. Analysis of similarity showed that Lake Tahoe and Lake Hövsgöl chironomid communities were more similar to each other than either was to Crater Lake communities. Diversity varied between the three lakes and spatially within each lake. This research shows that chironomid communities from these large lakes were sensitive to trophic conditions. Chironomid communities were similar between the deep environments of Lake Hövsgöl and Lake Tahoe, indicating that chironomid communities from these lakes may be useful in comparing trophic state changes in large lakes. Spatial variation in Lake Tahoe's diversity is indicative of differential response of chironomid

  8. Patterns in Benthic Biodiversity Link Lake Trophic Status to Structure and Potential Function of Three Large, Deep Lakes

    PubMed Central

    Hayford, Barbara L.; Caires, Andrea M.; Chandra, Sudeep; Girdner, Scott F.

    2015-01-01

    Relative to their scarcity, large, deep lakes support a large proportion of the world’s freshwater species. This biodiversity is threatened by human development and is in need of conservation. Direct comparison of biodiversity is the basis of biological monitoring for conservation but is difficult to conduct between large, insular ecosystems. The objective of our study was to conduct such a comparison of benthic biodiversity between three of the world’s largest lakes: Lake Tahoe, USA; Lake Hövsgöl, Mongolia; and Crater Lake, USA. We examined biodiversity of common benthic organism, the non-biting midges (Chironomidae) and determined lake trophic status using chironomid-based lake typology, tested whether community structure was similar between the three lakes despite geographic distance; and tested whether chironomid diversity would show significant variation within and between lakes. Typology analysis indicated that Lake Hövsgöl was ultra-oligotrophic, Crater Lake was oligotrophic, and Lake Tahoe was borderline oligotrophic/mesotrophic. These results were similar to traditional pelagic measures of lake trophic status for Lake Hövsgöl and Crater Lake but differed for Lake Tahoe, which has been designated as ultra-oligotrophic by traditional pelagic measures such as transparency found in the literature. Analysis of similarity showed that Lake Tahoe and Lake Hövsgöl chironomid communities were more similar to each other than either was to Crater Lake communities. Diversity varied between the three lakes and spatially within each lake. This research shows that chironomid communities from these large lakes were sensitive to trophic conditions. Chironomid communities were similar between the deep environments of Lake Hövsgöl and Lake Tahoe, indicating that chironomid communities from these lakes may be useful in comparing trophic state changes in large lakes. Spatial variation in Lake Tahoe’s diversity is indicative of differential response of chironomid

  9. Glycosylation-deficient mutations in tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase impair its structure and function and are linked to infantile hypophosphatasia.

    PubMed

    Komaru, Keiichi; Satou, Yasuhito; Al-Shawafi, Hiba A; Numa-Kinjoh, Natsuko; Sohda, Miwa; Oda, Kimimitsu

    2016-03-01

    Tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNSALP) is a membrane glycoprotein with a proposed role in bone mineralization. Indeed, mutations in TNSALP have been identified in patients with hypophosphatasia (HPP), a genetic disease characterized by hypomineralization of bone and teeth and a deficiency in serum ALP activity. TNSALP has five potential N-glycosylation sites at N140, N230, N271, N303 and N430 by standard nomenclature. A mutation at one of these sites, N430, was recently detected in a patient with infantile HPP. Using site-directed mutagenesis, we demonstrated that TNSALP has five N-glycans in transfected COS-1 cells and that individual single N-glycan deletion mutants of TNSALP retain the dimeric structure required for ALP activity, excluding the possibility that any single N-glycan plays a vital role in the structure and function of TNSALP. However, we found that TNSALP (N430Q) and TNSALP (N430E) mutants, but not a TNSALP (N430D) mutant, failed to form dimers. The TNSALP (N430S) mutant linked to infantile HPP was glycosylation-defective and unable to dimerise, similar to TNSALP (N430Q) and TNSALP (N430E) mutants; therefore, TNSALP (N430S) was established as a severe allele without strong ALP activity. By contrast to individual single N-glycan deletion mutants, TNSALP devoid of all five N-glycans was present to a much lesser extent than wild-type TNSALP in transfected cells, possibly reflecting its instability. A comprehensive analysis of a series of multiple N-glycan depletion mutants in TNSALP revealed that three N-glycans on N230, N271 and N303 were the minimal requirement for the structure and function of TNSALP and a prerequisite for its stable expression in a cell.

  10. Structure-Property Relationships in Porous 3-D Nanostructures as a Function of Preparation Conditions: Isocyanate Cross-Linked Silica Aerogels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meador, Mary Ann B.; Capadona, Lynn A.; McCorkle, Linda; Padadopoulos, Demetrios S.; Leventis, Nicholas

    2007-01-01

    Sol-gel derived silica aerogels are attractive candidates for many unique thermal, optical, catalytic, and chemical applications because of their low density and high mesoporosity. However, their inherent fragility has restricted use of aerogel monoliths to applications where they are not subject to any load. We have previously reported cross-linking the mesoporous silica structure of aerogels with di-isocyanates, styrenes or epoxies reacting with amine decorated silica surfaces. These approaches have been shown to significantly increase the strength of aerogels with only a small effect on density or porosity. Though density is a prime predictor of properties such as strength and thermal conductivity for aerogels, it is becoming clear from previous studies that varying the silica backbone and size of the polymer cross-link independently can give rise to combinations of properties which cannot be predicted from density alone. Herein, we examine the effects of four processing parameters for producing this type of polymer cross-linked aerogel on properties of the resulting monoliths. We focus on the results of C-13 CP-MAS NMR which gives insight to the size and structure of polymer cross-link present in the monoliths, and relates the size of the cross-links to microstructure, mechanical properties and other characteristics of the materials obtained.

  11. Structure-Property Relationships in Porous 3-D Nanostructures as a Function of Preparation Conditions: Isocyanate Cross-Linked Silica Aerogels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meador, Mary Ann B.; Capadona, Lynn A.; McCorkle, Linda; Papadopoulos, Demetrios S.; Leventis, Nicholas

    2007-01-01

    Sol-gel derived silica aerogels are attractive candidates for many unique thermal, optical, catalytic, and chemical applications because of their low density and high mesoporosity. However, their inherent fragility has restricted use of aerogel monoliths to applications where they are not subject to any load. We have previously reported cross-linking the mesoporous silica structure of aerogels with di-isocyanates, styrenes or epoxies reacting with amine decorated silica surfaces. These approaches have been shown to significantly increase the strength of aerogels with only a small effect on density or porosity. Though density is a prime predictor of properties such as strength and thermal conductivity for aerogels, it is becoming clear from previous studies that varying the silica backbone and size of the polymer cross-link independently can give rise to combinations of properties which cannot be predicted from density alone. Herein, we examine the effects of four processing parameters for producing this type of polymer cross-linked aerogel on properties of the resulting monoliths. We focus on the results of 13C CP-MAS NMR which gives insight to the size and structure of polymer cross-link present in the monoliths, and relates the size of the cross-links to microstructure, mechanical properties and other characteristics of the materials obtained.

  12. Linking N2O emissions from biochar-amended soil to the structure and function of the N-cycling microbial community

    PubMed Central

    Harter, Johannes; Krause, Hans-Martin; Schuettler, Stefanie; Ruser, Reiner; Fromme, Markus; Scholten, Thomas; Kappler, Andreas; Behrens, Sebastian

    2014-01-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) contributes 8% to global greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural sources represent about 60% of anthropogenic N2O emissions. Most agricultural N2O emissions are due to increased fertilizer application. A considerable fraction of nitrogen fertilizers are converted to N2O by microbiological processes (that is, nitrification and denitrification). Soil amended with biochar (charcoal created by pyrolysis of biomass) has been demonstrated to increase crop yield, improve soil quality and affect greenhouse gas emissions, for example, reduce N2O emissions. Despite several studies on variations in the general microbial community structure due to soil biochar amendment, hitherto the specific role of the nitrogen cycling microbial community in mitigating soil N2O emissions has not been subject of systematic investigation. We performed a microcosm study with a water-saturated soil amended with different amounts (0%, 2% and 10% (w/w)) of high-temperature biochar. By quantifying the abundance and activity of functional marker genes of microbial nitrogen fixation (nifH), nitrification (amoA) and denitrification (nirK, nirS and nosZ) using quantitative PCR we found that biochar addition enhanced microbial nitrous oxide reduction and increased the abundance of microorganisms capable of N2-fixation. Soil biochar amendment increased the relative gene and transcript copy numbers of the nosZ-encoded bacterial N2O reductase, suggesting a mechanistic link to the observed reduction in N2O emissions. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the impact of biochar on the nitrogen cycling microbial community and the consequences of soil biochar amendment for microbial nitrogen transformation processes and N2O emissions from soil. PMID:24067258

  13. Linking N2O emissions from biochar-amended soil to the structure and function of the N-cycling microbial community.

    PubMed

    Harter, Johannes; Krause, Hans-Martin; Schuettler, Stefanie; Ruser, Reiner; Fromme, Markus; Scholten, Thomas; Kappler, Andreas; Behrens, Sebastian

    2014-03-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) contributes 8% to global greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural sources represent about 60% of anthropogenic N2O emissions. Most agricultural N2O emissions are due to increased fertilizer application. A considerable fraction of nitrogen fertilizers are converted to N2O by microbiological processes (that is, nitrification and denitrification). Soil amended with biochar (charcoal created by pyrolysis of biomass) has been demonstrated to increase crop yield, improve soil quality and affect greenhouse gas emissions, for example, reduce N2O emissions. Despite several studies on variations in the general microbial community structure due to soil biochar amendment, hitherto the specific role of the nitrogen cycling microbial community in mitigating soil N2O emissions has not been subject of systematic investigation. We performed a microcosm study with a water-saturated soil amended with different amounts (0%, 2% and 10% (w/w)) of high-temperature biochar. By quantifying the abundance and activity of functional marker genes of microbial nitrogen fixation (nifH), nitrification (amoA) and denitrification (nirK, nirS and nosZ) using quantitative PCR we found that biochar addition enhanced microbial nitrous oxide reduction and increased the abundance of microorganisms capable of N2-fixation. Soil biochar amendment increased the relative gene and transcript copy numbers of the nosZ-encoded bacterial N2O reductase, suggesting a mechanistic link to the observed reduction in N2O emissions. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the impact of biochar on the nitrogen cycling microbial community and the consequences of soil biochar amendment for microbial nitrogen transformation processes and N2O emissions from soil. PMID:24067258

  14. Cross-linked structure of network evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Bassett, Danielle S.; Wymbs, Nicholas F.; Grafton, Scott T.; Porter, Mason A.; Mucha, Peter J.

    2014-03-15

    We study the temporal co-variation of network co-evolution via the cross-link structure of networks, for which we take advantage of the formalism of hypergraphs to map cross-link structures back to network nodes. We investigate two sets of temporal network data in detail. In a network of coupled nonlinear oscillators, hyperedges that consist of network edges with temporally co-varying weights uncover the driving co-evolution patterns of edge weight dynamics both within and between oscillator communities. In the human brain, networks that represent temporal changes in brain activity during learning exhibit early co-evolution that then settles down with practice. Subsequent decreases in hyperedge size are consistent with emergence of an autonomous subgraph whose dynamics no longer depends on other parts of the network. Our results on real and synthetic networks give a poignant demonstration of the ability of cross-link structure to uncover unexpected co-evolution attributes in both real and synthetic dynamical systems. This, in turn, illustrates the utility of analyzing cross-links for investigating the structure of temporal networks.

  15. Linking the solution viscosity of an IgG2 monoclonal antibody to its structure as a function of pH and temperature.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Weiqiang; Joshi, Sangeeta B; Jain, Nishant Kumar; He, Feng; Kerwin, Bruce A; Volkin, David B; Middaugh, C Russell

    2013-12-01

    Although the viscosity of concentrated antibody solutions has been the focus of many recent studies, less attention has been concentrated on how changes in protein structure impact viscosity. This study examines viscosity profiles of an immunoglobulin G (IgG) 2 monoclonal antibody at 150 mg/mL as a function of temperature and pH. Although the structure of the antibody at pH 4.0-7.0 was comparable at lower temperatures as measured by second derivative UV absorbance and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, differences in 8-anilino-1-naphthalene sulfonate (ANS) fluorescence intensity indicated small structural alterations as a function of pH. Below the structural transition onset temperature, the viscosity profiles were pH dependent and linearly correlated with fluorescence intensity, and followed semilogarithmic behavior as a function of temperature. The transitions of the viscosity profiles correlated well with the major structure transitions at a protein concentration of 150 mg/mL. The viscosity correlated particularly well with ANS fluorescence intensity at 0.2 mg/mL below and above the structural transition temperatures. These results suggest: (1) ANS can be an important measure of the overall structure and (2) hydrophobic interactions and charge-charge interactions are the two major physical factors that contribute collectively to the high viscosity of concentrated IgG solutions.

  16. Orthogonal least squares based complex-valued functional link network.

    PubMed

    Amin, Md Faijul; Savitha, Ramasamy; Amin, Muhammad Ilias; Murase, Kazuyuki

    2012-08-01

    Functional link networks are single-layered neural networks that impose nonlinearity in the input layer using nonlinear functions of the original input variables. In this paper, we present a fully complex-valued functional link network (CFLN) with multivariate polynomials as the nonlinear functions. Unlike multilayer neural networks, the CFLN is free from local minima problem, and it offers very fast learning of parameters because of its linear structure. Polynomial based CFLN does not require an activation function which is a major concern in the complex-valued neural networks. However, it is important to select a smaller subset of polynomial terms (monomials) for faster and better performance since the number of all possible monomials may be quite large. Here, we use the orthogonal least squares (OLS) method in a constructive fashion (starting from lower degree to higher) for the selection of a parsimonious subset of monomials. It is argued here that computing CFLN in purely complex domain is advantageous than in double-dimensional real domain, in terms of number of connection parameters, faster design, and possibly generalization performance. Simulation results on a function approximation, wind prediction with real-world data, and a nonlinear channel equalization problem exhibit that the OLS based CFLN yields very simple structure having favorable performance.

  17. Orthogonal least squares based complex-valued functional link network.

    PubMed

    Amin, Md Faijul; Savitha, Ramasamy; Amin, Muhammad Ilias; Murase, Kazuyuki

    2012-08-01

    Functional link networks are single-layered neural networks that impose nonlinearity in the input layer using nonlinear functions of the original input variables. In this paper, we present a fully complex-valued functional link network (CFLN) with multivariate polynomials as the nonlinear functions. Unlike multilayer neural networks, the CFLN is free from local minima problem, and it offers very fast learning of parameters because of its linear structure. Polynomial based CFLN does not require an activation function which is a major concern in the complex-valued neural networks. However, it is important to select a smaller subset of polynomial terms (monomials) for faster and better performance since the number of all possible monomials may be quite large. Here, we use the orthogonal least squares (OLS) method in a constructive fashion (starting from lower degree to higher) for the selection of a parsimonious subset of monomials. It is argued here that computing CFLN in purely complex domain is advantageous than in double-dimensional real domain, in terms of number of connection parameters, faster design, and possibly generalization performance. Simulation results on a function approximation, wind prediction with real-world data, and a nonlinear channel equalization problem exhibit that the OLS based CFLN yields very simple structure having favorable performance. PMID:22386786

  18. Photon structure function

    SciTech Connect

    Bardeen, W.A.

    1980-11-01

    Theoretical understanding of the photon structure function is reviewed. As an illustration of the pointlike component, the parton model is briefly discussed. However, the systematic study of the photon structure function is presented through the framework of the operator product expansion. Perturbative QCD is used as the theoretical basis for the calculation of leading contributions to the operator product expansion. The influence of higher order QCD effects on these results is discussed. Recent results for the polarized structure functions are discussed.

  19. Polyimide Aerogels with Three-Dimensional Cross-Linked Structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Panek, John

    2010-01-01

    Polyimide aerogels with three-dimensional cross-linked structure are made using linear oligomeric segments of polyimide, and linked with one of the following into a 3D structure: trifunctional aliphatic or aromatic amines, latent reactive end caps such as nadic anhydride or phenylethynylphenyl amine, and silica or silsesquioxane cage structures decorated with amine. Drying the gels supercritically maintains the solid structure of the gel, creating a polyimide aerogel with improved mechanical properties over linear polyimide aerogels. Lightweight, low-density structures are desired for acoustic and thermal insulation for aerospace structures, habitats, astronaut equipment, and aeronautic applications. Aerogels are a unique material for providing such properties because of their extremely low density and small pore sizes. However, plain silica aerogels are brittle. Reinforcing the aerogel structure with a polymer (X-Aerogel) provides vast improvements in strength while maintaining low density and pore structure. However, degradation of polymers used in cross-linking tends to limit use temperatures to below 150 C. Organic aerogels made from linear polyimide have been demonstrated, but gels shrink substantially during supercritical fluid extraction and may have lower use temperature due to lower glass transition temperatures. The purpose of this innovation is to raise the glass transition temperature of all organic polyimide aerogel by use of tri-, tetra-, or poly-functional units in the structure to create a 3D covalently bonded network. Such cross-linked polyimides typically have higher glass transition temperatures in excess of 300 400 C. In addition, the reinforcement provided by a 3D network should improve mechanical stability, and prevent shrinkage on supercritical fluid extraction. The use of tri-functional aromatic or aliphatic amine groups in the polyimide backbone will provide such a 3D structure.

  20. Chip-SIP: Stable Isotope Probing of RNA combining phylogenetic microarrays and Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (NanoSIMS) to link structure and function in microbial systems (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayali, X.; Weber, P. K.; Mabery, S.; Dekas, A.; Pett-Ridge, J.

    2013-12-01

    A primary goal of microbial ecology is to understand the biogeochemical role of individual microbial taxa in the environment. Our approach to tackle this challenge (Chip-SIP) involves the combination of high-density phylogenetic microarrays ('chips') and Stable Isotope Probing (SIP) to directly link identity and function. Microbial communities are incubated in the presence of substrate(s) enriched in 13C or 15N, RNA is extracted and hybridized onto a microarray synthesized on a conductive surface, and the array is analyzed with a NanoSIMS imaging mass spectrometer to quantify isotopic enrichment of individual probes. After testing the method with mixtures of stable isotope labeled laboratory isolates, we have investigated organic and inorganic carbon and nitrogen incorporation by microbial taxa in various ecosystems including San Francisco Bay, the coastal Pacific Ocean, California soils, and the hindguts of wood-eating beetles. We will summarize the methodology, describe the types of questions it has allowed us to investigate, and discuss some testable hypotheses about biogeochemical cycling in various environments that can benefit from this approach.

  1. Functional and Structural Analyses of CYP1B1 Variants Linked to Congenital and Adult-Onset Glaucoma to Investigate the Molecular Basis of These Diseases.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Antara; Chakraborty, Subhadip; Chakraborty, Abhijit; Chakrabarti, Saikat; Ray, Kunal

    2016-01-01

    Glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness, appears in various forms. Mutations in CYP1B1 result in primary congenital glaucoma (PCG) by an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance while it acts as a modifier locus for primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). We investigated the molecular basis of the variable phenotypes resulting from the defects in CYP1B1 by using subclones of 23 CYP1B1 mutants reported in glaucoma patients, in a cell based system by measuring the dual activity of the enzyme to metabolize both retinol and 17β-estradiol. Most variants linked to POAG showed low steroid metabolism while null or very high retinol metabolism was observed in variants identified in PCG. We examined the translational turnover rates of mutant proteins after the addition of cycloheximide and observed that the levels of enzyme activity mostly corroborated the translational turnover rate. We performed extensive normal mode analysis and molecular-dynamics-simulations-based structural analyses and observed significant variation of fluctuation in certain segmental parts of the mutant proteins, especially at the B-C and F-G loops, which were previously shown to affect the dynamic behavior and ligand entry/exit properties of the cytochrome P450 family of proteins. Our molecular study corroborates the structural analysis, and suggests that the pathologic state of the carrier of CYP1B1 mutations is determined by the allelic state of the gene. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to dissect biological activities of CYP1B1 for correlation with congenital and adult onset glaucomas. PMID:27243976

  2. Functional and Structural Analyses of CYP1B1 Variants Linked to Congenital and Adult-Onset Glaucoma to Investigate the Molecular Basis of These Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Chakrabarti, Saikat; Ray, Kunal

    2016-01-01

    Glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness, appears in various forms. Mutations in CYP1B1 result in primary congenital glaucoma (PCG) by an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance while it acts as a modifier locus for primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). We investigated the molecular basis of the variable phenotypes resulting from the defects in CYP1B1 by using subclones of 23 CYP1B1 mutants reported in glaucoma patients, in a cell based system by measuring the dual activity of the enzyme to metabolize both retinol and 17β-estradiol. Most variants linked to POAG showed low steroid metabolism while null or very high retinol metabolism was observed in variants identified in PCG. We examined the translational turnover rates of mutant proteins after the addition of cycloheximide and observed that the levels of enzyme activity mostly corroborated the translational turnover rate. We performed extensive normal mode analysis and molecular-dynamics-simulations-based structural analyses and observed significant variation of fluctuation in certain segmental parts of the mutant proteins, especially at the B-C and F-G loops, which were previously shown to affect the dynamic behavior and ligand entry/exit properties of the cytochrome P450 family of proteins. Our molecular study corroborates the structural analysis, and suggests that the pathologic state of the carrier of CYP1B1 mutations is determined by the allelic state of the gene. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to dissect biological activities of CYP1B1 for correlation with congenital and adult onset glaucomas. PMID:27243976

  3. Surface-Based fMRI-Driven Diffusion Tractography in the Presence of Significant Brain Pathology: A Study Linking Structure and Function in Cerebral Palsy

    PubMed Central

    Cunnington, Ross; Boyd, Roslyn N.; Rose, Stephen E.

    2016-01-01

    Diffusion MRI (dMRI) tractography analyses are difficult to perform in the presence of brain pathology. Automated methods that rely on cortical parcellation for structural connectivity studies often fail, while manually defining regions is extremely time consuming and can introduce human error. Both methods also make assumptions about structure-function relationships that may not hold after cortical reorganisation. Seeding tractography with functional-MRI (fMRI) activation is an emerging method that reduces these confounds, but inherent smoothing of fMRI signal may result in the inclusion of irrelevant pathways. This paper describes a novel fMRI-seeded dMRI-analysis pipeline based on surface-meshes that reduces these issues and utilises machine-learning to generate task specific white matter pathways, minimising the requirement for manually-drawn ROIs. We directly compared this new strategy to a standard voxelwise fMRI-dMRI approach, by investigating correlations between clinical scores and dMRI metrics of thalamocortical and corticomotor tracts in 31 children with unilateral cerebral palsy. The surface-based approach successfully processed more participants (87%) than the voxel-based approach (65%), and provided significantly more-coherent tractography. Significant correlations between dMRI metrics and five clinical scores of function were found for the more superior regions of these tracts. These significant correlations were stronger and more frequently found with the surface-based method (15/20 investigated were significant; R2 = 0.43–0.73) than the voxelwise analysis (2 sig. correlations; 0.38 & 0.49). More restricted fMRI signal, better-constrained tractography, and the novel track-classification method all appeared to contribute toward these differences. PMID:27487011

  4. Surface-Based fMRI-Driven Diffusion Tractography in the Presence of Significant Brain Pathology: A Study Linking Structure and Function in Cerebral Palsy.

    PubMed

    Reid, Lee B; Cunnington, Ross; Boyd, Roslyn N; Rose, Stephen E

    2016-01-01

    Diffusion MRI (dMRI) tractography analyses are difficult to perform in the presence of brain pathology. Automated methods that rely on cortical parcellation for structural connectivity studies often fail, while manually defining regions is extremely time consuming and can introduce human error. Both methods also make assumptions about structure-function relationships that may not hold after cortical reorganisation. Seeding tractography with functional-MRI (fMRI) activation is an emerging method that reduces these confounds, but inherent smoothing of fMRI signal may result in the inclusion of irrelevant pathways. This paper describes a novel fMRI-seeded dMRI-analysis pipeline based on surface-meshes that reduces these issues and utilises machine-learning to generate task specific white matter pathways, minimising the requirement for manually-drawn ROIs. We directly compared this new strategy to a standard voxelwise fMRI-dMRI approach, by investigating correlations between clinical scores and dMRI metrics of thalamocortical and corticomotor tracts in 31 children with unilateral cerebral palsy. The surface-based approach successfully processed more participants (87%) than the voxel-based approach (65%), and provided significantly more-coherent tractography. Significant correlations between dMRI metrics and five clinical scores of function were found for the more superior regions of these tracts. These significant correlations were stronger and more frequently found with the surface-based method (15/20 investigated were significant; R2 = 0.43-0.73) than the voxelwise analysis (2 sig. correlations; 0.38 & 0.49). More restricted fMRI signal, better-constrained tractography, and the novel track-classification method all appeared to contribute toward these differences. PMID:27487011

  5. Structure function monitor

    DOEpatents

    McGraw, John T.; Zimmer, Peter C.; Ackermann, Mark R.

    2012-01-24

    Methods and apparatus for a structure function monitor provide for generation of parameters characterizing a refractive medium. In an embodiment, a structure function monitor acquires images of a pupil plane and an image plane and, from these images, retrieves the phase over an aperture, unwraps the retrieved phase, and analyzes the unwrapped retrieved phase. In an embodiment, analysis yields atmospheric parameters measured at spatial scales from zero to the diameter of a telescope used to collect light from a source.

  6. The Structure of Tip Links and Kinocilial Links in Avian Sensory Hair Bundles

    PubMed Central

    Tsuprun, Vladimir; Goodyear, Richard J.; Richardson, Guy P.

    2004-01-01

    Recent studies have indicated that the tip links and kinocilial links of sensory hair bundles in the inner ear have similar properties and share a common epitope, and that cadherin 23 may also be a component of each link type. Transmission electron microscopy was therefore used to study and compare the fine structure of the tip links and kinocilial links in avian sensory hair bundles. Tannic acid treatment revealed a thin strand, 150–200 nm long and 8–11 nm thick, present in both link types. Fourier analysis of link images showed that the strand of both link types is formed from two filaments coiled in a helix-like arrangement with an axial period of 20–25 nm, with each filament composed of globular structures that are ∼4 nm in diameter. Differences in the radius and period of the helix-like structure may underlie the observed variation in the length of tip and kinocilial links. The similar helix-like structure of the tip links and kinocilial links is in accord with the presence of a common cell-surface antigen (TLA antigen) and similarities in the physical and chemical properties of the two link types. The spacing of the globular structures comprising each filament of the two link types is similar to the 4.3 nm center-to-center spacing reported for the globular cadherin repeat, and is consistent with the suggestion that cadherin 23 is the tip link. PMID:15377520

  7. Sperm competition: linking form to function

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Using information from physics, biomechanics and evolutionary biology, we explore the implications of physical constraints on sperm performance, and review empirical evidence for links between sperm length and sperm competition (where two or more males compete to fertilise a female's eggs). A common theme in the literature on sperm competition is that selection for increased sperm performance in polyandrous species will favour the evolution of longer, and therefore faster swimming, sperm. This argument is based on the common assumption that sperm swimming velocity is directly related to sperm length, due to the increased thrust produced by longer flagella. Results We critically evaluate the evidence for links between sperm morphology and swimming speed, and draw on cross-disciplinary studies to show that the assumption that velocity is directly related to sperm length will rarely be satisfied in the microscopic world in which sperm operate. Conclusion We show that increased sperm length is unlikely to be driven by selection for increased swimming speed, and that the relative lengths of a sperm's constituent parts, rather than their absolute lengths, are likely to be the target of selection. All else being equal, we suggest that a simple measure of the ratio of head to tail length should be used to assess the possible link between morphology and speed. However, this is most likely to be the case for external fertilizers in which females have relatively limited opportunity to influence a sperm's motility. PMID:19032741

  8. A highly conserved gene island of three genes on chromosome 3B of hexaploid wheat: diverse gene function and genomic structure maintained in a tightly linked block

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The complexity of the wheat genome has resulted from waves of retrotransposable element insertions. Gene deletions and disruptions generated by the fast replacement of repetitive elements in wheat have resulted in disruption of colinearity at a micro (sub-megabase) level among the cereals. In view of genomic changes that are possible within a given time span, conservation of genes between species tends to imply an important functional or regional constraint that does not permit a change in genomic structure. The ctg1034 contig completed in this paper was initially studied because it was assigned to the Sr2 resistance locus region, but detailed mapping studies subsequently assigned it to the long arm of 3B and revealed its unusual features. Results BAC shotgun sequencing of the hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. Chinese Spring) genome has been used to assemble a group of 15 wheat BACs from the chromosome 3B physical map FPC contig ctg1034 into a 783,553 bp genomic sequence. This ctg1034 sequence was annotated for biological features such as genes and transposable elements. A three-gene island was identified among >80% repetitive DNA sequence. Using bioinformatics analysis there were no observable similarity in their gene functions. The ctg1034 gene island also displayed complete conservation of gene order and orientation with syntenic gene islands found in publicly available genome sequences of Brachypodium distachyon, Oryza sativa, Sorghum bicolor and Zea mays, even though the intergenic space and introns were divergent. Conclusion We propose that ctg1034 is located within the heterochromatic C-band region of deletion bin 3BL7 based on the identification of heterochromatic tandem repeats and presence of significant matches to chromodomain-containing gypsy LTR retrotransposable elements. We also speculate that this location, among other highly repetitive sequences, may account for the relative stability in gene order and orientation within the gene

  9. Linking network topology to function. Comment on "Drivers of structural features in gene regulatory networks: From biophysical constraints to biological function" by O.C. Martin, A. Krzywicki and M. Zagorski

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    di Bernardo, Diego

    2016-07-01

    The review by Martin et al. deals with a long standing problem at the interface of complex systems and molecular biology, that is the relationship between the topology of a complex network and its function. In biological terms the problem translates to relating the topology of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) to specific cellular functions. GRNs control the spatial and temporal activity of the genes encoded in the cell's genome by means of specialised proteins called Transcription Factors (TFs). A TF is able to recognise and bind specifically to a sequence (TF biding site) of variable length (order of magnitude of 10) found upstream of the sequence encoding one or more genes (at least in prokaryotes) and thus activating or repressing their transcription. TFs can thus be distinguished in activator and repressor. The picture can become more complex since some classes of TFs can form hetero-dimers consisting of a protein complex whose subunits are the individual TFs. Heterodimers can have completely different binding sites and activity compared to their individual parts. In this review the authors limit their attention to prokaryotes where the complexity of GRNs is somewhat reduced. Moreover they exploit a unique feature of living systems, i.e. evolution, to understand whether function can shape network topology. Indeed, prokaryotes such as bacteria are among the oldest living systems that have become perfectly adapted to their environment over geological scales and thus have reached an evolutionary steady-state where the fitness of the population has reached a plateau. By integrating in silico analysis and comparative evolution, the authors show that indeed function does tend to shape the structure of a GRN, however this trend is not always present and depends on the properties of the network being examined. Interestingly, the trend is more apparent for sparse networks, i.e. where the density of edges is very low. Sparsity is indeed one of the most prominent features

  10. Spin structure functions

    SciTech Connect

    Jian-ping Chen, Alexandre Deur, Sebastian Kuhn, Zein-eddine Meziani

    2011-06-01

    Spin-dependent observables have been a powerful tool to probe the internal structure of the nucleon and to understand the dynamics of the strong interaction. Experiments involving spin degrees of freedom have often brought out surprises and puzzles. The so-called "spin crisis" in the 1980s revealed the limitation of naive quark-parton models and led to intensive worldwide efforts, both experimental and theoretical, to understand the nucleon spin structure. With high intensity and high polarization of both the electron beam and targets, Jefferson Lab has the world's highest polarized luminosity and the best figure-of-merit for precision spin structure measurements. It has made a strong impact in this subfield of research. This chapter will highlight Jefferson Lab's unique contributions in the measurements of valence quark spin distributions, in the moments of spin structure functions at low to intermediate Q2, and in the transverse spin structure.

  11. Linking Long Noncoding RNA Localization and Function.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ling-Ling

    2016-09-01

    Recent studies have revealed the regulatory potential of many long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). Most lncRNAs, like mRNAs, are transcribed by RNA polymerase II and are capped, polyadenylated, and spliced. However, the subcellular fates of lncRNAs are distinct and the mechanisms of action are diverse. Investigating the mechanisms that determine the subcellular fate of lncRNAs has the potential to provide new insights into their biogenesis and specialized functions. PMID:27499234

  12. Drosophila mechanotransduction--linking proteins and functions.

    PubMed

    Albert, Jörg T; Nadrowski, Björn; Göpfert, Martin C

    2007-01-01

    The sensation of touch, gravity, and sound all rely on dedicated ion channels that transduce mechanical stimulus forces into electrical signals. The functional workings and molecular identities of these mechanotransducer channels are little understood. Recent work shows that the mechanotransducers for fly and vertebrate hearing share equivalent gating mechanisms, whereby this mechanism can be probed non-invasively in the mechanics of the Drosophila ear. Here, we describe how this mechanics can be used to evaluate the roles of identified proteins in the process of mechanosensation and, specifically, their contributions to mechanotransduction. PMID:18820433

  13. Force control for robotic manipulators with structurally flexible links

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latornell, Douglas John

    1992-01-01

    This thesis reports on the development of strategies for the control of contact forces exerted by a structurally flexible robotic manipulator on surfaces in its working environment. The controller is based on a multivariable, explicitly adaptive, long range predictive control algorithm. A static equilibrium bias term which is particularly applicable to the contact force control problem has been incorporated into the control algorithm cost function. A general formulation for the discrete time domain characteristic polynomial of the closed loop system has been derived and shown useful in tuning the controller. Kinematic and dynamic models of a robotic manipulator with structurally flexible links interacting with its working environment are derived. These models include inertia and damping effects in the contact dynamics in addition to the contact stiffness employed in most previous work. Linear analyses of the dynamic models for a variety of manipulator configurations reveal that the controlled variable, the contact force, is dominated by different open loop modes of the system depending on the effective stiffness of the contacting surfaces. This result has important implications for the selection of the controller parameters. The performance of the controller has been evaluated using computer simulation. A special purpose simulation program, TWOFLEX, which includes the dynamics models of the manipulator and the environment as well as the control algorithm was developed during the research. The configurations investigated using the simulation include a single flexible manipulator link, two link manipulators with both rigid and flexible links, and a two link prototype model of the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) manipulator for the proposed Space Station Freedom. The results show that the controller can be tuned to provide fast contact force step responses with minimal overshoot and zero steady-state error. The problem of maintaining control through the discontinuous

  14. A yeast acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase mutant links very-long-chain fatty acid synthesis to the structure and function of the nuclear membrane-pore complex.

    PubMed Central

    Schneiter, R; Hitomi, M; Ivessa, A S; Fasch, E V; Kohlwein, S D; Tartakoff, A M

    1996-01-01

    The conditional mRNA transport mutant of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, acc1-7-1 (mtr7-1), displays a unique alteration of the nuclear envelope. Unlike nucleoporin mutants and other RNA transport mutants, the intermembrane space expands, protuberances extend from the inner membrane into the intermembrane space, and vesicles accumulate in the intermembrane space. MTR7 is the same gene as ACC1, encoding acetyl coenzyme A (CoA) carboxylase (Acc1p), the rate-limiting enzyme of de novo fatty acid synthesis. Genetic and biochemical analyses of fatty acid synthesis mutants and acc1-7-1 indicate that the continued synthesis of malonyl-CoA, the enzymatic product of acetyl-CoA carboxylase, is required for an essential pathway which is independent from de novo synthesis of fatty acids. We provide evidence that synthesis of very-long-chain fatty acids (C26 atoms) is inhibited in acc1-7-1, suggesting that very-long-chain fatty acid synthesis is required to maintain a functional nuclear envelope. PMID:8943372

  15. Structure comparison of human glioma pathogenesis-related protein GliPR and the plant pathogenesis-related protein P14a indicates a functional link between the human immune system and a plant defense system.

    PubMed

    Szyperski, T; Fernández, C; Mumenthaler, C; Wüthrich, K

    1998-03-01

    The human glioma pathogenesis-related protein (GliPR) is highly expressed in the brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme and exhibits 35% amino acid sequence identity with the tomato pathogenesis-related (PR) protein P14a, which has an important role for the plant defense system. A molecular model of GliPR was computed with the distance geometry program DIANA on the basis of a P14a-GliPR sequence alignment and a set of 1,200 experimental NMR conformational constraints collected with P14a. The GliPR structure is represented by a group of 20 conformers with small residual DIANA target function values, low AMBER-energies after restrained energy-minimization with the program OPAL, and an average rms deviation relative to the mean of 1.6 A for the backbone heavy atoms. Comparison of the GliPR model with the P14a structure lead to the identification of a common partially solvent-exposed spatial cluster of four amino acid residues, His-69, Glu-88, Glu-110, and His-127 in the GliPR numeration. This cluster is conserved in all known plant PR proteins of class 1, indicating a common putative active site for GliPR and PR-1 proteins and thus a functional link between the human immune system and a plant defense system. PMID:9482873

  16. Structure comparison of human glioma pathogenesis-related protein GliPR and the plant pathogenesis-related protein P14a indicates a functional link between the human immune system and a plant defense system

    PubMed Central

    Szyperski, T.; Fernández, C.; Mumenthaler, C.; Wüthrich, K.

    1998-01-01

    The human glioma pathogenesis-related protein (GliPR) is highly expressed in the brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme and exhibits 35% amino acid sequence identity with the tomato pathogenesis-related (PR) protein P14a, which has an important role for the plant defense system. A molecular model of GliPR was computed with the distance geometry program diana on the basis of a P14a–GliPR sequence alignment and a set of 1,200 experimental NMR conformational constraints collected with P14a. The GliPR structure is represented by a group of 20 conformers with small residual diana target function values, low amber-energies after restrained energy-minimization with the program opal, and an average rms deviation relative to the mean of 1.6 Å for the backbone heavy atoms. Comparison of the GliPR model with the P14a structure lead to the identification of a common partially solvent-exposed spatial cluster of four amino acid residues, His-69, Glu-88, Glu-110, and His-127 in the GliPR numeration. This cluster is conserved in all known plant PR proteins of class 1, indicating a common putative active site for GliPR and PR-1 proteins and thus a functional link between the human immune system and a plant defense system. PMID:9482873

  17. Linking biological soil crust diversity to ecological functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaser, Karin; Borchhardt, Nadine; Schulz, Karoline; Mikhailyuk, Tatiana; Baumann, Karen; Leinweber, Peter; Ulf, Karsten

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an association of different microorganisms and soil particles in the top millimeters of the soil. They are formed by algae, cyanobacteria, microfungi, bacteria, bryophytes and lichens in various compositions. Our aim was to determine and compare the biodiversity of all occurring organisms in biogeographically different habitats, ranging from polar (both Arctic and Antarctic), subpolar (Scandinavia), temperate (Germany) to dry regions (Chile). The combination of microscopy and molecular techniques (next-generation sequencing) revealed highly diverse crust communities, whose composition clustered by region and correlates with habitat characteristics such as water content. The BSC biodiversity was then linked to the ecological function of the crusts. The functional role of the BSCs in the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous is evaluated using an array of state of the art soil chemistry methods including Py-FIMS (pyrolysis field ionization mass spectrometry) and XANES (x-ray absorbance near edge structure). Total P as well as P fractions were quantified in all BSCs, adjacent soil underneath and comparable nearby soil of BSC-free areas revealing a remarkable accumulation of total phosphorous and a distinct pattern of P fractions in the crust. Further, we observed an indication of a different P-speciation composition in the crust compared with BSC-free soil. The data allow answering the question whether BSCs act as sink or source for these compounds, and how biodiversity controls the biogeochemical function of BSCs.

  18. Introduction: Links between Social Interaction and Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Charlie; Carpendale, Jeremy I. M.

    2009-01-01

    The term executive function is used increasingly within developmental psychology and is often taken to refer to unfolding brain processes. We trace the origins of research on executive function to show that the link with social interaction has a long history. We suggest that a recent frenzy of research exploring methods for studying individual…

  19. Stochastic choice of basis functions in adaptive function approximation and the functional-link net.

    PubMed

    Igelnik, B; Pao, Y H

    1995-01-01

    A theoretical justification for the random vector version of the functional-link (RVFL) net is presented in this paper, based on a general approach to adaptive function approximation. The approach consists of formulating a limit-integral representation of the function to be approximated and subsequently evaluating that integral with the Monte-Carlo method. Two main results are: (1) the RVFL is a universal approximator for continuous functions on bounded finite dimensional sets, and (2) the RVFL is an efficient universal approximator with the rate of approximation error convergence to zero of order O(C/ radicaln), where n is number of basis functions and with C independent of n. Similar results are also obtained for neural nets with hidden nodes implemented as products of univariate functions or radial basis functions. Some possible ways of enhancing the accuracy of multivariate function approximations are discussed.

  20. Linking changes in community composition and function under climate change.

    PubMed

    Mokany, Karel; Thomson, Joshua J; Lynch, Jasmyn J; Jordan, Gregory J; Ferrier, Simon

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is expected to directly alter the composition of communities and the functioning of ecosystems across the globe. Improving our understanding of links between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning across large spatial scales and rapid global change is a major priority to help identify management responses that will retain diverse, functioning systems. Here we address this challenge by linking projected changes in plant community composition and functional attributes (height, leaf area, seed mass) under climate change across Tasmania, Australia. Using correlative community-level modeling, we found that projected changes in plant community composition were not consistently related to projected changes in community mean trait values. In contrast, we identified specific mechanisms through which alternative combinations of projected functional and compositional change across Tasmania could be realized, including loss/replacement of functionally similar species (lowland grasslands/grassy woodlands) and loss of a small number of functionally unique species (lowland forests). Importantly, we demonstrate how these linked projections of change in community composition and functional attributes can be utilized to inform specific management actions that may assist in maintaining diverse, functioning ecosystems under climate change.

  1. Linking soil functions to carbon fluxes and stocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olesen, Jørgen E.

    2014-05-01

    Farming practices causing declining returns and inputs of carbon (C) to soils pose threats to sustainable soil functioning by reducing availability of organic matter for soil microbial activities and by affecting soil structure, and soil C stocks that contribute to regulating greenhouse gas emissions. Declines in soil C also affect availability and storage capacity of a range of essential plant nutrients thus affecting needs for external inputs. Soil degradation is considered a serious problem in Europe and a large part of the degradation is caused by agricultural activity with intensive cultivation in arable and mixed farming system contributing to several soil threats. About 45% of European soils are estimated to have low SOM content, principally in southern Europe, but also in areas of France, UK and Germany. The European SOC stocks follow a clear north to south gradient with cooler temperatures favouring higher stocks. However, SOC stocks strongly depend on soil and land management, and there is thus a potential to both increase and lose SOC, although the potential to increase SOC strongly depends on incentives and structures for implementing improved management. Understanding the role of soil C may be better conceptualised by using a soil C flow and stocks concept to assess the impact of C management on crop productivity, soil organic C stocks and other ecosystem services. This concept distinguishes C flows and stocks, which may be hypothesized to have distinctly different effects on biological, chemical and physical soil functions. By separating the roles of carbon flows from the role of carbon stocks, it may become possible to better identify critical levels not only of soil carbon stocks, but also critical levels of carbon inputs, which directly relate to needs for crop and soil management measures. Such critical soil carbon stocks may be linked to soil mineralogy through complexed organic carbon on clay and silt surfaces. Critical levels of soil carbon

  2. DNA structure and function.

    PubMed

    Travers, Andrew; Muskhelishvili, Georgi

    2015-06-01

    The proposal of a double-helical structure for DNA over 60 years ago provided an eminently satisfying explanation for the heritability of genetic information. But why is DNA, and not RNA, now the dominant biological information store? We argue that, in addition to its coding function, the ability of DNA, unlike RNA, to adopt a B-DNA structure confers advantages both for information accessibility and for packaging. The information encoded by DNA is both digital - the precise base specifying, for example, amino acid sequences - and analogue. The latter determines the sequence-dependent physicochemical properties of DNA, for example, its stiffness and susceptibility to strand separation. Most importantly, DNA chirality enables the formation of supercoiling under torsional stress. We review recent evidence suggesting that DNA supercoiling, particularly that generated by DNA translocases, is a major driver of gene regulation and patterns of chromosomal gene organization, and in its guise as a promoter of DNA packaging enables DNA to act as an energy store to facilitate the passage of translocating enzymes such as RNA polymerase.

  3. Cross-Linked Conjugated Polymer Fibrils: Robust Nanowires from Functional Polythiophene Diblock Copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Hammer, Brenton A. G.; Bokel, Felicia A.; Hayward, Ryan C.; Emrick, Todd

    2011-09-27

    A series of poly(3-hexyl thiophene) (P3HT)-based diblock copolymers were prepared and examined in solution for their assembly into fibrils, and post-assembly cross-linking into robust nanowire structures. P3HT-b-poly(3-methanol thiophene) (P3MT), and P3HT-b-poly(3-aminopropyloxymethyl thiophene) (P3AmT) diblock copolymers were synthesized using Grignard metathesis (GRIM) polymerization. Fibrils formed from solution assembly of these copolymers are thus decorated with hydroxyl and amine functionality, and cross-linking is achieved by reaction of diisocyanates with the hydroxyl and amine groups. A variety of cross-linked structures, characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), were produced by this method, including dense fibrillar sheets, fibril bundles, or predominately individual fibrils, depending on the chosen reaction conditions. In solution, the cross-linked fibrils maintained their characteristic vibronic structure in solvents that would normally disrupt (dissolve) the structures.

  4. From structure to function, via dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stetter, O.; Soriano, J.; Geisel, T.; Battaglia, D.

    2013-01-01

    Neurons in the brain are wired into a synaptic network that spans multiple scales, from local circuits within cortical columns to fiber tracts interconnecting distant areas. However, brain function require the dynamic control of inter-circuit interactions on time-scales faster than synaptic changes. In particular, strength and direction of causal influences between neural populations (described by the so-called directed functional connectivity) must be reconfigurable even when the underlying structural connectivity is fixed. Such directed functional influences can be quantified resorting to causal analysis of time-series based on tools like Granger Causality or Transfer Entropy. The ability to quickly reorganize inter-areal interactions is a chief requirement for performance in a changing natural environment. But how can manifold functional networks stem "on demand" from an essentially fixed structure? We explore the hypothesis that the self-organization of neuronal synchronous activity underlies the control of brain functional connectivity. Based on simulated and real recordings of critical neuronal cultures in vitro, as well as on mean-field and spiking network models of interacting brain areas, we have found that "function follows dynamics", rather than structure. Different dynamic states of a same structural network, characterized by different synchronization properties, are indeed associated to different functional digraphs (functional multiplicity). We also highlight the crucial role of dynamics in establishing a structure-to-function link, by showing that whenever different structural topologies lead to similar dynamical states, than the associated functional connectivities are also very similar (structural degeneracy).

  5. Multi-functional composite structures

    DOEpatents

    Mulligan, Anthony C.; Halloran, John; Popovich, Dragan; Rigali, Mark J.; Sutaria, Manish P.; Vaidyanathan, K. Ranji; Fulcher, Michael L.; Knittel, Kenneth L.

    2010-04-27

    Fibrous monolith processing techniques to fabricate multifunctional structures capable of performing more than one discrete function such as structures capable of bearing structural loads and mechanical stresses in service and also capable of performing at least one additional non-structural function.

  6. Multi-functional composite structures

    DOEpatents

    Mulligan, Anthony C.; Halloran, John; Popovich, Dragan; Rigali, Mark J.; Sutaria, Manish P.; Vaidyanathan, K. Ranji; Fulcher, Michael L.; Knittel, Kenneth L.

    2004-10-19

    Fibrous monolith processing techniques to fabricate multifunctional structures capable of performing more than one discrete function such as structures capable of bearing structural loads and mechanical stresses in service and also capable of performing at least one additional non-structural function.

  7. Symposium links geophysical structure and process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aki, Keiiti

    The Jeffreys Symposium at the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics meeting in Vienna (August 11-24 presented a wonderful symphony of 19 maestros performing throughout the whole spectrum of Earth and planetary sciences. The symposium was well-received by the audience and ended with a standing ovation to Lady Jeffreys, who listened to all presentations with keen interest.B. Bolt opened the symposium with “Jeffreys and the Earth,” a paper that succinctly reviewed Jeffreys' overwhelming work, based largely on his mastery of simple representations to produce mathematical models of complicated structures and processes. A model simple enough for the application of principles of mathematical physics, and yet capable of capturing the essence of the subject phenomenon, is essential to successful geophysics.

  8. Linking network topology to function. Comment on "Drivers of structural features in gene regulatory networks: From biophysical constraints to biological function" by O.C. Martin, A. Krzywicki and M. Zagorski

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    di Bernardo, Diego

    2016-07-01

    The review by Martin et al. deals with a long standing problem at the interface of complex systems and molecular biology, that is the relationship between the topology of a complex network and its function. In biological terms the problem translates to relating the topology of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) to specific cellular functions. GRNs control the spatial and temporal activity of the genes encoded in the cell's genome by means of specialised proteins called Transcription Factors (TFs). A TF is able to recognise and bind specifically to a sequence (TF biding site) of variable length (order of magnitude of 10) found upstream of the sequence encoding one or more genes (at least in prokaryotes) and thus activating or repressing their transcription. TFs can thus be distinguished in activator and repressor. The picture can become more complex since some classes of TFs can form hetero-dimers consisting of a protein complex whose subunits are the individual TFs. Heterodimers can have completely different binding sites and activity compared to their individual parts. In this review the authors limit their attention to prokaryotes where the complexity of GRNs is somewhat reduced. Moreover they exploit a unique feature of living systems, i.e. evolution, to understand whether function can shape network topology. Indeed, prokaryotes such as bacteria are among the oldest living systems that have become perfectly adapted to their environment over geological scales and thus have reached an evolutionary steady-state where the fitness of the population has reached a plateau. By integrating in silico analysis and comparative evolution, the authors show that indeed function does tend to shape the structure of a GRN, however this trend is not always present and depends on the properties of the network being examined. Interestingly, the trend is more apparent for sparse networks, i.e. where the density of edges is very low. Sparsity is indeed one of the most prominent features

  9. The scientific process--its links, functions and problems.

    PubMed

    Kinne, O

    1988-06-01

    The scientific process comprises production, quality control, dissemination, and consumption of knowledge. Its links are represented by author, editor and referees, publisher, and user. The basic units of the scientific process are research articles, the basic substrate learned journals. The formalized scientific process provides the foundation for orderly worldwide public communication among scientists and for establishing priority in scientific findings and ideas. The functions and problems of the author-editor, editor-publisher and publisher-user connections are outlined and discussed, and suggestions are offered for reducing potentially detrimental effects of diverging link interests. PMID:3205308

  10. Brain structure links loneliness to social perception.

    PubMed

    Kanai, Ryota; Bahrami, Bahador; Duchaine, Brad; Janik, Agnieszka; Banissy, Michael J; Rees, Geraint

    2012-10-23

    Loneliness is the distressing feeling associated with the perceived absence of satisfying social relationships. Loneliness is increasingly prevalent in modern societies and has detrimental effects on health and happiness. Although situational threats to social relationships can transiently induce the emotion of loneliness, susceptibility to loneliness is a stable trait that varies across individuals [6-8] and is to some extent heritable. However, little is known about the neural processes associated with loneliness (but see [12-14]). Here, we hypothesized that individual differences in loneliness might be reflected in the structure of the brain regions associated with social processes. To test this hypothesis, we used voxel-based morphometry and showed that lonely individuals have less gray matter in the left posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS)--an area implicated in basic social perception. As this finding predicted, we further confirmed that loneliness was associated with difficulty in processing social cues. Although other sociopsychological factors such as social network size, anxiety, and empathy independently contributed to loneliness, only basic social perception skills mediated the association between the pSTS volume and loneliness. Taken together, our results suggest that basic social perceptual abilities play an important role in shaping an individual's loneliness. PMID:23041193

  11. Flexible Link Functions in Nonparametric Binary Regression with Gaussian Process Priors

    PubMed Central

    Li, Dan; Lin, Lizhen; Dey, Dipak K.

    2015-01-01

    Summary In many scientific fields, it is a common practice to collect a sequence of 0-1 binary responses from a subject across time, space, or a collection of covariates. Researchers are interested in finding out how the expected binary outcome is related to covariates, and aim at better prediction in the future 0-1 outcomes. Gaussian processes have been widely used to model nonlinear systems; in particular to model the latent structure in a binary regression model allowing nonlinear functional relationship between covariates and the expectation of binary outcomes. A critical issue in modeling binary response data is the appropriate choice of link functions. Commonly adopted link functions such as probit or logit links have fixed skewness and lack the flexibility to allow the data to determine the degree of the skewness. To address this limitation, we propose a flexible binary regression model which combines a generalized extreme value link function with a Gaussian process prior on the latent structure. Bayesian computation is employed in model estimation. Posterior consistency of the resulting posterior distribution is demonstrated. The flexibility and gains of the proposed model are illustrated through detailed simulation studies and two real data examples. Empirical results show that the proposed model outperforms a set of alternative models, which only have either a Gaussian process prior on the latent regression function or a Dirichlet prior on the link function. PMID:26686333

  12. Flexible link functions in nonparametric binary regression with Gaussian process priors.

    PubMed

    Li, Dan; Wang, Xia; Lin, Lizhen; Dey, Dipak K

    2016-09-01

    In many scientific fields, it is a common practice to collect a sequence of 0-1 binary responses from a subject across time, space, or a collection of covariates. Researchers are interested in finding out how the expected binary outcome is related to covariates, and aim at better prediction in the future 0-1 outcomes. Gaussian processes have been widely used to model nonlinear systems; in particular to model the latent structure in a binary regression model allowing nonlinear functional relationship between covariates and the expectation of binary outcomes. A critical issue in modeling binary response data is the appropriate choice of link functions. Commonly adopted link functions such as probit or logit links have fixed skewness and lack the flexibility to allow the data to determine the degree of the skewness. To address this limitation, we propose a flexible binary regression model which combines a generalized extreme value link function with a Gaussian process prior on the latent structure. Bayesian computation is employed in model estimation. Posterior consistency of the resulting posterior distribution is demonstrated. The flexibility and gains of the proposed model are illustrated through detailed simulation studies and two real data examples. Empirical results show that the proposed model outperforms a set of alternative models, which only have either a Gaussian process prior on the latent regression function or a Dirichlet prior on the link function. PMID:26686333

  13. Protein Interaction Networks Link Schizophrenia Risk Loci to Synaptic Function

    PubMed Central

    Schwarz, Emanuel; Izmailov, Rauf; Liò, Pietro; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a severe and highly heritable psychiatric disorder affecting approximately 1% of the population. Genome-wide association studies have identified 108 independent genetic loci with genome-wide significance but their functional importance has yet to be elucidated. Here, we develop a novel strategy based on network analysis of protein–protein interactions (PPI) to infer biological function associated with variants most strongly linked to illness risk. We show that the schizophrenia loci are strongly linked to synaptic transmission (P FWE < .001) and ion transmembrane transport (P FWE = .03), but not to ontological categories previously found to be shared across psychiatric illnesses. We demonstrate that brain expression of risk-linked genes within the identified processes is strongly modulated during birth and identify a set of synaptic genes consistently changed across multiple brain regions of adult schizophrenia patients. These results suggest synaptic function as a developmentally determined schizophrenia process supported by the illness’s most associated genetic variants and their PPI networks. The implicated genes may be valuable targets for mechanistic experiments and future drug development approaches. PMID:27056717

  14. Integrative data-mining tools to link gene and function.

    PubMed

    El Yacoubi, Basma; de Crécy-Lagard, Valérie

    2014-01-01

    Information derived from genomic and post-genomic data can be efficiently used to link gene and function. Several web-based platforms have been developed to mine these types of data by integrating different tools. This method paper is designed to allow the user to navigate these platforms in order to make functional predictions. The main focus is on phylogenetic distribution and physical clustering tools, but other tools such as pathway reconstruction, gene fusions, and analysis of high-throughput experimental data are also surveyed.

  15. Ensemble structure description of Lys63-linked diubiquitin.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhu; Tang, Chun

    2016-06-01

    The data described herein are related to the article entitled "Lys63-linked ubiquitin chain adopts multiple conformational states for specific target recognition" [1], and to the coordinates for the ensemble structure of Lys63-linked diubiquitin (PDB code 2N2K). A Lys63-linked diubiquitin exists in three conformational states with different orientations for the two subunits, each responsible for binding to a target protein and encoding a specific cell signal. An atomic entry in the ensemble structure file consists multiple lines, representing alternative locations of the atom and recapitulating the dynamics of the protein. Experimental details about obtaining strictly intramolecular paramagnetic restraints and determining the relative occupancies of the conformational states are presented. The experimental design and procedures in this Data article can be useful for characterizing the structure and dynamics of other multi-domain proteins. PMID:26955652

  16. Linking biodiversity to ecosystem function: Implications for conservation ecology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwartz, M.W.; Brigham, C.A.; Hoeksema, J.D.; Lyons, K.G.; Mills, M.H.; van Mantgem, P.

    2000-01-01

    We evaluate the empirical and theoretical support for the hypothesis that a large proportion of native species richness is required to maximize ecosystem stability and sustain function. This assessment is important for conservation strategies because sustenance of ecosystem functions has been used as an argument for the conservation of species. If ecosystem functions are sustained at relatively low species richness, then arguing for the conservation of ecosystem function, no matter how important in its own right, does not strongly argue for the conservation of species. Additionally, for this to be a strong conservation argument the link between species diversity and ecosystem functions of value to the human community must be clear. We review the empirical literature to quantify the support for two hypotheses: (1) species richness is positively correlated with ecosystem function, and (2) ecosystem functions do not saturate at low species richness relative to the observed or experimental diversity. Few empirical studies demonstrate improved function at high levels of species richness. Second, we analyze recent theoretical models in order to estimate the level of species richness required to maintain ecosystem function. Again we find that, within a single trophic level, most mathematical models predict saturation of ecosystem function at a low proportion of local species richness. We also analyze a theoretical model linking species number to ecosystem stability. This model predicts that species richness beyond the first few species does not typically increase ecosystem stability. One reason that high species richness may not contribute significantly to function or stability is that most communities are characterized by strong dominance such that a few species provide the vast majority of the community biomass. Rapid turnover of species may rescue the concept that diversity leads to maximum function and stability. The role of turnover in ecosystem function and

  17. Design, synthesis and characterization of novel binary V(V)-Schiff base materials linked with insulin-mimetic vanadium-induced differentiation of 3T3-L1 fibroblasts to adipocytes. Structure-function correlations at the molecular level.

    PubMed

    Halevas, E; Tsave, O; Yavropoulou, M P; Hatzidimitriou, A; Yovos, J G; Psycharis, V; Gabriel, C; Salifoglou, A

    2015-06-01

    Among the various roles of vanadium in the regulation of intracellular signaling, energy metabolism and insulin mimesis, its exogenous activity stands as a contemporary challenge currently under investigation and a goal to pursue as a metallodrug against Diabetes mellitus II. In this regard, the lipogenic activity of vanadium linked to the development of well-defined anti-diabetic vanadodrugs has been investigated through: a) specifically designing and synthesizing Schiff base organic ligands L, bearing a variable number of terminal alcohols, b) a series of well-defined soluble binary V(V)-L compounds synthesized and physicochemically characterized, c) a study of their cytotoxic effect and establishment of adipogenic activity in 3T3-L1 fibroblasts toward mature adipocytes, and d) biomarker examination of a closely-linked molecular target involving or influenced by the specific V(V) forms, cumulatively delineating factors involved in potential pathways linked to V(V)-induced insulin-like activity. Collectively, the results a) project the importance of specific structural features in Schiff ligands bound to V(V), thereby influencing the emergence of its (a)toxicity and for the first time its insulin-like activity in pre-adipocyte differentiation, b) contribute to the discovery of molecular targets influenced by the specific vanadoforms seeking to induce glucose uptake, and c) indicate an interplay of V(V) structural speciation and cell-differentiation biological activity, thereby gaining insight into vanadium's potential as a future metallodrug in Diabetes mellitus.

  18. Polyimide Aerogels with Three-Dimensional Cross-Linked Structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meador, Mary Ann B. (Inventor)

    2016-01-01

    A method for creating a three dimensional cross-linked polyimide structure includes dissolving a diamine, a dianhydride, and a triamine in a solvent, imidizing a polyamic acid gel by heating the gel, extracting the gel in a second solvent, supercritically drying the gel, and removing the solvent to create a polyimide aerogel.

  19. From Elements to Metabolism: Linking Organismal Stoichiometry to Ecosystem Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, M. J.; Nifong, R. L.

    2014-12-01

    Metabolism is an integrative metric of ecosystem function and energetics, synthesizing the relative contributions of multiple inputs, processes, and interactions. Stoichiometry is a framework based on elemental ratios for understanding how organisms interact within ecosystems. Linking the two has the potential to yield fresh insight about how ecosystems utilize elements and energy. We sought to quantify the link between the stoichiometry of ecosystem metabolism, specifically the C:N:P ratios of integrated autotrophic assimilation, and the stoichiometric tissue ratios observed in the dominant autotrophs. Using high frequency in situ nutrient sensors we estimated the assimilatory fluxes of C, N, and P in multiple spring-fed rivers of varying autotrophic species composition. We measured autotroph cover in each spring river, collected composite vegetation samples, and evaluated tissue stoichiometry; as expected, we observed large differences in C:N and N:P between algal and vascular plant taxa. We observed associations between measured tissue stoichiometry and elemental ratios at the ecosystem scale, suggesting that aggregated assimilatory fluxes may be useful for partitioning primary production and linking organismal nutrient content to the stoichiometry of ecosystem metabolism.

  20. GRASPs in Golgi Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaoyan; Wang, Yanzhuang

    2016-01-01

    The Golgi apparatus is a central intracellular membrane organelle for trafficking and modification of proteins and lipids. Its basic structure is a stack of tightly aligned flat cisternae. In mammalian cells, dozens of stacks are concentrated in the pericentriolar region and laterally connected to form a ribbon. Despite extensive research in the last decades, how this unique structure is formed and why its formation is important for proper Golgi functioning remain largely unknown. The Golgi ReAssembly Stacking Proteins, GRASP65, and GRASP55, are so far the only proteins shown to function in Golgi stacking. They are peripheral membrane proteins on the cytoplasmic face of the Golgi cisternae that form trans-oligomers through their N-terminal GRASP domain, and thereby function as the “glue” to stick adjacent cisternae together into a stack and to link Golgi stacks into a ribbon. Depletion of GRASPs in cells disrupts the Golgi structure and results in accelerated protein trafficking and defective glycosylation. In this minireview we summarize our current knowledge on how GRASPs function in Golgi structure formation and discuss why Golgi structure formation is important for its function. PMID:26779480

  1. The Internal Structure of Nanoparticle Dimers Linked by DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vargas Lara, Fernando; Cheng, Ching-Jung; Gang, Oleg; Starr, Francis W.

    2012-02-01

    The self-assembly of inorganic units controlled by the interactions of biological molecules, like DNA, has received attention for the possibility to specify higher-order structure, with potential biological, optical and electronic applications. In biology, self-assembly of complex materials (eg. bone, spider silk) frequently occurs in a stepwise, hierarchical fashion. Here, we consider a first step towards a hierarchical approach for synthetic nanostructures of nanoparticles (NPs) linked by DNA. The most basic unit in this multiscale approach is a dimer of NPs linked by DNA. We use a coarse-grained molecular model to explain experimental measurements of the separation of two DNA-coated NPs connected by linking single-stranded DNA (ssDNA). We show that the dimer separation is primarily controlled by the number of DNA links between NPs. If these links are not constrained to lie along the axis between NPs, the separation is limited by off-axis connections that force the NPs to be closer. We also determine how the number of connections alters the effective persistence length of the ssDNA that connects the dimer. We discuss how these dimers might be used for subsequent assembly at larger scales.

  2. Structure and function of complex brain networks.

    PubMed

    Sporns, Olaf

    2013-09-01

    An increasing number of theoretical and empirical studies approach the function of the human brain from a network perspective. The analysis of brain networks is made feasible by the development of new imaging acquisition methods as well as new tools from graph theory and dynamical systems. This review surveys some of these methodological advances and summarizes recent findings on the architecture of structural and functional brain networks. Studies of the structural connectome reveal several modules or network communities that are interlinked by hub regions mediating communication processes between modules. Recent network analyses have shown that network hubs form a densely linked collective called a "rich club," centrally positioned for attracting and dispersing signal traffic. In parallel, recordings of resting and task-evoked neural activity have revealed distinct resting-state networks that contribute to functions in distinct cognitive domains. Network methods are increasingly applied in a clinical context, and their promise for elucidating neural substrates of brain and mental disorders is discussed.

  3. Structured Functional Principal Component Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Shou, Haochang; Zipunnikov, Vadim; Crainiceanu, Ciprian M.; Greven, Sonja

    2015-01-01

    Summary Motivated by modern observational studies, we introduce a class of functional models that expand nested and crossed designs. These models account for the natural inheritance of the correlation structures from sampling designs in studies where the fundamental unit is a function or image. Inference is based on functional quadratics and their relationship with the underlying covariance structure of the latent processes. A computationally fast and scalable estimation procedure is developed for high-dimensional data. Methods are used in applications including high-frequency accelerometer data for daily activity, pitch linguistic data for phonetic analysis, and EEG data for studying electrical brain activity during sleep. PMID:25327216

  4. Functional Insights from Structural Genomics

    SciTech Connect

    Forouhar,F.; Kuzin, A.; Seetharaman, J.; Lee, I.; Zhou, W.; Abashidze, M.; Chen, Y.; Montelione, G.; Tong, L.; et al

    2007-01-01

    Structural genomics efforts have produced structural information, either directly or by modeling, for thousands of proteins over the past few years. While many of these proteins have known functions, a large percentage of them have not been characterized at the functional level. The structural information has provided valuable functional insights on some of these proteins, through careful structural analyses, serendipity, and structure-guided functional screening. Some of the success stories based on structures solved at the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (NESG) are reported here. These include a novel methyl salicylate esterase with important role in plant innate immunity, a novel RNA methyltransferase (H. influenzae yggJ (HI0303)), a novel spermidine/spermine N-acetyltransferase (B. subtilis PaiA), a novel methyltransferase or AdoMet binding protein (A. fulgidus AF{_}0241), an ATP:cob(I)alamin adenosyltransferase (B. subtilis YvqK), a novel carboxysome pore (E. coli EutN), a proline racemase homolog with a disrupted active site (B. melitensis BME11586), an FMN-dependent enzyme (S. pneumoniae SP{_}1951), and a 12-stranded {beta}-barrel with a novel fold (V. parahaemolyticus VPA1032).

  5. Multilayer structured polymer light emitting diodes with cross-linked polymer matrices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Zhang-Lin; Sheng, Xia; Nauka, K.; Zhao, Lihua; Gibson, Gary; Lam, Sity; Yang, Chung Ching; Brug, James; Elder, Rich

    2010-01-01

    Currently, there is great interest in manufacturing multilayer polymer light emitting diode (PLED) structures via low-cost solution-based spin-casting or printing methods. The difficulty with this approach is that solvent from freshly deposited films often dissolves the underlying layers. This letter demonstrates that fully operational multilayer PLED structures can be fabricated via a solution process by embedding the hole transport material in cross-linked inert polymer matrices that protect the functional material while subsequent layers are deposited using the same solvent. The resulting devices exhibited greatly improved quantum efficiency compared with devices that did not employ cross-linked polymer matrices.

  6. Mitochondrial function in the brain links anxiety with social subordination

    PubMed Central

    Hollis, Fiona; van der Kooij, Michael A.; Zanoletti, Olivia; Lozano, Laura; Cantó, Carles; Sandi, Carmen

    2015-01-01

    Dominance hierarchies are integral aspects of social groups, yet whether personality traits may predispose individuals to a particular rank remains unclear. Here we show that trait anxiety directly influences social dominance in male outbred rats and identify an important mediating role for mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens. High-anxious animals that are prone to become subordinate during a social encounter with a low-anxious rat exhibit reduced mitochondrial complex I and II proteins and respiratory capacity as well as decreased ATP and increased ROS production in the nucleus accumbens. A causal link for these findings is indicated by pharmacological approaches. In a dyadic contest between anxiety-matched animals, microinfusion of specific mitochondrial complex I or II inhibitors into the nucleus accumbens reduced social rank, mimicking the low probability to become dominant observed in high-anxious animals. Conversely, intraaccumbal infusion of nicotinamide, an amide form of vitamin B3 known to enhance brain energy metabolism, prevented the development of a subordinate status in high-anxious individuals. We conclude that mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens is crucial for social hierarchy establishment and is critically involved in the low social competitiveness associated with high anxiety. Our findings highlight a key role for brain energy metabolism in social behavior and point to mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens as a potential marker and avenue of treatment for anxiety-related social disorders. PMID:26621716

  7. Mitochondrial function in the brain links anxiety with social subordination.

    PubMed

    Hollis, Fiona; van der Kooij, Michael A; Zanoletti, Olivia; Lozano, Laura; Cantó, Carles; Sandi, Carmen

    2015-12-15

    Dominance hierarchies are integral aspects of social groups, yet whether personality traits may predispose individuals to a particular rank remains unclear. Here we show that trait anxiety directly influences social dominance in male outbred rats and identify an important mediating role for mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens. High-anxious animals that are prone to become subordinate during a social encounter with a low-anxious rat exhibit reduced mitochondrial complex I and II proteins and respiratory capacity as well as decreased ATP and increased ROS production in the nucleus accumbens. A causal link for these findings is indicated by pharmacological approaches. In a dyadic contest between anxiety-matched animals, microinfusion of specific mitochondrial complex I or II inhibitors into the nucleus accumbens reduced social rank, mimicking the low probability to become dominant observed in high-anxious animals. Conversely, intraaccumbal infusion of nicotinamide, an amide form of vitamin B3 known to enhance brain energy metabolism, prevented the development of a subordinate status in high-anxious individuals. We conclude that mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens is crucial for social hierarchy establishment and is critically involved in the low social competitiveness associated with high anxiety. Our findings highlight a key role for brain energy metabolism in social behavior and point to mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens as a potential marker and avenue of treatment for anxiety-related social disorders.

  8. Mitochondrial function in the brain links anxiety with social subordination.

    PubMed

    Hollis, Fiona; van der Kooij, Michael A; Zanoletti, Olivia; Lozano, Laura; Cantó, Carles; Sandi, Carmen

    2015-12-15

    Dominance hierarchies are integral aspects of social groups, yet whether personality traits may predispose individuals to a particular rank remains unclear. Here we show that trait anxiety directly influences social dominance in male outbred rats and identify an important mediating role for mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens. High-anxious animals that are prone to become subordinate during a social encounter with a low-anxious rat exhibit reduced mitochondrial complex I and II proteins and respiratory capacity as well as decreased ATP and increased ROS production in the nucleus accumbens. A causal link for these findings is indicated by pharmacological approaches. In a dyadic contest between anxiety-matched animals, microinfusion of specific mitochondrial complex I or II inhibitors into the nucleus accumbens reduced social rank, mimicking the low probability to become dominant observed in high-anxious animals. Conversely, intraaccumbal infusion of nicotinamide, an amide form of vitamin B3 known to enhance brain energy metabolism, prevented the development of a subordinate status in high-anxious individuals. We conclude that mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens is crucial for social hierarchy establishment and is critically involved in the low social competitiveness associated with high anxiety. Our findings highlight a key role for brain energy metabolism in social behavior and point to mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens as a potential marker and avenue of treatment for anxiety-related social disorders. PMID:26621716

  9. Variability of structurally constrained and unconstrained functional connectivity in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Yao, Ye; Palaniyappan, Lena; Liddle, Peter; Zhang, Jie; Francis, Susan; Feng, Jianfeng

    2015-11-01

    Spatial variation in connectivity is an integral aspect of the brain's architecture. In the absence of this variability, the brain may act as a single homogenous entity without regional specialization. In this study, we investigate the variability in functional links categorized on the basis of the presence of direct structural paths (primary) or indirect paths mediated by one (secondary) or more (tertiary) brain regions ascertained by diffusion tensor imaging. We quantified the variability in functional connectivity using an unbiased estimate of unpredictability (functional connectivity entropy) in a neuropsychiatric disorder where structure-function relationship is considered to be abnormal; 34 patients with schizophrenia and 32 healthy controls underwent DTI and resting state functional MRI scans. Less than one-third (27.4% in patients, 27.85% in controls) of functional links between brain regions were regarded as direct primary links on the basis of DTI tractography, while the rest were secondary or tertiary. The most significant changes in the distribution of functional connectivity in schizophrenia occur in indirect tertiary paths with no direct axonal linkage in both early (P=0.0002, d=1.46) and late (P=1×10(-17), d=4.66) stages of schizophrenia, and are not altered by the severity of symptoms, suggesting that this is an invariant feature of this illness. Unlike those with early stage illness, patients with chronic illness show some additional reduction in the distribution of connectivity among functional links that have direct structural paths (P=0.08, d=0.44). Our findings address a critical gap in the literature linking structure and function in schizophrenia, and demonstrate for the first time that the abnormal state of functional connectivity preferentially affects structurally unconstrained links in schizophrenia. It also raises the question of a continuum of dysconnectivity ranging from less direct (structurally unconstrained) to more direct

  10. Variability of structurally constrained and unconstrained functional connectivity in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Yao, Ye; Palaniyappan, Lena; Liddle, Peter; Zhang, Jie; Francis, Susan; Feng, Jianfeng

    2015-11-01

    Spatial variation in connectivity is an integral aspect of the brain's architecture. In the absence of this variability, the brain may act as a single homogenous entity without regional specialization. In this study, we investigate the variability in functional links categorized on the basis of the presence of direct structural paths (primary) or indirect paths mediated by one (secondary) or more (tertiary) brain regions ascertained by diffusion tensor imaging. We quantified the variability in functional connectivity using an unbiased estimate of unpredictability (functional connectivity entropy) in a neuropsychiatric disorder where structure-function relationship is considered to be abnormal; 34 patients with schizophrenia and 32 healthy controls underwent DTI and resting state functional MRI scans. Less than one-third (27.4% in patients, 27.85% in controls) of functional links between brain regions were regarded as direct primary links on the basis of DTI tractography, while the rest were secondary or tertiary. The most significant changes in the distribution of functional connectivity in schizophrenia occur in indirect tertiary paths with no direct axonal linkage in both early (P=0.0002, d=1.46) and late (P=1×10(-17), d=4.66) stages of schizophrenia, and are not altered by the severity of symptoms, suggesting that this is an invariant feature of this illness. Unlike those with early stage illness, patients with chronic illness show some additional reduction in the distribution of connectivity among functional links that have direct structural paths (P=0.08, d=0.44). Our findings address a critical gap in the literature linking structure and function in schizophrenia, and demonstrate for the first time that the abnormal state of functional connectivity preferentially affects structurally unconstrained links in schizophrenia. It also raises the question of a continuum of dysconnectivity ranging from less direct (structurally unconstrained) to more direct

  11. Quasi-Racemic X-ray Structures of K27-Linked Ubiquitin Chains Prepared by Total Chemical Synthesis.

    PubMed

    Pan, Man; Gao, Shuai; Zheng, Yong; Tan, Xiaodan; Lan, Huan; Tan, Xianglong; Sun, Demeng; Lu, Lining; Wang, Tian; Zheng, Qingyun; Huang, Yichao; Wang, Jiawei; Liu, Lei

    2016-06-15

    Quasi-racemic crystallography has been used to determine the X-ray structures of K27-linked ubiquitin (Ub) chains prepared through total chemical synthesis. Crystal structures of K27-linked di- and tri-ubiquitins reveal that the isopeptide linkages are confined in a unique buried conformation, which provides the molecular basis for the distinctive function of K27 linkage compared to the other seven Ub chains. K27-linked di- and triUb were found to adopt different structural conformations in the crystals, one being symmetric whereas the other triangular. Furthermore, bioactivity experiments showed that the ovarian tumor family de-ubiquitinase 2 significantly favors K27-linked triUb than K27-linked diUb. K27-linked triUb represents the so-far largest chemically synthesized protein (228 amino acids) that has been crystallized to afford a high-resolution X-ray structure. PMID:27268299

  12. Soil-borne microbiome: linking diversity to function.

    PubMed

    Mendes, Lucas W; Tsai, Siu M; Navarrete, Acácio A; de Hollander, Mattias; van Veen, Johannes A; Kuramae, Eiko E

    2015-07-01

    Soil microorganisms are sensitive to environment disturbances, and such alterations have consequences on microbial diversity and functions. Our hypothesis is that alpha diversity of microbial communities and functional diversity decrease from undisturbed to disturbed soils, with consequences for functional redundancy in the soil ecosystem. To test this hypothesis, we used soil DNA shotgun metagenomics approach to assess the soil microbiome in a chronosequence of land-use from a native tropical forest, followed by deforestation and cultivation of soybean croplands and pasture in different seasons. Agriculture and pasture soils were among the most diverse and presented higher functional redundancy, which is important to maintain the ecosystem functioning after the forest conversion. On the other hand, the ecosystem equilibrium in forest is maintained based on a lower alpha diversity but higher abundance of microorganisms. Our results indicate that land-use change alters the structure and composition of microbial communities; however, ecosystem functionality is overcome by different strategies based on the abundance and diversity of the communities.

  13. Functional analysis of N-linking oligosaccharyl transferase enzymes encoded by deep-sea vent proteobacteria.

    PubMed

    Mills, Dominic C; Jervis, Adrian J; Abouelhadid, Sherif; Yates, Laura E; Cuccui, Jon; Linton, Dennis; Wren, Brendan W

    2016-04-01

    Bacterial N-linking oligosaccharyl transferases (OTase enzymes) transfer lipid-linked glycans to selected proteins in the periplasm and were first described in the intestinal pathogen Campylobacter jejuni, a member of the ε-proteobacteria-subdivision of bacteria. More recently, orthologues from other ε-proteobacterial Campylobacter and Helicobacter species and a δ-proteobacterium, Desulfovibrio desulfuricans, have been described, suggesting that these two subdivisions of bacteria may be a source of further N-linked protein glycosylation systems. Whole-genome sequencing of both ε- and δ-proteobacteria from deep-sea vent habitats, a rich source of species from these subdivisions, revealed putative ORFs encoding OTase enzymes and associated adjacent glycosyltransferases similar to the C. jejuni N-linked glycosylation locus. We expressed putative OTase ORFs from the deep-sea vent species Nitratiruptor tergarcus, Sulfurovum lithotrophicum and Deferribacter desulfuricans in Escherichia coli and showed that they were able to functionally complement the C. jejuni OTase, CjPglB. The enzymes were shown to possess relaxed glycan specificity, transferring diverse glycan structures and demonstrated different glycosylation sequon specificities. Additionally, a permissive D. desulfuricans acceptor protein was identified, and we provide evidence that the N-linked glycan synthesized by N. tergarcus and S. lithotrophicum contains an acetylated sugar at the reducing end. This work demonstrates that deep-sea vent bacteria encode functional N-glycosylation machineries and are a potential source of biotechnologically important OTase enzymes. PMID:26610891

  14. Functional analysis of N-linking oligosaccharyl transferase enzymes encoded by deep-sea vent proteobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Mills, Dominic C.; Jervis, Adrian J.; Abouelhadid, Sherif; Yates, Laura E.; Cuccui, Jon; Linton, Dennis; Wren, Brendan W.

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial N-linking oligosaccharyl transferases (OTase enzymes) transfer lipid-linked glycans to selected proteins in the periplasm and were first described in the intestinal pathogen Campylobacter jejuni, a member of the ε-proteobacteria-subdivision of bacteria. More recently, orthologues from other ε-proteobacterial Campylobacter and Helicobacter species and a δ-proteobacterium, Desulfovibrio desulfuricans, have been described, suggesting that these two subdivisions of bacteria may be a source of further N-linked protein glycosylation systems. Whole-genome sequencing of both ε- and δ-proteobacteria from deep-sea vent habitats, a rich source of species from these subdivisions, revealed putative ORFs encoding OTase enzymes and associated adjacent glycosyltransferases similar to the C. jejuni N-linked glycosylation locus. We expressed putative OTase ORFs from the deep-sea vent species Nitratiruptor tergarcus, Sulfurovum lithotrophicum and Deferribacter desulfuricans in Escherichia coli and showed they were able to functionally complement the C. jejuni OTase, CjPglB . The enzymes were shown to possess relaxed glycan specificity, transferring diverse glycan structures and demonstrated different glycosylation sequon specificities. Additionally a permissive D. desulfuricans acceptor protein was identified, and we provide evidence that the N-linked glycan synthesised by N. tergarcus and S. lithotrophicum contains an acetylated sugar at the reducing end. This work demonstrates that deep-sea vent bacteria encode functional N-glycosylation machineries and are a potential source of biotechnologically important OTase enzymes. PMID:26610891

  15. Structure functions and parton distributions

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, A.D.; Stirling, W.J.; Roberts, R.G.

    1995-07-01

    The MRS parton distribution analysis is described. The latest sets are shown to give an excellent description of a wide range of deep-inelastic and other hard scattering data. Two important theoretical issues-the behavior of the distributions at small x and the flavor structure of the quark sea-are discussed in detail. A comparison with the new structure function data from HERA is made, and the outlook for the future is discussed.

  16. Developmental imaging genetics: linking dopamine function to adolescent behavior.

    PubMed

    Padmanabhan, Aarthi; Luna, Beatriz

    2014-08-01

    Adolescence is a period of development characterized by numerous neurobiological changes that significantly influence behavior and brain function. Adolescence is of particular interest due to the alarming statistics indicating that mortality rates increase two to three-fold during this time compared to childhood, due largely to a peak in risk-taking behaviors resulting from increased impulsivity and sensation seeking. Furthermore, there exists large unexplained variability in these behaviors that are in part mediated by biological factors. Recent advances in molecular genetics and functional neuroimaging have provided a unique and exciting opportunity to non-invasively study the influence of genetic factors on brain function in humans. While genes do not code for specific behaviors, they do determine the structure and function of proteins that are essential to the neuronal processes that underlie behavior. Therefore, studying the interaction of genotype with measures of brain function over development could shed light on critical time points when biologically mediated individual differences in complex behaviors emerge. Here we review animal and human literature examining the neurobiological basis of adolescent development related to dopamine neurotransmission. Dopamine is of critical importance because of (1) its role in cognitive and affective behaviors, (2) its role in the pathogenesis of major psychopathology, and (3) the protracted development of dopamine signaling pathways over adolescence. We will then focus on current research examining the role of dopamine-related genes on brain function. We propose the use of imaging genetics to examine the influence of genetically mediated dopamine variability on brain function during adolescence, keeping in mind the limitations of this approach. PMID:24139694

  17. Developmental imaging genetics: linking dopamine function to adolescent behavior

    PubMed Central

    Padmanabhan, Aarthi; Luna, Beatriz

    2014-01-01

    Adolescence is a period of development characterized by numerous neurobiological changes that significantly influence behavior and brain function. Adolescence is of particular interest due to the alarming statistics indicating that mortality rates increase two to three-fold during this time compared to childhood, due largely to a peak in risk-taking behaviors resulting from increased impulsivity and sensation seeking. Furthermore, there exists large unexplained variability in these behaviors that are in part mediated by biological factors. Recent advances in molecular genetics and functional neuroimaging have provided a unique and exciting opportunity to noninvasively study the influence of genetic factors on brain function in humans. While genes do not code for specific behaviors, they do determine the structure and function of proteins that are essential to the neuronal processes that underlie behavior. Therefore, studying the interaction of genotype with measures of brain function over development could shed light on critical time points when biologically mediated individual differences in complex behaviors emerge. Here we review animal and human literature examining the neurobiological basis of adolescent development related to dopamine neurotransmission. Dopamine is of critical importance because of (1) its role in cognitive and affective behaviors, (2) its role in the pathogenesis of major psychopathology, and (3) the protracted development of dopamine signaling pathways over adolescence. We will then focus on current research examining the role of dopamine-related genes on brain function. We propose the use of imaging genetics to examine the influence of genetically mediated dopamine variability on brain function during adolescence, keeping in mind the limitations of this approach. PMID:24139694

  18. Linking geophysics and soil function modelling - two examples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krüger, J.; Franko, U.; Werban, U.; Dietrich, P.; Behrens, T.; Schmidt, K.; Fank, J.; Kroulik, M.

    2011-12-01

    iSOIL - "Interactions between soil related sciences - Linking geophysics, soil science and digital soil mapping" is a Collaborative Project (Grant Agreement number 211386) co-funded by the Research DG of the European Commission within the RTD activities of the FP7 Thematic Priority Environment. The iSOIL project aims at reliable mapping of soil properties and soil functions with various methods including geophysical, spectroscopic and monitoring techniques. The general procedure contains three steps (i) geophysical monitoring, (ii) generation of soil property maps and (iii) process modelling. The objective of this work is to demonstrate the methodological procedure on two different examples. Example A focuses on the turnover conditions for soil organic matter (SOM) since many soil functions in a direct or indirect way depend on SOM and SOM depletion is amongst the worst soil threats. Example B deals with the dynamics of soil water and the direct influence on crop biomass production. The applied CANDY model (Franko et al. 1995) was developed to describe dynamics of soil organic matter and mineral nitrogen as well as soil water and temperature. The new module PLUS extends CANDY to simulate crop biomass production based on environmental influences (Krüger et al. 2011). The methodological procedure of example A illustrates a model application for a field site in the Czech Republic using generated soil maps from combined geophysical data. Modelling requires a complete set of soil parameters. Combining measured soil properties and data of geophysical measurements (electrical conductivity and gamma spectrometry) is the basis for digital soil mapping which provided data about clay, silt and sand as well as SOC content. With these data pedotransfer functions produce detailed soil input data (e.g. bulk and particle density, field capacity, wilting point, saturated conductivity) for the rooted soil profile. CANDY calculated different indicators for SOM and gave hints about

  19. Structure functions and parton distributions

    SciTech Connect

    Olness, F.; Tung, Wu-Ki

    1991-04-01

    Activities of the structure functions and parton distributions group is summarized. The impact of scheme-dependence of parton distributions (especially sea-quarks and gluons) on the quantitative formulation of the QCD parton model is highlighted. Recent progress on the global analysis of parton distributions is summarized. Issues on the proper use of the next-to-leading parton distributions are stressed.

  20. Proton structure functions at HERA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stella, Bruno

    2001-10-01

    The electron-proton collider HERA, like an electron-mycroscope, explores the structure of the proton down to 10-16 cm and up to the situation of very high parton densities. The proton energy was upgraded from 820 to 920 GeV in the Fall of '98 and the luminosity has also substantially improved, with another factor of 3 upgrade expected to follow this year. Inclusive proton structure functions have been studied with incident e+ and e- of 27 GeV in the neutral (NC) and charged (CC) current interactions as functions of the squared four-momentum transfer, Q2, and of the fractional proton momentum carried by partons, x. The structure function F2, as well as the γ-Z0 interference term xF3, have been measured in a range of Q2 and 1/x that extends by orders of magnitude that reached by fixed target experiments. The DGLAP evolution equations [1] allow for a perturbative NLO QCD fit of the measured non-perturbative structure functions in the available kinematic range: αS and the gluon density at low x are fitted at the same time with good precision. The longitudinal structure function, FL, can be determined within the DGLAP formalism. With CC, the electroweak unification has been tested; at high x, a first flavor decomposition of the light quarks is achieved. The contribution to F2 of the charm quark has been measured and results to be relevant. Bounds on the radius of quarks and on compositeness are derived from the data at the highest Q2, 100

  1. Proton structure functions at HERA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    H1; ZEUS Collaborations,

    2001-10-01

    The electron-proton collider HERA, like an electron-mycroscope, explores the structure of the proton down to 10-16 cm and up to the situation of very high parton densities. The proton energy was upgraded from 820 to 920 GeV in the Fall of '98 and the luminosity has also substantially improved, with another factor of 3 upgrade expected to follow this year. Inclusive proton structure functions have been studied with incident e+ and e- of 27 GeV in the neutral (NC) and charged (CC) current interactions as functions of the squared four-momentum transfer, Q2, and of the fractional proton momentum carried by partons, x. The structure function F2, as well as the γ-Z0 interference term xF3, have been measured in a range of Q2 and 1/x that extends by orders of magnitude that reached by fixed target experiments. The DGLAP evolution equations [1] allow for a perturbative NLO QCD fit of the measured non-perturbative structure functions in the available kinematic range: αS and the gluon density at low x are fitted at the same time with good precision. The longitudinal structure function, FL, can be determined within the DGLAP formalism. With CC, the electroweak unification has been tested; at high x, a first flavor decomposition of the light quarks is achieved. The contribution to F2 of the charm quark has been measured and results to be relevant. Bounds on the radius of quarks and on compositeness are derived from the data at the highest Q2, 100

  2. Linking geophysics and soil function modelling - biomass production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krüger, J.; Franko, U.; Werban, U.; Fank, J.

    2012-04-01

    The iSOIL project aims at reliable mapping of soil properties and soil functions with various methods including geophysical, spectroscopic and monitoring techniques. The general procedure contains three steps (i) geophysical monitoring, (ii) generation of soil property maps and (iii) process modelling. The objective of this work is to demonstrate the mentioned procedure with a focus on process modelling. It deals with the dynamics of soil water and the direct influence on crop biomass production. The new module PLUS extends CANDY to simulate crop biomass production based on environmental influences. A soil function modelling with an adapted model parameterisation based on data of ground penetration radar (GPR) and conductivity (EM38) was realized. This study shows an approach to handle heterogeneity of soil properties with geophysical data used for biomass production modelling. The Austrian field site Wagna is characterised by highly heterogenic soil with fluvioglacial gravel sediments. The variation of thickness of topsoil above a sandy subsoil with gravels strongly influences the soil water balance. EM38, mounted on a mobile platform, enables to rapidly scan large areas whereas GPR requires a greater logistical effort. However, GPR can detect exact soil horizon depth between topsoil and subsoil, the combination of both results in a detailed large scale soil map. The combined plot-specific GPR and field site EM38 measurements extends the soil input data and improves the model performance of CANDY PLUS for plant biomass production (Krüger et al. 2011). The example demonstrates how geophysics provides a surplus of data for agroecosystem modelling which identifies and contributes alternative options for agricultural management decisions. iSOIL - "Interactions between soil related sciences - Linking geophysics, soil science and digital soil mapping" is a Collaborative Project (Grant Agreement number 211386) co-funded by the Research DG of the European Commission

  3. Structural asymmetry of the insula is linked to the lateralization of gesture and language.

    PubMed

    Biduła, Szymon P; Króliczak, Gregory

    2015-05-01

    The control of gesture is one of the most left-lateralized functions, and the insular cortex is one of the most left-biased structures in the human brain. Therefore, we investigated whether structural asymmetries of the insula are linked to the organization of functional activity during gesture planning. We reconstructed and parcellated the insular cortex of 27 participants. First, we tested 15 strongly left-handed individuals because of a higher incidence of atypical organization of functions such as gesture and language in such a population. The inter-hemispheric structural asymmetries were compared with the lateralization of activity for gesture in the supramarginal gyrus (the hotspot of signal increase regardless of the gesturing hand) and Broca's area (the hotspot of signal increase for language production). The more pronounced leftward structural asymmetries were accompanied by greater left-hemisphere dominance for both of the studied functions. Conversely, an atypical, bilateral or rightward functional shift of gesture and language was accompanied by an attenuated leftward asymmetry of the insula. These significant relationships were driven primarily by differences in surface area. Subsequently, by adding 12 right-handed individuals to these analyses we demonstrated that the observed significant associations are generalizable to the population. These results provide the first demonstration of the relationships between structural inter-hemispheric differences of the insula and the cerebral specialization for gesture. They also corroborate the link between insular asymmetries and language lateralization. As such, these outcomes are relevant to the common cerebral specialization for gesture and language.

  4. Estimating marginal and incremental effects on health outcomes using flexible link and variance function models.

    PubMed

    Basu, Anirban; Rathouz, Paul J

    2005-01-01

    We propose an extension to the estimating equations in generalized linear models to estimate parameters in the link function and variance structure simultaneously with regression coefficients. Rather than focusing on the regression coefficients, the purpose of these models is inference about the mean of the outcome as a function of a set of covariates, and various functionals of the mean function used to measure the effects of the covariates. A commonly used functional in econometrics, referred to as the marginal effect, is the partial derivative of the mean function with respect to any covariate, averaged over the empirical distribution of covariates in the model. We define an analogous parameter for discrete covariates. The proposed estimation method not only helps to identify an appropriate link function and to suggest an underlying distribution for a specific application but also serves as a robust estimator when no specific distribution for the outcome measure can be identified. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we show that the resulting parameter estimators are consistent. The method is illustrated with an analysis of inpatient expenditure data from a study of hospitalists.

  5. Factor XIII: Structure and Function.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Verena; Kohler, Hans P

    2016-06-01

    Over the last two decades, it became evident that factor XIII (FXIII) is not only a crucial determinant of clot characteristics but also has potentially important functions in many various fields such as bone biology, immunity, and adipogenesis. In this review, we aim to summarize the latest findings regarding structure and function of FXIII. In regard to FXIII structure, much progress has been made recently to understand how its subunits are held together. In the A subunit, the activation peptide has a crucial role in the formation of FXIII-A2 dimers. In the B subunit, Sushi domains that are involved in binding to the A subunit and in B2 dimer formation have been identified. In regard to FXIII function, interactions with immune cells and the complement system have been described. A novel function of FXIII-A in adipogenesis has been suggested. The role of FXIII-A in osteoblast differentiation has been further investigated; however, a novel double knockout mouse deficient in both FXIII-A and transglutaminase 2 showed normal bone formation. Thus, more research, in particular, into the cellular functions of FXIII-A is still required. PMID:27019464

  6. Optimizing Linked Perceptual Class Formation and Transfer of Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fields, Lanny; Garruto, Michelle

    2009-01-01

    A linked perceptual class consists of two distinct perceptual classes, A' and B', the members of which have become related to each other. For example, a linked perceptual class might be composed of many pictures of a woman (one perceptual class) and the sounds of that woman's voice (the other perceptual class). In this case, any sound of the…

  7. Structure and functions of angiotensinogen

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Hong; Cassis, Lisa A; Kooi, Craig W Vander; Daugherty, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Angiotensinogen (AGT) is the sole precursor of all angiotensin peptides. Although AGT is generally considered as a passive substrate of the renin–angiotensin system, there is accumulating evidence that the regulation and functions of AGT are intricate. Understanding the diversity of AGT properties has been enhanced by protein structural analysis and animal studies. In addition to whole-body genetic deletion, AGT can be regulated in vivo by cell-specific procedures, adeno-associated viral approaches and antisense oligonucleotides. Indeed, the availability of these multiple manipulations of AGT in vivo has provided new insights into the multifaceted roles of AGT. In this review, the combination of structural and functional studies is highlighted to focus on the increasing recognition that AGT exerts effects beyond being a sole provider of angiotensin peptides. PMID:26888118

  8. Linking numerical simulations of molecular cloud structure with observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kainulainen, Jouni

    2015-08-01

    Understanding the physical processes that control the life-cycle of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) is one of the key themes in the astrophysics of galaxies today. This importance derives from the role of the cold ISM as the birthplace of new stars, and consequently, as an indivisible constituent of galaxy evolution. In the current paradigm of turbulence-regulated ISM, star formation is controlled by the internal structure of individual molecular clouds, which in turn is set by a complex interplay of turbulence, gravity, and magnetic fields in the clouds. It is in the very focus of the field to determine how these processes give rise to the observed structure of molecular clouds. In this talk, I will review our current efforts to confront this paradigm with the goal of observationally constraining how different processes regulate molecular cloud structure and star formation. At the heart of these efforts lies the use of numerical simulations of gravo-turbulent media to A) define physically meaningful characteristics that are sensitive to the different cloud-shaping processes, and B) determine if and how such characteristics can be recovered by observations. I will show in my talk how this approach has recently led to new constraints for some fundamental measures of the molecular cloud structure. Such constraints allow us to assess the roles of turbulence and gravity in controlling the ISM structure and star formation. I will also highlight specific recent results, focusing on the nature of filamentary structures within molecular clouds. These results may provide a novel set of observational constraints with which to challenge the turbulence-regulated ISM paradigm. Finally, I will discuss the current challenges and open questions in understanding the link between molecular cloud structure and star formation, and speculate on key directions to aim the near-future studies.

  9. Structure and Function of Glucansucrases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dijkstra, B. W.; Vujičić-Žagar, A.

    2008-03-01

    Glucansucrases are relatively large (~160 kDa) extracellular enzymes produced by lactic acid bacteria. Using sucrose as a substrate they synthesize high molecular mass glucose polymers, called α-glucans, which allow the bacteria to adhere to surfaces and create a biofilm. The glucan polymers are of importance for the food and dairy industry as thickening and jellying agents. An overview is given of the current insights into the structure and functioning of these and related enzymes.

  10. Connexinopathies: a structural and functional glimpse.

    PubMed

    García, Isaac E; Prado, Pavel; Pupo, Amaury; Jara, Oscar; Rojas-Gómez, Diana; Mujica, Paula; Flores-Muñoz, Carolina; González-Casanova, Jorge; Soto-Riveros, Carolina; Pinto, Bernardo I; Retamal, Mauricio A; González, Carlos; Martínez, Agustín D

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in human connexin (Cx) genes have been related to diseases, which we termed connexinopathies. Such hereditary disorders include nonsyndromic or syndromic deafness (Cx26, Cx30), Charcot Marie Tooth disease (Cx32), occulodentodigital dysplasia and cardiopathies (Cx43), and cataracts (Cx46, Cx50). Despite the clinical phenotypes of connexinopathies have been well documented, their pathogenic molecular determinants remain elusive. The purpose of this work is to identify common/uncommon patterns in channels function among Cx mutations linked to human diseases. To this end, we compiled and discussed the effect of mutations associated to Cx26, Cx32, Cx43, and Cx50 over gap junction channels and hemichannels, highlighting the function of the structural channel domains in which mutations are located and their possible role affecting oligomerization, gating and perm/selectivity processes.

  11. Connexinopathies: a structural and functional glimpse.

    PubMed

    García, Isaac E; Prado, Pavel; Pupo, Amaury; Jara, Oscar; Rojas-Gómez, Diana; Mujica, Paula; Flores-Muñoz, Carolina; González-Casanova, Jorge; Soto-Riveros, Carolina; Pinto, Bernardo I; Retamal, Mauricio A; González, Carlos; Martínez, Agustín D

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in human connexin (Cx) genes have been related to diseases, which we termed connexinopathies. Such hereditary disorders include nonsyndromic or syndromic deafness (Cx26, Cx30), Charcot Marie Tooth disease (Cx32), occulodentodigital dysplasia and cardiopathies (Cx43), and cataracts (Cx46, Cx50). Despite the clinical phenotypes of connexinopathies have been well documented, their pathogenic molecular determinants remain elusive. The purpose of this work is to identify common/uncommon patterns in channels function among Cx mutations linked to human diseases. To this end, we compiled and discussed the effect of mutations associated to Cx26, Cx32, Cx43, and Cx50 over gap junction channels and hemichannels, highlighting the function of the structural channel domains in which mutations are located and their possible role affecting oligomerization, gating and perm/selectivity processes. PMID:27228968

  12. Connectivity and functional profiling of abnormal brain structures in pedophilia

    PubMed Central

    Poeppl, Timm B.; Eickhoff, Simon B.; Fox, Peter T.; Laird, Angela R.; Rupprecht, Rainer; Langguth, Berthold; Bzdok, Danilo

    2015-01-01

    Despite its 0.5–1% lifetime prevalence in men and its general societal relevance, neuroimaging investigations in pedophilia are scarce. Preliminary findings indicate abnormal brain structure and function. However, no study has yet linked structural alterations in pedophiles to both connectional and functional properties of the aberrant hotspots. The relationship between morphological alterations and brain function in pedophilia as well as their contribution to its psychopathology thus remain unclear. First, we assessed bimodal connectivity of structurally altered candidate regions using meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM) and resting-state correlations employing openly accessible data. We compared the ensuing connectivity maps to the activation likelihood estimation (ALE) maps of a recent quantitative meta-analysis of brain activity during processing of sexual stimuli. Second, we functionally characterized the structurally altered regions employing meta-data of a large-scale neuroimaging database. Candidate regions were functionally connected to key areas for processing of sexual stimuli. Moreover, we found that the functional role of structurally altered brain regions in pedophilia relates to nonsexual emotional as well as neurocognitive and executive functions, previously reported to be impaired in pedophiles. Our results suggest that structural brain alterations affect neural networks for sexual processing by way of disrupted functional connectivity, which may entail abnormal sexual arousal patterns. The findings moreover indicate that structural alterations account for common affective and neurocognitive impairments in pedophilia. The present multi-modal integration of brain structure and function analyses links sexual and nonsexual psychopathology in pedophilia. PMID:25733379

  13. Trophic links between functional groups of arable plants and beetles are stable at a national scale.

    PubMed

    Brooks, David R; Storkey, Jonathan; Clark, Suzanne J; Firbank, Les G; Petit, Sandrine; Woiwod, Ian P

    2012-01-01

    1. There is an urgent need to accurately model how environmental change affects the wide-scale functioning of ecosystems, but advances are hindered by a lack of knowledge of how trophic levels are linked across space. It is unclear which theoretical approach to take to improve modelling of such interactions, but evidence is gathering that linking species responses to their functional traits can increase understanding of ecosystem dynamics. Currently, there are no quantitative studies testing how this approach might improve models of multiple, trophically interacting species, at wide spatial scales. 2. Arable weeds play a foundational role in linking food webs, providing resources for many taxa, including carabid beetles that feed on their seeds and weed-associated invertebrate prey. Here, we model associations between weeds and carabids across farmland in Great Britain (GB), to test the hypothesis that wide-scale trophic links between these groups are structured by their species functional traits. 3. A network of c. 250 arable fields, covering four crops and most lowland areas of GB, was sampled for weed, carabid and invertebrate taxa over 3 years. Data sets of these groups were closely matched in time and space, and each contained numerous species with a range of eco-physiological traits. The consistency of trophic linkages between multiple taxa sharing functional traits was tested within multivariate and log-linear models. 4. Robust links were established between the functional traits of taxa and their trophic interactions. Autumn-germinating, small-seeded weeds were associated with smaller, spring-breeding carabids, more specialised in seed feeding, whereas spring-germinating, large-seeded weeds were associated with a range of larger, autumn-breeding omnivorous carabids. These relationships were strong and dynamic, being independent of changes in invertebrate food resources and consistent across sample dates, crops and regions of GB. 5. We conclude that, in at

  14. The structure and function of fungal cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nozawa, Y.

    1984-01-01

    The structure and function of fungal cell walls were studied with particular emphasis on dermatophytes. Extraction, isolation, analysis, and observation of the cell wall structure and function were performed. The structure is described microscopically and chemically.

  15. Testing the link between functional diversity and ecosystem functioning in a Minnesota grassland experiment.

    PubMed

    Clark, Christopher M; Flynn, Dan F B; Butterfield, Bradley J; Reich, Peter B

    2012-01-01

    The functional diversity of a community can influence ecosystem functioning and reflects assembly processes. The large number of disparate metrics used to quantify functional diversity reflects the range of attributes underlying this concept, generally summarized as functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence. However, in practice, we know very little about which attributes drive which ecosystem functions, due to a lack of field-based tests. Here we test the association between eight leading functional diversity metrics (Rao's Q, FD, FDis, FEve, FDiv, convex hull volume, and species and functional group richness) that emphasize different attributes of functional diversity, plus 11 extensions of these existing metrics that incorporate heterogeneous species abundances and trait variation. We assess the relationships among these metrics and compare their performances for predicting three key ecosystem functions (above- and belowground biomass and light capture) within a long-term grassland biodiversity experiment. Many metrics were highly correlated, although unique information was captured in FEve, FDiv, and dendrogram-based measures (FD) that were adjusted by abundance. FD adjusted by abundance outperformed all other metrics in predicting both above- and belowground biomass, although several others also performed well (e.g. Rao's Q, FDis, FDiv). More generally, trait-based richness metrics and hybrid metrics incorporating multiple diversity attributes outperformed evenness metrics and single-attribute metrics, results that were not changed when combinations of metrics were explored. For light capture, species richness alone was the best predictor, suggesting that traits for canopy architecture would be necessary to improve predictions. Our study provides a comprehensive test linking different attributes of functional diversity with ecosystem function for a grassland system.

  16. Functional nanometer-scale structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, Tsz On Mario

    Nanometer-scale structures have properties that are fundamentally different from their bulk counterparts. Much research effort has been devoted in the past decades to explore new fabrication techniques, model the physical properties of these structures, and construct functional devices. The ability to manipulate and control the structure of matter at the nanoscale has made many new classes of materials available for the study of fundamental physical processes and potential applications. The interplay between fabrication techniques and physical understanding of the nanostructures and processes has revolutionized the physical and material sciences, providing far superior properties in materials for novel applications that benefit society. This thesis consists of two major aspects of my graduate research in nano-scale materials. In the first part (Chapters 3--6), a comprehensive study on the nanostructures based on electrospinning and thermal treatment is presented. Electrospinning is a well-established method for producing high-aspect-ratio fibrous structures, with fiber diameter ranging from 1 nm--1 microm. A polymeric solution is typically used as a precursor in electrospinning. In our study, the functionality of the nanostructure relies on both the nanostructure and material constituents. Metallic ions containing precursors were added to the polymeric precursor following a sol-gel process to prepare the solution suitable for electrospinning. A typical electrospinning process produces as-spun fibers containing both polymer and metallic salt precursors. Subsequent thermal treatments of the as-spun fibers were carried out in various conditions to produce desired structures. In most cases, polymer in the solution and the as-spun fibers acted as a backbone for the structure formation during the subsequent heat treatment, and were thermally removed in the final stage. Polymers were also designed to react with the metallic ion precursors during heat treatment in some

  17. Brain structure links everyday creativity to creative achievement.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Wenfeng; Chen, Qunlin; Tang, Chaoying; Cao, Guikang; Hou, Yuling; Qiu, Jiang

    2016-03-01

    Although creativity is commonly considered to be a cornerstone of human progress and vital to all realms of our lives, its neural basis remains elusive, partly due to the different tasks and measurement methods applied in research. In particular, the neural correlates of everyday creativity that can be experienced by everyone, to some extent, are still unexplored. The present study was designed to investigate the brain structure underlying individual differences in everyday creativity, as measured by the Creative Behavioral Inventory (CBI) (N=163). The results revealed that more creative activities were significantly and positively associated with larger gray matter volume (GMV) in the regional premotor cortex (PMC), which is a motor planning area involved in the creation and selection of novel actions and inhibition. In addition, the gray volume of the PMC had a significant positive relationship with creative achievement and Art scores, which supports the notion that training and practice may induce changes in brain structures. These results indicate that everyday creativity is linked to the PMC and that PMC volume can predict creative achievement, supporting the view that motor planning may play a crucial role in creative behavior.

  18. Brain structure links everyday creativity to creative achievement.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Wenfeng; Chen, Qunlin; Tang, Chaoying; Cao, Guikang; Hou, Yuling; Qiu, Jiang

    2016-03-01

    Although creativity is commonly considered to be a cornerstone of human progress and vital to all realms of our lives, its neural basis remains elusive, partly due to the different tasks and measurement methods applied in research. In particular, the neural correlates of everyday creativity that can be experienced by everyone, to some extent, are still unexplored. The present study was designed to investigate the brain structure underlying individual differences in everyday creativity, as measured by the Creative Behavioral Inventory (CBI) (N=163). The results revealed that more creative activities were significantly and positively associated with larger gray matter volume (GMV) in the regional premotor cortex (PMC), which is a motor planning area involved in the creation and selection of novel actions and inhibition. In addition, the gray volume of the PMC had a significant positive relationship with creative achievement and Art scores, which supports the notion that training and practice may induce changes in brain structures. These results indicate that everyday creativity is linked to the PMC and that PMC volume can predict creative achievement, supporting the view that motor planning may play a crucial role in creative behavior. PMID:26855062

  19. Plant sex chromosomes: molecular structure and function.

    PubMed

    Jamilena, M; Mariotti, B; Manzano, S

    2008-01-01

    Recent molecular and genomic studies carried out in a number of model dioecious plant species, including Asparagus officinalis, Carica papaya, Silene latifolia, Rumex acetosa and Marchantia polymorpha, have shed light on the molecular structure of both homomorphic and heteromorphic sex chromosomes, and also on the gene functions they have maintained since their evolution from a pair of autosomes. The molecular structure of sex chromosomes in species from different plant families represents the evolutionary pathway followed by sex chromosomes during their evolution. The degree of Y chromosome degeneration that accompanies the suppression of recombination between the Xs and Ys differs among species. The primitive Ys of A. officinalis and C. papaya have only diverged from their homomorphic Xs in a short male-specific and non-recombining region (MSY), while the heteromorphic Ys of S. latifolia, R. acetosa and M. polymorpha have diverged from their respective Xs. As in the Y chromosomes of mammals and Drosophila, the accumulation of repetitive DNA, including both transposable elements and satellite DNA, has played an important role in the divergence and size enlargement of plant Ys, and consequently in reducing gene density. Nevertheless, the degeneration process in plants does not appear to have reached the Y-linked genes. Although a low gene density has been found in the sequenced Y chromosome of M. polymorpha, most of its genes are essential and are expressed in the vegetative and reproductive organs in both male and females. Similarly, most of the Y-linked genes that have been isolated and characterized up to now in S. latifolia are housekeeping genes that have X-linked homologues, and are therefore expressed in both males and females. Only one of them seems to be degenerate with respect to its homologous region in the X. Sequence analysis of larger regions in the homomorphic X and Y chromosomes of papaya and asparagus, and also in the heteromorphic sex chromosomes

  20. Adjusting to change: linking family structure transitions with parenting and boys' adjustment.

    PubMed

    Martinez, Charles R; Forgatch, Marion S

    2002-06-01

    This study examined links between family structure transitions and children's academic, behavioral, and emotional outcomes in a sample of 238 divorcing mothers and their sons in Grades 1-3. Multiple methods and agents were used in assessing family process variables and child outcomes. Findings suggest that greater accumulations of family transitions were associated with poorer academic functioning, greater acting-out behavior, and worse emotional adjustment for boys. However, in all three cases, these relationships were mediated by parenting practices: Parental academic skill encouragement mediated the relationship between transitions and academic functioning, and a factor of more general effective parenting practices mediated the relationships between transitions and acting out and emotional adjustment.

  1. Microbial functional diversity enhances predictive models linking environmental parameters to ecosystem properties.

    PubMed

    Powell, Jeff R; Welsh, Allana; Hallin, Sara

    2015-07-01

    Microorganisms drive biogeochemical processes, but linking these processes to real changes in microbial communities under field conditions is not trivial. Here, we present a model-based approach to estimate independent contributions of microbial community shifts to ecosystem properties. The approach was tested empirically, using denitrification potential as our model process, in a spatial survey of arable land encompassing a range of edaphic conditions and two agricultural production systems. Soil nitrate was the most important single predictor of denitrification potential (the change in Akaike's information criterion, corrected for sample size, ΔAIC(c) = 20.29); however, the inclusion of biotic variables (particularly the evenness and size of denitrifier communities [ΔAIC(c) = 12.02], and the abundance of one denitrifier genotype [ΔAIC(c) = 18.04]) had a substantial effect on model precision, comparable to the inclusion of abiotic variables (biotic R2 = 0.28, abiotic R2 = 0.50, biotic + abiotic R2 = 0.76). This approach provides a valuable tool for explicitly linking microbial communities to ecosystem functioning. By making this link, we have demonstrated that including aspects of microbial community structure and diversity in biogeochemical models can improve predictions of nutrient cycling in ecosystems and enhance our understanding of ecosystem functionality.

  2. Crucial role of detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses in HRA

    SciTech Connect

    Ryan, T.G.; Haney, L.N.; Ostrom, L.T.

    1992-10-01

    This paper addresses one major cause for large uncertainties in human reliability analysis (HRA) results, that is, an absence of detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses. All too often this crucial step in the HRA process is done in a cursory fashion using word of mouth or written procedures which themselves may incompletely or inaccurately represent the human action sequences and human error vulnerabilities being analyzed. The paper examines the potential contributions these detailed analyses can make in achieving quantitative and qualitative HRA results which are: (1) creditable, that is, minimize uncertainty, (2) auditable, that is, systematically linking quantitative results and qualitative information from which the results are derived, (3) capable of supporting root cause analyses on human reliability factors determined to be major contributors to risk, and (4) capable of repeated measures and being combined with similar results from other analyses to examine HRA issues transcending individual systems and facilities. Based on experience analyzing test and commercial nuclear reactors, and medical applications of nuclear technology, an iterative process is suggested for doing detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses using documentation reviews, open-ended and structured interviews, direct observations, and group techniques. Finally, the paper concludes that detailed analyses done in this manner by knowledgeable human factors practitioners, can contribute significantly to the credibility, auditability, causal factor analysis, and combining goals of the HRA.

  3. Intermediate closed state for glycine receptor function revealed by cysteine cross-linking

    PubMed Central

    Prevost, Marie S.; Moraga-Cid, Gustavo; Van Renterghem, Catherine; Edelstein, Stuart J.; Changeux, Jean-Pierre; Corringer, Pierre-Jean

    2013-01-01

    Pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (pLGICs) mediate signal transmission by coupling the binding of extracellular ligands to the opening of their ion channel. Agonist binding elicits activation and desensitization of pLGICs, through several conformational states, that are, thus far, incompletely characterized at the structural level. We previously reported for GLIC, a prokaryotic pLGIC, that cross-linking of a pair of cysteines at both sides of the extracellular and transmembrane domain interface stabilizes a locally closed (LC) X-ray structure. Here, we introduced the homologous pair of cysteines on the human α1 glycine receptor. We show by electrophysiology that cysteine cross-linking produces a gain-of-function phenotype characterized by concomitant constitutive openings, increased agonist potency, and equalization of efficacies of full and partial agonists. However, it also produces a reduction of maximal currents at saturating agonist concentrations without change of the unitary channel conductance, an effect reversed by the positive allosteric modulator propofol. The cross-linking thus favors a unique closed state distinct from the resting and longest-lived desensitized states. Fitting the data according to a three-state allosteric model suggests that it could correspond to a LC conformation. Its plausible assignment to a gating intermediate or a fast-desensitized state is discussed. Overall, our data show that relative movement of two loops at the extracellular-transmembrane interface accompanies orthosteric agonist-mediated gating. PMID:24085847

  4. Links between ammonia oxidizer species composition, functional diversity and nitrification kinetics in grassland soils.

    PubMed

    Webster, Gordon; Embley, T Martin; Freitag, Thomas E; Smith, Zena; Prosser, James I

    2005-05-01

    Molecular approaches have revealed considerable diversity and uncultured novelty in natural prokaryotic populations, but not direct links between the new genotypes detected and ecosystem processes. Here we describe the influence of the structure of communities of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria on nitrogen cycling in microcosms containing natural and managed grasslands and amended with artificial sheep urine, a major factor determining local ammonia concentrations in these environments. Nitrification kinetics were assessed by analysis of changes in urea, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate concentrations and ammonia oxidizer communities were characterized by analysis of 16S rRNA genes amplified from extracted DNA using ammonia oxidizer-specific primers. In natural soils, ammonia oxidizer community structure determined the delay preceding nitrification, which depended on the relative abundance of two Nitrosospira clusters, termed 3a and 3b. In batch cultures, pure culture and enrichment culture representatives of Nitrosospira 3a were sensitive to high ammonia concentration, while Nitrosospira cluster 3b representatives and Nitrosomonas europaea were tolerant. Delays in nitrification occurred in natural soils dominated by Nitrosospira cluster 3a and resulted from the time required for growth of low concentrations of Nitrosospira cluster 3b. In microcosms dominated by Nitrosospira cluster 3b and Nitrosomonas, no substantial delays were observed. In managed soils, no delays in nitrification were detected, regardless of initial ammonia oxidizer community structure, most probably resulting from higher ammonia oxidizer cell concentrations. The data therefore demonstrate a direct link between bacterial community structure, physiological diversity and ecosystem function.

  5. Structural and functional diversity of desmosomes.

    PubMed

    Harmon, Robert M; Green, Kathleen J

    2013-12-01

    Desmosomes anchor intermediate filaments at sites of cell contact established by the interaction of cadherins extending from opposing cells. The incorporation of cadherins, catenin adaptors, and cytoskeletal elements resembles the closely related adherens junction. However, the recruitment of intermediate filaments distinguishes desmosomes and imparts a unique function. By linking the load-bearing intermediate filaments of neighboring cells, desmosomes create mechanically contiguous cell sheets and, in so doing, confer structural integrity to the tissues they populate. This trait and a well-established role in human disease have long captured the attention of cell biologists, as evidenced by a publication record dating back to the mid-1860s. Likewise, emerging data implicating the desmosome in signaling events pertinent to organismal development, carcinogenesis, and genetic disorders will secure a prominent role for desmosomes in future biological and biomedical investigations.

  6. Using the structure-function linkage database to characterize functional domains in enzymes.

    PubMed

    Brown, Shoshana; Babbitt, Patricia

    2014-12-12

    The Structure-Function Linkage Database (SFLD; http://sfld.rbvi.ucsf.edu/) is a Web-accessible database designed to link enzyme sequence, structure, and functional information. This unit describes the protocols by which a user may query the database to predict the function of uncharacterized enzymes and to correct misannotated functional assignments. The information in this unit is especially useful in helping a user discriminate functional capabilities of a sequence that is only distantly related to characterized sequences in publicly available databases.

  7. Structures and Functions of Oligosaccharins

    SciTech Connect

    Albersheim, Peter

    1995-12-01

    We have made considerable progress during the 2.5 year funding period just ending in our studies of the structures and functions of oligosaccharide signal molecules (oligosaccharins). We have emphasized studies of the enzymes that solubilize, process, and degrade oligosaccharins and of the proteins that inhibit those enzymes. We have been especially interested in elucidating how oligosaccharins and their processing enzymes participate in determining the outcome of challenges to plants by pathogenic microbes. We have studied, to a lesser extent, the roles of oligosaccharins in plant growth and development. Abstracts of papers describing results acquired with support from this grant that have been published, submitted, or in preparation are presented to summarize the progress made during the last two and one half years. The report highlights the most important contributions made in our oiigosaccharin research during this time period, and the corresponding abstract is referenced. Results of work in progress are described primarily in conjunction with our application for continued support.

  8. Functional evolution of nuclear structure

    PubMed Central

    Dawson, Scott C.

    2011-01-01

    The evolution of the nucleus, the defining feature of eukaryotic cells, was long shrouded in speculation and mystery. There is now strong evidence that nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) and nuclear membranes coevolved with the endomembrane system, and that the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) had fully functional NPCs. Recent studies have identified many components of the nuclear envelope in living Opisthokonts, the eukaryotic supergroup that includes fungi and metazoan animals. These components include diverse chromatin-binding membrane proteins, and membrane proteins with adhesive lumenal domains that may have contributed to the evolution of nuclear membrane architecture. Further discoveries about the nucleoskeleton suggest that the evolution of nuclear structure was tightly coupled to genome partitioning during mitosis. PMID:22006947

  9. Using plant functional traits as a link between land use and bee foraging abundance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pakeman, R. J.; Stockan, J.

    2013-07-01

    Many recent studies have shown that plant functional traits can be used to predict the response of plant assemblages to management or other environmental change. A further challenge is to use them to predict changes in the assemblages of other groups. Using data from a study of the impact of land use on biodiversity, the linkages between management drivers, a range of plant functional traits and the overall foraging numbers and assemblage of bees was assessed. Bee foraging numbers were only weakly predicted by plant traits, though bee foraging assemblage was closely related to a number of different groups of plant traits (flower colour and Forage Index, as well as taxonomic group). In turn, the selected traits were significantly correlated to some of the response traits that linked the plant assemblage to management, indicating that there was a predictive pathway from management to bee abundance and assemblage structure. However, models developed with just the environmental drivers proved superior at predicting both bee numbers and assemblage. Plant traits proved to be a moderately effective predictor of bee assemblage structure. However, the use of plant traits as a link between the bees and management did not offer any improvement on models directly developed from management variables. This suggests that the bee assemblage is responding to traits that have not been quantified and that developing these trophic linkage models may have to take a different approach.

  10. Alteration of Golgi Structure by Stress: A Link to Neurodegeneration?

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez-Miranda, Eduardo A.; Sinnl, Markus; Farhan, Hesso

    2015-01-01

    The Golgi apparatus is well-known for its role as a sorting station in the secretory pathway as well as for its role in regulating post-translational protein modification. Another role for the Golgi is the regulation of cellular signaling by spatially regulating kinases, phosphatases, and GTPases. All these roles make it clear that the Golgi is a central regulator of cellular homeostasis. The response to stress and the initiation of adaptive responses to cope with it are fundamental abilities of all living cells. It was shown previously that the Golgi undergoes structural rearrangements under various stress conditions such as oxidative or osmotic stress. Neurodegenerative diseases are also frequently associated with alterations of Golgi morphology and many stress factors have been described to play an etiopathological role in neurodegeneration. It is however unclear whether the stress-Golgi connection plays a role in neurodegenerative diseases. Using a combination of bioinformatics modeling and literature mining, we will investigate evidence for such a tripartite link and we ask whether stress-induced Golgi arrangements are cause or consequence in neurodegeneration. PMID:26617486

  11. Linking and Psychological Functioning in a Chinese Sample: The Multiple Mediation of Response to Positive Affect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Hongfei; Li, Juan

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the associations between linking, response to positive affect, and psychological functioning in Chinese college students. The results of conducting multiple mediation analyses indicated that emotion- and self-focused positive rumination mediated the relationship between linking and psychological functioning, whereas…

  12. STAS Domain Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Alok K.; Rigby, Alan C.; Alper, Seth L.

    2011-01-01

    Pendrin shares with nearly all SLC26/SulP anion transporters a carboxy-terminal cytoplasmic segment organized around a Sulfate Transporter and Anti-Sigma factor antagonist (STAS) domain. STAS domains of divergent amino acid sequence exhibit a conserved fold of 4 β strands interspersed among 5 α helices. The first STAS domain proteins studied were single-domain anti-sigma factor antagonists (anti-anti-σ). These anti-anti-σ indirectly stimulate bacterial RNA polymerase by inactivating inhibitory anti-σ kinases, liberating σ factors to direct specific transcription of target genes or operons. Some STAS domains are nucleotide-binding phosphoproteins or nucleotidases. Others are interaction/transduction modules within multidomain sensors of light, oxygen and other gasotransmitters, cyclic nucleotides, inositol phosphates, and G proteins. Additional multidomain STAS protein sequences suggest functions in sensing, metabolism, or transport of nutrients such as sugars, amino acids, lipids, anions, vitamins, or hydrocarbons. Still other multidomain STAS polypeptides include histidine and serine/threonine kinase domains and ligand-activated transcription factor domains. SulP/SLC26 STAS domains and adjacent sequences interact with other transporters, cytoskeletal scaffolds, and with enzymes metabolizing transported anion substrates, forming putative metabolons. STAS domains are central to membrane targeting of many SulP/SLC26 anion transporters, and STAS domain mutations are associated with at least three human recessive diseases. This review summarizes STAS domain structure and function. PMID:22116355

  13. Mesoscopic simulations of hydrophilic cross-linked polycarbonate polyurethane networks: structure and morphology.

    PubMed

    Iype, E; Esteves, A C C; de With, G

    2016-06-14

    Polyurethane (PU) cross-linked networks are frequently used in biomedical and marine applications, e.g., as hydrophilic polymer coatings with antifouling or low-friction properties and have been reported to exhibit characteristic phase separation between soft and hard segments. Understanding this phase-separation behavior is critical to design novel hydrophilic polymer coatings. However, most of the studies on the structure and morphology of cross-linked coatings are experimental, which only assess the phase separation via indirect methods. Herein we present a mesoscopic simulation study of the network characteristics of model hydrophilic polymer networks, consisting of PU with and without methyl-polyethylene glycol (mPEG) dangling chains. The systems are analyzed using a number of tools, such as the radial distribution function, the cross-link point density distribution and the Voronoi volume distribution (of the cross-linking points). The combined results show that the cross-linked networks without dangling chains are rather homogeneous but contain a small amount of clustering of cross-linker molecules. A clear phase separation is observed when introducing the dangling chains. In spite of that, the amount of cross-linker molecules connected to dangling chains only, i.e., not connected to the main network, is relatively small, leading to about 3 wt% extractables. Thus, these cross-linked polymers consist of a phase-separated, yet highly connected network. This study provides valuable guidelines towards new self-healing hydrophilic coatings based on the molecular design of cross-linked networks in direct contact with water or aqueous fluids, e.g., as anti-fouling self-repairing coatings for marine applications. PMID:27174657

  14. Mesoscopic simulations of hydrophilic cross-linked polycarbonate polyurethane networks: structure and morphology.

    PubMed

    Iype, E; Esteves, A C C; de With, G

    2016-06-14

    Polyurethane (PU) cross-linked networks are frequently used in biomedical and marine applications, e.g., as hydrophilic polymer coatings with antifouling or low-friction properties and have been reported to exhibit characteristic phase separation between soft and hard segments. Understanding this phase-separation behavior is critical to design novel hydrophilic polymer coatings. However, most of the studies on the structure and morphology of cross-linked coatings are experimental, which only assess the phase separation via indirect methods. Herein we present a mesoscopic simulation study of the network characteristics of model hydrophilic polymer networks, consisting of PU with and without methyl-polyethylene glycol (mPEG) dangling chains. The systems are analyzed using a number of tools, such as the radial distribution function, the cross-link point density distribution and the Voronoi volume distribution (of the cross-linking points). The combined results show that the cross-linked networks without dangling chains are rather homogeneous but contain a small amount of clustering of cross-linker molecules. A clear phase separation is observed when introducing the dangling chains. In spite of that, the amount of cross-linker molecules connected to dangling chains only, i.e., not connected to the main network, is relatively small, leading to about 3 wt% extractables. Thus, these cross-linked polymers consist of a phase-separated, yet highly connected network. This study provides valuable guidelines towards new self-healing hydrophilic coatings based on the molecular design of cross-linked networks in direct contact with water or aqueous fluids, e.g., as anti-fouling self-repairing coatings for marine applications.

  15. Linking EEG signals, brain functions and mental operations: Advantages of the Laplacian transformation.

    PubMed

    Vidal, Franck; Burle, Boris; Spieser, Laure; Carbonnell, Laurence; Meckler, Cédric; Casini, Laurence; Hasbroucq, Thierry

    2015-09-01

    Electroencephalography (EEG) is a very popular technique for investigating brain functions and/or mental processes. To this aim, EEG activities must be interpreted in terms of brain and/or mental processes. EEG signals being a direct manifestation of neuronal activity it is often assumed that such interpretations are quite obvious or, at least, straightforward. However, they often rely on (explicit or even implicit) assumptions regarding the structures supposed to generate the EEG activities of interest. For these assumptions to be used appropriately, reliable links between EEG activities and the underlying brain structures must be established. Because of volume conduction effects and the mixture of activities they induce, these links are difficult to establish with scalp potential recordings. We present different examples showing how the Laplacian transformation, acting as an efficient source separation method, allowed to establish more reliable links between EEG activities and brain generators and, ultimately, with mental operations. The nature of those links depends on the depth of inferences that can vary from weak to strong. Along this continuum, we show that 1) while the effects of experimental manipulation can appear widely distributed with scalp potentials, Laplacian transformation allows to reveal several generators contributing (in different manners) to these modulations, 2) amplitude variations within the same set of generators can generate spurious differences in scalp potential topographies, often interpreted as reflecting different source configurations. In such a case, Laplacian transformation provides much more similar topographies, evidencing the same generator(s) set, and 3) using the LRP as an index of response activation most often produces ambiguous results, Laplacian-transformed response-locked ERPs obtained over motor areas allow resolving these ambiguities. PMID:25958789

  16. Linking EEG signals, brain functions and mental operations: Advantages of the Laplacian transformation.

    PubMed

    Vidal, Franck; Burle, Boris; Spieser, Laure; Carbonnell, Laurence; Meckler, Cédric; Casini, Laurence; Hasbroucq, Thierry

    2015-09-01

    Electroencephalography (EEG) is a very popular technique for investigating brain functions and/or mental processes. To this aim, EEG activities must be interpreted in terms of brain and/or mental processes. EEG signals being a direct manifestation of neuronal activity it is often assumed that such interpretations are quite obvious or, at least, straightforward. However, they often rely on (explicit or even implicit) assumptions regarding the structures supposed to generate the EEG activities of interest. For these assumptions to be used appropriately, reliable links between EEG activities and the underlying brain structures must be established. Because of volume conduction effects and the mixture of activities they induce, these links are difficult to establish with scalp potential recordings. We present different examples showing how the Laplacian transformation, acting as an efficient source separation method, allowed to establish more reliable links between EEG activities and brain generators and, ultimately, with mental operations. The nature of those links depends on the depth of inferences that can vary from weak to strong. Along this continuum, we show that 1) while the effects of experimental manipulation can appear widely distributed with scalp potentials, Laplacian transformation allows to reveal several generators contributing (in different manners) to these modulations, 2) amplitude variations within the same set of generators can generate spurious differences in scalp potential topographies, often interpreted as reflecting different source configurations. In such a case, Laplacian transformation provides much more similar topographies, evidencing the same generator(s) set, and 3) using the LRP as an index of response activation most often produces ambiguous results, Laplacian-transformed response-locked ERPs obtained over motor areas allow resolving these ambiguities.

  17. Linking microbial community structure and microbial processes: An empirical and conceptual overview

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bier, R.L.; Bernhardt, E.S.;; Boot, C.M.; Graham, E.B.;; Hall, E.K.; Lennon, J.T.; Nemergut, D.R.; Osborne, B.B.; Ruiz-Gonzalez, C.; Schimel, J.P.; Waldrop, Mark P.; Wallenstein, M.D.

    2015-01-01

    A major goal of microbial ecology is to identify links between microbial community structure and microbial processes. Although this objective seems straightforward, there are conceptual and methodological challenges to designing studies that explicitly evaluate this link. Here, we analyzed literature documenting structure and process responses to manipulations to determine the frequency of structure-process links and whether experimental approaches and techniques influence link detection. We examined nine journals (published 2009–13) and retained 148 experimental studies measuring microbial community structure and processes. Many qualifying papers (112 of 148) documented structure and process responses, but few (38 of 112 papers) reported statistically testing for a link. Of these tested links, 75% were significant and typically used Spearman or Pearson's correlation analysis (68%). No particular approach for characterizing structure or processes was more likely to produce significant links. Process responses were detected earlier on average than responses in structure or both structure and process. Together, our findings suggest that few publications report statistically testing structure-process links. However, when links are tested for they often occur but share few commonalities in the processes or structures that were linked and the techniques used for measuring them.

  18. Scorpion Potassium Channel-blocking Defensin Highlights a Functional Link with Neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Meng, Lanxia; Xie, Zili; Zhang, Qian; Li, Yang; Yang, Fan; Chen, Zongyun; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian; Wu, Yingliang

    2016-03-25

    The structural similarity between defensins and scorpion neurotoxins suggests that they might have evolved from a common ancestor. However, there is no direct experimental evidence demonstrating a functional link between scorpion neurotoxins and defensins. The scorpion defensin BmKDfsin4 from Mesobuthus martensiiKarsch contains 37 amino acid residues and a conserved cystine-stabilized α/β structural fold. The recombinant BmKDfsin4, a classical defensin, has been found to have inhibitory activity against Gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Micrococcus luteusas well as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Interestingly, electrophysiological experiments showed that BmKDfsin4,like scorpion potassium channel neurotoxins, could effectively inhibit Kv1.1, Kv1.2, and Kv1.3 channel currents, and its IC50value for the Kv1.3 channel was 510.2 nm Similar to the structure-function relationships of classical scorpion potassium channel-blocking toxins, basic residues (Lys-13 and Arg-19) of BmKDfsin4 play critical roles in peptide-Kv1.3 channel interactions. Furthermore, mutagenesis and electrophysiological experiments demonstrated that the channel extracellular pore region is the binding site of BmKDfsin4, indicating that BmKDfsin4 adopts the same mechanism for blocking potassium channel currents as classical scorpion toxins. Taken together, our work identifies scorpion BmKDfsin4 as the first invertebrate defensin to block potassium channels. These findings not only demonstrate that defensins from invertebrate animals are a novel type of potassium channel blockers but also provide evidence of a functional link between defensins and neurotoxins.

  19. Variability of structurally constrained and unconstrained functional connectivity in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Ye; Liddle, Peter; Zhang, Jie; Francis, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Spatial variation in connectivity is an integral aspect of the brain's architecture. In the absence of this variability, the brain may act as a single homogenous entity without regional specialization. In this study, we investigate the variability in functional links categorized on the basis of the presence of direct structural paths (primary) or indirect paths mediated by one (secondary) or more (tertiary) brain regions ascertained by diffusion tensor imaging. We quantified the variability in functional connectivity using an unbiased estimate of unpredictability (functional connectivity entropy) in a neuropsychiatric disorder where structure‐function relationship is considered to be abnormal; 34 patients with schizophrenia and 32 healthy controls underwent DTI and resting state functional MRI scans. Less than one‐third (27.4% in patients, 27.85% in controls) of functional links between brain regions were regarded as direct primary links on the basis of DTI tractography, while the rest were secondary or tertiary. The most significant changes in the distribution of functional connectivity in schizophrenia occur in indirect tertiary paths with no direct axonal linkage in both early (P = 0.0002, d = 1.46) and late (P = 1 × 10−17, d = 4.66) stages of schizophrenia, and are not altered by the severity of symptoms, suggesting that this is an invariant feature of this illness. Unlike those with early stage illness, patients with chronic illness show some additional reduction in the distribution of connectivity among functional links that have direct structural paths (P = 0.08, d = 0.44). Our findings address a critical gap in the literature linking structure and function in schizophrenia, and demonstrate for the first time that the abnormal state of functional connectivity preferentially affects structurally unconstrained links in schizophrenia. It also raises the question of a continuum of dysconnectivity ranging from less direct

  20. Current topics of functional links between primary cilia and cell cycle.

    PubMed

    Izawa, Ichiro; Goto, Hidemasa; Kasahara, Kousuke; Inagaki, Masaki

    2015-01-01

    Primary cilia, microtubule-based sensory structures, orchestrate various critical signals during development and tissue homeostasis. In view of the rising interest into the reciprocal link between ciliogenesis and cell cycle, we discuss here several recent advances to understand the molecular link between the individual step of ciliogenesis and cell cycle control. At the onset of ciliogenesis (the transition from centrosome to basal body), distal appendage proteins have been established as components indispensable for the docking of vesicles at the mother centriole. In the initial step of axonemal extension, CP110, Ofd1, and trichoplein, key negative regulators of ciliogenesis, are found to be removed by a kinase-dependent mechanism, autophagy, and ubiquitin-proteasome system, respectively. Of note, their disposal functions as a restriction point to decide that the axonemal nucleation and extension begin. In the elongation step, Nde1, a negative regulator of ciliary length, is revealed to be ubiquitylated and degraded by CDK5-SCF(Fbw7) in a cell cycle-dependent manner. With regard to ciliary length control, it has been uncovered in flagellar shortening of Chlamydomonas that cilia itself transmit a ciliary length signal to cytoplasm. At the ciliary resorption step upon cell cycle re-entry, cilia are found to be disassembled not only by Aurora A-HDAC6 pathway but also by Nek2-Kif24 and Plk1-Kif2A pathways through their microtubule-depolymerizing activity. On the other hand, it is becoming evident that the presence of primary cilia itself functions as a structural checkpoint for cell cycle re-entry. These data suggest that ciliogenesis and cell cycle intimately link each other, and further elucidation of these mechanisms will contribute to understanding the pathology of cilia-related disease including cancer and discovering targets of therapeutic interventions. PMID:26719793

  1. Structure Function Estimated From Histological Tissue Sections.

    PubMed

    Han, Aiguo; O'Brien, William D

    2016-09-01

    Ultrasonic scattering is determined by not only the properties of individual scatterers but also the correlation among scatterer positions. The role of scatterer spatial correlation is significant for dense medium, but has not been fully understood. The effect of scatterer spatial correlation may be modeled by the structure function as a frequency-dependent factor in the backscatter coefficient (BSC) expression. The structure function has been previously estimated from the BSC data. The aim of this study is to estimate the structure function from histology to test if the acoustically estimated structure function is indeed caused by the scatterer spatial distribution. Hematoxylin and eosin stained histological sections from dense cell pellet biophantoms were digitized. The scatterer positions were determined manually from the histological images. The structure function was calculated from the extracted scatterer positions. The structure function obtained from histology showed reasonable agreement in the shape but not in the amplitude, compared with the structure function previously estimated from the backscattered data. Fitting a polydisperse structure function model to the histologically estimated structure function yielded relatively accurate cell radius estimates ([Formula: see text]). Furthermore, two types of mouse tumors that have similar cell size and shape but distinct cell spatial distributions were studied, where the backscattered data were shown to be related to the cell spatial distribution through the structure function estimated from histology. In conclusion, the agreement between acoustically estimated and histologically estimated structure functions suggests that the acoustically estimated structure function is related to the scatterer spatial distribution.

  2. Structure and functions of fungal cell surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nozawa, Y.

    1984-01-01

    A review with 24 references on the biochemistry, molecular structure, and function of cell surfaces of fungi, especially dermatophytes: the chemistry and structure of the cell wall, the effect of polyene antibiotics on the morphology and function of cytoplasmic membranes, and the chemical structure and function of pigments produced by various fungi are discussed.

  3. Soft nanotechnology: "structure" vs. "function".

    PubMed

    Whitesides, George M; Lipomi, Darren J

    2009-01-01

    This paper offers a perspective on "soft nanotechnology"; that is, the branch of nanotechnology concerned with the synthesis and properties of organic and organometallic nanostructures, and with nanofabrication using techniques in which soft components play key roles. It begins with a brief history of soft nanotechnology. This history has followed a path involving a gradual shift from the promise of revolutionary electronics, nanorobotics, and other futuristic concepts, to the realization of evolutionary improvements in the technology for current challenges in information technology, medicine, and sustainability. Soft nanoscience is an area that is occupied principally by chemists, and is in many ways indistinguishable from "nanochemistry". The paper identifies the natural tendency of its practitioners--exemplified by the speakers at this Faraday Discussion--to focus on synthesis and structure, rather than on function and application, of nanostructures. Soft nanotechnology has the potential to apply to a wide variety of large-scale applied (information technology, healthcare cost reduction, sustainability, energy) and fundamental (molecular biochemistry, cell biology, charge transport in organic matter) problems. PMID:20334113

  4. Soft nanotechnology: "structure" vs. "function".

    PubMed

    Whitesides, George M; Lipomi, Darren J

    2009-01-01

    This paper offers a perspective on "soft nanotechnology"; that is, the branch of nanotechnology concerned with the synthesis and properties of organic and organometallic nanostructures, and with nanofabrication using techniques in which soft components play key roles. It begins with a brief history of soft nanotechnology. This history has followed a path involving a gradual shift from the promise of revolutionary electronics, nanorobotics, and other futuristic concepts, to the realization of evolutionary improvements in the technology for current challenges in information technology, medicine, and sustainability. Soft nanoscience is an area that is occupied principally by chemists, and is in many ways indistinguishable from "nanochemistry". The paper identifies the natural tendency of its practitioners--exemplified by the speakers at this Faraday Discussion--to focus on synthesis and structure, rather than on function and application, of nanostructures. Soft nanotechnology has the potential to apply to a wide variety of large-scale applied (information technology, healthcare cost reduction, sustainability, energy) and fundamental (molecular biochemistry, cell biology, charge transport in organic matter) problems.

  5. Variable and complex food web structures revealed by exploring missing trophic links between birds and biofilm.

    PubMed

    Kuwae, Tomohiro; Miyoshi, Eiichi; Hosokawa, Shinya; Ichimi, Kazuhiko; Hosoya, Jun; Amano, Tatsuya; Moriya, Toshifumi; Kondoh, Michio; Ydenberg, Ronald C; Elner, Robert W

    2012-04-01

    Food webs are comprised of a network of trophic interactions and are essential to elucidating ecosystem processes and functions. However, the presence of unknown, but critical networks hampers understanding of complex and dynamic food webs in nature. Here, we empirically demonstrate a missing link, both critical and variable, by revealing that direct predator-prey relationships between shorebirds and biofilm are widespread and mediated by multiple ecological and evolutionary determinants. Food source mixing models and energy budget estimates indicate that the strength of the missing linkage is dependent on predator traits (body mass and foraging action rate) and the environment that determines food density. Morphological analyses, showing that smaller bodied species possess more developed feeding apparatus to consume biofilm, suggest that the linkage is also phylogenetically dependent and affords a compelling re-interpretation of niche differentiation. We contend that exploring missing links is a necessity for revealing true network structure and dynamics.

  6. Linking Executive Function and Peer Problems from Early Childhood Through Middle Adolescence.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Christopher J; Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen; Deater-Deckard, Kirby

    2016-01-01

    Peer interactions and executive function play central roles in the development of healthy children, as peer problems have been indicative of lower cognitive competencies such as self-regulatory behavior and poor executive function has been indicative of problem behaviors and social dysfunction. However, few studies have focused on the relation between peer interactions and executive function and the underlying mechanisms that may create this link. Using a national sample (n = 1164, 48.6% female) from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD), we analyzed executive function and peer problems (including victimization and rejection) across three waves within each domain (executive function or peer problems), beginning in early childhood and ending in middle adolescence. Executive function was measured as a multi-method, multi-informant composite including reports from parents on the Children's Behavior Questionnaire and Child Behavior Checklist and child's performance on behavioral tasks including the Continuous Performance Task, Woodcock-Johnson, Tower of Hanoi, Operation Span Task, Stroop, and Tower of London. Peer problems were measured as a multi-informant composite including self, teacher, and afterschool caregiver reports on multiple peer-relationship scales. Using a cross-lagged design, our Structural Equation Modeling findings suggested that experiencing peer problems contributed to lower executive function later in childhood and better executive function reduced the likelihood of experiencing peer problems later in childhood and middle adolescence, although these relations weakened as a child moves into adolescence. The results highlight that peer relationships are involved in the development of strengths and deficits in executive function and vice versa. PMID:26096194

  7. Linking Executive Function and Peer Problems from Early Childhood Through Middle Adolescence.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Christopher J; Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen; Deater-Deckard, Kirby

    2016-01-01

    Peer interactions and executive function play central roles in the development of healthy children, as peer problems have been indicative of lower cognitive competencies such as self-regulatory behavior and poor executive function has been indicative of problem behaviors and social dysfunction. However, few studies have focused on the relation between peer interactions and executive function and the underlying mechanisms that may create this link. Using a national sample (n = 1164, 48.6% female) from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD), we analyzed executive function and peer problems (including victimization and rejection) across three waves within each domain (executive function or peer problems), beginning in early childhood and ending in middle adolescence. Executive function was measured as a multi-method, multi-informant composite including reports from parents on the Children's Behavior Questionnaire and Child Behavior Checklist and child's performance on behavioral tasks including the Continuous Performance Task, Woodcock-Johnson, Tower of Hanoi, Operation Span Task, Stroop, and Tower of London. Peer problems were measured as a multi-informant composite including self, teacher, and afterschool caregiver reports on multiple peer-relationship scales. Using a cross-lagged design, our Structural Equation Modeling findings suggested that experiencing peer problems contributed to lower executive function later in childhood and better executive function reduced the likelihood of experiencing peer problems later in childhood and middle adolescence, although these relations weakened as a child moves into adolescence. The results highlight that peer relationships are involved in the development of strengths and deficits in executive function and vice versa.

  8. Integrated reactive ion etching to pattern cross-linked hydrophilic polymer structures for protein immobilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhatnagar, Parijat; Strickland, Aaron D.; Kim, Il; Malliaras, George G.; Batt, Carl A.

    2007-04-01

    Patterning of cross-linked hydrophilic polymer features using reactive ion etching (RIE) capable of covalently immobilizing proteins has been achieved. Projection photolithography was used to pattern photoresist to create micromolds. Vapor phase molecular self-assembly of polymerizable monolayer in molds allowed covalent binding of hydrogel on surface during free-radical polymerization. Excess hydrogel blanket film was consumed with oxygen RIE resulting into hydrogel pattern of 1μm size aligned to prefabricated silicon oxide structures. Proteins were finally coupled through their primary amine groups selectively to acid functionalized hydrogel features through stable amide linkages using 1-ethyl-3-[3-dimethylaminopropyl]carbodiimide hydrochloride and N-hydroxysulfosuccinimide.

  9. The origin and function of mirror neurons: the missing link.

    PubMed

    Lingnau, Angelika; Caramazza, Alfonso

    2014-04-01

    We argue, by analogy to the neural organization of the object recognition system, that demonstration of modulation of mirror neurons by associative learning does not imply absence of genetic adaptation. Innate connectivity defines the types of processes mirror neurons can participate in while allowing for extensive local plasticity. However, the proper function of these neurons remains to be worked out.

  10. Morphology and behaviour: functional links in development and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Bertossa, Rinaldo C.

    2011-01-01

    Development and evolution of animal behaviour and morphology are frequently addressed independently, as reflected in the dichotomy of disciplines dedicated to their study distinguishing object of study (morphology versus behaviour) and perspective (ultimate versus proximate). Although traits are known to develop and evolve semi-independently, they are matched together in development and evolution to produce a unique functional phenotype. Here I highlight similarities shared by both traits, such as the decisive role played by the environment for their ontogeny. Considering the widespread developmental and functional entanglement between both traits, many cases of adaptive evolution are better understood when proximate and ultimate explanations are integrated. A field integrating these perspectives is evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), which studies the developmental basis of phenotypic diversity. Ultimate aspects in evo-devo studies—which have mostly focused on morphological traits—could become more apparent when behaviour, ‘the integrator of form and function’, is integrated into the same framework of analysis. Integrating a trait such as behaviour at a different level in the biological hierarchy will help to better understand not only how behavioural diversity is produced, but also how levels are connected to produce functional phenotypes and how these evolve. A possible framework to accommodate and compare form and function at different levels of the biological hierarchy is outlined. At the end, some methodological issues are discussed. PMID:21690124

  11. Disgust: Evolved Function and Structure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tybur, Joshua M.; Lieberman, Debra; Kurzban, Robert; DeScioli, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Interest in and research on disgust has surged over the past few decades. The field, however, still lacks a coherent theoretical framework for understanding the evolved function or functions of disgust. Here we present such a framework, emphasizing 2 levels of analysis: that of evolved function and that of information processing. Although there is…

  12. RTTN Mutations Link Primary Cilia Function to Organization of the Human Cerebral Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kheradmand Kia, Sima; Verbeek, Elly; Engelen, Erik; Schot, Rachel; Poot, Raymond A.; de Coo, Irenaeus F.M.; Lequin, Maarten H.; Poulton, Cathryn J.; Pourfarzad, Farzin; Grosveld, Frank G.; Brehm, António; de Wit, Marie Claire Y.; Oegema, Renske; Dobyns, William B.; Verheijen, Frans W.; Mancini, Grazia M.S.

    2012-01-01

    Polymicrogyria is a malformation of the developing cerebral cortex caused by abnormal organization and characterized by many small gyri and fusion of the outer molecular layer. We have identified autosomal-recessive mutations in RTTN, encoding Rotatin, in individuals with bilateral diffuse polymicrogyria from two separate families. Rotatin determines early embryonic axial rotation, as well as anteroposterior and dorsoventral patterning in the mouse. Human Rotatin has recently been identified as a centrosome-associated protein. The Drosophila melanogaster homolog of Rotatin, Ana3, is needed for structural integrity of centrioles and basal bodies and maintenance of sensory neurons. We show that Rotatin colocalizes with the basal bodies at the primary cilium. Cultured fibroblasts from affected individuals have structural abnormalities of the cilia and exhibit downregulation of BMP4, WNT5A, and WNT2B, which are key regulators of cortical patterning and are expressed at the cortical hem, the cortex-organizing center that gives rise to Cajal-Retzius (CR) neurons. Interestingly, we have shown that in mouse embryos, Rotatin colocalizes with CR neurons at the subpial marginal zone. Knockdown experiments in human fibroblasts and neural stem cells confirm a role for RTTN in cilia structure and function. RTTN mutations therefore link aberrant ciliary function to abnormal development and organization of the cortex in human individuals. PMID:22939636

  13. Controlled degradation of hydrogels using multi-functional cross-linking molecules.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kuen Yong; Bouhadir, Kamal H; Mooney, David J

    2004-06-01

    Hydrogels, chemically cross-linked or physically entangled, have found a number of applications as novel delivery vehicles of drugs and cells. However, the narrow ranges of degradation rates and mechanical strength currently available from many hydrogels limits their applications. We have hypothesized that utilization of multi-functional cross-linking molecules to form hydrogels could provide a wider range and tighter control over the degradation rates and mechanical stiffness of gels than bi-functional cross-linking molecules. To address the possibility, we isolated alpha-L-guluronate residues of sodium alginate, and oxidized them to prepare poly(aldehyde guluronate) (PAG). Hydrogels were formed with either poly(acrylamide-co-hydrazide) (PAH) as a multi-functional cross-linking molecule or adipic acid dihydrazide (AAD) as a bi-functional cross-linking molecule. The initial properties and degradation behavior of both PAG gel types were monitored. PAG/PAH hydrogels showed higher mechanical stiffness before degradation and degraded more slowly than PAG/AAD gels, at the same concentration of cross-linking functional groups. The enhanced mechanical stiffness and prolonged degradation behavior could be attributed to the multiple attachment points of PAH in the gel at the same concentration of functional groups. This approach to regulating gel properties with multifunctional cross-linking molecules could be broadly used in hydrogels. PMID:14751730

  14. Cross-Linking and Mass Spectrometry Methodologies to Facilitate Structural Biology: Finding a Path through the Maze

    SciTech Connect

    Merkley, Eric D.; Cort, John R.; Adkins, Joshua N.

    2013-09-01

    Multiprotein complexes, rather than individual proteins, make up a large part of the biological macromolecular machinery of a cell. Understanding the structure and organization of these complexes is critical to understanding cellular function. Chemical cross-linking coupled with mass spectrometry is emerging as a complementary technique to traditional structural biology methods and can provide low-resolution structural information for a multitude of purposes, such as distance constraints in computational modeling of protein complexes. In this review, we discuss the experimental considerations for successful application of chemical cross-linking-mass spectrometry in biological studies and highlight three examples of such studies from the recent literature. These examples (as well as many others) illustrate the utility of a chemical cross-linking-mass spectrometry approach in facilitating structural analysis of large and challenging complexes.

  15. Modeling behavior: the quest to link mechanisms to function.

    PubMed

    Janus, C; Dubnau, J

    2003-02-01

    T. Dobzhansky (1973) has been credited with saying: 'nothing in biology makes sense, except in the light of evolution'. The evolutionary conservation of gene function, as well as remarkable conservation of elemental behavioral mechanisms, guarantees that much of what we learn in one organism will inform our understanding of behavior in all animals, including humans. This insight has permitted behavior-geneticists to choose organisms based on experimental tractability for a given scientific question. IBANGS as a society has clearly embraced this Dobzhanskian worldview. As a result, the intellectual synergy of cross-species behavior-genetic analysis was palpable at the IBANGS meeting in Tours, France.

  16. Effects on Scale Linking of Different Definitions of Criterion Functions for the IRT Characteristic Curve Methods

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Seonghoon; Kolen, Michael J.

    2007-01-01

    Under item response theory, the characteristic curve methods (Haebara and Stocking-Lord methods) are used to link two ability scales from separate calibrations. The linking methods use their respective criterion functions that can be defined differently according to the symmetry- and distribution-related schemes. The symmetry-related scheme…

  17. Linked Sex Differences in Cognition and Functional Connectivity in Youth.

    PubMed

    Satterthwaite, Theodore D; Wolf, Daniel H; Roalf, David R; Ruparel, Kosha; Erus, Guray; Vandekar, Simon; Gennatas, Efstathios D; Elliott, Mark A; Smith, Alex; Hakonarson, Hakon; Verma, Ragini; Davatzikos, Christos; Gur, Raquel E; Gur, Ruben C

    2015-09-01

    Sex differences in human cognition are marked, but little is known regarding their neural origins. Here, in a sample of 674 human participants ages 9-22, we demonstrate that sex differences in cognitive profiles are related to multivariate patterns of resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rsfc-MRI). Males outperformed females on motor and spatial cognitive tasks; females were faster in tasks of emotion identification and nonverbal reasoning. Sex differences were also prominent in the rsfc-MRI data at multiple scales of analysis, with males displaying more between-module connectivity, while females demonstrated more within-module connectivity. Multivariate pattern analysis using support vector machines classified subject sex on the basis of their cognitive profile with 63% accuracy (P < 0.001), but was more accurate using functional connectivity data (71% accuracy; P < 0.001). Moreover, the degree to which a given participant's cognitive profile was "male" or "female" was significantly related to the masculinity or femininity of their pattern of brain connectivity (P = 2.3 × 10(-7)). This relationship was present even when considering males and female separately. Taken together, these results demonstrate for the first time that sex differences in patterns of cognition are in part represented on a neural level through divergent patterns of brain connectivity.

  18. Multipolar functions of BCL-2 proteins link energetics to apoptosis

    PubMed Central

    Hardwick, J. Marie; Chen, Ying-bei; Jonas, Elizabeth A.

    2012-01-01

    Classical apoptotic cell death is now sufficiently well understood to be interrogated with mathematical modeling and to be skillfully manipulated with targeted drugs for clinical benefit. However, a biological black hole has emerged with the realization that apoptosis regulators are functionally multipolar. BCL-2 family proteins appear to have much greater effects on cells than can be explained by their known roles in apoptosis. While these effects may be observable simply because the cell is not dead, the general assumption is that BCL-2 proteins have yet undiscovered biochemical activities. Conversely, these yet uncharacterized day-jobs may underlie their profound effects on cell survival, challenging current assumptions about classical apoptosis. Even their sub-mitochondrial localizations remain controversial. Here we attempt to integrate seemingly conflicting information with the prospect that BCL-2 proteins themselves may be the critical crosstalk between life and death. PMID:22560661

  19. Glutamatergic Neurotransmission Links Sensitivity to Volatile Anesthetics with Mitochondrial Function.

    PubMed

    Zimin, Pavel I; Woods, Christian B; Quintana, Albert; Ramirez, Jan-Marino; Morgan, Philip G; Sedensky, Margaret M

    2016-08-22

    An enigma of modern medicine has persisted for over 150 years. The mechanisms by which volatile anesthetics (VAs) produce their effects (loss of consciousness, analgesia, amnesia, and immobility) remain an unsolved mystery. Many attractive putative molecular targets have failed to produce a significant effect when genetically tested in whole-animal models [1-3]. However, mitochondrial defects increase VA sensitivity in diverse organisms from nematodes to humans [4-6]. Ndufs4 knockout (KO) mice lack a subunit of mitochondrial complex I and are strikingly hypersensitive to VAs yet resistant to the intravenous anesthetic ketamine [7]. The change in VA sensitivity is the largest reported for a mammal. Limiting NDUFS4 loss to a subset of glutamatergic neurons recapitulates the VA hypersensitivity of Ndufs4(KO) mice, while loss in GABAergic or cholinergic neurons does not. Baseline electrophysiologic function of CA1 pyramidal neurons does not differ between Ndufs4(KO) and control mice. Isoflurane concentrations that anesthetize only Ndufs4(KO) mice (0.6%) decreased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) only in Ndufs4(KO) CA1 neurons, while concentrations effective in control mice (1.2%) decreased sEPSC frequencies in both control and Ndufs4(KO) CA1 pyramidal cells. Spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) were not differentially affected between genotypes. The effects of isoflurane were similar on evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) and paired pulse facilitation (PPF) in KO and control hippocampal slices. We propose that CA1 presynaptic excitatory neurotransmission is hypersensitive to isoflurane in Ndufs4(KO) mice due to the inhibition of pre-existing reduced complex I function, reaching a critical reduction that can no longer meet metabolic demands. PMID:27498564

  20. Joining the dots: neurobiological links in a functional analysis of depression

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Depression is one of the major contributors to the Total Disease Burden and afflicts about one-sixth of Western populations. One of the most effective treatments for depression focuses upon analysis of causal chains in overt behaviour, but does not include brain-related phenomena as steps along these causal pathways. Recent research findings regarding the neurobiological concomitants of depressive behaviour suggest a sequence of structural and functional alterations to the brain which may also produce a beneficial outcome for the depressed individual--that of adaptive withdrawal from uncontrollable aversive stressors. Linking these brain-based explanations to models of observable contingencies for depressive behaviour can provide a comprehensive explanation of how depressive behaviour occurs and why it persists in many patients. PMID:21143991

  1. Growth Points in Linking Representations of Function: A Research-Based Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ronda, Erlina

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes five growth points in linking representations of function developed from a study of secondary school learners. Framed within the cognitivist perspective and process-object conception of function, the growth points were identified and described based on linear and quadratic function tasks learners can do and their strategies…

  2. Practical Application of a Synthetic Linking Function on Small-Sample Equating

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Sooyeon; von Davier, Alina A.; Haberman, Shelby

    2011-01-01

    The synthetic function is a weighted average of the identity (the linking function for forms that are known to be completely parallel) and a traditional equating method. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the benefits of the synthetic function on small-sample equating using various real data sets gathered from different…

  3. Functional keratin as structural platforms

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wool with up to 95% keratin by weight is a rich and pure source of proteinous biomaterial. As polymeric polyamide it exhibits high functionality through amide, carboxyl, sulfoxide, sulfide, and thiosulfide functions. Solubilized wool was transformed into keratin morphologies with the unique characte...

  4. Stories: The Function of Structure.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mandler, Jean M.

    The differences between story grammar and story schema are outlined and discussed based on research on story understanding by children and adults. The contention of all story grammars is that stories have a relatively invariant structure despite great differences in story content. The importance of structure within folk tales, and the ways in…

  5. New scavenger resin for the reversible linking and monoprotection of functionalized aromatic aldehydes.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Mingzhao; Ruijter, Eelco; Wessjohann, Ludger A

    2004-10-28

    [reaction: see text] Polymer-supported benzylhydrazines were synthesized using poly(ethylene glycol) acrylamide (PEGA) resin. They can be used to scavenge electrophiles reactive with hydrazine. Especially aromatic aldehydes can be captured selectively, monoprotected, and reversibly linked in the presence of other functional groups, including electrophilic ones. Various reactions can be performed on these protectively linked aldehydes, which afterward can be released either with full restoration of the aldehyde function or, alternatively, with simultaneous conversion.

  6. Ecosystem functional properties - useful links to organism and to global scale?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reichstein, M.

    2015-12-01

    Classical biogeographical observations tell us that ecosystems (vegetation and soils) strongly respond to climate variation in terms of their structure and function. On the other hand the influence of vegetation function on climate via exchange of matter and energy with the atmosphere has become evident in the last decades via observational and modeling studies. Recent continuous observations of this exchange of CO2, H2O and sensible heat within the global observation network FLUXNET have enabled us to quantify ecosystem function in response to large eco-climatological spatio-temporal variability of climate. We see that ecosystem function co-varies strongly with climate, but that climate alone does not suffice to explain the variation in total. Instead vegetation biophysical and structural parameters co-determine the exchange of carbon, water and energy between the ecosystem and the atmosphere. By combining ecosystem level observation and information of spatial meteorological and vegetation remote sensing covariates we can infer global patterns of ecosystem atmosphere fluxes and derive key ecosystem functional properties globally. While this approach is powerful and meteorological and vegetation structural predictors explain more than 70% of the spatial variation of monthly fluxes at FLUXNET sites, it ignores the effect of ecophysiological vegetation properties, which is expected from plant physiological leaf or whole-plant studies. Hence, future research has to more strongly link the organismic trait information with ecosystem functional properties. For this we propose a framework that involves 1) the correlation of community aggregated traits with flux-derived ecosystem properties across a range of ecosystems, 2) the up-scaling of vegetation traits using spatially distributed geo-ecological co-variates and the comparison with global ecosystem functional properties and their co-variation with climate, 3) the use of vegetation traits instead of vegetation classes

  7. Structural properties of prokaryotic promoter regions correlate with functional features.

    PubMed

    Meysman, Pieter; Collado-Vides, Julio; Morett, Enrique; Viola, Roberto; Engelen, Kristof; Laukens, Kris

    2014-01-01

    The structural properties of the DNA molecule are known to play a critical role in transcription. In this paper, the structural profiles of promoter regions were studied within the context of their diversity and their function for eleven prokaryotic species; Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella Typhimurium, Pseudomonas auroginosa, Geobacter sulfurreducens Helicobacter pylori, Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Synechocystis sp., Synechoccocus elongates, Bacillus anthracis, and the archaea Sulfolobus solfataricus. The main anchor point for these promoter regions were transcription start sites identified through high-throughput experiments or collected within large curated databases. Prokaryotic promoter regions were found to be less stable and less flexible than the genomic mean across all studied species. However, direct comparison between species revealed differences in their structural profiles that can not solely be explained by the difference in genomic GC content. In addition, comparison with functional data revealed that there are patterns in the promoter structural profiles that can be linked to specific functional loci, such as sigma factor regulation or transcription factor binding. Interestingly, a novel structural element clearly visible near the transcription start site was found in genes associated with essential cellular functions and growth in several species. Our analyses reveals the great diversity in promoter structural profiles both between and within prokaryotic species. We observed relationships between structural diversity and functional features that are interesting prospects for further research to yet uncharacterized functional loci defined by DNA structural properties.

  8. Adolescent emotionality and effortful control: Core latent constructs and links to psychopathology and functioning

    PubMed Central

    Snyder, Hannah R.; Gulley, Lauren D.; Bijttebier, Patricia; Hartman, Catharina A.; Oldehinkel, Albertine J.; Mezulis, Amy; Young, Jami F.; Hankin, Benjamin L.

    2015-01-01

    Temperament is associated with important outcomes in adolescence, including academic and interpersonal functioning and psychopathology. Rothbart’s temperament model is among the most well-studied and supported approaches to adolescent temperament, and contains three main components: positive emotionality (PE), negative emotionality (NE), and effortful control (EC). However, the latent factor structure of Rothbart’s temperament measure for adolescents, the Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire Revised (EATQ-R, Ellis & Rothbart, 2001) has not been definitively established. To address this problem and investigate links between adolescent temperament and functioning, we used confirmatory factor analysis to examine the latent constructs of the EATQ-R in a large combined sample. For EC and NE, bifactor models consisting of a common factor plus specific factors for some sub-facets of each component fit best, providing a more nuanced understanding of these temperament dimensions. The nature of the PE construct in the EATQ-R is less clear. Models replicated in a hold-out dataset. The common components of high NE and low EC where broadly associated with increased psychopathology symptoms, and poor interpersonal and school functioning, while specific components of NE were further associated with corresponding specific components of psychopathology. Further questioning the construct validity of PE as measured by the EATQ-R, PE factors did not correlate with construct validity measures in a way consistent with theories of PE. Bringing consistency to the way the EATQ-R is modeled and using purer latent variables has the potential to advance the field in understanding links between dimensions of temperament and important outcomes of adolescent development. PMID:26011660

  9. Adolescent emotionality and effortful control: Core latent constructs and links to psychopathology and functioning.

    PubMed

    Snyder, Hannah R; Gulley, Lauren D; Bijttebier, Patricia; Hartman, Catharina A; Oldehinkel, Albertine J; Mezulis, Amy; Young, Jami F; Hankin, Benjamin L

    2015-12-01

    Temperament is associated with important outcomes in adolescence, including academic and interpersonal functioning and psychopathology. Rothbart's temperament model is among the most well-studied and supported approaches to adolescent temperament, and contains 3 main components: positive emotionality (PE), negative emotionality (NE), and effortful control (EC). However, the latent factor structure of Rothbart's temperament measure for adolescents, the Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire Revised (EATQ-R; Ellis & Rothbart, 2001) has not been definitively established. To address this problem and investigate links between adolescent temperament and functioning, we used confirmatory factor analysis to examine the latent constructs of the EATQ-R in a large combined sample. For EC and NE, bifactor models consisting of a common factor plus specific factors for some subfacets of each component fit best, providing a more nuanced understanding of these temperament dimensions. The nature of the PE construct in the EATQ-R is less clear. Models replicated in a hold-out dataset. The common components of high NE and low EC where broadly associated with increased psychopathology symptoms, and poor interpersonal and school functioning, while specific components of NE were further associated with corresponding specific components of psychopathology. Further questioning the construct validity of PE as measured by the EATQ-R, PE factors did not correlate with construct validity measures in a way consistent with theories of PE. Bringing consistency to the way the EATQ-R is modeled and using purer latent variables has the potential to advance the field in understanding links between dimensions of temperament and important outcomes of adolescent development. PMID:26011660

  10. Structure and function of the Ca antigen.

    PubMed Central

    Bramwell, M. E.; Bhavanandan, V. P.; Wiseman, G.; Harris, H.

    1983-01-01

    The Ca antigen, which can be detected in a wide range of malignant human tumours by means of the Cal antibody, is a glycoprotein of the mucin type. At least 95% of the carbohydrate is 0-glycosidically linked to the polypeptide which contains high proportions of glycine, serine and glutamic acid. The carbohydrate has a very simple structure: it is composed almost entirely of tetra- tri- and disaccharides having the general formula (NeuNac)n leads to [Gal leads to GalNac] alpha leads to, where n = 0, 1 or 2. In many malignant cell lines, the antigen is produced constitutively in vitro; but in one that has been examined, its synthesis can be induced by high concentrations of lactate. Evidence is presented for the view that a primary function of this glycoprotein is to shield the cells that produce it from hydrogen ion concentrations outside of the physiological range. The presence of the Ca antigen in malignant tumours may thus be a reflection of metabolic conditions that are known to be characteristics of such tumours. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 PMID:6349673

  11. Models of Protocellular Structure, Function and Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    New, Michael H.; Pohorille, Andrew; Szostak, Jack W.; Keefe, Tony; Lanyi, Janos K.

    2001-01-01

    In the absence of any record of protocells, the most direct way to test our understanding of the origin of cellular life is to construct laboratory models that capture important features of protocellular systems. Such efforts are currently underway in a collaborative project between NASA-Ames, Harvard Medical School and University of California. They are accompanied by computational studies aimed at explaining self-organization of simple molecules into ordered structures. The centerpiece of this project is a method for the in vitro evolution of protein enzymes toward arbitrary catalytic targets. A similar approach has already been developed for nucleic acids in which a small number of functional molecules are selected from a large, random population of candidates. The selected molecules are next vastly multiplied using the polymerase chain reaction. A mutagenic approach, in which the sequences of selected molecules are randomly altered, can yield further improvements in performance or alterations of specificities. Unfortunately, the catalytic potential of nucleic acids is rather limited. Proteins are more catalytically capable but cannot be directly amplified. In the new technique, this problem is circumvented by covalently linking each protein of the initial, diverse, pool to the RNA sequence that codes for it. Then, selection is performed on the proteins, but the nucleic acids are replicated. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  12. Reconciling abnormalities of brain network structure and function in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Fornito, Alex; Bullmore, Edward T

    2015-02-01

    Schizophrenia is widely regarded as a disorder of abnormal brain connectivity. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suggests that patients show robust reductions of structural connectivity. However, corresponding changes in functional connectivity do not always follow, with increased functional connectivity being reported in many cases. Here, we consider different methodological and mechanistic accounts that might reconcile these apparently contradictory findings and argue that increased functional connectivity in schizophrenia likely represents a pathophysiological dysregulation of brain activity arising from abnormal neurodevelopmental wiring of structural connections linking putative hub regions of association cortex to other brain areas. Elucidating the pathophysiological significance of connectivity abnormalities in schizophrenia will be contingent on better understanding how network structure shapes and constrains function.

  13. Linking Wave Forcing to Coral Cover and Structural Complexity Across Coral Reef Flats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, D. L.; Rovere, A.; Parravicini, V.; Casella, E.

    2015-12-01

    The hydrodynamic regime is a significant component in the geomorphic and ecological development of coral reefs. The energy gradients and flow conditions generated by the breaking and transformation of waves across coral reef crests and flats drive changes in geomorphic structure, and coral growth form and distribution. One of the key aspects in regulating the wave energy propagating across reef flats is the rugosity or roughness of the benthic substrate. Rugosity and structural complexity of coral reefs is also a key indicator of species diversity, ecological functioning, and reef health. However, the links between reef rugosity, coral species distribution and abundance, and hydrodynamic forcing are poorly understood. In this study we examine this relationship by using high resolution measurement of waves in the surf zone and coral reef benthic structure.Pressure transducers (logging at 4 Hz) were deployed in cross reef transects at two sites (Tiahura and Ha'apiti reef systems) in Moorea, French Polynesia with wave characteristics determined on a wave by wave basis. A one dimensional hydrodynamic model (XBeach) was calibrated from this data to determine wave processes on the reef flats under average conditions. Transects of the reef benthic structure were conducted using photographic analysis and the three dimensional reef surface was constructed using structure from motion procedures. From this analysis reef rugosity, changes in coral genus and growth form, and across reef shifts in benthic community were determined. The results show clear changes in benthic assemblages along wave energy gradients with some indication of threshold values of wave induced bed shear stress above which live coral cover was reduced. Reef rugosity was shown to be significantly along the cross-reef transect which has important implications for accurate assessment of wave dissipation across coral reef flats. Links between reef rugosity and coral genus were also observed and may indicate

  14. Protein mechanics: a route from structure to function.

    PubMed

    Lavery, Richard; Sacquin-Mora, Sophie

    2007-08-01

    In order to better understand the mechanical properties of proteins, we have developed simulation tools which enable these properties to be analysed on a residue-by-residue basis. Although these calculations are relatively expensive with all-atom protein models, good results can be obtained much faster using coarse-grained approaches. The results show that proteins are surprisingly heterogeneous from a mechanical point of view and that functionally important residues often exhibit unusual mechanical behaviour. This finding offers a novel means for detecting functional sites and also potentially provides a route for understanding the links between structure and function in more general terms.

  15. Infrared Structural Biology: Detect Functionally Important Structural Motions of Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Aihua

    Proteins are dynamic. Lack of dynamic structures of proteins hampers our understanding of protein functions. Infrared structural biology (IRSB) is an emerging technology. There are several advantages of IRSB for mechanistic studies of proteins: (1) its excellent dynamic range (detecting structural motions from picoseconds to >= seconds); (2) its high structural sensitivity (detect tiny but functionally important structural motions such as proton transfer and changes in hydrogen bonding interaction); (3) its ability to detect different structural motions simultaneously. Successful development of infrared structural biology demands not only new experimental techniques (from infrared technologies to chemical synthesis and cell biology), but also new data processing (how to translate infrared signals into quantitative structural information of proteins). These topics will be discussed as well as examples of how to use IRSB to study structure-function relationship of proteins. This work was supported by NSF DBI1338097 and OCAST HR10-078.

  16. Alu element-containing RNAs maintain nucleolar structure and function.

    PubMed

    Caudron-Herger, Maïwen; Pankert, Teresa; Seiler, Jeanette; Németh, Attila; Voit, Renate; Grummt, Ingrid; Rippe, Karsten

    2015-11-12

    Non-coding RNAs play a key role in organizing the nucleus into functional subcompartments. By combining fluorescence microscopy and RNA deep-sequencing-based analysis, we found that RNA polymerase II transcripts originating from intronic Alu elements (aluRNAs) were enriched in the nucleolus. Antisense-oligo-mediated depletion of aluRNAs or drug-induced inhibition of RNA polymerase II activity disrupted nucleolar structure and impaired RNA polymerase I-dependent transcription of rRNA genes. In contrast, overexpression of a prototypic aluRNA sequence increased both nucleolus size and levels of pre-rRNA, suggesting a functional link between aluRNA, nucleolus integrity and pre-rRNA synthesis. Furthermore, we show that aluRNAs interact with nucleolin and target ectopic genomic loci to the nucleolus. Our study suggests an aluRNA-based mechanism that links RNA polymerase I and II activities and modulates nucleolar structure and rRNA production.

  17. The structure and function of catalytic RNAs.

    PubMed

    Wu, QiJia; Huang, Lin; Zhang, Yi

    2009-03-01

    Before the discovery of ribozymes, RNA had been proposed to function as a catalyst, based on the discovery that RNA folded into high-ordered structures as protein did. This hypothesis was confirmed in the 1980s, after the discovery of Tetrahymena group I intron and RNase P ribozyme. There have been about ten ribozymes identified during the past thirty years, as well as the fact that ribosomes function as ribozymes. Advances have been made in understanding the structures and functions of ribozymes, with numerous crystal structures resolved in the past years. Here we review the structure-function relationship of both small and large ribozymes, especially the structural basis of their catalysis. ribozyme, structure, catalysis. PMID:19294348

  18. Structure and Function of the Mitochondrial Ribosome.

    PubMed

    Greber, Basil J; Ban, Nenad

    2016-06-01

    Mitochondrial ribosomes (mitoribosomes) perform protein synthesis inside mitochondria, the organelles responsible for energy conversion and adenosine triphosphate production in eukaryotic cells. Throughout evolution, mitoribosomes have become functionally specialized for synthesizing mitochondrial membrane proteins, and this has been accompanied by large changes to their structure and composition. We review recent high-resolution structural data that have provided unprecedented insight into the structure and function of mitoribosomes in mammals and fungi. PMID:27023846

  19. Tear Lipocalin: Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Dartt, Darlene A.

    2014-01-01

    Lipocalins are a family of diverse low molecular weight proteins that act extracellularly. They use multiple recognition properties that include: 1) ligand binding to small hydrophobic molecules, 2) macromolecular complexation with other soluble macromolecules, and 3) binding to specific cell surface receptors to deliver cargo. Tear lipocalin (TLC) is a major protein in tears and has a large ligand binding cavity that allows the lipocalin to bind an extensive and diverse set of lipophilic molecules. TLC can also bind to macromolecules including the tear proteins lactoferin and lysozyme. The receptor to which TLC binds is termed tear lipocalin interacting membrane receptor (LIMR). LIMR appears to work by endocytosis. TLC has a variety of suggested functions in tears including regulation of tear viscosity, binding and release of lipids, endonuclease inactivation of viral DNA, binding of microbial siderophores (iron chelators used to deliver essential iron to bacteria), use as a biomarker for dry eye, and possession of anti-inflammatory activity. Additional research is warranted to determine the actual functions of TLC in tears and the presence of its receptor on the ocular surface. PMID:21791187

  20. What are the Links Between Maternal Social Status, Hippocampal Function, and HPA Axis Function in Children?

    PubMed Central

    Sheridan, Margaret A.; How, Joan; Araujo, Melanie; Schamberg, Michelle A.; Nelson, Charles A.

    2013-01-01

    The association of parental social status with multiple health and achievement indicators in adulthood has driven researchers to attempt to identify mechanisms by which social experience in childhood could shift developmental trajectories. Some accounts for observed linkages between parental social status in childhood and health have hypothesized that early stress exposure could result in chronic disruptions in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation, and that this activation could lead to long term changes. A robust literature in adult animals has demonstrated that chronic HPA axis activation leads to changes in hippocampal structure and function. In the current study, consistent with studies in animals, we observe an association between both maternal self-rated social status and hippocampal activation in children and between maternal self-rated social status and salivary cortisol in children. PMID:24033572

  1. [Interferons: between structure and function].

    PubMed

    Bandurska, Katarzyna; Król, Izabela; Myga-Nowak, Magdalena

    2014-01-01

    Interferons are a family of proteins that are released by a variety of cells in response to infections caused by viruses. Currently, we distinguish three types of interferons. They are classified based on the nucleotide sequence, interaction with specific receptors, chromosomal location, structure and physicochemical properties. The following interferons are classified as type I: α, β, ω, κ, ε, ζ, τ, δ, ν. They are recognized and bound by a receptor formed by two peptides, IFN-αR1 and IFN-αR2. Representative of type II interferons is interferon-γ. It binds to a receptor composed of chains IFNGR-1 and IFNGR-2. The recently classified type III interferons comprise IFN-λ1, IFN-λ2, and IFN-λ3. They act on receptors formed by λR1 IFN-and IL-10R2 subunits. A high level of antiviral protection is achieved by IFN-α, IFN-β and IFN-λ. Antiviral activity of interferons is based on the induction and regulation of innate and acquired immune mechanisms. By binding to transmembrane receptors, IFN interacts with target cells mainly by activating the JAK/STAT, but also other signaling pathways. This leads to induction and activation of many antiviral agents, such as protein kinase RNA-activated (PKR), ribonuclease 2-5A pathway, and Mx proteins, as well as numerous apoptotic pathways. As a result of the protective effect of interferons, the virus binding to cells and viral particles penetration into cells is stopped, and the release of the nucleocapsid from an envelope is suppressed. Disruption of transcription and translation processes of the structural proteins prevents the formation of virions or budding of viruses, and as a result degradation of the viral mRNA; the started processes inhibit the chain synthesis of viral proteins and therefore further stimulate the immune system cells.

  2. Linking topological structure and dynamics in ecological networks.

    PubMed

    Alcántara, Julio M; Rey, Pedro J

    2012-08-01

    Interaction networks are basic descriptions of ecological communities and are at the core of community dynamics models. Knowledge of their structure should enable us to understand dynamical properties of ecological communities. However, the relationships between dynamical properties of communities and qualitative descriptors of network structure remain unclear. To improve our understanding of such relationships, we develop a framework based on the concept of strongly connected components, which are key structural components of networks necessary to explain stability properties such as persistence and robustness. We illustrate this framework for the analysis of qualitative empirical food webs and plant-plant interaction networks. Both types of networks exhibit high persistence (on average, 99% and 80% of species, respectively, are expected to persist) and robustness (only 0.2% and 2% of species are expected to disappear following the extinction of a species). Each of the networks is structured as a large group of interconnected species accompanied by much smaller groups that most often consist of a single species. This low-modularity configuration can be explained by a negative modularity-stability relationship. Our results suggest that ecological communities are not typically structured in multispecies compartments and that compartmentalization decreases robustness.

  3. Structural analysis of the asparagine-linked oligosaccharides of cholinesterases. N-linked carbohydrates of cholinesterases

    SciTech Connect

    Saxena, A.; Doctor, B.P.

    1995-12-31

    Cholinesterases are serine esterases that hydrolyse choline esters faster than other substrates. They are highly glycosylated proteins with up to 24% of their molecular weight constituted of carbohydrates. Here we report the results of our studies on the glycosylation of fetal bovine serum acetylcholinesterase (FBS AChE) and horse serum butyrylcholinesterase (Eq BChE). Analysis of the monosaccharide content of the two enzymes indicated that Eq BChE contained 520 nmoles of monosaccharide/mg protein, as compared to 1290 nmoles/mg protein for Eq BChE. Both enzymes contained mannose, galactose, N-acetylglucosamine and sialic acid. Fucose was present in Eq BChE only. The structures of the two major oligosaccharides from FBS AChE and one major oligosaccharide from Eq BChE were determined and found to be very similar except that one of the oligosaccharides from FBS AChE contained a galactose alphal-3 galactose betal-4-determinant which has been identified as a potentially immunogenic determinant.

  4. Changes in gastrointestinal tract function and structure in functional dyspepsia.

    PubMed

    Vanheel, Hanne; Farré, Ricard

    2013-03-01

    Functional dyspepsia is an extremely common disorder of gastrointestinal function. The disorder is thought to be heterogeneous, with different pathophysiological mechanisms underlying varied symptom patterns. A diversity of changes in gastrointestinal tract function and structure has been described in functional dyspepsia. These involve alterations in the stomach, such as impaired accommodation, delayed gastric emptying and hypersensitivity, and alterations in the duodenum, such as increased sensitivity to duodenal acid and/or lipids and low-grade inflammation. In this Review, we summarize all these abnormalities in an attempt to provide an integrated overview of the pathophysiological mechanisms in functional dyspepsia. PMID:23318268

  5. Linking suspended sediment transport metrics with fish functional traits in the Northwestern Great Plains (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartz, J. S.; Simon, A.; Klimetz, L.

    2009-12-01

    Loss of ecological integrity due to excessive suspended sediment in rivers and streams is a major cause of water quality impairment in the United States. Although 32 states have developed numeric criteria for turbidity or suspended solids, or both according to the USEPA (2006), criteria is typically written as a percent exceedance above background and what constitutes background is not well defined. Defining a background level is problematic considering suspended sediments and related turbidity levels change with flow stage and season, and limited scientific data exists on relationships between sediment exposure and biotic response. Current assessment protocols for development of sediment total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) lack a means to link temporally-variable sediment transport rates with specific losses of ecological functions as loads increase. This study, within the in Northwestern Great Plains Ecoregion, co-located 58 USGS gauging stations with existing flow and suspended sediment data, and fish data from federal and state agencies. Suspended sediment concentration (SSC) transport metrics were quantified into exceedance frequencies of a given magnitude, duration as the number of consecutive days a given concentration was equaled or exceeded, dosage as concentration x duration, and mean annual suspended sediment yields. A functional traits-based approach was used to correlate SSC transport metrics with site occurrences of 20 fish traits organized into four main groups: preferred rearing mesohabitat, trophic structure, feeding habits, and spawning behavior. Negative correlations between SSC metrics and trait occurrences were assumed to represent potential conditions for impairment, specifically identifying an ecological loss by functional trait. Potential impairment conditions were linked with presence of the following traits: habitat preferences for stream pool and river shallow waters; feeding generalists, omnivores, piscivores; and several spawning

  6. Structural design of hexa-link truss deployable antenna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebisui, Takashi; Okamoto, Teruki; Ookawa, Yoshiyuki; Tanizawa, Kazuo; Tabata, Masaki; Taniai, Hitoshi

    1993-03-01

    Structure of a 6 m deployable antenna mirror surface for communications satellite is designed paying attention to the following sections: the back structure section composed of 19 basic modules of hexagonal trapezoid shape, mirror mesh section composed of a cable net made from Al amide fiber with gold plated molybdenum mesh hung on it, and a deployment mechanism (sliding type and flexible type) of the deployable section for the offset parabolic antenna scale model of 6 m in aperture diameter. Deployment motion analysis was conducted with a hexagonal trapezoidal model of one module using the ADAMS (Automatic Dynamic Analysis of Mechanical System).

  7. Linking magma transport structures at Kīlauea volcano

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wech, Aaron G.; Thelen, Weston A.

    2015-09-01

    Identifying magma pathways is important for understanding and interpreting volcanic signals. At Kīlauea volcano, seismicity illuminates subsurface plumbing, but the broad spectrum of seismic phenomena hampers event identification. Discrete, long-period (LP) events dominate the shallow (5-10 km) plumbing, and deep (40+ km) tremor has been observed offshore. However, our inability to routinely identify these events limits their utility in tracking ascending magma. Using envelope cross-correlation, we systematically catalog non-earthquake seismicity between 2008 and 2014. We find that the LPs and deep tremor are spatially distinct, separated by the 15-25 km deep, horizontal mantle fault zone (MFZ). Our search corroborates previous observations, but we find broader band (0.5-20 Hz) tremor comprising collocated earthquakes and reinterpret the deep tremor as earthquake swarms in a volume surrounding and responding to magma intruding from the mantle plume beneath the MFZ. We propose that the overlying MFZ promotes lateral magma transport, linking this deep intrusion with Kīlauea's shallow magma plumbing.

  8. Linking magma transport structures at Kīlauea volcano

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wech, Aaron G.; Thelen, Weston A.

    2015-01-01

    Identifying magma pathways is important for understanding and interpreting volcanic signals. At Kīlauea volcano, seismicity illuminates subsurface plumbing, but the broad spectrum of seismic phenomena hampers event identification. Discrete, long-period events (LPs) dominate the shallow (5-10 km) plumbing, and deep (40+ km) tremor has been observed offshore. However, our inability to routinely identify these events limits their utility in tracking ascending magma. Using envelope cross-correlation, we systematically catalog non-earthquake seismicity between 2008-2014. We find the LPs and deep tremor are spatially distinct, separated by the 15-25 km deep, horizontal mantle fault zone (MFZ). Our search corroborates previous observations, but we find broader-band (0.5-20 Hz) tremor comprising collocated earthquakes and reinterpret the deep tremor as earthquake swarms in a volume surrounding and responding to magma intruding from the mantle plume beneath the MFZ. We propose the overlying MFZ promotes lateral magma transport, linking this deep intrusion with Kīlauea’s shallow magma plumbing.

  9. Structural Features of a Bacteroidetes-Affiliated Cellulase Linked with a Polysaccharide Utilization Locus.

    PubMed

    Naas, A E; MacKenzie, A K; Dalhus, B; Eijsink, V G H; Pope, P B

    2015-01-01

    Previous gene-centric analysis of a cow rumen metagenome revealed the first potentially cellulolytic polysaccharide utilization locus, of which the main catalytic enzyme (AC2aCel5A) was identified as a glycoside hydrolase (GH) family 5 endo-cellulase. Here we present the 1.8 Å three-dimensional structure of AC2aCel5A, and characterization of its enzymatic activities. The enzyme possesses the archetypical (β/α)8-barrel found throughout the GH5 family, and contains the two strictly conserved catalytic glutamates located at the C-terminal ends of β-strands 4 and 7. The enzyme is active on insoluble cellulose and acts exclusively on linear β-(1,4)-linked glucans. Co-crystallization of a catalytically inactive mutant with substrate yielded a 2.4 Å structure showing cellotriose bound in the -3 to -1 subsites. Additional electron density was observed between Trp178 and Trp254, two residues that form a hydrophobic "clamp", potentially interacting with sugars at the +1 and +2 subsites. The enzyme's active-site cleft was narrower compared to the closest structural relatives, which in contrast to AC2aCel5A, are also active on xylans, mannans and/or xyloglucans. Interestingly, the structure and function of this enzyme seem adapted to less-substituted substrates such as cellulose, presumably due to the insufficient space to accommodate the side-chains of branched glucans in the active-site cleft.

  10. Link prediction based on hyperbolic mapping with community structure for complex networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zuxi; Wu, Yao; Li, Qingguang; Jin, Fengdong; Xiong, Wei

    2016-05-01

    Link prediction is becoming a concerned topic in the complex network field in recent years. However, the existing link prediction methods are unsatisfactory for processing topological information and have high time complexity. This paper presents a novel method of Link Prediction with Community Structure (LPCS) based on hyperbolic mapping. Different from the existing link prediction methods, to utilize global structure information of the network, LPCS deals with the network from an overall perspective. LPCS takes full advantage of the community structure and its hierarchical organization to map networks into hyperbolic space, and obtains the hyperbolic coordinates which depict the global structure information of the network, then uses hyperbolic distance to describe the similarity between the nodes, finally predicts missing links according to the degree of the similarity between unconnected node pairs. The combination of the hyperbolic geometry framework and the community structure makes LPCS perform well in predicting missing links, and the time complexity of LPCS is linear, which makes LPCS can be applied to handle large scale networks in acceptable time. LPCS outperforms many state-of-the-art link prediction methods in the networks obeying power-law degree distribution.

  11. A Link between Protein Structure and Enzyme Catalyzed Hydrogen Tunneling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bahnson, Brian J.; Colby, Thomas D.; Chin, Jodie K.; Goldstein, Barry M.; Klinman, Judith P.

    1997-11-01

    We present evidence that the size of an active site side chain may modulate the degree of hydrogen tunneling in an enzyme-catalyzed reaction. Primary and secondary kH/kT and kD/kT kinetic isotope effects have been measured for the oxidation of benzyl alcohol catalyzed by horse liver alcohol dehydrogenase at 25 degrees C. As reported in earlier studies, the relationship between secondary kH/kT and kD/kT isotope effects provides a sensitive probe for deviations from classical behavior. In the present work, catalytic efficiency and the extent of hydrogen tunneling have been correlated for the alcohol dehydrogenase-catalyzed hydride transfer among a group of site-directed mutants at position 203. Val-203 interacts with the opposite face of the cofactor NAD+ from the alcohol substrate. The reduction in size of this residue is correlated with diminished tunneling and a two orders of magnitude decrease in catalytic efficiency. Comparison of the x-ray crystal structures of a ternary complex of a high-tunneling (Phe-93 --> Trp) and a low-tunneling (Val-203 --> Ala) mutant provides a structural basis for the observed effects, demonstrating an increase in the hydrogen transfer distance for the low-tunneling mutant. The Val-203 --> Ala ternary complex crystal structure also shows a hyperclosed interdomain geometry relative to the wild-type and the Phe-93 --> Trp mutant ternary complex structures. This demonstrates a flexibility in interdomain movement that could potentially narrow the distance between the donor and acceptor carbons in the native enzyme and may enhance the role of tunneling in the hydride transfer reaction.

  12. Structure and function analysis of protein-nucleic acid complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuznetsova, S. A.; Oretskaya, T. S.

    2016-05-01

    The review summarizes published data on the results and achievements in the field of structure and function analysis of protein-nucleic acid complexes by means of main physical and biochemical methods, including X-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, electron and atomic force microscopy, small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering, footprinting and cross-linking. Special attention is given to combined approaches. The advantages and limitations of each method are considered, and the prospects of their application for wide-scale structural studies in vivo are discussed. The bibliography includes 145 references.

  13. Structure and function analysis of protein–nucleic acid complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuznetsova, S. A.; Oretskaya, T. S.

    2016-05-01

    The review summarizes published data on the results and achievements in the field of structure and function analysis of protein–nucleic acid complexes by means of main physical and biochemical methods, including X-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, electron and atomic force microscopy, small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering, footprinting and cross-linking. Special attention is given to combined approaches. The advantages and limitations of each method are considered, and the prospects of their application for wide-scale structural studies in vivo are discussed. The bibliography includes 145 references.

  14. DNA-Protein Cross-Links: Formation, Structural Identities, and Biological Outcomes.

    PubMed

    Tretyakova, Natalia Y; Groehler, Arnold; Ji, Shaofei

    2015-06-16

    Noncovalent DNA-protein interactions are at the heart of normal cell function. In eukaryotic cells, genomic DNA is wrapped around histone octamers to allow for chromosomal packaging in the nucleus. Binding of regulatory protein factors to DNA directs replication, controls transcription, and mediates cellular responses to DNA damage. Because of their fundamental significance in all cellular processes involving DNA, dynamic DNA-protein interactions are required for cell survival, and their disruption is likely to have serious biological consequences. DNA-protein cross-links (DPCs) form when cellular proteins become covalently trapped on DNA strands upon exposure to various endogenous, environmental and chemotherapeutic agents. DPCs progressively accumulate in the brain and heart tissues as a result of endogenous exposure to reactive oxygen species and lipid peroxidation products, as well as normal cellular metabolism. A range of structurally diverse DPCs are found following treatment with chemotherapeutic drugs, transition metal ions, and metabolically activated carcinogens. Because of their considerable size and their helix-distorting nature, DPCs interfere with the progression of replication and transcription machineries and hence hamper the faithful expression of genetic information, potentially contributing to mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. Mass spectrometry-based studies have identified hundreds of proteins that can become cross-linked to nuclear DNA in the presence of reactive oxygen species, carcinogen metabolites, and antitumor drugs. While many of these proteins including histones, transcription factors, and repair proteins are known DNA binding partners, other gene products with no documented affinity for DNA also participate in DPC formation. Furthermore, multiple sites within DNA can be targeted for cross-linking including the N7 of guanine, the C-5 methyl group of thymine, and the exocyclic amino groups of guanine, cytosine, and adenine. This structural

  15. Socioeconomic Risk Moderates the Link between Household Chaos and Maternal Executive Function

    PubMed Central

    Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Chen, Nan; Wang, Zhe; Bell, Martha Ann

    2012-01-01

    We examined the link between household chaos (i.e., noise, clutter, disarray, lack of routines) and maternal executive function (i.e., effortful regulation of attention and memory), and whether it varied as a function of socioeconomic risk (i.e., single parenthood, lower mother and father educational attainment, housing situation, and father unemployment). We hypothesized that: 1) higher levels of household chaos would be linked with poorer maternal executive function, even when controlling for other measures of cognitive functioning (e.g., verbal ability), and 2) this link would be strongest in the most socioeconomically distressed or lowest-socioeconomic status households. The diverse sample included 153 mothers from urban and rural areas who completed a questionnaire and a battery of cognitive executive function tasks and a verbal ability task in the laboratory. Results were mixed for hypothesis 1, and consistent with hypothesis 2. Two-thirds of the variance overlapped between household chaos and maternal executive function, but only in families with high levels of socioeconomic risk. This pattern was not found for chaos and maternal verbal ability, suggesting that the potentially deleterious effects of household chaos may be specific to maternal executive function. The findings implicate household chaos as a powerful statistical predictor of maternal executive function in socioeconomically distressed contexts. PMID:22563703

  16. Four RNA families with functional transient structures

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Jing Yun A; Meyer, Irmtraud M

    2015-01-01

    Protein-coding and non-coding RNA transcripts perform a wide variety of cellular functions in diverse organisms. Several of their functional roles are expressed and modulated via RNA structure. A given transcript, however, can have more than a single functional RNA structure throughout its life, a fact which has been previously overlooked. Transient RNA structures, for example, are only present during specific time intervals and cellular conditions. We here introduce four RNA families with transient RNA structures that play distinct and diverse functional roles. Moreover, we show that these transient RNA structures are structurally well-defined and evolutionarily conserved. Since Rfam annotates one structure for each family, there is either no annotation for these transient structures or no such family. Thus, our alignments either significantly update and extend the existing Rfam families or introduce a new RNA family to Rfam. For each of the four RNA families, we compile a multiple-sequence alignment based on experimentally verified transient and dominant (dominant in terms of either the thermodynamic stability and/or attention received so far) RNA secondary structures using a combination of automated search via covariance model and manual curation. The first alignment is the Trp operon leader which regulates the operon transcription in response to tryptophan abundance through alternative structures. The second alignment is the HDV ribozyme which we extend to the 5′ flanking sequence. This flanking sequence is involved in the regulation of the transcript's self-cleavage activity. The third alignment is the 5′ UTR of the maturation protein from Levivirus which contains a transient structure that temporarily postpones the formation of the final inhibitory structure to allow translation of maturation protein. The fourth and last alignment is the SAM riboswitch which regulates the downstream gene expression by assuming alternative structures upon binding of SAM

  17. Four RNA families with functional transient structures.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jing Yun A; Meyer, Irmtraud M

    2015-01-01

    Protein-coding and non-coding RNA transcripts perform a wide variety of cellular functions in diverse organisms. Several of their functional roles are expressed and modulated via RNA structure. A given transcript, however, can have more than a single functional RNA structure throughout its life, a fact which has been previously overlooked. Transient RNA structures, for example, are only present during specific time intervals and cellular conditions. We here introduce four RNA families with transient RNA structures that play distinct and diverse functional roles. Moreover, we show that these transient RNA structures are structurally well-defined and evolutionarily conserved. Since Rfam annotates one structure for each family, there is either no annotation for these transient structures or no such family. Thus, our alignments either significantly update and extend the existing Rfam families or introduce a new RNA family to Rfam. For each of the four RNA families, we compile a multiple-sequence alignment based on experimentally verified transient and dominant (dominant in terms of either the thermodynamic stability and/or attention received so far) RNA secondary structures using a combination of automated search via covariance model and manual curation. The first alignment is the Trp operon leader which regulates the operon transcription in response to tryptophan abundance through alternative structures. The second alignment is the HDV ribozyme which we extend to the 5' flanking sequence. This flanking sequence is involved in the regulation of the transcript's self-cleavage activity. The third alignment is the 5' UTR of the maturation protein from Levivirus which contains a transient structure that temporarily postpones the formation of the final inhibitory structure to allow translation of maturation protein. The fourth and last alignment is the SAM riboswitch which regulates the downstream gene expression by assuming alternative structures upon binding of SAM. All

  18. Dipole rescattering and the nuclear structure function

    SciTech Connect

    Carvalho, F.; Goncalves, V. P.; Navarra, F. S.; Oliveira, E. G.

    2013-03-25

    In the framework of the dipole model, we study the effects of the dipole multiple scatterings in a nuclear target and compute the nuclear structure function. We compare different unitarization schemes and confront our results with the E665 data.

  19. Molecular tools for investigating ANME community structure and function

    SciTech Connect

    Hallam, Steven J.; Page, Antoine P.; Constan, Lea; Song, Young C.; Norbeck, Angela D.; Brewer, Heather M.; Pasa-Tolic, Ljiljana

    2011-05-20

    Methane production and consumption in anaerobic marine sediments 1 is catalyzed by a series of reversible tetramethanopterin (H4MPT)-linked C1 transfer reactions. Although many of these reactions are conserved between one-carbon compound utilizing microorganisms, two remain diagnostic for archaeal methane metabolism. These include reactions catalyzed by N5-methyltetrahydromethanopterin: coenzyme M methyltransferase and methyl coenzyme M reductase. The latter enzyme is central to C-H bond formation and cleavage underlying methanogenic and reverse methanogenic phenotypes. Here we describe a set of novel tools for the detection and functional analysis of H4MPT-linked C1 transfer reactions mediated by uncultivated anaerobic methane oxidizing archaea (ANME). These tools include polymerase chain reaction primers targeting ANME methyl coenzyme M reductase subunit A subgroups and protein extraction methods from marine sediments compatible with high-resolution mass spectrometry for profiling population structure and functional dynamics. [910, 1,043

  20. Improving Network Structure can lead to Functional Failures.

    PubMed

    Pade, Jan Philipp; Pereira, Tiago

    2015-05-19

    In many real-world networks the ability to synchronize is a key property for their performance. Recent work on undirected networks with diffusive interaction revealed that improvements in the network connectivity such as making the network more connected and homogeneous enhances synchronization. However, real-world networks have directed and weighted connections. In such directed networks, understanding the impact of structural changes on the network performance remains a major challenge. Here, we show that improving the structure of a directed network can lead to a failure in the network function. For instance, introducing new links to reduce the minimum distance between nodes can lead to instabilities in the synchronized motion. This effect only occurs in directed networks. Our results allow to identify the dynamical importance of a link and thereby have a major impact on the design and control of directed networks.

  1. Structure functions of unstable lithium isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, K.; Ueda, M.; Tsushima, K.; Thomas, A. W.

    2002-07-01

    We study the spin-average and spin-dependent structure functions of the lithium isotopes. It is found that the light-cone momentum distribution of the valence neutron in the halo of 11Li is very sharp and symmetric around y=1, because of the weak binding. This implies that such neutrons are in an environment very close to that of a free neutron. The EMC ratios for Li isotopes are then calculated. Furthermore, we investigate a new ratio, given by the difference between the Li structure functions of mass number A ( F2A) and A-1 ( F2A-1 ) divided by the difference between the structure functions of the deuteron and free proton. We study the possibility of extracting the neutron structure function from data for the nuclear structure functions of the Li isotopes. In particular, the ratios for A=9 and 11 present an attractive possibility for extracting the free neutron structure function. Next, as an example, we calculate the spin-dependent structure function of 9Li isotope, which has spin 3/2. The spin structure function is given in terms of the multipole spin structure functions; 3/21g 1, which is analogous to the usual spin structure function, g1, for a target with spin 1/2, and a new one, 3/23g 1, which first arises for a target with spin 3/2. The effect of the nuclear binding and Fermi motion on 3/21g 1 is about 10% in the region x<0.7, but it becomes quite important at large x. The spin structure function, 3/23g 1, is negative at small x but it becomes positive in the region 0.2< x<0.5. However, the magnitude is very small. At large x it is again negative and its absolute value becomes large because of the Fermi motion. Finally, we discuss the modification of the Gottfried and Bjorken integrals in a nuclear medium and point out several candidates for a pair of mirror nuclei to study the flavor-nonsinglet quark distributions in nuclei.

  2. Microtubule-Actin Cross-Linking Factor 1: Domains, Interaction Partners, and Tissue-Specific Functions.

    PubMed

    Goryunov, Dmitry; Liem, Ronald K H

    2016-01-01

    The cytoskeleton of most eukaryotic cells is composed of three principal filamentous components: actin filaments, microtubules (MTs), and intermediate filaments. It is a highly dynamic system that plays crucial roles in a wide range of cellular processes, including migration, adhesion, cytokinesis, morphogenesis, intracellular traffic and signaling, and structural flexibility. Among the large number of cytoskeleton-associated proteins characterized to date, microtubule-actin cross-linking factor 1 (MACF1) is arguably the most versatile integrator and modulator of cytoskeleton-related processes. MACF1 belongs to the plakin family of proteins, and within it, to the spectraplakin subfamily. These proteins are characterized by the ability to bridge MT and actin cytoskeletal networks in a dynamic fashion, which underlies their involvement in the regulation of cell migration, axonal extension, and vesicular traffic. Studying MACF1 functions has provided insights not only into the regulation of the cytoskeleton but also into molecular mechanisms of both normal cellular physiology and cellular pathology. Multiple MACF1 isoforms exist, composed of a large variety of alternatively spliced domains. Each of these domains mediates a specific set of interactions and functions. These functions are manifested in tissue and cell-specific phenotypes observed in conditional MACF1 knockout mice. The conditional models described to date reveal critical roles of MACF1 in mammalian skin, nervous system, heart muscle, and intestinal epithelia. Complete elimination of MACF1 is early embryonic lethal, indicating an essential role for MACF1 in early development. Further studies of MACF1 domains and their interactions will likely reveal multiple new roles of this protein in various tissues.

  3. Positioning Multiple Proteins at the Nanoscale with Electron Beam Cross-Linked Functional Polymers

    PubMed Central

    Christman, Karen L.; Schopf, Eric; Broyer, Rebecca M.; Li, Ronald C.; Chen, Yong; Maynard, Heather D.

    2009-01-01

    Constructing multicomponent protein structures that match the complexity of those found in Nature is essential for the next generation of medical materials. In this report, a versatile method to precisely arrange multicomponent protein nanopatterns in two-dimensional single-layer or three-dimensional multilayer formats using electron beam lithography is described. Eight arm poly(ethylene glycol)s were modified at the chain ends with either biotin, maleimide, aminooxy, or nitrilotriacetic acid. Analysis by 1H NMR spectroscopy revealed that the reactions were efficient and that end group conversions were 91-100%. The polymers were then cross-linked onto Si surfaces using electron beams to form micron sized patterns of the functional groups. Proteins with biotin binding sites, a free cysteine, an N-terminal α-oxoamide, and a histidine tag, respectively, were then incubated with the substrate in aqueous solutions without the addition of any other reagents. By fluorescence microscopy experiments it was determined that proteins reacted site-specifically with the exposed functional groups to form protein micropatterns. Multicomponent nanoscale protein patterns were then fabricated. Different PEGs with orthogonal reactivity were sequentially patterned on the same chip. Simultaneous assembly of two different proteins from a mixture of the biomolecules formed the multicomponent two dimensional patterns. Atomic force microscopy demonstrated that nanometer sized patterns of polymer were formed and fluorescence microscopy demonstrated that side-by-side patterns of the different proteins were obtained. Moreover, multilayer PEG fabrication produced micron and nanometer sized patterns of one functional group on top of the other. Precise three-dimensional arrangements of different proteins were then realized. PMID:19160460

  4. Structure functions of electroweak boson and leptons

    SciTech Connect

    Slominski, W; Szwed, J. |

    1996-04-02

    The QCD structure of the electroweak bosons is reviewed and the lepton structure function is defined and calculated. The leading order splitting functions of electron into quarks are extracted, showing an important contribution from {gamma}-Z interference. Leading logarithmic QCD evolution equations are constructed and solved in the asymptotic region where log{sup 2} behavior of the Parton densities is observed. Possible applications with clear manifestation of ``resolved`` photon and weak bosons are discussed. 8 refs., 3 figs.

  5. Proton structure functions at small x

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Hentschinski, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Proton structure functions are measured in electron-proton collision through inelastic scattering of virtual photons with virtuality Q on protons; x denotes the momentum fraction carried by the struck parton. Proton structure functions are currently described with excellent accuracy in terms of scale dependent parton distribution functions, defined in terms of collinear factorization and DGLAP evolution in Q. With decreasing x however, parton densities increase and are ultimately expected to saturate. In this regime DGLAP evolution will finally break down and non-linear evolution equations w.r.t x are expected to take over. In the first part of the talk we present recentmore » result on an implementation of physical DGLAP evolution. Unlike the conventional description in terms of parton distribution functions, the former describes directly the Q dependence of the measured structure functions. It is therefore physical insensitive to factorization scheme and scale ambiguities. It therefore provides a more stringent test of DGLAP evolution and eases the manifestation of (non-linear) small x effects. It however requires a precise measurement of both structure functions F2 and FL, which will be only possible at future facilities, such as an Electron Ion Collider. In the second part we present a recent analysis of the small x region of the combined HERA data on the structure function F2. We demonstrate that (linear) next-to-leading order BFKL evolution describes the effective Pomeron intercept, determined from the combined HERA data, once a resummation of collinear enhanced terms is included and the renormalization scale is fixed using the BLM optimal scale setting procedure. We also provide a detailed description of the Q and x dependence of the full structure functions F2 in the small x region, as measured at HERA. As a result, predictions for the structure function FL are found to be in agreement with the existing HERA data.« less

  6. Proton structure functions at small x

    SciTech Connect

    Hentschinski, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Proton structure functions are measured in electron-proton collision through inelastic scattering of virtual photons with virtuality Q on protons; x denotes the momentum fraction carried by the struck parton. Proton structure functions are currently described with excellent accuracy in terms of scale dependent parton distribution functions, defined in terms of collinear factorization and DGLAP evolution in Q. With decreasing x however, parton densities increase and are ultimately expected to saturate. In this regime DGLAP evolution will finally break down and non-linear evolution equations w.r.t x are expected to take over. In the first part of the talk we present recent result on an implementation of physical DGLAP evolution. Unlike the conventional description in terms of parton distribution functions, the former describes directly the Q dependence of the measured structure functions. It is therefore physical insensitive to factorization scheme and scale ambiguities. It therefore provides a more stringent test of DGLAP evolution and eases the manifestation of (non-linear) small x effects. It however requires a precise measurement of both structure functions F2 and FL, which will be only possible at future facilities, such as an Electron Ion Collider. In the second part we present a recent analysis of the small x region of the combined HERA data on the structure function F2. We demonstrate that (linear) next-to-leading order BFKL evolution describes the effective Pomeron intercept, determined from the combined HERA data, once a resummation of collinear enhanced terms is included and the renormalization scale is fixed using the BLM optimal scale setting procedure. We also provide a detailed description of the Q and x dependence of the full structure functions F2 in the small x region, as measured at HERA. As a result, predictions for the structure function FL are found to be in agreement with the existing HERA

  7. Structural properties of end-linked polymer networks: Monte Carlo simulation and neutron scattering studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilra, Nisha

    2000-12-01

    In this work, computational and experimental approaches were taken to elucidate the structural behavior of end- linked polymer networks. Monte Carlo simulations with the bond fluctuation model were used to study the formation and structure of 10-, 20-, and 50-mer networks cured with various ratios of cross-link sites to chain ends, r. The simulations confirmed experimental results that optimum r values for structural properties are found at non- stoichiometric ratios, increase with increasing precursor polymer chain length, and increase with side reaction. The same structural properties were determined for 50-mer networks formed in the presence of a series of concentrations of 50-mer unreactive linear chain diluent. A slight maximum in the fraction of elastic material was observed at a small degree of dilution and was explained in terms of entanglement effects. The conformational behavior of a small fraction of 50-mer linear probe chains was studied in various polymer network mesh sizes, where mesh size is the number of monomers between cross- links. The radius of gyration, R g, of the probe chains decreased by less than 6% for all mesh sizes studied. Uniaxial network deformation was studied using constant pressure simulations. A new methodology to perform volume change moves was developed. The equation of state of 10- mer athermal network system was determined and found to be similar to the corresponding athermal linear polymer equation of state at high volume fractions, but approached a region of negative pressures at low volume fractions. The chain segment orientational correlation was determined for probe free chains trapped in isotropic and deformed networks. Increased correlation was observed at small distances, whereas no orientational preference was evident at larger distances. The study of probe free chains trapped in polymer networks was also performed using small-angle neutron scattering. The conformational behavior of 70K poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS

  8. Influence of Cross-Linker Concentration on the Functionality of Carbodiimide Cross-Linked Gelatin Membranes for Retinal Sheet Carriers.

    PubMed

    Lai, Jui-Yang; Li, Ya-Ting

    2011-01-01

    Carbodiimide cross-linking can easily regulate the functionality of gelatin carriers used for retinal sheet delivery. This paper investigates the effect of cross-linker concentrations (0-0.4 mmol EDC/mg gelatin membrane (GM)) on the properties of the chemically-modified GMs. ATR-FT-IR and ninhydrin analyses results consistently indicated that the EDC cross-linking reaction approaches saturation at concentrations around 0.02 mmol EDC/mg GM. The thermal stability and resistance to water dissolution and collagenase digestion were significantly enhanced with increasing cross-linker concentration from 0.001 to 0.02 mmol EDC/mg GM. In addition, the chemical cross-linking did not affect the ability to form a tissue-encapsulating structure at 37°C. Irrespective of their cross-linking degree, the GMs had an appropriate degradation rate sufficient to allow tissue integration. It was noted that, although high cross-linker concentrations can be used to improve the delivery efficiency of gelatin samples, the treatment with 0.1-0.4 mmol EDC/mg GM may lead to poor biocompatibility. Results of Live/Dead and pro-inflammatory cytokine expression analyses showed that the exposure of ARPE-19 cultures to the test materials cross-linked with a concentration ≥0.1 mmol EDC/mg GM induces significant cytotoxicity and high levels of interleukin-1β and interleukin-6. However, the presence of EDC cross-linked gelatin membranes in the culture medium had no effect on the glutamate uptake capacity. It is concluded that among the cross-linked gelatin samples studied, 0.02 mmol EDC/mg GM is the best cross-linker concentration for preparation of retinal sheet delivery carriers.

  9. 2004 Structural, Function and Evolutionary Genomics

    SciTech Connect

    Douglas L. Brutlag Nancy Ryan Gray

    2005-03-23

    This Gordon conference will cover the areas of structural, functional and evolutionary genomics. It will take a systematic approach to genomics, examining the evolution of proteins, protein functional sites, protein-protein interactions, regulatory networks, and metabolic networks. Emphasis will be placed on what we can learn from comparative genomics and entire genomes and proteomes.

  10. Functional structure of the human X chromosome

    SciTech Connect

    1993-12-31

    Chapter 23, describes the functional structure of the human X chromosome. It provides a functional map of the human X chromosome, discussing in depth the inactivation center, always-active regions, and critical region. Finally, it provides a summary of X inactivation. 34 refs., 4 figs.

  11. Feminine Faces of Leadership: Beyond Structural- Functionalism?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fennell, Hope-Arlene

    1999-01-01

    Reviews four philosophical leadership perspectives: structural-functionalism, constructivism, critical theory, and feminism. Explores the leadership phenomenon through the eyes of six women principals. Although the behaviors of all six fall within a structural-functionalist perspective, each is attempting to construct inclusive, positive, and…

  12. Non-random distribution of homo-repeats: links with biological functions and human diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lobanov, Michail Yu.; Klus, Petr; Sokolovsky, Igor V.; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano; Galzitskaya, Oxana V.

    2016-01-01

    The biological function of multiple repetitions of single amino acids, or homo-repeats, is largely unknown, but their occurrence in proteins has been associated with more than 20 hereditary diseases. Analysing 122 bacterial and eukaryotic genomes, we observed that the number of proteins containing homo-repeats is significantly larger than expected from theoretical estimates. Analysis of statistical significance indicates that the minimal size of homo-repeats varies with amino acid type and proteome. In an attempt to characterize proteins harbouring long homo-repeats, we found that those containing polar or small amino acids S, P, H, E, D, K, Q and N are enriched in structural disorder as well as protein- and RNA-interactions. We observed that E, S, Q, G, L, P, D, A and H homo-repeats are strongly linked with occurrence in human diseases. Moreover, S, E, P, A, Q, D and T homo-repeats are significantly enriched in neuronal proteins associated with autism and other disorders. We release a webserver for further exploration of homo-repeats occurrence in human pathology at http://bioinfo.protres.ru/hradis/. PMID:27256590

  13. Functional Characterization of Bacterial Oligosaccharyltransferases Involved in O-Linked Protein Glycosylation▿

    PubMed Central

    Faridmoayer, Amirreza; Fentabil, Messele A.; Mills, Dominic C.; Klassen, John S.; Feldman, Mario F.

    2007-01-01

    Protein glycosylation is an important posttranslational modification that occurs in all domains of life. Pilins, the structural components of type IV pili, are O glycosylated in Neisseria meningitidis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and some strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In this work, we characterized the P. aeruginosa 1244 and N. meningitidis MC58 O glycosylation systems in Escherichia coli. In both cases, sugars are transferred en bloc by an oligosaccharyltransferase (OTase) named PglL in N. meningitidis and PilO in P. aeruginosa. We show that, like PilO, PglL has relaxed glycan specificity. Both OTases are sufficient for glycosylation, but they require translocation of the undecaprenol-pyrophosphate-linked oligosaccharide substrates into the periplasm for activity. Whereas PilO activity is restricted to short oligosaccharides, PglL is able to transfer diverse oligo- and polysaccharides. This functional characterization supports the concept that despite their low sequence similarity, PilO and PglL belong to a new family of “O-OTases” that transfer oligosaccharides from lipid carriers to hydroxylated amino acids in proteins. To date, such activity has not been identified for eukaryotes. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing recombinant O glycoproteins synthesized in E. coli. PMID:17890310

  14. Application of Radial Basis Functional Link Networks to Exploration for Proterozoic Mineral Deposits in Central Iran

    SciTech Connect

    Behnia, Pouran

    2007-06-15

    The metallogeny of Central Iran is characterized mainly by the presence of several iron, apatite, and uranium deposits of Proterozoic age. Radial Basis Function Link Networks (RBFLN) were used as a data-driven method for GIS-based predictive mapping of Proterozoic mineralization in this area. To generate the input data for RBFLN, the evidential maps comprising stratigraphic, structural, geophysical, and geochemical data were used. Fifty-eight deposits and 58 'nondeposits' were used to train the network. The operations for the application of neural networks employed in this study involve both multiclass and binary representation of evidential maps. Running RBFLN on different input data showed that an increase in the number of evidential maps and classes leads to a larger classification sum of squared error (SSE). As a whole, an increase in the number of iterations resulted in the improvement of training SSE. The results of applying RBFLN showed that a successful classification depends on the existence of spatially well distributed deposits and nondeposits throughout the study area.

  15. Forging the link between nuclear reactions and nuclear structure.

    PubMed

    Mahzoon, M H; Charity, R J; Dickhoff, W H; Dussan, H; Waldecker, S J

    2014-04-25

    A comprehensive description of all single-particle properties associated with the nucleus Ca40 is generated by employing a nonlocal dispersive optical potential capable of simultaneously reproducing all relevant data above and below the Fermi energy. The introduction of nonlocality in the absorptive potentials yields equivalent elastic differential cross sections as compared to local versions but changes the absorption profile as a function of angular momentum suggesting important consequences for the analysis of nuclear reactions. Below the Fermi energy, nonlocality is essential to allow for an accurate representation of particle number and the nuclear charge density. Spectral properties implied by (e, e'p) and (p, 2p) reactions are correctly incorporated, including the energy distribution of about 10% high-momentum nucleons, as experimentally determined by data from Jefferson Lab. These high-momentum nucleons provide a substantial contribution to the energy of the ground state, indicating a residual attractive contribution from higher-body interactions for Ca40 of about 0.64  MeV/A.

  16. Direct Patterning of Organic Functional Polymers through Conventional Photolithography and Noninvasive Cross-Link Agents.

    PubMed

    Squillaci, Marco A; Qiu, Feng; Aliprandi, Alessandro; Zhang, Fan; Feng, Xinliang; Samorì, Paolo

    2016-07-01

    A new technique for direct patterning of functional organic polymers using commercial photolithography setups with a minimal loss of the materials' performances is reported. This result is achieved through novel cross-link agents made by boron- and fluorine-containing heterocycles that can react between themselves upon UV- and white-light exposure.

  17. Remission of Depression in Parents: Links to Healthy Functioning in Their Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garber, Judy; Ciesla, Jeff A.; McCauley, Elizabeth; Diamond, Guy; Schloredt, Kelly A.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined whether improvement in parents' depression was linked with changes in their children's depressive symptoms and functioning. Participants were 223 parents and children ranging in age from 7 to 17 years old (M = 12.13, SD = 2.31); 126 parents were in treatment for depression and 97 parents were nondepressed. Children were…

  18. Exploring Population Sensitivity of Linking Functions across Three Law School Admission Test Administrations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Mei; Holland, Paul W.

    2008-01-01

    The simplified version of the Dorans and Holland (2000) measure of population invariance, the root mean square difference (RMSD), is used to explore the degree of dependence of linking functions on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) subpopulations defined by examinees' gender, ethnic background, geographic region, law school application status,…

  19. Maintenance of Functionality during Earthquakes: Structural and Non Structural Aspects

    SciTech Connect

    Di Donato, Enrico

    2008-07-08

    The necessity to maintain functionality during and after an earthquake, means that we have to protect not only structures but also functional elements that are inside each building, in particular for strategic constructions, like hospitals, schools. Fortunately, modern solutions to prevent the possibility of failure exist and, very important, are available.

  20. Forging the link between nuclear reactions and nuclear structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dickhoff, W. H.

    2016-06-01

    A review of the recent applications of the dispersive optical model (DOM) is presented. Emphasis is on the nonlocal implementation of the DOM that is capable of describing ground-state properties accurately when data like the nuclear charge density are available. The present understanding of the role of short- and long-range physics in determining proton properties near the Fermi energy for stable closed-shell nuclei has relied mostly on data from the (e, e' p) reaction. Hadronic tools to extract such spectroscopic information have been hampered by the lack of a consistent reaction description that provides unambiguous and undisputed results. The DOM, conceived by Claude Mahaux, provides a unified description of both elastic nucleon scattering and structure information related to single-particle properties below the Fermi energy. We have recently introduced a nonlocal dispersive optical potential for both the real and imaginary part. Nonlocal absorptive potentials yield equivalent elastic differential cross sections for 40Ca as compared to local ones but change the l-dependent absorption profile suggesting important consequences for the analysis of nuclear reactions. Below the Fermi energy, nonlocality is essential for an accurate representation of particle number and the nuclear charge density. Spectral properties implied by (e, e' p) and (p, 2p) reactions are correctly described, including the energy distribution of about 10% high-momentum protons obtained at Jefferson Lab. The nonlocal DOM allows a complete description of experimental data both above (up to 200 MeV) and below the Fermi energy in 40Ca. It is further demonstrated that elastic nucleon-nucleus scattering data constrain the spectral strength in the continuum of orbits that are nominally bound in the independent-particle model. Extension of this analysis to 48Ca allows a prediction of the neutron skin of this nucleus that is larger than most predictions made so far.

  1. [Structure and function of the eukaryotic ribosome].

    PubMed

    Bakowska-Zywicka, Kamilla; Twardowski, Tomasz

    2008-01-01

    The protein biosynthesis is a complicated process and not fully understood yet. According to smaller size and less complicated structure, understanding of prokaryotic 70S ribosomes is much more advanced. Eucaryotic 80S ribosomes are more complex and generate more difficulties in research. The morphology of 80S ribosome has been pretty well resolved and we know a lot about mechanism of functioning. Determination of the interactions between the ribosomes and the factors taking part in protein biosynthesis is still a great challenge. Dynamic changes of these interactions during particular steps of elongation cycle are quite difficult to understand. Conformational changes of the ribosome are of great functional and regulatory importance during protein biosynthesis. They are essential for the whole gene expression process. Only further research of the structure and function of the ribosome will lead us to knowledge about specificity of the mechanism of their action. In this article we present current opinions concerning structure and function of the eukaryotic ribosomes.

  2. The proteome: structure, function and evolution.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Keiran; Kelley, Lawrence A; Islam, Suhail A; MacCallum, Robert M; Muller, Arne; Pazos, Florencio; Sternberg, Michael J E

    2006-03-29

    This paper reports two studies to model the inter-relationships between protein sequence, structure and function. First, an automated pipeline to provide a structural annotation of proteomes in the major genomes is described. The results are stored in a database at Imperial College, London (3D-GENOMICS) that can be accessed at www.sbg.bio.ic.ac.uk. Analysis of the assignments to structural superfamilies provides evolutionary insights. 3D-GENOMICS is being integrated with related proteome annotation data at University College London and the European Bioinformatics Institute in a project known as e-protein (http://www.e-protein.org/). The second topic is motivated by the developments in structural genomics projects in which the structure of a protein is determined prior to knowledge of its function. We have developed a new approach PHUNCTIONER that uses the gene ontology (GO) classification to supervise the extraction of the sequence signal responsible for protein function from a structure-based sequence alignment. Using GO we can obtain profiles for a range of specificities described in the ontology. In the region of low sequence similarity (around 15%), our method is more accurate than assignment from the closest structural homologue. The method is also able to identify the specific residues associated with the function of the protein family.

  3. The effect of cross linking density on the mechanical properties and structure of the epoxy polymers: molecular dynamics simulation.

    PubMed

    Shokuhfar, Ali; Arab, Behrouz

    2013-09-01

    Recently, great attention has been focused on using epoxy polymers in different fields such as aerospace, automotive, biotechnology, and electronics, owing to their superior properties. In this study, the classical molecular dynamics (MD) was used to simulate the cross linking of diglycidyl ether of bisphenol-A (DGEBA) with diethylenetriamine (DETA) curing agent, and to study the behavior of resulted epoxy polymer with different conversion rates. The constant-strain (static) approach was then applied to calculate the mechanical properties (Bulk, shear and Young's moduli, elastic stiffness constants, and Poisson's ratio) of the uncured and cross-linked systems. Estimated material properties were found to be in good agreement with experimental observations. Moreover, the dependency of mechanical properties on the cross linking density was investigated and revealed improvements in the mechanical properties with increasing the cross linking density. The radial distribution function (RDF) was also used to study the evolution of local structures of the simulated systems as a function of cross linking density. PMID:23793720

  4. Intra-molecular cross-linking of acidic residues for protein structure studies.

    SciTech Connect

    Kruppa, Gary Hermann; Young, Malin M.; Novak, Petr; Schoeniger, Joseph S.

    2005-03-01

    Intra-molecular cross-linking has been suggested as a method of obtaining distance constraints that would be useful in developing structural models of proteins. Recent work published on intra-molecular cross-linking for protein structural studies has employed commercially available primary amine selective reagents that can cross-link lysine residues to other lysine residues or the amino terminus. Previous work using these cross-linkers has shown that for several proteins of known structure, the number of cross-links that can be obtained experimentally may be small compared to what would be expected from the known structure, due to the relative reactivity, distribution, and solvent accessibility of the lysines in the protein sequence. To overcome these limitations we have investigated the use of cross-linking reagents that can react with other reactive sidechains in proteins. We used 1-Ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) to activate the carboxylic acid containing residues, aspartic acid (D), glutamic acid (E), and the carboxy terminus (O), for cross-linking reactions. Once activated, the DEO sidechains can react to form 'zero-length' cross-links with nearby primary amine containing resides, lysines (K) and the amino terminus (X), via the formation of a new amide bond. We also show that the EDC-activated DEO sidechains can be cross-linked to each other using dihydrazides, two hydrazide moieties connected by an alkyl cross-linker ann of variable length. Using these reagents, we have found three new 'zero-length' cross-links in ubiquitin consistent with its known structure (M1-E16, M1-E18, and K63-E64). Using the dihydrazide cross-linkers, we have identified 2 new cross-links (D21-D32 and E24-D32) unambiguously. Using a library of dihydrazide cross-linkers with varying arm length, we have shown that there is a minimum arm length required for the DEO-DEO cross-links of 5.8 angstroms. These results show that additional structural information

  5. Isoforms, structures, and functions of versatile spectraplakin MACF1

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Lifang; Su, Peihong; Li, Runzhi; Yin, Chong; Zhang, Yan; Shang, Peng; Yang, Tuanmin; Qian, Airong

    2016-01-01

    Spectraplakins are crucially important communicators, linking cytoskeletal components to each other and cellular junctions. Microtubule actin crosslinking factor 1 (MACF1), also known as actin crosslinking family 7 (ACF7), is a member of the spectraplakin family. It is expressed in numerous tissues and cells as one extensively studied spectraplakin. MACF1 has several isoforms with unique structures and well-known function to be able to crosslink F-actin and microtubules. MACF1 is one versatile spectraplakin with various functions in cell processes, embryo development, tissue-specific functions, and human diseases. The importance of MACF1 has become more apparent in recent years. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the presence and function of MACF1 and provide perspectives on future research of MACF1 based on our studies and others. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(1): 37-44] PMID:26521939

  6. Linking morphology to ecosystem structure using satellite for monitoring Wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filipponi, F.; Valentini, E.; Taramelli, A.; Giulio, S.; Persichillo, M.; D'Alpaos, A.

    2013-12-01

    Modern views on the behavior of complex systems, like the low lying coastal areas, allow the interpretation of phenomenological coastal landscape as a steady state that corresponds to a dynamic equilibrium, and to a self-organized exogenic order of the edge of the chaos. Space-borne data, coupled with field spectral measurements and observations, are quantitative tools for the research on feedbacks between the biological influences and physical forming processes steering landscape changes, allowing the identification of critical thresholds beyond which the ecosystem reach a new steady state. This research deals with a multi-temporal change analysis of halophytic vegetation and morphology of two analogous accumulation sites along the northern Adriatic adjoining coast: the 'Bacan island' (Venice Lagoon) and the Spit of Goro Lagoon (Po Delta). These two sites represent delicate ecosystems and are susceptible to different drivers being located close to the lagoon's inlet. The two tests sites support a great biodiversity and supply important resources, so the conservation of their habitats is necessary to maintain the ecosystem services provision. Evidence from previous studies highlights the role of climate, mostly winds and hydrology acting on sediment transport, but only few accounts for the role of vegetation in landform shaping and sediment stabilizing. In this study spatial trends of both vegetation cover/typology and sediment/soil distribution are implemented to obtain detailed classification from EO. By means of sub-pixel processing techniques (Spectral Mixing Analysis), classifications are analyzed in terms of spatial (Power law) and temporal (Empirical Orthogonal Functions) patterns, in order to find the fingerprint of spatial patterns of vegetation, sediments and very shallow waters and their variation over time. The application of a double step analysis from coarse to finer spatial resolution lead first to a biophysical cover map in term of vegetation

  7. Summary goodness-of-fit statistics for binary generalized linear models with noncanonical link functions.

    PubMed

    Canary, Jana D; Blizzard, Leigh; Barry, Ronald P; Hosmer, David W; Quinn, Stephen J

    2016-05-01

    Generalized linear models (GLM) with a canonical logit link function are the primary modeling technique used to relate a binary outcome to predictor variables. However, noncanonical links can offer more flexibility, producing convenient analytical quantities (e.g., probit GLMs in toxicology) and desired measures of effect (e.g., relative risk from log GLMs). Many summary goodness-of-fit (GOF) statistics exist for logistic GLM. Their properties make the development of GOF statistics relatively straightforward, but it can be more difficult under noncanonical links. Although GOF tests for logistic GLM with continuous covariates (GLMCC) have been applied to GLMCCs with log links, we know of no GOF tests in the literature specifically developed for GLMCCs that can be applied regardless of link function chosen. We generalize the Tsiatis GOF statistic originally developed for logistic GLMCCs, (TG), so that it can be applied under any link function. Further, we show that the algebraically related Hosmer-Lemeshow (HL) and Pigeon-Heyse (J(2) ) statistics can be applied directly. In a simulation study, TG, HL, and J(2) were used to evaluate the fit of probit, log-log, complementary log-log, and log models, all calculated with a common grouping method. The TG statistic consistently maintained Type I error rates, while those of HL and J(2) were often lower than expected if terms with little influence were included. Generally, the statistics had similar power to detect an incorrect model. An exception occurred when a log GLMCC was incorrectly fit to data generated from a logistic GLMCC. In this case, TG had more power than HL or J(2) . PMID:26584470

  8. Summary goodness-of-fit statistics for binary generalized linear models with noncanonical link functions.

    PubMed

    Canary, Jana D; Blizzard, Leigh; Barry, Ronald P; Hosmer, David W; Quinn, Stephen J

    2016-05-01

    Generalized linear models (GLM) with a canonical logit link function are the primary modeling technique used to relate a binary outcome to predictor variables. However, noncanonical links can offer more flexibility, producing convenient analytical quantities (e.g., probit GLMs in toxicology) and desired measures of effect (e.g., relative risk from log GLMs). Many summary goodness-of-fit (GOF) statistics exist for logistic GLM. Their properties make the development of GOF statistics relatively straightforward, but it can be more difficult under noncanonical links. Although GOF tests for logistic GLM with continuous covariates (GLMCC) have been applied to GLMCCs with log links, we know of no GOF tests in the literature specifically developed for GLMCCs that can be applied regardless of link function chosen. We generalize the Tsiatis GOF statistic originally developed for logistic GLMCCs, (TG), so that it can be applied under any link function. Further, we show that the algebraically related Hosmer-Lemeshow (HL) and Pigeon-Heyse (J(2) ) statistics can be applied directly. In a simulation study, TG, HL, and J(2) were used to evaluate the fit of probit, log-log, complementary log-log, and log models, all calculated with a common grouping method. The TG statistic consistently maintained Type I error rates, while those of HL and J(2) were often lower than expected if terms with little influence were included. Generally, the statistics had similar power to detect an incorrect model. An exception occurred when a log GLMCC was incorrectly fit to data generated from a logistic GLMCC. In this case, TG had more power than HL or J(2) .

  9. Structural link prediction based on ant colony approach in social networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherkat, Ehsan; Rahgozar, Maseud; Asadpour, Masoud

    2015-02-01

    As the size and number of online social networks are increasing day by day, social network analysis has become a popular issue in many branches of science. The link prediction is one of the key rolling issues in the analysis of social network's evolution. As the size of social networks is increasing, the necessity for scalable link prediction algorithms is being felt more. The aim of this paper is to introduce a new unsupervised structural link prediction algorithm based on the ant colony approach. Recently, ant colony approach has been used for solving some graph problems. Different kinds of networks are used for testing the proposed approach. In some networks, the proposed scalable algorithm has the best result in comparison to other structural unsupervised link prediction algorithms. In order to evaluate the algorithm results, methods like the top- n precision, area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) and Precision-Recall curves are carried out on real-world networks.

  10. Intra-molecular cross-linking of acidic residues for protein structure studies.

    PubMed

    Novak, Petr; Kruppa, Gary H

    2008-01-01

    Intra-molecular cross-linking has been suggested as a method of obtaining distance constraints that would help to develop structural models of proteins. Recent work published on intra-molecular cross-linking for protein structural studies has employed commercially available primary amine (lysine, the amino terminus) selective reagents. Previous work using these cross-linkers has shown that for several proteins of known structure, the number of cross-links that can be obtained experimentally may be small compared to what would be expected from the known structure, due to the relative reactivity, distribution and solvent accessibility of the lysines in the protein sequence. To overcome these limitations, we have investigated the use of cross-linking reagents that can react with other reactive side chains in proteins. We used 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) to activate the carboxylic acid containing residues, aspartic acid (D), glutamic acid (E) and the carboxy terminus (O), for cross-linking reactions. Once activated, the DEO side chains can react to form "zero-length" cross-links with nearby primary amine containing residues, lysines (K) and the amino terminus (X), via the formation of a new amide bond. We also show that the EDC-activated DEO side chains can be cross-linked to each other using dihydrazides, two hydrazide moieties connected by an alkyl cross-linker arm of variable length. Using these reagents, we have found three new "zero-length" cross-links in ubiquitin consistent with its known structure (M1-E16, M1-E18 and K63-E64). Using the dihydrazide cross-linkers, we have identified two new cross-links (D21-D32 and E24-D32) unambiguously. Using a library of dihydrazide cross-linkers with varying arm length, we have shown that there is a minimum arm length required for the DEO-DEO cross-links of 5.8 A. These results show that additional structural information can be obtained by exploiting new cross-linker chemistry

  11. Atomic structure of a rhinovirus C, a virus species linked to severe childhood asthma.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yue; Hill, Marchel G; Klose, Thomas; Chen, Zhenguo; Watters, Kelly; Bochkov, Yury A; Jiang, Wen; Palmenberg, Ann C; Rossmann, Michael G

    2016-08-01

    Isolates of rhinovirus C (RV-C), a recently identified Enterovirus (EV) species, are the causative agents of severe respiratory infections among children and are linked to childhood asthma exacerbations. The RV-C have been refractory to structure determination because they are difficult to propagate in vitro. Here, we report the cryo-EM atomic structures of the full virion and native empty particle (NEP) of RV-C15a. The virus has 60 "fingers" on the virus outer surface that probably function as dominant immunogens. Because the NEPs also display these fingers, they may have utility as vaccine candidates. A sequence-conserved surface depression adjacent to each finger forms a likely binding site for the sialic acid on its receptor. The RV-C, unlike other EVs, are resistant to capsid-binding antiviral compounds because the hydrophobic pocket in VP1 is filled with multiple bulky residues. These results define potential molecular determinants for designing antiviral therapeutics and vaccines.

  12. Atomic structure of a rhinovirus C, a virus species linked to severe childhood asthma.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yue; Hill, Marchel G; Klose, Thomas; Chen, Zhenguo; Watters, Kelly; Bochkov, Yury A; Jiang, Wen; Palmenberg, Ann C; Rossmann, Michael G

    2016-08-01

    Isolates of rhinovirus C (RV-C), a recently identified Enterovirus (EV) species, are the causative agents of severe respiratory infections among children and are linked to childhood asthma exacerbations. The RV-C have been refractory to structure determination because they are difficult to propagate in vitro. Here, we report the cryo-EM atomic structures of the full virion and native empty particle (NEP) of RV-C15a. The virus has 60 "fingers" on the virus outer surface that probably function as dominant immunogens. Because the NEPs also display these fingers, they may have utility as vaccine candidates. A sequence-conserved surface depression adjacent to each finger forms a likely binding site for the sialic acid on its receptor. The RV-C, unlike other EVs, are resistant to capsid-binding antiviral compounds because the hydrophobic pocket in VP1 is filled with multiple bulky residues. These results define potential molecular determinants for designing antiviral therapeutics and vaccines. PMID:27511920

  13. Anomalous scaling of temperature structure functions in turbulent thermal convection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tong, Penger; He, Xiaozhou; Shang, Xiaodong

    2014-11-01

    The scaling properties of the temperature structure function (SF) are investigated in turbulent Rayleigh-Benard convection. The measured SFs are found to exhibit good scaling in space and time and the resulting SF exponent is obtained both at the center of the convection cell and near the sidewall. It is found that the difference in the functional form of the measured SF exponents at the two locations in the cell is caused by the change of the geometry of the most dissipative structures in the (inhomogeneous) temperature field from being sheet-like at the cell center to filament-like near the sidewall. The experiment thus provides direct evidence showing that the universality features of turbulent cascade are linked to the degree of anisotropy and inhomogeneity of turbulent statistics. This work was supported by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong SAR.

  14. Quark-hadron duality in structure functions

    SciTech Connect

    Wally Melnitchouk

    2011-09-01

    We review recent progress in the study of quark-hadron duality in electron–nucleon structure functions. New developments include insights into the local aspects of duality obtained using truncated moments of structure functions, which allow duality-violating higher-twist contributions to be identified in individual resonance regions. Preliminary studies of pion electropro-duction have also showed the first glimpses of duality in semi-inclusive cross sections, which if confirmed would greatly expand the scope of constraining the flavor and spin dependence of parton distributions.

  15. Structural methods for studying IRES function.

    PubMed

    Kieft, Jeffrey S; Costantino, David A; Filbin, Megan E; Hammond, John; Pfingsten, Jennifer S

    2007-01-01

    Internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) substitute RNA sequences for some or all of the canonical translation initiation protein factors. Therefore, an important component of understanding IRES function is a description of the three-dimensional structure of the IRES RNA underlying this mechanism. This includes determining the degree to which the RNA folds, the global RNA architecture, and higher resolution information when warranted. Knowledge of the RNA structural features guides ongoing mechanistic and functional studies. In this chapter, we present a roadmap to structurally characterize a folded RNA, beginning from initial studies to define the overall architecture and leading to high-resolution structural studies. The experimental strategy presented here is not unique to IRES RNAs but is adaptable to virtually any RNA of interest, although characterization of RNA-protein interactions requires additional methods. Because IRES RNAs have a specific function, we present specific ways in which the data are interpreted to gain insight into that function. We provide protocols for key experiments that are particularly useful for studying IRES RNA structure and that provide a framework onto which additional approaches are integrated. The protocols we present are solution hydroxyl radical probing, RNase T1 probing, native gel electrophoresis, sedimentation velocity analytical ultracentrifugation, and strategies to engineer RNA for crystallization and to obtain initial crystals. PMID:17913644

  16. Structural Features of a Bacteroidetes-Affiliated Cellulase Linked with a Polysaccharide Utilization Locus

    PubMed Central

    Naas, A.E.; MacKenzie, A.K.; Dalhus, B.; Eijsink, V.G.H.; Pope, P.B.

    2015-01-01

    Previous gene-centric analysis of a cow rumen metagenome revealed the first potentially cellulolytic polysaccharide utilization locus, of which the main catalytic enzyme (AC2aCel5A) was identified as a glycoside hydrolase (GH) family 5 endo-cellulase. Here we present the 1.8 Å three-dimensional structure of AC2aCel5A, and characterization of its enzymatic activities. The enzyme possesses the archetypical (β/α)8-barrel found throughout the GH5 family, and contains the two strictly conserved catalytic glutamates located at the C-terminal ends of β-strands 4 and 7. The enzyme is active on insoluble cellulose and acts exclusively on linear β-(1,4)-linked glucans. Co-crystallization of a catalytically inactive mutant with substrate yielded a 2.4 Å structure showing cellotriose bound in the −3 to −1 subsites. Additional electron density was observed between Trp178 and Trp254, two residues that form a hydrophobic “clamp”, potentially interacting with sugars at the +1 and +2 subsites. The enzyme’s active-site cleft was narrower compared to the closest structural relatives, which in contrast to AC2aCel5A, are also active on xylans, mannans and/or xyloglucans. Interestingly, the structure and function of this enzyme seem adapted to less-substituted substrates such as cellulose, presumably due to the insufficient space to accommodate the side-chains of branched glucans in the active-site cleft. PMID:26133573

  17. Structural and Functional Coordination of DNA and Histone Methylation

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Xiaodong

    2014-01-01

    One of the most fundamental questions in the control of gene expression in mammals is how epigenetic methylation patterns of DNA and histones are established, erased, and recognized. This central process in controlling gene expression includes coordinated covalent modifications of DNA and its associated histones. This article focuses on structural aspects of enzymatic activities of histone (arginine and lysine) methylation and demethylation and functional links between the methylation status of the DNA and histones. An interconnected network of methyltransferases, demethylases, and accessory proteins is responsible for changing or maintaining the modification status of specific regions of chromatin. PMID:25085914

  18. Abnormalities of vascular structure and function in pediatric hypertension.

    PubMed

    Urbina, Elaine M

    2016-07-01

    Hypertension is associated with adverse cardiovascular (CV) events in adults. Measures of vascular structure and function, including increased carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) and elevated arterial stiffness predict hard CV events in adulthood. Newer data suggest that abnormalities in target organ damage are occurring in adolescents and young adults with high blood pressure. In this review, we discuss the techniques for measuring vascular dysfunction in young people and the evidence linking blood pressure levels to this type of target organ damage.

  19. Single proteins that serve linked functions in intracellular and extracellular microenvironments

    SciTech Connect

    Radisky, Derek C.; Stallings-Mann, Melody; Hirai, Yohei; Bissell, Mina J.

    2009-06-03

    Maintenance of organ homeostasis and control of appropriate response to environmental alterations requires intimate coordination of cellular function and tissue organization. An important component of this coordination may be provided by proteins that can serve distinct, but linked, functions on both sides of the plasma membrane. Here we present a novel hypothesis in which non-classical secretion can provide a mechanism through which single proteins can integrate complex tissue functions. Single genes can exert a complex, dynamic influence through a number of different processes that act to multiply the function of the gene product(s). Alternative splicing can create many different transcripts that encode proteins of diverse, even antagonistic, function from a single gene. Posttranslational modifications can alter the stability, activity, localization, and even basic function of proteins. A protein can exist in different subcellular localizations. More recently, it has become clear that single proteins can function both inside and outside the cell. These proteins often lack defined secretory signal sequences, and transit the plasma membrane by mechanisms separate from the classical ER/Golgi secretory process. When examples of such proteins are examined individually, the multifunctionality and lack of a signal sequence are puzzling - why should a protein with a well known function in one context function in such a distinct fashion in another? We propose that one reason for a single protein to perform intracellular and extracellular roles is to coordinate organization and maintenance of a global tissue function. Here, we describe in detail three specific examples of proteins that act in this fashion, outlining their specific functions in the extracellular space and in the intracellular space, and we discuss how these functions may be linked. We present epimorphin/syntaxin-2, which may coordinate morphogenesis of secretory organs (as epimorphin) with control of

  20. Gene3D: comprehensive structural and functional annotation of genomes.

    PubMed

    Yeats, Corin; Lees, Jonathan; Reid, Adam; Kellam, Paul; Martin, Nigel; Liu, Xinhui; Orengo, Christine

    2008-01-01

    Gene3D provides comprehensive structural and functional annotation of most available protein sequences, including the UniProt, RefSeq and Integr8 resources. The main structural annotation is generated through scanning these sequences against the CATH structural domain database profile-HMM library. CATH is a database of manually derived PDB-based structural domains, placed within a hierarchy reflecting topology, homology and conservation and is able to infer more ancient and divergent homology relationships than sequence-based approaches. This data is supplemented with Pfam-A, other non-domain structural predictions (i.e. coiled coils) and experimental data from UniProt. In order to enhance the investigations possible with this data, we have also incorporated a variety of protein annotation resources, including protein-protein interaction data, GO functional assignments, KEGG pathways, FUNCAT functional descriptions and links to microarray expression data. All of this data can be accessed through a newly re-designed website that has a focus on flexibility and clarity, with searches that can be restricted to a single genome or across the entire sequence database. Currently Gene3D contains over 3.5 million domain assignments for nearly 5 million proteins including 527 completed genomes. This is available at: http://gene3d.biochem.ucl.ac.uk/ PMID:18032434

  1. Distributed intrusion monitoring system with fiber link backup and on-line fault diagnosis functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Jiwei; Wu, Huijuan; Xiao, Shunkun

    2014-12-01

    A novel multi-channel distributed optical fiber intrusion monitoring system with smart fiber link backup and on-line fault diagnosis functions was proposed. A 1× N optical switch was intelligently controlled by a peripheral interface controller (PIC) to expand the fiber link from one channel to several ones to lower the cost of the long or ultra-long distance intrusion monitoring system and also to strengthen the intelligent monitoring link backup function. At the same time, a sliding window auto-correlation method was presented to identify and locate the broken or fault point of the cable. The experimental results showed that the proposed multi-channel system performed well especially whenever any a broken cable was detected. It could locate the broken or fault point by itself accurately and switch to its backup sensing link immediately to ensure the security system to operate stably without a minute idling. And it was successfully applied in a field test for security monitoring of the 220-km-length national borderline in China.

  2. Crucial role of detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses in HRA. [Human Reliability Analysis (HRA)

    SciTech Connect

    Ryan, T.G.; Haney, L.N.; Ostrom, L.T.

    1992-01-01

    This paper addresses one major cause for large uncertainties in human reliability analysis (HRA) results, that is, an absence of detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses. All too often this crucial step in the HRA process is done in a cursory fashion using word of mouth or written procedures which themselves may incompletely or inaccurately represent the human action sequences and human error vulnerabilities being analyzed. The paper examines the potential contributions these detailed analyses can make in achieving quantitative and qualitative HRA results which are: (1) creditable, that is, minimize uncertainty, (2) auditable, that is, systematically linking quantitative results and qualitative information from which the results are derived, (3) capable of supporting root cause analyses on human reliability factors determined to be major contributors to risk, and (4) capable of repeated measures and being combined with similar results from other analyses to examine HRA issues transcending individual systems and facilities. Based on experience analyzing test and commercial nuclear reactors, and medical applications of nuclear technology, an iterative process is suggested for doing detailed function, task, timeline, link and human vulnerability analyses using documentation reviews, open-ended and structured interviews, direct observations, and group techniques. Finally, the paper concludes that detailed analyses done in this manner by knowledgeable human factors practitioners, can contribute significantly to the credibility, auditability, causal factor analysis, and combining goals of the HRA.

  3. Clustering aspects in nuclear structure functions

    SciTech Connect

    Hirai, M.; Saito, K.; Watanabe, T.; Kumano, S.

    2011-03-15

    For understanding an anomalous nuclear effect experimentally observed for the beryllium-9 nucleus at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, clustering aspects are studied in structure functions of deep inelastic lepton-nucleus scattering by using momentum distributions calculated in antisymmetrized (or fermionic) molecular dynamics (AMD) and also in a simple shell model for comparison. According to AMD, the {sup 9}Be nucleus consists of two {alpha}-like clusters with a surrounding neutron. The clustering produces high-momentum components in nuclear wave functions, which affects nuclear modifications of the structure functions. We investigated whether clustering features could appear in the structure function F{sub 2} of {sup 9}Be along with studies for other light nuclei. We found that nuclear modifications of F{sub 2} are similar in both AMD and shell models within our simple convolution description although there are slight differences in {sup 9}Be. It indicates that the anomalous {sup 9}Be result should be explained by a different mechanism from the nuclear binding and Fermi motion. If nuclear-modification slopes d(F{sub 2}{sup A}/F{sub 2}{sup D})/dx are shown by the maximum local densities, the {sup 9}Be anomaly can be explained by the AMD picture, namely by the clustering structure, whereas it certainly cannot be described in the simple shell model. This fact suggests that the large nuclear modification in {sup 9}Be should be explained by large densities in the clusters. For example, internal nucleon structure could be modified in the high-density clusters. The clustering aspect of nuclear structure functions is an unexplored topic which is interesting for future investigations.

  4. Helical Structure of Hair Cell Stereocilia Tip Links In the Chinchilla Cochlea

    PubMed Central

    Tsuprun, Vladimir

    2000-01-01

    Outer-hair-cell stereocilia tip-link structure in the chinchilla cochlea was studied by transmission electron microscopy using tannic acid and Ruthenium red/Alcian blue histochemical procedures. Tannic acid and Ruthenium red/Alcian blue treatments showed the tip link as a compact strand of filaments 9–12 nm thick. Fourier analysis of tip-link images showed that the strand is a three-start helical bundle of fine, coiled filaments which had an axial period of 22.5 ± 1.5 nm. Each of three coiled filaments in the strand showed globular structures, 4.3 ± 0.3 nm in diameter. The globular structures may correspond to individual protein subunits or they may be repeating identical domains of one polypeptide. The three filaments of the helical array may provide a rigidity to the tip link during stereocilia deflections. Alternatively, changes in the subunit or domain structure of each filament may result in a lengthening or shortening of the tip-link strand. PMID:11545228

  5. Thermoreversible physical gels of poly(dimethylsiloxane) without cross-links or functionalization.

    PubMed

    Dahan, Elianne; Sundararajan, Pudupadi R

    2013-07-01

    The preparation of gels of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) reported in the literature so far involves catalysts and chemical cross-links (chemical gels) or functionalization with organogelators. We report that thermoreversible physical gels of PDMS, without cross-links or functionalization, can be made with propylamine or hexylamine as a solvent. The gels consist of spherical domains as small as 20 nm. We show that these spherical domains are part of a network. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), optical microscopy, and rheology show that the gel is thermoreversible. With the DSC experiments, we have devised a procedure to achieve thermoreversibility with very similar gel-sol transition endotherms in the first and second heating cycles. PMID:23799797

  6. The Swine Plasma Metabolome Chronicles "Many Days" Biological Timing and Functions Linked to Growth.

    PubMed

    Bromage, Timothy G; Idaghdour, Youssef; Lacruz, Rodrigo S; Crenshaw, Thomas D; Ovsiy, Olexandra; Rotter, Björn; Hoffmeier, Klaus; Schrenk, Friedemann

    2016-01-01

    The paradigm of chronobiology is based almost wholly upon the daily biological clock, or circadian rhythm, which has been the focus of intense molecular, cellular, pharmacological, and behavioral, research. However, the circadian rhythm does not explain biological timings related to fundamental aspects of life history such as rates of tissue/organ/body size development and control of the timing of life stages such as gestation length, age at maturity, and lifespan. This suggests that another biological timing mechanism is at work. Here we focus on a "many days" (multidien) chronobiological period first observed as enigmatic recurring growth lines in developing mammalian tooth enamel that is strongly associate with all adult tissue, organ, and body masses as well as life history attributes such as gestation length, age at maturity, weaning, and lifespan, particularly among the well studied primates. Yet, knowledge of the biological factors regulating the patterning of mammalian life, such as the development of body size and life history structure, does not exist. To identify underlying molecular mechanisms we performed metabolome and genome analyses from blood plasma in domestic pigs. We show that blood plasma metabolites and small non-coding RNA (sncRNA) drawn from 33 domestic pigs over a two-week period strongly oscillate on a 5-day multidien rhythm, as does the pig enamel rhythm. Metabolomics and genomics pathway analyses actually reveal two 5-day rhythms, one related to growth in which biological functions include cell proliferation, apoptosis, and transcription regulation/protein synthesis, and another 5-day rhythm related to degradative pathways that follows three days later. Our results provide experimental confirmation of a 5-day multidien rhythm in the domestic pig linking the periodic growth of enamel with oscillations of the metabolome and genome. This association reveals a new class of chronobiological rhythm and a snapshot of the biological bases that

  7. The Swine Plasma Metabolome Chronicles "Many Days" Biological Timing and Functions Linked to Growth

    PubMed Central

    Bromage, Timothy G.; Idaghdour, Youssef; Lacruz, Rodrigo S.; Crenshaw, Thomas D.; Ovsiy, Olexandra; Rotter, Björn; Hoffmeier, Klaus; Schrenk, Friedemann

    2016-01-01

    The paradigm of chronobiology is based almost wholly upon the daily biological clock, or circadian rhythm, which has been the focus of intense molecular, cellular, pharmacological, and behavioral, research. However, the circadian rhythm does not explain biological timings related to fundamental aspects of life history such as rates of tissue/organ/body size development and control of the timing of life stages such as gestation length, age at maturity, and lifespan. This suggests that another biological timing mechanism is at work. Here we focus on a "many days" (multidien) chronobiological period first observed as enigmatic recurring growth lines in developing mammalian tooth enamel that is strongly associate with all adult tissue, organ, and body masses as well as life history attributes such as gestation length, age at maturity, weaning, and lifespan, particularly among the well studied primates. Yet, knowledge of the biological factors regulating the patterning of mammalian life, such as the development of body size and life history structure, does not exist. To identify underlying molecular mechanisms we performed metabolome and genome analyses from blood plasma in domestic pigs. We show that blood plasma metabolites and small non-coding RNA (sncRNA) drawn from 33 domestic pigs over a two-week period strongly oscillate on a 5-day multidien rhythm, as does the pig enamel rhythm. Metabolomics and genomics pathway analyses actually reveal two 5-day rhythms, one related to growth in which biological functions include cell proliferation, apoptosis, and transcription regulation/protein synthesis, and another 5-day rhythm related to degradative pathways that follows three days later. Our results provide experimental confirmation of a 5-day multidien rhythm in the domestic pig linking the periodic growth of enamel with oscillations of the metabolome and genome. This association reveals a new class of chronobiological rhythm and a snapshot of the biological bases that

  8. Mechanistic links between gut microbial community dynamics, microbial functions and metabolic health

    PubMed Central

    Ha, Connie WY; Lam, Yan Y; Holmes, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    Gut microbes comprise a high density, biologically active community that lies at the interface of an animal with its nutritional environment. Consequently their activity profoundly influences many aspects of the physiology and metabolism of the host animal. A range of microbial structural components and metabolites directly interact with host intestinal cells and tissues to influence nutrient uptake and epithelial health. Endocrine, neuronal and lymphoid cells in the gut also integrate signals from these microbial factors to influence systemic responses. Dysregulation of these host-microbe interactions is now recognised as a major risk factor in the development of metabolic dysfunction. This is a two-way process and understanding the factors that tip host-microbiome homeostasis over to dysbiosis requires greater appreciation of the host feedbacks that contribute to regulation of microbial community composition. To date, numerous studies have employed taxonomic profiling approaches to explore the links between microbial composition and host outcomes (especially obesity and its comorbidities), but inconsistent host-microbe associations have been reported. Available data indicates multiple factors have contributed to discrepancies between studies. These include the high level of functional redundancy in host-microbiome interactions combined with individual variation in microbiome composition; differences in study design, diet composition and host system between studies; and inherent limitations to the resolution of rRNA-based community profiling. Accounting for these factors allows for recognition of the common microbial and host factors driving community composition and development of dysbiosis on high fat diets. New therapeutic intervention options are now emerging. PMID:25469018

  9. Body Structure and Function. Teacher Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oklahoma State Dept. of Vocational and Technical Education, Stillwater. Curriculum and Instructional Materials Center.

    This curriculum guide contains the materials required to teach a course in body structure and function. The following topics are covered in the course's 17 instructional units: basic concepts of physical and life sciences; microbiology and bacteriology; the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, digestive, circulatory, respiratory, urinary, central…

  10. Structural Functionalism as a Heuristic Device.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chilcott, John H.

    1998-01-01

    Argues that structural functionalism as a method for conducting fieldwork and as a format for the analysis of ethnographic data remains a powerful model, one that is easily understood by professional educators. As a heuristic device, functionalist theory can help in the solution of a problem that is otherwise incapable of theoretical…

  11. Photon structure function at small x

    SciTech Connect

    Gluck, M.; Reya, E.; Schienbein, I.

    2001-07-01

    It is shown that recent small-x measurements of the photon structure function F{sub 2}{sup {gamma}}(x,Q{sup 2}) by the CERN LEP OPAL Collaboration are consistent with parameter-free QCD predictions at all presently accessible values of Q{sup 2}.

  12. Structures and Functions of Selective Attention.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Posner, Michael I.

    While neuropsychology relates the neural structures damaged in traumatic brain injury with their cognitive functions in daily life, this report reviews evidence that elementary operations of cognition as defined by cognitive studies are the level at which the brain localizes its computations. Orienting of visual attention is used as a model task.…

  13. [Structure and functions of glutathione transferases].

    PubMed

    Fedets, O M

    2014-01-01

    Data about classification, nomenclature, structure, substrate specificity and role of many glutathione transferase's isoenzymes in cell functions have been summarised. The enzyme has been discovered more than 50 years ago. This family of proteins is updated continuously. It has very different composition and will have demand for system analysis for many years.

  14. CRISPR/Cas9 Promotes Functional Study of Testis Specific X-Linked Gene In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Xue; Chen, Yuxi; Zhang, Zhen; Zhang, Xiya; Liang, Puping; Zhan, Shaoquan; Cao, Shanbo; Songyang, Zhou; Huang, Junjiu

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian spermatogenesis is a highly regulated multistage process of sperm generation. It is hard to uncover the real function of a testis specific gene in vitro since the in vitro model is not yet mature. With the development of the CRISPR/Cas9 (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR-associated 9) system, we can now rapidly generate knockout mouse models of testis specific genes to study the process of spermatogenesis in vivo. SYCP3-like X-linked 2 (SLX2) is a germ cell specific component, which contains a Cor1 domain and belongs to the XLR (X-linked, lymphocyte regulated) family. Previous studies suggested that SLX2 might play an important role in mouse spermatogenesis based on its subcellular localization and interacting proteins. However, the function of SLX2 in vivo is still elusive. Here, to investigate the functions of SLX2 in spermatogenesis, we disrupted the Slx2 gene by using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Since Slx2 is a testis specific X-linked gene, we obtained knockout male mice in the first generation and accelerated the study process. Compared with wild-type mice, Slx2 knockout mice have normal testis and epididymis. Histological observation of testes sections showed that Slx2 knockout affected none of the three main stages of spermatogenesis: mitosis, meiosis and spermiogenesis. In addition, we further confirmed that disruption of Slx2 did not affect the number of spermatogonial stem cells, meiosis progression or XY body formation by immunofluorescence analysis. As spermatogenesis was normal in Slx2 knockout mice, these mice were fertile. Taken together, we showed that Slx2 itself is not an essential gene for mouse spermatogenesis and CRISPR/Cas9 technique could speed up the functional study of testis specific X-linked gene in vivo. PMID:26599493

  15. [Structural-functional organization of Golgi apparatus].

    PubMed

    Snigirevskaia, E S; Sokolova, Iu Ia; Komissarchik, Ia Iu

    2006-01-01

    This review is dedicated to the structure and function of Golgi apparatus (GA). It summarizes contemporary data published in numerous experimental papers and in several reviews. Possible ways of intra-Golgi transport of proteins, existent models of structural and functional organization of Golgi organelle, as well as the issues of its biogenesis, posttranslational modification and sorting of proteins and lipids, and mechanisms of their traffic-king are discussed. Special attention is paid to the role of coatomer proteins (COPI, COPII and clathrin), fusion proteins (SNAREs), and small GTPases (ARF, SARI) in the secretory pathway. In addition, the phenomena of ultrastructural alterations of GA due to various functional conditions and physiological stimuli are specifically accented. We included in this review our original data on a probable involvement of GA in water transport, and on the organization of atypical GA in microsporidia--intracellular parasitic protists.

  16. [Structural-functional organization of Golgi apparatus].

    PubMed

    Snigirevskaia, E S; Sokolova, Iu Ia; Komissarchik, Ia Iu

    2006-01-01

    This review is dedicated to the structure and function of Golgi apparatus (GA). It summarizes contemporary data published in numerous experimental papers and in several reviews. Possible ways of intra-Golgi transport of proteins, existent models of structural and functional organization of Golgi organelle, as well as the issues of its biogenesis, posttranslational modification and sorting of proteins and lipids, and mechanisms of their trafficking are discussed. Special attention is paid to the role of coatomer proteins (COPI, COPII and clathrin), fusion proteins (SNAREs), and small GTPases (ARF, SARI) in the secretory pathway. In addition, the phenomena of ultrastructural alterations of GA due to various functional conditions and physiological stimuli are specifically accented. We included in this review our original data on a probable involvement of GA in water transport, and on the organization of atypical GA in microsporidia--intracellular parasitic protists.

  17. Expanding the Range of Protein Function at the Far End of the Order-Structure Continuum.

    PubMed

    Burger, Virginia M; Nolasco, Diego O; Stultz, Collin M

    2016-03-25

    The traditional view of the structure-function paradigm is that a protein's function is inextricably linked to a well defined, three-dimensional structure, which is determined by the protein's primary amino acid sequence. However, it is now accepted that a number of proteins do not adopt a unique tertiary structure in solution and that some degree of disorder is required for many proteins to perform their prescribed functions. In this review, we highlight how a number of protein functions are facilitated by intrinsic disorder and introduce a new protein structure taxonomy that is based on quantifiable metrics of a protein's disorder.

  18. Jacalin interacts with Asn-linked glycopeptides containing multi-antennary oligosaccharide structure with terminal alpha-linked galactose.

    PubMed

    Do, S I; Lee, K Y

    1998-01-01

    The carbohydrate binding properties of jacalin lectin were examined using RAF9 cell-derived D-[6-3H]glucosamine-radiolabeled total glycopeptides containing N-linked and O-linked oligosaccharides. The binding of N-linked glycopeptides to jacalin was abolished by treatment of alpha-galactosidase whereas O-linked glycopeptides were still bound lectin after this treatment. The removal of O-linked oligosaccharides by mild alkaline/borohydride treatment completely eliminated the lectin binding of alpha-galactosidase treated glycopeptides. These results demonstrate that jacalin interacts with cellular glycopeptides containing N-linked oligosaccharides with terminal alpha-galactose residues as well as glycopeptides containing O-linked oligosaccharides.

  19. Structure and function of echinoderm telomerase RNA.

    PubMed

    Podlevsky, Joshua D; Li, Yang; Chen, Julian J-L

    2016-02-01

    Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) enzyme that requires an integral telomerase RNA (TR) subunit, in addition to the catalytic telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), for enzymatic function. The secondary structures of TRs from the three major groups of species, ciliates, fungi, and vertebrates, have been studied extensively and demonstrate dramatic diversity. Herein, we report the first comprehensive secondary structure of TR from echinoderms-marine invertebrates closely related to vertebrates-determined by phylogenetic comparative analysis of 16 TR sequences from three separate echinoderm classes. Similar to vertebrate TR, echinoderm TR contains the highly conserved template/pseudoknot and H/ACA domains. However, echinoderm TR lacks the ancestral CR4/5 structural domain found throughout vertebrate and fungal TRs. Instead, echinoderm TR contains a distinct simple helical region, termed eCR4/5, that is functionally equivalent to the CR4/5 domain. The urchin and brittle star eCR4/5 domains bind specifically to their respective TERT proteins and stimulate telomerase activity. Distinct from vertebrate telomerase, the echinoderm TR template/pseudoknot domain with the TERT protein is sufficient to reconstitute significant telomerase activity. This gain-of-function of the echinoderm template/pseudoknot domain for conferring telomerase activity presumably facilitated the rapid structural evolution of the eCR4/5 domain throughout the echinoderm lineage. Additionally, echinoderm TR utilizes the template-adjacent P1.1 helix as a physical template boundary element to prevent nontelomeric DNA synthesis, a mechanism used by ciliate and fungal TRs. Thus, the chimeric and eccentric structural features of echinoderm TR provide unparalleled insights into the rapid evolution of telomerase RNP structure and function.

  20. Structure and function of echinoderm telomerase RNA.

    PubMed

    Podlevsky, Joshua D; Li, Yang; Chen, Julian J-L

    2016-02-01

    Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) enzyme that requires an integral telomerase RNA (TR) subunit, in addition to the catalytic telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), for enzymatic function. The secondary structures of TRs from the three major groups of species, ciliates, fungi, and vertebrates, have been studied extensively and demonstrate dramatic diversity. Herein, we report the first comprehensive secondary structure of TR from echinoderms-marine invertebrates closely related to vertebrates-determined by phylogenetic comparative analysis of 16 TR sequences from three separate echinoderm classes. Similar to vertebrate TR, echinoderm TR contains the highly conserved template/pseudoknot and H/ACA domains. However, echinoderm TR lacks the ancestral CR4/5 structural domain found throughout vertebrate and fungal TRs. Instead, echinoderm TR contains a distinct simple helical region, termed eCR4/5, that is functionally equivalent to the CR4/5 domain. The urchin and brittle star eCR4/5 domains bind specifically to their respective TERT proteins and stimulate telomerase activity. Distinct from vertebrate telomerase, the echinoderm TR template/pseudoknot domain with the TERT protein is sufficient to reconstitute significant telomerase activity. This gain-of-function of the echinoderm template/pseudoknot domain for conferring telomerase activity presumably facilitated the rapid structural evolution of the eCR4/5 domain throughout the echinoderm lineage. Additionally, echinoderm TR utilizes the template-adjacent P1.1 helix as a physical template boundary element to prevent nontelomeric DNA synthesis, a mechanism used by ciliate and fungal TRs. Thus, the chimeric and eccentric structural features of echinoderm TR provide unparalleled insights into the rapid evolution of telomerase RNP structure and function. PMID:26598712

  1. Sequence, structure, function, immunity: structural genomics of costimulation

    PubMed Central

    Chattopadhyay, Kausik; Lazar-Molnar, Eszter; Yan, Qingrong; Rubinstein, Rotem; Zhan, Chenyang; Vigdorovich, Vladimir; Ramagopal, Udupi A.; Bonanno, Jeffrey; Nathenson, Stanley G.; Almo, Steven C.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Costimulatory receptors and ligands trigger the signaling pathways that are responsible for modulating the strength, course and duration of an immune response. High-resolution structures have provided invaluable mechanistic insights by defining the chemical and physical features underlying costimulatory receptor/ligand specificity, affinity, oligomeric state, and valency. Furthermore, these structures revealed general architectural features that are important for the integration of these interactions and their associated signaling pathways into overall cellular physiology. Recent technological advances in structural biology promise unprecedented opportunities for furthering our understanding of the structural features and mechanisms that govern costimulation. In this review we highlight unique insights that have been revealed by structures of costimulatory molecules from the immunoglobulin and tumor necrosis factor superfamilies, and describe a vision for future structural and mechanistic analysis of costimulation. This vision includes simple strategies for the selection of candidate molecules for structure determination and highlights the critical role of structure in the design of mutant costimulatory molecules for the generation of in vivo structure-function correlations in a mammalian model system. This integrated ‘atoms-to-animals’ paradigm provides a comprehensive approach for defining atomic and molecular mechanisms. PMID:19426233

  2. Structure-Function Analysis of Yeast Tubulin

    PubMed Central

    Luchniak, Anna; Fukuda, Yusuke; Gupta, Mohan L.

    2014-01-01

    Microtubules play essential roles in a wide variety of cellular processes including cell division, motility, and vesicular transport. Microtubule function depends on the polymerization dynamics of tubulin, and specific interactions between tubulin and diverse microtubule-associated proteins. To date, investigation of the structural and functional properties of tubulin and tubulin mutants has been limited by the inability to obtain functional protein from overexpression systems, and by the heterogeneous mixture of tubulin isotypes typically isolated from higher eukaryotes. The budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has emerged as a leading system for tubulin structure-function analysis. Yeast cells encode a single beta-tubulin gene and can be engineered to express just one, of two, alpha isotypes. Moreover, yeast allows site-directed modification of tubulin genes at the endogenous loci expressed under the native promoter and regulatory elements. These advantageous features provide a homogeneous and controlled environment for analysis of the functional consequences of specific mutations. Here we present techniques to generate site-specific tubulin mutations in diploid and haploid cells, assess the ability of the mutated protein to support cell viability, measure overall microtubule stability, and define changes in the specific parameters of microtubule dynamic instability. We also outline strategies to determine whether mutations disrupt interactions with microtubule-associated proteins. Microtubule-based functions in yeast are well defined, which allows the observed changes in microtubule properties to be related to the role of microtubules in specific cellular processes. PMID:23973083

  3. Collagen type IX from human cartilage: a structural profile of intermolecular cross-linking sites.

    PubMed Central

    Diab, M; Wu, J J; Eyre, D R

    1996-01-01

    Type IX collagen, a quantitatively minor collagenous component of cartilage, is known to be associated with and covalently cross-linked to type II collagen fibrils in chick and bovine cartilage. Type IX collagen molecules have also been shown to form covalent cross-links with each other in bovine cartilage. In the present study we demonstrate by structural analysis and location of cross-linking sites that, in human cartilage, type IX collagen is covalently cross-linked to type II collagen and to other molecules of type IX collagen. We also present evidence that, if the proteoglycan form of type IX collagen is present in human cartilage, it can only be a minor component of the matrix, similar to findings with bovine cartilage. PMID:8660302

  4. Relating methanogen community structure and anaerobic digester function.

    PubMed

    Bocher, B T W; Cherukuri, K; Maki, J S; Johnson, M; Zitomer, D H

    2015-03-01

    Much remains unknown about the relationships between microbial community structure and anaerobic digester function. However, knowledge of links between community structure and function, such as specific methanogenic activity (SMA) and COD removal rate, are valuable to improve anaerobic bioprocesses. In this work, quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) were developed using multiple linear regression (MLR) to predict SMA using methanogen community structure descriptors for 49 cultures. Community descriptors were DGGE demeaned standardized band intensities for amplicons of a methanogen functional gene (mcrA). First, predictive accuracy of MLR QSARs was assessed using cross validation with training (n = 30) and test sets (n = 19) for glucose and propionate SMA data. MLR equations correlating band intensities and SMA demonstrated good predictability for glucose (q(2) = 0.54) and propionate (q(2) = 0.53). Subsequently, data from all 49 cultures were used to develop QSARs to predict SMA values. Higher intensities of two bands were correlated with higher SMA values; high abundance of methanogens associated with these two bands should be encouraged to attain high SMA values. QSARs are helpful tools to identify key microorganisms or to study and improve many bioprocesses. Development of new, more robust QSARs is encouraged for anaerobic digestion or other bioprocesses, including nitrification, nitritation, denitrification, anaerobic ammonium oxidation, and enhanced biological phosphorus removal. PMID:25562581

  5. Massively parallel sequencing of single cells by epicPCR links functional genes with phylogenetic markers.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Sarah J; Tamminen, Manu V; Preheim, Sarah P; Guo, Mira T; Briggs, Adrian W; Brito, Ilana L; A Weitz, David; Pitkänen, Leena K; Vigneault, Francois; Juhani Virta, Marko P; Alm, Eric J

    2016-02-01

    Many microbial communities are characterized by high genetic diversity. 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing can determine community members, and metagenomics can determine the functional diversity, but resolving the functional role of individual cells in high throughput remains an unsolved challenge. Here, we describe epicPCR (Emulsion, Paired Isolation and Concatenation PCR), a new technique that links functional genes and phylogenetic markers in uncultured single cells, providing a throughput of hundreds of thousands of cells with costs comparable to one genomic library preparation. We demonstrate the utility of our technique in a natural environment by profiling a sulfate-reducing community in a freshwater lake, revealing both known sulfate reducers and discovering new putative sulfate reducers. Our method is adaptable to any conserved genetic trait and translates genetic associations from diverse microbial samples into a sequencing library that answers targeted ecological questions. Potential applications include identifying functional community members, tracing horizontal gene transfer networks and mapping ecological interactions between microbial cells. PMID:26394010

  6. Massively parallel sequencing of single cells by epicPCR links functional genes with phylogenetic markers

    PubMed Central

    Spencer, Sarah J; Tamminen, Manu V; Preheim, Sarah P; Guo, Mira T; Briggs, Adrian W; Brito, Ilana L; A Weitz, David; Pitkänen, Leena K; Vigneault, Francois; Virta, Marko PJuhani; Alm, Eric J

    2016-01-01

    Many microbial communities are characterized by high genetic diversity. 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing can determine community members, and metagenomics can determine the functional diversity, but resolving the functional role of individual cells in high throughput remains an unsolved challenge. Here, we describe epicPCR (Emulsion, Paired Isolation and Concatenation PCR), a new technique that links functional genes and phylogenetic markers in uncultured single cells, providing a throughput of hundreds of thousands of cells with costs comparable to one genomic library preparation. We demonstrate the utility of our technique in a natural environment by profiling a sulfate-reducing community in a freshwater lake, revealing both known sulfate reducers and discovering new putative sulfate reducers. Our method is adaptable to any conserved genetic trait and translates genetic associations from diverse microbial samples into a sequencing library that answers targeted ecological questions. Potential applications include identifying functional community members, tracing horizontal gene transfer networks and mapping ecological interactions between microbial cells. PMID:26394010

  7. Massively parallel sequencing of single cells by epicPCR links functional genes with phylogenetic markers.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Sarah J; Tamminen, Manu V; Preheim, Sarah P; Guo, Mira T; Briggs, Adrian W; Brito, Ilana L; A Weitz, David; Pitkänen, Leena K; Vigneault, Francois; Juhani Virta, Marko P; Alm, Eric J

    2016-02-01

    Many microbial communities are characterized by high genetic diversity. 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing can determine community members, and metagenomics can determine the functional diversity, but resolving the functional role of individual cells in high throughput remains an unsolved challenge. Here, we describe epicPCR (Emulsion, Paired Isolation and Concatenation PCR), a new technique that links functional genes and phylogenetic markers in uncultured single cells, providing a throughput of hundreds of thousands of cells with costs comparable to one genomic library preparation. We demonstrate the utility of our technique in a natural environment by profiling a sulfate-reducing community in a freshwater lake, revealing both known sulfate reducers and discovering new putative sulfate reducers. Our method is adaptable to any conserved genetic trait and translates genetic associations from diverse microbial samples into a sequencing library that answers targeted ecological questions. Potential applications include identifying functional community members, tracing horizontal gene transfer networks and mapping ecological interactions between microbial cells.

  8. Gauging and Tuning Cross-Linking Kinetics of Catechol-PEG Adhesives via Catecholamine Functionalization.

    PubMed

    Paez, Julieta I; Ustahüseyin, Oya; Serrano, Cristina; Ton, Xuan-Anh; Shafiq, Zahid; Auernhammer, Günter K; d'Ischia, Marco; del Campo, Aránzazu

    2015-12-14

    The curing time of an adhesive material is determined by the polymerization and cross-linking kinetics of the adhesive formulation and needs to be optimized for the particular application. Here, we explore the possibility of tuning the polymerization kinetics and final mechanical properties of tissue-adhesive PEG gels formed by polymerization of end-functionalized star-PEGs with catecholamines with varying substituents. We show strong differences in cross-linking time and cohesiveness of the final gels among the catecholamine-PEG variants. Installation of an electron-withdrawing but π-electron donating chloro substituent on the catechol ring resulted in faster and more efficient cross-linking, while opposite effects were observed with the strongly electron-withdrawing nitro group. Chain substitution slowed down the kinetics and hindered cross-linking due either to chain breakdown (β-OH group, in norepinephrine) or intramolecular cyclization (α-carboxyl group, in DOPA). Interesting perspectives derive from use of mixtures of catecholamine-PEG precursors offering further opportunities for fine-tuning of the curing parameters. These are interesting properties for the application of catecholamine-PEG gels as tissue glues or biomaterials for cell encapsulation. PMID:26583428

  9. Phylogenetic and functional potential links pH and N2O emissions in pasture soils

    PubMed Central

    Samad, M. d. Sainur; Biswas, Ambarish; Bakken, Lars R.; Clough, Timothy J.; de Klein, Cecile A. M.; Richards, Karl G.; Lanigan, Gary J.; Morales, Sergio E.

    2016-01-01

    Denitrification is mediated by microbial, and physicochemical, processes leading to nitrogen loss via N2O and N2 emissions. Soil pH regulates the reduction of N2O to N2, however, it can also affect microbial community composition and functional potential. Here we simultaneously test the link between pH, community composition, and the N2O emission ratio (N2O/(NO + N2O + N2)) in 13 temperate pasture soils. Physicochemical analysis, gas kinetics, 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, metagenomic and quantitative PCR (of denitrifier genes: nirS, nirK, nosZI and nosZII) analysis were carried out to characterize each soil. We found strong evidence linking pH to both N2O emission ratio and community changes. Soil pH was negatively associated with N2O emission ratio, while being positively associated with both community diversity and total denitrification gene (nir & nos) abundance. Abundance of nosZII was positively linked to pH, and negatively linked to N2O emissions. Our results confirm that pH imposes a general selective pressure on the entire community and that this results in changes in emission potential. Our data also support the general model that with increased microbial diversity efficiency increases, demonstrated in this study with lowered N2O emission ratio through more efficient conversion of N2O to N2. PMID:27782174

  10. ChIP bias as a function of cross-linking time.

    PubMed

    Baranello, Laura; Kouzine, Fedor; Sanford, Suzanne; Levens, David

    2016-05-01

    The chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay is widely used to capture interactions between chromatin and regulatory proteins in vivo. Formaldehyde cross-linking of DNA and proteins is a critical step required to trap their interactions inside the cells before immunoprecipitation and analysis. Yet insufficient attention has been given to variables that might give rise to artifacts in this procedure, such as the duration of cross-linking. We analyzed the dependence of the ChIP signal on the duration of formaldehyde cross-linking time for two proteins: DNA topoisomerase 1 (Top1) that is functionally associated with the double helix in vivo, especially with active chromatin, and green fluorescent protein (GFP) that has no known bona fide interactions with DNA. With short time of formaldehyde fixation, only Top1 immunoprecipation efficiently recovered DNA from active promoters, whereas prolonged fixation augmented non-specific recovery of GFP dramatizing the need to optimize ChIP protocols to minimize the time of cross-linking, especially for abundant nuclear proteins. Thus, ChIP is a powerful approach to study the localization of protein on the genome when care is taken to manage potential artifacts. PMID:26685864

  11. Synthesis, structure, and properties of α,β-linked oligothiazoles with controlled sequence.

    PubMed

    Nakashima, Takuya; Imamura, Kazuhiko; Yamamoto, Kyohei; Kimura, Yuka; Katao, Shohei; Hashimoto, Yuichiro; Kawai, Tsuyoshi

    2014-10-13

    α,β-Linked oligothiazoles with head-to-tail connectivity are presented as a new family of helical scaffolds. Combinations of palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions at the 5- and 4-positions of 2-phenylthiazole led to the synthesis of oligo(2-phenylthiazoles) with ortho linkages with a variety of defined sequences. The secondary structures of the α,β-linked oligo(2-phenylthiazoles) showed a clear dependence on their sequences. X-ray crystallography of the trimer, tetramer, and hexamer with head-to-tail connection revealed the formation of a helical structure, which was stabilized by a combination of intramolecular forces, including interheteroatom (S⋅⋅⋅N), CH-π, and π-π interactions. The introduction of a chiral end-group successfully led to the induction of chirality into the helical conformations. Programmable sequences for controlled geometries and photofunctions have been demonstrated through the manifold connection pathways in α,β-linked oligothiazoles.

  12. History, structure, and function of the Internet.

    PubMed

    Glowniak, J

    1998-04-01

    The Internet stands at the forefront of telecommunications in medicine. This worldwide system of computers had its beginnings in networking projects in the United States and western Europe in the 1960s and 1970s. The precursor of the Internet was ARPANET, a long-distance telecommunication network funded by the Department of Defense that linked together computers throughout the United States. In the 1980s, ARPANET was superseded by NSFNET, a series of networks created by the National Science Foundation, which established the present-day structure of the Internet. The physical structure of the Internet resembles and is integrated with the telephone system. Long-distance data transport services are provided by large telecommunication companies, called network service providers (NSPs), through high-capacity, high-speed national and international fiber optic cables. These transport services are accessed through Internet service providers, ISPs. ISPs, the equivalent of regional Bell operating companies, provide the physical link to the NSPs for individuals and organizations. Telecommunications on the Internet are standardized by a set of communications protocols, the TCP/IP protocol suite, that describe routing of messages over the Internet, computer naming conventions, and commonly used Internet services such as e-mail. At present, the Internet consists of over 20 million computer worldwide and is continuing to grow at a rapid rate. Along with the growth of the Internet, higher speed access methods are offering a range of new services such as real-time video and voice communications. Medical education, teaching, and research, as well as clinical practice, will be affected in numerous different ways by these advances.

  13. Soil microbial community structure and functionality during grassland restoration in the Texas High Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil microbial communities are an indispensable part of restoration programs due to their significant role in ecosystem functioning and sensitivity to disturbance. We evaluated soil microbial community structure using ester-linked fatty acid (EL-FAME) profiling and metabolic functioning, by measurin...

  14. Vasculo-smooth muscle hamartomatous structure is linked to morphogenesis of colorectal polypoid adenoma.

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Hirofumi; Enzan, Hideaki; Yasui, Wataru

    2015-06-01

    To investigate the difference of surrounding stromal structure between the polypoid and flat adenomas in the colorectum, we performed microscopic study including immunohistochemistry in a total of 32 colorectal adenomas (typical 24 polypoid and eight flat adenomas), especially focusing on vessels around muscularis mucosa. All 24 polypoid adenomas accompanied vasculo-smooth muscle hamartomatous structure in association with muscularis mucosa and submucosal vessels, whereas none of eight flat adenomas had vasculo-smooth muscle hamartomatous structure; surrounding muscularis mucosa and submucosa of the flat adenomas are identical to those of normal colorectal tissue. Vasculo-smooth muscle hamartomatous structure is linked to the morphogenesis of colorectal polypoid adenomas.

  15. Origins, structures, and functions of circulating DNA in oncology.

    PubMed

    Thierry, A R; El Messaoudi, S; Gahan, P B; Anker, P; Stroun, M

    2016-09-01

    While various clinical applications especially in oncology are now in progress such as diagnosis, prognosis, therapy monitoring, or patient follow-up, the determination of structural characteristics of cell-free circulating DNA (cirDNA) are still being researched. Nevertheless, some specific structures have been identified and cirDNA has been shown to be composed of many "kinds." This structural description goes hand-in-hand with the mechanisms of its origins such as apoptosis, necrosis, active release, phagocytosis, and exocytose. There are multiple structural forms of cirDNA depending upon the mechanism of release: particulate structures (exosomes, microparticles, apoptotic bodies) or macromolecular structures (nucleosomes, virtosomes/proteolipidonucleic acid complexes, DNA traps, links with serum proteins or to the cell-free membrane parts). In addition, cirDNA concerns both nuclear and/or mitochondrial DNA with both species exhibiting different structural characteristics that potentially reveal different forms of biological stability or diagnostic significance. This review focuses on the origins, structures and functional aspects that are paradoxically less well described in the literature while numerous reviews are directed to the clinical application of cirDNA. Differentiation of the various structures and better knowledge of the fate of cirDNA would considerably expand the diagnostic power of cirDNA analysis especially with regard to the patient follow-up enlarging the scope of personalized medicine. A better understanding of the subsequent fate of cirDNA would also help in deciphering its functional aspects such as their capacity for either genometastasis or their pro-inflammatory and immunological effects.

  16. Perinatal choline influences brain structure and function.

    PubMed

    Zeisel, Steven H; Niculescu, Mihai D

    2006-04-01

    Choline is derived not only from the diet, but also from de novo synthesis. It is important for methyl-group metabolism, the formation of membranes, kidney function, and neurotransmission. When deprived of dietary choline, most adult men and postmenopausal women develop signs of organ dysfunction (fatty liver or muscle damage) and have a decreased capacity to convert homocysteine to methionine. Choline is critical during fetal development, when it influences stem cell proliferation and apoptosis, thereby altering brain structure and function (memory is permanently enhanced in rodents exposed to choline during the latter part of gestation). PMID:16673755

  17. Control design variable linking for optimization of structural/control systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jin, I. M.; Schmit, L. A.

    1991-01-01

    In this study a method is presented to integrate the design space of structural/control system optimization problems in the case of state feedback control. Conventional structural sizing variables and elements of the feedback gain matrix are both treated as strictly independent design variables in the optimization by extending design variable linking concepts to the control gains. Examples which involve a variety of behavior constraints, including dynamic transient response and control force limits, are effectively solved by using the method presented.

  18. Aliphatic polycarbonates based on carbon dioxide, furfuryl glycidyl ether, and glycidyl methyl ether: reversible functionalization and cross-linking.

    PubMed

    Hilf, Jeannette; Scharfenberg, Markus; Poon, Jeffrey; Moers, Christian; Frey, Holger

    2015-01-01

    Well-defined poly((furfuryl glycidyl ether)-co-(glycidyl methyl ether) carbonate) (P((FGE-co-GME)C)) copolymers with varying furfuryl glycidyl ether (FGE) content in the range of 26% to 100% are prepared directly from CO2 and the respective epoxides in a solvent-free synthesis. All materials are characterized by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), (1)H NMR spectroscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The furfuryl-functional samples exhibit monomodal molecular weight distributions with Mw/Mn in the range of 1.16 to 1.43 and molecular weights (Mn) between 2300 and 4300 g mol(-1). Thermal properties reflect the amorphous structure of the polymers. Both post-functionalization and cross-linking are performed via Diels-Alder chemistry using maleimide derivatives, leading to reversible network formation. This transformation is shown to be thermally reversible at 110 °C.

  19. Aliphatic polycarbonates based on carbon dioxide, furfuryl glycidyl ether, and glycidyl methyl ether: reversible functionalization and cross-linking.

    PubMed

    Hilf, Jeannette; Scharfenberg, Markus; Poon, Jeffrey; Moers, Christian; Frey, Holger

    2015-01-01

    Well-defined poly((furfuryl glycidyl ether)-co-(glycidyl methyl ether) carbonate) (P((FGE-co-GME)C)) copolymers with varying furfuryl glycidyl ether (FGE) content in the range of 26% to 100% are prepared directly from CO2 and the respective epoxides in a solvent-free synthesis. All materials are characterized by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), (1)H NMR spectroscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The furfuryl-functional samples exhibit monomodal molecular weight distributions with Mw/Mn in the range of 1.16 to 1.43 and molecular weights (Mn) between 2300 and 4300 g mol(-1). Thermal properties reflect the amorphous structure of the polymers. Both post-functionalization and cross-linking are performed via Diels-Alder chemistry using maleimide derivatives, leading to reversible network formation. This transformation is shown to be thermally reversible at 110 °C. PMID:25407342

  20. Proteins with Novel Structure, Function and Dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Recently, a small enzyme that ligates two RNA fragments with the rate of 10(exp 6) above background was evolved in vitro (Seelig and Szostak, Nature 448:828-831, 2007). This enzyme does not resemble any contemporary protein (Chao et al., Nature Chem. Biol. 9:81-83, 2013). It consists of a dynamic, catalytic loop, a small, rigid core containing two zinc ions coordinated by neighboring amino acids, and two highly flexible tails that might be unimportant for protein function. In contrast to other proteins, this enzyme does not contain ordered secondary structure elements, such as alpha-helix or beta-sheet. The loop is kept together by just two interactions of a charged residue and a histidine with a zinc ion, which they coordinate on the opposite side of the loop. Such structure appears to be very fragile. Surprisingly, computer simulations indicate otherwise. As the coordinating, charged residue is mutated to alanine, another, nearby charged residue takes its place, thus keeping the structure nearly intact. If this residue is also substituted by alanine a salt bridge involving two other, charged residues on the opposite sides of the loop keeps the loop in place. These adjustments are facilitated by high flexibility of the protein. Computational predictions have been confirmed experimentally, as both mutants retain full activity and overall structure. These results challenge our notions about what is required for protein activity and about the relationship between protein dynamics, stability and robustness. We hypothesize that small, highly dynamic proteins could be both active and fault tolerant in ways that many other proteins are not, i.e. they can adjust to retain their structure and activity even if subjected to mutations in structurally critical regions. This opens the doors for designing proteins with novel functions, structures and dynamics that have not been yet considered.

  1. Structure, function, and regulation of adrenergic receptors.

    PubMed Central

    Strosberg, A. D.

    1993-01-01

    Adrenergic receptors for adrenaline and noradrenaline belong to the large multigenic family of receptors coupled to GTP-binding proteins. Three pharmacologic types have been identified: alpha 1-, alpha 2-, and beta-adrenergic receptors. Each of these has three subtypes, characterized by both structural and functional differences. The alpha 2 and beta receptors are coupled negatively and positively, respectively, to adenylyl cyclase via Gi or Gs regulatory proteins, and the alpha 1 receptors modulate phospholipase C via the Go protein. Subtype expression is regulated at the level of the gene, the mRNA, and the protein through various transcriptional and postsynthetic mechanisms. Adrenergic receptors constitute, after rhodopsin, one of the best studied models for the other receptors coupled to G proteins that are likely to display similar structural and functional properties. PMID:8401205

  2. Phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases: Function, structure, and inhibition

    SciTech Connect

    Boura, Evzen Nencka, Radim

    2015-10-01

    The phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases (PI4Ks) synthesize phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI4P), a key member of the phosphoinositide family. PI4P defines the membranes of Golgi and trans-Golgi network (TGN) and regulates trafficking to and from the Golgi. Humans have two type II PI4Ks (α and β) and two type III enzymes (α and β). Recently, the crystal structures were solved for both type II and type III kinase revealing atomic details of their function. Importantly, the type III PI4Ks are hijacked by +RNA viruses to create so-called membranous web, an extensively phosphorylated and modified membrane system dedicated to their replication. Therefore, selective and potent inhibitors of PI4Ks have been developed as potential antiviral agents. Here we focus on the structure and function of PI4Ks and their potential in human medicine.

  3. Dynamic versus Static Hadronic Structure Functions

    SciTech Connect

    Brodsky, Stanley J.; /SLAC

    2009-01-09

    'Static' structure functions are the probabilistic distributions computed from the square of the light-front wavefunctions of the target hadron. In contrast, the 'dynamic' structure functions measured in deep inelastic lepton-hadron scattering include the effects of rescattering associated with the Wilson line. Initial- and final-state rescattering, neglected in the parton model, can have a profound effect in QCD hard-scattering reactions, producing single-spin asymmetries, diffractive deep inelastic scattering, diffractive hard hadronic reactions, the breakdown of the Lam-Tung relation in Drell-Yan reactions, nuclear shadowing, and non-universal nuclear antishadowing|novel leading-twist physics not incorporated in the light-front wavefunctions of the target computed in isolation. I also review how 'direct' higher-twist processes--where a proton is produced in the hard subprocess itself--can explain the anomalous proton-to-pion ratio seen in high centrality heavy ion collisions.

  4. Epigenetic Function of Activation-Induced Cytidine Deaminase and Its Link to Lymphomagenesis

    PubMed Central

    Dominguez, Pilar M.; Shaknovich, Rita

    2014-01-01

    Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is essential for somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination of immunoglobulin (Ig) genes during B cell maturation and immune response. Expression of AID is tightly regulated due to its mutagenic and recombinogenic potential, which is known to target not only Ig genes, but also non-Ig genes, contributing to lymphomagenesis. In recent years, a new epigenetic function of AID and its link to DNA demethylation came to light in several developmental systems. In this review, we summarize existing evidence linking deamination of unmodified and modified cytidine by AID to base-excision repair and mismatch repair machinery resulting in passive or active removal of DNA methylation mark, with the focus on B cell biology. We also discuss potential contribution of AID-dependent DNA hypomethylation to lymphomagenesis. PMID:25566255

  5. Effects of partial hydrolysis and subsequent cross-linking on wheat gluten physicochemical properties and structure.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kaiqiang; Luo, Shuizhong; Cai, Jing; Sun, Qiaoqiao; Zhao, Yanyan; Zhong, Xiyang; Jiang, Shaotong; Zheng, Zhi

    2016-04-15

    The rheological behavior and thermal properties of wheat gluten following partial hydrolysis using Alcalase and subsequent microbial transglutaminase (MTGase) cross-linking were investigated. The wheat gluten storage modulus (G') and thermal denaturation temperature (Tg) were significantly increased from 2.26 kPa and 54.43°C to 7.76 kPa and 57.69°C, respectively, by the combined action of partial hydrolysis (DH 0.187%) and cross-linking. The free SH content, surface hydrophobicity, and secondary structure analysis suggested that an appropriate degree of Alcalase-based hydrolysis allowed the compact wheat gluten structure to unfold, increasing the β-sheet content and surface hydrophobicity. This improved its molecular flexibility and exposed additional glutamine sites for MTGase cross-linking. SEM images showed that a compact 3D network formed, while SDS-PAGE profiles revealed that excessive hydrolysis resulted in high-molecular-weight subunits degrading to smaller peptides, unsuitable for cross-linking. It was also demonstrated that the combination of Alcalase-based partial hydrolysis with MTGase cross-linking might be an effective method for modifying wheat gluten rheological behavior and thermal properties.

  6. Truncated Moment Analysis of Nucleon Structure Functions

    SciTech Connect

    A. Psaker; W. Melnitchouk; M. E. Christy; C. E. Keppel

    2007-11-16

    We employ a novel new approach using "truncated" moments, or integrals of structure functions over restricted regions of x, to study local quark-hadron duality, and the degree to which individual resonance regions are dominated by leading twists. Because truncated moments obey the same Q^2 evolution equations as the leading twist parton distributions, this approach makes possible for the first time a description of resonance region data and the phenomenon of quark-hadron duality directly from QCD.

  7. HFE gene: Structure, function, mutations, and associated iron abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Barton, James C; Edwards, Corwin Q; Acton, Ronald T

    2015-12-15

    The hemochromatosis gene HFE was discovered in 1996, more than a century after clinical and pathologic manifestations of hemochromatosis were reported. Linked to the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) on chromosome 6p, HFE encodes the MHC class I-like protein HFE that binds beta-2 microglobulin. HFE influences iron absorption by modulating the expression of hepcidin, the main controller of iron metabolism. Common HFE mutations account for ~90% of hemochromatosis phenotypes in whites of western European descent. We review HFE mapping and cloning, structure, promoters and controllers, and coding region mutations, HFE protein structure, cell and tissue expression and function, mouse Hfe knockouts and knockins, and HFE mutations in other mammals with iron overload. We describe the pertinence of HFE and HFE to mechanisms of iron homeostasis, the origin and fixation of HFE polymorphisms in European and other populations, and the genetic and biochemical basis of HFE hemochromatosis and iron overload.

  8. The Mass Function of Cosmic Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Audit, E.; Teyssier, R.; Alimi, J.-M.

    We investigate some modifications to the Press and Schechter (1974) (PS) prescription resulting from shear and tidal effects. These modifications rely on more realistic treatments of the collapse process than the standard approach based on the spherical model. First, we show that the mass function resulting from a new approximate Lagrangian dynamic (Audit and Alimi, A&A 1996), contains more objects at high mass, than the classical PS mass function and is well fitted by a PS-like function with a threshold density of deltac ≍ 1.4. However, such a Lagrangian description can underestimate the epoch of structure formation since it defines it as the collapse of the first principal axis. We therefore suggest some analytical prescriptions, for computing the collapse time along the second and third principal axes, and we deduce the corresponding mass functions. The collapse along the third axis is delayed by the shear and the number of objects of high mass then decreases. Finally, we show that the shear also strongly affects the formation of low-mass halos. This dynamical effect implies a modification of the low-mass slope of the mass function and allows the reproduction of the observed luminosity function of field galaxies.

  9. Links between adolescent sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system functioning and interpersonal behavior over time.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Lisa M; Cribbet, Matthew R

    2013-06-01

    Extensive research has investigated links between individual differences in youths' autonomic nervous system (ANS) functioning and psychological outcomes related to emotion regulation, yet little of this research has examined developmental change. The study tested whether individual differences in youths' tonic and stress-induced ANS functioning, assessed at age 14, and changes in ANS functioning from age 14 to 16 predicted corresponding changes in youths' behavioral warmth, as displayed during videotaped mother-child conflict interactions conducted at age 14 and 16. Increased behavioral warmth was predicted by increased baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), increased SCL stress reactivity, decreased RSA stress reactivity (i.e., greater vagal suppression), and decreased baseline SCL. There was also an interaction between RSA stress reactivity at age 14 and changes in maternal warmth from age 14 to 16, such that increased maternal warmth was only associated with increased adolescent warmth for adolescents with lower RSA stress reactivity at age 14.

  10. Longitudinal links between childhood peer victimization, internalizing and externalizing problems, and academic functioning: developmental cascades.

    PubMed

    Vaillancourt, Tracy; Brittain, Heather L; McDougall, Patricia; Duku, Eric

    2013-11-01

    Developmental cascade models linking childhood peer victimization, internalizing and externalizing problems, and academic functioning were examined in a sample of 695 children assessed in Grade 3 (academic only) and Grades 5, 6, 7, and 8. Results revealed several complex patterns of associations in which poorer functioning in one domain influenced poorer outcomes in other areas. For example, a symptom driven pathway was consistently found with internalizing problems predicting future peer victimization. Support for an academic incompetence model was also found-- lower GPA in Grade 5, 6, and 7 was associated with more externalizing issues in the following year, and poor writing performance in Grade 3 predicted lower grades in Grade 5, which in turn predicted more externalizing problems in Grade 6. Results highlight the need to examine bidirectional influences and multifarious transactions that exist between peer victimization, mental health, and academic functioning over time. PMID:23907699

  11. Non-dipolar gauge links for transverse-momentum-dependent pion wave functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yu-Ming

    2016-03-01

    I discuss the factorization-compatible definitions of transverse-momentumdependent (TMD) pion wave functions which are fundamental theory inputs entering QCD factorization formulae for many hard exclusive processes. I will first demonstrate that the soft subtraction factor introduced to remove both rapidity and pinch singularities can be greatly reduced by making the maximal use of the freedom to construct the Wilson-line paths when defining the TMD wave functions. I will then turn to show that the newly proposed TMD definition with non-dipolarWilson lines is equivalent to the one with dipolar gauge links and with a complicated soft function, to all orders of the perturbative expansion in the strong coupling, as far as the infrared behavior is concerned.

  12. Functional cavitands: Chemical reactivity in structured environments

    PubMed Central

    Purse, Byron W.; Rebek, Julius

    2005-01-01

    Container-shaped molecules provide structured environments that impart geometric bounds on the motions and conformations of smaller molecular occupants. Moreover, they provide “solvation” that is constrained in time and space. When inwardly directed functional groups are present, they can interact chemically with the occupants. Additionally, the potential for reactivity and catalysis is greatly enhanced. Deep cavitands, derived from resorcinarenes, nearly surround smaller molecules and have been one of the most successful platforms for elaboration with functional groups. Derivatives bearing organic and metal-binding functional groups have been shown to affect recognition properties and selectively accelerate diverse reactions. In this review, we examine recent examples of these systems with an emphasis on how and why ordered nanoenvironments impart changes in the properties and reactivity of their occupants. PMID:16043720

  13. Structural and regulatory functions of keratins

    SciTech Connect

    Magin, Thomas M. . E-mail: t.magin@uni-bonn.de; Vijayaraj, Preethi; Leube, Rudolf E. . E-mail: leube@uni-mainz.de

    2007-06-10

    The diversity of epithelial functions is reflected by the expression of distinct keratin pairs that are responsible to protect epithelial cells against mechanical stress and to act as signaling platforms. The keratin cytoskeleton integrates these functions by forming a supracellular scaffold that connects at desmosomal cell-cell adhesions. Multiple human diseases and murine knockouts in which the integrity of this system is destroyed testify to its importance as a mechanical stabilizer in certain epithelia. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the precise mechanisms responsible for assembly and disease pathology. In addition to these structural aspects of keratin function, experimental evidence accumulating in recent years has led to a much more complex view of the keratin cytoskeleton. Distinct keratins emerge as highly dynamic scaffolds in different settings and contribute to cell size determination, translation control, proliferation, cell type-specific organelle transport, malignant transformation and various stress responses. All of these properties are controlled by highly complex patterns of phosphorylation and molecular associations.

  14. Cardiac Na Channels: Structure to Function.

    PubMed

    DeMarco, K R; Clancy, C E

    2016-01-01

    Heart rhythms arise from electrical activity generated by precisely timed opening and closing of ion channels in individual cardiac myocytes. Opening of the primary cardiac voltage-gated sodium (NaV1.5) channel initiates cellular depolarization and the propagation of an electrical action potential that promotes coordinated contraction of the heart. The regularity of these contractile waves is critically important since it drives the primary function of the heart: to act as a pump that delivers blood to the brain and vital organs. When electrical activity goes awry during a cardiac arrhythmia, the pump does not function, the brain does not receive oxygenated blood, and death ensues. Perturbations to NaV1.5 may alter the structure, and hence the function, of the ion channel and are associated downstream with a wide variety of cardiac conduction pathologies, such as arrhythmias. PMID:27586288

  15. Structure, mechanism and function of prenyltransferases.

    PubMed

    Liang, Po-Huang; Ko, Tzu-Ping; Wang, Andrew H-J

    2002-07-01

    In this review, we summarize recent progress in studying three main classes of prenyltransferases: (a) isoprenyl pyrophosphate synthases (IPPSs), which catalyze chain elongation of allylic pyrophosphate substrates via consecutive condensation reactions with isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) to generate linear polymers with defined chain lengths; (b) protein prenyltransferases, which catalyze the transfer of an isoprenyl pyrophosphate (e.g. farnesyl pyrophosphate) to a protein or a peptide; (c) prenyltransferases, which catalyze the cyclization of isoprenyl pyrophosphates. The prenyltransferase products are widely distributed in nature and serve a variety of important biological functions. The catalytic mechanism deduced from the 3D structure and other biochemical studies of these prenyltransferases as well as how the protein functions are related to their reaction mechanism and structure are discussed. In the IPPS reaction, we focus on the mechanism that controls product chain length and the reaction kinetics of IPP condensation in the cis-type and trans-type enzymes. For protein prenyltransferases, the structures of Ras farnesyltransferase and Rab geranylgeranyltransferase are used to elucidate the reaction mechanism of this group of enzymes. For the enzymes involved in cyclic terpene biosynthesis, the structures and mechanisms of squalene cyclase, 5-epi-aristolochene synthase, pentalenene synthase, and trichodiene synthase are summarized. PMID:12135472

  16. Structure, mechanism and function of prenyltransferases.

    PubMed

    Liang, Po-Huang; Ko, Tzu-Ping; Wang, Andrew H-J

    2002-07-01

    In this review, we summarize recent progress in studying three main classes of prenyltransferases: (a) isoprenyl pyrophosphate synthases (IPPSs), which catalyze chain elongation of allylic pyrophosphate substrates via consecutive condensation reactions with isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) to generate linear polymers with defined chain lengths; (b) protein prenyltransferases, which catalyze the transfer of an isoprenyl pyrophosphate (e.g. farnesyl pyrophosphate) to a protein or a peptide; (c) prenyltransferases, which catalyze the cyclization of isoprenyl pyrophosphates. The prenyltransferase products are widely distributed in nature and serve a variety of important biological functions. The catalytic mechanism deduced from the 3D structure and other biochemical studies of these prenyltransferases as well as how the protein functions are related to their reaction mechanism and structure are discussed. In the IPPS reaction, we focus on the mechanism that controls product chain length and the reaction kinetics of IPP condensation in the cis-type and trans-type enzymes. For protein prenyltransferases, the structures of Ras farnesyltransferase and Rab geranylgeranyltransferase are used to elucidate the reaction mechanism of this group of enzymes. For the enzymes involved in cyclic terpene biosynthesis, the structures and mechanisms of squalene cyclase, 5-epi-aristolochene synthase, pentalenene synthase, and trichodiene synthase are summarized.

  17. Brain Functional and Structural Predictors of Language Performance.

    PubMed

    Skeide, Michael A; Brauer, Jens; Friederici, Angela D

    2016-05-01

    The relation between brain function and behavior on the one hand and the relation between structural changes and behavior on the other as well as the link between the 2 aspects are core issues in cognitive neuroscience. It is an open question, however, whether brain function or brain structure is the better predictor for age-specific cognitive performance. Here, in a comprehensive set of analyses, we investigated the direct relation between hemodynamic activity in 2 pairs of frontal and temporal cortical areas, 2 long-distance white matter fiber tracts connecting each pair and sentence comprehension performance of 4 age groups, including 3 groups of children between 3 and 10 years as well as young adults. We show that the increasing accuracy of processing complex sentences throughout development is correlated with the blood-oxygen-level-dependent activation of 2 core language processing regions in Broca's area and the posterior portion of the superior temporal gyrus. Moreover, both accuracy and speed of processing are correlated with the maturational status of the arcuate fasciculus, that is, the dorsal white matter fiber bundle connecting these 2 regions. The present data provide compelling evidence for the view that brain function and white matter structure together best predict developing cognitive performance. PMID:25770126

  18. Small catalytic RNA: Structure, function and application

    SciTech Connect

    Monforte, J.A.

    1991-04-01

    We have utilized a combination of photochemical cross-linking techniques and site-directed mutagenesis to obtain secondary and tertiary structure information for the self-cleaving, self-ligating subsequence of RNA from the negative strand of Satellite Tobacco Ringspot Virus. We have found that the helical regions fold about a hinge to promoting four different possible tertiary interactions, creating a molecular of similar shape to a paperclip. A model suggesting that the paperclip'' and hammerhead'' RNAs share a similar three dimensional structure is proposed. We have used a self-cleaving RNA molecule related to a subsequence of plant viroids, a hammerhead,'' to study the length-dependent folding of RNA produced during transcription by RNA polymerase. We have used this method to determine the length of RNA sequestered within elongating E. coli and T7 RNA polymerase complexes. The data show that for E. coli RNA polymerase 12{plus minus}1 nucleotides are sequestered within the ternary complex, which is consistent with the presence of an RNA-DNA hybrid within the transcription bubble, as proposed by others. The result for T7 RNA polymerase differs from E. coli RNA polymerase, with only 10{plus minus}1 nucleotides sequestered within the ternary complex, setting a new upper limit for the minimum RNA-DNA required for a stable elongating complex. Comparisons between E. coli and T7 RNA polymerase are made. The relevance of the results to models or transcription termination, abortive initiation, and initiation to elongation mode transitions are discussed.

  19. Regulation of the protein glycosylation pathway in yeast: structural control of N-linked oligosaccharide elongation.

    PubMed Central

    Gopal, P K; Ballou, C E

    1987-01-01

    The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae X2180 strain with the mnn1 mnn2 mnn9 mutations, all of which affect mannoprotein glycosylation, synthesizes N-linked oligosaccharides having the following structure: (Formula: see text) whereas the mnn1 mnn2 mutant extends the alpha 1----6-linked backbone of some of the core oligosaccharides by adding 20-30 mannose units. Membrane fractions from the mnn1 mnn2 and mnn1 mnn2 mnn9 mutants are equally effective in catalyzing transfer from GDP-[3H]mannose to add mannose in both alpha 1----2 and alpha 1----6 linkages to an oligosaccharide having the following structure: (Formula: see text) but neither membrane preparation can utilize the homologous mnn1 mnn2 mnn9 oligosaccharide as an acceptor. Thus, addition of the alpha 1----2-linked mannose side chain to the terminal alpha 1----6-linked mannose in oligosaccharides of the mnn9 mutant inhibits the elongation reaction and may serve as an important structural control of mannoprotein glycosylation. The mnn9 mutation also increases the transit time for invertase secretion, meaning that this mutation could affect the processing machinery in the Golgi apparatus. PMID:3321055

  20. Control design variable linking for optimization of structural/control systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jin, Ik Min; Schmit, Lucien A.

    1993-01-01

    A method is presented to integrate the design space of structural/control system optimization problems in the case of linear state feedback control. Conventional structural sizing variables and elements of the feedback gain matrix are both treated as strictly independent design variables in optimization by extending design variable linking concepts to the control gains. Several approximation concepts including new control design variable linking schemes are used to formulate the integrated structural/control optimization problem as a sequence of explicit nonlinear mathematical programming problems. Examples which involve a variety of behavior constraints, including constraints on dynamic stability, damped frequencies, control effort, peak transient displacement, acceleration, and control force limits, are effectively solved by using the method presented.

  1. Structure and Function of the Reproductive System of Aplysia kurodai

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chi-Hoon; Kaang, Bong-Kiun; Lee, Young-Don

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated structure and function of the reproductive system in Aplysia kurodai by means of anatomical, histological, and histochemical observation. Reproductive system of this species is consisted of ovotestis, small hermaphroditic duct, ampulla, accessory genital mass and large hermaphroditic duct. The ovotestis is composed of a large number of follicles, and both oocytes and spermatocytes matured in the same follicle. The small hermaphroditic duct is a single tube and contains a swelling, the ampulla, which functions as a storage organ for endogenous sperm and an oviduct. The accessory genital mass is connected to both the small and large hermaphroditic duct, and consisted of three glands: albumen, membrane (winding) and mucus gland. The albumen gland is consisted of granular cells producing basophilic and neutral mucopolysaccharides. The membrane and mucus gland are consisted of granular cells producing acidophilc and sulfated mucopolysaccharides. The large hermaphroditic duct is a single tubular gonoduct linking the accessory genital mass to the common genital aperture but is consisted of two parallel compartments. Internally, these two compartments are incompletely divided by internal septum or fold, which are called as the red hemiduct and white hemiduct, respectively. The red hemiduct functions as an oviduct and the white hemiduct functions as a copulatory duct. The reproductive system of A. kurodai is externally comprised a single tube, i.e., monaulic type. However, internal structure of duct is incompletely divided into oviduct and copulatory duct, i.e., the oodiaulic type. PMID:26973971

  2. Unconventional N-Linked Glycosylation Promotes Trimeric Autotransporter Function in Kingella kingae and Aggregatibacter aphrophilus

    PubMed Central

    Rempe, Katherine A.; Spruce, Lynn A.; Porsch, Eric A.; Seeholzer, Steven H.; Nørskov-Lauritsen, Niels

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Glycosylation is a widespread mechanism employed by both eukaryotes and bacteria to increase the functional diversity of their proteomes. The nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae glycosyltransferase HMW1C mediates unconventional N-linked glycosylation of the adhesive protein HMW1, which is encoded in a two-partner secretion system gene cluster that also encodes HMW1C. In this system, HMW1 is modified in the cytoplasm by sequential transfer of hexose residues. In the present study, we examined Kingella kingae and Aggregatibacter aphrophilus homologues of HMW1C that are not encoded near a gene encoding an obvious acceptor protein. We found both homologues to be functional glycosyltransferases and identified their substrates as the K. kingae Knh and the A. aphrophilus EmaA trimeric autotransporter proteins. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis revealed multiple sites of N-linked glycosylation on Knh and EmaA. Without glycosylation, Knh and EmaA failed to facilitate wild-type levels of bacterial autoaggregation or adherence to human epithelial cells, establishing that glycosylation is essential for proper protein function. PMID:26307167

  3. Meiotic chromosome structure and function in plants.

    PubMed

    Mainiero, Samantha; Pawlowski, Wojciech P

    2014-01-01

    Chromosome structure is important for many meiotic processes. Here, we outline 3 main determinants of chromosome structure and their effects on meiotic processes in plants. Cohesins are necessary to hold sister chromatids together until the first meiotic division, ensuring that homologous chromosomes and not sister chromatids separate during anaphase I. During meiosis in maize, Arabidopsis, and rice, cohesins are needed for establishing early prophase chromosome structure and recombination and for aligning bivalents at the metaphase plate. Condensin complexes play pivotal roles in controlling the packaging of chromatin into chromosomes through chromatin compaction and chromosome individualization. In animals and fungi, these complexes establish a meiotic chromosome structure that allows for proper recombination, pairing, and synapsis of homologous chromosomes. In plants, information on the role of condensins in meiosis is limited, but they are known to be required for successful completion of reproductive development. Therefore, we speculate that they play roles similar to animal and fungal condensins during meiosis. Plants generally have large and complex genomes due to frequent polyploidy events, and likely, condensins and cohesins organize chromosomes in such a way as to ensure genome stability. Hexaploid wheat has evolved a unique mechanism using a Ph1 locus-controlled chromosome organization to ensure proper chromosome pairing in meiosis. Altogether, studies on meiotic chromosome structure indicate that chromosome organization is not only important for chromatin packaging but also fulfills specific functions in facilitating chromosome interactions during meiosis, including pairing and recombination. PMID:25096046

  4. Polymer nanocomposites: structure, interaction, and functionality.

    PubMed

    Keledi, Gergely; Hári, József; Pukánszky, Béla

    2012-03-21

    This feature article discusses the main factors determining the properties of polymer nanocomposites with special attention paid to structure and interactions. Usually more complicated structure develops in nanocomposites than in traditional particulate filled polymers, and that is especially valid for composites prepared from plate-like nanofillers. Besides the usually assumed exfoliated/intercalated morphology, i.e. individual platelets and tactoids, such nanocomposites often contain large particles, and a network structure developing at large extent of exfoliation. Aggregation and orientation are the most important structural phenomena in nanotube or nanofiber reinforced composites, and ag-gregation is a major problem also in composites prepared with spherical particles. The surface characteristics of nanofillers and interactions are rarely determined or known; the related problems are discussed in the paper in detail. The surface of these reinforcements is modified practically always. The goal of the modification is to improve dispersion and/or adhesion in nanotube and spherical particle reinforced composites, and to help exfoliation in nanocomposites containing platelets. However, modification decreases surface energy often leading to decreased interaction with the matrix. Very limited information exists about interphase formation and the properties of the interphase in nanocomposites, although they must influence properties considerably. The properties of nanocomposites are usually far from the expectations, the main reason being insufficient homogeneity, undefined structure and improper adhesion. In spite of considerable difficulties nanocomposites have great potentials especially in functional applications. Several nanocomposite products are already used in industrial practice demonstrated by a few examples in the article. PMID:22349033

  5. Linking Resting-State Networks in the Prefrontal Cortex to Executive Function: A Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy Study

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jia; Liu, Jiangang; Jiang, Xin; Zhou, Guifei; Chen, Guowei; Ding, Xiao P.; Fu, Genyue; Lee, Kang

    2016-01-01

    Executive function (EF) plays vital roles in our everyday adaptation to the ever-changing environment. However, limited existing studies have linked EF to the resting-state brain activity. The functional connectivity in the resting state between the sub-regions of the brain can reveal the intrinsic neural mechanisms involved in cognitive processing of EF without disturbance from external stimuli. The present study investigated the relations between the behavioral executive function (EF) scores and the resting-state functional network topological properties in the Prefrontal Cortex (PFC). We constructed complex brain functional networks in the PFC from 90 healthy young adults using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). We calculated the correlations between the typical network topological properties (regional topological properties and global topological properties) and the scores of both the Total EF and components of EF measured by computer-based Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). We found that the Total EF scores were positively correlated with regional properties in the right dorsal superior frontal gyrus (SFG), whereas the opposite pattern was found in the right triangular inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Different EF components were related to different regional properties in various PFC areas, such as planning in the right middle frontal gyrus (MFG), working memory mainly in the right MFG and triangular IFG, short-term memory in the left dorsal SFG, and task switch in the right MFG. In contrast, there were no significant findings for global topological properties. Our findings suggested that the PFC plays an important role in individuals' behavioral performance in the executive function tasks. Further, the resting-state functional network can reveal the intrinsic neural mechanisms involved in behavioral EF abilities. PMID:27774047

  6. Adversity in childhood linked to elevated striatal dopamine function in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Egerton, Alice; Valmaggia, Lucia R; Howes, Oliver D; Day, Fern; Chaddock, Christopher A; Allen, Paul; Winton-Brown, Toby T; Bloomfield, Michael A P; Bhattacharyya, Sagnik; Chilcott, Jack; Lappin, Julia M; Murray, Robin M; McGuire, Philip

    2016-10-01

    Childhood adversity increases the risk of psychosis in adulthood. Theoretical and animal models suggest that this effect may be mediated by increased striatal dopamine neurotransmission. The primary objective of this study was to examine the relationship between adversity in childhood and striatal dopamine function in early adulthood. Secondary objectives were to compare exposure to childhood adversity and striatal dopamine function in young people at ultra high risk (UHR) of psychosis and healthy volunteers. Sixty-seven young adults, comprising 47 individuals at UHR for psychosis and 20 healthy volunteers were recruited from the same geographic area and were matched for age, gender and substance use. Presynaptic dopamine function in the associative striatum was assessed using 18F-DOPA positron emission tomography. Childhood adversity was assessed using the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse questionnaire. Within the sample as a whole, both severe physical or sexual abuse (T63=2.92; P=0.005), and unstable family arrangements (T57=2.80; P=0.007) in childhood were associated with elevated dopamine function in the associative striatum in adulthood. Comparison of the UHR and volunteer subgroups revealed similar incidence of childhood adverse experiences, and there was no significant group difference in dopamine function. This study provides evidence that childhood adversity is linked to elevated striatal dopamine function in adulthood. PMID:27344984

  7. Linked-cluster expansion for the Green's function of the infinite-U Hubbard model.

    PubMed

    Khatami, Ehsan; Perepelitsky, Edward; Rigol, Marcos; Shastry, B Sriram

    2014-06-01

    We implement a highly efficient strong-coupling expansion for the Green's function of the Hubbard model. In the limit of extreme correlations, where the onsite interaction is infinite, the evaluation of diagrams simplifies dramatically enabling us to carry out the expansion to the eighth order in powers of the hopping amplitude. We compute the finite-temperature Green's function analytically in the momentum and Matsubara frequency space as a function of the electron density. Employing Padé approximations, we study the equation of state, Kelvin thermopower, momentum distribution function, quasiparticle fraction, and quasiparticle lifetime of the system at temperatures lower than, or of the order of, the hopping amplitude. We also discuss several different approaches for obtaining the spectral functions through analytic continuation of the imaginary frequency Green's function, and show results for the system near half filling. We benchmark our results for the equation of state against those obtained from a numerical linked-cluster expansion carried out to the eleventh order. PMID:25019906

  8. Highly efficient copper(II) ion sorbents obtained by calcium carbonate mineralization on functionalized cross-linked copolymers.

    PubMed

    Mihai, Marcela; Bunia, Ion; Doroftei, Florica; Varganici, Cristian-Dragos; Simionescu, Bogdan C

    2015-03-23

    A new type of Cu(II) ion sorbents is presented. These are obtained by CaCO3 mineralization from supersaturated solutions on gel-like cross-linked polymeric beads as insoluble templates. A divinylbenzene-ethylacrylate-acrylonitrile cross-linked copolymer functionalized with weakly acidic, basic, or amphoteric functional groups has been used, as well as different initial inorganic concentrations and addition procedures for CaCO3 crystal growth. The morphology of the new composites was investigated by SEM and compared to that of the unmodified beads, and the polymorph content was established by X-ray diffraction. The beads, before and after CaCO3 mineralization, were tested as sorbents for Cu(II) ions. The newly formed patterns on the bead surface after Cu(II) sorption were observed by SEM, and the elemental distribution on the composites and the chemical structure of crystals after interaction with Cu(II) were investigated by EDAX elemental mapping and by FTIR-ATR spectroscopy, respectively. The sorption capacity increased significantly after CaCO3 crystals growth on the weak anionic bead surface (up to 1041.5 mg Cu(II) /g sample) compared to that of unmodified beads (491.5 mg Cu(II) /g sample). PMID:25675892

  9. Catchment Classification: Connecting Climate, Structure and Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sawicz, K. A.; Wagener, T.; Sivapalan, M.; Troch, P. A.; Carrillo, G. A.

    2010-12-01

    Hydrology does not yet possess a generally accepted catchment classification framework. Such a classification framework needs to: [1] give names to things, i.e. the main classification step, [2] permit transfer of information, i.e. regionalization of information, [3] permit development of generalizations, i.e. to develop new theory, and [4] provide a first order environmental change impact assessment, i.e., the hydrologic implications of climate, land use and land cover change. One strategy is to create a catchment classification framework based on the notion of catchment functions (partitioning, storage, and release). Results of an empirical study presented here connects climate and structure to catchment function (in the form of select hydrologic signatures), based on analyzing over 300 US catchments. Initial results indicate a wide assortment of signature relationships with properties of climate, geology, and vegetation. The uncertainty in the different regionalized signatures varies widely, and therefore there is variability in the robustness of classifying ungauged basins. This research provides insight into the controls of hydrologic behavior of a catchment, and enables a classification framework applicable to gauged and ungauged across the study domain. This study sheds light on what we can expect to achieve in mapping climate, structure and function in a top-down manner. Results of this study complement work done using a bottom-up physically-based modeling framework to generalize this approach (Carrillo et al., this session).

  10. The structure and function of presynaptic endosomes.

    PubMed

    Jähne, Sebastian; Rizzoli, Silvio O; Helm, Martin S

    2015-07-15

    The function of endosomes and of endosome-like structures in the presynaptic compartment is still controversial. This is in part due to the absence of a consensus on definitions and markers for these compartments. Synaptic endosomes are sometimes seen as stable organelles, permanently present in the synapse. Alternatively, they are seen as short-lived intermediates in synaptic vesicle recycling, arising from the endocytosis of large vesicles from the plasma membrane, or from homotypic fusion of small vesicles. In addition, the potential function of the endosome is largely unknown in the synapse. Some groups have proposed that the endosome is involved in the sorting of synaptic vesicle proteins, albeit others have produced data that deny this possibility. In this review, we present the existing evidence for synaptic endosomes, we discuss their potential functions, and we highlight frequent technical pitfalls in the analysis of this elusive compartment. We also sketch a roadmap to definitely determine the role of synaptic endosomes for the synaptic vesicle cycle. Finally, we propose a common definition of synaptic endosome-like structures. PMID:25939282

  11. The structure and function of presynaptic endosomes

    SciTech Connect

    Jähne, Sebastian; Rizzoli, Silvio O.; Helm, Martin S.

    2015-07-15

    The function of endosomes and of endosome-like structures in the presynaptic compartment is still controversial. This is in part due to the absence of a consensus on definitions and markers for these compartments. Synaptic endosomes are sometimes seen as stable organelles, permanently present in the synapse. Alternatively, they are seen as short-lived intermediates in synaptic vesicle recycling, arising from the endocytosis of large vesicles from the plasma membrane, or from homotypic fusion of small vesicles. In addition, the potential function of the endosome is largely unknown in the synapse. Some groups have proposed that the endosome is involved in the sorting of synaptic vesicle proteins, albeit others have produced data that deny this possibility. In this review, we present the existing evidence for synaptic endosomes, we discuss their potential functions, and we highlight frequent technical pitfalls in the analysis of this elusive compartment. We also sketch a roadmap to definitely determine the role of synaptic endosomes for the synaptic vesicle cycle. Finally, we propose a common definition of synaptic endosome-like structures.

  12. Structural and functional brain imaging in schizophrenia.

    PubMed Central

    Cleghorn, J M; Zipursky, R B; List, S J

    1991-01-01

    We present an evaluation of the contribution of structural and functional brain imaging to our understanding of schizophrenia. Methodological influences on the validity of the data generated by these new technologies include problems with measurement and clinical and anatomic heterogeneity. These considerations greatly affect the interpretation of the data generated by these technologies. Work in these fields to date, however, has produced strong evidence which suggests that schizophrenia is a disease which involves abnormalities in the structure and function of many brain areas. Structural brain imaging studies of schizophrenia using computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are reviewed and their contribution to current theories of the pathogenesis of schizophrenia are discussed. Positron emission tomography (PET) studies of brain metabolic activity and dopamine receptor binding in schizophrenia are summarized and the critical questions raised by these studies are outlined. Future studies in these fields have the potential to yield critical insights into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia; new directions for studies of schizophrenia using these technologies are identified. PMID:1911736

  13. Structure and function of C1-inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Wagenaar-Bos, Ineke G A; Hack, C Erik

    2006-11-01

    C1-INH belongs to the family of serpins. Structural studies have yielded a clear understanding of the biochemical principle underlying the functional activities of these proteins. Although the crystal structure of C1-INH has yet to be revealed, homology modeling has provided a three-dimensional model of the serpin part of C1-INH. This model has helped us understand the biochemical consequences of mutations of the C1-INH gene as they occur in patients who have HAE. The structure of the N-terminal domain of C1-INH remains unknown; however, this part of the molecule is unlikely to be important in the inhibitory activity of C1-INH toward its target proteases. Mutations in this part have not been described in patients who have HAE, except for a deletion containing two cysteine residues involved in the stabilization of the serpin domain. Recent studies suggest some anti-inflammatory functions for this N-terminal part, possibly explaining the effects of C1-INH in diseases other than HAE.

  14. Egg yolk: structures, functionalities and processes.

    PubMed

    Anton, Marc

    2013-09-01

    Hen egg yolk is an ideal example of natural supramolecular assemblies of lipids and proteins with different organization levels. These assemblies are mainly due to interactions between proteins and phospholipids, and these interactions are essential in understanding and controlling the production of food made with yolk, and particularly emulsions. Furthermore, these assemblies can be modulated by external constraints among which thermo-mechanical and high-pressure treatments. This review focuses on multi-scale structures present in egg yolk, and their modulation by processes, in relation with their emulsifying properties. Egg yolk is mainly composed of two fractions-plasma and granules-which are natural nano- and micro-assemblies. These two fractions possess different composition, structures and functionalities and exhibit specific behaviour under treatments such as high pressure and temperature. Plasma contains a large quantity of lipids structured as lipoproteins (low-density lipoproteins), whereas granules are mainly composed of proteins aggregated in micrometric assemblies. If plasma is responsible for the important emulsifying properties of yolk, granules bring interesting emulsifying properties when assemblies are in the form of micelles in presence of salts. High-pressure or thermal treatments, applied before or after emulsion fabrication, alter their functionalities and could be used to commercially exploit these fractions.

  15. Phenylalanine hydroxylase: function, structure, and regulation.

    PubMed

    Flydal, Marte I; Martinez, Aurora

    2013-04-01

    Mammalian phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) catalyzes the rate-limiting step in the phenylalanine catabolism, consuming about 75% of the phenylalanine input from the diet and protein catabolism under physiological conditions. In humans, mutations in the PAH gene lead to phenylketonuria (PKU), and most mutations are mainly associated with PAH misfolding and instability. The established treatment for PKU is a phenylalanine-restricted diet and, recently, supplementation with preparations of the natural tetrahydrobiopterin cofactor also shows effectiveness for some patients. Since 1997 there has been a significant increase in the understanding of the structure, catalytic mechanism, and regulation of PAH by its substrate and cofactor, in addition to improved correlations between genotype and phenotype in PKU. Importantly, there has also been an increased number of studies on the structure and function of PAH from bacteria and lower eukaryote organisms, revealing an additional anabolic role of the enzyme in the synthesis of melanin-like pigments. In this review, we discuss these recent studies, which contribute to define the evolutionary adaptation of the PAH structure and function leading to sophisticated regulation for effective catabolic processing of phenylalanine in mammalian organisms.

  16. Capitals and capabilities: linking structure and agency to reduce health inequalities.

    PubMed

    Abel, Thomas; Frohlich, Katherine L

    2012-01-01

    While empirical evidence continues to show that low socio-economic position is associated with less likely chances of being in good health, our understanding of why this is so remains less than clear. In this paper we examine the theoretical foundations for a structure-agency approach to the reduction of social inequalities in health. We use Max Weber's work on lifestyles to provide the explanation for the dualism between life chances (structure) and choice-based life conduct (agency). For explaining how the unequal distribution of material and non-material resources leads to the reproduction of unequal life chances and limitations of choice in contemporary societies, we apply Pierre Bourdieu's theory on capital interaction and habitus. We find, however, that Bourdieu's habitus concept is insufficient with regard to the role of agency for structural change and therefore does not readily provide for a theoretically supported move from sociological explanation to public health action. We therefore suggest Amartya Sen's capability approach as a useful link between capital interaction theory and action to reduce social inequalities in health. This link allows for the consideration of structural conditions as well as an active role for individuals as agents in reducing these inequalities. We suggest that people's capabilities to be active for their health be considered as a key concept in public health practice to reduce health inequalities. Examples provided from an ongoing health promotion project in Germany link our theoretical perspective to a practical experience.

  17. Spin structure functions: a window into the structure of hadrons

    SciTech Connect

    Dodge, Gail

    2005-08-01

    A large program of spin structure measurements is underway in Jefferson Lab's Hall B. Of particular interest is the first moment of the spin structure function g1, which goes through a rapid transition from the photon point (Q2 = 0), where it is constrained by the Gerasimov-Drell-Hearn sum rule, to the deep inelastic limit where it is sensitive to the nucleon spin fraction carried by quarks. One can then study the transition from hadronic to quark degrees of freedom over the whole range of Q2. It is also interesting to look for the onset of quark-hadron duality in spin structure functions. We use longitudinally polarized electrons with energies from 1.6 to 5.7 GeV incident upon polarized NH3 and ND3 targets to investigate proton and deuteron spin observables in and above the resonance region. We present the GDH and Bjorken integrals using the 1.6 and 5.7 GeV data and comment on the validity of local quark-hadron duality over the wide kinematical range (0.05 ? Q2 ? 4.5 GeV2 and W < 3.2

  18. Perception of affective prosody in major depression: a link to executive functions?

    PubMed

    Uekermann, Jennifer; Abdel-Hamid, Mona; Lehmkämper, Caroline; Vollmoeller, Wolfgang; Daum, Irene

    2008-07-01

    Major depression is associated with impairments of executive functions and affect perception deficits, both being linked to dysfunction of fronto-subcortical networks. So far, little is known about the relationship between cognitive and affective deficits in major depression. In the present investigation, affect perception and executive functions were assessed in 29 patients with a diagnosis of major depression (Dep) and 29 healthy controls (HC). Both groups were comparable on IQ, age, and gender distribution. Depressed patients showed deficits of perception of affective prosody, which were significantly related to inhibition, set shifting, and working memory. Our findings suggest a significant association between cognitive deficits and affect perception impairments in major depression, which may be of considerable clinical relevance and might be addressed in treatment approaches. Future studies are desirable to investigate the nature of the association in more detail.

  19. Versatile hemidesmosomal linker proteins: structure and function.

    PubMed

    Chaudhari, Pratik R; Vaidya, Milind M

    2015-04-01

    Hemidesmosomes are anchoring junctions which connect basal epidermal cells to the extracellular matrix. In complex epithelia like skin, hemidesmosomes are composed of transmembrane proteins like α6β4 integrin, BP180, CD151 and cytoplasmic proteins like BPAG1e and plectin. BPAG1e and plectin are plakin family cytolinker proteins which anchor intermediate filament proteins i.e. keratins to the hemidesmosomal transmembrane proteins. Mutations in BPAG1e and plectin lead to severe skin blistering disorders. Recent reports indicate that these hemidesmosomal linker proteins play a role in various cellular processes like cell motility and cytoskeleton dynamics apart from their known anchoring function. In this review, we will discuss their role in structural and signaling functions.

  20. Androgen Modulation of Hippocampal Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Atwi, Sarah; McMahon, Dallan; Scharfman, Helen; MacLusky, Neil J.

    2016-01-01

    Androgens have profound effects on hippocampal structure and function, including induction of spines and spine synapses on the dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons, as well as alterations in long-term synaptic plasticity (LTP) and hippocampally dependent cognitive behaviors. How these effects occur remains largely unknown. Emerging evidence, however, suggests that one of the key elements in the response mechanism may be modulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the mossy fiber (MF) system. In male rats, orchidectomy increases synaptic transmission and excitability in the MF pathway. Testosterone reverses these effects, suggesting that testosterone exerts tonic suppression on MF BDNF levels. These findings suggest that changes in hippocampal function resulting from declining androgen levels may reflect the outcome of responses mediated through normally balanced, but opposing, mechanisms: loss of androgen effects on the hippocampal circuitry may be compensated, at least in part, by an increase in BDNF-dependent MF plasticity. PMID:25416742

  1. Efficient estimation and prediction for the Bayesian binary spatial model with flexible link functions.

    PubMed

    Roy, Vivekananda; Evangelou, Evangelos; Zhu, Zhengyuan

    2016-03-01

    Spatial generalized linear mixed models (SGLMMs) are popular models for spatial data with a non-Gaussian response. Binomial SGLMMs with logit or probit link functions are often used to model spatially dependent binomial random variables. It is known that for independent binomial data, the robit regression model provides a more robust (against extreme observations) alternative to the more popular logistic and probit models. In this article, we introduce a Bayesian spatial robit model for spatially dependent binomial data. Since constructing a meaningful prior on the link function parameter as well as the spatial correlation parameters in SGLMMs is difficult, we propose an empirical Bayes (EB) approach for the estimation of these parameters as well as for the prediction of the random effects. The EB methodology is implemented by efficient importance sampling methods based on Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms. Our simulation study shows that the robit model is robust against model misspecification, and our EB method results in estimates with less bias than full Bayesian (FB) analysis. The methodology is applied to a Celastrus Orbiculatus data, and a Rhizoctonia root data. For the former, which is known to contain outlying observations, the robit model is shown to do better for predicting the spatial distribution of an invasive species. For the latter, our approach is doing as well as the classical models for predicting the disease severity for a root disease, as the probit link is shown to be appropriate. Though this article is written for Binomial SGLMMs for brevity, the EB methodology is more general and can be applied to other types of SGLMMs. In the accompanying R package geoBayes, implementations for other SGLMMs such as Poisson and Gamma SGLMMs are provided. PMID:26331903

  2. Efficient estimation and prediction for the Bayesian binary spatial model with flexible link functions.

    PubMed

    Roy, Vivekananda; Evangelou, Evangelos; Zhu, Zhengyuan

    2016-03-01

    Spatial generalized linear mixed models (SGLMMs) are popular models for spatial data with a non-Gaussian response. Binomial SGLMMs with logit or probit link functions are often used to model spatially dependent binomial random variables. It is known that for independent binomial data, the robit regression model provides a more robust (against extreme observations) alternative to the more popular logistic and probit models. In this article, we introduce a Bayesian spatial robit model for spatially dependent binomial data. Since constructing a meaningful prior on the link function parameter as well as the spatial correlation parameters in SGLMMs is difficult, we propose an empirical Bayes (EB) approach for the estimation of these parameters as well as for the prediction of the random effects. The EB methodology is implemented by efficient importance sampling methods based on Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms. Our simulation study shows that the robit model is robust against model misspecification, and our EB method results in estimates with less bias than full Bayesian (FB) analysis. The methodology is applied to a Celastrus Orbiculatus data, and a Rhizoctonia root data. For the former, which is known to contain outlying observations, the robit model is shown to do better for predicting the spatial distribution of an invasive species. For the latter, our approach is doing as well as the classical models for predicting the disease severity for a root disease, as the probit link is shown to be appropriate. Though this article is written for Binomial SGLMMs for brevity, the EB methodology is more general and can be applied to other types of SGLMMs. In the accompanying R package geoBayes, implementations for other SGLMMs such as Poisson and Gamma SGLMMs are provided.

  3. Functional Divergence in the Role of N-Linked Glycosylation in Smoothened Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Marada, Suresh; Navarro, Gemma; Truong, Ashley; Stewart, Daniel P.; Arensdorf, Angela M.; Nachtergaele, Sigrid; Angelats, Edgar; Opferman, Joseph T.; Rohatgi, Rajat; McCormick, Peter J.; Ogden, Stacey K.

    2015-01-01

    The G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) Smoothened (Smo) is the requisite signal transducer of the evolutionarily conserved Hedgehog (Hh) pathway. Although aspects of Smo signaling are conserved from Drosophila to vertebrates, significant differences have evolved. These include changes in its active sub-cellular localization, and the ability of vertebrate Smo to induce distinct G protein-dependent and independent signals in response to ligand. Whereas the canonical Smo signal to Gli transcriptional effectors occurs in a G protein-independent manner, its non-canonical signal employs Gαi. Whether vertebrate Smo can selectively bias its signal between these routes is not yet known. N-linked glycosylation is a post-translational modification that can influence GPCR trafficking, ligand responsiveness and signal output. Smo proteins in Drosophila and vertebrate systems harbor N-linked glycans, but their role in Smo signaling has not been established. Herein, we present a comprehensive analysis of Drosophila and murine Smo glycosylation that supports a functional divergence in the contribution of N-linked glycans to signaling. Of the seven predicted glycan acceptor sites in Drosophila Smo, one is essential. Loss of N-glycosylation at this site disrupted Smo trafficking and attenuated its signaling capability. In stark contrast, we found that all four predicted N-glycosylation sites on murine Smo were dispensable for proper trafficking, agonist binding and canonical signal induction. However, the under-glycosylated protein was compromised in its ability to induce a non-canonical signal through Gαi, providing for the first time evidence that Smo can bias its signal and that a post-translational modification can impact this process. As such, we postulate a profound shift in N-glycan function from affecting Smo ER exit in flies to influencing its signal output in mice. PMID:26291458

  4. Structure, function and regulation of pyruvate carboxylase.

    PubMed Central

    Jitrapakdee, S; Wallace, J C

    1999-01-01

    Pyruvate carboxylase (PC; EC 6.4.1.1), a member of the biotin-dependent enzyme family, catalyses the ATP-dependent carboxylation of pyruvate to oxaloacetate. PC has been found in a wide variety of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In mammals, PC plays a crucial role in gluconeogenesis and lipogenesis, in the biosynthesis of neurotransmitter substances, and in glucose-induced insulin secretion by pancreatic islets. The reaction catalysed by PC and the physical properties of the enzyme have been studied extensively. Although no high-resolution three-dimensional structure has yet been determined by X-ray crystallography, structural studies of PC have been conducted by electron microscopy, by limited proteolysis, and by cloning and sequencing of genes and cDNA encoding the enzyme. Most well characterized forms of active PC consist of four identical subunits arranged in a tetrahedron-like structure. Each subunit contains three functional domains: the biotin carboxylation domain, the transcarboxylation domain and the biotin carboxyl carrier domain. Different physiological conditions, including diabetes, hyperthyroidism, genetic obesity and postnatal development, increase the level of PC expression through transcriptional and translational mechanisms, whereas insulin inhibits PC expression. Glucocorticoids, glucagon and catecholamines cause an increase in PC activity or in the rate of pyruvate carboxylation in the short term. Molecular defects of PC in humans have recently been associated with four point mutations within the structural region of the PC gene, namely Val145-->Ala, Arg451-->Cys, Ala610-->Thr and Met743-->Thr. PMID:10229653

  5. Regressive evolution of the arthropod tritocerebral segment linked to functional divergence of the Hox gene labial

    PubMed Central

    Pechmann, Matthias; Schwager, Evelyn E.; Turetzek, Natascha; Prpic, Nikola-Michael

    2015-01-01

    The intercalary segment is a limbless version of the tritocerebral segment and is present in the head of all insects, whereas other extant arthropods have retained limbs on their tritocerebral segment (e.g. the pedipalp limbs in spiders). The evolutionary origin of limb loss on the intercalary segment has puzzled zoologists for over a century. Here we show that an intercalary segment-like phenotype can be created in spiders by interfering with the function of the Hox gene labial. This links the origin of the intercalary segment to a functional change in labial. We show that in the spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum the labial gene has two functions: one function in head tissue maintenance that is conserved between spiders and insects, and a second function in pedipalp limb promotion and specification, which is only present in spiders. These results imply that labial was originally crucial for limb formation on the tritocerebral segment, but that it has lost this particular subfunction in the insect ancestor, resulting in limb loss on the intercalary segment. Such loss of a subfunction is a way to avoid adverse pleiotropic effects normally associated with mutations in developmental genes, and may thus be a common mechanism to accelerate regressive evolution. PMID:26311666

  6. Dopamine D2 receptor availability is linked to hippocampal–caudate functional connectivity and episodic memory

    PubMed Central

    Nyberg, Lars; Karalija, Nina; Salami, Alireza; Andersson, Micael; Wåhlin, Anders; Kaboovand, Neda; Köhncke, Ylva; Axelsson, Jan; Rieckmann, Anna; Papenberg, Goran; Garrett, Douglas D.; Riklund, Katrine; Lövdén, Martin; Bäckman, Lars

    2016-01-01

    D1 and D2 dopamine receptors (D1DRs and D2DRs) may contribute differently to various aspects of memory and cognition. The D1DR system has been linked to functions supported by the prefrontal cortex. By contrast, the role of the D2DR system is less clear, although it has been hypothesized that D2DRs make a specific contribution to hippocampus-based cognitive functions. Here we present results from 181 healthy adults between 64 and 68 y of age who underwent comprehensive assessment of episodic memory, working memory, and processing speed, along with MRI and D2DR assessment with [11C]raclopride and PET. Caudate D2DR availability was positively associated with episodic memory but not with working memory or speed. Whole-brain analyses further revealed a relation between hippocampal D2DR availability and episodic memory. Hippocampal and caudate D2DR availability were interrelated, and functional MRI-based resting-state functional connectivity between the ventral caudate and medial temporal cortex increased as a function of caudate D2DR availability. Collectively, these findings indicate that D2DRs make a specific contribution to hippocampus-based cognition by influencing striatal and hippocampal regions, and their interactions. PMID:27339132

  7. Dopamine D2 receptor availability is linked to hippocampal-caudate functional connectivity and episodic memory.

    PubMed

    Nyberg, Lars; Karalija, Nina; Salami, Alireza; Andersson, Micael; Wåhlin, Anders; Kaboovand, Neda; Köhncke, Ylva; Axelsson, Jan; Rieckmann, Anna; Papenberg, Goran; Garrett, Douglas D; Riklund, Katrine; Lövdén, Martin; Lindenberger, Ulman; Bäckman, Lars

    2016-07-12

    D1 and D2 dopamine receptors (D1DRs and D2DRs) may contribute differently to various aspects of memory and cognition. The D1DR system has been linked to functions supported by the prefrontal cortex. By contrast, the role of the D2DR system is less clear, although it has been hypothesized that D2DRs make a specific contribution to hippocampus-based cognitive functions. Here we present results from 181 healthy adults between 64 and 68 y of age who underwent comprehensive assessment of episodic memory, working memory, and processing speed, along with MRI and D2DR assessment with [(11)C]raclopride and PET. Caudate D2DR availability was positively associated with episodic memory but not with working memory or speed. Whole-brain analyses further revealed a relation between hippocampal D2DR availability and episodic memory. Hippocampal and caudate D2DR availability were interrelated, and functional MRI-based resting-state functional connectivity between the ventral caudate and medial temporal cortex increased as a function of caudate D2DR availability. Collectively, these findings indicate that D2DRs make a specific contribution to hippocampus-based cognition by influencing striatal and hippocampal regions, and their interactions. PMID:27339132

  8. Regressive evolution of the arthropod tritocerebral segment linked to functional divergence of the Hox gene labial.

    PubMed

    Pechmann, Matthias; Schwager, Evelyn E; Turetzek, Natascha; Prpic, Nikola-Michael

    2015-09-01

    The intercalary segment is a limbless version of the tritocerebral segment and is present in the head of all insects, whereas other extant arthropods have retained limbs on their tritocerebral segment (e.g. the pedipalp limbs in spiders). The evolutionary origin of limb loss on the intercalary segment has puzzled zoologists for over a century. Here we show that an intercalary segment-like phenotype can be created in spiders by interfering with the function of the Hox gene labial. This links the origin of the intercalary segment to a functional change in labial. We show that in the spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum the labial gene has two functions: one function in head tissue maintenance that is conserved between spiders and insects, and a second function in pedipalp limb promotion and specification, which is only present in spiders. These results imply that labial was originally crucial for limb formation on the tritocerebral segment, but that it has lost this particular subfunction in the insect ancestor, resulting in limb loss on the intercalary segment. Such loss of a subfunction is away to avoid adverse pleiotropic effects normally associated with mutations in developmental genes, and may thus be a common mechanism to accelerate regressive evolution.

  9. Removal of anionic azo dyes from aqueous solution by functional ionic liquid cross-linked polymer.

    PubMed

    Gao, Hejun; Kan, Taotao; Zhao, Siyuan; Qian, Yixia; Cheng, Xiyuan; Wu, Wenli; Wang, Xiaodong; Zheng, Liqiang

    2013-10-15

    A novel functional ionic liquid based cross-linked polymer (PDVB-IL) was synthesized from 1-aminoethyl-3-vinylimidazolium chloride and divinylbenzene for use as an adsorbent. The physicochemical properties of PDVB-IL were investigated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and thermogravimetric analysis. The adsorptive capacity was investigated using anionic azo dyes of orange II, sunset yellow FCF, and amaranth as adsorbates. The maximum adsorption capacity could reach 925.09, 734.62, and 547.17 mg/g for orange II, sunset yellow FCF and amaranth at 25°C, respectively, which are much better than most of the other adsorbents reported earlier. The effect of pH value was investigated in the range of 1-8. The result shows that a low pH value is found to favor the adsorption of those anionic azo dyes. The adsorption kinetics and isotherms are well fitted by a pseudo second-order model and Langmuir model, respectively. The adsorption process is found to be dominated by physisorption. The introduction of functional ionic liquid moieties into cross-linked poly(divinylbenzene) polymer constitutes a new and efficient kind of adsorbent.

  10. Functional characterization of Sporothrix schenckii glycosidases involved in the N-linked glycosylation pathway.

    PubMed

    Lopes-Bezerra, Leila M; Lozoya-Pérez, Nancy E; López-Ramírez, Luz A; Martínez-Álvarez, José A; Teixeira, Marcus M; Felipe, Maria S S; Flores-Carreón, Arturo; Mora-Montes, Héctor M

    2015-01-01

    Protein glycosylation pathways are conserved metabolic processes in eukaryotic organisms and are required for cell fitness. In fungal pathogens, the N-linked glycosylation pathway is indispensable for proper cell wall composition and virulence. In Sporothrix schenckii sensu stricto, the causative agent of sporotrichosis, little is known about this glycosylation pathway. Here, using a genome-wide screening for putative members of the glycosyl hydrolase (CAZy - GH) families 47 and 63, which group enzymes involved in the processing step during N-linked glycan maturation, we found seven homologue genes belonging to family 47 and one to family 63. The eight genes were individually expressed in C. albicans null mutants lacking either MNS1 (for members of family 47) or CWH41 (for the member of family 63). Our results indicate that SsCWH41 is the functional ortholog of CaCWH41, whereas SsMNS1 is the functional ortholog of CaMNS1. The remaining genes of family 47 encode Golgi mannosidases and endoplasmic reticulum degradation-enhancing alpha-mannosidase-like proteins (EDEMs). Since these GH families gather proteins used as target for drugs to control cell growth, identification of these genes could help in the design of antifungals that could be used to treat sporotrichosis and other fungal diseases. In addition, to our knowledge, we are the first to report that Golgi mannosidases and EDEMs are expressed and characterized in yeast cells.

  11. Functional characterization of Sporothrix schenckii glycosidases involved in the N-linked glycosylation pathway.

    PubMed

    Lopes-Bezerra, Leila M; Lozoya-Pérez, Nancy E; López-Ramírez, Luz A; Martínez-Álvarez, José A; Teixeira, Marcus M; Felipe, Maria S S; Flores-Carreón, Arturo; Mora-Montes, Héctor M

    2015-01-01

    Protein glycosylation pathways are conserved metabolic processes in eukaryotic organisms and are required for cell fitness. In fungal pathogens, the N-linked glycosylation pathway is indispensable for proper cell wall composition and virulence. In Sporothrix schenckii sensu stricto, the causative agent of sporotrichosis, little is known about this glycosylation pathway. Here, using a genome-wide screening for putative members of the glycosyl hydrolase (CAZy - GH) families 47 and 63, which group enzymes involved in the processing step during N-linked glycan maturation, we found seven homologue genes belonging to family 47 and one to family 63. The eight genes were individually expressed in C. albicans null mutants lacking either MNS1 (for members of family 47) or CWH41 (for the member of family 63). Our results indicate that SsCWH41 is the functional ortholog of CaCWH41, whereas SsMNS1 is the functional ortholog of CaMNS1. The remaining genes of family 47 encode Golgi mannosidases and endoplasmic reticulum degradation-enhancing alpha-mannosidase-like proteins (EDEMs). Since these GH families gather proteins used as target for drugs to control cell growth, identification of these genes could help in the design of antifungals that could be used to treat sporotrichosis and other fungal diseases. In addition, to our knowledge, we are the first to report that Golgi mannosidases and EDEMs are expressed and characterized in yeast cells. PMID:25526779

  12. Structure and function of laminin LG modules.

    PubMed

    Timpl, R; Tisi, D; Talts, J F; Andac, Z; Sasaki, T; Hohenester, E

    2000-08-01

    Laminin G domain-like (LG) modules of approximately 180-200 residues are found in a number of extracellular and receptor proteins and often are present in tandem arrays. LG modules are implicated in interactions with cellular receptors (integrins, alpha-dystroglycan), sulfated carbohydrates and other extracellular ligands. The recently determined crystal structures of LG modules of the laminin alpha2 chain reveal a compact beta sandwich fold and identify a novel calcium binding site. Binding epitopes for heparin, sulfatides and alpha-dystroglycan have been mapped by site-directed mutagenesis and show considerable overlap. The epitopes are located in surface loops around the calcium site, which in other proteins (agrin, neurexins) are modified by alternative splicing. Efficient ligand binding often requires LG modules to be present in tandem. The close proximity of the N- and C-termini in the LG module, as well as a unique link region between laminin LG3 and LG4, impose certain constraints on the arrangement of LG tandems. Further modifications may be introduced by proteolytic processing of laminin G domains, which is known to occur in the alpha2, alpha3 and alpha4 chains.

  13. Small catalytic RNA: Structure, function and application

    SciTech Connect

    Monforte, J.A.

    1991-04-01

    We have utilized a combination of photochemical cross-linking techniques and site-directed mutagenesis to obtain secondary and tertiary structure information for the self-cleaving, self-ligating subsequence of RNA from the negative strand of Satellite Tobacco Ringspot Virus. We have found that the helical regions fold about a hinge to promoting four different possible tertiary interactions, creating a molecular of similar shape to a paperclip. A model suggesting that the ``paperclip`` and ``hammerhead`` RNAs share a similar three dimensional structure is proposed. We have used a self-cleaving RNA molecule related to a subsequence of plant viroids, a ``hammerhead,`` to study the length-dependent folding of RNA produced during transcription by RNA polymerase. We have used this method to determine the length of RNA sequestered within elongating E. coli and T7 RNA polymerase complexes. The data show that for E. coli RNA polymerase 12{plus_minus}1 nucleotides are sequestered within the ternary complex, which is consistent with the presence of an RNA-DNA hybrid within the transcription bubble, as proposed by others. The result for T7 RNA polymerase differs from E. coli RNA polymerase, with only 10{plus_minus}1 nucleotides sequestered within the ternary complex, setting a new upper limit for the minimum RNA-DNA required for a stable elongating complex. Comparisons between E. coli and T7 RNA polymerase are made. The relevance of the results to models or transcription termination, abortive initiation, and initiation to elongation mode transitions are discussed.

  14. C2 Link Security for UAS: Technical Literature Study and Preliminary Functional Requirements. Version 0.9 (Working Draft)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    This document provides a study of the technical literature related to Command and Control (C2) link security for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for operation in the National Airspace System (NAS). Included is a preliminary set of functional requirements for C2 link security.

  15. Understanding structure, function, and mutations in the mitochondrial ATP synthase

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Ting; Pagadala, Vijayakanth; Mueller, David M.

    2015-01-01

    The mitochondrial ATP synthase is a multimeric enzyme complex with an overall molecular weight of about 600,000 Da. The ATP synthase is a molecular motor composed of two separable parts: F1 and Fo. The F1 portion contains the catalytic sites for ATP synthesis and protrudes into the mitochondrial matrix. Fo forms a proton turbine that is embedded in the inner membrane and connected to the rotor of F1. The flux of protons flowing down a potential gradient powers the rotation of the rotor driving the synthesis of ATP. Thus, the flow of protons though Fo is coupled to the synthesis of ATP. This review will discuss the structure/function relationship in the ATP synthase as determined by biochemical, crystallographic, and genetic studies. An emphasis will be placed on linking the structure/function relationship with understanding how disease causing mutations or putative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes encoding the subunits of the ATP synthase, will affect the function of the enzyme and the health of the individual. The review will start by summarizing the current understanding of the subunit composition of the enzyme and the role of the subunits followed by a discussion on known mutations and their effect on the activity of the ATP synthase. The review will conclude with a summary of mutations in genes encoding subunits of the ATP synthase that are known to be responsible for human disease, and a brief discussion on SNPs. PMID:25938092

  16. Structure and function of biotin-dependent carboxylases.

    PubMed

    Tong, Liang

    2013-03-01

    Biotin-dependent carboxylases include acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), propionyl-CoA carboxylase (PCC), 3-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase (MCC), geranyl-CoA carboxylase, pyruvate carboxylase (PC), and urea carboxylase (UC). They contain biotin carboxylase (BC), carboxyltransferase (CT), and biotin-carboxyl carrier protein components. These enzymes are widely distributed in nature and have important functions in fatty acid metabolism, amino acid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, polyketide biosynthesis, urea utilization, and other cellular processes. ACCs are also attractive targets for drug discovery against type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, microbial infections, and other diseases, and the plastid ACC of grasses is the target of action of three classes of commercial herbicides. Deficiencies in the activities of PCC, MCC, or PC are linked to serious diseases in humans. Our understanding of these enzymes has been greatly enhanced over the past few years by the crystal structures of the holoenzymes of PCC, MCC, PC, and UC. The structures reveal unanticipated features in the architectures of the holoenzymes, including the presence of previously unrecognized domains, and provide a molecular basis for understanding their catalytic mechanism as well as the large collection of disease-causing mutations in PCC, MCC, and PC. This review will summarize the recent advances in our knowledge on the structure and function of these important metabolic enzymes.

  17. Models of protocellular structures, functions and evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew; New, Michael H.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The central step in the origin of life was the emergence of organized structures from organic molecules available on the early earth. These predecessors to modern cells, called 'proto-cells,' were simple, membrane bounded structures able to maintain themselves, grow, divide, and evolve. Since there is no fossil record of these earliest of life forms, it is a scientific challenge to discover plausible mechanisms for how these entities formed and functioned. To meet this challenge, it is essential to create laboratory models of protocells that capture the main attributes associated with living systems, while remaining consistent with known, or inferred, protobiological conditions. This report provides an overview of a project which has focused on protocellular metabolism and the coupling of metabolism to energy transduction. We have assumed that the emergence of systems endowed with genomes and capable of Darwinian evolution was preceded by a pre-genomic phase, in which protocells functioned and evolved using mostly proteins, without self-replicating nucleic acids such as RNA.

  18. Red cell antigens: Structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Pourazar, Abbasali

    2007-01-01

    Landsteiner and his colleagues demonstrated that human beings could be classified into four groups depending on the presence of one (A) or another (B) or both (AB) or none (O) of the antigens on their red cells. The number of the blood group antigens up to 1984 was 410. In the next 20 years, there were 16 systems with 144 antigens and quite a collection of antigens waiting to be assigned to systems, pending the discovery of new information about their relationship to the established systems. The importance of most blood group antigens had been recognized by immunological complications of blood transfusion or pregnancies; their molecular structure and function however remained undefined for many decades. Recent advances in molecular genetics and cellular biochemistry resulted in an abundance of new information in this field of research. In this review, we try to give some examples of advances made in the field of ‘structure and function of the red cell surface molecules.’ PMID:21938229

  19. Eosinophil crystalloid granules: structure, function, and beyond

    PubMed Central

    Muniz, Valdirene S.; Weller, Peter F.; Neves, Josiane S.

    2012-01-01

    Eosinophils are granulocytes associated with host defense against parasitic helminths with allergic conditions and more recently, with immunoregulatory responses. Eosinophils are distinguished from leukocytes by their dominant population of cytoplasmic crystalloid (also termed secretory, specific, or secondary) granules that contain robust stores of diverse, preformed cationic proteins. Here, we provide an update on our knowledge about the unique and complex structure of human eosinophil crystalloid granules. We discuss their significance as rich sites of a variety of receptors and review our own recent research findings and those of others that highlight discoveries concerning the function of intracellular receptors and their potential implications in cell signaling. Special focus is provided on how eosinophils might use these intracellular receptors as mechanisms to secrete, selectively and rapidly, cytokines or chemokines and enable cell-free extracellular eosinophil granules to function as independent secretory structures. Potential roles of cell-free eosinophil granules as immune players in the absence of intact eosinophils will also be discussed. PMID:22672875

  20. Structure, function, and plasticity of GABA transporters

    PubMed Central

    Scimemi, Annalisa

    2014-01-01

    GABA transporters belong to a large family of neurotransmitter:sodium symporters. They are widely expressed throughout the brain, with different levels of expression in different brain regions. GABA transporters are present in neurons and in astrocytes and their activity is crucial to regulate the extracellular concentration of GABA under basal conditions and during ongoing synaptic events. Numerous efforts have been devoted to determine the structural and functional properties of GABA transporters. There is also evidence that the expression of GABA transporters on the cell membrane and their lateral mobility can be modulated by different intracellular signaling cascades. The strength of individual synaptic contacts and the activity of entire neuronal networks may be finely tuned by altering the density, distribution and diffusion rate of GABA transporters within the cell membrane. These findings are intriguing because they suggest the existence of complex regulatory systems that control the plasticity of GABAergic transmission in the brain. Here we review the current knowledge on the structural and functional properties of GABA transporters and highlight the molecular mechanisms that alter the expression and mobility of GABA transporters at central synapses. PMID:24987330

  1. The lipocalin protein family: structure and function.

    PubMed Central

    Flower, D R

    1996-01-01

    The lipocalin protein family is a large group of small extracellular proteins. The family demonstrates great diversity at the sequence level; however, most lipocalins share three characteristic conserved sequence motifs, the kernel lipocalins, while a group of more divergent family members, the outlier lipocalins, share only one. Belying this sequence dissimilarity, lipocalin crystal structures are highly conserved and comprise a single eight-stranded continuously hydrogen-bonded antiparallel beta-barrel, which encloses an internal ligand-binding site. Together with two other families of ligand-binding proteins, the fatty-acid-binding proteins (FABPs) and the avidins, the lipocalins form part of an overall structural superfamily: the calycins. Members of the lipocalin family are characterized by several common molecular-recognition properties: the ability to bind a range of small hydrophobic molecules, binding to specific cell-surface receptors and the formation of complexes with soluble macromolecules. The varied biological functions of the lipocalins are mediated by one or more of these properties. In the past, the lipocalins have been classified as transport proteins; however, it is now clear that the lipocalins exhibit great functional diversity, with roles in retinol transport, invertebrate cryptic coloration, olfaction and pheromone transport, and prostaglandin synthesis. The lipocalins have also been implicated in the regulation of cell homoeostasis and the modulation of the immune response, and, as carrier proteins, to act in the general clearance of endogenous and exogenous compounds. PMID:8761444

  2. Structure, expression and functions of MTA genes.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Rakesh; Wang, Rui-An

    2016-05-15

    Metastatic associated proteins (MTA) are integrators of upstream regulatory signals with the ability to act as master coregulators for modifying gene transcriptional activity. The MTA family includes three genes and multiple alternatively spliced variants. The MTA proteins neither have their own enzymatic activity nor have been shown to directly interact with DNA. However, MTA proteins interact with a variety of chromatin remodeling factors and complexes with enzymatic activities for modulating the plasticity of nucleosomes, leading to the repression or derepression of target genes or other extra-nuclear and nucleosome remodeling and histone deacetylase (NuRD)-complex independent activities. The functions of MTA family members are driven by the steady state levels and subcellular localization of MTA proteins, the dynamic nature of modifying signals and enzymes, the structural features and post-translational modification of protein domains, interactions with binding proteins, and the nature of the engaged and resulting features of nucleosomes in the proximity of target genes. In general, MTA1 and MTA2 are the most upregulated genes in human cancer and correlate well with aggressive phenotypes, therapeutic resistance, poor prognosis and ultimately, unfavorable survival of cancer patients. Here we will discuss the structure, expression and functions of the MTA family of genes in the context of cancer cells. PMID:26869315

  3. Structural characterization of the N-linked oligosaccharides from tomato fruit.

    PubMed

    Zeleny, R; Altmann, F; Praznik, W

    1999-05-01

    The primary structures of the N-linked oligosaccharides from tomato fruit (Lycopersicon esculentum) have been elucidated. For the isolation of the protein fraction, two procedures were employed alternatively: a low temperature acetone powder method and ammonium sulfate precipitation of the tomato extract. After peptic digestion, the glycopeptides were purified by cation-exchange chromatography; the oligosaccharides were released by N-glycosidase A and fluorescently labelled with 2-aminopyridine. Structural characterization was accomplished by means of two-dimensional HPLC in combination with exoglycosidase digestions and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Two varieties as well as two stages of ripening were investigated. In all the samples, the same sixteen N-glycosidic structures were detected; the two most abundant glycans showed identical properties to those of the major N-linked oligosaccharides of horseradish peroxidase and pineapple stem bromelain, respectively and accounted for about 65-78% of the total glycan amount; oligomannosidic glycans occurred only in small quantities (3-9%). The majority of the N-glycans were beta 1,2-xylosylated and carried an alpha 1,3-fucose residue linked to the terminal N-acetylglucosamine. This structural element contributes to cross-reactions among non-related glycoproteins and has been shown to be an IgE-reactive determinant (Tretter, Altmann, Kubelka, März, & Becker, 1993). The presented study gives a possible structural explanation for reported immunological cross-reactivities between tomato and grass pollen extracts due to carbohydrate IgE epitopes (Petersen, Vieths, Aulepp, Schlaak, & Becker, 1996), thereby demonstrating the importance of the structural characterization of plant N-glycans for a more reliable interpretation of immunological data. PMID:10365448

  4. Probabilistic cross-link analysis and experiment planning for high-throughput elucidation of protein structure.

    PubMed

    Ye, Xiaoduan; O'Neil, Patrick K; Foster, Adrienne N; Gajda, Michal J; Kosinski, Jan; Kurowski, Michal A; Bujnicki, Janusz M; Friedman, Alan M; Bailey-Kellogg, Chris

    2004-12-01

    Emerging high-throughput techniques for the characterization of protein and protein-complex structures yield noisy data with sparse information content, placing a significant burden on computation to properly interpret the experimental data. One such technique uses cross-linking (chemical or by cysteine oxidation) to confirm or select among proposed structural models (e.g., from fold recognition, ab initio prediction, or docking) by testing the consistency between cross-linking data and model geometry. This paper develops a probabilistic framework for analyzing the information content in cross-linking experiments, accounting for anticipated experimental error. This framework supports a mechanism for planning experiments to optimize the information gained. We evaluate potential experiment plans using explicit trade-offs among key properties of practical importance: discriminability, coverage, balance, ambiguity, and cost. We devise a greedy algorithm that considers those properties and, from a large number of combinatorial possibilities, rapidly selects sets of experiments expected to discriminate pairs of models efficiently. In an application to residue-specific chemical cross-linking, we demonstrate the ability of our approach to plan experiments effectively involving combinations of cross-linkers and introduced mutations. We also describe an experiment plan for the bacteriophage lambda Tfa chaperone protein in which we plan dicysteine mutants for discriminating threading models by disulfide formation. Preliminary results from a subset of the planned experiments are consistent and demonstrate the practicality of planning. Our methods provide the experimenter with a valuable tool (available from the authors) for understanding and optimizing cross-linking experiments. PMID:15557270

  5. Genomic islands link secondary metabolism to functional adaptation in marine Actinobacteria.

    PubMed

    Penn, Kevin; Jenkins, Caroline; Nett, Markus; Udwary, Daniel W; Gontang, Erin A; McGlinchey, Ryan P; Foster, Brian; Lapidus, Alla; Podell, Sheila; Allen, Eric E; Moore, Bradley S; Jensen, Paul R

    2009-10-01

    Genomic islands have been shown to harbor functional traits that differentiate ecologically distinct populations of environmental bacteria. A comparative analysis of the complete genome sequences of the marine Actinobacteria Salinispora tropica and Salinispora arenicola reveals that 75% of the species-specific genes are located in 21 genomic islands. These islands are enriched in genes associated with secondary metabolite biosynthesis providing evidence that secondary metabolism is linked to functional adaptation. Secondary metabolism accounts for 8.8% and 10.9% of the genes in the S. tropica and S. arenicola genomes, respectively, and represents the major functional category of annotated genes that differentiates the two species. Genomic islands harbor all 25 of the species-specific biosynthetic pathways, the majority of which occur in S. arenicola and may contribute to the cosmopolitan distribution of this species. Genome evolution is dominated by gene duplication and acquisition, which in the case of secondary metabolism provide immediate opportunities for the production of new bioactive products. Evidence that secondary metabolic pathways are exchanged horizontally, coupled with earlier evidence for fixation among globally distributed populations, supports a functional role and suggests that the acquisition of natural product biosynthetic gene clusters represents a previously unrecognized force driving bacterial diversification. Species-specific differences observed in clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat sequences suggest that S. arenicola may possess a higher level of phage immunity, whereas a highly duplicated family of polymorphic membrane proteins provides evidence for a new mechanism of marine adaptation in Gram-positive bacteria.

  6. Ecologically valid support for the link between cognitive and psychosocial functioning in bipolar disorder

    PubMed Central

    Levy, Boaz; Medina, Anna Marie; Hintz, Kathryn; Weiss, Roger D.

    2011-01-01

    Prior research into the link between cognitive and psychosocial functioning in bipolar disorder has examined primarily asymptomatic patients, has measured these domains concurrently, and has failed to establish convergent validity in the assessment of psychosocial dysfunction. The present study examines the relation between cognitive and psychosocial functioning at the time of discharge from hospitalization for acute mood disturbance. We obtained measures of psychosocial functioning that were both close and distant to the time of neuropsychological testing; the former from the discharging psychiatrists, and the latter from reports of formally recognized disability status, determined by persons wholly unrelated to the present research. Sixty-three patients with bipolar I disorder, hospitalized for acute mood disturbance, completed a neuropsychological test battery 24 to 48 hours prior to discharge. We compared patients with versus without formal disability status on the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale and on scores of neuropsychological tests. We also tested associations between GAF scores and cognitive test scores. Results supported the convergent validity in the measurement of psychosocial disability, underscored the robust connection between cognitive and psychosocial impairment, and highlighted the presence of this connection during an important clinical state – time of discharge from psychiatric hospitalization. PMID:20674041

  7. Decoding the conformation-linked functional properties of nucleic acids by the use of computational tools.

    PubMed

    Iacovelli, Federico; Falconi, Mattia

    2015-09-01

    DNA and RNA are large and flexible polymers selected by nature to transmit information. The most common DNA three-dimensional structure is represented by the double helix, but this biopolymer is extremely flexible and polymorphic, and can easily change its conformation to adapt to different interactions and purposes. DNA can also adopt singular topologies, giving rise, for instance, to supercoils, formed because of the limited free rotation of the DNA domain flanking a replication or transcription complex. Our understanding of the importance of these unusual or transient structures is growing, as recent studies of DNA topology, supercoiling, knotting and linking have shown that the geometric changes can drive, or strongly influence, the interactions between protein and DNA, so altering its own metabolism. On the other hand, the unique self-recognition properties of DNA, determined by the strict Watson-Crick rules of base pairing, make this material ideal for the creation of self-assembling, predesigned nanostructures. The construction of such structures is one of the main focuses of the thriving area of DNA nanotechnology, where several assembly strategies have been employed to build increasingly complex DNA nanostructures. DNA nanodevices can have direct applications in biomedicine, but also in the materials science field, requiring the immersion of DNA in an environment far from the physiological one. Crucial help in the understanding and planning of natural and artificial nanostructures is given by modern computer simulation techniques, which are able to provide a reliable structural and dynamic description of nucleic acids. PMID:25940731

  8. Structure and Function of KH Domains

    SciTech Connect

    Valverde, R.; Regan, E

    2008-01-01

    The hnRNP K homology (KH) domain was first identified in the protein human heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K) 14 years ago. Since then, KH domains have been identified as nucleic acid recognition motifs in proteins that perform a wide range of cellular functions. KH domains bind RNA or ssDNA, and are found in proteins associated with transcriptional and translational regulation, along with other cellular processes. Several diseases, e.g. fragile X mental retardation syndrome and paraneoplastic disease, are associated with the loss of function of a particular KH domain. Here we discuss the progress made towards understanding both general and specific features of the molecular recognition of nucleic acids by KH domains. The typical binding surface of KH domains is a cleft that is versatile but that can typically accommodate only four unpaired bases. Van der Waals forces and hydrophobic interactions and, to a lesser extent, electrostatic interactions, contribute to the nucleic acid binding affinity. 'Augmented' KH domains or multiple copies of KH domains within a protein are two strategies that are used to achieve greater affinity and specificity of nucleic acid binding. Isolated KH domains have been seen to crystallize as monomers, dimers and tetramers, but no published data support the formation of noncovalent higher-order oligomers by KH domains in solution. Much attention has been given in the literature to a conserved hydrophobic residue (typically Ile or Leu) that is present in most KH domains. The interest derives from the observation that an individual with this Ile mutated to Asn, in the KH2 domain of fragile X mental retardation protein, exhibits a particularly severe form of the syndrome. The structural effects of this mutation in the fragile X mental retardation protein KH2 domain have recently been reported. We discuss the use of analogous point mutations at this position in other KH domains to dissect both structure and function.

  9. Non-Invasive Brain-to-Brain Interface (BBI): Establishing Functional Links between Two Brains

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Seung-Schik; Kim, Hyungmin; Filandrianos, Emmanuel; Taghados, Seyed Javid; Park, Shinsuk

    2013-01-01

    Transcranial focused ultrasound (FUS) is capable of modulating the neural activity of specific brain regions, with a potential role as a non-invasive computer-to-brain interface (CBI). In conjunction with the use of brain-to-computer interface (BCI) techniques that translate brain function to generate computer commands, we investigated the feasibility of using the FUS-based CBI to non-invasively establish a functional link between the brains of different species (i.e. human and Sprague-Dawley rat), thus creating a brain-to-brain interface (BBI). The implementation was aimed to non-invasively translate the human volunteer’s intention to stimulate a rat’s brain motor area that is responsible for the tail movement. The volunteer initiated the intention by looking at a strobe light flicker on a computer display, and the degree of synchronization in the electroencephalographic steady-state-visual-evoked-potentials (SSVEP) with respect to the strobe frequency was analyzed using a computer. Increased signal amplitude in the SSVEP, indicating the volunteer’s intention, triggered the delivery of a burst-mode FUS (350 kHz ultrasound frequency, tone burst duration of 0.5 ms, pulse repetition frequency of 1 kHz, given for 300 msec duration) to excite the motor area of an anesthetized rat transcranially. The successful excitation subsequently elicited the tail movement, which was detected by a motion sensor. The interface was achieved at 94.0±3.0% accuracy, with a time delay of 1.59±1.07 sec from the thought-initiation to the creation of the tail movement. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of a computer-mediated BBI that links central neural functions between two biological entities, which may confer unexplored opportunities in the study of neuroscience with potential implications for therapeutic applications. PMID:23573251

  10. Structure and physiological function of calpains.

    PubMed Central

    Sorimachi, H; Ishiura, S; Suzuki, K

    1997-01-01

    For a long time now, two ubiquitously expressed mammalian calpain isoenzymes have been used to explore the structure and function of calpain. Although these two calpains, mu- and m-calpains, still attract intensive interest because of their unique characteristics, various distinct homologues to the protease domain of mu- and m-calpains have been identified in a variety of organisms. Some of these 'novel' calpain homologues are involved in important biological functions. For example, p94 (also called calpain 3), a mammalian calpain homologue predominantly expressed in skeletal muscle, is genetically proved to be responsible for limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A. Tra-3, a calpain homologue in nematodes, is involved in the sex determination cascade during early development. PalB, a key gene product involved in the alkaline adaptation of Aspergillus nidulans, is the first example of a calpain homologue present in fungi. These findings indicate various important functional roles for intracellular proteases belonging to the calpain superfamily. PMID:9396712

  11. Sialylation regulates brain structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Seung-Wan; Motari, Mary G.; Susuki, Keiichiro; Prendergast, Jillian; Mountney, Andrea; Hurtado, Andres; Schnaar, Ronald L.

    2015-01-01

    Every cell expresses a molecularly diverse surface glycan coat (glycocalyx) comprising its interface with its cellular environment. In vertebrates, the terminal sugars of the glycocalyx are often sialic acids, 9-carbon backbone anionic sugars implicated in intermolecular and intercellular interactions. The vertebrate brain is particularly enriched in sialic acid-containing glycolipids termed gangliosides. Human congenital disorders of ganglioside biosynthesis result in paraplegia, epilepsy, and intellectual disability. To better understand sialoglycan functions in the nervous system, we studied brain anatomy, histology, biochemistry, and behavior in mice with engineered mutations in St3gal2 and St3gal3, sialyltransferase genes responsible for terminal sialylation of gangliosides and some glycoproteins. St3gal2/3 double-null mice displayed dysmyelination marked by a 40% reduction in major myelin proteins, 30% fewer myelinated axons, a 33% decrease in myelin thickness, and molecular disruptions at nodes of Ranvier. In part, these changes may be due to dysregulation of ganglioside-mediated oligodendroglial precursor cell proliferation. Neuronal markers were also reduced up to 40%, and hippocampal neurons had smaller dendritic arbors. Young adult St3gal2/3 double-null mice displayed impaired motor coordination, disturbed gait, and profound cognitive disability. Comparisons among sialyltransferase mutant mice provide insights into the functional roles of brain gangliosides and sialoglycoproteins consistent with related human congenital disorders.—Yoo, S.-W., Motari, M. G., Susuki, K., Prendergast, J., Mountney, A., Hurtado, A., Schnaar, R. L. Sialylation regulates brain structure and function. PMID:25846372

  12. Melanocortin 1 Receptor: Structure, Function, and Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Wolf Horrell, Erin M.; Boulanger, Mary C.; D’Orazio, John A.

    2016-01-01

    The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) is a melanocytic Gs protein coupled receptor that regulates skin pigmentation, UV responses, and melanoma risk. It is a highly polymorphic gene, and loss of function correlates with a fair, UV-sensitive, and melanoma-prone phenotype due to defective epidermal melanization and sub-optimal DNA repair. MC1R signaling, achieved through adenylyl cyclase activation and generation of the second messenger cAMP, is hormonally controlled by the positive agonist melanocortin, the negative agonist agouti signaling protein, and the neutral antagonist β-defensin 3. Activation of cAMP signaling up-regulates melanin production and deposition in the epidermis which functions to limit UV penetration into the skin and enhances nucleotide excision repair (NER), the genomic stability pathway responsible for clearing UV photolesions from DNA to avoid mutagenesis. Herein we review MC1R structure and function and summarize our laboratory’s findings on the molecular mechanisms by which MC1R signaling impacts NER. PMID:27303435

  13. Phototriggered functionalization of hierarchically structured polymer brushes.

    PubMed

    de los Santos Pereira, Andres; Kostina, Nina Yu; Bruns, Michael; Rodriguez-Emmenegger, Cesar; Barner-Kowollik, Christopher

    2015-06-01

    The precise design of bioactive surfaces, essential for the advancement of many biomedical applications, depends on achieving control of the surface architecture as well as on the ability to attach bioreceptors to antifouling surfaces. Herein, we report a facile avenue toward hierarchically structured antifouling polymer brushes of oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylates via surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP) presenting photoactive tetrazole moieties, which permitted their functionalization via nitrile imine-mediated tetrazole-ene cyclocloaddition (NITEC). A maleimide-functional ATRP initiator was photoclicked to the side chains of a brush enabling a subsequent polymerization of carboxybetaine acrylamide to generate a micropatterned graft-on-graft polymer architecture as evidenced by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). Furthermore, the spatially resolved biofunctionalization of the tetrazole-presenting brushes was accessed by the photoligation of biotin-maleimide and subsequent binding of streptavidin. The functionalized brushes bearing streptavidin were able to resist the fouling from blood plasma (90% reduction with respect to bare gold). Moreover, they were employed to demonstrate a model biosensor by immobilization of a biotinylated antibody and subsequent capture of an antigen as monitored in real time by surface plasmon resonance. PMID:25961109

  14. Structure, dynamics, and function of biomolecules

    SciTech Connect

    Frauenfelder, H.; Berendzen, J.R.; Garcia, A.; Gupta, G.; Olah, G.A.; Terwilliger, T.C.; Trewhella, J.; Wood, C.C.; Woodruff, W.H.

    1998-11-01

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The authors enhanced Los Alamos' core competency in Bioscience and Biotechnology by building on present strengths in experimental techniques, theory, high-performance computing, modeling, and simulation applied to biomolecular structure, dynamics, and function. Specifically, the authors strengthened their capabilities in neutron/x-ray scattering, x-ray crystallography, NMR, laser, and optical spectroscopies. Initially they focused on supporting the Los alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) in the design and implementation of new neutron scattering instrumentation, they developed new methods for analysis of scattering data, and they developed new projects to study the structures of biomolecular complexes. The authors have also worked to strengthen interactions between theory and experiment, and between the biological and physical sciences. They sponsored regular meetings of members from all interested LANL technical divisions, and supported two lecture series: ''Biology for Physicists'' and ''Issues in Modern Biology''. They also supported the formation of interdisciplinary/inter-divisional teams to develop projects in science-based bioremediation and an integrated structural biology resource. Finally, they successfully worked with a multidisciplinary team to put forward the Laboratory's Genome and Beyond tactical goal.

  15. Structure to function: Spider silk and human collagen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabotyagova, Olena S.

    Nature has the ability to assemble a variety of simple molecules into complex functional structures with diverse properties. Collagens, silks and muscles fibers are some examples of fibrous proteins with self-assembling properties. One of the great challenges facing Science is to mimic these designs in Nature to find a way to construct molecules that are capable of organizing into functional supra-structures by self-assembly. In order to do so, a construction kit consisting of molecular building blocks along with a complete understanding on how to form functional materials is required. In this current research, the focus is on spider silk and collagen as fibrous protein-based biopolymers that can shed light on how to generate nanostructures through the complex process of self-assembly. Spider silk in fiber form offers a unique combination of high elasticity, toughness, and mechanical strength, along with biological compatibility and biodegrability. Spider silk is an example of a natural block copolymer, in which hydrophobic and hydrophilic blocks are linked together generating polymers that organize into functional materials with extraordinary properties. Since silks resemble synthetic block copolymer systems, we adopted the principles of block copolymer design from the synthetic polymer literature to build block copolymers based on spider silk sequences. Moreover, we consider spider silk to be an important model with which to study the relationships between structure and properties in our system. Thus, the first part of this work was dedicated to a novel family of spider silk block copolymers, where we generated a new family of functional spider silk-like block copolymers through recombinant DNA technology. To provide fundamental insight into relationships between peptide primary sequence, block composition, and block length and observed morphological and structural features, we used these bioengineered spider silk block copolymers to study secondary structure

  16. Structural study of asparagine-linked oligosaccharide moiety of taste-modifying protein, miraculin.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, N; Hitotsuya, H; Hanzawa, H; Arata, Y; Kurihara, Y

    1990-05-15

    The structures of the N-linked oligosaccharides of miraculin, which is a taste modifying glycoprotein isolated from miracle fruits, berries of Richadella dulcifica, are reported. Asparagine-linked oligosaccharides were released from the protein by glycopeptidase (almond) digestion. The reducing ends of the oligosaccharide chains thus obtained were aminated with a fluorescent reagent, 2-aminopyridine, and the mixture of pyridylamino derivatives of the oligosaccharides was separated by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) on an ODS-silica column. More than five kinds of oligosaccharide fractions were separated by the one chromatographic run. The structure of each oligosaccharide thus isolated was analyzed by a combination of sequential exoglycosidase digestion and another kind of HPLC with an amidesilica column. Furthermore, high resolution proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) measurements were carried out. It was found that 1) five oligosaccharides obtained are a series of compounds with xylose-containing common structural core, Xyl beta 1----2 (Man alpha 1----6) Man beta 1----4-GlcNAc beta 1----4 (Fuca1----3)GlcNAc, 2) a variety of oligosaccharide structures are significant for two glycosylation sites, Asn-42 and Asn-186, and 3) two new oligosaccharides, B and D, with unusual structures containing monoantennary complex-type were characterized. (formula; see text) PMID:2335505

  17. CDD: a database of conserved domain alignments with links to domain three-dimensional structure.

    PubMed

    Marchler-Bauer, Aron; Panchenko, Anna R; Shoemaker, Benjamin A; Thiessen, Paul A; Geer, Lewis Y; Bryant, Stephen H

    2002-01-01

    The Conserved Domain Database (CDD) is a compilation of multiple sequence alignments representing protein domains conserved in molecular evolution. It has been populated with alignment data from the public collections Pfam and SMART, as well as with contributions from colleagues at NCBI. The current version of CDD (v.1.54) contains 3693 such models. CDD alignments are linked to protein sequence and structure data in Entrez. The molecular structure viewer Cn3D serves as a tool to interactively visualize alignments and three-dimensional structure, and to link three-dimensional residue coordinates to descriptions of evolutionary conservation. CDD can be accessed on the World Wide Web at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Structure/cdd/cdd.shtml. Protein query sequences may be compared against databases of position-specific score matrices derived from alignments in CDD, using a service named CD-Search, which can be found at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Structure/cdd/wrpsb.cgi. CD-Search runs reverse-position-specific BLAST (RPS-BLAST), a variant of the widely used PSI-BLAST algorithm. CD-Search is run by default for protein-protein queries submitted to NCBI's BLAST service at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/BLAST.

  18. [The brain structures functional activity and aggression patients' multiple sclerosis].

    PubMed

    Reznikova, T N; Seliverstova, N A; Kataeva, G V; Aroev, R A; Il'ves, A G; Kuznetsova, A K

    2015-01-01

    The article is devoted to investigation of unconscious aggression in patients with multiple sclerosis. We carried out comparison of the relative assessments of metabolism speed of glucose (according to positron emission tomography) and indicators of unconscious aggression (in the Hand test). It is shown that an increased tendency to open aggression (unconscious aggression) in patients with multiple sclerosis, is mainly linked with a reduction in the functioning of different departments of the frontal lobes of the brain on the left and with changes of the metabolism speed of glucose in the structures of the limbic system of the left and right hemisphere. With increasing of unconscious aggression we observed decrease of glucose metabolism speed in certain areas of the lower and middle frontal gyrus.

  19. Cryo-imaging and modeling of the super molecular structure of cross-linked gelatin and its applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marmorat, Clement; Arinstein, Arkadi; Koifman, Naama; Talmon, Yeshayahu; Zussman, Eyal; Rafailovich, Miriam

    The need for naturally derived materials to synthetize bio-compatible scaffolds is growing. In its natural state, gelatin derives its properties from a network of structured, intertwined, triple helical chains. The mechanical properties can be further controlled by additional enzymatic cross-linking. But, in contrast to simple polymer systems, the response to an imposed deformation is then determined by two competing factors, the establishment of the cross-linked mesh vs. the self-assembly of the fibrils into larger and therefore stronger hierarchical structures. Properties deduced from the response functions to measurements; such as rheology or swelling, are then a combination of these two very different factors, hence impossible to model unless more precise knowledge is available regarding the internal structure. We applied cryogenic-temperature scanning electron microscopy (cryo-SEM) to image the networks. Based on these images, a theoretical model was developed, for which we obtained excellent agreement for the mesh size of both networks, and their mechanical properties. We then used these controlled scaffolds, embedding them with fluorescent beads, to image live cells traction forces at stake during cell migration.

  20. Familial Alzheimer disease–linked mutations specifically disrupt Ca2+ leak function of presenilin 1

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Omar; Tu, Huiping; Lei, Tianhua; Bentahir, Mostafa; de Strooper, Bart; Bezprozvanny, Ilya

    2007-01-01

    Mutations in presenilins are responsible for approximately 40% of all early-onset familial Alzheimer disease (FAD) cases in which a genetic cause has been identified. In addition, a number of mutations in presenilin-1 (PS1) have been suggested to be associated with the occurrence of frontal temporal dementia (FTD). Presenilins are highly conserved transmembrane proteins that support cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein by γ-secretase. Recently, we discovered that presenilins also function as passive ER Ca2+ leak channels. Here we used planar lipid bilayer reconstitution assays and Ca2+ imaging experiments with presenilin-null mouse embryonic fibroblasts to analyze ER Ca2+ leak function of 6 FAD-linked PS1 mutants and 3 known FTD-associated PS1 mutants. We discovered that L166P, A246E, E273A, G384A, and P436Q FAD mutations in PS1 abolished ER Ca2+ leak function of PS1. In contrast, A79V FAD mutation or FTD-associated mutations (L113P, G183V, and Rins352) did not appear to affect ER Ca2+ leak function of PS1 in our experiments. We validated our findings in Ca2+ imaging experiments with primary fibroblasts obtained from an FAD patient possessing mutant PS1-A246E. Our results indicate that many FAD mutations in presenilins are loss-of-function mutations affecting ER Ca2+ leak activity. In contrast, none of the FTD-associated mutations affected ER Ca2+ leak function of PS1, indicating that the observed effects are disease specific. Our observations are consistent with the potential role of disturbed Ca2+ homeostasis in Alzheimer disease pathogenesis. PMID:17431506

  1. Monitoring the internal structure of poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) microgels with variable cross-link concentration.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Florian; Balaceanu, Andreea; Feoktystov, Artem; Pipich, Vitaliy; Wu, Yaodong; Allgaier, Jürgen; Pyckhout-Hintzen, Wim; Pich, Andrij; Schneider, Gerald J

    2014-12-23

    The combination of a set of complementary techniques allows us to construct an unprecedented and comprehensive picture of the internal structure, temperature dependent swelling behavior, and the dependence of these properties on the cross-linker concentration of microgel particles based on N-vinylcaprolactam (VCL). The microgels were synthesized by precipitation polymerization using different amounts of cross-linking agent. Characterization was performed by small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) using two complementary neutron instruments to cover a uniquely broad Q-range with one probe. Additionally we used dynamic light scattering (DLS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Previously obtained nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) results on the same PVCL particles are utilized to round the picture off. Our study shows that both the particle radius and the cross-link density and therefore also the stiffness of the microgels rises with increasing cross-linker content. Hence, more cross-linker reduces the swelling capability distinctly. These findings are supported by SANS and AFM measurements. Independent DLS experiments also found the increase in particle size but suggest an unchanged cross-link density. The reason for the apparent contradiction is the indirect extraction of the parameters via a model in the evaluation of DLS measurements. The more direct approach in AFM by evaluating the cross section profiles of observed microgel particles gives evidence of significantly softer and more deformable particles at lower cross-linker concentrations and therefore verifies the change in cross-link density. DSC data indicate a minor but unexpected shift of the volume phase transition temperature (VPTT) to higher temperatures and exposes a more heterogeneous internal structure of the microgels with increasing cross-link density. Moreover, a change in the total energy transfer during the VPT gives evidence that the strength

  2. Krebs cycle metabolon: structural evidence of substrate channeling revealed by cross-linking and mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Wu, Fei; Minteer, Shelley

    2015-02-01

    It has been hypothesized that the high metabolic flux in the mitochondria is due to the self-assembly of enzyme supercomplexes (called metabolons) that channel substrates from one enzyme to another, but there has been no experimental confirmation of this structure or the channeling. A structural investigation of enzyme organization within the Krebs cycle metabolon was accomplished by in vivo cross-linking and mass spectrometry. Eight Krebs cycle enzyme components were isolated upon chemical fixation, and interfacial residues between mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase, citrate synthase, and aconitase were identified. Using constraint protein docking, a low-resolution structure for the three-enzyme complex was achieved, as well as the two-fold symmetric octamer. Surface analysis showed formation of electrostatic channeling upon protein-protein association, which is the first structural evidence of substrate channeling in the Krebs cycle metabolon.

  3. Fumed silica concentration effect on structure and dielectric properties of a styrene-cross-linked unsaturated polyester resin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorelov, B. M.; Polovina, O. I.; Gorb, A. M.; Dacko, S.; Kostrzewa, M.; Ingram, A.

    2012-11-01

    Concentration effects of a high-reactive-surface nanosized SiO2 filler on structure and dielectrical properties of a styrene-cross-linked polyester resin have been experimentally studied. Thermal desorption mass-spectroscopy, IR-spectroscopy, dielectric spectroscopy, and positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy were used to determine an atomic content of thermal destruction products, IR-reflection spectra, complex dielectric permittivity, and a nature of positron traps as function of filler content in the polymer matrix. Interaction between active surface centers of SiO2-nanoparticles and atoms of polyester chains and styrene molecules gives the non-monotonous influence on the structure of polyester chains, macromolecule polarity, dielectric parameters and the number of positronium nanotraps.

  4. Nitric oxide synthases: structure, function and inhibition.

    PubMed Central

    Alderton, W K; Cooper, C E; Knowles, R G

    2001-01-01

    This review concentrates on advances in nitric oxide synthase (NOS) structure, function and inhibition made in the last seven years, during which time substantial advances have been made in our understanding of this enzyme family. There is now information on the enzyme structure at all levels from primary (amino acid sequence) to quaternary (dimerization, association with other proteins) structure. The crystal structures of the oxygenase domains of inducible NOS (iNOS) and vascular endothelial NOS (eNOS) allow us to interpret other information in the context of this important part of the enzyme, with its binding sites for iron protoporphyrin IX (haem), biopterin, L-arginine, and the many inhibitors which interact with them. The exact nature of the NOS reaction, its mechanism and its products continue to be sources of controversy. The role of the biopterin cofactor is now becoming clearer, with emerging data implicating one-electron redox cycling as well as the multiple allosteric effects on enzyme activity. Regulation of the NOSs has been described at all levels from gene transcription to covalent modification and allosteric regulation of the enzyme itself. A wide range of NOS inhibitors have been discussed, interacting with the enzyme in diverse ways in terms of site and mechanism of inhibition, time-dependence and selectivity for individual isoforms, although there are many pitfalls and misunderstandings of these aspects. Highly selective inhibitors of iNOS versus eNOS and neuronal NOS have been identified and some of these have potential in the treatment of a range of inflammatory and other conditions in which iNOS has been implicated. PMID:11463332

  5. Olfactomedin-1 Has a V-shaped Disulfide-linked Tetrameric Structure*

    PubMed Central

    Pronker, Matti F.; Bos, Trusanne G. A. A.; Sharp, Thomas H.; Thies-Weesie, Dominique M. E.; Janssen, Bert J. C.

    2015-01-01

    Olfactomedin-1 (Olfm1; also known as noelin and pancortin) is a member of the olfactomedin domain-containing superfamily and a highly expressed neuronal glycoprotein important for nervous system development. It binds a number of secreted proteins and cell surface-bound receptors to induce cell signaling processes. Using a combined approach of x-ray crystallography, solution scattering, analytical ultracentrifugation, and electron microscopy we determined that full-length Olfm1 forms disulfide-linked tetramers with a distinctive V-shaped architecture. The base of the “V” is formed by two disulfide-linked dimeric N-terminal domains. Each of the two V legs consists of a parallel dimeric disulfide-linked coiled coil with a C-terminal β-propeller dimer at the tips. This agrees with our crystal structure of a C-terminal coiled-coil segment and β-propeller combination (Olfm1coil-Olf) that reveals a disulfide-linked dimeric arrangement with the β-propeller top faces in an outward exposed orientation. Similar to its family member myocilin, Olfm1 is stabilized by calcium. The dimer-of-dimers architecture suggests a role for Olfm1 in clustering receptors to regulate signaling and sheds light on the conformation of several other olfactomedin domain family members. PMID:25903135

  6. Metal bridges to probe membrane ion channel structure and function.

    PubMed

    Linsdell, Paul

    2015-06-01

    Ion channels are integral membrane proteins that undergo important conformational changes as they open and close to control transmembrane flux of different ions. The molecular underpinnings of these dynamic conformational rearrangements are difficult to ascertain using current structural methods. Several functional approaches have been used to understand two- and three-dimensional dynamic structures of ion channels, based on the reactivity of the cysteine side-chain. Two-dimensional structural rearrangements, such as changes in the accessibility of different parts of the channel protein to the bulk solution on either side of the membrane, are used to define movements within the permeation pathway, such as those that open and close ion channel gates. Three-dimensional rearrangements – in which two different parts of the channel protein change their proximity during conformational changes – are probed by cross-linking or bridging together two cysteine side-chains. Particularly useful in this regard are so-called metal bridges formed when two or more cysteine side-chains form a high-affinity binding site for metal ions such as Cd2+ or Zn2+. This review describes the use of these different techniques for the study of ion channel dynamic structure and function, including a comprehensive review of the different kinds of conformational rearrangements that have been studied in different channel types via the identification of intra-molecular metal bridges. Factors that influence the affinities and conformational sensitivities of these metal bridges, as well as the kinds of structural inferences that can be drawn from these studies, are also discussed. PMID:26103632

  7. Metal bridges to probe membrane ion channel structure and function.

    PubMed

    Linsdell, Paul

    2015-06-01

    Ion channels are integral membrane proteins that undergo important conformational changes as they open and close to control transmembrane flux of different ions. The molecular underpinnings of these dynamic conformational rearrangements are difficult to ascertain using current structural methods. Several functional approaches have been used to understand two- and three-dimensional dynamic structures of ion channels, based on the reactivity of the cysteine side-chain. Two-dimensional structural rearrangements, such as changes in the accessibility of different parts of the channel protein to the bulk solution on either side of the membrane, are used to define movements within the permeation pathway, such as those that open and close ion channel gates. Three-dimensional rearrangements – in which two different parts of the channel protein change their proximity during conformational changes – are probed by cross-linking or bridging together two cysteine side-chains. Particularly useful in this regard are so-called metal bridges formed when two or more cysteine side-chains form a high-affinity binding site for metal ions such as Cd2+ or Zn2+. This review describes the use of these different techniques for the study of ion channel dynamic structure and function, including a comprehensive review of the different kinds of conformational rearrangements that have been studied in different channel types via the identification of intra-molecular metal bridges. Factors that influence the affinities and conformational sensitivities of these metal bridges, as well as the kinds of structural inferences that can be drawn from these studies, are also discussed.

  8. BRAIN STRUCTURAL AND FUNCTIONAL CHANGES IN ADOLESCENTS WITH PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS

    PubMed Central

    Miguel-Hidalgo, José Javier

    2013-01-01

    During adolescence hormonal and neurodevelopmental changes geared to ensure reproduction and achieve independence are very likely mediated by growth of neural processes, remodeling of synaptic connections, increased myelination in prefrontal areas, and maturation of connecting subcortical regions. These processes, greatly accelerated in adolescence, follow an asynchronous pattern in different brain areas. Neuroimaging research using functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging has produced most of the insights regarding brain structural and functional neuropathology in adolescent psychiatric disorders. In schizophrenia, first episodes during adolescence are linked to greater-than-normal losses in gray matter density and white matter integrity, and show a divergence of maturational trajectories from normative neural development, in a progression similar to that of adult-onset schizophrenia. Anxiety and mood disorders in adolescence have been linked to abnormally increased activity in the amygdala and ventral prefrontal cortical areas, although some data suggest that neural abnormalities in the amygdala and anxiety maybe particularly more frequent in adolescents than in adults. Alcohol misuse in adolescence results in reduced integrity in the white matter and reduced gray matter density that, given the high intensity of adolescent synaptic and myelin remodeling, may result in persistent and profound changes in circuits supporting memory, emotional and appetitive control. Interaction of persistent changes due to prenatal exposure with contemporaneous expression of genetic factors and disturbing environmental exposure may be an important factor in the appearance of psychiatric disorders in adolescence. Further progress in understanding adolescent psychopathology will require postmortem research of molecular and cellular determinants in the adolescent brain. PMID:23828425

  9. Evolution of the Photon Structure Function.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Luz Vieira, J. H.

    1987-09-01

    Available from UMI in association with The British Library. Requires signed TDF. From the earliest QCD calculations of the transverse structure function, F_sp{2}{ gamma}(x,Q^2), it was hoped that experimental measurements would provide a test of Lambda_{rm QCD }. However, there were difficulties with singularities which could be removed mathematically at the expense of introducing initial conditions defined at a minimum cut -off Q_sp{0}{2}. Two different approaches to evaluating the parton densities for F_sp{2}{gamma }(x,Q^2) are considered with the intention of evolving the structure function to Q^2 from Q_sp{0 }{2} at which the parton densities are defined from experimental data. One technique is suitable for generalization to incorporate the initial parton densities, and a model was developed to evolve F_sp {2}{gamma}(x,Q ^2). The resulting predictions for F _sp{2}{gamma}(x,Q ^2) were compared to existing results from other authors and to the available experimental data. Various theories concerning the hadronic parametrizations of the photon structure function at low Q^2 are considered and employed to parametrize the low Q^2 TPC data to obtain the initial parton densities at Q_sp{0}{2 } = 0.7 GeV^2. It is assumed that perturbative QCD can describe the evolution of F_sp{2}{gamma} (x,Q^2) for Q^2 > Q_sp{0}{2 }, but the results show that using hadronic initial conditions produces predictions which do not correspond to the data, therefore this assumption is wrong. The experimental data at Q^2 = 5.3 GeV^2 can be described by perturbative QCD and are therefore translated into the initial parton densities at Q_sp{0 }{2} = 5.3 GeV^2. One is correct in assuming that the evolution of F _sp{2}{gamma}(x,Q ^2) can be predicted in perturbative QCD for Q^2 > Q_sp {0}{2}, but little is understood about the photon at 1 < Q^2 < 5 GeV^2. The resulting predictions at higher Q^2 correspond well with the data however due to the experimental error bars Lambda_{QCD} cannot be measured.

  10. Evaluation of Hybrid Theoretical Approaches for Structural Determination of a Glycine-Linked Cisplatin Derivative via Infrared Multiple Photon Dissociation (IRMPD) Action Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    He, C C; Kimutai, B; Bao, X; Hamlow, L; Zhu, Y; Strobehn, S F; Gao, J; Berden, G; Oomens, J; Chow, C S; Rodgers, M T

    2015-11-01

    To gain a better understanding of the binding mechanism and assist in the optimization of chemical probing and drug design applications, experimental and theoretical studies of a series of amino acid-linked cisplatin derivatives are being pursued. Glyplatin (glycine-linked cisplatin) was chosen for its structural simplicity and to enable backbone effects to be separated from side-chain effects on the structure and reactivity of ornithine- and lysine-linked cisplatin (Ornplatin and Lysplatin, respectively). Infrared multiple photon dissociation (IRMPD) action spectroscopy experiments were performed on Glyplatin to characterize its structure and guide the selection of the most effective hybrid theoretical approach for determining its structure and IR spectrum. The simplicity of the Glyplatin system allows a wide variety of density functionals, treatments of the Pt center including the use of all-electron basis sets vs valence basis sets combined with an effective core potential (ECP), and basis sets for all other atoms to be evaluated at a reasonable computational cost. The results for Glyplatin provide the foundation for calculations of more complex amino acid-linked cisplatin derivatives such as Ornplatin and Lysplatin. Present results suggest that the B3LYP/mDZP/def2-TZVP hybrid method can be effectively employed for structural and IR characterization of more complex amino acid-linked cisplatin complexes and their nucleic acid derivatives.

  11. Modular structure of functional networks in olfactory memory.

    PubMed

    Meunier, David; Fonlupt, Pierre; Saive, Anne-Lise; Plailly, Jane; Ravel, Nadine; Royet, Jean-Pierre

    2014-07-15

    Graph theory enables the study of systems by describing those systems as a set of nodes and edges. Graph theory has been widely applied to characterize the overall structure of data sets in the social, technological, and biological sciences, including neuroscience. Modular structure decomposition enables the definition of sub-networks whose components are gathered in the same module and work together closely, while working weakly with components from other modules. This processing is of interest for studying memory, a cognitive process that is widely distributed. We propose a new method to identify modular structure in task-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) networks. The modular structure was obtained directly from correlation coefficients and thus retained information about both signs and weights. The method was applied to functional data acquired during a yes-no odor recognition memory task performed by young and elderly adults. Four response categories were explored: correct (Hit) and incorrect (False alarm, FA) recognition and correct and incorrect rejection. We extracted time series data for 36 areas as a function of response categories and age groups and calculated condition-based weighted correlation matrices. Overall, condition-based modular partitions were more homogeneous in young than elderly subjects. Using partition similarity-based statistics and a posteriori statistical analyses, we demonstrated that several areas, including the hippocampus, caudate nucleus, and anterior cingulate gyrus, belonged to the same module more frequently during Hit than during all other conditions. Modularity values were negatively correlated with memory scores in the Hit condition and positively correlated with bias scores (liberal/conservative attitude) in the Hit and FA conditions. We further demonstrated that the proportion of positive and negative links between areas of different modules (i.e., the proportion of correlated and anti-correlated areas

  12. Modelling the multidimensional niche by linking functional traits to competitive performance.

    PubMed

    Maynard, Daniel S; Leonard, Kenneth E; Drake, John M; Hall, David W; Crowther, Thomas W; Bradford, Mark A

    2015-07-22

    Linking competitive outcomes to environmental conditions is necessary for understanding species' distributions and responses to environmental change. Despite this importance, generalizable approaches for predicting competitive outcomes across abiotic gradients are lacking, driven largely by the highly complex and context-dependent nature of biotic interactions. Here, we present and empirically test a novel niche model that uses functional traits to model the niche space of organisms and predict competitive outcomes of co-occurring populations across multiple resource gradients. The model makes no assumptions about the underlying mode of competition and instead applies to those settings where relative competitive ability across environments correlates with a quantifiable performance metric. To test the model, a series of controlled microcosm experiments were conducted using genetically related strains of a widespread microbe. The model identified trait microevolution and performance differences among strains, with the predicted competitive ability of each organism mapped across a two-dimensional carbon and nitrogen resource space. Areas of coexistence and competitive dominance between strains were identified,and the predicted competitive outcomes were validated in approximately 95% of the pairings. By linking trait variation to competitive ability, our work demonstrates a generalizable approach for predicting and modelling competitive outcomes across changing environmental contexts. PMID:26136444

  13. Modelling the multidimensional niche by linking functional traits to competitive performance

    PubMed Central

    Maynard, Daniel S.; Leonard, Kenneth E.; Drake, John M.; Hall, David W.; Crowther, Thomas W.; Bradford, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    Linking competitive outcomes to environmental conditions is necessary for understanding species' distributions and responses to environmental change. Despite this importance, generalizable approaches for predicting competitive outcomes across abiotic gradients are lacking, driven largely by the highly complex and context-dependent nature of biotic interactions. Here, we present and empirically test a novel niche model that uses functional traits to model the niche space of organisms and predict competitive outcomes of co-occurring populations across multiple resource gradients. The model makes no assumptions about the underlying mode of competition and instead applies to those settings where relative competitive ability across environments correlates with a quantifiable performance metric. To test the model, a series of controlled microcosm experiments were conducted using genetically related strains of a widespread microbe. The model identified trait microevolution and performance differences among strains, with the predicted competitive ability of each organism mapped across a two-dimensional carbon and nitrogen resource space. Areas of coexistence and competitive dominance between strains were identified, and the predicted competitive outcomes were validated in approximately 95% of the pairings. By linking trait variation to competitive ability, our work demonstrates a generalizable approach for predicting and modelling competitive outcomes across changing environmental contexts. PMID:26136444

  14. Gene therapy improves immune function in preadolescents with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency

    PubMed Central

    Chinen, Javier; Davis, Joie; De Ravin, Suk See; Hay, Beverly N.; Hsu, Amy P.; Linton, Gilda F.; Naumann, Nora; Nomicos, Effie Y. H.; Silvin, Christopher; Ulrick, Jean; Whiting-Theobald, Narda L.; Puck, Jennifer M.

    2007-01-01

    Retroviral gene therapy can restore immunity to infants with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (XSCID) caused by mutations in the IL2RG gene encoding the common gamma chain (γc) of receptors for interleukins 2 (IL-2), −4, −7, −9, −15, and −21. We investigated the safety and efficacy of gene therapy as salvage treatment for older XSCID children with inadequate immune reconstitution despite prior bone marrow transplant from a parent. Subjects received retrovirus-transduced autologous peripherally mobilized CD34+ hematopoietic cells. T-cell function significantly improved in the youngest subject (age 10 years), and multilineage retroviral marking occurred in all 3 children. PMID:17369490

  15. Linking Cultural Competence to Functional Life Outcomes in Mental Health Care Settings.

    PubMed

    Michalopoulou, Georgia; Falzarano, Pamela; Butkus, Michael; Zeman, Lori; Vershave, Judy; Arfken, Cynthia

    2014-01-01

    Minorities in the United States have well-documented health disparities. Cultural barriers and biases by health care providers may contribute to lower quality of services which may contribute to these disparities. However, evidence linking cultural competency and health outcomes is lacking. This study, part of an ongoing quality improvement effort, tested the mediation hypothesis that patients' perception of provider cultural competency indirectly influences patients' health outcomes through process of care. Data were from patient satisfaction surveys collected in seven mental health clinics (n=94 minority patients). Consistent with our hypothesis, patients' perception of clinicians' cultural competency was indirectly associated with patients' self-reported improvements in social interactions, improvements in performance at work or school, and improvements in managing life problems through the patients' experience of respect, trust, and communication with the clinician. These findings indicate that process of care characteristics during the clinical encounter influence patients' perceptions of clinicians' cultural competency and affect functional outcomes.

  16. Structure and function of eukaryotic chromosomes

    SciTech Connect

    Hennig, W.

    1987-01-01

    Contents: Introduction; Polytene Chromosomel Giant Chromosomes in Ciliates; The sp-I Genes in the Balbiani Rings of Chironomus Salivary Glands; The White Locus of Drosophila Melanogaster; The Genetic and Molecular Organization of the Dense Cluster of Functionally Related Vital Genes in the DOPA Decarboxylase Region of the Drosophila melanogaster Genome; Heat Shock Puffs and Response to Environmental Stress; The Y Chromosomal Lampbrush Loops of Drosophila; Contributions of Electron Microscopic Spreading Preparations (''Miller Spreads'') to the Analysis of Chromosome Structure; Replication of DNA in Eukaryotic Chromosomes; Gene Amplification in Dipteran Chromosomes; The Significance of Plant Transposable Elements in Biologically Relevant Processes; Arrangement of Chromosomes in Interphase Cell Nuclei; Heterochromatin and the Phenomenon of Chromosome Banding; Multiple Nonhistone Protein-DNA Complexes in Chromatin Regulate the Cell- and Stage-Specific Activity of an Eukaryotic Gene; Genetics of Sex Determination in Eukaryotes; Application of Basic Chromosome Research in Biotechnology and Medicine. This book presents an overview of various aspects of chromosome research.

  17. Aegerolysins: Structure, function, and putative biological role

    PubMed Central

    Berne, Sabina; Lah, Ljerka; Sepčić, Kristina

    2009-01-01

    Aegerolysins, discovered in fungi, bacteria and plants, are highly similar proteins with interesting biological properties. Certain aegerolysins possess antitumoral, antiproliferative, and antibacterial activities. Further possible medicinal applications include their use in the prevention of atherosclerosis, or as vaccines. Additional biotechnological value of fungal aegerolysins lies in their involvement in development, which could improve cultivation of commercially important edible mushrooms. Besides, new insights on microheterogeneity of raft-like membrane domains could be gained by using aegerolysins as specific markers in cell and molecular biology. Although the exact function of aegerolysins in their producing organisms remains to be explained, they are biochemically well characterized all-β structured proteins sharing the following common features: low isoelectric points, similar molecular weights (15–17 kDa), and stability in a wide pH range. PMID:19309687

  18. Structure and Function of RSV Surface Glycoproteins

    PubMed Central

    McLellan, Jason S.; Ray, William C.; Peeples, Mark E.

    2014-01-01

    The two major glycoproteins on the surface of the RSV virion, the attachment glycoprotein (G) and the fusion (F) glycoprotein, control the initial phases of infection. G targets the ciliated cells of the airways, and F causes the virion membrane to fuse with a target cell membrane. The F protein is the major target for antiviral drug development, and both G and F glycoproteins are the antigens targeted by neutralizing antibodies induced by infection. In this chapter we review the structure and function of the RSV surface glycoproteins, including recent X-ray crystallographic data of the F glycoprotein in its pre- and postfusion conformations, and discuss how this information informs antigen selection and vaccine development. PMID:24362685

  19. Sheet metal hydroforming of functional composite structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibis, M.; Griesheimer, S.; Salun, L.; Rausch, J.; Groche, P.

    2011-03-01

    This paper studies the formability of functional composite structures, consisting of a metal substrate, insulating plastic foils, flat copper conductors and printable conductive polymers. The aim is the production of smart components in a sheet metal hydroforming process. In addition to their mechanical properties, these components can also transfer energy and data. Conventional boundaries between mechanics and electronics will be relaxed expediently. The challenge of this study is the design of the forming process, so that all elements of the multi-layer composites will withstand the process conditions. In this context, an analytical method for estimating the formability of these smart components is presented. The main objectives are the definition of basic failure modes and the depiction of the process limits.

  20. Models of Protocellular Structure, Function and Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    New, Michael H.; Pohorille, Andrew; Szostak, Jack W.; Keefe, Tony; Lanyi, Janos K.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    In the absence of any record of protocells, the most direct way to test our understanding, of the origin of cellular life is to construct laboratory models that capture important features of protocellular systems. Such efforts are currently underway in a collaborative project between NASA-Ames, Harvard Medical School and University of California. They are accompanied by computational studies aimed at explaining self-organization of simple molecules into ordered structures. The centerpiece of this project is a method for the in vitro evolution of protein enzymes toward arbitrary catalytic targets. A similar approach has already been developed for nucleic acids in which a small number of functional molecules are selected from a large, random population of candidates. The selected molecules are next vastly multiplied using the polymerase chain reaction.

  1. The Link between Dietary Protein Intake, Skeletal Muscle Function and Health in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Baum, Jamie I.; Wolfe, Robert R.

    2015-01-01

    Skeletal muscle mass and function are progressively lost with age, a condition referred to as sarcopenia. By the age of 60, many older adults begin to be affected by muscle loss. There is a link between decreased muscle mass and strength and adverse health outcomes such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Data suggest that increasing dietary protein intake at meals may counterbalance muscle loss in older individuals due to the increased availability of amino acids, which stimulate muscle protein synthesis by activating the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTORC1). Increased muscle protein synthesis can lead to increased muscle mass, strength and function over time. This review aims to address the current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein and whether or not this value meets the needs for older adults based upon current scientific evidence. The current RDA for protein is 0.8 g/kg body weight/day. However, literature suggests that consuming protein in amounts greater than the RDA can improve muscle mass, strength and function in older adults. PMID:27417778

  2. Endothelial Markers May Link Kidney Function to Cardiovascular Events in Type 2 Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Maier, Christina; Clodi, Martin; Neuhold, Stephanie; Resl, Michael; Elhenicky, Marie; Prager, Rudolf; Moertl, Deddo; Strunk, Guido; Luger, Anton; Struck, Joachim; Pacher, Richard; Hülsmann, Martin

    2009-01-01

    OBJECTIVE The increased cardiovascular risk in diabetes has been linked to endothelial and renal dysfunction. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of stable fragments of the precursors of adrenomedullin, endothelin-1, vasopressin, and atrial natriuretic peptide in progression of cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS This was a prospective, observational study design with a composite end point (death or unexpected admission to hospital due to a cardiovascular event) on 781 patients with type 2 diabetes (54 events, median duration of observation 15 months). The four stable precursor peptides midregional adrenomedullin (MR-proADM), midregional proatrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP), COOH-terminal proendothelin-1 (CT-proET-1), and COOH-terminal provasopressin or copeptin (CT-proAVP) were determined at baseline, and their association to renal function and cardiovascular events was studied using stepwise linear and Cox logistic regression analysis and receiver operating characteristic analysis, respectively. RESULTS MR-proADM, CT-proET-1, CT-proAVP, and MR-proANP were all elevated in patients with future cardiovascular events and independently correlated to serum creatinine. MR-proADM and MR-proANP were significant predictors of a future cardiovascular event, with MR-proANP being the stronger (area under the curve 0.802 ± 0.034, sensitivity 0.833, specificity 0.576, positive predictive value 0.132, and negative predictive value 0.978 with a cutoff value of 75 pmol/l). CONCLUSIONS The four serum markers of vasoactive and natriuretic peptides are related to both kidney function and cardiovascular events, thus linking two major complications of diabetes, diabetic nephropathy and cardiovascular disease. PMID:19564455

  3. Microtrabecular structure of the axoplasmic matrix: visualization of cross-linking structures and their distribution

    PubMed Central

    1980-01-01

    Biol., 86:675-681.), and then observing the matrix-free sections with TEM or the blocks with a scanning electron microscope; and third, rapid freezing of fixed tissue followed by freeze-etching and rotary- shadowing with replicas observed by TEM. All of these procedures yielded images of cross-linking elements between neurofilaments and organelles of the axoplasm. These improvements in visualization should enable us to examine the distribution of trabecular links on motile axonal organelles. PMID:6159361

  4. An apomixis-linked ORC3-like pseudogene is associated with silencing of its functional homolog in apomictic Paspalum simplex.

    PubMed

    Siena, Lorena A; Ortiz, Juan Pablo A; Calderini, Ornella; Paolocci, Francesco; Cáceres, Maria E; Kaushal, Pankaj; Grisan, Simone; Pessino, Silvina C; Pupilli, Fulvio

    2016-03-01

    Apomixis in plants consists of asexual reproduction by seeds. Here we characterized at structural and functional levels an apomixis-linked sequence of Paspalum simplex homologous to subunit 3 of the ORIGIN RECOGNITION COMPLEX (ORC3). ORC is a multiprotein complex which controls DNA replication and cell differentiation in eukaryotes. Three PsORC3 copies were identified, each one characterized by a specific expression profile. Of these, PsORC3a, specific for apomictic genotypes, is a pseudogene that was poorly and constitutively expressed in all developmental stages of apomictic flowers, whereas PsORC3b, the putative functional gene in sexual flowers, showed a precise time-related regulation. Sense transcripts of PsORC3 were expressed in the female cell lineage of both apomictic and sexual reproductive phenotypes, and in aposporous initials. Although strong expression was detected in sexual early endosperm, no expression was present in the apomictic endosperm. Antisense PsORC3 transcripts were revealed exclusively in apomictic germ cell lineages. Defective orc3 mutants of rice and Arabidopsis showed normal female gametophytes although the embryo and endosperm were arrested at early phases of development. We hypothesize that PsORC3a is associated with the down-regulation of its functional homolog and with the development of apomictic endosperm which deviates from the canonical 2(maternal):1(paternal) genome ratio. PMID:26842983

  5. An apomixis-linked ORC3-like pseudogene is associated with silencing of its functional homolog in apomictic Paspalum simplex.

    PubMed

    Siena, Lorena A; Ortiz, Juan Pablo A; Calderini, Ornella; Paolocci, Francesco; Cáceres, Maria E; Kaushal, Pankaj; Grisan, Simone; Pessino, Silvina C; Pupilli, Fulvio

    2016-03-01

    Apomixis in plants consists of asexual reproduction by seeds. Here we characterized at structural and functional levels an apomixis-linked sequence of Paspalum simplex homologous to subunit 3 of the ORIGIN RECOGNITION COMPLEX (ORC3). ORC is a multiprotein complex which controls DNA replication and cell differentiation in eukaryotes. Three PsORC3 copies were identified, each one characterized by a specific expression profile. Of these, PsORC3a, specific for apomictic genotypes, is a pseudogene that was poorly and constitutively expressed in all developmental stages of apomictic flowers, whereas PsORC3b, the putative functional gene in sexual flowers, showed a precise time-related regulation. Sense transcripts of PsORC3 were expressed in the female cell lineage of both apomictic and sexual reproductive phenotypes, and in aposporous initials. Although strong expression was detected in sexual early endosperm, no expression was present in the apomictic endosperm. Antisense PsORC3 transcripts were revealed exclusively in apomictic germ cell lineages. Defective orc3 mutants of rice and Arabidopsis showed normal female gametophytes although the embryo and endosperm were arrested at early phases of development. We hypothesize that PsORC3a is associated with the down-regulation of its functional homolog and with the development of apomictic endosperm which deviates from the canonical 2(maternal):1(paternal) genome ratio.

  6. Verrucomicrobial community structure and abundance as indicators for changes in chemical factors linked to soil fertility.

    PubMed

    Navarrete, Acacio Aparecido; Soares, Tielle; Rossetto, Raffaella; van Veen, Johannes Antonie; Tsai, Siu Mui; Kuramae, Eiko Eurya

    2015-09-01

    Here we show that verrucomicrobial community structure and abundance are extremely sensitive to changes in chemical factors linked to soil fertility. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism fingerprint and real-time quantitative PCR assay were used to analyze changes in verrucomicrobial communities associated with contrasting soil nutrient conditions in tropical regions. In case study Model I ("Slash-and-burn deforestation") the verrucomicrobial community structures revealed disparate patterns in nutrient-enriched soils after slash-and-burn deforestation and natural nutrient-poor soils under an adjacent primary forest in the Amazonia (R = 0.819, P = 0.002). The relative proportion of Verrucomicrobia declined in response to increased soil fertility after slash-and-burn deforestation, accounting on average, for 4 and 2 % of the total bacterial signal, in natural nutrient-poor forest soils and nutrient-enriched deforested soils, respectively. In case study Model II ("Management practices for sugarcane") disparate patterns were revealed in sugarcane rhizosphere sampled on optimal and deficient soil fertility for sugarcane (R = 0.786, P = 0.002). Verrucomicrobial community abundance in sugarcane rhizosphere was negatively correlated with soil fertility, accounting for 2 and 5 % of the total bacterial signal, under optimal and deficient soil fertility conditions for sugarcane, respectively. In nutrient-enriched soils, verrucomicrobial community structures were related to soil factors linked to soil fertility, such as total nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sum of bases, i.e., the sum of calcium, magnesium and potassium contents. We conclude that community structure and abundance represent important ecological aspects in soil verrucomicrobial communities for tracking the changes in chemical factors linked to soil fertility under tropical environmental conditions. PMID:26184407

  7. Linking experimental results, biological networks and sequence analysis methods using Ontologies and Generalised Data Structures.

    PubMed

    Koehler, Jacob; Rawlings, Chris; Verrier, Paul; Mitchell, Rowan; Skusa, Andre; Ruegg, Alexander; Philippi, Stephan

    2005-01-01

    The structure of a closely integrated data warehouse is described that is designed to link different types and varying numbers of biological networks, sequence analysis methods and experimental results such as those coming from microarrays. The data schema is inspired by a combination of graph based methods and generalised data structures and makes use of ontologies and meta-data. The core idea is to consider and store biological networks as graphs, and to use generalised data structures (GDS) for the storage of further relevant information. This is possible because many biological networks can be stored as graphs: protein interactions, signal transduction networks, metabolic pathways, gene regulatory networks etc. Nodes in biological graphs represent entities such as promoters, proteins, genes and transcripts whereas the edges of such graphs specify how the nodes are related. The semantics of the nodes and edges are defined using ontologies of node and relation types. Besides generic attributes that most biological entities possess (name, attribute description), further information is stored using generalised data structures. By directly linking to underlying sequences (exons, introns, promoters, amino acid sequences) in a systematic way, close interoperability to sequence analysis methods can be achieved. This approach allows us to store, query and update a wide variety of biological information in a way that is semantically compact without requiring changes at the database schema level when new kinds of biological information is added. We describe how this datawarehouse is being implemented by extending the text-mining framework ONDEX to link, support and complement different bioinformatics applications and research activities such as microarray analysis, sequence analysis and modelling/simulation of biological systems. The system is developed under the GPL license and can be downloaded from http://sourceforge.net/projects/ondex/

  8. Cooperative, reversible self-assembly of covalently pre-linked proteins into giant fibrous structures.

    PubMed

    Averick, Saadyah; Karácsony, Orsolya; Mohin, Jacob; Yong, Xin; Moellers, Nicholas M; Woodman, Bradley F; Zhu, Weipu; Mehl, Ryan A; Balazs, Anna C; Kowalewski, Tomasz; Matyjaszewski, Krzysztof

    2014-07-28

    We demonstrate a simple bioconjugate polymer system that undergoes reversible self-assembling into extended fibrous structures, reminiscent of those observed in living systems. It is comprised of green fluorescent protein (GFP) molecules linked into linear oligomeric strands through click step growth polymerization with dialkyne poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO). Confocal microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and dynamic light scattering revealed that such strands form high persistence length fibers, with lengths reaching tens of micrometers, and uniform, sub-100 nm widths. We ascribe this remarkable and robust form of self-assembly to the cooperativity arising from the known tendency of GFP molecules to dimerize through localized hydrophobic patches and from their covalent pre-linking with flexible PEO. Dissipative particle dynamics simulations of a coarse-grained model of the system revealed its tendency to form elongated fibrous aggregates, suggesting the general nature of this mode of self-assembly.

  9. Structure, Function, and Evolution of Rice Centromeres

    SciTech Connect

    Jiang, Jiming

    2010-02-04

    The centromere is the most characteristic landmark of eukaryotic chromosomes. Centromeres function as the site for kinetochore assembly and spindle attachment, allowing for the faithful pairing and segregation of sister chromatids during cell division. Characterization of centromeric DNA is not only essential to understand the structure and organization of plant genomes, but it is also a critical step in the development of plant artificial chromosomes. The centromeres of most model eukaryotic species, consist predominantly of long arrays of satellite DNA. Determining the precise DNA boundary of a centromere has proven to be a difficult task in multicellular eukaryotes. We have successfully cloned and sequenced the centromere of rice chromosome 8 (Cen8), representing the first fully sequenced centromere from any multicellular eukaryotes. The functional core of Cen8 spans ~800 kb of DNA, which was determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) using an antibody against the rice centromere-specific H3 histone. We discovered 16 actively transcribed genes distributed throughout the Cen8 region. In addition to Cen8, we have characterized eight additional rice centromeres using the next generation sequencing technology. We discovered four subfamilies of the CRR retrotransposon that is highly enriched in rice centromeres. CRR elements are constitutively transcribed and different CRR subfamilies are differentially processed by RNAi. These results suggest that different CRR subfamilies may play different roles in the RNAi-mediated pathway for formation and maintenance of centromeric chromatin.

  10. The Structural and Functional Organization of Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Snow, Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    This article proposes that what have been historically and contemporarily defined as different domains of human cognition are served by one of four functionally- and structurally-distinct areas of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Their contributions to human intelligence are as follows: (a) BA9, enables our emotional intelligence, engaging the psychosocial domain; (b) BA47, enables our practical intelligence, engaging the material domain; (c) BA46 (or BA46-9/46), enables our abstract intelligence, engaging the hypothetical domain; and (d) BA10, enables our temporal intelligence, engaging in planning within any of the other three domains. Given their unique contribution to human cognition, it is proposed that these areas be called the, social (BA9), material (BA47), abstract (BA46-9/46) and temporal (BA10) mind. The evidence that BA47 participates strongly in verbal and gestural communication suggests that language evolved primarily as a consequence of the extreme selective pressure for practicality; an observation supported by the functional connectivity between BA47 and orbital areas that negatively reinforce lying. It is further proposed that the abstract mind (BA46-9/46) is the primary seat of metacognition charged with creating adaptive behavioral strategies by generating higher-order concepts (hypotheses) from lower-order concepts originating from the other three domains of cognition. PMID:27799901

  11. Structure and functionality of bromine doped graphite.

    PubMed

    Hamdan, Rashid; Kemper, A F; Cao, Chao; Cheng, H P

    2013-04-28

    First-principles calculations are used to study the enhanced in-plane conductivity observed experimentally in Br-doped graphite, and to study the effect of external stress on the structure and functionality of such systems. The model used in the numerical calculations is that of stage two doped graphite. The band structure near the Fermi surface of the doped systems with different bromine concentrations is compared to that of pure graphite, and the charge transfer between carbon and bromine atoms is analyzed to understand the conductivity change along different high symmetry directions. Our calculations show that, for large interlayer separation between doped graphite layers, bromine is stable in the molecular form (Br2). However, with increased compression (decreased layer-layer separation) Br2 molecules tend to dissociate. While in both forms, bromine is an electron acceptor. The charge exchange between the graphite layers and Br atoms is higher than that with Br2 molecules. Electron transfer to the Br atoms increases the number of hole carriers in the graphite sheets, resulting in an increase of conductivity. PMID:23635160

  12. Bromodomains: Structure, function and pharmacology of inhibition.

    PubMed

    Ferri, Elena; Petosa, Carlo; McKenna, Charles E

    2016-04-15

    Bromodomains are epigenetic readers of histone acetylation involved in chromatin remodeling and transcriptional regulation. The human proteome comprises 46 bromodomain-containing proteins with a total of 61 bromodomains, which, despite highly conserved structural features, recognize a wide array of natural peptide ligands. Over the past five years, bromodomains have attracted great interest as promising new epigenetic targets for diverse human diseases, including inflammation, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The demonstration in 2010 that two small molecule compounds, JQ1 and I-BET762, potently inhibit proteins of the bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) family with translational potential for cancer and inflammatory disease sparked intense efforts in academia and pharmaceutical industry to develop novel bromodomain antagonists for therapeutic applications. Several BET inhibitors are already in clinical trials for hematological malignancies, solid tumors and cardiovascular disease. Currently, the field faces the challenge of single-target selectivity, especially within the BET family, and of overcoming problems related to the development of drug resistance. At the same time, new trends in bromodomain inhibitor research are emerging, including an increased interest in non-BET bromodomains and a focus on drug synergy with established antitumor agents to improve chemotherapeutic efficacy. This review presents an updated view of the structure and function of bromodomains, traces the development of bromodomain inhibitors and their potential therapeutic applications, and surveys the current challenges and future directions of this vibrant new field in drug discovery.

  13. Bromodomains: Structure, function and pharmacology of inhibition.

    PubMed

    Ferri, Elena; Petosa, Carlo; McKenna, Charles E

    2016-04-15

    Bromodomains are epigenetic readers of histone acetylation involved in chromatin remodeling and transcriptional regulation. The human proteome comprises 46 bromodomain-containing proteins with a total of 61 bromodomains, which, despite highly conserved structural features, recognize a wide array of natural peptide ligands. Over the past five years, bromodomains have attracted great interest as promising new epigenetic targets for diverse human diseases, including inflammation, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The demonstration in 2010 that two small molecule compounds, JQ1 and I-BET762, potently inhibit proteins of the bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) family with translational potential for cancer and inflammatory disease sparked intense efforts in academia and pharmaceutical industry to develop novel bromodomain antagonists for therapeutic applications. Several BET inhibitors are already in clinical trials for hematological malignancies, solid tumors and cardiovascular disease. Currently, the field faces the challenge of single-target selectivity, especially within the BET family, and of overcoming problems related to the development of drug resistance. At the same time, new trends in bromodomain inhibitor research are emerging, including an increased interest in non-BET bromodomains and a focus on drug synergy with established antitumor agents to improve chemotherapeutic efficacy. This review presents an updated view of the structure and function of bromodomains, traces the development of bromodomain inhibitors and their potential therapeutic applications, and surveys the current challenges and future directions of this vibrant new field in drug discovery. PMID:26707800

  14. Structure and functionality of bromine doped graphite

    SciTech Connect

    Hamdan, Rashid; Kemper, A. F.; Cao Chao; Cheng, H. P.

    2013-04-28

    First-principles calculations are used to study the enhanced in-plane conductivity observed experimentally in Br-doped graphite, and to study the effect of external stress on the structure and functionality of such systems. The model used in the numerical calculations is that of stage two doped graphite. The band structure near the Fermi surface of the doped systems with different bromine concentrations is compared to that of pure graphite, and the charge transfer between carbon and bromine atoms is analyzed to understand the conductivity change along different high symmetry directions. Our calculations show that, for large interlayer separation between doped graphite layers, bromine is stable in the molecular form (Br{sub 2}). However, with increased compression (decreased layer-layer separation) Br{sub 2} molecules tend to dissociate. While in both forms, bromine is an electron acceptor. The charge exchange between the graphite layers and Br atoms is higher than that with Br{sub 2} molecules. Electron transfer to the Br atoms increases the number of hole carriers in the graphite sheets, resulting in an increase of conductivity.

  15. Structure and functionality of bromine doped graphite.

    PubMed

    Hamdan, Rashid; Kemper, A F; Cao, Chao; Cheng, H P

    2013-04-28

    First-principles calculations are used to study the enhanced in-plane conductivity observed experimentally in Br-doped graphite, and to study the effect of external stress on the structure and functionality of such systems. The model used in the numerical calculations is that of stage two doped graphite. The band structure near the Fermi surface of the doped systems with different bromine concentrations is compared to that of pure graphite, and the charge transfer between carbon and bromine atoms is analyzed to understand the conductivity change along different high symmetry directions. Our calculations show that, for large interlayer separation between doped graphite layers, bromine is stable in the molecular form (Br2). However, with increased compression (decreased layer-layer separation) Br2 molecules tend to dissociate. While in both forms, bromine is an electron acceptor. The charge exchange between the graphite layers and Br atoms is higher than that with Br2 molecules. Electron transfer to the Br atoms increases the number of hole carriers in the graphite sheets, resulting in an increase of conductivity.

  16. Structure and function of carbonic anhydrases.

    PubMed

    Supuran, Claudiu T

    2016-07-15

    Carbonic anhydrases (CAs, EC 4.2.1.1) catalyse the interconversion between CO2 and bicarbonate as well as other hydrolytic reactions. Among the six genetic families known to date, the α-, β-, γ-, δ-, ζ- and η-CAs, detailed kinetic and X-ray crystallographic studies have allowed a deep understanding of the structure-function relationship in this superfamily of proteins. A metal hydroxide nucleophilic species of the enzyme, and a unique active site architecture, with half of it hydrophilic and the opposing part hydrophobic, allow these enzymes to act as some of the most effective catalysts known in Nature. The CA activation and inhibition mechanisms are also known in detail, with a large number of new inhibitor classes being described in the last years. Apart from the zinc binders, some classes of inhibitors anchor to the metal ion coordinated nucleophile, others occlude the entrance of the active site cavity and more recently, compounds binding outside the active site were described. CA inhibition has therapeutic applications for drugs acting as diuretics, antiepileptics, antiglaucoma, antiobesity and antitumour agents. Targeting such enzymes from pathogens may lead to novel anti-infectives. Successful structure-based drug design campaigns allowed the discovery of highly isoform selective CA inhibitors (CAIs), which may lead to a new generation of drugs targeting these widespread enzymes. The use of CAs in CO2 capture processes for mitigating the global temperature rise has also been investigated more recently. PMID:27407171

  17. Relationships Between Watershed Emergy Flow and Coastal New England Salt Marsh Structure, Function, and Condition

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study evaluated the link between watershed activities and salt marsh structure, function, and condition using spatial emergy flow density (areal empower density) in the watershed and field data from 10 tidal salt marshes in Narragansett Bay, RI. The field-collected data wer...

  18. Linking of Sensor Molecules with Amino Groups to Amino-Functionalized AFM Tips

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The measuring tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM) can be upgraded to a specific biosensor by attaching one or a few biomolecules to the apex of the tip. The biofunctionalized tip is then used to map cognate target molecules on a sample surface or to study biophysical parameters of interaction with the target molecules. The functionality of tip-bound sensor molecules is greatly enhanced if they are linked via a thin, flexible polymer chain. In a typical scheme of tip functionalization, reactive groups are first generated on the tip surface, a bifunctional cross-linker is then attached with one of its two reactive ends, and finally the probe molecule of interest is coupled to the free end of the cross-linker. Unfortunately, the most popular functional group generated on the tip surface is the amino group, while at the same time, the only useful coupling functions of many biomolecules (such as antibodies) are also NH2 groups. In the past, various tricks or detours were applied to minimize the undesired bivalent reaction of bifunctional linkers with adjacent NH2 groups on the tip surface. In the present study, an uncompromising solution to this problem was found with the help of a new cross-linker (“acetal-PEG-NHS”) which possesses one activated carboxyl group and one acetal-protected benzaldehyde function. The activated carboxyl ensures rapid unilateral attachment to the amino-functionalized tip, and only then is the terminal acetal group converted into the amino-reactive benzaldehyde function by mild treatment (1% citric acid, 1–10 min) which does not harm the AFM tip. As an exception, AFM tips with magnetic coating become demagnetized in 1% citric acid. This problem was solved by deprotecting the acetal group before coupling the PEG linker to the AFM tip. Bivalent binding of the corresponding linker (“aldehyde-PEG-NHS”) to adjacent NH2 groups on the tip was largely suppressed by high linker concentrations. In this way, magnetic AFM tips could be

  19. The abundant symmetry structure of hierarchies of nonlinear equations obtained by reciprocal links

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carillo, Sandra; Fuchssteiner, Benno

    1989-07-01

    Explicit computation for a Kawamoto-type equation shows that there is a rich associated symmetry structure for four separate hierarchies of nonlinear integrodifferential equations. Contrary to the general belief that symmetry groups for nonlinear evolution equations in 1+1 dimensions have to be Abelian, it is shown that, in this case, the symmetry group is noncommutative. Its semisimple part is isomorphic to the affine Lie algebra A(1)1 associated to sl(2,C). In two of the additional hierarchies that were found, an explicit dependence of the independent variable occurs. Surprisingly, the generic invariance for the Kawamoto-type equation obtained in Rogers and Carillo [Phys. Scr. 36, 865 (1987)] via a reciprocal link to the Möbius invariance of the singularity equation of the Kaup-Kupershmidt (KK) equation only holds for one of the additional hierarchies of symmetry groups. Thus the generic invariance is not a universal property for the complete symmetry group of equations obtained by reciprocal links. In addition to these results, the bi-Hamiltonian formulation of the hierarchy is given. A direct Bäcklund transformation between the (KK) hierarchy and the hierarchy of singularity equation for the Caudrey-Dodd-Gibbon-Sawada-Kotera equation is exhibited: This shows that the abundant symmetry structure found for the Kawamoto equation must exist for all fifth-order equations, which are known to be completely integrable since these equations are connected either by Bäcklund transformations or reciprocal links. It is shown that similar results must hold for all hierarchies emerging out of singularity hierarchies via reciprocal links. Furthermore, general aspects of the results are discussed.

  20. Structural changes in soil communities after triclopyr application in soils invaded by Acacia dealbata Link.

    PubMed

    Souza-Alonso, Pablo; Guisande, Alejandra; González, Luís

    2015-01-01

    Triclopyr is a commonly used herbicide in the control of woody plants and can exhibit toxic effects to soil microorganisms. However, the impact on soils invaded by plant exotics has not yet been addressed. Here, we present the results of an 18-month field study conducted to evaluate the impact of triclopyr on the structure of fungal and bacterial communities in soils invaded by Acacia dealbata Link, through the use of denature gradient gel electrophoresis. After triclopyr application, analyses of bacterial fingerprints suggested a change in the structure of the soil bacterial community, whereas the structure of the soil fungal community remained unaltered. Bacterial density and F:B ratio values changed across the year but were not altered due to herbicide spraying. On the contrary, fungal diversity was increased in plots sprayed with triclopyr 5 months after the first application. Richness and diversity (H') of both bacteria and fungi were not modified after triclopyr application. PMID:25602151

  1. Structural changes in soil communities after triclopyr application in soils invaded by Acacia dealbata Link.

    PubMed

    Souza-Alonso, Pablo; Guisande, Alejandra; González, Luís

    2015-01-01

    Triclopyr is a commonly used herbicide in the control of woody plants and can exhibit toxic effects to soil microorganisms. However, the impact on soils invaded by plant exotics has not yet been addressed. Here, we present the results of an 18-month field study conducted to evaluate the impact of triclopyr on the structure of fungal and bacterial communities in soils invaded by Acacia dealbata Link, through the use of denature gradient gel electrophoresis. After triclopyr application, analyses of bacterial fingerprints suggested a change in the structure of the soil bacterial community, whereas the structure of the soil fungal community remained unaltered. Bacterial density and F:B ratio values changed across the year but were not altered due to herbicide spraying. On the contrary, fungal diversity was increased in plots sprayed with triclopyr 5 months after the first application. Richness and diversity (H') of both bacteria and fungi were not modified after triclopyr application.

  2. Structural and functional insights into sulfated galactans: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Pomin, Vitor H

    2010-01-01

    Sulfated galactans (SGs) are highly anionic marine galactose-composed homopolysaccharides. Although their structures vary among species, their main features are conserved among phyla. Green algal SGs are quite heterogeneous, although preponderantly composed of 3-beta-D-Galp units. The red algal SGs (like agar and carrageen) are composed of repeating disaccharide units with different sulfation patterns which vary among species. The SGs from invertebrates such as sea urchins and ascidians (tunicates), and from the unique description of a sea-grass, are composed of well-defined repetitive units. Chains of 3-linked beta-galactoses are highly conserved in some marine taxonomic groups, with a strong tendency toward 4-sulfation in algae and marine angiosperm, and 2-sulfation in invertebrates. These carbohydrates are extracellular components of the cell wall in plants, of the body wall in tunicates, and of the jelly coat in sea urchin eggs. In sea urchins, the SGs are also responsible to induce the acrosome reaction. However, the wide range of potential pharmacological uses, especially as anticoagulants and antithrombotics, is the main reason for the increasing interest in these sugars. Both natural and clinical actions of SGs have a direct relation to their structural features, since the intermolecular complexes between SG and target proteins are much more stereospecific than only electric charge-dependent. This review will present an overview about the principle structural and functional information of SGs. Other important aspects concerning occurrence, biology, phylogeny, and future directions, will also be reported.

  3. GRK2 – A Link Between Myocardial Contractile Function and Cardiac Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Woodall, Meryl C.; Ciccarelli, Michele; Woodall, Benjamin P.; Koch, Walter J.

    2014-01-01

    Heart failure (HF) causes a tremendous burden on the worldwide healthcare system, affecting more than 23 million people. There are many cardiovascular disorders that contribute to the development of HF and multiple risk factors that accelerate its occurrence, but regardless of its underlying cause, HF is characterized by a marked decrease in myocardial contractility and loss of pump function. One biomarker molecule consistently shown to be upregulated in human HF and several animal models is G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) kinase 2 (GRK2), a kinase originally discovered to be involved in GPCR desensitization, especially β-adrenergic receptors (βARs). Indeed, higher levels of GRK2 can impair βAR-mediated inotropic reserve and its inhibition or molecular reduction has shown to improve pump function in several animal models including a pre-clinical pig model of HF. Recently, non-classical roles for GRK2 in cardiovascular disease have been described, including negative regulation of insulin signaling, a role in myocyte cell survival and apoptotic signaling, and it has been shown to be localized in/on mitochondria. These new roles of GRK2 suggest that GRK2 may be a nodal link in the myocyte, influencing both cardiac contractile function and cell metabolism and survival and contributing to HF independent of its canonical role on GPCR desensitization. In this review, classical and non-classical roles for GRK2 will be discussed, focusing on recently discovered roles for GRK2 in cardiomyocyte metabolism and the effects that these roles may have on myocardial contractile function and HF development. PMID:24812353

  4. Callosal Function in Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Linked to Disrupted White Matter Integrity

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Emily L.; Ellis, Monica U.; Marion, Sarah D.; Jin, Yan; Moran, Lisa; Olsen, Alexander; Kernan, Claudia; Babikian, Talin; Mink, Richard; Babbitt, Christopher; Johnson, Jeffrey; Giza, Christopher C.; Asarnow, Robert F.

    2015-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) often results in traumatic axonal injury and white matter (WM) damage, particularly to the corpus callosum (CC). Damage to the CC can lead to impaired performance on neurocognitive tasks, but there is a high degree of heterogeneity in impairment following TBI. Here we examined the relation between CC microstructure and function in pediatric TBI. We used high angular resolution diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) to evaluate the structural integrity of the CC in humans following brain injury in a sample of 32 children (23 males and 9 females) with moderate-to-severe TBI (msTBI) at 1–5 months postinjury, compared with well matched healthy control children. We assessed CC function through interhemispheric transfer time (IHTT) as measured using event-related potentials (ERPs), and related this to DWI measures of WM integrity. Finally, the relation between DWI and IHTT results was supported by additional results of neurocognitive performance assessed using a single composite performance scale. Half of the msTBI participants (16 participants) had significantly slower IHTTs than the control group. This slow IHTT group demonstrated lower CC integrity (lower fractional anisotropy and higher mean diffusivity) and poorer neurocognitive functioning than both the control group and the msTBI group with normal IHTTs. Lower fractional anisotropy—a common sign of impaired WM—and slower IHTTs also predicted poor neurocognitive function. This study reveals that there is a subset of pediatric msTBI patients during the post-acute phase of injury who have markedly impaired CC functioning and structural integrity that is associated with poor neurocognitive functioning. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the primary cause of death and disability in children and adolescents. There is considerable heterogeneity in postinjury outcome, which is only partially explained by injury severity. Imaging biomarkers may help explain some of this

  5. New insights into ferritin synthesis and function highlight a link between iron homeostasis and oxidative stress in plants

    PubMed Central

    Briat, Jean-Francois; Ravet, Karl; Arnaud, Nicolas; Duc, Céline; Boucherez, Jossia; Touraine, Brigitte; Cellier, Francoise; Gaymard, Frederic

    2010-01-01

    Background Iron is an essential element for both plant productivity and nutritional quality. Improving plant iron content was attempted through genetic engineering of plants overexpressing ferritins. However, both the roles of these proteins in plant physiology, and the mechanisms involved in the regulation of their expression are largely unknown. Although the structure of ferritins is highly conserved between plants and animals, their cellular localization differs. Furthermore, regulation of ferritin gene expression in response to iron excess occurs at the transcriptional level in plants, in contrast to animals which regulate ferritin expression at the translational level. Scope In this review, an overview of our knowledge of bacterial and mammalian ferritin synthesis and functions is presented. Then the following will be reviewed: (a) the specific features of plant ferritins; (b) the regulation of their synthesis during development and in response to various environmental cues; and (c) their function in plant physiology, with special emphasis on the role that both bacterial and plant ferritins play during plant–bacteria interactions. Arabidopsis ferritins are encoded by a small nuclear gene family of four members which are differentially expressed. Recent results obtained by using this model plant enabled progress to be made in our understanding of the regulation of the synthesis and the in planta function of these various ferritins. Conclusions Studies on plant ferritin functions and regulation of their synthesis revealed strong links between these proteins and protection against oxidative stress. In contrast, their putative iron-storage function to furnish iron during various development processes is unlikely to be essential. Ferritins, by buffering iron, exert a fine tuning of the quantity of metal required for metabolic purposes, and help plants to cope with adverse situations, the deleterious effects of which would be amplified if no system had evolved to

  6. Gamma oscillations in the midbrain spatial attention network: linking circuits to function.

    PubMed

    Sridharan, Devarajan; Knudsen, Eric I

    2015-04-01

    Gamma-band (25-140Hz) oscillations are ubiquitous in mammalian forebrain structures involved in sensory processing, attention, learning and memory. The optic tectum (OT) is the central structure in a midbrain network that participates critically in controlling spatial attention. In this review, we summarize recent advances in characterizing a neural circuit in this midbrain network that generates large amplitude, space-specific, gamma oscillations in the avian OT, both in vivo and in vitro. We describe key physiological and pharmacological mechanisms that produce and regulate the structure of these oscillations. The extensive similarities between midbrain gamma oscillations in birds and those in the neocortex and hippocampus of mammals, offer important insights into the functional significance of a midbrain gamma oscillatory code.

  7. Structure of the sirtuin-linked macrodomain SAV0325 from Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Appel, C Denise; Feld, Geoffrey K; Wallace, Bret D; Williams, R Scott

    2016-09-01

    Cells use the post-translational modification ADP-ribosylation to control a host of biological activities. In some pathogenic bacteria, an operon-encoded mono-ADP-ribosylation cycle mediates response to host-induced oxidative stress. In this system, reversible mono ADP-ribosylation of a lipoylated target protein represses oxidative stress response. An NAD(+) -dependent sirtuin catalyzes the single ADP-ribose (ADPr) addition, while a linked macrodomain-containing protein removes the ADPr. Here we report the crystal structure of the sitruin-linked macrodomain protein from Staphylococcus aureus, SauMacro (also known as SAV0325) to 1.75-Å resolution. The monomeric SauMacro bears a previously unidentified Zn(2+) -binding site that putatively aids in substrate recognition and catalysis. An amino-terminal three-helix bundle motif unique to this class of macrodomain proteins provides a structural scaffold for the Zn(2+) site. Structural features of the enzyme further indicate a cleft proximal to the Zn(2+) binding site appears well suited for ADPr binding, while a deep hydrophobic channel in the protein core is suitable for binding the lipoate of the lipoylated protein target. PMID:27345688

  8. Bacterial structures and ecosystem functions in glaciated floodplains: contemporary states and potential future shifts.

    PubMed

    Freimann, Remo; Bürgmann, Helmut; Findlay, Stuart E G; Robinson, Christopher T

    2013-12-01

    Glaciated alpine floodplains are responding quickly to climate change through shrinking ice masses. Given the expected future changes in their physicochemical environment, we anticipated variable shifts in structure and ecosystem functioning of hyporheic microbial communities in proglacial alpine streams, depending on present community characteristics and landscape structures. We examined microbial structure and functioning during different hydrologic periods in glacial (kryal) streams and, as contrasting systems, groundwater-fed (krenal) streams. Three catchments were chosen to cover an array of landscape features, including interconnected lakes, differences in local geology and degree of deglaciation. Community structure was assessed by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis and microbial function by potential enzyme activities. We found each catchment to contain a distinct bacterial community structure and different degrees of separation in structure and functioning that were linked to the physicochemical properties of the waters within each catchment. Bacterial communities showed high functional plasticity, although achieved by different strategies in each system. Typical kryal communities showed a strong linkage of structure and function that indicated a major prevalence of specialists, whereas krenal sediments were dominated by generalists. With the rapid retreat of glaciers and therefore altered ecohydrological characteristics, lotic microbial structure and functioning are likely to change substantially in proglacial floodplains in the future. The trajectory of these changes will vary depending on contemporary bacterial community characteristics and landscape structures that ultimately determine the sustainability of ecosystem functioning.

  9. Links between plant litter chemistry, species diversity, and below-ground ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Meier, Courtney L; Bowman, William D

    2008-12-16

    Decomposition is a critical source of plant nutrients, and drives the largest flux of terrestrial C to the atmosphere. Decomposing soil organic matter typically contains litter from multiple plant species, yet we lack a mechanistic understanding of how species diversity influences decomposition processes. Here, we show that soil C and N cycling during decomposition are controlled by the composition and diversity of chemical compounds within plant litter mixtures, rather than by simple metrics of plant species diversity. We amended native soils with litter mixtures containing up to 4 alpine plant species, and we used 9 litter chemical traits to evaluate the chemical composition (i.e., the identity and quantity of compounds) and chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. The chemical composition of the litter mixtures was the strongest predictor of soil respiration, net N mineralization, and microbial biomass N. Soil respiration and net N mineralization rates were also significantly correlated with the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. In contrast, soil C and N cycling rates were poorly correlated with plant species richness, and there was no relationship between species richness and the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. These results indicate that the composition and diversity of chemical compounds in litter are potentially important functional traits affecting decomposition, and simple metrics like plant species richness may fail to capture variation in these traits. Litter chemical traits therefore provide a mechanistic link between organisms, species diversity, and key components of below-ground ecosystem function.

  10. Hermite Functional Link Neural Network for Solving the Van der Pol-Duffing Oscillator Equation.

    PubMed

    Mall, Susmita; Chakraverty, S

    2016-08-01

    Hermite polynomial-based functional link artificial neural network (FLANN) is proposed here to solve the Van der Pol-Duffing oscillator equation. A single-layer hermite neural network (HeNN) model is used, where a hidden layer is replaced by expansion block of input pattern using Hermite orthogonal polynomials. A feedforward neural network model with the unsupervised error backpropagation principle is used for modifying the network parameters and minimizing the computed error function. The Van der Pol-Duffing and Duffing oscillator equations may not be solved exactly. Here, approximate solutions of these types of equations have been obtained by applying the HeNN model for the first time. Three mathematical example problems and two real-life application problems of Van der Pol-Duffing oscillator equation, extracting the features of early mechanical failure signal and weak signal detection problems, are solved using the proposed HeNN method. HeNN approximate solutions have been compared with results obtained by the well known Runge-Kutta method. Computed results are depicted in term of graphs. After training the HeNN model, we may use it as a black box to get numerical results at any arbitrary point in the domain. Thus, the proposed HeNN method is efficient. The results reveal that this method is reliable and can be applied to other nonlinear problems too. PMID:27348738

  11. Hermite Functional Link Neural Network for Solving the Van der Pol-Duffing Oscillator Equation.

    PubMed

    Mall, Susmita; Chakraverty, S

    2016-08-01

    Hermite polynomial-based functional link artificial neural network (FLANN) is proposed here to solve the Van der Pol-Duffing oscillator equation. A single-layer hermite neural network (HeNN) model is used, where a hidden layer is replaced by expansion block of input pattern using Hermite orthogonal polynomials. A feedforward neural network model with the unsupervised error backpropagation principle is used for modifying the network parameters and minimizing the computed error function. The Van der Pol-Duffing and Duffing oscillator equations may not be solved exactly. Here, approximate solutions of these types of equations have been obtained by applying the HeNN model for the first time. Three mathematical example problems and two real-life application problems of Van der Pol-Duffing oscillator equation, extracting the features of early mechanical failure signal and weak signal detection problems, are solved using the proposed HeNN method. HeNN approximate solutions have been compared with results obtained by the well known Runge-Kutta method. Computed results are depicted in term of graphs. After training the HeNN model, we may use it as a black box to get numerical results at any arbitrary point in the domain. Thus, the proposed HeNN method is efficient. The results reveal that this method is reliable and can be applied to other nonlinear problems too.

  12. An exploration of links between early parenting experiences and personality disorder type and disordered personality functioning.

    PubMed

    Parker, G; Roy, K; Wilhelm, K; Mitchell, P; Austin, M P; Hadzi-Pavlovic, D

    1999-01-01

    Reports of early parenting were assessed using two measures, the Parental Bonding Index (PBI) and the Measure of Parenting Style (MOPS), in a sample of 265 patients with DSM-defined major depressive disorder. Psychiatrists then rated the extent to which sample members evidenced the personality "styles" underpinning 15 separate personality disorders, returning personality vignette scores. The extent of disordered functioning was also assessed across "parameters" and "domains" by psychiatrists, referrers, and family members, using a range of measures. Those with higher scores on vignettes measuring borderline, anxious, depressive, and self-defeating personality style rated parents as uncaring, overcontrolling, and abusive. When vignettes were consolidated into scores akin to the DSM clusters, the most consistent links between perceived dysfunctional parenting were with the Cluster C (anxious), and Cluster B (dramatic) styles and were nonsignificant for Cluster A (eccentric) style. Meeting criteria for an increasing number of personality disorder clusters was associated with increasing levels of adverse parenting. Multiple regression analyses indicated that disordered functioning (as assessed by the three independent rater groups) was most distinctly associated with paternal indifference and maternal overcontrol. PMID:10633316

  13. PDGFRβ expression and function in fibroblasts derived from pluripotent cells is linked to DNA demethylation

    PubMed Central

    Hewitt, Kyle J.; Shamis, Yulia; Knight, Elana; Smith, Avi; Maione, Anna; Alt-Holland, Addy; Sheridan, Steven D.; Haggarty, Stephen J.; Garlick, Jonathan A.

    2012-01-01

    Platelet-derived growth factor receptor-beta (PDGFRβ) is required for the development of mesenchymal cell types, and plays a diverse role in the function of fibroblasts in tissue homeostasis and regeneration. In this study, we characterized the expression of PDGFRβ in fibroblasts derived from human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and showed that this expression is important for cellular functions such as migration, extracellular matrix production and assembly in 3D self-assembled tissues. To determine potential regulatory regions predictive of expression of PDGFRβ following differentiation from ESCs and iPSCs, we analyzed the DNA methylation status of a region of the PDGFRB promoter that contains multiple CpG sites, before and after differentiation. We demonstrated that this promoter region is extensively demethylated following differentiation, and represents a developmentally regulated, differentially methylated region linked to PDGFRβ expression. Understanding the epigenetic regulation of genes such as PDGFRB, and identifying sites of active DNA demethylation, is essential for future applications of iPSC-derived fibroblasts for regenerative medicine. PMID:22344267

  14. Integrin-Linked Kinase Is Indispensable for Keratinocyte Differentiation and Epidermal Barrier Function.

    PubMed

    Sayedyahossein, Samar; Rudkouskaya, Alena; Leclerc, Valerie; Dagnino, Lina

    2016-02-01

    A functional permeability barrier is essential to prevent the passage of water and electrolytes, macromolecules, and pathogens through the epidermis. This is accomplished in terminally differentiated keratinocytes through formation of a cornified envelope and the assembly of tight intercellular junctions. Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is a scaffold protein essential for hair follicle morphogenesis and epidermal attachment to the basement membrane. However, the biological functions of ILK in differentiated keratinocytes remain poorly understood. Furthermore, whether ILK is implicated in keratinocyte differentiation and intercellular junction formation has remained an unresolved issue. Here we describe a pivotal role for ILK in keratinocyte differentiation responses to increased extracellular Ca(2+), regulation of adherens and tight junction assembly, and the formation of an outside-in permeability barrier toward macromolecules. In the absence of ILK, the calcium sensing receptor, E-cadherin, and ZO-1 fail to translocate to the cell membrane, through mechanisms that involve abnormalities in microtubules and in RhoA activation. In situ, ILK-deficient epidermis exhibits reduced tight junction formation and increased outside-in permeability to a dextran tracer, indicating reduced barrier properties toward macromolecules. Therefore, ILK is an essential component of keratinocyte differentiation programs that contribute to epidermal integrity and the establishment of its barrier properties. PMID:26967476

  15. Physical soil architectural traits are functionally linked to carbon decomposition and bacterial diversity.

    PubMed

    Rabbi, S M F; Daniel, H; Lockwood, P V; Macdonald, C; Pereg, L; Tighe, M; Wilson, B R; Young, I M

    2016-01-01

    Aggregates play a key role in protecting soil organic carbon (SOC) from microbial decomposition. The objectives of this study were to investigate the influence of pore geometry on the organic carbon decomposition rate and bacterial diversity in both macro- (250-2000 μm) and micro-aggregates (53-250 μm) using field samples. Four sites of contrasting land use on Alfisols (i.e. native pasture, crop/pasture rotation, woodland) were investigated. 3D Pore geometry of the micro-aggregates and macro-aggregates were examined by X-ray computed tomography (μCT). The occluded particulate organic carbon (oPOC) of aggregates was measured by size and density fractionation methods. Micro-aggregates had 54% less μCT observed porosity but 64% more oPOC compared with macro-aggregates. In addition, the pore connectivity in micro-aggregates was lower than macro-aggregates. Despite both lower μCT observed porosity and pore connectivity in micro-aggregates, the organic carbon decomposition rate constant (Ksoc) was similar in both aggregate size ranges. Structural equation modelling showed a strong positive relationship of the concentration of oPOC with bacterial diversity in aggregates. We use these findings to propose a conceptual model that illustrates the dynamic links between substrate, bacterial diversity, and pore geometry that suggests a structural explanation for differences in bacterial diversity across aggregate sizes. PMID:27615807

  16. Physical soil architectural traits are functionally linked to carbon decomposition and bacterial diversity

    PubMed Central

    Rabbi, S. M. F.; Daniel, H.; Lockwood, P. V.; Macdonald, C.; Pereg, L.; Tighe, M.; Wilson, B. R.; Young, I. M.

    2016-01-01

    Aggregates play a key role in protecting soil organic carbon (SOC) from microbial decomposition. The objectives of this study were to investigate the influence of pore geometry on the organic carbon decomposition rate and bacterial diversity in both macro- (250–2000 μm) and micro-aggregates (53–250 μm) using field samples. Four sites of contrasting land use on Alfisols (i.e. native pasture, crop/pasture rotation, woodland) were investigated. 3D Pore geometry of the micro-aggregates and macro-aggregates were examined by X-ray computed tomography (μCT). The occluded particulate organic carbon (oPOC) of aggregates was measured by size and density fractionation methods. Micro-aggregates had 54% less μCT observed porosity but 64% more oPOC compared with macro-aggregates. In addition, the pore connectivity in micro-aggregates was lower than macro-aggregates. Despite both lower μCT observed porosity and pore connectivity in micro-aggregates, the organic carbon decomposition rate constant (Ksoc) was similar in both aggregate size ranges. Structural equation modelling showed a strong positive relationship of the concentration of oPOC with bacterial diversity in aggregates. We use these findings to propose a conceptual model that illustrates the dynamic links between substrate, bacterial diversity, and pore geometry that suggests a structural explanation for differences in bacterial diversity across aggregate sizes. PMID:27615807

  17. Physical soil architectural traits are functionally linked to carbon decomposition and bacterial diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabbi, S. M. F.; Daniel, H.; Lockwood, P. V.; MacDonald, C.; Pereg, L.; Tighe, M.; Wilson, B. R.; Young, I. M.

    2016-09-01

    Aggregates play a key role in protecting soil organic carbon (SOC) from microbial decomposition. The objectives of this study were to investigate the influence of pore geometry on the organic carbon decomposition rate and bacterial diversity in both macro- (250–2000 μm) and micro-aggregates (53–250 μm) using field samples. Four sites of contrasting land use on Alfisols (i.e. native pasture, crop/pasture rotation, woodland) were investigated. 3D Pore geometry of the micro-aggregates and macro-aggregates were examined by X-ray computed tomography (μCT). The occluded particulate organic carbon (oPOC) of aggregates was measured by size and density fractionation methods. Micro-aggregates had 54% less μCT observed porosity but 64% more oPOC compared with macro-aggregates. In addition, the pore connectivity in micro-aggregates was lower than macro-aggregates. Despite both lower μCT observed porosity and pore connectivity in micro-aggregates, the organic carbon decomposition rate constant (Ksoc) was similar in both aggregate size ranges. Structural equation modelling showed a strong positive relationship of the concentration of oPOC with bacterial diversity in aggregates. We use these findings to propose a conceptual model that illustrates the dynamic links between substrate, bacterial diversity, and pore geometry that suggests a structural explanation for differences in bacterial diversity across aggregate sizes.

  18. Energy-band structure and intrinsic coherent properties in two weakly linked Bose-Einstein condensates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Wei-Dong; Zhang, Yunbo; Liang, J.-Q.

    2003-06-01

    The energy-band structure and energy splitting due to quantum tunneling in two weakly linked Bose-Einstein condensates were calculated by using the instanton method. The intrinsic coherent properties of Bose-Josephson junction (BJJ) were investigated in terms of energy splitting. For EC/EJ≪1, the energy splitting is small and the system is globally phase coherent. In the opposite limit, EC/EJ≫1, the energy splitting is large and the system becomes phase dissipated. Our results suggest that one should investigate the coherence phenomena of BJJ in proper condition such as EC/EJ˜1.

  19. Engineering of the function of diamond-like carbon binding peptides through structural design.

    PubMed

    Gabryelczyk, Bartosz; Szilvay, Géza R; Singh, Vivek K; Mikkilä, Joona; Kostiainen, Mauri A; Koskinen, Jari; Linder, Markus B

    2015-02-01

    The use of phage display to select material-specific peptides provides a general route towards modification and functionalization of surfaces and interfaces. However, a rational structural engineering of the peptides for optimal affinity is typically not feasible because of insufficient structure-function understanding. Here, we investigate the influence of multivalency of diamond-like carbon (DLC) binding peptides on binding characteristics. We show that facile linking of peptides together using different lengths of spacers and multivalency leads to a tuning of affinity and kinetics. Notably, increased length of spacers in divalent systems led to significantly increased affinities. Making multimers influenced also kinetic aspects of surface competition. Additionally, the multivalent peptides were applied as surface functionalization components for a colloidal form of DLC. The work suggests the use of a set of linking systems to screen parameters for functional optimization of selected material-specific peptides.

  20. Effect of Nitro-Functionalization on the Cross-Linking and Bioadhesion of Biomimetic Adhesive Moiety

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Dopamine mimics the exceptional moisture-resistant adhesive properties of the amino acid, DOPA, found in adhesive proteins secreted by marine mussels. The catechol side chain of dopamine was functionalized with a nitro-group, and the effect of the electron withdrawing group modification on the cross-linking chemistry and bioadhesive properties of the adhesive moiety was evaluated. Both nitrodopamine and dopamine were covalently attached as a terminal group onto an inert, 4-armed poly(ethylene glygol) (PEG-ND and PEG-D, respectively). PEG-ND and PEG-D exhibited different dependence on the concentration of NaIO4 and pH, which affected the curing rate, mechanical properties, and adhesive performance of these biomimetic adhesives differently. PEG-ND cured instantly and its bioadhesive properties were minimally affected by the change in pH (5.7–8) within the physiological range. Under mildly acidic conditions (pH 5.7 and 6.7), PEG-ND outperformed PEG-D in lap shear adhesion testing using wetted pericardium tissues. However, nitrodopamine only formed dimers, which resulted in the formation of loosely cross-linked network and adhesive with reduced cohesive properties. UV–vis spectroscopy further confirmed nitrodopamine’s ability for rapid dimer formation. The ability for nitrodopamine to rapidly cure and adhere to biological substrates in an acidic pH make it suitable for designing adhesive biomaterials targeted at tissues that are more acidic (i.e., subcutaneous, dysoxic, or tumor tissues). PMID:25495043

  1. Spatial patterns and links between microbial community composition and function in cyanobacterial mats

    PubMed Central

    Al-Najjar, Mohammad A. A.; Ramette, Alban; Kühl, Michael; Hamza, Waleed; Klatt, Judith M.; Polerecky, Lubos

    2014-01-01

    We imaged reflectance and variable fluorescence in 25 cyanobacterial mats from four distant sites around the globe to assess, at different scales of resolution, spatial variabilities in the physiological parameters characterizing their photosynthetic capacity, including the absorptivity by chlorophyll a (Achl), maximum quantum yield of photosynthesis (Ymax), and light acclimation irradiance (Ik). Generally, these parameters significantly varied within individual mats on a sub-millimeter scale, with about 2-fold higher variability in the vertical than in the horizontal direction. The average vertical profiles of Ymax and Ik decreased with depth in the mat, while Achl exhibited a sub-surface maximum. The within-mat variability was comparable to, but often larger than, the between-sites variability, whereas the within-site variabilities (i.e., between samples from the same site) were generally lowest. When compared based on averaged values of their photosynthetic parameters, mats clustered according to their site of origin. Similar clustering was found when the community composition of the mats' cyanobacterial layers were compared by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA), indicating a significant link between the microbial community composition and function. Although this link is likely the result of community adaptation to the prevailing site-specific environmental conditions, our present data is insufficient to identify the main factors determining these patterns. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that the spatial variability in the photosynthetic capacity and light acclimation of benthic phototrophic microbial communities is at least as large on a sub-millimeter scale as it is on a global scale, and suggests that this pattern of variability scaling is similar for the microbial community composition. PMID:25147548

  2. Structural Analysis and Mechanical Characterization of Hyaluronic Acid-Based Doubly Cross-Linked Networks

    PubMed Central

    Jha, Amit K.; Hule, Rohan A.; Jiao, Tong; Teller, Sean S.; Clifton, Rodney J.; Duncan, Randall L.; Pochan, Darrin J.; Jia, Xinqiao

    2009-01-01

    We have created a new class of hyaluronic acid (HA)-based hydrogel materials with HA hydrogel particles (HGPs) embedded in and covalently cross-linked to a secondary network. HA HGPs with an average diameter of ∼900 nm and narrow particle size distribution were synthesized using a refined reverse micelle polymerization technique. The average mesh size of the HGPs was estimated to be approximately 5.5 to 7.0 nm by a protein uptake experiment. Sodium periodate oxidation not only introduced aldehyde groups to the particles but also reduced the average particle size. The aldehyde groups generated were used as reactive handles for subsequent cross-linking with an HA derivative containing hydrazide groups. The resulting macroscopic gels contain two distinct hierarchical networks (doubly cross-linked networks, DXNs): one within individual particles and another among different particles. Bulk gels (BGs) formed by direct mixing of HA derivatives with mutually reactive groups were included for comparison. The hydrogel microstructures were collectively characterized by microscopy and neutron scattering techniques. Their viscoelasticity was quantified at low frequencies (0.1−10 Hz) using a controlled stress rheometer and at high frequencies (up to 200 Hz) with a home-built torsional wave apparatus. Both BGs and DXNs are stable elastic gels that become stiffer at higher frequencies. The HA-based DXN offers unique structural hierarchy and mechanical properties that are suitable for soft tissue regeneration. PMID:20046226

  3. Linking landscape structure and rainfall runoff behaviour in a thermodynamic optimality context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zehe, Erwin; Ehret, Uwe; Blume, Theresa; Kleidon, Axel; Scherer, Ulrike; Westhoff, Martijn

    2015-04-01

    gradients, and thus a faster relaxation back towards local thermodynamic equilibrium. Thermodynamic optimality principles allow for a priory optimization of the resistance field at a given gradient, not in the sense how they exactly look like but in the sense how they function with respect to export and dissipation of free energy associated with rainfall runoff processes. Based on this framework we explored the possibility of independent predictions of rainfall runoff, in the sense that the a-priory optimum model structures should match independent observations. We found that spatially organized patterns of soils and macropores observed in two distinctly different landscapes are in close accordance with thermodynamic optima expressed either by minimized relaxation times towards local thermodynamic equilibrium in cohesive soils or as steady state in the potential energy of soil water in non-cohesive soils. Predicted rainfall runoff based on the two optimized model structures was in both catchments in acceptable accordance with independent discharge observations. However, the nature of these optima suggests there might be two distinctly different thermodynamically optimal regimes of rainfall runoff behaviour. In the capillary- or c--regime, free energy dynamics of soil water is dominated by changes in its capillary binding energy, which is the case for cohesive soils. Soil wetting during rainfall in the c-regime implies pushing the system back towards LTE, especially after long dry spells. Dead ended macropores (roots, worm burrows which end in the soil matrix) act as dissipative wetting structures by enlarging water flows against steep gradients in soil water potential after long dry spells. This implies accelerated depletion of these gradients and faster relaxation back towards LTE during rainfall runoff. In the c-regime several optimum macropore densities with respect to maximization of net reduction of free energy exist. This is because the governing equation is a second

  4. Spin Structure Function Measurements in Hall C at Jefferson Lab

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, Stephen A.

    2008-11-01

    This presentation introduces the spin structure functions and resonant spin structure, and it discusses the experimental approaches for studying spin structure via polarized electron beam interactions with frozen polarized proton and deuteron targets.

  5. Chemical and structural characterization of interstrand cross-links formed between abasic sites and adenine residues in duplex DNA

    PubMed Central

    Price, Nathan E.; Catalano, Michael J.; Liu, Shuo; Wang, Yinsheng; Gates, Kent S.

    2015-01-01

    A new type of interstrand DNA–DNA cross-link between abasic (Ap) sites and 2′-deoxyadenosine (dA) residues was recently reported, but the chemical structure and properties of this lesion were not rigorously established. Here we characterized the nucleoside cross-link remnant released by enzymatic digestion of duplex DNA containing the dA-Ap cross-link. A synthetic standard was prepared for the putative nucleoside cross-link remnant 6 in which the anomeric carbon of the 2-deoxyribose residue was connected to the exocyclic N6-amino group of dA. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis showed that the synthetic material 6 matched the authentic cross-link remnant released by enzymatic digestion of cross-linked DNA. These findings establish the chemical structure of the dA-Ap cross-link released from duplex DNA and may provide methods for the detection of this lesion in cellular DNA. Both the nucleoside cross-link remnant 6 and the cross-link in duplex DNA were quite stable at pH 7 and 37°C, suggesting that the dA-Ap cross-link could be a persistent lesion with the potential to block the action of various DNA processing enzymes. PMID:25779045

  6. Structure-based inference of molecular functions of proteins of unknown function from Berkeley Structural Genomics Center

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Sung-Hou; Shin, Dong Hae; Hou, Jingtong; Chandonia, John-Marc; Das, Debanu; Choi, In-Geol; Kim, Rosalind; Kim, Sung-Hou

    2007-09-02

    Advances in sequence genomics have resulted in an accumulation of a huge number of protein sequences derived from genome sequences. However, the functions of a large portion of them cannot be inferred based on the current methods of sequence homology detection to proteins of known functions. Three-dimensional structure can have an important impact in providing inference of molecular function (physical and chemical function) of a protein of unknown function. Structural genomics centers worldwide have been determining many 3-D structures of the proteins of unknown functions, and possible molecular functions of them have been inferred based on their structures. Combined with bioinformatics and enzymatic assay tools, the successful acceleration of the process of protein structure determination through high throughput pipelines enables the rapid functional annotation of a large fraction of hypothetical proteins. We present a brief summary of the process we used at the Berkeley Structural Genomics Center to infer molecular functions of proteins of unknown function.

  7. From object structure to object function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zlateva, Stoyanka D.; Vaina, Lucia M.

    1991-03-01

    In this paper we provide a mathematical support for the nature of the shape representation methods useful for the computation of possible functions of an objects as derived from its shape structure. We discuss the concepts of parts and subparts of objects in the framework of axis based shape representation methods and boundary based methods. We propose a new method for obtaining descriptions of parts which based on a theorem from differential geometry (Pogorelov 1974) that any regular surface can be approximated in a finite environment with a given accuracy by a parabolloid of one of the following types - elliptic, hyperbolic and a parabolloid degenerating into a plane or a parabolic cylinder. Based on these considerations we suggest a heuristic for the approximation of convex object parts by a polyhedra, cylinder, ellipsoid or generalized cone with straight axis depending on the presence of plane, parabolic, elliptic subsets in their boundary, and nonconvex object parts by generalized cones with curved axis. This approach allows to obtain a primitive based shape description after the decomposition of the object shape through the more general boundary-based methods. We present examples of decomposing and describing shapes of common objects in terms of their parts, subparts and associated features.

  8. Anisotropic nanomaterials: structure, growth, assembly, and functions

    PubMed Central

    Sajanlal, Panikkanvalappil R.; Sreeprasad, Theruvakkattil S.; Samal, Akshaya K.; Pradeep, Thalappil

    2011-01-01

    Comprehensive knowledge over the shape of nanomaterials is a critical factor in designing devices with desired functions. Due to this reason, systematic efforts have been made to synthesize materials of diverse shape in the nanoscale regime. Anisotropic nanomaterials are a class of materials in which their properties are direction-dependent and more than one structural parameter is needed to describe them. Their unique and fine-tuned physical and chemical properties make them ideal candidates for devising new applications. In addition, the assembly of ordered one-dimensional (1D), two-dimensional (2D), and three-dimensional (3D) arrays of anisotropic nanoparticles brings novel properties into the resulting system, which would be entirely different from the properties of individual nanoparticles. This review presents an overview of current research in the area of anisotropic nanomaterials in general and noble metal nanoparticles in particular. We begin with an introduction to the advancements in this area followed by general aspects of the growth of anisotropic nanoparticles. Then we describe several important synthetic protocols for making anisotropic nanomaterials, followed by a summary of their assemblies, and conclude with major applications. PMID:22110867

  9. [Glutamate Metabotropic Receptors: Structure, Localisation, Functions].

    PubMed

    Perfilova, V N; Tyurenkov, I N

    2016-01-01

    The data on the structure, location and functions of the metabotropic glutamate receptor is shown. The family consists of 8 mGluRs subtypes and is divided into three groups: I group--mGluRs1/mGluRs5, II group--mGluRs2/mGluRs3, III group--mGluRs4/mGluRs6/mGluRs7/mGluRs8. They are associated with G-protein; signaling in the cells is carried out by IP3 or adenylate cyclase signaling pathways, in the result of which, mGluRs modify glial and neuronal excitability. Receptors are localized in the CNS and periphery in non-neuronal tissues: bone, heart, kidney, pancreas pod and platelets, the gastrointestinal tract, immune system. Their participation in the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, mental and cognitive disorders, autoimmune processes, etc. is displayed. Agonists, antagonists, allosteric modulators of mGluRs are considered as potential medicines for treatment of mental diseases, including depression, fragile X syndrome, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders, Parkinson's disease, etc. PMID:27530046

  10. Yeast peroxisomes: structure, functions and biotechnological opportunities.

    PubMed

    Sibirny, Andriy A

    2016-06-01

    Peroxisomes are ubiquitous organelles found in most eukaryotic cells. In yeasts, peroxisomes play important roles in cell metabolism, especially in different catabolic processes including fatty acid β-oxidation, the glyoxylic shunt and methanol metabolism, as well as some biosynthetic processes. In addition, peroxisomes are the compartment in which oxidases and catalase are localized. New peroxisomes mainly arise by fission of pre-existing ones, although they can also be formed from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Peroxisomes consist of matrix-soluble proteins and membrane proteins known as peroxins. A total of 34 PEX peroxin genes and proteins have been identified to date. and their functions have been elucidated. Protein import into peroxisomes depends on peroxins and requires specific signals in the structure of transported proteins: PTS1, PTS2 and mPTS. The mechanisms of metabolite penetration into peroxisomes are still poorly understood. Peroxisome number and the volume occupied by these organelles are tightly regulated. Methanol, fatty acids and methylamine act as efficient peroxisome proliferators, whereas glucose and ethanol induce peroxisome autophagic degradation (pexophagy). To date, 42 Atg proteins involved in pexophagy are known. Catabolism and alcoholic fermentation of the major pentose sugar, xylose, depend on peroxisomal enzymes. Overexpression of peroxisomal transketolase and transaldolase activates xylose fermentation. Peroxisomes could be useful as target organelles for overexpression of foreign toxic proteins. PMID:27189367

  11. Muscle structural assembly and functional consequences.

    PubMed

    Narici, Marco; Franchi, Martino; Maganaris, Constantinos

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between muscle structure and function has been a matter of investigation since the Renaissance period. Extensive use of anatomical dissections and the introduction of the scientific method enabled early scholars to lay the foundations of muscle physiology and biomechanics. Progression of knowledge in these disciplines led to the current understanding that muscle architecture, together with muscle fibre contractile properties, has a major influence on muscle mechanical properties. Recently, advances in laser diffraction, optical microendoscopy and ultrasonography have enabled in vivo investigations into the behaviour of human muscle fascicles and sarcomeres with varying joint angle and muscle contraction intensity. With these technologies it has become possible to identify the length region over which fascicles and sarcomeres develop maximum isometric force in vivo as well as the operating ranges of fascicles and sarcomeres during real-life activities such as walking. Also, greater insights into the remodelling of muscle architecture in response to overloading and unloading, and in ageing, have been obtained by the use of ultrasonography; these have led to the identification of clinical biomarkers of disuse atrophy and sarcopenia. Recent evidence also shows that the pattern of muscle hypertrophy in response to chronic loading is contraction-mode dependent (eccentric versus concentric), as similar gains in muscle mass, but through differing addition of sarcomeres in series and in parallel (as indirectly inferred from changes in fascicle length and pennation angle), have been found. These innovative observations prompted a new set of investigations into the molecular mechanisms regulating this contraction-specific muscle growth.

  12. Novel Structure and Function of Typhoid Toxin

    MedlinePlus

    ... excellent track record of success,” Galán says. — by Carol Torgan, Ph.D. Related Links Salmonella Are Armed, ... Assistant Editors: Vicki Contie, Tianna Hicklin, Ph.D., Carol Torgan, Ph.D. NIH Research Matters is a ...

  13. Linking Carbonic Anhydrase Abundance and Diversity in Soils to Ecological Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pang, E.; Meredith, L. K.; Welander, P. V.

    2015-12-01

    Carbonic anhydrase (CA) is an ancient enzyme widespread among bacteria, archaea, and eukarya that catalyzes the following reaction: CO2 + H2O ⇌ HCO3- + H+. Its functions are critical for key cellular processes such as concentrating CO2 for autotrophic growth, pH regulation, and pathogen survival in hosts. Currently, there are six known CA classes (α, β, γ, δ, η, ζ) arising from several distinct evolutionary lineages. CA are widespread in sequenced genomes, with many organisms containing multiple classes of CA or multiple CA of the same class. Soils host rich microbial communities with diverse and important ecological functions, but the diversity and abundance of CA in soils has not been explored. CA appears to play an important, but poorly understood, role in some biogeochemical cycles such as those of CO2 and its oxygen isotope composition and also carbonyl sulfide (COS), which are potential tracers in predictive carbon cycle models. Recognizing the prevalence and functional significance of CA in soils, we used a combined bioinformatics and molecular biology approach to address fundamental questions regarding the abundance, diversity, and function of CA in soils. To characterize the abundance and diversity of the different CA classes in soils, we analyzed existing soil metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data from the DOE Joint Genome Institute databases. Out of the six classes of CA, we only found the α, β, and γ classes to be present in soils, with the β class being the most abundant. We also looked at genomes of sequenced soil microorganisms to learn what combination of CA classes they contain, from which we can begin to predict the physiological role of CA. To characterize the functional roles of the different CA classes in soils, we collected soil samples from a variety of biomes with diverse chemical and physical properties and quantified the rate of two CA-mediated processes: soil uptake of COS and acceleration of the oxygen isotope exchange

  14. Discovery of a Missing Link: Detection and Structure of the Elusive Disilicon Carbide Cluster.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, Michael C; Baraban, Joshua H; Changala, P Bryan; Stanton, John F; Martin-Drumel, Marie-Aline; Thorwirth, Sven; Gottlieb, Carl A; Reilly, Neil J

    2015-06-01

    The rotational spectrum of the elusive but fundamentally important silicon carbide SiCSi has been detected using sensitive microwave techniques aided by high-level ab initio methods. Its equilibrium structure has been determined to very high precision using isotopic substitution and vibrational corrections calculated quantum-chemically: it is an isosceles triangle with a Si-C bond length of 1.693(1) Å, and an apex angle of 114.87(5)°. Now that all four Si(m)C(n) clusters with m + n = 3 have been observed experimentally, their structure and chemical bonding can be rigorously compared. Because Si2C is so closely linked to other Si-bearing molecules that have been detected in the evolved carbon star IRC+10216, it is an extremely promising candidate for detection with radio telescopes. PMID:26266510

  15. Discovery of a Missing Link: Detection and Structure of the Elusive Disilicon Carbide Cluster.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, Michael C; Baraban, Joshua H; Changala, P Bryan; Stanton, John F; Martin-Drumel, Marie-Aline; Thorwirth, Sven; Gottlieb, Carl A; Reilly, Neil J

    2015-06-01

    The rotational spectrum of the elusive but fundamentally important silicon carbide SiCSi has been detected using sensitive microwave techniques aided by high-level ab initio methods. Its equilibrium structure has been determined to very high precision using isotopic substitution and vibrational corrections calculated quantum-chemically: it is an isosceles triangle with a Si-C bond length of 1.693(1) Å, and an apex angle of 114.87(5)°. Now that all four Si(m)C(n) clusters with m + n = 3 have been observed experimentally, their structure and chemical bonding can be rigorously compared. Because Si2C is so closely linked to other Si-bearing molecules that have been detected in the evolved carbon star IRC+10216, it is an extremely promising candidate for detection with radio telescopes.

  16. Structure Determination of Ornithine-Linked Cisplatin by Infrared Multiple Photon Dissociation Action Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Chenchen; Kimutai, Bett; Hamlow, Lucas; Roy, Harrison; Nei, Y.-W.; Bao, Xun; Gao, Juehan; Martens, Jonathan K.; Berden, Giel; Oomens, Jos; Maitre, Philippe; Steinmetz, Vincent; McNary, Christopher P.; Armentrout, Peter B.; Chow, C. S.; Rodgers, M. T.

    2016-06-01

    Cisplatin [(NH_3)_2PtCl_2], the first FDA-approved platinum-based anticancer drug, has been widely used in cancer chemotherapy. Its pharmacological mechanism has been identified as its ability to coordinate to genomic DNA with guanine as its major target. Amino acid-linked cisplatin derivatives are being investigated as alternatives for cisplatin that may exhibit altered binding selectivity such as that found for ornithine-linked cisplatin (Ornplatin, [(Orn)PtCl_2]), which exhibits a preference for adenine over guanine in RNA. Infrared multiple photon dissociation (IRMPD) action spectroscopy experiments and complementary electronic structure calculations are performed on a series of Ornplatin complexes to elucidate the nature of binding of the Orn amino acid to the Pt center and how that binding is influenced by the local environment. The complexes examined in the work include: [(Orn-H)PtCl_2]-, [(Orn)PtCl]+, [(Orn)Pt(H_2O)Cl]+, and [(Orn)PtCl_2+Na]+. In contrast to that found previously for the glycine-linked cisplatin complex (Glyplatin), which binds via the backbone amino and carboxylate groups, binding of Orn in these complexes is found to involve both the backbone and sidechain amino groups. Extensive broadening of the IRMPD spectrum for the [(Orn)Pt(H_2O)Cl]+ complex suggests that either multiple structures are contributing to the measured spectrum or strong intra-molecular hydrogen-binding interactions are present. The results for Ornplatin lead to an interesting discussion about the differences in selectivity and reactivity versus cisplatin.

  17. GlycoMinestruct: a new bioinformatics tool for highly accurate mapping of the human N-linked and O-linked glycoproteomes by incorporating structural features

    PubMed Central

    Li, Fuyi; Li, Chen; Revote, Jerico; Zhang, Yang; Webb, Geoffrey I.; Li, Jian; Song, Jiangning; Lithgow, Trevor

    2016-01-01

    Glycosylation plays an important role in cell-cell adhesion, ligand-binding and subcellular recognition. Current approaches for predicting protein glycosylation are primarily based on sequence-derived features, while little work has been done to systematically assess the importance of structural features to glycosylation prediction. Here, we propose a novel bioinformatics method called GlycoMinestruct(http://glycomine.erc.monash.edu/Lab/GlycoMine_Struct/) for improved prediction of human N- and O-linked glycosylation sites by combining sequence and structural features in an integrated computational framework with a two-step feature-selection strategy. Experiments indicated that GlycoMinestruct outperformed NGlycPred, the only predictor that incorporated both sequence and structure features, achieving AUC values of 0.941 and 0.922 for N- and O-linked glycosylation, respectively, on an independent test dataset. We applied GlycoMinestruct to screen the human structural proteome and obtained high-confidence predictions for N- and O-linked glycosylation sites. GlycoMinestruct can be used as a powerful tool to expedite the discovery of glycosylation events and substrates to facilitate hypothesis-driven experimental studies. PMID:27708373

  18. Structural and Functional Dissection of the Abp1 ADFH Actin-binding Domain Reveals Versatile In Vivo Adapter Functions

    SciTech Connect

    Quintero-Monzon,O.; Rodal, A.; Strokopytov, B.; Almo, S.; Goode, B.

    2005-01-01

    Abp1 is a multidomain protein that regulates the Arp2/3 complex and links proteins involved in endocytosis to the actin cytoskeleton. All of the proposed cellular functions of Abp1 involve actin filament binding, yet the actin binding site(s) on Abp1 have not been identified, nor has the importance of actin binding for Abp1 localization and function in vivo been tested. Here, we report the crystal structure of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Abp1 actin-binding actin depolymerizing factor homology (ADFH) domain and dissect its activities by mutagenesis. Abp1-ADFH domain and ADF/cofilin structures are similar, and they use conserved surfaces to bind actin; however, there are also key differences that help explain their differential effects on actin dynamics. Using point mutations, we demonstrate that actin binding is required for localization of Abp1 in vivo, the lethality caused by Abp1 overexpression, and the ability of Abp1 to activate Arp2/3 complex. Furthermore, we genetically uncouple ABP1 functions that overlap with SAC6, SLA1, and SLA2, showing they require distinct combinations of activities and interactions. Together, our data provide the first structural and functional view of the Abp1-actin interaction and show that Abp1 has distinct cellular roles as an adapter, linking different sets of ligands for each function.

  19. An evolutionary link between sporulation and prophage induction in the structure of a repressor:anti-repressor complex.

    PubMed

    Lewis, R J; Brannigan, J A; Offen, W A; Smith, I; Wilkinson, A J

    1998-11-13

    Spore formation is an extreme response of some bacteria to adversity. In Bacillus subtilis the proteins of the sin, sporulation inhibition, region form a component of an elaborate molecular circuitry that regulates the commitment to sporulation. SinR is a tetrameric repressor protein that binds to the promoters of genes essential for entry into sporulation and prevents their transcription. This repression is overcome through the activity of SinI, which disrupts the SinR tetramer through the formation of a SinI-SinR heterodimer. The interactions governing this curious quaternary transition are revealed in the crystal structure of the SinI-SinR complex. The most striking, and unexpected, finding is that the tertiary structure of the DNA-binding domain of SinR is identical with that of the corresponding domains of the repressor proteins, CI and Cro, of bacteriophage 434 that regulate lysis/lysogeny. This structural similarity greatly exceeds that between SinR and any bacterial protein or between the 434 repressor proteins and their homologues in the closely related bacteriophage lambda. The close evolutionary relationship implied by the structures of SinR and the 434 repressors provokes both comparison of their functions and a speculative consideration of the intriguing possibility of an evolutionary link between the two adaptive responses, sporulation and prophage induction.

  20. Glutamate Receptor Ion Channels: Structure, Regulation, and Function

    PubMed Central

    Wollmuth, Lonnie P.; McBain, Chris J.; Menniti, Frank S.; Vance, Katie M.; Ogden, Kevin K.; Hansen, Kasper B.; Yuan, Hongjie; Myers, Scott J.; Dingledine, Ray

    2010-01-01

    The mammalian ionotropic glutamate receptor family encodes 18 gene products that coassemble to form ligand-gated ion channels containing an agonist recognition site, a transmembrane ion permeation pathway, and gating elements that couple agonist-induced conformational changes to the opening or closing of the permeation pore. Glutamate receptors mediate fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the central nervous system and are localized on neuronal and non-neuronal cells. These receptors regulate a broad spectrum of processes in the brain, spinal cord, retina, and peripheral nervous system. Glutamate receptors are postulated to play important roles in numerous neurological diseases and have attracted intense scrutiny. The description of glutamate receptor structure, including its transmembrane elements, reveals a complex assembly of multiple semiautonomous extracellular domains linked to a pore-forming element with striking resemblance to an inverted potassium channel. In this review we discuss International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology glutamate receptor nomenclature, structure, assembly, accessory subunits, interacting proteins, gene expression and translation, post-translational modifications, agonist and antagonist pharmacology, allosteric modulation, mechanisms of gating and permeation, roles in normal physiological function, as well as the potential therapeutic use of pharmacological agents acting at glutamate receptors. PMID:20716669

  1. An ultraviolet-inducible adenosine-adenosine cross-link reflects the catalytic structure of the Tetrahymena ribozyme

    SciTech Connect

    Downs, W.D.; Cech, T.R. )

    1990-06-12

    When a shortened enzymatic version of the Tetrahymena self-splicing intervening sequence (IVS) RNA is placed under catalytic conditions and irradiated at 254 nm, a covalent cross-link forms with high efficiency. The position of the cross-link was mapped by using three independent methods: RNase H digestion, primer extension with reverse transcriptase, and partial hydrolysis of end-labeled RNA. The cross-link is chemically unusual in that it joins two adenosines, A57 and A95. Formation of this cross-link depends upon the identity and concentration of divalent cations present and upon heat-cool renaturation of the IVS in a manner that parallels conditions required for optimal catalytic activity. Furthermore, cross-linking requires the presence of sequences within the core structure, which is conserved among group I intervening sequences and necessary for catalytic activity. Together these correlations suggest that a common folded structure permits cross-linking and catalytic activity. The core can form this structure independent of the presence of P1 and elements at the 3' end of the IVS. The cross-linked RNA loses catalytic activity under destabilizing conditions, presumably due to disruption of the folded structure by the cross-link. One of the nucleotides participating in this cross-link is highly conserved (86%) within the secondary structure of group I intervening sequences. We conclude that A57 and A95 are precisely aligned in a catalytically active conformation of the RNA. A model is presented for the tertiary arrangement in the vicinity of the cross-link.

  2. Perinatal stress and early life programming of lung structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Rosalind J.

    2010-01-01

    Exposure to environmental toxins during critical periods of prenatal and/or postnatal development may alter the normal course of lung morphogenesis and maturation, potentially resulting in changes that affect both structure and function of the respiratory system. Moreover, these early effects may persist into adult life magnifying the potential public health impact. Aberrant or excessive pro-inflammatory immune responses, occurring both locally and systemically, that result in inflammatory damage to the airway are a central determinant of lung structure-function changes throughout life. Disruption of neuroendocrine function in early development, specifically the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, may alter functional status of the immune system. Autonomic nervous system (ANS) function (sympathovagal imbalance) is another integral component of airway function and immunity in childhood. This overview discusses the evidence linking psychological factors to alterations in these interrelated physiological processes that may, in turn, influence childhood lung function and identifies gaps in our understanding. PMID:20080145

  3. Synthesis, structures, and properties of 1,2,4,5-benzenetetrathiolate linked group 10 metal complexes.

    PubMed

    Arumugam, Kuppuswamy; Shaw, Mohamed C; Chandrasekaran, P; Villagrán, Dino; Gray, Thomas G; Mague, Joel T; Donahue, James P

    2009-11-16

    Dimetallic compounds [(P-P)M(S(2)C(6)H(2)S(2))M(P-P)] (M = Ni, Pd; P-P = chelating bis(phosphine), 3a-3f) are prepared from O=CS(2)C(6)H(2)S(2)C=O or (n)Bu(2)SnS(2)C(6)H(2)S(2)Sn(n)Bu(2), which are protected forms of 1,2,4,5-benzenetetrathiolate. Selective monodeprotections of O=CS(2)C(6)H(2)S(2)C=O or (n)Bu(2)SnS(2)C(6)H(2)S(2)Sn(n)Bu(2) lead to [(P-P)Ni(S(2)C(6)H(2)S(2)C=O)] or [(P-P)Ni(S(2)C(6)H(2)S(2)Sn(n)Bu(2))]; the former is used to prepare trimetallic compounds [(dcpe)Ni(S(2)C(6)H(2)S(2))M(S(2)C(6)H(2)S(2))Ni(dcpe)] (M = Ni (6a) or Pt (6b); dcpe = 1,2-bis(dicyclohexylphosphino)ethane). Compounds 3a-3f are redox active and display two oxidation processes, of which the first is generally reversible. Dinickel compound [(dcpe)Ni(S(2)C(6)H(2)S(2))Ni(dcpe)] (3d) reveals two reversible oxidation waves with DeltaE(1/2) = 0.66 V, corresponding to K(c) of 1.6 x 10(11) for the mixed valence species. Electrochemical behavior is unstable to repeated scanning in the presence of [Bu(4)N][PF(6)] electrolyte but indefinitely stable with Na[BArF(24)] (BArF(24) = tetrakis(3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)borate), suggesting that the radical cation generated by oxidation is vulnerable to reaction with PF(6)(-). Chemical oxidation of 3d with [Cp(2)Fe][BArF(24)] leads to formation of [3d][BArF(24)]. Structural identification of [3d][BArF(24)] reveals appreciable shortening and lengthening of C-S and C-C bond distances, respectively, within the tetrathioarene fragment compared to charge-neutral 3d, indicating this to be the redox active moiety. Attempted oxidation of [(dppb)Ni(S(2)C(6)H(2)S(2))Ni(dppb)] (3c) (dppb = 1,2-bis(diphenylphosphino)benzene) with AgBArF(24) produces [[(dppb)Ni(S(2)C(6)H(2)S(2))Ni(dppb)](2)(mu-Ag(2))][BArF(24)](2), [4c][BArF(24)](2), in which no redox chemistry has occurred. Crystal structures of bis(disulfide)-linked compounds [(P-P)Ni(S(2)C(6)H(2)(mu-S(2))(2)C(6)H(2)S(2))Ni(P-P)] are reported. Near IR spectroscopy upon cationic [3d](+) and neutral 6a

  4. Nonoccupational environmental exposure to manganese is linked to deficits in peripheral and central olfactory function.

    PubMed

    Guarneros, Marco; Ortiz-Romo, Nahum; Alcaraz-Zubeldia, Mireya; Drucker-Colín, René; Hudson, Robyn

    2013-11-01

    Manganese is of growing concern as a toxic air pollutant. It is readily transported from the olfactory epithelium to the olfactory bulb, and unlike other metals, it is transported transynaptically to structures deep within the brain. However, little is known regarding the possible effect of nonoccupational exposure to manganese on olfactory function. Using the Sniffin' Sticks test battery, we compared the olfactory performance of subjects from a manganese mining district living <1 km from a manganese processing plant, with nonexposed subjects living 50 km from the closest source of exposure (N = 30/group). Groups were matched for age, sex, and schooling, and none had ever worked in mining-related activities. Concentrations of manganese in hair were measured as a biomarker of exposure; exposed subjects had significantly higher concentrations than nonexposed subjects. They were also significantly outperformed by the nonexposed subjects on all olfactory measures (threshold, discrimination, and identification), indicating adverse effects of manganese exposure on a range of olfactory functions, including those involving higher order cognitive processes. This contrasts with previous findings showing adverse peripheral but not central effects on olfactory function of big city air pollution, which mostly consists of toxicants known to affect the olfactory epithelium but with lower transynaptic transport capacity compared with manganese. We conclude that nonoccupational exposure to airborne manganese is associated with decrements in both peripheral and central olfactory function. PMID:24097266

  5. The cognitive nature of action - functional links between cognitive psychology, movement science, and robotics.

    PubMed

    Schack, Thomas; Ritter, Helge

    2009-01-01

    This paper examines the cognitive architecture of human action, showing how it is organized over several levels and how it is built up. Basic action concepts (BACs) are identified as major building blocks on a representation level. These BACs are cognitive tools for mastering the functional demands of movement tasks. Results from different lines of research showed that not only the structure formation of mental representations in long-term memory but also chunk formation in working memory are built up on BACs and relate systematically to movement structures. It is concluded that such movement representations might provide the basis for action implementation and action control in skilled voluntary movements in the form of cognitive reference structures. To simulate action implementation we discuss challenges and issues that arise when we try to replicate complex movement abilities in robots. Among the key issues to be addressed is the question how structured representations can arise during skill acquisition and how the underlying processes can be understood sufficiently succinctly to replicate them on robot platforms. Working towards this goal, we translate our findings in studies of motor control in humans into models that can guide the implementation of cognitive robot architectures. Focusing on the issue of manual action control, we illustrate some results in the context of grasping with a five-fingered anthropomorphic robot hand.

  6. Structure determination by MALDI-IRMPD mass spectrometry and exoglycosidase digestions of O-linked oligosaccharides from Xenopus borealis egg jelly

    PubMed Central

    Li, Bensheng; Russell, Scott C; Zhang, Jinhua; Hedrick, Jerry L; Lebrilla, Carlito B

    2011-01-01

    Differences in the fertilization behavior of Xenopus borealis from X. laevis and X. tropicalis suggest differences in the glycosylation of the egg jellies. To test this assumption, O-linked glycans were chemically released from the egg jelly coat glycoproteins of X. borealis. Over 50 major neutral glycans were observed, and no anionic glycans were detected from the released O-glycan pool. Preliminary structures of ∼30 neutral oligosaccharides were determined using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) infrared multiphoton dissociation tandem mass spectrometry (MS). The mass fingerprint of a group of peaks for the core-2 structure of O-glycans was conserved in the tandem mass spectra and was instrumental in rapid and efficient structure determination. Among the 29 O-glycans, 22 glycans contain the typical core-2 structure, 3 glycans have the core-1 structure and 2 glycans contained a previously unobserved core structure with hexose at the reducing end. There were seven pairs of structural isomers observed in the major O-linked oligosaccharides. To further elucidate the structures of a dozen O-linked glycans, specific and targeted exoglycosidase digestions were carried out and the products were monitored with MALDI-MS. Reported here are the elucidated structures of O-linked oligosaccharides from glycoproteins of X. borealis egg jelly coats. The structural differences in O-glycans from jelly coats of X. borealis and its close relatives may provide a better understanding of the structure–function relationships and the role of glycans in the fertilization process within Xenopodinae. PMID:21220250

  7. Clinical aspects and adrenal functions in eleven Japanese children with X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy.

    PubMed

    Miyoshi, Yoko; Sakai, Norio; Hamada, Yusuke; Tachibana, Makiko; Hasegawa, Yasuhiro; Kiyohara, Yuki; Yamada, Hiroyuki; Murakami, Mari; Kondou, Hiroki; Kimura-Ohba, Shihoko; Mine, Junji; Sato, Tatsuharu; Kamio, Noriko; Ueda, Hitoshi; Suzuki, Yasuhiro; Shiomi, Masashi; Ohta, Hideaki; Shimozawa, Nobuyuki; Ozono, Keiichi

    2010-01-01

    X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) is a genetic disease associated with demyelination of the central nervous system, adrenocortical insufficiency and accumulation of very long chain fatty acids. It is a clinically heterogeneous disorder ranging from a severe childhood cerebral form to an asymptomatic form. The incidence in Japan is estimated to be between 1:30,000 and 1:50,000 boys as determined by a nationwide retrospective survey between 1990 and 1999, which found no cases with Addison's form. We reviewed the medical records of eleven Japanese boys with X-ALD from 1990 to 2010 in our institute. Eight patients were detected by neuropsychological abnormalities, whereas a higher prevalence of unrecognized adrenocortical insufficiency (5/11: 45%) was observed than previously recognized. While no neurological abnormalities were demonstrated in two brothers, the elder brother had moderate Addison's disease at diagnosis and the presymptomatic younger brother progressed to Addison's disease six months after the diagnosis of X-ALD. Early detection of impaired adrenal function as well as early identification of neurologically presymptomatic patients by genetic analysis is essential for better prognosis. Addison's form might be overlooked in Japan; therefore, X-ALD should be suspected in patients with adrenocortical insufficiency.

  8. Linking mother and youth parenting attitudes: indirect effects via maltreatment, parent involvement, and youth functioning.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Richard; Jones, Deborah J; Litrownik, Alan J; English, Diana J; Kotch, Jonathan B; Lewis, Terri; Dubowitz, Howard

    2014-01-01

    Evidence suggests that parenting attitudes are transmitted within families. However, limited research has examined this prospectively. The current prospective study examined direct effects of early maternal attitudes toward parenting (as measured at child age 4 by the Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory [AAPI]) on later youth parenting attitudes (as measured by the AAPI at youth age 18). Indirect effects via child maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and emotional maltreatment), parent involvement, and youth functioning (internalizing and externalizing problems) were also assessed. Analyses were conducted on data from 412 families enrolled in the Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN). There were significant direct effects for three of the four classes of mother parenting attitudes (appropriate developmental expectations of children, empathy toward children, and appropriate family roles) on youth attitudes but not for rejection of punishment. In addition, the following indirect effects were obtained: Mother expectations influenced youth expectations via neglect; mother empathy influenced youth empathy via both parental involvement and youth externalizing problems; and mother rejection of punishment influenced youth rejection of punishment via youth internalizing problems. None of the child or family process variables, however, affected the link between mother and youth attitudes about roles.

  9. Possible functional links among brain- and skull-related genes selected in modern humans.

    PubMed

    Benítez-Burraco, Antonio; Boeckx, Cedric

    2015-01-01

    The sequencing of the genomes from extinct hominins has revealed that changes in some brain-related genes have been selected after the split between anatomically-modern humans and Neanderthals/Denisovans. To date, no coherent view of these changes has been provided. Following a line of research we initiated in Boeckx and Benítez-Burraco (2014a), we hypothesize functional links among most of these genes and their products, based on the existing literature for each of the gene discussed. The genes we focus on are found mutated in different cognitive disorders affecting modern populations and their products are involved in skull and brain morphology, and neural connectivity. If our hypothesis turns out to be on the right track, it means that the changes affecting most of these proteins resulted in a more globular brain and ultimately brought about modern cognition, with its characteristic generativity and capacity to form and exploit cross-modular concepts, properties most clearly manifested in language.

  10. Possible functional links among brain- and skull-related genes selected in modern humans

    PubMed Central

    Benítez-Burraco, Antonio; Boeckx, Cedric

    2015-01-01

    The sequencing of the genomes from extinct hominins has revealed that changes in some brain-related genes have been selected after the split between anatomically-modern humans and Neanderthals/Denisovans. To date, no coherent view of these changes has been provided. Following a line of research we initiated in Boeckx and Benítez-Burraco (2014a), we hypothesize functional links among most of these genes and their products, based on the existing literature for each of the gene discussed. The genes we focus on are found mutated in different cognitive disorders affecting modern populations and their products are involved in skull and brain morphology, and neural connectivity. If our hypothesis turns out to be on the right track, it means that the changes affecting most of these proteins resulted in a more globular brain and ultimately brought about modern cognition, with its characteristic generativity and capacity to form and exploit cross-modular concepts, properties most clearly manifested in language. PMID:26136701

  11. Linking Mother and Youth Parenting Attitudes: Indirect Effects via Maltreatment, Parent Involvement, and Youth Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Richard; Jones, Deborah J.; Litrownik, Alan J.; English, Diana J.; Kotch, Jonathan B.; Lewis, Terri; Dubowitz, Howard

    2014-01-01

    Evidence suggests that parenting attitudes are transmitted within families. However, limited research has examined this prospectively. The current prospective study examined direct effects of early maternal attitudes toward parenting (as measured at child age 4 by the Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory [AAPI]) on later youth parenting attitudes (as measured by the AAPI at youth age 18). Indirect effects via child maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and emotional maltreatment), parent involvement, and youth functioning (internalizing and externalizing problems) were also assessed. Analyses were conducted on data from 412 families enrolled in the Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN). There were significant direct effects for three of the four classes of mother parenting attitudes (appropriate developmental expectations of children, empathy toward children, and appropriate family roles) on youth attitudes but not for rejection of punishment. In addition, the following indirect effects were obtained: Mother expectations influenced youth expectations via neglect; mother empathy influenced youth empathy via both parental involvement and youth externalizing problems; and mother rejection of punishment influenced youth rejection of punishment via youth internalizing problems. None of the child or family process variables, however, affected the link between mother and youth attitudes about roles. PMID:25113632

  12. Canonical Nlrp3 inflammasome links systemic low grade inflammation to functional decline in aging

    PubMed Central

    Youm, Yun-Hee; Grant, Ryan W.; McCabe, Laura R.; Albarado, Diana C.; Nguyen, Kim Yen; Ravussin, Anthony; Pistell, Paul; Newman, Susan; Carter, Renee; Laque, Amanda; Münzberg, Heike; Rosen, Clifford J.; Ingram, Donald K.; Salbaum, J. Michael; Dixit, Vishwa Deep

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Despite a wealth of clinical data showing an association between inflammation and degenerative disorders in elderly, the immune sensors that causally link systemic inflammation to aging remain unclear. Here we detail a mechanism that the Nlrp3 inflammasome controls systemic low grade age-related ‘sterile’ inflammation in both periphery and brain independently of the non-canonical caspase-11 inflammasome. Ablation of Nlrp3 inflammasome protected mice from age-related increases in the innate immune activation, alterations in CNS transcriptome and astrogliosis. Consistent with the hypothesis that systemic low grade inflammation promotes age-related degenerative changes, the deficient Nlrp3 inflammasome mediated caspase-1 activity improved glycemic control and attenuated bone loss and thymic demise. Notably, IL-1 mediated only Nlrp3 inflammasome dependent improvement in cognitive function and motor performance in aged mice. These studies reveal Nlrp3 inflammasome as an upstream target that controls age-related inflammation and offer innovative therapeutic strategy to lower Nlrp3 activity to delay multiple age-related chronic diseases. PMID:24093676

  13. Purification of a vesicle-vacuole fraction functionally linked to aflatoxin synthesis in Aspergillus parasiticus.

    PubMed

    Chanda, Anindya; Roze, Ludmila V; Pastor, Alicia; Frame, Melinda K; Linz, John E

    2009-07-01

    Current studies in our laboratory demonstrate a functional link between vesicles, vacuoles and aflatoxin biosynthesis in the filamentous fungus, Aspergillus parasiticus. Under aflatoxin inducing conditions in liquid yeast-extract sucrose medium, A. parasiticus undergoes a shift from vacuole biogenesis to accumulation of an enhanced number of vesicles which exhibit significant heterogeneity in size and density. As a first step in conducting a detailed analysis of the role of these organelles in aflatoxin synthesis, we developed a novel method to purify the vesicle and vacuole fraction using protoplasts prepared from cells harvested during aflatoxin synthesis. The method includes the following steps: 1] preparation of protoplasts from mycelia grown for 36 h under aflatoxin inducing conditions; 2] release of vesicles and vacuoles from purified protoplasts in the presence of Triton X-100; and 3] fractionation of the vesicles and vacuoles using a "one-step high density cushion". The vesicle-vacuole fraction showed a 35 fold enrichment in alpha-mannosidase activity (vacuole marker) and non-detectable succinate dehydrogenase and lactate dehydrogenase activities (mitochondrial and cytoplasmic markers, respectively). Confocal laser scanning microscopy with the vacuole dyes MDY-64 and CMAC demonstrated that the fraction contained pure vesicles and vacuoles and was devoid of membranous debris. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) confirmed that no mitochondria or unbroken protoplasts contaminated the purified fraction. The purified organelles exhibited significant size heterogeneity with a range of sizes similar to that observed in whole cells and protoplasts.

  14. Identification of functions linking quorum sensing with biofilm formation in Burkholderia cenocepacia H111

    PubMed Central

    Inhülsen, Silja; Aguilar, Claudio; Schmid, Nadine; Suppiger, Angela; Riedel, Kathrin; Eberl, Leo

    2012-01-01

    Burkholderia cenocepacia has emerged as an important pathogen for patients suffering from cystic fibrosis (CF). Previous work has shown that this organism employs the CepIR quorum-sensing (QS) system to control the expression of virulence factors as well as the formation of biofilms. To date, however, very little is known about the QS-regulated virulence factors and virtually nothing about the factors that link QS and biofilm formation. Here, we have employed a combined transcriptomic and proteomic approach to precisely define the QS regulon in our model strain B. cenocepacia H111, a CF isolate. Among the identified CepR-activated loci, three were analyzed in better detail for their roles in biofilm development: (i) a gene cluster coding for the BclACB lectins, (ii) the large surface protein BapA, and (iii) a type I pilus. The analysis of defined mutants revealed that BapA plays a major role in biofilm formation on abiotic surfaces while inactivation of the type I pilus showed little effect both in a static microtitre dish-based biofilm assay and in flow-through cells. Inactivation of the bclACB lectin genes resulted in biofilms containing hollow microcolonies, suggesting that the lectins are important for biofilm structural development. PMID:22950027

  15. Identification of functions linking quorum sensing with biofilm formation in Burkholderia cenocepacia H111.

    PubMed

    Inhülsen, Silja; Aguilar, Claudio; Schmid, Nadine; Suppiger, Angela; Riedel, Kathrin; Eberl, Leo

    2012-06-01

    Burkholderia cenocepacia has emerged as an important pathogen for patients suffering from cystic fibrosis (CF). Previous work has shown that this organism employs the CepIR quorum-sensing (QS) system to control the expression of virulence factors as well as the formation of biofilms. To date, however, very little is known about the QS-regulated virulence factors and virtually nothing about the factors that link QS and biofilm formation. Here, we have employed a combined transcriptomic and proteomic approach to precisely define the QS regulon in our model strain B. cenocepacia H111, a CF isolate. Among the identified CepR-activated loci, three were analyzed in better detail for their roles in biofilm development: (i) a gene cluster coding for the BclACB lectins, (ii) the large surface protein BapA, and (iii) a type I pilus. The analysis of defined mutants revealed that BapA plays a major role in biofilm formation on abiotic surfaces while inactivation of the type I pilus showed little effect both in a static microtitre dish-based biofilm assay and in flow-through cells. Inactivation of the bclACB lectin genes resulted in biofilms containing hollow microcolonies, suggesting that the lectins are important for biofilm structural development. PMID:22950027

  16. FACILE CHEMICAL FUNCTIONALIZATION OF PROTEINS THROUGH INTEIN-LINKED YEAST DISPLAY

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Carrie J.; Agarwal, Nitin; Kalia, Jeet; Grosskopf, Vanessa A.; McGrath, Nicholas A.; Abbott, Nicholas L.; Raines, Ronald T.; Shusta, Eric V.

    2013-01-01

    Intein-mediated expressed protein ligation (EPL) permits the site-specific chemical customization of proteins. While traditional techniques have used purified, soluble proteins, we have extended these methods to release and modify intein fusion proteins expressed on the yeast surface, thereby eliminating the need for soluble protein expression and purification. To this end, we sought to simultaneously release yeast surface-displayed proteins and selectively conjugate with chemical functionalities compatible with EPL and click chemistry. Single-chain antibodies (scFv) and green fluorescent protein (GFP) were displayed on the yeast surface as fusions to the N-terminus of the Mxe GyrA intein. ScFv and GFP were released from the yeast surface with either a sulfur nucleophile (MESNA) or a nitrogen nucleophile (hydrazine) linked to an azido group. The hydrazine azide permitted the simultaneous release and azido functionalization of displayed proteins, but nonspecific reactions with other yeast proteins were detected, and cleavage efficiency was limited. In contrast, MESNA released significantly more protein from the yeast surface while also generating a unique thioester at the carboxy-terminus of the released protein. These protein thioesters were subsequently reacted with a cysteine alkyne in an EPL reaction and then employed in an azide–alkyne cycloaddition to immobilize the scFv and GFP on an azide-decorated surface with >90% site-specificity. Importantly, the immobilized proteins retained their activity. Since yeast surface display is also a protein engineering platform, these approaches provide a particularly powerful tool for the rapid assessment of engineered proteins. PMID:23924245

  17. Translational informatics approach for identifying the functional molecular communicators linking coronary artery disease, infection and inflammation

    PubMed Central

    SHARMA, ANKIT; GHATGE, MADANKUMAR; MUNDKUR, LAKSHMI; VANGALA, RAJANI KANTH

    2016-01-01

    Translational informatics approaches are required for the integration of diverse and accumulating data to enable the administration of effective translational medicine specifically in complex diseases such as coronary artery disease (CAD). In the current study, a novel approach for elucidating the association between infection, inflammation and CAD was used. Genes for CAD were collected from the CAD-gene database and those for infection and inflammation were collected from the UniProt database. The cytomegalovirus (CMV)-induced genes were identified from the literature and the CAD-associated clinical phenotypes were obtained from the Unified Medical Language System. A total of 55 gene ontologies (GO) termed functional communicator ontologies were identifed in the gene sets linking clinical phenotypes in the diseasome network. The network topology analysis suggested that important functions including viral entry, cell adhesion, apoptosis, inflammatory and immune responses networked with clinical phenotypes. Microarray data was extracted from the Gene Expression Omnibus (dataset: GSE48060) for highly networked disease myocardial infarction. Further analysis of differentially expressed genes and their GO terms suggested that CMV infection may trigger a xenobiotic response, oxidative stress, inflammation and immune modulation. Notably, the current study identified γ-glutamyl transferase (GGT)-5 as a potential biomarker with an odds ratio of 1.947, which increased to 2.561 following the addition of CMV and CMV-neutralizing antibody (CMV-NA) titers. The C-statistics increased from 0.530 for conventional risk factors (CRFs) to 0.711 for GGT in combination with the above mentioned infections and CRFs. Therefore, the translational informatics approach used in the current study identified a potential molecular mechanism for CMV infection in CAD, and a potential biomarker for risk prediction. PMID:27035874

  18. [Blood-nerve barrier: structure and function].

    PubMed

    Kanda, Takashi

    2011-06-01

    The blood-nerve barrier (BNB) is a dynamic interface between the endoneurial microenvironment and surrounding extracellular space or blood contents, and is localized the innermost layer of multilayered ensheathing perineurium and endoneurial microvessels. Since the BNB is a key structure controlling the internal milieu of the peripheral nerve parenchyma, adequate understanding of the BNB is crucial for developing treatment strategies for human peripheral nervous system disorders, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, and diabetic and various metabolic/toxic neuropathies. However, fewer studies have been conducted on the BNB, if we compare against the number of studies on the blood-brain barrier. This is because of the lack of adequate human cell lines originating from the BNB. In our laboratory, human immortal cell lines from the BNB, namely, the endothelial cell line and pericyte cell line, have recently been established and vigorous investigations of their biological and physiological properties are now underway. Pericytes constituting the BNB were found to possess robust ability of controlling BNB integrity via secretion of various cytokines and growth factors including bFGF, VEGF, GDNF, BDNF, and angiopoietin-1. Unknown soluble factors secreted by pericytes also contribute to the upregulation of claudin-5 in endothelial cells in the BNB and thus, strengthen the barrier function of the BNB. In diabetic neuropathy, pericytes were shown to regulate the vascular basement membrane, while AGEs were shown to induce basement membrane hypertrophy and disrupt the BNB by increasing the autocrine secretion of VEGF and TGF-beta from pericytes. In this review article, we discuss the macroscopic and microscopic anatomy of the human BNB as well as the molecular mechanisms of mononuclear cell infiltration across the BNB. PMID:21613659

  19. Shiga Toxin (Stx) Classification, Structure, and Function.

    PubMed

    Melton-Celsa, Angela R

    2014-08-01

    Shiga toxin (Stx) is one of the most potent bacterial toxins known. Stx is found in Shigella dysenteriae 1 and in some serogroups of Escherichia coli (called Stx1 in E. coli). In addition to or instead of Stx1, some E. coli strains produce a second type of Stx, Stx2, that has the same mode of action as Stx/Stx1 but is antigenically distinct. Because subtypes of each toxin have been identified, the prototype toxin for each group is now designated Stx1a or Stx2a. The Stxs consist of two major subunits, an A subunit that joins noncovalently to a pentamer of five identical B subunits. The A subunit of the toxin injures the eukaryotic ribosome and halts protein synthesis in target cells. The function of the B pentamer is to bind to the cellular receptor, globotriaosylceramide, Gb3, found primarily on endothelial cells. The Stxs traffic in a retrograde manner within the cell, such that the A subunit of the toxin reaches the cytosol only after the toxin moves from the endosome to the Golgi and then to the endoplasmic reticulum. In humans infected with Stx-producing E. coli, the most serious manifestation of the disease, hemolytic-uremic syndrome, is more often associated with strains that produce Stx2a rather than Stx1a, and that relative toxicity is replicated in mice and baboons. Stx1a and Stx2a also exhibit differences in cytotoxicity to various cell types, bind dissimilarly to receptor analogs or mimics, induce differential chemokine responses, and have several distinctive structural characteristics.

  20. Children’s Patterns of Emotional Reactivity to Conflict as Explanatory Mechanisms in Links Between Interpartner Aggression and Child Physiological Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Patrick T.; Sturge-Apple, Melissa L.; Cicchetti, Dante; Manning, Liviah G.; Zale, Emily

    2009-01-01

    Background This paper examined children’s fearful, sad, and angry reactivity to interparental conflict as mediators of associations between their exposure to interparental aggression and physiological functioning. Methods Participants included 200 toddlers and their mothers. Assessments of interparental aggression and children’s emotional reactivity were derived from maternal surveys and a semi-