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Sample records for macromolecular contrast medium

  1. Chlorotoxin-modified macromolecular contrast agent for MRI tumor diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Huang, Rongqin; Han, Liang; Li, Jianfeng; Liu, Shuhuan; Shao, Kun; Kuang, Yuyang; Hu, Xing; Wang, Xuxia; Lei, Hao; Jiang, Chen

    2011-08-01

    Clinical diagnosis of cancers using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is highly dependent on contrast agents, especially for brain tumors which contain blood-brain barrier (BBB) at the early stage. However, currently mostly used low molecular weight contrast agents such as Gd-DTPA suffer from rapid renal clearance, non-specificity, and low contrast efficiency. The aim of this paper is to investigate the potential of a macromolecular MRI contrast agent based on dendrigraft poly-l-lysines (DGLs), using chlorotoxin (CTX) as a tumor-specific ligand. The contrast agent using CTX-modified conjugate as the main scaffold and Gd-DTPA as the payload was successfully synthesized. The results of fluorescent microscopy showed that the modification of CTX could markedly enhance the cellular uptake in C6 glioma and liver tumor cell lines, but not in normal cell line. Significantly increased accumulation of CTX-modified conjugate within glioma and liver tumor was further demonstrated in tumor-bearing nude mice using in vivo imaging system. The MRI results showed that the signal enhancement of mice treated with CTX-modified contrast reached peak level at 5 min for both glioma and liver tumor, 144.97% ± 19.54% and 158.69% ± 12.41%, respectively, significantly higher than that of unmodified counterpart and commercial control. And most importantly, the signal enhancement of CTX-modified contrast agent maintained much longer compared to that of controls, which might be useful for more exact diagnosis for tumors. CTX-modified dendrimer-based conjugate might be applied as an efficient MRI contrast agent for targeted and accurate tumor diagnosis. This finding is especially important for tumors such as brain glioma which is known hard to be diagnosed due to the presence of BBB.

  2. Alk5 inhibition increases delivery of macromolecular and protein-bound contrast agents to tumors

    PubMed Central

    Daldrup-Link, Heike E.; Mohanty, Suchismita; Ansari, Celina; Ito, Ken; Hong, Su Hyun; Hoffmann, Matthias; Pisani, Laura; Boudreau, Nancy; Gambhir, Sanjiv Sam; Coussens, Lisa M.

    2016-01-01

    Limited transendothelial permeability across tumor microvessels represents a significant bottleneck in the development of tumor-specific diagnostic agents and theranostic drugs. Here, we show an approach to increase transendothelial permeability of macromolecular and nanoparticle-based contrast agents via inhibition of the type I TGF-β receptor, activin-like kinase 5 (Alk5), in tumors. Alk5 inhibition significantly increased tumor contrast agent delivery and enhancement on imaging studies, while healthy organs remained relatively unaffected. Imaging data correlated with significantly decreased tumor interstitial fluid pressure, while tumor vascular density remained unchanged. This immediately clinically translatable concept involving Alk5 inhibitor pretreatment prior to an imaging study could be leveraged for improved tumor delivery of macromolecular and nanoparticle-based imaging probes and, thereby, facilitate development of more sensitive imaging tests for cancer diagnosis, enhanced tumor characterization, and personalized, image-guided therapies. PMID:27182558

  3. Preclinical evaluation of biodegradable macromolecular contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Yi

    Macromolecular contrast agents have been shown to be superior to small molecular weight contrast agents for MRI in blood pool imaging, tumor diagnosis and grading. However, none has been approved by the FDA because they circulate in the bloodstream much longer than small molecular weight contrast agents and result in high tissue accumulation of toxic Gd(III) ions. Biodegradable macromolecular contrast agents (BMCA) were invented to alleviate the toxic accumulation. They have a cleavable disulfide bond based backbone that can be degraded in vivo and excreted out of the body via renal filtration. Furthermore, the side chain of the backbone can be modified to achieve various degradation rates. Three BMCA, (Gd-DTPA)-cystamine copolymers (GDCC), Gd-DTPA cystine copolymers (GDCP), and Gd-DTPA cystine diethyl ester copolymers (GDCEP), were evaluated as blood pool contrast agents in a rat model. They have excellent blood pool enhancement, preferred pharmacokinetics, and only minimal long-term tissue retention of toxic Gd(III) ions. GDCC and GDCP, the lead agents with desired degradation rates, with molecular weights of 20 KDa and 70 KDa, were chosen for dynamic contrast enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) to differentiate human prostate tumor models of different malignancy and growth rates. GDCC and GDCP could differentiate these tumor models, providing more accurate estimations of plasma volume, flow leakage rate, and permeability surface area product than a small molecular weight contrast agent Gd-DTPA-BMA when compared to the prototype macromolecular contrast agent albumin-Gd-DTPA. GDCC was favored for its neutral charge side chain and reasonable uptake rate by the tumors. GDCC with a molecular weight of 40 KDa (GDCC-40, above the renal filtration cutoff size) was used to assess the efficacy of two photothermal therapies (interstitial and indocyanine green enhanced). GDCC-40 provided excellent tumor enhancement shortly after its injection. Acute tumor response (4 hr) after therapies

  4. Contrast medium usage reduction in abdominal computed tomography by using high-iodinated concentration contrast medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suwannasri, A.; Kaewlai, R.; Asavaphatiboon, S.

    2016-03-01

    This study was to determine if administration of a low volume high-concentration iodinated contrast medium can preserve image quality in comparison with regular-concentration intravenous contrast medium in patient undergoing contrast-enhancement abdominal computed tomography (CT). Eighty-four patients were randomly divided into 3 groups of similar iodine delivery rate; A: 1.2 cc/kg of iomeprol-400, B: 1.0 cc/kg of iomeprol-400 and C: 1.5 cc/kg of ioversol-350. Contrast enhancement of the liver parenchyma, pancreas and aorta was quantitatively measured in Hounsfield units and qualitative assessed by a radiologist. T-test was used to evaluate contrast enhancement, and Chi-square test was used to evaluate qualitative image assessment, at significance level of 0.05 with 95% confidence intervals. There were no statistically significant differences in contrast enhancement of liver parenchyma and pancreas between group A and group C in both quantitative and qualitative analyses. Group C showed superior vascular enhancement to group A and B on quantitative analysis.

  5. [Lethal reaction after contrast medium administration].

    PubMed

    Risgaard, Ole; Søe, Charlotte Krabbe; Zejden, Anna

    2008-04-21

    A 49-year-old healthy woman was admitted after a horse-riding accident. On arrival to the emergency department she complained of lower abdominal pain. A CT-scan of the abdomen with non ionic contrast media (iomeprol, 150 ml 4 ml/s) was conducted. The patient died nine hours later due to an anaphylactoid reaction to radio contrast media. The autopsy showed pulmonary oedema and pleural effusion, but did not show any sign of trauma. Early interventions with appropriate therapy had no effect on the fatal outcome. PMID:18462629

  6. A neutral polydisulfide containing Gd(III) DOTA monoamide as a redox-sensitive biodegradable macromolecular MRI contrast agent.

    PubMed

    Ye, Zhen; Zhou, Zhuxian; Ayat, Nadia; Wu, Xueming; Jin, Erlei; Shi, Xiaoyue; Lu, Zheng-Rong

    2016-01-01

    This work aims to develop safe and effective gadolinium (III)-based biodegradable macromolecular MRI contrast agents for blood pool and cancer imaging. A neutral polydisulfide containing macrocyclic Gd-DOTA monoamide (GOLS) was synthesized and characterized. In addition to studying the in vitro degradation of GOLS, its kinetic stability was also investigated in an in vivo model. The efficacy of GOLS for contrast-enhanced MRI was examined with female BALB/c mice bearing 4T1 breast cancer xenografts. The pharmacokinetics, biodistribution, and metabolism of GOLS were also determined in mice. GOLS has an apparent molecular weight of 23.0 kDa with T1 relaxivities of 7.20 mM(-1) s(-1) per Gd at 1.5 T, and 6.62 mM(-1) s(-1) at 7.0 T. GOLS had high kinetic inertness against transmetallation with Zn(2+) ions, and its polymer backbone was readily cleaved by L-cysteine. The agent showed improved efficacy for blood pool and tumor MR imaging. The structural effect on biodistribution and in vivo chelation stability was assessed by comparing GOLS with Gd(HP-DO3A), a negatively charged polydisulfide containing Gd-DOTA monoamide GODC, and a polydisulfide containing Gd-DTPA-bisamide (GDCC). GOLS showed high in vivo chelation stability and minimal tissue deposition of gadolinium. The biodegradable macromolecular contrast agent GOLS is a promising polymeric contrast agent for clinical MR cardiovascular imaging and cancer imaging.

  7. Targeting cancer chemotherapeutic agents by use of lipiodol contrast medium

    SciTech Connect

    Konno, T. )

    1990-11-01

    Arterially administered Lipiodol Ultrafluid contrast medium selectively remained in various malignant solid tumors because of the difference in time required for the removal of Lipiodol contrast medium from normal capillaries and tumor neovasculature. Although blood flow was maintained in the tumor, even immediately after injection Lipiodol contrast medium remained in the neovasculature of the tumor. To target anti-cancer agents to tumors by using Lipiodol contrast medium as a carrier, the characteristics of the agents were examined. Anti-cancer agents had to be soluble in Lipiodol, be stable in it, and separate gradually from it so that the anti-cancer agents would selectively remain in the tumor. These conditions were found to be necessary on the basis of the measurement of radioactivity in VX2 tumors implanted in the liver of 16 rabbits that received arterial injections of 14C-labeled doxorubicin. Antitumor activities and side effects of arterial injections of two types of anti-cancer agents were compared in 76 rabbits with VX2 tumors. Oily anti-cancer agents that had characteristics essential for targeting were compared with simple mixtures of anti-cancer agents with Lipiodol contrast medium that did not have these essential characteristics. Groups of rabbits that received oily anti-cancer agents responded significantly better than groups that received simple mixtures, and side effects were observed more frequently in the groups that received the simple mixtures. These results suggest that targeting of the anti-cancer agent to the tumor is important for treatment of solid malignant tumors.

  8. Synthesis and evaluation of a polydisulfide with Gd-DOTA monoamide side chains as a biodegradable macromolecular contrast agent for MR blood pool imaging

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Zhen; Wu, Xueming; Tan, Mingqian; Jesberger, Jack; Griswold, Mark; Lu, Zheng-Rong

    2014-01-01

    Macromolecular Gd(III) based contrast agents are effective for contrast enhanced blood pool and cancer MRI in preclinical studies. However, their clinical applications are impeded by potential safety concerns associated with slow excretion and prolonged retention of these agents in the body. To minimize the safety concerns of macromolecular Gd contrast agents, we have recently designed and developed biodegradable macromolecular Gd contrast agents based on polydisulfide Gd(III) complexes. In this study, we designed and synthesized a new generation of the polydisulfide Gd(III) complexes containing macrocyclic Gd(III) chelate, Gd-DOTA monoamide, to further improve the in vivo kinetic stability of the Gd(III) chelates of the contrast agents. (N6-Lysyl)lysine Gd-DOTA monoamide and 3-(2-carboxyethyldisulfanyl)propanoic acid copolymers (GODC) was synthesized by copolymerization of (N6-lysyl)lysine DOTA monoamide and dithiobis (succinimidylpropionate), followed by complexation with Gd(OAc)3. The GODC had an apparent molecular weight of 26.4 kDa and T1 relaxivity of 8.25 mM−1s−1 per Gd at 1.5 T. The polymer chains of GODC were readily cleaved by L-cysteine and the chelates had high kinetic stability against transmetallation in the presence of an endogenous metal ion Zn2+. In vivo MR study showed that GODC produced strong and prolonged contrast enhancement in the vasculature and tumor periphery of mice with breast tumor xenografts. GODC is a promising biodegradable macromolecular MRI contrast agent with high kinetic stability for MR blood pool imaging. PMID:23606425

  9. Synthesis and evaluation of a polydisulfide with Gd-DOTA monoamide side chains as a biodegradable macromolecular contrast agent for MR blood pool imaging.

    PubMed

    Ye, Zhen; Wu, Xueming; Tan, Mingqian; Jesberger, Jack; Grisworld, Mark; Lu, Zheng-Rong

    2013-01-01

    Macromolecular Gd(III)-based contrast agents are effective for contrast-enhanced blood pool and cancer MRI in preclinical studies. However, their clinical applications are impeded by potential safety concerns associated with slow excretion and prolonged retention of these agents in the body. To minimize the safety concerns of macromolecular Gd contrast agents, we have developed biodegradable macromolecular Gd contrast agents based on polydisulfide Gd(III) complexes. In this study, we designed and synthesized a new generation of the polydisulfide Gd(III) complexes containing a macrocyclic Gd(III) chelate, Gd-DOTA monoamide, to improve the in vivo kinetic inertness of the Gd(III) chelates. (N6-Lysyl)lysine-(Gd-DOTA) monoamide and 3-(2-carboxyethyldisulfanyl)propanoic acid copolymers (GODC) were synthesized by copolymerization of (N6-lysyl)lysine DOTA monoamide and dithiobis(succinimidylpropionate), followed by complexation with Gd(OAc)3. The GODC had an apparent molecular weight of 26.4 kDa and T1 relaxivity of 8.25 mM(-1) s(-1) per Gd at 1.5 T. The polymer chains of GODC were readily cleaved by L-cysteine and the chelates had high kinetic stability against transmetallation in the presence of an endogenous metal ion Zn(2+). In vivo MRI study showed that GODC produced strong and prolonged contrast enhancement in the vasculature and tumor periphery of mice with breast tumor xenografts. GODC is a promising biodegradable macromolecular MRI contrast agent with high kinetic stability for MR blood pool imaging.

  10. Analysis of thoracic epidurography and correlating factors affecting the extent of contrast medium spread

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Jung Hue; Park, Ki Bum

    2016-01-01

    Background Thoracic epidural anesthesia is frequently used to maintain intraoperative and postoperative analgesia. Frequently, 3 ml of local anesthetic is used as a test dose, or for intermittent epidural injection. We assessed the extent of the spread of 3 ml of contrast medium in the thoracic epidural space and attempted to identify any correlating factors affecting the epidurography. Methods A total of 70 patients were enrolled in the study, and thoracic epidural catheterizations were performed under fluoroscopic guidance. Using 3 ml of contrast medium, epidurography was evaluated to confirm the number of spinal segments covered by the contrast medium. Correlation analysis was performed between patient characteristics (sex, age, body mass index, weight, height, and location of catheter tip) and the extent of the contrast spread. Results The mean number of vertebral segments evaluated by contrast medium was 7.9 ± 2.2 using 3 ml of contrast medium. The contrast spread in the cranial direction showed more extensive distribution than that in the caudal direction, with statistical significance (P < 0.01). Patient height demonstrated a negative correlation with the extent of distribution of contrast medium (r = −0.311, P < 0.05). Conclusions Thoracic epidurography using 3 ml of contrast medium results in coverage of a mean of 7.9 ± 2.2 spinal segments, with more extensive cranial spread, and patient height showed a weak negative correlation with the distribution of contrast medium. PMID:27738504

  11. Speckle contrast diffuse correlation tomography of complex turbid medium flow

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Chong; Irwin, Daniel; Lin, Yu; Shang, Yu; He, Lian; Kong, Weikai; Luo, Jia; Yu, Guoqiang

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Developed herein is a three-dimensional (3D) flow contrast imaging system leveraging advancements in the extension of laser speckle contrast imaging theories to deep tissues along with our recently developed finite-element diffuse correlation tomography (DCT) reconstruction scheme. This technique, termed speckle contrast diffuse correlation tomography (scDCT), enables incorporation of complex optical property heterogeneities and sample boundaries. When combined with a reflectance-based design, this system facilitates a rapid segue into flow contrast imaging of larger, in vivo applications such as humans. Methods: A highly sensitive CCD camera was integrated into a reflectance-based optical system. Four long-coherence laser source positions were coupled to an optical switch for sequencing of tomographic data acquisition providing multiple projections through the sample. This system was investigated through incorporation of liquid and solid tissue-like phantoms exhibiting optical properties and flow characteristics typical of human tissues. Computer simulations were also performed for comparisons. A uniquely encountered smear correction algorithm was employed to correct point-source illumination contributions during image capture with the frame-transfer CCD and reflectance setup. Results: Measurements with scDCT on a homogeneous liquid phantom showed that speckle contrast-based deep flow indices were within 12% of those from standard DCT. Inclusion of a solid phantom submerged below the liquid phantom surface allowed for heterogeneity detection and validation. The heterogeneity was identified successfully by reconstructed 3D flow contrast tomography with scDCT. The heterogeneity center and dimensions and averaged relative flow (within 3%) and localization were in agreement with actuality and computer simulations, respectively. Conclusions: A custom cost-effective CCD-based reflectance 3D flow imaging system demonstrated rapid acquisition of dense boundary

  12. Speckle contrast diffuse correlation tomography of complex turbid medium flow

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Chong; Irwin, Daniel; Lin, Yu; Shang, Yu; He, Lian; Kong, Weikai; Yu, Guoqiang; Luo, Jia

    2015-07-15

    Purpose: Developed herein is a three-dimensional (3D) flow contrast imaging system leveraging advancements in the extension of laser speckle contrast imaging theories to deep tissues along with our recently developed finite-element diffuse correlation tomography (DCT) reconstruction scheme. This technique, termed speckle contrast diffuse correlation tomography (scDCT), enables incorporation of complex optical property heterogeneities and sample boundaries. When combined with a reflectance-based design, this system facilitates a rapid segue into flow contrast imaging of larger, in vivo applications such as humans. Methods: A highly sensitive CCD camera was integrated into a reflectance-based optical system. Four long-coherence laser source positions were coupled to an optical switch for sequencing of tomographic data acquisition providing multiple projections through the sample. This system was investigated through incorporation of liquid and solid tissue-like phantoms exhibiting optical properties and flow characteristics typical of human tissues. Computer simulations were also performed for comparisons. A uniquely encountered smear correction algorithm was employed to correct point-source illumination contributions during image capture with the frame-transfer CCD and reflectance setup. Results: Measurements with scDCT on a homogeneous liquid phantom showed that speckle contrast-based deep flow indices were within 12% of those from standard DCT. Inclusion of a solid phantom submerged below the liquid phantom surface allowed for heterogeneity detection and validation. The heterogeneity was identified successfully by reconstructed 3D flow contrast tomography with scDCT. The heterogeneity center and dimensions and averaged relative flow (within 3%) and localization were in agreement with actuality and computer simulations, respectively. Conclusions: A custom cost-effective CCD-based reflectance 3D flow imaging system demonstrated rapid acquisition of dense boundary

  13. [Subclavian artery stenting using gadolinium contrast medium in a case with iodine allergy].

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, Michiyuki; Asano, Takeshi; Osanai, Toshiya; Endo, Shogo; Nakayama, Naoki; Kuroda, Satoshi; Houkin, Kiyohiro

    2012-05-01

    The authors reported a subclavian artery stenting (SAS) using gadolinium contrast medium. The patient was a 65-year-old female who presented dizziness and right upper extremity pain with movement. Digital subtraction angiography revealed right subclavian artery occlusion with subclavian steal phenomenon. We tried to treat this lesion using SAS. However, iodinated contrast medium caused the allergy in this patient and the treatment was discontinued. Therefore, SAS was performed with gadolinium contrast medium. Using gadolinium contrast medium, it is possible to confirm large arteries like innominate artery and subclavian artery. The stenting procedure was performed without complication. The usage of gadolinium contrast medium has the limit and some strategies are important to reduce the usage of gadolinium contrast medium in SAS. First, PercuSurge GuardWire® was placed in the right internal carotid artery to confirm the anatomy, to decide working angle, and to treat the common carotid artery in case of dissection. Second, a "U" shaped guide wire was placed in the distal end from the brachial artery. Guide wire from femoral side was able to pass the lesion at midpoint of the "U" shaped one. SAS using gadolinium contrast medium may be an alternative treatment if a patient with subclavian artery stenosis or occlusion is allergic to iodinated contrast medium.

  14. Repeated injection of contrast medium inducing dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier: case report.

    PubMed

    Iwata, Tomonori; Mori, Takahisa; Tajiri, Hiroyuki; Miyazaki, Yuichi; Nakazaki, Masahito

    2013-01-01

    An early 60s-year-old man suffered reversible dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) induced by repeated injection of contrast medium during coil embolization of intracranial unruptured aneurysm. He presented with convulsion during coil embolization, and neurological symptoms of aphasia and right hemiparesis continued for 5 days, and then improved completely. All transient radiological abnormalities were limited to the territory of the left internal carotid artery, where contrast medium was injected repeatedly. Repeated computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, single-photon emission computed tomography, and cerebrospinal fluid test findings indicated that temporary dysfunction of the BBB might have occurred. Dysfunction of the BBB in the anterior circulation induced by contrast medium is rare. Tolerance to toxicity of contrast medium may depend on the individual patient, and repeated injection of contrast medium may cause dysfunction of the BBB, leading to toxic dysfunction directly in the brain.

  15. MACROMOLECULAR THERAPEUTICS

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jiyuan; Kopeček, Jindřich

    2014-01-01

    This review covers water-soluble polymer-drug conjugates and macromolecules that possess biological activity without attached low molecular weight drugs. The main design principles of traditional and backbone degradable polymer-drug conjugates as well as the development of a new paradigm in nanomedicines – (low molecular weight) drug-free macromolecular therapeutics are discussed. To address the biological features of cancer, macromolecular therapeutics directed to stem/progenitor cells and the tumor microenvironment are deliberated. Finally, the future perspectives of the field are briefly debated. PMID:24747162

  16. Zero Contrast Coronary Intervention Using Intravascular Ultrasound Guidance in a Patient with Allergy to Contrast Medium.

    PubMed

    Nagaoka, Masakazu; Tsumuraya, Naoko; Nie, Masaki; Ikari, Yuji

    2016-01-01

    The occurrence of allergy to iodinated contrast in certain patients may prevent the use of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in such cases. We present a 53-year-old male with a history of allergic reaction to iodinated contrast who successfully underwent intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) guided PCI. Stent size was determined based on IVUS. After PCI, stent expansion and a lack of edge dissection or incomplete apposition were confirmed by IVUS. Thus, PCI without contrast injection under IVUS may be feasible in selected patients with allergy to iodinated contrast. PMID:27628609

  17. Dual Energy CT Angiography of Peripheral Arterial Disease: Feasibility of Using Lower Contrast Medium Volume

    PubMed Central

    Almutairi, Abdulrahman; Sun, Zhonghua; Poovathumkadavi, Abduljaleel; Assar, Tarek

    2015-01-01

    Objective One of the main drawbacks associated with Dual Energy Computed Tomography Angiography (DECTA) is the risk of developing contrast medium-induced nephropathy (CIN). The aim of the present study was firstly, to design an optimal CT imaging protocol by determining the feasibility of using a reduced contrast medium volume in peripheral arterial DECTA, and secondly, to compare the results with those obtained from using routine contrast medium volume. Methods Thirty four patients underwent DECTA for the diagnosis of peripheral arterial disease. They were randomly divided into two groups: Group 1 (routine contrast volume group) with n = 17, injection rate 4–5 ml/s, and 1.5 ml/kg of contrast medium, and Group 2 ((low contrast volume group), with n = 17, injection rate 4–5ml/s, and contrast medium volume 0.75 ml/kg. A fast kilovoltage—switching 64-slice CT scanner in the dual-energy mode was employed for the study. A total of 6 datasets of monochromatic images at 50, 55, 60, 65, 70 and 75 keV levels were reconstructed with adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) at 50%. A 4-point scale was the tool for qualitative analysis of results. The two groups were compared and assessed quantitatively for image quality on the basis of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise-ratio (CNR). Radiation and contrast medium doses were also compared. Results The overall mean CT attenuation and mean noise for all lower extremity body parts was significantly lower for the low volume contrast group (p<0.001), and varied significantly between groups (p = 0.001), body parts (p<0.001) and keVs (p<0.001). The interaction between group body parts was significant with CT attenuation and CNR (p = 0.002 and 0.003 respectively), and marginally significant with SNR (p = 0.047), with minimal changes noticed between the two groups. Group 2 (low contrast volume group) displayed the lowest image noise between 65 and 70 keV, recorded the highest SNR and CNR at 65 keV, and

  18. In the eye of the storm: iodinated contrast medium induced thyroid storm presenting as cardiopulmonary arrest.

    PubMed

    Alkhuja, Samer; Pyram, Ronald; Odeyemi, Olutunde

    2013-01-01

    The administration of iodinated contrast medium may lead to excess free thyroid hormone release and cause thyroid storm. A woman presented to the emergency department with dyspnea, hemoptysis, and intermittent bilateral lower extremities edema. Physical examination revealed mildly enlarged thyroid. Patient underwent a computed tomography scan of the chest with intravenous iodinated contrast medium to rule out pulmonary embolism, the patient developed a thyroid storm second to iodinated contrast medium injection. Proper treatment was provided and the patient had a good outcome. We present this case of an unusual presentation of a thyroid storm with cardiac arrest. This case illustrates that evaluating thyroid function tests in patients with an enlarged thyroid prior to the administration of iodinated contrast medium could prevent the development of thyroid storm.

  19. Syringomyelia caused by intrathecal remnants of oil-based contrast medium.

    PubMed

    Kubota, Mayumi; Shin, Masahiro; Taniguchi, Makoto; Terao, Toru; Nakauchi, Jun; Takahashi, Hiroshi

    2008-02-01

    Oily contrast medium had been in use since the early 19th century as a radiographic agent for detecting spinal lesions and spinal cord tumors until the late 20th century. At that point computed tomography scanning and magnetic resonance imaging, or other hydrophilic contrast medium substituted for it. Adverse effects of oil-based dye, both acute and chronic, had been reported since the middle of the 20th century. In this paper the authors report the case of syringomyelia that seemed to be caused mainly by remaining oily contrast medium for 44 years. Syringomyelia secondary to adhesive arachnoiditis caused by oily contrast medium after a long period of time is well known. In the present case, however, surgery revealed only mild arachnoiditis at the level of syringomyelia as well as both solid and liquid remnants of contrast medium. Generally, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) blockage due to an arachnoid adhesion is considered to cause syringomyelia following adhesive arachnoiditis. The authors speculated that in the present case syringomyelia was induced by a mechanism different from that in the previously reported cases; the oily contrast medium itself seems to have induced the functional block of CSF and impaired the buffer system of the intrathecal pressure. No reports on thoracic adhesive arachnoiditis and syringomyelia caused by oil-based dye referred to this mechanism in reviewing the literature. PMID:18248289

  20. Is contrast medium osmolality a causal factor for contrast-induced nephropathy?

    PubMed

    Bucher, Andreas M; De Cecco, Carlo N; Schoepf, U Joseph; Meinel, Felix G; Krazinski, Aleksander W; Spearman, James V; McQuiston, Andrew D; Wang, Rui; Bucher, Judith; Vogl, Thomas J; Katzberg, Richard W

    2014-01-01

    The exact pathophysiology of contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) is not fully clarified, yet the osmotic characteristics of contrast media (CM) have been a significant focus in many investigations of CIN. Osmotic effects of CM specific to the kidney include transient decreases in blood flow, filtration fraction, and glomerular filtration rate. Potentially significant secondary effects include an osmotically induced diuresis with a concomitant dehydrating effect. Clinical experiences that have compared the occurrence of CIN between the various classes of CM based on osmolality have suggested a much less than anticipated advantage, if any, with a lower osmolality. Recent animal experiments actually suggest that induction of a mild osmotic diuresis in association with iso-osmolar agents tends to offset potentially deleterious renal effects of high viscosity-mediated intratubular CM stagnation.

  1. Intravenous contrast medium aggravates the impairment of pancreatic microcirculation in necrotizing pancreatitis in the rat.

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, J; Hotz, H G; Foitzik, T; Ryschich, E; Buhr, H J; Warshaw, A L; Herfarth, C; Klar, E

    1995-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Previous reports demonstrated that radiographic contrast medium, as used in contrast-enhanced computed tomography, increases acinar necrosis and mortality in experimental pancreatitis. The authors studied the possibility that these changes may be related to an additional impairment of pancreatic microcirculation. METHODS: Fifty Wistar rats had acute pancreatitis induced by intraductal glycodeoxycholic acid (10 mmol/L for 10 min) and intravenous cerulein (5 micrograms/kg/hr for 6 hrs). After rehydration (16 mL/kg), pancreatic capillary perfusion was quantified by means of intravital microscopy at baseline before intravenous infusion of contrast medium (n = 25) or saline (n = 25), and 30 and 60 minutes thereafter. In addition to total capillary flow, capillaries were categorized as high- or low-flow (> or < 1.6 nL/min). RESULTS: Pancreatic capillary flow did not change in either high- or low-flow capillaries after saline infusion. However, contrast medium infusion induced a significant decrease of total capillary flow (p < 0.001). Analysis according to the relative flow rate revealed that this was primarily because of a significant additional reduction of perfusion in low-flow capillaries (p < 0.0001). Furthermore, complete capillary stasis was observed in 15.9 +/- 3.4% after contrast medium as compared with 3.2 +/- 1.2% after saline infusion (p < 0.006). CONCLUSION: Radiographic contrast medium aggravates the impairment of pancreatic microcirculation in experimental necrotizing pancreatitis. PMID:7717779

  2. Pharmacokinetic study of ioxaglate, a low osmolality contrast medium, in patients with renal failure.

    PubMed

    Bourin, M; Laporte, V; Guenzet, J; Langlois, S; Pengloan, J; Rouleau, P

    1986-11-01

    Determination of changes in plasma concentration of ioxaglate in patients with renal failure made it possible to demonstrate that distribution and clearance of this contrast medium, as in the case of classic uroangiographic products, conform to an open two-compartment model with clearance from the central compartment. Various pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated. The metabolic clearance of ioxaglate was lower for all 6 patients studied, as compared with results for 3 normal subjects tested, but less marked than with iodamide, a contrast medium involving tubular secretion.

  3. Liver-specific magnetic resonance contrast medium in the evaluation of chronic liver disease

    PubMed Central

    dos Reis, Marcio Augusto Correia Rodrigues; Baroni, Ronaldo Hueb

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The hepatobiliary-specific contrast medium (gadoxetic acid – Primovist®) is primarily used to improve detection and characterization of focal hepatic lesions, such as in chronic liver disease patients with suspected hepatocellular carcinoma. Since the contrast medium is selectively taken up by functioning hepatocytes in the late hepatobiliary phase, it helps to detect typical hepatocellular carcinoma, which show low signal intensity on this phase. This imaging feature also assists in differentiating regenerative/dysplastic nodules from early hepatocellular carcinomas (with over 90% accuracy), as well as hypervascular hepatocellular carcinomas from arterial pseudo-enhancement foci. Future perspectives include its use in quantification of hepatic function and fibrosis. PMID:26154554

  4. A method to evaluate the dose increase in CT with iodinated contrast medium

    SciTech Connect

    Amato, Ernesto; Lizio, Domenico; Settineri, Nicola; Di Pasquale, Andrea; Salamone, Ignazio; Pandolfo, Ignazio

    2010-08-15

    Purpose: The objective of this study is to develop a method to calculate the relative dose increase when a computerized tomography scan (CT) is carried out after administration of iodinated contrast medium, with respect to the same CT scan in absence of contrast medium. Methods: A Monte Carlo simulation in GEANT4 of anthropomorphic neck and abdomen phantoms exposed to a simplified model of CT scanner was set up in order to calculate the increase of dose to thyroid, liver, spleen, kidneys, and pancreas as a function of the quantity of iodine accumulated; a series of experimental measurements of Hounsfield unit (HU) increment for known concentrations of iodinated contrast medium was carried out on a Siemens Sensation 16 CT scanner in order to obtain a relationship between the increment in HU and the relative dose increase in the organs studied. The authors applied such a method to calculate the average dose increase in three patients who underwent standard CT protocols consisting of one native scan in absence of contrast, followed by a contrast-enhanced scan in venous phase. Results: The authors validated their GEANT4 Monte Carlo simulation by comparing the resulting dose increases for iodine solutions in water with the ones presented in literature and with their experimental data obtained through a Roentgen therapy unit. The relative dose increases as a function of the iodine mass fraction accumulated and as a function of the Hounsfield unit increment between the contrast-enhanced scan and the native scan are presented. The data shown for the three patients exhibit an average relative dose increase between 22% for liver and 74% for kidneys; also, spleen (34%), pancreas (28%), and thyroid (48%) show a remarkable average increase. Conclusions: The method developed allows a simple evaluation of the dose increase when iodinated contrast medium is used in CT scans, basing on the increment in Hounsfield units observed on the patients' organs. Since many clinical protocols

  5. Management of large volume CT contrast medium extravasation injury: technical refinement and literature review.

    PubMed

    Schaverien, Mark V; Evison, Demetrius; McCulley, Stephen J

    2008-01-01

    The incidence of radiographic contrast medium extravasation is on the rise due to the rapid increase in availability of contrast enhanced imaging. There is no consensus, however, regarding its management. There is a wide spectrum of clinical presentations, ranging from localised erythema and oedema to skin necrosis, which is related to the osmolarity and volume of the extravasated contrast medium. It is not possible to predict the degree of final tissue injury at initial examination. The increase in use of automated bolus injection has led to an increase in incidence of large volume extravasation injuries. Here we present a review of the literature regarding clinical presentation, risk factors, and management of contrast extravasation injuries. We also report the management of a large volume computed tomography contrast extravasation injury following mechanical bolus injection using a combination of liposuction and saline washout as described by Gault, and the use of compression by a Rhys-Davies exsanguinator as a technical refinement to achieve immediate resolution of the soft tissue oedema. PMID:17459795

  6. Experimental study of arachnoiditis from iohexol, an investigational nonionic aqueous contrast medium.

    PubMed

    Haughton, V M; Ho, K C; Lipman, B T

    1982-01-01

    Myelography was performed in 16 monkeys using either metrizamide or iohexol, a new nonionic aqueous contrast medium. Eight of the animals received almost five times the recommended clinical dose of contrast medium per unit of body weight; the other eight received the equivalent of a high clinical dose. The severity of resultant arachnoiditis 12 weeks later was evaluated by repeat myelography and by histologic study of the arachnoid. No animals had severe arachnoiditis. Two of the four animals examined with the higher dose of metrizamide had moderate arachnoiditis and one had mild arachnoiditis; with the lower dose of metrizamide, two of four animals had mild arachnoiditis. No significant evidence of arachnoiditis was seen in any of the eight animals examined with iohexol.

  7. Low contrast medium and radiation dose for hepatic computed tomography perfusion of rabbit VX2 tumor

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Cai-Yuan; Cui, Yan-Fen; Guo, Chen; Cai, Jing; Weng, Ya-Fang; Wang, Li-Jun; Wang, Deng-Bin

    2015-01-01

    AIM: To evaluate the feasibility of low contrast medium and radiation dose for hepatic computed tomography (CT) perfusion of rabbit VX2 tumor. METHODS: Eleven rabbits with hepatic VX2 tumor underwent perfusion CT scanning with a 24-h interval between a conventional tube potential (120 kVp) protocol with 350 mgI/mL contrast medium and filtered back projection, and a low tube potential (80 kVp) protocol with 270 mgI/mL contrast medium with iterative reconstruction. Correlation and agreement among perfusion parameters acquired by the conventional and low dose protocols were assessed for the viable tumor component as well as whole tumor. Image noise and tumor-to-liver contrast to noise ratio during arterial and portal venous phases were evaluated. RESULTS: A 38% reduction in contrast medium dose (360.1 ± 13.3 mgI/kg vs 583.5 ± 21.5 mgI/kg, P < 0.001) and a 73% decrease in radiation dose (1898.5 mGy • cm vs 6951.8 mGy • cm) were observed. Interestingly, there was a strong positive correlation in hepatic arterial perfusion (r = 0.907, P < 0.001; r = 0.879, P < 0.001), hepatic portal perfusion (r = 0.819, P = 0.002; r = 0.831, P = 0.002), and hepatic blood flow (r = 0.945, P < 0.001; r = 0.930, P < 0.001) as well as a moderate correlation in hepatic perfusion index (r = 0.736, P = 0.01; r = 0.636, P = 0.035) between the low dose protocol with iterative reconstruction and the conventional protocol for the viable tumor component and the whole tumor. These two imaging protocols provided a moderate but acceptable agreement for perfusion parameters and similar tumor-to-liver CNR during arterial and portal venous phases (5.63 ± 2.38 vs 6.16 ± 2.60, P = 0.814; 4.60 ± 1.27 vs 5.11 ± 1.74, P = 0.587). CONCLUSION: Compared with the conventional protocol, low contrast medium and radiation dose with iterative reconstruction has no significant influence on hepatic perfusion parameters for rabbits VX2 tumor. PMID:25954099

  8. Object reconstruction in scattering medium using multiple elliptical polarized speckle contrast projections and optical clearing agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moshe, Tomer; Firer, Michael A.; Abookasis, David

    2015-05-01

    In this paper, we present a hybrid method for improving the imaging quality of objects obscured within a scattering environment by combining multiple elliptical polarized speckle contrast projections with the use of optical clearing agents (OCAs). Elliptically polarized light enables the probing of subsurface volumes, where OCAs decrease light scattering while increasing photons' penetration depth through the medium. Experiments were conducted on object sample and prostate cancer cells embedded within ex vivo biological samples (chicken breasts) in reflection configuration. After immersion with OCAs, the medium was irradiated with an elliptically polarized laser beam and multiple polarized speckled images obtained from a lens array were first converted to speckled contrast images and then processed using a self-deconvolution shift-and-add algorithm. The conversion to contrast images and multiple perspectives acquisition was found to emphasize contrast. Analysis of image quality indicated improvement in object visualization by the combination of elliptical polarization and OCAs. This enhanced imaging strategy may advance the development of improved methods in biomedicine field, specifically biomedical tomography.

  9. Efficacy of coronary fractional flow reserve using contrast medium compared to adenosine

    PubMed Central

    Tanboğa, Ibrahim Halil; Aksakal, Enbiya; Aksu, Uğur; Gulcu, Oktay; Birdal, Oğuzhan; Arısoy, Arif; Kalaycı, Arzu; Ulusoy, Fatih Rifat; Sevimli, Serdar

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Coronary fractional flow reserve (FFR) is recommended as the gold standard method in evaluating intermediate coronary stenoses. However, there are significant debates concerning the agents and the timing of the measurement. Aim To compare the contrast medium induced Pd/Pa ratio (CMR) with the FFR. Material and methods We enrolled 28 consecutive patients with 34 intermediate lesions who underwent coronary FFR measurement by intracoronary (i.c.) adenosine. After baseline Pd/Pa was calculated, a single contrast medium (Iomeron) injection of 6 ml (3 ml/s) was performed manually. Within 10 s after the contrast medium injection, the CMR was calculated. Bolus injection of i.c. adenosine was performed to induce maximal hyperemia (from 60 µg to 600 µg), and when it was ≤ 0.80, the intermediate lesion was considered as significant. Results After bolus i.c. adenosine, 12 lesions of 34 (35.3%) were identified as significant. The CMR value was 0.86 ±0.06 (range: 0.71–0.97). There were no significant differences between FFR and CMR values (p = 0.108). A substantial positive correlation between adenosine and contrast values was detected (0.886 and p < 0.001). Good agreement in Bland-Altman analysis was revealed (mean bias was 0.027, 95% confidence interval 0.038–0.092). Receiver operating characteristics curve analysis showed 90.9% sensitivity and 91.7% specificity for a cut-off value of 0.85 for the CMR compared to FFR (≤ 0.80). Conclusions Our study showed that measuring the CMR is a feasible method compared to FFR. The CMR may be used in situations where adenosine cannot be administered. PMID:27625683

  10. Imaging Quality Evaluation of Low Tube Voltage Coronary CT Angiography Using Low Concentration Contrast Medium

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zaixian; Wang, Qingguo; Zheng, Linfeng; Feng, Yan; Zhou, Zhiguo; Zhang, Guixiang; Li, Kangan

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To compare the image quality of prospectively ECG-gated low voltage coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) with an administration of low concentration contrast medium. Method and Materials A total of 101 patients, each with a heart rate below 65 beats per minute (BPM), underwent a prospectively ECG-gated axial scan in CT coronary angiography on a 64-slice CT scanner. All patients were allocated in three groups (group A: n=31, 80kVp, 300 mgI/ml; group B: n=34, 100kVp, 300 mgI/ml; group C: n=36, 120kVp, 370 mgI/ml). The CT attenuation values of aortic root (AR), left main coronary artery (LMA), right main coronary artery (RMA) and chest subcutaneous fat tissue were measured. The contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of AR, LMA and RMA were calculated according to the formulas below. The values of computed tomography dose index (CTDI) and dose-length product (DLP) were recorded. Image quality was assessed on a 5-point scale. The results were compared using the one-way ANOVA and rank sum tests. Results The values of CNR and SNR for vessels in group A and group B were not significantly different from group C (each p > 0.05). The effective radiation dose in group A (1.51±0.70 mSv) and group B (2.59±1.24 mSv) were both lower than group C (4.92±2.82 mSv) (each p < 0.05). There was no significant difference among the image quality scores of group A (4.10±0.41), group B (3.90±0.48) and group C (4.04±0.36) (each P > 0.05). Conclusion Low tube voltage coronary CT angiography using low concentration contrast medium does not affect the imaging quality for assessing the coronary arteries compared with high voltage coronary CT angiography using high concentration contrast medium. Meanwhile low concentration contrast medium allowed 47-69% of radiation dose reduction. PMID:25811785

  11. [Intravenous urography with a nonionic low osmolality contrast medium (iopamidol) in elderly patients].

    PubMed

    Tanaka, H; Senju, M; Ikeuchi, H; Nakatani, T; Yamamoto, K; Kishimoto, T; Maekawa, M

    1988-12-01

    Intravenous urography was carried out with a nonionic low osmolality contrast medium, iopamidol (Iopamiron 300) in 30 elderly patients (aged 65 to 86; with the mean age of 75 +/- 6), and the safety for the aged and radiopacity were evaluated. Although no purgative was given and water was not restricted in consideration of dehydration and bad influence on renal function, the total urinary system was well visualized. Side-effect was observed in none of 30 patients. This method seems to be useful for patients with a risk of dehydration and elderly patients.

  12. Analytical optimization of digital subtraction mammography with contrast medium using a commercial unit.

    PubMed

    Rosado-Méndez, I; Palma, B A; Brandan, M E

    2008-12-01

    Contrast-medium-enhanced digital mammography (CEDM) is an image subtraction technique which might help unmasking lesions embedded in very dense breasts. Previous works have stated the feasibility of CEDM and the imperative need of radiological optimization. This work presents an extension of a former analytical formalism to predict contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) in subtracted mammograms. The goal is to optimize radiological parameters available in a clinical mammographic unit (x-ray tube anode/filter combination, voltage, and loading) by maximizing CNR and minimizing total mean glandular dose (D(gT)), simulating the experimental application of an iodine-based contrast medium and the image subtraction under dual-energy nontemporal, and single- or dual-energy temporal modalities. Total breast-entrance air kerma is limited to a fixed 8.76 mGy (1 R, similar to screening studies). Mathematical expressions obtained from the formalism are evaluated using computed mammographic x-ray spectra attenuated by an adipose/glandular breast containing an elongated structure filled with an iodinated solution in various concentrations. A systematic study of contrast, its associated variance, and CNR for different spectral combinations is performed, concluding in the proposal of optimum x-ray spectra. The linearity between contrast in subtracted images and iodine mass thickness is proven, including the determination of iodine visualization limits based on Rose's detection criterion. Finally, total breast-entrance air kerma is distributed between both images in various proportions in order to maximize the figure of merit CNR2/D(gT). Predicted results indicate the advantage of temporal subtraction (either single- or dual-energy modalities) with optimum parameters corresponding to high-voltage, strongly hardened Rh/Rh spectra. For temporal techniques, CNR was found to depend mostly on the energy of the iodinated image, and thus reduction in D(gT) could be achieved if the spectral energy

  13. Clinical cardiovascular experiences with iopamidol: a new non-ionic contrast medium.

    PubMed

    Partridge, J B; Robinson, P J; Turnbull, C M; Stoker, J B; Boyle, R M; Morrison, G W

    1981-07-01

    Iopamidol, a new non-ionic water-soluble contrast medium, has been compared with standard ionic media in a number of cardiovascular applications. It is stable in aqueous solution, is much less viscous and only slightly more osmolar than metrizamide. Compared to sodium meglumine diatrizoate in a series of 40 coronary arteriograms, it produced a consistent and highly significant decrease in the incidence and severity of hypotension and bradycardia following intracoronary injection. In the same group and in 62 children undergoing ventricular or great vessel angiocardiography, a subjective assessment of patient reaction showed that iopamidol was better tolerated than the ionic medium. There was a very strong patient preference for iopamidol in a group of 20 of the adult patients who had also consented to femoral artery injections of both media. Throughout these series there was no detectable difference in arterial image quality between the media. Venous phase opacification during arterioportography was assessed in 11 cases comparing iopamidol with sodium meglumine iothalamate. No significant difference was found. We conclude that iopamidol is clearly preferable to ionic media for routine cardiovascular applications.

  14. [Dynamic contrast medium studies with flash sequences in nuclear magnetic resonance tomography of the breast].

    PubMed

    Heywang, S H; Hilbertz, T; Pruss, E; Wolf, A; Permanetter, W; Eiermann, W; Lissner, J

    1988-03-01

    In this study the dynamic contrast behavior after Gd-DTPA of different breast tissues and tumors has been investigated with a series of T1-weighted FLASH-sequences during the first 5 minutes after the application of Gd-DTPA. The results of these dynamic FLASH-measurements have been compared to the results of the SE-sequences 6-10 and 11-15 minutes after Gd-DTPA in 40 patients with 54 different breast tissues. It could be shown that in a number of cases a better differentiation (e.g. DD between carcinomas and proliferative dysplasia) was possible on FLASH-scans early after contrast medium than on the late SE-scans. Only the distinction between non-proliferative and proliferative dysplasia was better on the late SE-scans. Evaluation of the enhancement dynamics may be helpful in some cases as an additional information. Further investigations are necessary to confirm these findings and to assess their value.

  15. Detecting relative speed changes of moving objects through scattering medium by using wavefront shaping and laser speckle contrast analysis.

    PubMed

    Li, Yangyang; Liu, Rui; Wang, Yang; Wen, Dong; Meng, Liangwei; Lu, Jinling; Li, Pengcheng

    2016-04-18

    Imaging through a scattering medium has been a main challenge in modern optical imaging field. Recently, imaging through scattering medium based on wavefront shaping has been reported. However, it has not been clearly investigated to apply the optical memory effect based iterative wavefront shaping technique in speed estimation of a moving object through scattering medium. Here, we proposed to combine the iterative wavefront shaping technique with laser speckle contrast analysis method to detect the relative speed changes of moving objects through scattering medium. Phantom experiments were performed to validate our method.

  16. Intravenous Contrast Medium Administration for Computed Tomography Scan in Emergency: A Possible Cause of Contrast-Induced Nephropathy

    PubMed Central

    Sonhaye, Lantam; Kolou, Bérésa; Tchaou, Mazamaesso; Amadou, Abdoulatif; Assih, Kouméabalo; N'Timon, Bidamin; Adambounou, Kokou; Agoda-Koussema, Lama; Adjenou, Komlavi; N'Dakena, Koffi

    2015-01-01

    The goal of this study was to assess risk for CIN after CT Scan during an emergency and to identify risk factors for the patient. Prospective review of all patients admitted to the emergency room (ER) of the Teaching Hospital of Lomé (Togo) during a 2-year period. CIN was defined as an increase in serum creatinine by 0.5 mg/dL from admission after undergoing CT Scan with intravenous contrast. A total of 620 patients underwent a CT Scan in the emergency room using intravenous contrast and 672 patients took the CT Scan without intravenous contrast. Out of the patients who received intravenous contrast for CT Scan, three percent of them developed CIN during their admission. Moreover, upon discharge no patient had continued renal impairment. No patient required dialysis during their admission. The multivariate analysis of all patients who had serial creatinine levels (including those who did not receive any contrast load) shows no increased risk for acute kidney injury associated intravenous contrast (odds ratio = 0.619, p value = 0.886); only diabetes remains independent risk factor of acute kidney injury (odds ratio = 6.26, p value = 0.031). PMID:26576300

  17. Breviscapine attenuatted contrast medium-induced nephropathy via PKC/Akt/MAPK signalling in diabetic mice

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Wenbin; Li, Zhengwei; Zhao, Wei; Chen, Hao; Wu, Youyang; Wang, Yi; Shen, Zhida; He, Jialin; Chen, Shengyu; Zhang, Jiefang; Fu, Guosheng

    2016-01-01

    Contrast medium-induced nephropathy (CIN) remains a major cause of iatrogenic, drug-induced renal injury. Recent studies reveal that Breviscapine can ameliorate diabetic nephropathy in mice. Yet it remains unknown if Breviscapine could reduce CIN in diabetic mice. In this study, male C57/BL6J mice were randomly divided into 7 groups: control, diabetes mellitus, CIN, diabetes mellitus+CIN, diabetes mellitus+Breviscapine, CIN+Breviscapine and diabetes mellitus+CIN+Breviscapine. Model of CIN was induced by tail intravenous administration of iopromide and model of diabetes mellitus was induced by Streptozotocin intraperitoneally. Breviscapine was administered intragastrically for 4 weeks. Renal function parameters, kidney histology, markers of renal fibrosis, phosphorylation of protein kinase C/Akt/mitogen activated protein kinases were measured by western blot. We found out that diabetes mellitus aggravated CIN damage. Renal histological analysis showed Breviscapine reduced of renal fibrosis and tubular damage. Breviscapine was also shown markedly to ameliorate CIN fibrotic markers expression, reduced proteinuria and serum creatinine. Furthermore, Breviscapine decreased phosphorylation of PKCβII, Akt, JNK1/2 and p38. Therefore, Breviscapine treatment could ameliorate the development of CIN in diabetic mice, which was partly attributed to its suppression of renal fibrosis via phosphorylation of PKCβII/Akt/JNK1/2/p38 signalling. PMID:27158329

  18. Breviscapine attenuatted contrast medium-induced nephropathy via PKC/Akt/MAPK signalling in diabetic mice.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Wenbin; Li, Zhengwei; Zhao, Wei; Chen, Hao; Wu, Youyang; Wang, Yi; Shen, Zhida; He, Jialin; Chen, Shengyu; Zhang, Jiefang; Fu, Guosheng

    2016-01-01

    Contrast medium-induced nephropathy (CIN) remains a major cause of iatrogenic, drug-induced renal injury. Recent studies reveal that Breviscapine can ameliorate diabetic nephropathy in mice. Yet it remains unknown if Breviscapine could reduce CIN in diabetic mice. In this study, male C57/BL6J mice were randomly divided into 7 groups: control, diabetes mellitus, CIN, diabetes mellitus+CIN, diabetes mellitus+Breviscapine, CIN+Breviscapine and diabetes mellitus+CIN+Breviscapine. Model of CIN was induced by tail intravenous administration of iopromide and model of diabetes mellitus was induced by Streptozotocin intraperitoneally. Breviscapine was administered intragastrically for 4 weeks. Renal function parameters, kidney histology, markers of renal fibrosis, phosphorylation of protein kinase C/Akt/mitogen activated protein kinases were measured by western blot. We found out that diabetes mellitus aggravated CIN damage. Renal histological analysis showed Breviscapine reduced of renal fibrosis and tubular damage. Breviscapine was also shown markedly to ameliorate CIN fibrotic markers expression, reduced proteinuria and serum creatinine. Furthermore, Breviscapine decreased phosphorylation of PKCβII, Akt, JNK1/2 and p38. Therefore, Breviscapine treatment could ameliorate the development of CIN in diabetic mice, which was partly attributed to its suppression of renal fibrosis via phosphorylation of PKCβII/Akt/JNK1/2/p38 signalling.

  19. [General pharmacological study of iodixanol, a new non-ionic isotonic contrast medium].

    PubMed

    Takasuna, K; Kasai, Y; Kitano, Y; Mori, K; Kobayashi, R; Makino, M; Hagiwara, T; Hirohashi, M; Nomura, M; Algate, D R

    1995-10-01

    The general pharmacological study of iodixanol, a non-ionic isotonic contrast medium, was conducted. 1) Iodixanol administered intravenously over a dose range of 320 to 3,200 mgI/kg had little or no effect on the general behavior, spontaneous locomotor activity, hexobarbital sleeping time, pain response, electroshock- or pentylenetetrazol-induced convulsion (mouse), EEG or body temperature (rabbit), gastrointestinal propulsion (mouse) or skeletal muscle contraction (rabbit). Iodixanol had no specific interaction with acetylcholine, histamine, serotonin, nicotin, BaCl2 (ileum), methacholine (trachea), isoprenaline (atrium) or oxytocin (pregnant uterus), nor had any effect on spontaneous contractility (atrium and uterus), or transmural electrostimulation-induced contractility (vas deferens) at concentrations of < or = 3.2 x 10(-3) gI/ml in vitro. Iodixanol had no effect on the cardiovascular system of dog, except that it increased femoral blood flow and respiratory rate at doses of > or = 1,000 mgI/kg. Iodixanol at 3,200 mgI/kg i.v. reduced urine output with a decrease in Na+ and Cl- excretion, whereas at 320 mgI/kg i.v., it slightly increased urine output (rat). 2) Injections of iodixanol into the cerebroventricular (0.96, 9.6 mgI/mouse and 3.2, 32 mgI/rat), left ventricular (1,920, 6,400 mgI/dog) or coronary artery (640, 1,920 mgI/dog) had no conspicuous effect on the central nervous system or the cardiovascular system, respectively. There was no marked difference among iodixanol, iohexol and iopamidol in this respect. Vascular pain during injection into the femoral artery (300-320 mgI/guinea pig) appeared to be less intense with iodixanol, compared with the other contrast media iohexol and iopamidol. These results suggest that intravenous injection of iodixanol is relatively free from pharmacological activity, and effects of iodixanol on the central nervous system (intracerebroventricular injection) and cardiovascular system (intra-left ventricular and -coronary

  20. Fox baiting against Echinococcus multilocularis: contrasted achievements among two medium size cities.

    PubMed

    Comte, S; Raton, V; Raoul, F; Hegglin, D; Giraudoux, P; Deplazes, P; Favier, S; Gottschek, D; Umhang, G; Boué, F; Combes, B

    2013-08-01

    In Europe, most cities are currently colonized by red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), which are considered to be the main definitive host of the zoonotic cestode Echinococcus multilocularis. The risk of transmission to humans is of particular concern where high fox populations overlap with high human populations. The distribution of baits containing praziquantel has successfully reduced the infection pressure in rural areas and in small plots within large cities. The purpose of this study was to assess its efficiency in two medium size cities (less than 100,000 inhabitants) in areas of high human alveolar echinococcosis incidence. From August 2006 to March 2009, 14 baiting campaigns of praziquantel treatment were run in Annemasse and Pontarlier (Eastern France), each of which encompassed 33 km(2), with a density of 40 baits/km(2). The bait consumption appeared to be lower in strictly urban context compared to suburban areas (78.9% vs. 93.4%) and lower in Annemasse than in Pontarlier (82.2% vs. 89.5%). During our study, the prevalence of E. multilocularis, as assessed by EM-ELISA on fox faeces collected in the field in Annemasse, was lower within the treated area than in the rural control area. A "before/during" treatment comparison revealed a significant decrease of spring prevalence from 13.3% to 2.2%. No significant change in prevalence was detected in Pontarlier (stable prevalence: 9.1%) where the contamination of the treated area followed the temporal trend observed in the control area. There, a greater resilience of the parasite's life cycle, probably due to a strong pressure of recontamination from outside the treated area, may have counteracted the prophylaxis treatment. These contrasted outcomes suggest that the frequency of fox anthelmintic treatment should be adapted to the local situation. PMID:23642656

  1. Contrast medium administration and image acquisition parameters in renal CT angiography: what radiologists need to know

    PubMed Central

    Saade, Charbel; Deeb, Ibrahim Alsheikh; Mohamad, Maha; Al-Mohiy, Hussain; El-Merhi, Fadi

    2016-01-01

    Over the last decade, exponential advances in computed tomography (CT) technology have resulted in improved spatial and temporal resolution. Faster image acquisition enabled renal CT angiography to become a viable and effective noninvasive alternative in diagnosing renal vascular pathologies. However, with these advances, new challenges in contrast media administration have emerged. Poor synchronization between scanner and contrast media administration have reduced the consistency in image quality with poor spatial and contrast resolution. Comprehensive understanding of contrast media dynamics is essential in the design and implementation of contrast administration and image acquisition protocols. This review includes an overview of the parameters affecting renal artery opacification and current protocol strategies to achieve optimal image quality during renal CT angiography with iodinated contrast media, with current safety issues highlighted. PMID:26728701

  2. Contrast medium accumulation and washout in canine brain tumors and irradiated normal brain: a CT study of kinetics

    SciTech Connect

    Fike, J.R.; Cann, C.E.

    1984-04-01

    Kinetics of an iodinated contrast medium were evaluated quantitatively as a function of time up to one hour after intravenous infusion in the brains of dogs with experimentally induced radiation damage and dogs with spontaneous brain tumor. Radiation damage was characterized by an increase in iodine accumulation soon after the infusion, while tumor concentration of iodine either showed no change or decreased with time. These results suggest that contrast kinetic studies may be useful in differentiating radiation damage to normal brain tissue from a malignant brain tumor.

  3. Macromolecular Crystallization in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snell, Edward H.; Helliwell, John R.

    2004-01-01

    The key concepts that attracted crystal growers, macromolecular or solid state, to microgravity research is that density difference fluid flows and sedimentation of the growing crystals are greatly reduced. Thus, defects and flaws in the crystals can be reduced, even eliminated, and crystal volume can be increased. Macromolecular crystallography differs from the field of crystalline semiconductors. For the latter, crystals are harnessed for their electrical behaviors. A crystal of a biological macromolecule is used instead for diffraction experiments (X-ray or neutron) to determine the three-dimensional structure of the macromolecule. The better the internal order of the crystal of a biological macromolecule then the more molecular structure detail that can be extracted. This structural information that enables an understanding of how the molecule functions. This knowledge is changing the biological and chemical sciences with major potential in understanding disease pathologies. Macromolecular structural crystallography in general is a remarkable field where physics, biology, chemistry, and mathematics meet to enable insight to the basic fundamentals of life. In this review, we examine the use of microgravity as an environment to grow macromolecular crystals. We describe the crystallization procedures used on the ground, how the resulting crystals are studied and the knowledge obtained from those crystals. We address the features desired in an ordered crystal and the techniques used to evaluate those features in detail. We then introduce the microgravity environment, the techniques to access that environment, and the theory and evidence behind the use of microgravity for crystallization experiments. We describe how ground-based laboratory techniques have been adapted to microgravity flights and look at some of the methods used to analyze the resulting data. Several case studies illustrate the physical crystal quality improvements and the macromolecular structural

  4. Does iodinated contrast medium amplify DNA damage during exposure to radiation.

    PubMed

    Riley, Peter

    2015-01-01

    There is a recognized increased risk of cancer following exposure of humans to ionizing radiation; this is felt to be most likely due to damage to DNA strands during exposure. Damage to DNA strands can be demonstrated microscopically following exposure to X-rays, and new evidence is emerging that this effect may be compounded by administration of iodinated contrast agents. PMID:26234959

  5. Thromboelastographic Changes Following Nonionic Contrast Medium Injection During Transfemoral Angiography in Patients with Peripheral Arterial Occlusive Disease

    SciTech Connect

    Shankar, V.K. Handa, A.; Philips-Hughes, J.; Boardman, P.; Uberoi, R.; Hands, L.J.

    2006-12-15

    Background/Purpose. Patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) are known to be systemically hypercoagulable and there is concern that exposing them to contrast media during angiography may exacerbate that thrombotic tendency. Many in vitro studies in which blood is exposed to contrast media suggest that nonionic contrast medium (NICM) has a weaker anticoagulant effect than ionic contrast medium (ICM) and some studies suggest that NICM can lead to activation of coagulation thus increasing the risk of thrombotic events where it is employed. We have looked at the changes in coagulation adjacent to the site of contrast injection/potential angioplasty to determine the magnitude of change locally. Methods. We measured changes in the coagulability of aortic blood samples immediately before and within 2 min after injection of the last bolus of iohexol (NICM) prior to any intervention procedure in 30 patients with PAOD. Samples were analyzed using thromboelastography (TEG) to identify changes in the coagulability of the aortic blood samples. Results. TEG tracings of samples taken from the aorta after injection of NICM showed a significant increase in R time (time to fibrin formation) (p = 0.036) and in k time (dynamics of clot formation) (p = 0.028) and a reduction in Angle (decreased acceleration of fibrin build-up) (p = 0.013), Maximal amplitude (MA) (reduced ultimate clot strength) (p = 0.018) and Coagulation Index (CI) (p = 0.032). Conclusion. These changes in TEG parameters show that the local effect of NICM is a reduction in coagulation activity rather than the activation suggested by some previous studies.

  6. Nanotoxic profiling of novel iron oxide nanoparticles functionalized with perchloric acid and SiPEG as a radiographic contrast medium.

    PubMed

    Mohamed, Muhamad Idham; Mohammad, Mohd Khairul Amran; Abdul Razak, Hairil Rashmizal; Abdul Razak, Khairunisak; Saad, Wan Mazlina Md

    2015-01-01

    Emerging syntheses and findings of new metallic nanoparticles (MNPs) have become an important aspect in various fields including diagnostic imaging. To date, iodine has been utilized as a radiographic contrast medium. However, the raise concern of iodine threats on iodine-intolerance patient has led to search of new contrast media with lower toxic level. In this animal modeling study, 14 nm iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) with silane-polyethylene glycol (SiPEG) and perchloric acid have been assessed for toxicity level as compared to conventional iodine. The nanotoxicity of IONPs was evaluated in liver biochemistry, reactive oxygen species production (ROS), lipid peroxidation mechanism, and ultrastructural evaluation using transmission electron microscope (TEM). The hematological analysis and liver function test (LFT) revealed that most of the liver enzymes were significantly higher in iodine-administered group as compared to those in normal and IONPs groups (P < 0.05). ROS production assay and lipid peroxidation indicator, malondialdehyde (MDA), also showed significant reductions in comparison with iodine group (P < 0.05). TEM evaluation yielded the aberration of nucleus structure of iodine-administered group as compared to those in control and IONPs groups. This study has demonstrated the less toxic properties of IONPs and it may postulate that IONPs are safe to be applied as radiographic contrast medium. PMID:26075217

  7. Nanotoxic Profiling of Novel Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Functionalized with Perchloric Acid and SiPEG as a Radiographic Contrast Medium

    PubMed Central

    Mohamed, Muhamad Idham; Mohammad, Mohd Khairul Amran; Abdul Razak, Hairil Rashmizal; Abdul Razak, Khairunisak; Md Saad, Wan Mazlina

    2015-01-01

    Emerging syntheses and findings of new metallic nanoparticles (MNPs) have become an important aspect in various fields including diagnostic imaging. To date, iodine has been utilized as a radiographic contrast medium. However, the raise concern of iodine threats on iodine-intolerance patient has led to search of new contrast media with lower toxic level. In this animal modeling study, 14 nm iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) with silane-polyethylene glycol (SiPEG) and perchloric acid have been assessed for toxicity level as compared to conventional iodine. The nanotoxicity of IONPs was evaluated in liver biochemistry, reactive oxygen species production (ROS), lipid peroxidation mechanism, and ultrastructural evaluation using transmission electron microscope (TEM). The hematological analysis and liver function test (LFT) revealed that most of the liver enzymes were significantly higher in iodine-administered group as compared to those in normal and IONPs groups (P < 0.05). ROS production assay and lipid peroxidation indicator, malondialdehyde (MDA), also showed significant reductions in comparison with iodine group (P < 0.05). TEM evaluation yielded the aberration of nucleus structure of iodine-administered group as compared to those in control and IONPs groups. This study has demonstrated the less toxic properties of IONPs and it may postulate that IONPs are safe to be applied as radiographic contrast medium. PMID:26075217

  8. Automated macromolecular crystallization screening

    DOEpatents

    Segelke, Brent W.; Rupp, Bernhard; Krupka, Heike I.

    2005-03-01

    An automated macromolecular crystallization screening system wherein a multiplicity of reagent mixes are produced. A multiplicity of analysis plates is produced utilizing the reagent mixes combined with a sample. The analysis plates are incubated to promote growth of crystals. Images of the crystals are made. The images are analyzed with regard to suitability of the crystals for analysis by x-ray crystallography. A design of reagent mixes is produced based upon the expected suitability of the crystals for analysis by x-ray crystallography. A second multiplicity of mixes of the reagent components is produced utilizing the design and a second multiplicity of reagent mixes is used for a second round of automated macromolecular crystallization screening. In one embodiment the multiplicity of reagent mixes are produced by a random selection of reagent components.

  9. Blueprinting macromolecular electronics.

    PubMed

    Palma, Carlos-Andres; Samorì, Paolo

    2011-06-01

    Recently, by mastering either top-down or bottom-up approaches, tailor-made macromolecular nano-objects with semiconducting properties have been fabricated. These engineered nanostructures for organic electronics are based on conjugated systems predominantly made up of sp²-hybridized carbon, such as graphene nanoribbons. Here, we describe developments in a selection of these nanofabrication techniques, which include graphene carving, stimulus-induced synthesis of conjugated polymers and surface-assisted synthesis. We also assess their potential to reproduce chemically and spatially precise molecular arrangements, that is, molecular blueprints. In a broad context, the engineering of a molecular blueprint represents the fabrication of an integrated all-organic macromolecular electronic circuit. In this Perspective, we suggest chemical routes, as well as convergent on-surface synthesis and microfabrication approaches, for the ultimate goal of bringing the field closer to technology.

  10. Practical macromolecular cryocrystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Pflugrath, J. W.

    2015-05-27

    Current methods, reagents and experimental hardware for successfully and reproducibly flash-cooling macromolecular crystals to cryogenic temperatures for X-ray diffraction data collection are reviewed. Cryocrystallography is an indispensable technique that is routinely used for single-crystal X-ray diffraction data collection at temperatures near 100 K, where radiation damage is mitigated. Modern procedures and tools to cryoprotect and rapidly cool macromolecular crystals with a significant solvent fraction to below the glass-transition phase of water are reviewed. Reagents and methods to help prevent the stresses that damage crystals when flash-cooling are described. A method of using isopentane to assess whether cryogenic temperatures have been preserved when dismounting screened crystals is also presented.

  11. Injury to the upper extremity caused by extravasation of contrast medium: a true emergency.

    PubMed

    Fallscheer, Philipp; Kammer, Erich; Roeren, Thomas; Meuli-Simmen, Claudia

    2007-01-01

    This retrospective clinical study, over a period of four years, includes 16 patients who had extravasation of iopromidum 623 mg (Ultravist 300) in the upper extremity during computed tomography (CT). Although conservative management is sufficient in most cases, seven patients were operated on. The mean time between extravasation and operation was 155 minutes. The most complicated postoperative course occurred when the operation was delayed 300 minutes after extravasation. When patients were treated early, there was no permanent postoperative impairment. Extravasation of contrast is an increasing cause of potential complications in the forearm as a result of the use of power injectors in CT. Immediate assessment by an experienced plastic surgeon followed by either conservative treatment or quick intervention if necessary may avoid serious damage.

  12. Atorvastatin ameliorates contrast medium-induced renal tubular cell apoptosis in diabetic rats via suppression of Rho-kinase pathway.

    PubMed

    Su, Jinzi; Zou, Wenbo; Cai, Wenqin; Chen, Xiuping; Wang, Fangbing; Li, Shuizhu; Ma, Wenwen; Cao, Yangming

    2014-01-15

    Contrast medium-induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) remains a leading cause of iatrogenic, drug-induced acute renal failure. This study aimed to investigate the protective effects of atorvastatin against renal tubular cell apoptosis in diabetic rats and the related mechanisms. CI-AKI was induced by intravenous administration of iopromide (12ml/kg) in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Atorvastatin (ATO) was administered intragastrically at the dose of 5, 10 and 30mg/kg/d in different groups, respectively, for 5 days before iopromide injection. Renal function parameters, kidney histology, renal tubular cell apoptosis, the expression of apoptosis regulatory proteins, caspase-3 and Rho-associated protein kinase 1 (ROCK-1), and the phosphorylation of myosin phosphatase target subunit -1 (MYPT-1), were determined. Atorvastatin was shown to notably ameliorate contrast medium induced medullary damage, restore renal function, and suppress renal tubular apoptosis. Meanwhile, atorvastatin up-regulated the expression of Bcl-2, down-regulated the expression of Bax, caspase-3 and ROCK-1, restored the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax, and suppressed the phosphorylation of MYPT-1 in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, atorvastatin pretreatment could dose-dependently ameliorate the development of CI-AKI, which was partly attributed to its suppression of renal tubular cell apoptosis by inhibiting the Rho/ROCK pathway.

  13. Practical macromolecular cryocrystallography

    PubMed Central

    Pflugrath, J. W.

    2015-01-01

    Cryocrystallography is an indispensable technique that is routinely used for single-crystal X-ray diffraction data collection at temperatures near 100 K, where radiation damage is mitigated. Modern procedures and tools to cryoprotect and rapidly cool macromolecular crystals with a significant solvent fraction to below the glass-transition phase of water are reviewed. Reagents and methods to help prevent the stresses that damage crystals when flash-cooling are described. A method of using isopentane to assess whether cryogenic temperatures have been preserved when dismounting screened crystals is also presented. PMID:26057787

  14. Microgravity and Macromolecular Crystallography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kundrot, Craig E.; Judge, Russell A.; Pusey, Marc L.; Snell, Edward H.; Rose, M. Franklin (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Macromolecular crystal growth has been seen as an ideal experiment to make use of the reduced acceleration environment provided by an orbiting spacecraft. The experiments are small, simply operated and have a high potential scientific and economic impact. In this review we examine the theoretical reasons why microgravity should be a beneficial environment for crystal growth and survey the history of experiments on the Space Shuttle Orbiter, on unmanned spacecraft, and on the Mir space station. Finally we outline the direction for optimizing the future use of orbiting platforms.

  15. Clinical analysis of contributors to the delayed gallbladder opacification following the use of water-soluble contrast medium

    PubMed Central

    Ku, Ming-Chang; Kok, Victor C; Lee, Ming-Yung; Hsu, Soa-Min; Lee, Pei-Yu; Chang, Che-Wei; Tyan, Yeu-Sheng; Juan, Chi-Wen

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Gallbladder opacification (GBO) on computed tomography (CT) imaging may obscure certain pathological or emergent conditions in the gallbladder, such as neoplasms, stones, and hemorrhagic cholecystitis. This study aimed to investigate the clinical contributing factors that could predict the presence of delayed GBO determined by CT. Methods This study retrospectively evaluated 243 consecutive patients who received enhanced CT or intravenous pyelography imaging and then underwent abdominal CT imaging within 5 days. According to the interval between imaging, the patients were divided into group A (1 day), group B (2 or 3 days), and group C (4 or 5 days). Three radiologists evaluated CT images to determine GBO. Fisher’s exact test and multivariate backward stepwise elimination logistic regression were performed. Results Positive GBO was significantly associated with the interval between imaging studies, contrast type, contrast volume, renal function, and hypertransaminasemia (P<0.05). Multivariate backward stepwise elimination logistic regression analysis of the three groups identified contrast type and hypertransaminasemia as independent predictors of GBO in group B patients (odds ratio [OR], 13.52, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.72–106.38 and OR, 3.43, 95% CI, 1.31–8.98, respectively; P<0.05). Hypertransaminasemia was the only independent predictor of GBO in group C patients with an OR of 7.2 (95% CI, 1.62–31.73). Hypertransaminasemia was noted in three patients (100%) who initially underwent imaging 5 days prior to GBO. Conclusion Delayed GBO on CT imaging may be associated with laboratory hypertransaminasemia, particularly in patients receiving contrast medium over a period of ≥4 days. A detailed clinical history, physical examination, and further workup are of paramount importance for investigating the underlying cause behind the hypertransaminasemia.

  16. Clinical analysis of contributors to the delayed gallbladder opacification following the use of water-soluble contrast medium

    PubMed Central

    Ku, Ming-Chang; Kok, Victor C; Lee, Ming-Yung; Hsu, Soa-Min; Lee, Pei-Yu; Chang, Che-Wei; Tyan, Yeu-Sheng; Juan, Chi-Wen

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Gallbladder opacification (GBO) on computed tomography (CT) imaging may obscure certain pathological or emergent conditions in the gallbladder, such as neoplasms, stones, and hemorrhagic cholecystitis. This study aimed to investigate the clinical contributing factors that could predict the presence of delayed GBO determined by CT. Methods This study retrospectively evaluated 243 consecutive patients who received enhanced CT or intravenous pyelography imaging and then underwent abdominal CT imaging within 5 days. According to the interval between imaging, the patients were divided into group A (1 day), group B (2 or 3 days), and group C (4 or 5 days). Three radiologists evaluated CT images to determine GBO. Fisher’s exact test and multivariate backward stepwise elimination logistic regression were performed. Results Positive GBO was significantly associated with the interval between imaging studies, contrast type, contrast volume, renal function, and hypertransaminasemia (P<0.05). Multivariate backward stepwise elimination logistic regression analysis of the three groups identified contrast type and hypertransaminasemia as independent predictors of GBO in group B patients (odds ratio [OR], 13.52, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.72–106.38 and OR, 3.43, 95% CI, 1.31–8.98, respectively; P<0.05). Hypertransaminasemia was the only independent predictor of GBO in group C patients with an OR of 7.2 (95% CI, 1.62–31.73). Hypertransaminasemia was noted in three patients (100%) who initially underwent imaging 5 days prior to GBO. Conclusion Delayed GBO on CT imaging may be associated with laboratory hypertransaminasemia, particularly in patients receiving contrast medium over a period of ≥4 days. A detailed clinical history, physical examination, and further workup are of paramount importance for investigating the underlying cause behind the hypertransaminasemia. PMID:27660453

  17. Case Report: Atrial Fibrillation After Intravenous Administration of Iodinated Contrast Medium in a Patient With Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Maimone, Sergio; Filomia, Roberto; Saitta, Carlo; Raimondo, Giovanni; Squadrito, Giovanni

    2015-09-01

    We describe the case of a 73-year-old woman with liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who developed 2 distinct episodes of paroxystic atrial fibrillation (AF) each of which occurred 1 to 4 hours after iodine medium contrast-enhanced computed tomography. Sinus rhythm was restored by amiodarone therapy after the first AF episode and by electrical cardioversion after the second one. A careful clinical, biochemical, and instrumental examination showed that the patient had subclinical hyperthyroidism and moderate mitral insufficiency with mild atrial enlargement.Thus, the coexistence of both subclinical disthyroidism and of cardiac anatomical alterations may have predisposed the patient to AF that in fact occurred when exogenous iodine administration triggered a hyperthyroidism status. PMID:26334896

  18. Case Report: Atrial Fibrillation After Intravenous Administration of Iodinated Contrast Medium in a Patient With Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Maimone, Sergio; Filomia, Roberto; Saitta, Carlo; Raimondo, Giovanni; Squadrito, Giovanni

    2015-01-01

    Abstract We describe the case of a 73-year-old woman with liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who developed 2 distinct episodes of paroxystic atrial fibrillation (AF) each of which occurred 1 to 4 hours after iodine medium contrast-enhanced computed tomography. Sinus rhythm was restored by amiodarone therapy after the first AF episode and by electrical cardioversion after the second one. A careful clinical, biochemical, and instrumental examination showed that the patient had subclinical hyperthyroidism and moderate mitral insufficiency with mild atrial enlargement. Thus, the coexistence of both subclinical disthyroidism and of cardiac anatomical alterations may have predisposed the patient to AF that in fact occurred when exogenous iodine administration triggered a hyperthyroidism status. PMID:26334896

  19. Macromolecular crystal growing system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, Robert S. (Inventor); Herren, Blair J. (Inventor); Carter, Daniel C. (Inventor); Yost, Vaughn H. (Inventor); Bugg, Charles E. (Inventor); Delucas, Lawrence J. (Inventor); Suddath, Fred L. (Inventor)

    1991-01-01

    A macromolecular crystal growing system especially designed for growing crystals in the low gravity of space as well as the gravity of earth includes at least one tray assembly, a carrier assembly which receives the tray, and a refrigeration-incubation module in which the carrier assembly is received. The tray assembly includes a plurality of sealed chambers with a plastic syringe and a plug means for the double tip of the syringe provided therein. Ganging mechanisms operate the syringes and plugs simultaneously in a precise and smooth operation. Preferably, the tray assemblies are mounted on ball bearing slides for smooth operation in inserting and removing the tray assemblies into the carrier assembly. The plugging mechanism also includes a loading control mechanism. A mechanism for leaving a syringe unplugged is also provided.

  20. Teaching macromolecular modeling.

    PubMed

    Harvey, S C; Tan, R K

    1992-12-01

    Training newcomers to the field of macromolecular modeling is as difficult as is training beginners in x-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance, or other methods in structural biology. In one or two lectures, the most that can be conveyed is a general sense of the relationship between modeling and other structural methods. If a full semester is available, then students can be taught how molecular structures are built, manipulated, refined, and analyzed on a computer. Here we describe a one-semester modeling course that combines lectures, discussions, and a laboratory using a commercial modeling package. In the laboratory, students carry out prescribed exercises that are coordinated to the lectures, and they complete a term project on a modeling problem of their choice. The goal is to give students an understanding of what kinds of problems can be attacked by molecular modeling methods and which problems are beyond the current capabilities of those methods.

  1. Cell-Free Protein Expression under Macromolecular Crowding Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Xumeng; Luo, Dan; Xu, Jianfeng

    2011-01-01

    Background Cell-free protein expression (CFPE) comprised of in vitro transcription and translation is currently manipulated in relatively dilute solutions, in which the macromolecular crowding effects present in living cells are largely ignored. This may not only affect the efficiency of protein synthesis in vitro, but also limit our understanding of the functions and interactions of biomolecules involved in this fundamental biological process. Methodology/Principal Findings Using cell-free synthesis of Renilla luciferase in wheat germ extract as a model system, we investigated the CFPE under macromolecular crowding environments emulated with three different crowding agents: PEG-8000, Ficoll-70 and Ficoll-400, which vary in chemical properties and molecular size. We found that transcription was substantially enhanced in the macromolecular crowding solutions; up to 4-fold increase in the mRNA production was detected in the presence of 20% (w/v) of Ficoll-70. In contrast, translation was generally inhibited by the addition of each of the three crowding agents. This might be due to PEG-induced protein precipitation and non-specific binding of translation factors to Ficoll molecules. We further explored a two-stage CFPE in which transcription and translation was carried out under high then low macromolecular crowding conditions, respectively. It produced 2.2-fold higher protein yield than the coupled CFPE control. The macromolecular crowding effects on CFPE were subsequently confirmed by cell-free synthesis of an approximately two-fold larger protein, Firefly luciferase, under macromolecular crowding environments. Conclusions/Significance Three macromolecular crowding agents used in this research had opposite effects on transcription and translation. The results of this study should aid researchers in their choice of macromolecular crowding agents and shows that two-stage CFPE is more efficient than coupled CFPE. PMID:22174874

  2. Estimation of time to peak contrast enhancement of the aorta and liver for dual-phase computed tomography on the basis of contrast medium arrival time, injection duration, and injection technique in dogs.

    PubMed

    Chau, Jennifer; Young, Alex C; Dhand, Navneet; Makara, Mariano A

    2016-10-01

    OBJECTIVE To evaluate the accuracy of estimating time to peak enhancement (TPE) of the aorta and liver parenchyma on the basis of contrast medium arrival time in the aorta, injection duration, and injection technique in dogs. ANIMALS 18 dogs of specific body weight categories (≥ 2 dogs/category) with no liver abnormalities detected via CT. PROCEDURES Dogs were randomly assigned within weight categories to receive contrast medium IV at a fixed injection rate (5 mL/s) or fixed injection duration (20 seconds). Time-contrast attenuation curves were generated from dynamic CT scans acquired at the hepatic hilus. Data collected for contrast medium arrival time and injection duration were used to estimate TPEs of the aorta and liver, and results were compared with the observed TPEs for the aorta and liver. RESULTS Contrast medium arrival time, injection duration, and injection technique were significantly associated with observed values for aortic TPE and explained 96.1% of variation in TPE. For the fixed rate technique, the regression equation for estimating aortic TPE was 0.8 × (injection duration + contrast medium arrival time) + 1.6. For the fixed duration technique, the regression equation changed by only the constant (-2.6). However, the hepatic TPE estimated from the 3 predictor variables was not significantly different from the mean of observed TPEs. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Aortic TPE could be accurately estimated from contrast medium arrival time, injection duration, and injection technique in dogs with apparently healthy livers. The regression equations derived from this relationship can be used to improve the efficiency of dual-phase CT of the liver in dogs. PMID:27668580

  3. A study on quantitative analyses before and after injection of contrast medium in spine examinations performed by using diffusion weighted image

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, Jae-Hwan; Lee, Hae-Kag; Kim, Yong-Kyun; Dong, Kyung-Rae; Chung, Woon-Kwan; Joo, Kyu-Ji

    2013-02-01

    This study examined the changes in the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of metastatic cancer in the lumbar region by using diffusion weighted image taken with a 1.5 T (Tesla) magnetic resonance (MR) scanner before and after injecting a contrast medium. The study enrolled 30 healthy people and 30 patients with metastatic spine cancer from patients who underwent a lumbar MRI scan from January 2011 to October 2012. A 1.5 T MR scanner was used to obtain the diffusion weighted images (DWIs) before and after injecting the contrast medium. In the group with metastatic spine cancer, the SNR and the CNR were measured in three parts among the L1-L5 lumbar vertebrae, which included the part with metastatic spine cancer, the area of the spine with spine cancer, and the area of spine under the region with cancer. In the acquired ADC map image, the SNRs and the ADCs of the three parts were measured in ADC map images. Among the healthy subjects, the measurements were conducted for the lumbar regions of L3-L5. According to the results, in the group with metastatic spine cancer, the SNR in the DWI before the contrast medium had been injected was lowest in the part with spine cancer. In the DWI after the contrast medium had been injected, the SNR and the CNR were increased in all three parts. In the ADC map image after the contrast medium had been injected, the SNR decreased in all three parts compared to the SNR before the contrast had been injected. The ADC after had been injected the contrast medium was decreased in all three parts compared to that before the contrast medium had been injected. In the healthy group, the SNR was increased in the L3-L5 lumbar regions in the DWI. In the ADC map image, the SNR in all the three parts was decreased in the DWI after injecting the contrast medium had been injected. The ADC in the ADC map image was also decreased in all three parts.

  4. Artifacts caused by insufficient contrast medium filling during C-arm cone-beam CT scans: a phantom study.

    PubMed

    Terabe, Mitsuaki; Ichikawa, Hajime; Kato, Toyohiro; Koshida, Kichiro

    2014-01-01

    We investigated artifacts due to late-arriving contrast medium (CM) during C-arm cone-beam computed tomography. We scanned a phantom filled with water or with 100, 50, or 5% v/v concentrations of CM and then virtually produced CM-delayed projection data by partially replacing the projection images. Artifacts as a function of concentration, percentage of filling time, and size and position of the filling area were assessed. In addition, we used an automatic power injector with different injection delays to inject CM during the scans. A decrease in filling times caused by a lag in CM arrival during the scan resulted in a decrease in pixel values, distortion of the filling area, and appearance of streak artifacts. Even a delay of approximately 20% in CM arrival in the total scan time resulted in obvious distortion of the filling area. The distortion and streak artifacts tended to worsen at higher CM concentrations. Use of a minimum CM concentration based on the purpose of the examination and constant filling at the target region are effective for avoiding these artifacts.

  5. Conventional versus storage phosphor-plate digital images to visualize the root canal system contrasted with a radiopaque medium.

    PubMed

    Naoum, Hani J; Chandler, Nicholas P; Love, Robert M

    2003-05-01

    The pulp tissue was removed from 20 mandibular first molar teeth using 2.5% NaOCl irrigation and hand files. The dried canals were infused with radiopaque contrast medium. Standardized conventional and Digora digital images were obtained of each tooth positioned in a dried mandible at 0- and 30-degree horizontal angulations. Three evaluators rated the image clarity of the 0- and 30-degree original, enhanced, three-dimensional, zoom, and reverse digital image modes as superior, equal, or inferior to corresponding 0- and 30-degree conventional radiographs. The ratings were compared using the Wilcoxon signed rank test. The original, three-dimensional, zoom, or reverse digital images were inferior to the conventional radiographs for clarity of canal anatomy. The enhanced digital images were not always inferior to the conventional radiographs and were the only images superior to the original digital images. Overall, evaluators rated the image clarity of root canal anatomy on conventional radiographs better than on Digora images. However, factors in the experimental design may have contributed to this result. PMID:12775009

  6. SU-C-12A-03: The Impact of Contrast Medium On Radiation Dose in CT: A Systematic Evaluation Across 58 Patient Models

    SciTech Connect

    Sahbaee, P; Samei, E; Segars, W

    2014-06-01

    Purpose: To assess the effect of contrast medium on radiation dose as a function of time via Monte Carlo simulation from the liver CT scan across a library of 5D XCAT models Methods: A validated Monte Carlo simulation package (PENELOPE) was employed to model a CT system (LightSpeed 64 VCT, GE Healthcare). The radiation dose was estimated from a common abdomen CT examination. The dose estimation was performed on a library of adult extended cardiac-torso (5D XCAT) phantoms (35 male, 23 female, mean age 51.5 years, mean weight 80.2 kg). The 5D XCAT models were created based on patient-specific iodine concentration-time results from our computational contrast medium propagation model for different intravenous injection protocols. To enable a dynamic estimation of radiation dose, each organ in the model was assigned to its own time-concentration curve via the PENELOPE package, material.exe. Using the Monte Carlo, for each scan time point after the injection, 80 million photons were initiated and tracked through the phantoms. Finally, the dose to the liver was tallied from the deposited energy. Results: Monte Carlo simulation results of radiation dose delivered to the liver from the XCAT models indicated up to 30% increase in dose for different time after the administration of contrast medium. Conclusion: The contrast enhancement is employed in over 60% of imaging modalities, which not only remarkably affects the CT image quality, but also increases the radiation dose by as much as 70%. The postinjection multiple acquisition in several enhanced CT protocols, makes the radiation dose increment through the use of contrast medium, an inevitable factor in optimization of these protocols. The relationship between radiation dose and injected contrast medium as a function of time studied in this work allows optimization of contrast administration for vulnerable individuals.

  7. Evaluation of the dark-medium objective lens in counting asbestos fibers by phase-contrast microscopy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eun Gyung; Nelson, John H; Kashon, Michael L; Harper, Martin

    2015-06-01

    A Japanese round-robin study revealed that analysts who used a dark-medium (DM) objective lens reported higher fiber counts from American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Proficiency Analytical Testing (PAT) chrysotile samples than those using a standard objective lens, but the cause of this difference was not investigated at that time. The purpose of this study is to determine any major source of this difference by performing two sets of round-robin studies. For the first round-robin study, 15 AIHA PAT samples (five each of chrysotile and amosite generated by water-suspended method, and five chrysotile generated by aerosolization method) were prepared with relocatable cover slips and examined by nine laboratories. A second round-robin study was then performed with six chrysotile field sample slides by six out of nine laboratories who participated in the first round-robin study. In addition, two phase-shift test slides to check analysts' visibility and an eight-form diatom test plate to compare resolution between the two objectives were examined. For the AIHA PAT chrysotile reference slides, use of the DM objective resulted in consistently higher fiber counts (1.45 times for all data) than the standard objective (P-value < 0.05), regardless of the filter generation (water-suspension or aerosol) method. For the AIHA PAT amosite reference and chrysotile field sample slides, the fiber counts between the two objectives were not significantly different. No statistically significant differences were observed in the visibility of blocks of the test slides between the two objectives. Also, the DM and standard objectives showed no pattern of differences in viewing the fine lines and/or dots of each species images on the eight-form diatom test plate. Among various potential factors that might affect the analysts' performance of fiber counts, this study supports the greater contrast caused by the different phase plate absorptions as the main cause of high counts for the

  8. Evaluation of the dark-medium objective lens in counting asbestos fibers by phase-contrast microscopy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eun Gyung; Nelson, John H; Kashon, Michael L; Harper, Martin

    2015-06-01

    A Japanese round-robin study revealed that analysts who used a dark-medium (DM) objective lens reported higher fiber counts from American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Proficiency Analytical Testing (PAT) chrysotile samples than those using a standard objective lens, but the cause of this difference was not investigated at that time. The purpose of this study is to determine any major source of this difference by performing two sets of round-robin studies. For the first round-robin study, 15 AIHA PAT samples (five each of chrysotile and amosite generated by water-suspended method, and five chrysotile generated by aerosolization method) were prepared with relocatable cover slips and examined by nine laboratories. A second round-robin study was then performed with six chrysotile field sample slides by six out of nine laboratories who participated in the first round-robin study. In addition, two phase-shift test slides to check analysts' visibility and an eight-form diatom test plate to compare resolution between the two objectives were examined. For the AIHA PAT chrysotile reference slides, use of the DM objective resulted in consistently higher fiber counts (1.45 times for all data) than the standard objective (P-value < 0.05), regardless of the filter generation (water-suspension or aerosol) method. For the AIHA PAT amosite reference and chrysotile field sample slides, the fiber counts between the two objectives were not significantly different. No statistically significant differences were observed in the visibility of blocks of the test slides between the two objectives. Also, the DM and standard objectives showed no pattern of differences in viewing the fine lines and/or dots of each species images on the eight-form diatom test plate. Among various potential factors that might affect the analysts' performance of fiber counts, this study supports the greater contrast caused by the different phase plate absorptions as the main cause of high counts for the

  9. Contrast Medium Exposure During Computed Tomography and Risk of Development of End-Stage Renal Disease in Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, Ming-Shun; Chiu, Chien-Shan; How, Chorng-Kuang; Chiang, Jen-Huai; Sheu, Meei-Ling; Chen, Wen-Chi; Lin, Hsuan-Jen; Hsieh, Vivian Chia-Rong; Hu, Sung-Yuan

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The aim of the study was to investigate the long-term association between contrast medium exposure during computed tomography (CT) and the subsequent development of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). We conducted a population-based cohort study using Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database. A total of 7100 patients with nonadvanced CKD who underwent contrast medium-enhanced CT were identified and served as the study cohort. To avoid selection bias, we used the propensity score to match 7100 nonadvanced CKD patients, who underwent noncontrast medium-enhanced CT to serve as the comparison cohort. The age, sex, index year, and frequency of undergoing CTs were also matched between the study and comparison cohorts. Participants were followed until a new diagnosis of ESRD or December 31, 2011. Hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were calculated using the Cox proportional hazards regression. Contrast medium exposure was not identified as a risk factor for developing ESRD in nonadvanced CKD patients after confounders adjustment (adjusted HR = 0.91; 95% CI, 0.66–1.26; P = 0.580). We further divided the patients who underwent CTs with contrast medium use into ≤1 exposure per year on average, >1 and <2 exposure per year on average, and ≥2 exposure per year on average. After adjusting for confounders, we identified a much higher risk for developing ESRD in the 2 groups of >1 and <2 exposure per year on average and ≥2 exposure per year on average (adjusted HR = 8.13; 95% CI, 5.57–11.87 and adjusted HR = 12.08; 95% CI, 7.39–19.75, respectively) compared with the patients who underwent CTs without contrast medium use. This long-term follow-up study demonstrated that contrast medium exposure was not associated with an increased risk of ESRD development in nonadvanced CKD patients. PMID:27100424

  10. Hiding an image with a light-scattering medium and use of a contrast-discrimination method for readout.

    PubMed

    Hayasaki, Yoshio; Matsuba, Yoshiaki; Nagaoka, Atsushi; Yamamoto, Hirotsugu; Nishida, Nobuo

    2004-03-01

    Hiding image data with a material such as a light-scattering medium is useful as an initial stage of data protection, because the hidden image can be detected only by observation with a specific technique. A light-scattering medium is used to hide the image data, and a low-temporal-coherence interferometer performs the readout processing. A new readout method for detecting pixel values of the image is proposed to overcome spatial variation of the light intensity and distortion of the interference fringes. The introduction of spatial coding further improves the performance by overcoming spatial variations of the light-scattering medium and variations in the reflectance of given pixels.

  11. MO-E-17A-02: Incorporation of Contrast Medium Dynamics in Anthropomorphic Phantoms: The Advent of 5D XCAT Models

    SciTech Connect

    Sahbaee, P; Samei, E; Segars, W

    2014-06-15

    Purpose: To develop a unique method to incorporate the dynamics of contrast-medium propagation into the anthropomorphic phantom, to generate a five-dimensional (5D) patient model for multimodality imaging studies. Methods: A compartmental model of blood circulation network within the body was embodied into an extended cardiac-torso (4D-XCAT) patient model. To do so, a computational physiologic model of the human cardiovascular system was developed which includes a series of compartments representing heart, vessels, and organs. Patient-specific cardiac output and blood volume were used as inputs influenced by the weight, height, age, and gender of the patient's model. For a given injection protocol and given XCAT model, the contrast-medium transmission within the body was described by a series of mass balance differential equations, the solutions to which provided the contrast enhancement-time curves for each organ; thereby defining the tissue materials including the contrastmedium within the XCAT model. A library of time-dependent organ materials was then defined. Each organ in each voxelized 4D-XCAT phantom was assigned to a corresponding time-varying material to create the 5D-XCAT phantom in which the fifth dimension is blood/contrast-medium within the temporal domain. Results: The model effectively predicts the time-varying concentration behavior of various contrast-medium administration in each organ for different patient models as function of patient size (weight/height) and different injection protocol factors (injection rate and pattern, iodine concentration or volume). The contrast enhanced XCAT patient models was developed based on the concentration of iodine as a function of time after injection. Conclusion: Majority of medical imaging systems take advantage of contrast-medium administration in terms of better image quality, the effect of which was ignored in previous optimization studies. The study enables a comprehensive optimization of contrast

  12. Transmucosal macromolecular drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Prego, C; García, M; Torres, D; Alonso, M J

    2005-01-01

    Mucosal surfaces are the most common and convenient routes for delivering drugs to the body. However, macromolecular drugs such as peptides and proteins are unable to overcome the mucosal barriers and/or are degraded before reaching the blood stream. Among the approaches explored so far in order to optimize the transport of these macromolecules across mucosal barriers, the use of nanoparticulate carriers represents a challenging but promising strategy. The present paper aims to compare the characteristics and potential of nanostructures based on the mucoadhesive polysaccharide chitosan (CS). These are CS nanoparticles, CS-coated oil nanodroplets (nanocapsules) and CS-coated lipid nanoparticles. The characteristics and behavior of CS nanoparticles and CS-coated lipid nanoparticles already reported [A. Vila, A. Sanchez, M. Tobio, P. Calvo, M.J. Alonso, Design of biodegradable particles for protein delivery, J. Control. Rel. 78 (2002) 15-24; R. Fernandez-Urrusuno, P. Calvo, C. Remunan-Lopez, J.L. Vila-Jato, M.J. Alonso, Enhancement of nasal absorption of insulin using chitosan nanoparticles, Pharm. Res. 16 (1999) 1576-1581; M. Garcia-Fuentes, D. Torres, M.J. Alonso, New surface-modified lipid nanoparticles as delivery vehicles for salmon calcitonin (submitted for publication).] are compared with those of CS nanocapsules originally reported here. The three types of systems have a size in the nanometer range and a positive zeta potential that was attributed to the presence of CS on their surface. They showed an important capacity for the association of peptides such as insulin, salmon calcitonin and proteins, such as tetanus toxoid. Their mechanism of interaction with epithelia was investigated using the Caco-2 model cell line. The results showed that CS-coated systems caused a concentration-dependent reduction in the transepithelial resistance of the cell monolayer. Moreover, within the range of concentrations investigated, these systems were internalized in the

  13. [A pilot study of contrast medium dose reduction using low tube voltage and iterative reconstruction: computed tomography angiography of the head].

    PubMed

    Ihara, Riku; Itou, Kouhei; Terashita, Takayoshi; Fuse, Yoshihiro

    2015-03-01

    This study aimed to reduce contrast medium dose without reducing the diagnostic capability of computed tomography (CT) angiography of the head. We evaluated the advanced statistical iterative reconstruction (ASiR) settings to adjust to low tube voltage CT. A syringe phantom was constructed using dilute contrast medium and was imaged at tube voltages of 80-120 kV. The iodine volumes, CT values, and image noise were measured in these images. The noise-power spectrum and modulation transfer function were measured from quality assurance phantom images that had been obtained using the tube voltage selected after considering the image noise results as described above and reconstructed using different ASiR rate settings and convolution kernels. Our results suggested that imaging at 100 kV could reduce the contrast medium dose by 14%, compared with imaging at 120 kV, and that the resulting image quality could equal that of conventional imaging by performing reconstruction at a 40% ASiR rate and detail kernel.

  14. Medium-dependent control of the bacterial growth rate.

    PubMed

    Ehrenberg, Måns; Bremer, Hans; Dennis, Patrick P

    2013-04-01

    By combining results from previous studies of nutritional up-shifts we here re-investigate how bacteria adapt to different nutritional environments by adjusting their macromolecular composition for optimal growth. We demonstrate that, in contrast to a commonly held view the macromolecular composition of bacteria does not depend on the growth rate as an independent variable, but on three factors: (i) the genetic background (i.e. the strain used), (ii) the physiological history of the bacteria used for inoculation of a given growth medium, and (iii) the kind of nutrients in the growth medium. These factors determine the ribosome concentration and the average rate of protein synthesis per ribosome, and thus the growth rate. Immediately after a nutritional up-shift, the average number of ribosomes in the bacterial population increases exponentially with time at a rate which eventually is attained as the final post-shift growth rate of all cell components. After a nutritional up-shift from one minimal medium to another minimal medium of higher nutritional quality, ribosome and RNA polymerase syntheses are co-regulated and immediately increase by the same factor equal to the increase in the final growth rate. However, after an up-shift from a minimal medium to a medium containing all 20 amino acids, RNA polymerase and ribosome syntheses are no longer coregulated; a smaller rate of synthesis of RNA polymerase is compensated by a gradual increase in the fraction of free RNA polymerase, possibly due to a gradual saturation of mRNA promoters. We have also analyzed data from a recent publication, in which it was concluded that the macromolecular composition in terms of RNA/protein and RNA/DNA ratios is solely determined by the effector molecule ppGpp. Our analysis indicates that this is true only in special cases and that, in general, medium adaptation also depends on factors other than ppGpp.

  15. Macromolecular Crowding Modulates Actomyosin Kinetics.

    PubMed

    Ge, Jinghua; Bouriyaphone, Sherry D; Serebrennikova, Tamara A; Astashkin, Andrei V; Nesmelov, Yuri E

    2016-07-12

    Actomyosin kinetics is usually studied in dilute solutions, which do not reflect conditions in the cytoplasm. In cells, myosin and actin work in a dense macromolecular environment. High concentrations of macromolecules dramatically reduce the amount of free space available for all solutes, which results in an effective increase of the solutes' chemical potential and protein stabilization. Moreover, in a crowded solution, the chemical potential depends on the size of the solute, with larger molecules experiencing a larger excluded volume than smaller ones. Therefore, since myosin interacts with two ligands of different sizes (actin and ATP), macromolecular crowding can modulate the kinetics of individual steps of the actomyosin ATPase cycle. To emulate the effect of crowding in cells, we studied actomyosin cycle reactions in the presence of a high-molecular-weight polymer, Ficoll70. We observed an increase in the maximum velocity of the actomyosin ATPase cycle, and our transient-kinetics experiments showed that virtually all individual steps of the actomyosin cycle were affected by the addition of Ficoll70. The observed effects of macromolecular crowding on the myosin-ligand interaction cannot be explained by the increase of a solute's chemical potential. A time-resolved Förster resonance energy transfer experiment confirmed that the myosin head assumes a more compact conformation in the presence of Ficoll70 than in a dilute solution. We conclude that the crowding-induced myosin conformational change plays a major role in the changed kinetics of actomyosin ATPase. PMID:27410745

  16. Barium sulfate aspiration: Severe chemical pneumonia induced by a massive reflux of contrast medium during small bowel barium enema.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lin; Yang, Yi; Zhang, Ji; Zhou, Xiaowei; Dong, Hongmei; Zhou, Yiwu

    2015-08-01

    Barium contrast radiography is a conventional procedure aimed at revealing lesions of the alimentary tract using barium sulfate on X-ray irradiation. Although it is widely used in clinics, adverse effects and complications are observed, such as anaphylaxis, granuloma, fecalithes, abdomen-leaking, embolism, bacterial contamination, and aspiration. We report a case of death due to a massive barium sulfate aspiration resulted from an air-barium double contrast enema radiography. A 25-year-old female patient was hospitalized with symptoms of abdominal distention, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea for three days. A progressive respiratory distress presented only 1h after a small bowel air-barium double contrast enema. The patient died 11h later. The result of autopsy revealed the cause of death to be severe chemical pneumonitis induced by gastric fluid which was aspirated into her lungs. Barium sulfate is generally recognized to be chemically inert for the respiratory system, but a mixture of barium sulfate with gastric contents is fatal. Here we intend to suggest that, when determining the potential cause of death, medical examiners should consider a patient's status quo as well as the possible adverse effects and complications caused by the barium sulfate preparation during gastrointestinal radiography.

  17. Facile Preparation of a Macromolecular Benzophenone Photoinitiator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Qinghua; Gu, Lingling; Bai, Xiongxiong; Cheng, Chuanjie

    2014-08-01

    Photoinitiators play important roles in the preparation of photo-cured resins. Macromolecular as well as reactive photoinitiators have attracted much attention both in industry and in academia due to the disadvantages of conventional small molecular photoinitiators such as volatility and mobility. A macromolecular benzophenone photoinitiator was designed and efficiently synthesized in this study. Hydroxyl-containing Michler's ketone was firstly synthesized in 82% yield, followed by reacting with toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) to prepare polyurethanetype macromolecular benzophenone photoinitiator.

  18. Myelography in achondroplasia: value of a lateral C1-2 puncture and non-ionic, water-soluble contrast medium

    SciTech Connect

    Suss, R.A.; Udvarhelyi, G.B.; Wang, H.; Kumar, A.J.; Zinreich, S.J.; Rosenbaum, A.E.

    1983-10-01

    Because of technical difficulties and diagnostic limitations encountered with other myelographic techniques in patients with achondroplasia, the authors employed a lateral C1-2 puncture and non-ionic, water-soluble contrast medium in 18 achondroplastic patients with spinal compression (21 procedures). This technique proved most appropriate for identifying the upper limit of degenerative osteophytes causing exacerbation of congenital spinal stenosis, which is crucial in planning decompressive surgery. A potentially important additional finding was the presence of degenerative lower cervical spine disease in the majority of patients. There were no serious complications. The authors recommend this technique as safe and effective in achondroplastic patients with severe congenital spinal stenosis.

  19. Low kV settings CT angiography (CTA) with low dose contrast medium volume protocol in the assessment of thoracic and abdominal aorta disease: a feasibility study

    PubMed Central

    Talei Franzesi, C; Fior, D; Bonaffini, P A; Minutolo, O; Sironi, S

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To assess the diagnostic quality of low dose (100 kV) CT angiography (CTA), by using ultra-low contrast medium volume (30 ml), for thoracic and abdominal aorta evaluation. Methods: 67 patients with thoracic or abdominal vascular disease underwent multidetector CT study using a 256 slice scanner, with low dose radiation protocol (automated tube current modulation, 100 kV) and low contrast medium volume (30 ml; 4 ml s−1). Density measurements were performed on ascending, arch, descending thoracic aorta, anonymous branch, abdominal aorta, and renal and common iliac arteries. Radiation dose exposure [dose–length product (DLP)] was calculated. A control group of 35 patients with thoracic or abdominal vascular disease were evaluated with standard CTA protocol (automated tube current modulation, 120 kV; contrast medium, 80 ml). Results: In all patients, we correctly visualized and evaluated main branches of the thoracic and abdominal aorta. No difference in density measurements was achieved between low tube voltage protocol (mean attenuation value of thoracic aorta, 304 HU; abdominal, 343 HU; renal arteries, 331 HU) and control group (mean attenuation value of thoracic aorta, 320 HU; abdominal, 339; renal arteries, 303 HU). Radiation dose exposure in low tube voltage protocol was significantly different between thoracic and abdominal low tube voltage studies (490 and 324 DLP, respectively) and the control group (thoracic DLP, 1032; abdomen, DLP 1078). Conclusion: Low-tube-voltage protocol may provide a diagnostic performance comparable with that of the standard protocol, decreasing radiation dose exposure and contrast material volume amount. Advances in knowledge: Low-tube-voltage-setting protocol combined with ultra-low contrast agent volume (30 ml), by using new multidetector-row CT scanners, represents a feasible diagnostic tool to significantly reduce the radiation dose delivered to patients and to preserve renal function

  20. How can macromolecular crowding inhibit biological reactions? The enhanced formation of DNA nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Sen; Trochimczyk, Piotr; Sun, Lili; Wisniewska, Agnieszka; Kalwarczyk, Tomasz; Zhang, Xuzhu; Wielgus-Kutrowska, Beata; Bzowska, Agnieszka; Holyst, Robert

    2016-01-01

    In contrast to the already known effect that macromolecular crowding usually promotes biological reactions, solutions of PEG 6k at high concentrations stop the cleavage of DNA by HindIII enzyme, due to the formation of DNA nanoparticles. We characterized the DNA nanoparticles and probed the prerequisites for their formation using multiple techniques such as fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, fluorescence analytical ultracentrifugation etc. In >25% PEG 6k solution, macromolecular crowding promotes the formation of DNA nanoparticles with dimensions of several hundreds of nanometers. The formation of DNA nanoparticles is a fast and reversible process. Both plasmid DNA (2686 bp) and double-stranded/single-stranded DNA fragment (66bp/nt) can form nanoparticles. We attribute the enhanced nanoparticle formation to the depletion effect of macromolecular crowding. This study presents our idea to enhance the formation of DNA nanoparticles by macromolecular crowding, providing the first step towards a final solution to efficient gene therapy. PMID:26903405

  1. Macromolecular architectures for organic photovoltaics.

    PubMed

    Popere, Bhooshan C; Della Pelle, Andrea M; Poe, Ambata; Thayumanavan, S

    2012-03-28

    Research in the field of organic photovoltaics has gained considerable momentum in the last two decades owing to the need for developing low-cost and efficient energy harvesting systems. Elegant molecular architectures have been designed, synthesized and employed as active materials for photovoltaic devices thereby leading to a better molecular structure-device property relationship understanding. In this perspective, we outline new macromolecular scaffolds that have been designed within the purview of each of the three fundamental processes involving light harvesting, charge separation and charge transport.

  2. Use of postmortem coronary computed tomography angiography with water-insoluble contrast medium to detect stenosis of the left anterior descending artery in a case of sudden death.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Yoichiro; Sano, Rie; Takahashi, Keiko; Kominato, Yoshihiko; Takei, Hiroyuki; Kobayashi, Susumu; Shimada, Takehiro; Tokue, Hiroyuki; Awata, Sachiko; Hirasawa, Satoshi

    2016-03-01

    A 40-year-old man was found dead on a sidewalk in an expressway parking area one hour after he had entered the area on a motorcycle. A medicolegal autopsy was performed to reveal the cause of this sudden and unexpected death. Postmortem coronary CT angiography after introduction of 5% gelatin-barium emulsion as a radiopaque contrast medium into the heart demonstrated a significant arterial luminal filling defect in the left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery. Macroscopic and microscopic examinations revealed that a thrombus had become deposited on ruptured plaque within the LAD artery, and that a small amount of the contrast medium was present between the thrombus and the vessel endothelium. These histological findings were consistent with incomplete occlusion of the LAD artery in the 3D reconstructed image. The cause of death in this case was definitively determined to be ischemic heart disease. Postmortem angiography played a role in screening of a vascular lesion that was subsequently verified by histology to have been responsible for sudden and unexpected death. PMID:26980254

  3. Block-copolymer of polyethylene glycol and polylysine as a carrier of organic iodine: design of long-circulating particulate contrast medium for X-ray computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Trubetskoy, V S; Gazelle, G S; Wolf, G L; Torchilin, V P

    1997-01-01

    In order to obtain small, polymer-stabilized particulate carriers for organic iodine to serve as a contrast agent for X-ray computed tomography (CT) an attempt was made to design a carrier based on polymeric micelles. Here we describe the synthesis of an iodine-containing amphiphilic block-copolymer which can micellize in aqueous solutions. The two blocks of the copolymer consisted of methoxypoly(ethyleneglycol) and poly[epsilon,N-(triiodobenzoyl)-L-lysine]. Upon dispersion in water, the block copolymer formed particles with average diameter 80 nm and iodine content up to 44.7%. The particles start to dissociate to the individual polymeric chains in the concentration range of 0.05-0.5 microM in water at 23 degrees C. Upon intravenous injection at 250 mg of iodine/kg (570 mg of the agent/kg) in rabbits the medium demonstrated exceptional 24 hr half-life in the blood substantiating corona/core structure of the particles with PEG chains protecting the iodine-containing core. The possible use of these particulates as contrast medium for X-ray computed tomography is discussed.

  4. Electromagnetic induction in a conductive strip in a medium of contrasting conductivity: application to VLF and MT above molten dykes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Paul M.

    2014-11-01

    Very low frequency (VLF) electromagnetic waves that penetrate conductive magma-filled dykes generate secondary fields on the surface that can be used to invert for dyke properties. The model used for the interpretation calculates currents induced in a conductive strip by an inducing field that decays exponentially with depth due to the conductivity of the surrounding medium. The differential equations are integrated to give an inhomogeneous Fredholm equation of the second kind with a kernel consisting of a modified Bessel function of the second kind. Numerical methods are typically used to solve for the induced currents in the strip. In this paper, we apply a modified Galerkin-Chebyshev method, which involves separating the kernel into source and field spectra and integrating the source terms to obtain a matrix equation for the unknown coefficients. The incident wave is expressed as a Chebyshev series. The modified Bessel function is separated into a logarithmic singularity and a non-singular remainder, both of which are expanded in complex Chebyshev polynomials. The Chebyshev coefficients for the remainder are evaluated using a fast Fourier transform, while the logarithmic term and incident field have analytic series. The deconvolution then involves a matrix inversion. The results depend on the ratio of strip-size to skin-depth. For infinite skin-depth and a singular conductivity distribution given by τ_0 a/√{a^2 - z^2 } (where τ0 is the conductance, a is the half-length and z the distance from the centre), Parker gives an analytic solution. We present a similar analytic series solution for the finite skin-depth case, where the size to skin depth ratio is small. Results are presented for different ratios of size to skin depth that can be compared with numerical solutions. We compare full-space and half-space solutions. A fit of the model to VLF data taken above a magma filled dykes in Hawaii and Mt Etna demonstrates that while properties such as depth to top

  5. Data Mining of Macromolecular Structures.

    PubMed

    van Beusekom, Bart; Perrakis, Anastassis; Joosten, Robbie P

    2016-01-01

    The use of macromolecular structures is widespread for a variety of applications, from teaching protein structure principles all the way to ligand optimization in drug development. Applying data mining techniques on these experimentally determined structures requires a highly uniform, standardized structural data source. The Protein Data Bank (PDB) has evolved over the years toward becoming the standard resource for macromolecular structures. However, the process selecting the data most suitable for specific applications is still very much based on personal preferences and understanding of the experimental techniques used to obtain these models. In this chapter, we will first explain the challenges with data standardization, annotation, and uniformity in the PDB entries determined by X-ray crystallography. We then discuss the specific effect that crystallographic data quality and model optimization methods have on structural models and how validation tools can be used to make informed choices. We also discuss specific advantages of using the PDB_REDO databank as a resource for structural data. Finally, we will provide guidelines on how to select the most suitable protein structure models for detailed analysis and how to select a set of structure models suitable for data mining.

  6. How good is the turbid medium-based approach for accounting for light partitioning in contrasted grass–legume intercropping systems?

    PubMed Central

    Barillot, Romain; Louarn, Gaëtan; Escobar-Gutiérrez, Abraham J.; Huynh, Pierre; Combes, Didier

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Most studies dealing with light partitioning in intercropping systems have used statistical models based on the turbid medium approach, thus assuming homogeneous canopies. However, these models could not be directly validated although spatial heterogeneities could arise in such canopies. The aim of the present study was to assess the ability of the turbid medium approach to accurately estimate light partitioning within grass–legume mixed canopies. Methods Three contrasted mixtures of wheat–pea, tall fescue–alfalfa and tall fescue–clover were sown according to various patterns and densities. Three-dimensional plant mock-ups were derived from magnetic digitizations carried out at different stages of development. The benchmarks for light interception efficiency (LIE) estimates were provided by the combination of a light projective model and plant mock-ups, which also provided the inputs of a turbid medium model (SIRASCA), i.e. leaf area index and inclination. SIRASCA was set to gradually account for vertical heterogeneity of the foliage, i.e. the canopy was described as one, two or ten horizontal layers of leaves. Key Results Mixtures exhibited various and heterogeneous profiles of foliar distribution, leaf inclination and component species height. Nevertheless, most of the LIE was satisfactorily predicted by SIRASCA. Biased estimations were, however, observed for (1) grass species and (2) tall fescue–alfalfa mixtures grown at high density. Most of the discrepancies were due to vertical heterogeneities and were corrected by increasing the vertical description of canopies although, in practice, this would require time-consuming measurements. Conclusions The turbid medium analogy could be successfully used in a wide range of canopies. However, a more detailed description of the canopy is required for mixtures exhibiting vertical stratifications and inter-/intra-species foliage overlapping. Architectural models remain a relevant tool for

  7. Phase Sensitive X-Ray Diffraction Imaging of Defects in Biological Macromolecular Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hu, Z. W.; Lai, B.; Chu, Y. S.; Cai, Z.; Mancini, D. C.; Thomas, B. R.; Chernov, A. A.; Curreri, Peter A. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Characterization of defects and/or disorder in biological macromolecular crystals presents much greater challenges than in conventional small-molecule crystals. The lack of sufficient contrast of defects is often a limiting factor in x-ray diffraction topography of protein crystals. This has seriously hampered efforts to understand mechanisms and origins of formation of imperfections, and the role of defects as essential entities in the bulk of macromolecular crystals. In this report, we employ a phase sensitive x-ray diffraction imaging approach for augmenting the contrast of defects in protein crystals.

  8. Collagen macromolecular drug delivery systems

    SciTech Connect

    Gilbert, D.L.

    1988-01-01

    The objective of this study was to examine collagen for use as a macromolecular drug delivery system by determining the mechanism of release through a matrix. Collagen membranes varying in porosity, crosslinking density, structure and crosslinker were fabricated. Collagen characterized by infrared spectroscopy and solution viscosity was determined to be pure and native. The collagen membranes were determined to possess native vs. non-native quaternary structure and porous vs. dense aggregate membranes by electron microscopy. Collagen monolithic devices containing a model macromolecule (inulin) were fabricated. In vitro release rates were found to be linear with respect to t{sup {1/2}} and were affected by crosslinking density, crosslinker and structure. The biodegradation of the collagen matrix was also examined. In vivo biocompatibility, degradation and {sup 14}C-inulin release rates were evaluated subcutaneously in rats.

  9. Quantum chemistry of macromolecular shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mezey, Paul G.

    Some of the new developments in the quantum-chemical study of macromolecular shapes are reviewed, with special emphasis on the additive fuzzy electron density fragmentation methods and on the algebraic-topological shape group analysis of global and local shape features of fuzzy three-dimensional bodies of electron densities of macromolecules. Earlier applications of these methods to actual macromolecules are reviewed, including studies on the anticancer drug taxol, the proteins bovine insulin and HIV protease, and other macromolecules. The results of test calculations establishing the accuracy of these methods are also reviewed. The spherically weighted affine transformation technique is described and proposed for the deformation of electron densities approximating the changes occurring in small conformational displacements of atomic nuclei in macromolecules.

  10. Statistical mechanics of macromolecular complexation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Issei

    The self-assembly of macromolecules through molecular association has attracted long-standing attention in soft-condensed matter physics. The hierarchical formation from small-scale building blocks into larger-scale complex structures often leads to very rich phase behavior controlled by various ambient conditions. The understanding and control of the phase behavior of self-assembling systems require detailed knowledge about the entropy and enthalpy contributions to the free energy of the system. However, this knowledge is limited at the present time because a comprehensive theoretical description of molecular association is still lacking. In this thesis, four tales of achievements in developing theories of macromolecular complexation are presented. (1) We begin with an analytically solvable model of the self-assembly of rigid macromolecules with surface adsorption. A generic understanding of the driving force and the role of entropy is obtained from the exact solutions. (2) We move on to further development of the theory in order to study the complexation between polymers and ionic molecules. The extension of the first model to chain-like molecules is performed using a well-established method in polymer physics, the self-consistent field theory (SCFT) of polymers. We also discuss gelation in this system within the scope of mean-filed approximations. (3) Then, a ladder-like polymer-polymer complexation is studied. Unconventional phase diagrams are predicted from the modified SCFT, indicating a large effect of variations in entropy due to the complexation on bulk properties. (4) Finally, the kinetic aspect of macromolecular binding reactions is discussed.

  11. High-pitch coronary CT angiography at 70 kVp with low contrast medium volume: comparison of 80 and 100 kVp high-pitch protocols.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Long Jiang; Qi, Li; De Cecco, Carlo N; Zhou, Chang Sheng; Spearman, James V; Schoepf, U Joseph; Lu, Guang Ming

    2014-11-01

    The purpose of this article is to evaluate image quality and radiation dose of prospectively electrocardiogram (ECG)-triggered high-pitch coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) at 70 kVp and 30 mL contrast medium.One hundred fifty patients with a heart rate ≤70 beats per minute (bpm) underwent CCTA using a second-generation dual-source computed tomography (CT) scanner and were randomized into 3 groups according to tube voltage and contrast medium volume (370 mg/mL iodine concentration) (100 kVp group, 100 kVp/60 mL, n = 55; 80 kVp group, 80 kVp/60 mL, n = 44; 70 kVp group, 70 kVp/30 mL, n = 51). Objective and subjective image quality along with the effect of heart rate (HR) and body mass index (BMI) was evaluated and compared between the groups. Radiation dose was estimated for each patient.CT attenuation and image noise were higher in the 80 and 70 kVp groups than in the 100 kVp group (all P < 0.001). Signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) and contrast-to-noise ratios (CNRs) were lower in the 70 kVp group than in the 80 and 100 kVp groups (all P < 0.05). There was no difference for subjective image quality between the groups (P > 0.05). HR did not affect subjective image quality (all P > 0.05), while patients with BMI <23 kg/m had higher image quality than patients with BMI ≥23 kg/m (P < 0.05). Compared with the 100 kVp group, the radiation dose of the 70 kVp group was reduced by 75%.In conclusion, prospectively ECG-triggered high-pitch 70 kVp/30 mL CCTA can obtain diagnostic image quality with lower radiation dose in selected patients with BMI <23 kg/m compared with 80/100 kVp/60 mL CCTA. PMID:25396334

  12. Ordered macromolecular structures in ferrofluid mixtures

    SciTech Connect

    Hayter, J.B.; Pynn, R.; Charles, S.; Skjeltorp, A.T.; Trewhella, J.; Stubbs, G.; Timmins, P.

    1989-04-03

    We have observed ordering of dilute dispersions of spherical and cylindrical macromolecules in magnetized ferrofluids. The order results from structural correlations between macromolecular and ferrofluid particles rather than from macroscopic magnetostatic effects. We have aligned elongated macromolecules by this technique and have obtained anisotropic neutron-diffraction patterns, which reflect the internal structure of the macromolecules. The method provides a tool for orienting suspended macromolecular assemblies which are not amenable to conventional alignment techniques.

  13. Contrast Medium Exposure During Computed Tomography and Risk of Development of End-Stage Renal Disease in Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease: A Nationwide Population-Based, Propensity Score-Matched, Longitudinal Follow-Up Study.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Ming-Shun; Chiu, Chien-Shan; How, Chorng-Kuang; Chiang, Jen-Huai; Sheu, Meei-Ling; Chen, Wen-Chi; Lin, Hsuan-Jen; Hsieh, Vivian Chia-Rong; Hu, Sung-Yuan

    2016-04-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the long-term association between contrast medium exposure during computed tomography (CT) and the subsequent development of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). We conducted a population-based cohort study using Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database. A total of 7100 patients with nonadvanced CKD who underwent contrast medium-enhanced CT were identified and served as the study cohort. To avoid selection bias, we used the propensity score to match 7100 nonadvanced CKD patients, who underwent noncontrast medium-enhanced CT to serve as the comparison cohort. The age, sex, index year, and frequency of undergoing CTs were also matched between the study and comparison cohorts. Participants were followed until a new diagnosis of ESRD or December 31, 2011. Hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were calculated using the Cox proportional hazards regression. Contrast medium exposure was not identified as a risk factor for developing ESRD in nonadvanced CKD patients after confounders adjustment (adjusted HR = 0.91; 95% CI, 0.66-1.26; P = 0.580). We further divided the patients who underwent CTs with contrast medium use into ≤1 exposure per year on average, >1 and <2 exposure per year on average, and ≥2 exposure per year on average. After adjusting for confounders, we identified a much higher risk for developing ESRD in the 2 groups of >1 and <2 exposure per year on average and ≥2 exposure per year on average (adjusted HR = 8.13; 95% CI, 5.57-11.87 and adjusted HR = 12.08; 95% CI, 7.39-19.75, respectively) compared with the patients who underwent CTs without contrast medium use. This long-term follow-up study demonstrated that contrast medium exposure was not associated with an increased risk of ESRD development in nonadvanced CKD patients. PMID:27100424

  14. Fractal Dimensions of Macromolecular Structures

    PubMed Central

    Todoroff, Nickolay; Kunze, Jens; Schreuder, Herman; Hessler, Gerhard; Baringhaus, Karl-Heinz; Schneider, Gisbert

    2014-01-01

    Quantifying the properties of macromolecules is a prerequisite for understanding their roles in biochemical processes. One of the less-explored geometric features of macromolecules is molecular surface irregularity, or ‘roughness’, which can be measured in terms of fractal dimension (D). In this study, we demonstrate that surface roughness correlates with ligand binding potential. We quantified the surface roughnesses of biological macromolecules in a large-scale survey that revealed D values between 2.0 and 2.4. The results of our study imply that surface patches involved in molecular interactions, such as ligand-binding pockets and protein-protein interfaces, exhibit greater local fluctuations in their fractal dimensions than ‘inert’ surface areas. We expect approximately 22 % of a protein’s surface outside of the crystallographically known ligand binding sites to be ligandable. These findings provide a fresh perspective on macromolecular structure and have considerable implications for drug design as well as chemical and systems biology. PMID:26213587

  15. Energy transfer in macromolecular arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, David L.; Jenkins, Robert D.

    2003-11-01

    Macromolecular systems comprised of many light-sensitive centres (the photosynthetic unit, dendrimers, and other highly symmetric multichromophore arrays) are important structures offering challenges to theoreticians and synthetic chemists alike. Here we outline novel photophysical interactions predicted and observed in such arrays. Using the tools of molecular quantum electrodynamics (QED) we present quantum amplitudes for a variety of higher-order resonance energy transfer (RET) schemes associated with well-known nonlinear optical effects such as two- and three-photon absorption. The initial analysis is extended to account for situations where the participant donor species are identical and exist in a highly symmetric environment, leading to the possible formation of excitons. It emerges from the QED theory that such excitons are closely associated with the higher-order RET processes. General results are interpreted by analyzing particular molecular architectures which offer interesting features such as rate enhancement or limitation and exciton pathway quenching. Applications in the areas of photosynthesis, molecular logic gates and low-intensity fluorescence energy transfer are predicted.

  16. Quantifying macromolecular conformational transition pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seyler, Sean; Kumar, Avishek; Thorpe, Michael; Beckstein, Oliver

    2015-03-01

    Diverse classes of proteins function through large-scale conformational changes that are challenging for computer simulations. A range of fast path-sampling techniques have been used to generate transitions, but it has been difficult to compare paths from (and assess the relative strengths of) different methods. We introduce a comprehensive method (pathway similarity analysis, PSA) for quantitatively characterizing and comparing macromolecular pathways. The Hausdorff and Fréchet metrics (known from computational geometry) are used to quantify the degree of similarity between polygonal curves in configuration space. A strength of PSA is its use of the full information available from the 3 N-dimensional configuration space trajectory without requiring additional specific knowledge about the system. We compare a sample of eleven different methods for the closed-to-open transitions of the apo enzyme adenylate kinase (AdK) and also apply PSA to an ensemble of 400 AdK trajectories produced by dynamic importance sampling MD and the Geometrical Pathways algorithm. We discuss the method's potential to enhance our understanding of transition path sampling methods, validate them, and help guide future research toward deeper physical insights into conformational transitions.

  17. A Model for Macromolecular Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Whitaker, Ann F. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Macromolecular crystallization is a complex process. involving a system which typically has 5 or more components (macromolecule, water, buffer + counter ion, and precipitant). Whereas small molecules have only several well defined contacts in the crystal lattice, macromolecules generally have 10's or even 100's of contacts between molecules. These can range from hydrogen bonds (direct or water-mediated), through van der Waals, hydrophobic, salt bridges, and ion-mediated contacts. The latter interactions are stronger and require some specificity in the molecular alignment, while the others are weaker, more prevalent, and more promiscuous, i.e., can often be readily broken and reformed between other sites. Formation of a consistent, ordered, 3D structure may be impossible in the absence of any or presence of too many strong interactions. Further complicating the process is the inherent structural asymmetry of monomeric single chain macromolecules. The process of crystal nucleation and growth involves the ordered assembly of growth units into a defined 3D lattice. We suggest that for many macromolecules, particularly those that are monomeric, this involves a preliminary solution-phase assembly process into a growth unit having some symmetry prior to addition to the lattice, recapitulating the initial stages of the nucleation process. If this model is correct then fluids and crystal growth models assuming a strictly monodisperse nutrient solution need to be revised. Experimental evidence, based upon face growth rate, AFM, and fluorescence energy transfer data, for a postulated model of the nucleation of tetragonal lysozyme crystals and how it transitions into crystal growth will be presented.

  18. Molecular Control of Macromolecular Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holcombe, Thomas Wesley, III

    Molecular level control over macromolecules has been at the heart of human advancement, long before Hermann Staudinger coined the term Makromolekule. From the development of primitive pharmaceuticals to the advanced materials that sent Man into outer-space, We have been tinkering with God's paint since our inception. The work described herein primarily involves advances concerning poly-aromatic macromolecules for use in future electronic applications, particularly that of organic photovoltaics. There is a final chapter, however, that gives the reader a taste of how some molecular level changes can be directly visualized with modern microscopy techniques. Chapter 1 provides a very brief introduction to conjugated polymers and molecular level control over macromolecular properties. Chapters 2--4 introduces the concept of polymer substitution as a means by which to control and improve charge generation in organic photovoltaic devices. Chapters 5 and 6 show how these polymers can take on larger, defined structures, yet are still beholden to intrinsic molecular properties---such as regioregularity, a fancy word for the regularity of the position in which two aromatic rings are joined together. Chapter 7 re-examines the role of polymer substitution on photovoltaic performance, this time with an emphasis on homo-polymer packing rather than electron transfer at the donor/acceptor interface. Finally, Chapter 8 visualizes how controlling the environment about a single metal atom can lead directly to a cyclic polyolefin. Individually, these advances do not yield any breakthroughs noticeable to a general audience; collectively, they sit atop a mountain of human knowledge, waiting to provide a stepping stone for the next generation.

  19. A database of macromolecular motions.

    PubMed Central

    Gerstein, M; Krebs, W

    1998-01-01

    We describe a database of macromolecular motions meant to be of general use to the structural community. The database, which is accessible on the World Wide Web with an entry point at http://bioinfo.mbb.yale.edu/MolMovDB , attempts to systematize all instances of protein and nucleic acid movement for which there is at least some structural information. At present it contains >120 motions, most of which are of proteins. Protein motions are further classified hierarchically into a limited number of categories, first on the basis of size (distinguishing between fragment, domain and subunit motions) and then on the basis of packing. Our packing classification divides motions into various categories (shear, hinge, other) depending on whether or not they involve sliding over a continuously maintained and tightly packed interface. In addition, the database provides some indication about the evidence behind each motion (i.e. the type of experimental information or whether the motion is inferred based on structural similarity) and attempts to describe many aspects of a motion in terms of a standardized nomenclature (e.g. the maximum rotation, the residue selection of a fixed core, etc.). Currently, we use a standard relational design to implement the database. However, the complexity and heterogeneity of the information kept in the database makes it an ideal application for an object-relational approach, and we are moving it in this direction. Specifically, in terms of storing complex information, the database contains plausible representations for motion pathways, derived from restrained 3D interpolation between known endpoint conformations. These pathways can be viewed in a variety of movie formats, and the database is associated with a server that can automatically generate these movies from submitted coordinates. PMID:9722650

  20. Macromolecular engineering by atom transfer radical polymerization.

    PubMed

    Matyjaszewski, Krzysztof; Tsarevsky, Nicolay V

    2014-05-01

    This Perspective presents recent advances in macromolecular engineering enabled by ATRP. They include the fundamental mechanistic and synthetic features of ATRP with emphasis on various catalytic/initiation systems that use parts-per-million concentrations of Cu catalysts and can be run in environmentally friendly media, e.g., water. The roles of the major components of ATRP--monomers, initiators, catalysts, and various additives--are explained, and their reactivity and structure are correlated. The effects of media and external stimuli on polymerization rates and control are presented. Some examples of precisely controlled elements of macromolecular architecture, such as chain uniformity, composition, topology, and functionality, are discussed. Syntheses of polymers with complex architecture, various hybrids, and bioconjugates are illustrated. Examples of current and forthcoming applications of ATRP are covered. Future challenges and perspectives for macromolecular engineering by ATRP are discussed.

  1. Effects of Macromolecular Crowding on Genetic Networks

    PubMed Central

    Morelli, Marco J.; Allen, Rosalind J.; Rein ten Wolde, Pieter

    2011-01-01

    The intracellular environment is crowded with proteins, DNA, and other macromolecules. Under physiological conditions, macromolecular crowding can alter both molecular diffusion and the equilibria of bimolecular reactions and therefore is likely to have a significant effect on the function of biochemical networks. We propose a simple way to model the effects of macromolecular crowding on biochemical networks via an appropriate scaling of bimolecular association and dissociation rates. We use this approach, in combination with kinetic Monte Carlo simulations, to analyze the effects of crowding on a constitutively expressed gene, a repressed gene, and a model for the bacteriophage λ genetic switch, in the presence and absence of nonspecific binding of transcription factors to genomic DNA. Our results show that the effects of crowding are mainly caused by the shift of association-dissociation equilibria rather than the slowing down of protein diffusion, and that macromolecular crowding can have relevant and counterintuitive effects on biochemical network performance. PMID:22208186

  2. Variable effects of soman on macromolecular secretion by ferret trachea

    SciTech Connect

    McBride, R.K.; Zwierzynski, D.J.; Stone, K.K.; Culp, D.J.; Marin, M.G. )

    1991-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the anticholinesterase agent, soman, on macromolecular secretion by ferret trachea, in vitro. We mounted pieces of ferret trachea in Ussing-type chambers. Secreted sulfated macromolecules were radiolabeled by adding 500 microCi of {sup 35}SO{sub 4} to the submucosal medium and incubating for 17 hr. Soman added to the submucosal side produced a concentration-dependent increase in radiolabeled macromolecular release with a maximal secretory response (mean +/- SD) of 202 +/- 125% (n = 8) relative to the basal secretion rate at a concentration of 10{sup {minus} 7} M. The addition of either 10{sup {minus}6} M pralidoxime (acetylcholinesterase reactivator) or 10{sup {minus}6} M atropine blocked the response to 10{sup {minus}7} M soman. At soman concentrations greater than 10{sup {minus}7} M, secretion rate decreased and was not significantly different from basal secretion. Additional experiments utilizing acetylcholine and the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, physostigmine, suggest that inhibition of secretion by high concentrations of soman may be due to a secondary antagonistic effect of soman on muscarinic receptors.

  3. Protein stabilization by macromolecular crowding through enthalpy rather than entropy.

    PubMed

    Senske, Michael; Törk, Lisa; Born, Benjamin; Havenith, Martina; Herrmann, Christian; Ebbinghaus, Simon

    2014-06-25

    The interior of the cell is a densely crowded environment in which protein stability is affected differently than in dilute solution. Macromolecular crowding is commonly understood in terms of an entropic volume exclusion effect based on hardcore repulsions among the macromolecules. We studied the thermal unfolding of ubiquitin in the presence of different cosolutes (glucose, dextran, poly(ethylene glycol), KCl, urea). Our results show that for a correct dissection of the cosolute-induced changes of the free energy into its enthalpic and entropic contributions, the temperature dependence of the heat capacity change needs to be explicitly taken into account. In contrast to the prediction by the excluded volume theory, we observed an enthalpic stabilization and an entropic destabilization for glucose, dextran, and poly(ethylene glycol). The enthalpic stabilization mechanism induced by the macromolecular crowder dextran was similar to the enthalpic stabilization mechanism of its monomeric building block glucose. In the case of poly(ethylene glycol), entropy is dominating over enthalpy leading to an overall destabilization. We propose a new model to classify cosolute effects in terms of their enthalpic contributions to protein stability.

  4. [Measurement of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) after administration of iodine contrast medium with the Renalyzer PRX90 in healthy cats and cats with kidney diseases].

    PubMed

    Meyer-Lindenberg, A; Westhoff, A; Wohlsein, P; Pohlenz, J; Nolte, I

    1998-09-01

    In the present study, the measurement of the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in the cat with the aid of an iodine contrast medium clearance with the renalyzer PRX90 is introduced. Investigations on the accuracy of measurement showed that even repeated measurement of plasma samples after two days of storage at room temperature yielded reproducible clearance results. Also, partial dilution of the plasma sample (2 ml with 1 ml Aqua bidest.) to reduce the volume of blood withdrawn still produced reliable results. Further dilution of the plasma volume (1 ml with 2 ml Aqua bidest.) however did not allow for accurate measurements. A total of 59 cats of different age and sex were included in the study. 31 cats had healthy kidneys with urea and creatinine values within the reference range, unchanged urine findings and physiologic urine protein patterns (SDS-PAGE). These cats served as reference group. The GFR reference value ascertained for these animals was 2.1 ml/min/kg BW (mean = 3.45 ml/min/kg with s = +/- 1.0 ml/min/kg). 28 cats had elevated values of urea and creatinine in the blood, as well as partially changed urine findings. For further diagnosis of renal disease, separation of urine proteins was done with the SDS-PAGE in the PhastSystem, which in all cases yielded a pathologic urine protein pattern. In 11 cases the renal disease could be further confirmed by histological investigation. GFR in these patients was clearly lowered compared with healthy cats, with measured values between 0 and 1.8 ml/min/kg. It can be concluded that the renalyzer allows reliable determination of the GFR also in the cat. To what extent measurement of the GFR is also helpful to diagnose nephropathies in the stage of compensation needs to be further investigated. In cats with high grade uremia and a GFR below 1 ml/min however, an exact calculation is not possible, since the accuracy of measurement within this range is inadequate. Thus, in severe disease no correct assessment is possible

  5. Iodinated Contrast Medium Exposure During Computed Tomography Increase the Risk of Subsequent Development of Thyroid Disorders in Patients Without Known Thyroid Disease

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, Ming-Shun; Chiu, Chien-Shan; Chen, Wen-Chi; Chiang, Jen-Huai; Lin, Shih-Yi; Lin, Meng-Yu; Chang, Shih-Liang; Sheu, Meei-Ling; Hu, Sung-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Abstract To investigate the association between iodinated contrast medium (ICM) exposure during computed tomography (CT) and the subsequent development of thyroid disorders in patients without known thyroid disease in Taiwan, an iodine-sufficient area. We conducted a population-based cohort study by using data from 1996 to 2012 in the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. A total of 33,426 patients who underwent ICM-enhanced CT were included as the study cohort. To avoid selection bias, we used propensity score and matched for the index year (defined as the year of first ICM exposure) to retrieve 33,426 patients as the comparison cohort. No patients in the 2 cohorts had any known thyroid disease before the index year. Patients with a history of amiodarone treatment or coronary angiography and those with <1 year follow-up were excluded. Participants were followed until a new diagnosis of thyroid disorder or December 31, 2011. Hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were calculated using the Cox proportional hazards regression. An association was identified between ICM exposure and the subsequent development of thyroid disorders after adjustment for potential confounders (adjusted HR = 1.17; 95% CI: 1.07–1.29; P = 0.001). Male patients and patients’ ages ≥40 years in the ICM-exposure cohort had a higher adjusted HR for developing thyroid disorders than did those in the non-ICM-exposure cohort. Hypothyroidism had the highest adjusted HR (HR = 1.37; 95% CI: 1.06–1.78; P < 0.05) among all thyroid disorders and had a higher risk of development or detection during >0.5-year post-ICM exposure compared with that during ≤0.5-year post-ICM exposure (HR = 1.26; 95% CI: 1.01–1.58; P < 0.05). Repeated ICM exposure increased the risk of thyroid disorders in patients who accepted >1 time of ICM per year on average compared with those who accepted ≤1 time per year on average (adjusted HR = 3.04; 95% CI: 2.47

  6. delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol: effect on macromolecular synthesis in human and other mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Blevins, R D; Regan, J D

    1976-03-11

    The principal psychoactive component of marihuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. This compound at 10(-5) molar concentration in the medium of human cell cultures appeared to inhibit DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis by 50, 40, and 30% respectively, as measured by incorporation of radioactive precursors into acid-insoluble cell fractions in human diploid fibroblasts, human neuroblastoma cells, and mouse neuroblastoma cells. While delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol inhibited semiconservative DNA synthesis, it had no effect on DNA repair synthesis in human cells as assayed by the photolysis of 5-bromodeoxyuridine incorporation into DNA during repair after ultraviolet radiation damage. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol also had no effect on rejoining of DNA single-strand breaks induced by gamma-rays. The nonspecificity of the inhibition of macromolecular synthesis by delta-9-THC suggested a possible interference with uptake of radioactive precursors. However, experimentation has shown that this depression of macromolecular synthesis cannot be accounted for by reduced transport of radioactive precursors into the cell because the rate of transport of these precursors into the cell is essentially the same in the presence or absence of delta-9-THC. Pool sizes of macromolecular precursors as measured radioisotopically (3H-thymidine, 3H-uridine, 14C-leucine) appear to be reduced about 50%, and this reduced pool size could fully account for the reduced macromolecular synthesis seen in the presence of delta-9-THC. We do not know what causes this apparent reduction of pool sizes in the presence of delta-9-THC.

  7. Macromolecular Imaging Agents Containing Lanthanides: Can Conceptual Promise Lead to Clinical Potential?

    PubMed Central

    Bryson, Joshua; Reineke, Jeffrey W.; Reineke, Theresa M.

    2012-01-01

    Macromolecular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents are increasingly being used to improve the resolution of this noninvasive diagnostic technique. All clinically-approved T1 contrast agents are small molecule chelates of gadolinium [Gd(III)] that affect bound water proton relaxivity. Both the small size and monomeric nature of these agents ultimately limits the image resolution enhancement that can be achieved for both contrast enhancement and pharmacokinetic/biodistribution reasons. The multimeric nature of macromolecules, such as polymers, dendrimers, and noncovalent complexes of small molecule agents with proteins, have been shown to significantly increase the image contrast and resolution due to their large size and ability to incorporate multiple Gd(III) chlelation sites. Also, macromolecular agents are advantageous as they have the ability to be designed to be nontoxic, hydrophilic, easily purified, aggregation-resistant, and have controllable three-dimensional macromolecular structure housing the multiple lanthanide chelation sites. For these reasons, large molecule diagnostics have the ability to significantly increase the relaxivity of water protons within the targeted tissues and thus the image resolution for many diagnostic applications. The FDA approval of a contrast agent that consists of a reversible, non-covalent coupling of a small Gd(III) chelate with serum albumin for blood pool imaging (marketed under the trade names of Vasovist and Ablivar) proved to be one of the first diagnostic agent to capitalize on these benefits from macromolecular association in humans. However, much research and development is necessary to optimize the safety of these unique agents for in vivo use and potential clinical development. To this end, recent work in the field of polymer, dendrimer, and noncovalent complex-based imaging agents are reviewed herein and the future outlook of this field is discussed. PMID:23467737

  8. Growth and Dissolution of Macromolecular Markov Chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaspard, Pierre

    2016-07-01

    The kinetics and thermodynamics of free living copolymerization are studied for processes with rates depending on k monomeric units of the macromolecular chain behind the unit that is attached or detached. In this case, the sequence of monomeric units in the growing copolymer is a kth-order Markov chain. In the regime of steady growth, the statistical properties of the sequence are determined analytically in terms of the attachment and detachment rates. In this way, the mean growth velocity as well as the thermodynamic entropy production and the sequence disorder can be calculated systematically. These different properties are also investigated in the regime of depolymerization where the macromolecular chain is dissolved by the surrounding solution. In this regime, the entropy production is shown to satisfy Landauer's principle.

  9. In situ macromolecular crystallography using microbeams

    PubMed Central

    Axford, Danny; Owen, Robin L.; Aishima, Jun; Foadi, James; Morgan, Ann W.; Robinson, James I.; Nettleship, Joanne E.; Owens, Raymond J.; Moraes, Isabel; Fry, Elizabeth E.; Grimes, Jonathan M.; Harlos, Karl; Kotecha, Abhay; Ren, Jingshan; Sutton, Geoff; Walter, Thomas S.; Stuart, David I.; Evans, Gwyndaf

    2012-01-01

    Despite significant progress in high-throughput methods in macromolecular crystallography, the production of diffraction-quality crystals remains a major bottleneck. By recording diffraction in situ from crystals in their crystallization plates at room temperature, a number of problems associated with crystal handling and cryoprotection can be side-stepped. Using a dedicated goniometer installed on the microfocus macromolecular crystallography beamline I24 at Diamond Light Source, crystals have been studied in situ with an intense and flexible microfocus beam, allowing weakly diffracting samples to be assessed without a manual crystal-handling step but with good signal to noise, despite the background scatter from the plate. A number of case studies are reported: the structure solution of bovine enterovirus 2, crystallization screening of membrane proteins and complexes, and structure solution from crystallization hits produced via a high-throughput pipeline. These demonstrate the potential for in situ data collection and structure solution with microbeams. PMID:22525757

  10. Exosites determine macromolecular substrate recognition by prothrombinase.

    PubMed

    Krishnaswamy, S; Betz, A

    1997-10-01

    The prothrombinase complex, composed of factor Xa and factor Va assembled on a membrane surface, catalyzes the proteolytic formation of thrombin during blood coagulation. The molecular basis for the macromolecular substrate specificity of prothrombinase is poorly understood. By kinetic studies of prethrombin 2 cleavage by prothrombinase in the presence or absence of fragment 1.2, we show that occupation of the active site of the catalyst by inhibitors or alternate peptidyl substrates does not alter the affinity for prethrombin 2. Productive recognition of the macromolecular substrate therefore results from an initial interaction at enzymic sites (exosites) distinct from the active site, which largely determines substrate affinity. This interaction at exosites is evident even in the absence of activation peptide domains responsible for mediating the binding of the substrate to membranes or factor Va. Interactions at the active site with structures surrounding the scissile bond then precede bond cleavage and product release. The second binding step, which appears unfavorable, does not affect substrate affinity but contributes to the maximum catalytic rate. Therefore, binding specificity of prothrombinase for the macromolecular substrate is determined by exosites on the enzyme. We show that competitive inhibition of prethrombin 2 cleavage can be accomplished by interfering with the exosite binding step without obscuring the active site of the enzyme. These findings suggest limitations to the common approach of inferring the basis of factor Xa specificity with active site mutants or the targeting the active site of factor Xa with reversible inhibitors for therapeutic purposes. The achievement of distinctive macromolecular substrate specificities through exosite interactions and modulation of maximum catalytic rate through binding steps may also underlie the reactions catalyzed by the other coagulation complexes containing trypsin-like enzymes. PMID:9315846

  11. Efficient Cryoprotection of Macromolecular Crystals using Vapor Diffusion of Volatile Alcohols

    PubMed Central

    Farley, Christopher; Juers, Douglas H.

    2014-01-01

    Macromolecular X-ray crystallography, usually done at cryogenic temperature to limit radiation damage, often requires liquid cryoprotective soaking that can be labor intensive and damaging to crystals. Here we describe a method for cryoprotection that uses vapor diffusion of volatile cryoprotective agents into loop-mounted crystals. The crystal is mounted into a vial containing a small volume of an alcohol-based cryosolution. After a short incubation with the looped crystal sitting in the cryosolution vapor, the crystal is transferred directly from the vial into the cooling medium. Effective for several different protein crystals, the approach obviates the need for liquid soaking and opens up a heretofore underutilized class of cryoprotective agents for macromolecular crystallography. PMID:25286441

  12. Radiation damage to nucleoprotein complexes in macromolecular crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Bury, Charles; Garman, Elspeth F.; Ginn, Helen Mary; Ravelli, Raimond B. G.; Carmichael, Ian; Kneale, Geoff; McGeehan, John E.

    2015-01-01

    Significant progress has been made in macromolecular crystallography over recent years in both the understanding and mitigation of X-ray induced radiation damage when collecting diffraction data from crystalline proteins. In contrast, despite the large field that is productively engaged in the study of radiation chemistry of nucleic acids, particularly of DNA, there are currently very few X-ray crystallographic studies on radiation damage mechanisms in nucleic acids. Quantitative comparison of damage to protein and DNA crystals separately is challenging, but many of the issues are circumvented by studying pre-formed biological nucleoprotein complexes where direct comparison of each component can be made under the same controlled conditions. Here a model protein–DNA complex C.Esp1396I is employed to investigate specific damage mechanisms for protein and DNA in a biologically relevant complex over a large dose range (2.07–44.63 MGy). In order to allow a quantitative analysis of radiation damage sites from a complex series of macromolecular diffraction data, a computational method has been developed that is generally applicable to the field. Typical specific damage was observed for both the protein on particular amino acids and for the DNA on, for example, the cleavage of base-sugar N1—C and sugar-phosphate C—O bonds. Strikingly the DNA component was determined to be far more resistant to specific damage than the protein for the investigated dose range. At low doses the protein was observed to be susceptible to radiation damage while the DNA was far more resistant, damage only being observed at significantly higher doses. PMID:25723923

  13. Macromolecular self-assembly and nanotechnology in China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Huaping; Chen, Daoyong; Wang, Shu; Zhou, Yongfeng; Sun, Junqi; Zhang, Wenke; Zhang, Xi

    2013-10-13

    Macromolecular self-assembly refers to the assembly of synthetic polymers, biomacromolecules and supra-molecular polymers. Through macromolecular self-assembly, the fabrication of ordered structures at different scales, the control of the dynamic assembly process and the integrations of advanced functions can be realized. Macromolecular self-assembly and nanotechnology research in China has developed rapidly, from the early periods of follow-up at low to high level and progress into a stage of innovation and creation. This review selects some representative progresses achieved recently, aiming to reflect the current status of macromolecular self-assembly and nanotechnology research in China.

  14. Uniqueness of the macromolecular crystallographic phase problem.

    PubMed

    Millane, Rick P; Arnal, Romain D

    2015-11-01

    Uniqueness of the phase problem in macromolecular crystallography, and its relationship to the case of single particle imaging, is considered. The crystallographic problem is characterized by a constraint ratio that depends only on the size and symmetry of the molecule and the unit cell. The results are used to evaluate the effect of various real-space constraints. The case of an unknown molecular envelope is considered in detail. The results indicate the quite wide circumstances under which ab initio phasing should be possible. PMID:26522408

  15. Automated macromolecular crystal detection system and method

    DOEpatents

    Christian, Allen T.; Segelke, Brent; Rupp, Bernard; Toppani, Dominique

    2007-06-05

    An automated macromolecular method and system for detecting crystals in two-dimensional images, such as light microscopy images obtained from an array of crystallization screens. Edges are detected from the images by identifying local maxima of a phase congruency-based function associated with each image. The detected edges are segmented into discrete line segments, which are subsequently geometrically evaluated with respect to each other to identify any crystal-like qualities such as, for example, parallel lines, facing each other, similarity in length, and relative proximity. And from the evaluation a determination is made as to whether crystals are present in each image.

  16. Fock spaces for modeling macromolecular complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinney, Justin

    Large macromolecular complexes play a fundamental role in how cells function. Here I describe a Fock space formalism for mathematically modeling these complexes. Specifically, this formalism allows ensembles of complexes to be defined in terms of elementary molecular ``building blocks'' and ``assembly rules.'' Such definitions avoid the massive redundancy inherent in standard representations, in which all possible complexes are manually enumerated. Methods for systematically computing ensembles of complexes from a list of components and interaction rules are described. I also show how this formalism readily accommodates coarse-graining. Finally, I introduce diagrammatic techniques that greatly facilitate the application of this formalism to both equilibrium and non-equilibrium biochemical systems.

  17. Dominance hierarchies, diversity and species richness of vascular plants in an alpine meadow: contrasting short and medium term responses to simulated global change

    PubMed Central

    Little, Chelsea J.; Jägerbrand, Annika K.; Molau, Ulf

    2014-01-01

    We studied the impact of simulated global change on a high alpine meadow plant community. Specifically, we examined whether short-term (5 years) responses are good predictors for medium-term (7 years) changes in the system by applying a factorial warming and nutrient manipulation to 20 plots in Latnjajaure, subarctic Sweden. Seven years of experimental warming and nutrient enhancement caused dramatic shifts in dominance hierarchies in response to the nutrient and the combined warming and nutrient enhancement treatments. Dominance hierarchies in the meadow moved from a community being dominated by cushion plants, deciduous, and evergreen shrubs to a community being dominated by grasses, sedges, and forbs. Short-term responses were shown to be inconsistent in their ability to predict medium-term responses for most functional groups, however, grasses showed a consistent and very substantial increase in response to nutrient addition over the seven years. The non-linear responses over time point out the importance of longer-term studies with repeated measurements to be able to better predict future changes. Forecasted changes to temperature and nutrient availability have implications for trophic interactions, and may ultimately influence the access to and palatability of the forage for grazers. Depending on what anthropogenic change will be most pronounced in the future (increase in nutrient deposits, warming, or a combination of them both), different shifts in community dominance hierarchies may occur. Generally, this study supports the productivity–diversity relationship found across arctic habitats, with community diversity peaking in mid-productivity systems and degrading as nutrient availability increases further. This is likely due the increasing competition in plant–plant interactions and the shifting dominance structure with grasses taking over the experimental plots, suggesting that global change could have high costs to biodiversity in the Arctic. PMID

  18. Photoinduced Electron Transfer Reactions for Macromolecular Syntheses.

    PubMed

    Dadashi-Silab, Sajjad; Doran, Sean; Yagci, Yusuf

    2016-09-14

    Photochemical reactions, particularly those involving photoinduced electron transfer processes, establish a substantial contribution to the modern synthetic chemistry, and the polymer community has been increasingly interested in exploiting and developing novel photochemical strategies. These reactions are efficiently utilized in almost every aspect of macromolecular architecture synthesis, involving initiation, control of the reaction kinetics and molecular structures, functionalization, and decoration, etc. Merging with polymerization techniques, photochemistry has opened up new intriguing and powerful avenues for macromolecular synthesis. Construction of various polymers with incredibly complex structures and specific control over the chain topology, as well as providing the opportunity to manipulate the reaction course through spatiotemporal control, are one of the unique abilities of such photochemical reactions. This review paper provides a comprehensive account of the fundamentals and applications of photoinduced electron transfer reactions in polymer synthesis. Besides traditional photopolymerization methods, namely free radical and cationic polymerizations, step-growth polymerizations involving electron transfer processes are included. In addition, controlled radical polymerization and "Click Chemistry" methods have significantly evolved over the last few decades allowing access to narrow molecular weight distributions, efficient regulation of the molecular weight and the monomer sequence and incredibly complex architectures, and polymer modifications and surface patterning are covered. Potential applications including synthesis of block and graft copolymers, polymer-metal nanocomposites, various hybrid materials and bioconjugates, and sequence defined polymers through photoinduced electron transfer reactions are also investigated in detail.

  19. Effects of macromolecular crowding on nuclear size.

    PubMed

    Rosania, G R; Swanson, J A

    1995-05-01

    The concentration of macromolecules inside cells is high, and the resultant crowding of cytoplasm can be expected to affect many interactions involving macromolecular assemblies. Here, we have examined the effect of solute size and concentration on nuclear volume in saponin-permeabilized macrophages. Nuclei swelled in the presence of small solutes and shrank reversibly in the presence of larger permeant solutes. Remarkably, the smallest solutes capable of shrinking the nucleus were not excluded by the pores in the nuclear envelope. Indeed, nuclei shrank in the presence of such solutes even after the nuclear envelope had been sheared mechanically or permeabilized with detergent. Nuclei extracted with 1% Triton X-100 shrank in the presence of very high concentrations of small solute molecules (30% w/v) as well as in lower concentrations of larger solutes. Consistent with a macromolecular crowding effect, changes in nuclear volume were dependent on solute size and not simply dependent on the colligative properties of solutes or the exclusion of solutes by the nuclear envelope. Solute size-dependent changes in nuclear volume were independent of the chemical nature of the solutes and of the activity of the ions in the buffer. Together, these observations indicate that high concentrations of macromolecules such as those found inside cells can influence the size of the nucleus by directly affecting nuclear structure.

  20. EIGER detector: application in macromolecular crystallography.

    PubMed

    Casanas, Arnau; Warshamanage, Rangana; Finke, Aaron D; Panepucci, Ezequiel; Olieric, Vincent; Nöll, Anne; Tampé, Robert; Brandstetter, Stefan; Förster, Andreas; Mueller, Marcus; Schulze-Briese, Clemens; Bunk, Oliver; Wang, Meitian

    2016-09-01

    The development of single-photon-counting detectors, such as the PILATUS, has been a major recent breakthrough in macromolecular crystallography, enabling noise-free detection and novel data-acquisition modes. The new EIGER detector features a pixel size of 75 × 75 µm, frame rates of up to 3000 Hz and a dead time as low as 3.8 µs. An EIGER 1M and EIGER 16M were tested on Swiss Light Source beamlines X10SA and X06SA for their application in macromolecular crystallography. The combination of fast frame rates and a very short dead time allows high-quality data acquisition in a shorter time. The ultrafine ϕ-slicing data-collection method is introduced and validated and its application in finding the optimal rotation angle, a suitable rotation speed and a sufficient X-ray dose are presented. An improvement of the data quality up to slicing at one tenth of the mosaicity has been observed, which is much finer than expected based on previous findings. The influence of key data-collection parameters on data quality is discussed. PMID:27599736

  1. EIGER detector: application in macromolecular crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Casanas, Arnau; Warshamanage, Rangana; Finke, Aaron D.; Panepucci, Ezequiel; Olieric, Vincent; Nöll, Anne; Tampé, Robert; Brandstetter, Stefan; Förster, Andreas; Mueller, Marcus; Schulze-Briese, Clemens; Bunk, Oliver; Wang, Meitian

    2016-01-01

    The development of single-photon-counting detectors, such as the PILATUS, has been a major recent breakthrough in macromolecular crystallography, enabling noise-free detection and novel data-acquisition modes. The new EIGER detector features a pixel size of 75 × 75 µm, frame rates of up to 3000 Hz and a dead time as low as 3.8 µs. An EIGER 1M and EIGER 16M were tested on Swiss Light Source beamlines X10SA and X06SA for their application in macromolecular crystallography. The combination of fast frame rates and a very short dead time allows high-quality data acquisition in a shorter time. The ultrafine φ-slicing data-collection method is introduced and validated and its application in finding the optimal rotation angle, a suitable rotation speed and a sufficient X-ray dose are presented. An improvement of the data quality up to slicing at one tenth of the mosaicity has been observed, which is much finer than expected based on previous findings. The influence of key data-collection parameters on data quality is discussed. PMID:27599736

  2. Multiscale macromolecular simulation: role of evolving ensembles.

    PubMed

    Singharoy, A; Joshi, H; Ortoleva, P J

    2012-10-22

    Multiscale analysis provides an algorithm for the efficient simulation of macromolecular assemblies. This algorithm involves the coevolution of a quasiequilibrium probability density of atomic configurations and the Langevin dynamics of spatial coarse-grained variables denoted order parameters (OPs) characterizing nanoscale system features. In practice, implementation of the probability density involves the generation of constant OP ensembles of atomic configurations. Such ensembles are used to construct thermal forces and diffusion factors that mediate the stochastic OP dynamics. Generation of all-atom ensembles at every Langevin time step is computationally expensive. Here, multiscale computation for macromolecular systems is made more efficient by a method that self-consistently folds in ensembles of all-atom configurations constructed in an earlier step, history, of the Langevin evolution. This procedure accounts for the temporal evolution of these ensembles, accurately providing thermal forces and diffusions. It is shown that efficiency and accuracy of the OP-based simulations is increased via the integration of this historical information. Accuracy improves with the square root of the number of historical timesteps included in the calculation. As a result, CPU usage can be decreased by a factor of 3-8 without loss of accuracy. The algorithm is implemented into our existing force-field based multiscale simulation platform and demonstrated via the structural dynamics of viral capsomers.

  3. Magnetic macromolecular cross linked enzyme aggregates (CLEAs) of glucoamylase.

    PubMed

    Nadar, Shamraja S; Rathod, Virendra K

    2016-02-01

    This work illustrates the preparation of magnetic macromolecular glucoamylase CLEAs using dialdehydic pectin, as a cross linker instead of traditional glutaraldehyde. The effect of precipitators type and amount, cross linker concentration, cross linking time and amount of amino functionalized magnetic nanoparticles (AFMNs) on glucoamylase activity was studied. Glucoamylase magnetic macromolecular CLEAs prepared by precipitation in presence of AFMNs by ammonium sulfate were subsequently cross linked by dialdehydic pectin. After cross-linked by pectin, 95.4% activity recovery was achieved in magnetic macromolecular CLEAs, whereas in case of glutaraldehyde cross linker, 85.3% activity recovery was achieved. Magnetic macromolecular CLEAs showed 2.91 and 1.27 folds higher thermal stability as compared to free and magnetic glutaraldehyde CLEAs. In kinetics study, magnetic macromolecular CLEAs retained same Km values, whereas magnetic glutaraldehyde CLEAs showed higher Km value than free enzyme. The porous structure of magnetic macromolecular CLEAs was not only enhanced mass transfer toward macromolecular substrates, but also showed compression resistance for 5 consecutive cycles which was checked in terms of effectiveness factor. At the end, in reusability study; magnetic macromolecular CLEAs were retained 84% activity after 10(th) cycle without leaching of enzyme which is 22% higher than traditional magnetic CLEAs.

  4. The Role of Virtual Cystoscopy, after Multidetector Computed Tomography Imaging Reconstruction without the Use of Contrast Medium, in the Diagnosis and Evaluations of Bladder Tumors: Preliminary Study.

    PubMed

    Kalokairinou, Kyriaki; Ploumidis, Achilles; Kalogeropoulos, Theodoros; Vlachos, Lampros; Stringaris, Kyriakos; Tavernaraki, Ageliki; Thanos, Anastasios; Papacharalampous, Xenofon; Koutoulidis, Vasilios; Letendre, Julien; Traxer, Olivier; Gouliamos, Athanasios

    2014-01-01

    Introduction. Although conventional cystoscopy is considered to be the gold standard for diagnosis and follow-up of bladder tumors, it remains an invasive and costly procedure. With the advent of the multidetector CT (MDCT) scanners supported by specialized software virtual cystoscopy (VC) is possible. We assess the role of VC in diagnosing and evaluating bladder lesions. Materials and Methods. Between September 2010 and October 2011, 25 consecutive patients with cystoscopically confirmed bladder tumor underwent VC. The radiologists involved in this prospective study were blinded to the exact findings. After draining any residual urine with a catheter, the bladder was retrogradely insufflated with 200-600 cc of air. No intravenous or intravesical contrast was used. MDCT scan was performed in supine and prone positions and three-dimensional reconstruction of the urinary bladder was performed. Results. The examination was well tolerated by all patients with no complications. In total, 43 lesions were detected both with conventional cystoscopy and VC. Tumor size measured by CT ranged from 3 to 80 mm in diameter. The pathological report revealed noninvasive transitional cell carcinomas in all cases. Conclusion. VC has promising results in detecting exophytic bladder lesions. In the future it could be part of the diagnostic algorithm for bladder tumors. PMID:24799894

  5. Follow-up of endovascular aortic aneurysm repair: Preliminary validation of digital tomosynthesis and contrast enhanced ultrasound in detection of medium- to long-term complications

    PubMed Central

    Mazzei, Maria Antonietta; Guerrini, Susanna; Mazzei, Francesco Giuseppe; Cioffi Squitieri, Nevada; Notaro, Dario; de Donato, Gianmarco; Galzerano, Giuseppe; Sacco, Palmino; Setacci, Francesco; Volterrani, Luca; Setacci, Carlo

    2016-01-01

    AIM: To validate the feasibility of digital tomosynthesis of the abdomen (DTA) combined with contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) in assessing complications after endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR) by using computed tomography angiography (CTA) as the gold standard. METHODS: For this prospective study we enrolled 163 patients (123 men; mean age, 65.7 years) referred for CTA for EVAR follow-up. CTA, DTA and CEUS were performed at 1 and 12 mo in all patients, with a maximum time interval of 2 d. RESULTS: Among 163 patients 33 presented complications at CTA. DTA and CTA correlated for the presence of complications in 32/33 (96.96%) patients and for the absence of complications in 127/130 (97.69%) patients; the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV) and accuracy of DTA were 97%, 98%, 91%, 99%, and 98%, respectively. CEUS and CTA correlated for the presence of complications in 19/33 (57.57%) patients and for the absence of complications in 129/130 (99.23%) patients; the sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV and accuracy of CEUS were 58%, 99%, 95%, 90%, and 91%, respectively. Sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of combining DTA and CEUS together in detecting EVAR complications were 77%, 98% and 95%, respectively. CONCLUSION: Combining DTA and CEUS in EVAR follow-up has the potential to limit the use of CTA only in doubtful cases. PMID:27247719

  6. Nitric Oxide Release Part I. Macromolecular Scaffolds

    PubMed Central

    Riccio, Daniel A.; Schoenfisch, Mark H.

    2012-01-01

    Summary The roles of nitric oxide (NO) in physiology and pathophysiology merit the use of NO as a therapeutic for certain biomedical applications. Unfortunately, limited NO payloads, too rapid NO release, and the lack of targeted NO delivery have hindered the clinical utility of NO gas and low molecular weight NO donor compounds. A wide-variety of NO-releasing macromolecular scaffolds has thus been developed to improve NO’s pharmacological potential. In this tutorial review, we provide an overview of the most promising NO release scaffolds including protein, organic, inorganic, and hybrid organic-inorganic systems. The NO release vehicles selected for discussion were chosen based on their enhanced NO storage, tunable NO release characteristics, and potential as therapeutics. PMID:22362355

  7. Panorama of ancient metazoan macromolecular complexes

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Cuihong; Borgeson, Blake; Phanse, Sadhna; Tu, Fan; Drew, Kevin; Clark, Greg; Xiong, Xuejian; Kagan, Olga; Kwan, Julian; Berzginov, Alexandr; Chessman, Kyle; Pal, Swati; Cromar, Graham; Papoulas, Ophelia; Ni, Zuyao; Boutz, Daniel R.; Stoilova, Snejana; Havugimana, Pierre C.; Guo, Xinghua; Malty, Ramy H.; Sarov, Mihail; Greenblatt, Jack; Babu, Mohan; Derry, Brent; Tillier, Elisabeth; Wallingford, John B.; Parkinson, John; Marcotte, Edward M.; Emili, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Macromolecular complexes are essential to conserved biological processes, but their prevalence across animals is unclear. By combining extensive biochemical fractionation with quantitative mass spectrometry, we directly examined the composition of soluble multiprotein complexes among diverse metazoan models. Using an integrative approach, we then generated a draft conservation map consisting of >1 million putative high-confidence co-complex interactions for species with fully sequenced genomes that encompasses functional modules present broadly across all extant animals. Clustering revealed a spectrum of conservation, ranging from ancient Eukaryal assemblies likely serving cellular housekeeping roles for at least 1 billion years, ancestral complexes that have accrued contemporary components, and rarer metazoan innovations linked to multicellularity. We validated these projections by independent co-fractionation experiments in evolutionarily distant species, by affinity-purification and by functional analyses. The comprehensiveness, centrality and modularity of these reconstructed interactomes reflect their fundamental mechanistic significance and adaptive value to animal cell systems. PMID:26344197

  8. Macromolecular crowding explains overflow metabolism in cells

    PubMed Central

    Vazquez, Alexei; Oltvai, Zoltán N.

    2016-01-01

    Overflow metabolism is a metabolic phenotype of cells characterized by mixed oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) and fermentative glycolysis in the presence of oxygen. Recently, it was proposed that a combination of a protein allocation constraint and a higher proteome fraction cost of energy generation by OxPhos relative to fermentation form the basis of overflow metabolism in the bacterium, Escherichia coli. However, we argue that the existence of a maximum or optimal macromolecular density is another essential requirement. Here we re-evaluate our previous theory of overflow metabolism based on molecular crowding following the proteomic fractions formulation. We show that molecular crowding is a key factor in explaining the switch from OxPhos to overflow metabolism. PMID:27484619

  9. The spliceosome: a flexible, reversible macromolecular machine.

    PubMed

    Hoskins, Aaron A; Moore, Melissa J

    2012-05-01

    With more than a hundred individual RNA and protein parts and a highly dynamic assembly and disassembly pathway, the spliceosome is arguably the most complicated macromolecular machine in the eukaryotic cell. This complexity has made kinetic and mechanistic analysis of splicing incredibly challenging. Yet, recent technological advances are now providing tools for understanding this process in much greater detail. Ranging from genome-wide analyses of splicing and creation of an orthogonal spliceosome in vivo, to purification of active spliceosomes and observation of single molecules in vitro, such new experimental approaches are yielding significant insight into the inner workings of this remarkable machine. These experiments are rewriting the textbooks, with a new picture emerging of a dynamic, malleable machine heavily influenced by the identity of its pre-mRNA substrate.

  10. The use of a mini-κ goniometer head in macromolecular crystallography diffraction experiments

    PubMed Central

    Brockhauser, Sandor; Ravelli, Raimond B. G.; McCarthy, Andrew A.

    2013-01-01

    Most macromolecular crystallography (MX) diffraction experiments at synchrotrons use a single-axis goniometer. This markedly contrasts with small-molecule crystallography, in which the majority of the diffraction data are collected using multi-axis goniometers. A novel miniaturized κ-gonio­meter head, the MK3, has been developed to allow macromolecular crystals to be aligned. It is available on the majority of the structural biology beamlines at the ESRF, as well as elsewhere. In addition, the Strategy for the Alignment of Crystals (STAC) software package has been developed to facilitate the use of the MK3 and other similar devices. Use of the MK3 and STAC is streamlined by their incorporation into online analysis tools such as EDNA. The current use of STAC and MK3 on the MX beamlines at the ESRF is discussed. It is shown that the alignment of macromolecular crystals can result in improved diffraction data quality compared with data obtained from randomly aligned crystals. PMID:23793150

  11. The use of a mini-κ goniometer head in macromolecular crystallography diffraction experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Brockhauser, Sandor; Ravelli, Raimond B. G.; McCarthy, Andrew A.

    2013-07-01

    Hardware and software solutions for MX data-collection strategies using the EMBL/ESRF miniaturized multi-axis goniometer head are presented. Most macromolecular crystallography (MX) diffraction experiments at synchrotrons use a single-axis goniometer. This markedly contrasts with small-molecule crystallography, in which the majority of the diffraction data are collected using multi-axis goniometers. A novel miniaturized κ-goniometer head, the MK3, has been developed to allow macromolecular crystals to be aligned. It is available on the majority of the structural biology beamlines at the ESRF, as well as elsewhere. In addition, the Strategy for the Alignment of Crystals (STAC) software package has been developed to facilitate the use of the MK3 and other similar devices. Use of the MK3 and STAC is streamlined by their incorporation into online analysis tools such as EDNA. The current use of STAC and MK3 on the MX beamlines at the ESRF is discussed. It is shown that the alignment of macromolecular crystals can result in improved diffraction data quality compared with data obtained from randomly aligned crystals.

  12. Macromolecular diffractive imaging using imperfect crystals

    PubMed Central

    Ayyer, Kartik; Yefanov, Oleksandr; Oberthür, Dominik; Roy-Chowdhury, Shatabdi; Galli, Lorenzo; Mariani, Valerio; Basu, Shibom; Coe, Jesse; Conrad, Chelsie E.; Fromme, Raimund; Schaffer, Alexander; Dörner, Katerina; James, Daniel; Kupitz, Christopher; Metz, Markus; Nelson, Garrett; Lourdu Xavier, Paulraj; Beyerlein, Kenneth R.; Schmidt, Marius; Sarrou, Iosifina; Spence, John C. H.; Weierstall, Uwe; White, Thomas A.; Yang, Jay-How; Zhao, Yun; Liang, Mengning; Aquila, Andrew; Hunter, Mark S.; Robinson, Joseph S.; Koglin, Jason E.; Boutet, Sébastien; Fromme, Petra; Barty, Anton; Chapman, Henry N.

    2016-01-01

    The three-dimensional structures of macromolecules and their complexes are predominantly elucidated by X-ray protein crystallography. A major limitation is access to high-quality crystals, to ensure X-ray diffraction extends to sufficiently large scattering angles and hence yields sufficiently high-resolution information that the crystal structure can be solved. The observation that crystals with shrunken unit-cell volumes and tighter macromolecular packing often produce higher-resolution Bragg peaks1,2 hints that crystallographic resolution for some macromolecules may be limited not by their heterogeneity but rather by a deviation of strict positional ordering of the crystalline lattice. Such displacements of molecules from the ideal lattice give rise to a continuous diffraction pattern, equal to the incoherent sum of diffraction from rigid single molecular complexes aligned along several discrete crystallographic orientations and hence with an increased information content3. Although such continuous diffraction patterns have long been observed—and are of interest as a source of information about the dynamics of proteins4 —they have not been used for structure determination. Here we show for crystals of the integral membrane protein complex photosystem II that lattice disorder increases the information content and the resolution of the diffraction pattern well beyond the 4.5 Å limit of measurable Bragg peaks, which allows us to directly phase5 the pattern. With the molecular envelope conventionally determined at 4.5 Å as a constraint, we then obtain a static image of the photosystem II dimer at 3.5 Å resolution. This result shows that continuous diffraction can be used to overcome long-supposed resolution limits of macromolecular crystallography, with a method that puts great value in commonly encountered imperfect crystals and opens up the possibility for model-free phasing6,7. PMID:26863980

  13. Macromolecular diffractive imaging using imperfect crystals.

    PubMed

    Ayyer, Kartik; Yefanov, Oleksandr M; Oberthür, Dominik; Roy-Chowdhury, Shatabdi; Galli, Lorenzo; Mariani, Valerio; Basu, Shibom; Coe, Jesse; Conrad, Chelsie E; Fromme, Raimund; Schaffer, Alexander; Dörner, Katerina; James, Daniel; Kupitz, Christopher; Metz, Markus; Nelson, Garrett; Xavier, Paulraj Lourdu; Beyerlein, Kenneth R; Schmidt, Marius; Sarrou, Iosifina; Spence, John C H; Weierstall, Uwe; White, Thomas A; Yang, Jay-How; Zhao, Yun; Liang, Mengning; Aquila, Andrew; Hunter, Mark S; Robinson, Joseph S; Koglin, Jason E; Boutet, Sébastien; Fromme, Petra; Barty, Anton; Chapman, Henry N

    2016-02-11

    The three-dimensional structures of macromolecules and their complexes are mainly elucidated by X-ray protein crystallography. A major limitation of this method is access to high-quality crystals, which is necessary to ensure X-ray diffraction extends to sufficiently large scattering angles and hence yields information of sufficiently high resolution with which to solve the crystal structure. The observation that crystals with reduced unit-cell volumes and tighter macromolecular packing often produce higher-resolution Bragg peaks suggests that crystallographic resolution for some macromolecules may be limited not by their heterogeneity, but by a deviation of strict positional ordering of the crystalline lattice. Such displacements of molecules from the ideal lattice give rise to a continuous diffraction pattern that is equal to the incoherent sum of diffraction from rigid individual molecular complexes aligned along several discrete crystallographic orientations and that, consequently, contains more information than Bragg peaks alone. Although such continuous diffraction patterns have long been observed--and are of interest as a source of information about the dynamics of proteins--they have not been used for structure determination. Here we show for crystals of the integral membrane protein complex photosystem II that lattice disorder increases the information content and the resolution of the diffraction pattern well beyond the 4.5-ångström limit of measurable Bragg peaks, which allows us to phase the pattern directly. Using the molecular envelope conventionally determined at 4.5 ångströms as a constraint, we obtain a static image of the photosystem II dimer at a resolution of 3.5 ångströms. This result shows that continuous diffraction can be used to overcome what have long been supposed to be the resolution limits of macromolecular crystallography, using a method that exploits commonly encountered imperfect crystals and enables model-free phasing.

  14. Macromolecular diffractive imaging using imperfect crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayyer, Kartik; Yefanov, Oleksandr M.; Oberthür, Dominik; Roy-Chowdhury, Shatabdi; Galli, Lorenzo; Mariani, Valerio; Basu, Shibom; Coe, Jesse; Conrad, Chelsie E.; Fromme, Raimund; Schaffer, Alexander; Dörner, Katerina; James, Daniel; Kupitz, Christopher; Metz, Markus; Nelson, Garrett; Xavier, Paulraj Lourdu; Beyerlein, Kenneth R.; Schmidt, Marius; Sarrou, Iosifina; Spence, John C. H.; Weierstall, Uwe; White, Thomas A.; Yang, Jay-How; Zhao, Yun; Liang, Mengning; Aquila, Andrew; Hunter, Mark S.; Robinson, Joseph S.; Koglin, Jason E.; Boutet, Sébastien; Fromme, Petra; Barty, Anton; Chapman, Henry N.

    2016-02-01

    The three-dimensional structures of macromolecules and their complexes are mainly elucidated by X-ray protein crystallography. A major limitation of this method is access to high-quality crystals, which is necessary to ensure X-ray diffraction extends to sufficiently large scattering angles and hence yields information of sufficiently high resolution with which to solve the crystal structure. The observation that crystals with reduced unit-cell volumes and tighter macromolecular packing often produce higher-resolution Bragg peaks suggests that crystallographic resolution for some macromolecules may be limited not by their heterogeneity, but by a deviation of strict positional ordering of the crystalline lattice. Such displacements of molecules from the ideal lattice give rise to a continuous diffraction pattern that is equal to the incoherent sum of diffraction from rigid individual molecular complexes aligned along several discrete crystallographic orientations and that, consequently, contains more information than Bragg peaks alone. Although such continuous diffraction patterns have long been observed—and are of interest as a source of information about the dynamics of proteins—they have not been used for structure determination. Here we show for crystals of the integral membrane protein complex photosystem II that lattice disorder increases the information content and the resolution of the diffraction pattern well beyond the 4.5-ångström limit of measurable Bragg peaks, which allows us to phase the pattern directly. Using the molecular envelope conventionally determined at 4.5 ångströms as a constraint, we obtain a static image of the photosystem II dimer at a resolution of 3.5 ångströms. This result shows that continuous diffraction can be used to overcome what have long been supposed to be the resolution limits of macromolecular crystallography, using a method that exploits commonly encountered imperfect crystals and enables model-free phasing.

  15. Macromolecular diffractive imaging using imperfect crystals.

    PubMed

    Ayyer, Kartik; Yefanov, Oleksandr M; Oberthür, Dominik; Roy-Chowdhury, Shatabdi; Galli, Lorenzo; Mariani, Valerio; Basu, Shibom; Coe, Jesse; Conrad, Chelsie E; Fromme, Raimund; Schaffer, Alexander; Dörner, Katerina; James, Daniel; Kupitz, Christopher; Metz, Markus; Nelson, Garrett; Xavier, Paulraj Lourdu; Beyerlein, Kenneth R; Schmidt, Marius; Sarrou, Iosifina; Spence, John C H; Weierstall, Uwe; White, Thomas A; Yang, Jay-How; Zhao, Yun; Liang, Mengning; Aquila, Andrew; Hunter, Mark S; Robinson, Joseph S; Koglin, Jason E; Boutet, Sébastien; Fromme, Petra; Barty, Anton; Chapman, Henry N

    2016-02-11

    The three-dimensional structures of macromolecules and their complexes are mainly elucidated by X-ray protein crystallography. A major limitation of this method is access to high-quality crystals, which is necessary to ensure X-ray diffraction extends to sufficiently large scattering angles and hence yields information of sufficiently high resolution with which to solve the crystal structure. The observation that crystals with reduced unit-cell volumes and tighter macromolecular packing often produce higher-resolution Bragg peaks suggests that crystallographic resolution for some macromolecules may be limited not by their heterogeneity, but by a deviation of strict positional ordering of the crystalline lattice. Such displacements of molecules from the ideal lattice give rise to a continuous diffraction pattern that is equal to the incoherent sum of diffraction from rigid individual molecular complexes aligned along several discrete crystallographic orientations and that, consequently, contains more information than Bragg peaks alone. Although such continuous diffraction patterns have long been observed--and are of interest as a source of information about the dynamics of proteins--they have not been used for structure determination. Here we show for crystals of the integral membrane protein complex photosystem II that lattice disorder increases the information content and the resolution of the diffraction pattern well beyond the 4.5-ångström limit of measurable Bragg peaks, which allows us to phase the pattern directly. Using the molecular envelope conventionally determined at 4.5 ångströms as a constraint, we obtain a static image of the photosystem II dimer at a resolution of 3.5 ångströms. This result shows that continuous diffraction can be used to overcome what have long been supposed to be the resolution limits of macromolecular crystallography, using a method that exploits commonly encountered imperfect crystals and enables model-free phasing. PMID

  16. Phylogenetic Diversity in the Macromolecular Composition of Microalgae.

    PubMed

    Finkel, Zoe V; Follows, Mick J; Liefer, Justin D; Brown, Chris M; Benner, Ina; Irwin, Andrew J

    2016-01-01

    The elemental stoichiometry of microalgae reflects their underlying macromolecular composition and influences competitive interactions among species and their role in the food web and biogeochemistry. Here we provide a new estimate of the macromolecular composition of microalgae using a hierarchical Bayesian analysis of data compiled from the literature. The median macromolecular composition of nutrient-sufficient exponentially growing microalgae is 32.2% protein, 17.3% lipid, 15.0% carbohydrate, 17.3% ash, 5.7% RNA, 1.1% chlorophyll-a and 1.0% DNA as percent dry weight. Our analysis identifies significant phylogenetic differences in macromolecular composition undetected by previous studies due to small sample sizes and the large inherent variability in macromolecular pools. The phylogenetic differences in macromolecular composition lead to variations in carbon-to-nitrogen ratios that are consistent with independent observations. These phylogenetic differences in macromolecular and elemental composition reflect adaptations in cellular architecture and biochemistry; specifically in the cell wall, the light harvesting apparatus, and storage pools. PMID:27228080

  17. Phylogenetic Diversity in the Macromolecular Composition of Microalgae

    PubMed Central

    Finkel, Zoe V.; Follows, Mick J.; Liefer, Justin D.; Brown, Chris M.; Benner, Ina; Irwin, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    The elemental stoichiometry of microalgae reflects their underlying macromolecular composition and influences competitive interactions among species and their role in the food web and biogeochemistry. Here we provide a new estimate of the macromolecular composition of microalgae using a hierarchical Bayesian analysis of data compiled from the literature. The median macromolecular composition of nutrient-sufficient exponentially growing microalgae is 32.2% protein, 17.3% lipid, 15.0% carbohydrate, 17.3% ash, 5.7% RNA, 1.1% chlorophyll-a and 1.0% DNA as percent dry weight. Our analysis identifies significant phylogenetic differences in macromolecular composition undetected by previous studies due to small sample sizes and the large inherent variability in macromolecular pools. The phylogenetic differences in macromolecular composition lead to variations in carbon-to-nitrogen ratios that are consistent with independent observations. These phylogenetic differences in macromolecular and elemental composition reflect adaptations in cellular architecture and biochemistry; specifically in the cell wall, the light harvesting apparatus, and storage pools. PMID:27228080

  18. Functional Sub-states by High-pressure Macromolecular Crystallography.

    PubMed

    Dhaussy, Anne-Claire; Girard, Eric

    2015-01-01

    At the molecular level, high-pressure perturbation is of particular interest for biological studies as it allows trapping conformational substates. Moreover, within the context of high-pressure adaptation of deep-sea organisms, it allows to decipher the molecular determinants of piezophily. To provide an accurate description of structural changes produced by pressure in a macromolecular system, developments have been made to adapt macromolecular crystallography to high-pressure studies. The present chapter is an overview of results obtained so far using high-pressure macromolecular techniques, from nucleic acids to virus capsid through monomeric as well as multimeric proteins.

  19. Fluid Physics and Macromolecular Crystal Growth in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helliwell, John R.; Snell, Edward H.; Chayen, Naomi E.; Judge, Russell A.; Boggon, Titus J.; Pusey, M. L.; Rose, M. Franklin (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The first protein crystallization experiment in microgravity was launched in April, 1981 and used Germany's Technologische Experimente unter Schwerelosigkeit (TEXUS 3) sounding rocket. The protein P-galactosidase (molecular weight 465Kda) was chosen as the sample with a liquid-liquid diffusion growth method. A sliding device brought the protein, buffer and salt solution into contact when microgravity was reached. The sounding rocket gave six minutes of microgravity time with a cine camera and schlieren optics used to monitor the experiment, a single growth cell. In microgravity a strictly laminar diffusion process was observed in contrast to the turbulent convection seen on the ground. Several single crystals, approx 100micron in length, were formed in the flight which were of inferior but of comparable visual quality to those grown on the ground over several days. A second experiment using the same protocol but with solutions cooled to -8C (kept liquid with glycerol antifreeze) again showed laminar diffusion. The science of macromolecular structural crystallography involves crystallization of the macromolecule followed by use of the crystal for X-ray diffraction experiments to determine the three dimensional structure of the macromolecule. Neutron protein crystallography is employed for elucidation of H/D exchange and for improved definition of the bound solvent (D20). The structural information enables an understanding of how the molecule functions with important potential for rational drug design, improved efficiency of industrial enzymes and agricultural chemical development. The removal of turbulent convection and sedimentation in microgravity, and the assumption that higher quality crystals will be produced, has given rise to the growing number of crystallization experiments now flown. Many experiments can be flown in a small volume with simple, largely automated, equipment - an ideal combination for a microgravity experiment. The term "protein crystal growth

  20. Sequential recovery of macromolecular components of the nucleolus.

    PubMed

    Bai, Baoyan; Laiho, Marikki

    2015-01-01

    The nucleolus is involved in a number of cellular processes of importance to cell physiology and pathology, including cell stress responses and malignancies. Studies of macromolecular composition of the nucleolus depend critically on the efficient extraction and accurate quantification of all macromolecular components (e.g., DNA, RNA, and protein). We have developed a TRIzol-based method that efficiently and simultaneously isolates these three macromolecular constituents from the same sample of purified nucleoli. The recovered and solubilized protein can be accurately quantified by the bicinchoninic acid assay and assessed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis or by mass spectrometry. We have successfully applied this approach to extract and quantify the responses of all three macromolecular components in nucleoli after drug treatments of HeLa cells, and conducted RNA-Seq analysis of the nucleolar RNA.

  1. Molecularly imprinted polymers for separating and sensing of macromolecular compounds and microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Iskierko, Zofia; Sharma, Piyush Sindhu; Bartold, Katarzyna; Pietrzyk-Le, Agnieszka; Noworyta, Krzysztof; Kutner, Wlodzimierz

    2016-01-01

    The present review article focuses on gathering, summarizing, and critically evaluating the results of the last decade on separating and sensing macromolecular compounds and microorganisms with the use of molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) synthetic receptors. Macromolecules play an important role in biology and are termed that way to contrast them from micromolecules. The former are large and complex molecules with relatively high molecular weights. The article mainly considers chemical sensing of deoxyribonucleic acids (DNAs), proteins and protein fragments as well as sugars and oligosaccharides. Moreover, it briefly discusses fabrication of chemosensors for determination of bacteria and viruses that can ultimately be considered as extremely large macromolecules.

  2. The solvent component of macromolecular crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Weichenberger, Christian X.; Kantardjieff, Katherine; Rupp, Bernhard

    2015-04-30

    On average, the mother liquor or solvent and its constituents occupy about 50% of a macromolecular crystal. Ordered as well as disordered solvent components need to be accurately accounted for in modelling and refinement, often with considerable complexity. The mother liquor from which a biomolecular crystal is grown will contain water, buffer molecules, native ligands and cofactors, crystallization precipitants and additives, various metal ions, and often small-molecule ligands or inhibitors. On average, about half the volume of a biomolecular crystal consists of this mother liquor, whose components form the disordered bulk solvent. Its scattering contributions can be exploited in initial phasing and must be included in crystal structure refinement as a bulk-solvent model. Concomitantly, distinct electron density originating from ordered solvent components must be correctly identified and represented as part of the atomic crystal structure model. Herein, are reviewed (i) probabilistic bulk-solvent content estimates, (ii) the use of bulk-solvent density modification in phase improvement, (iii) bulk-solvent models and refinement of bulk-solvent contributions and (iv) modelling and validation of ordered solvent constituents. A brief summary is provided of current tools for bulk-solvent analysis and refinement, as well as of modelling, refinement and analysis of ordered solvent components, including small-molecule ligands.

  3. Acute iron poisoning. Rescue with macromolecular chelators.

    PubMed Central

    Mahoney, J R; Hallaway, P E; Hedlund, B E; Eaton, J W

    1989-01-01

    Acute iron intoxication is a frequent, sometimes life-threatening, form of poisoning. Present therapy, in severe cases, includes oral and intravenous administration of the potent iron chelator, deferoxamine. Unfortunately, high dose intravenous deferoxamine causes acute hypotension additive with that engendered by the iron poisoning itself. To obviate this problem, we have covalently attached deferoxamine to high molecular weight carbohydrates such as dextran and hydroxyethyl starch. These macromolecular forms of deferoxamine do not cause detectable decreases in blood pressure of experimental animals, even when administered intravenously in very large doses, and persist in circulation much longer than the free drug. These novel iron-chelating substances, but not deferoxamine itself, will prevent mortality from otherwise lethal doses of iron administered to mice either orally or intraperitoneally. Further reflecting this enhanced therapeutic efficacy, the high molecular weight iron chelators also abrogate iron-mediated hepatotoxicity, suppressing the release of alanine aminotransferase. We conclude that high molecular weight derivatives of deferoxamine hold promise for the effective therapy of acute iron intoxication and may also be useful in other clinical circumstances in which control of free, reactive iron is therapeutically desirable. PMID:2794068

  4. Macromolecular Crystal Growth by Means of Microfluidics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vanderWoerd, Mark; Ferree, Darren; Spearing, Scott; Monaco, Lisa; Molho, Josh; Spaid, Michael; Brasseur, Mike; Curreri, Peter A. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We have performed a feasibility study in which we show that chip-based, microfluidic (LabChip(TM)) technology is suitable for protein crystal growth. This technology allows for accurate and reliable dispensing and mixing of very small volumes while minimizing bubble formation in the crystallization mixture. The amount of (protein) solution remaining after completion of an experiment is minimal, which makes this technique efficient and attractive for use with proteins, which are difficult or expensive to obtain. The nature of LabChip(TM) technology renders it highly amenable to automation. Protein crystals obtained in our initial feasibility studies were of excellent quality as determined by X-ray diffraction. Subsequent to the feasibility study, we designed and produced the first LabChip(TM) device specifically for protein crystallization in batch mode. It can reliably dispense and mix from a range of solution constituents into two independent growth wells. We are currently testing this design to prove its efficacy for protein crystallization optimization experiments. In the near future we will expand our design to incorporate up to 10 growth wells per LabChip(TM) device. Upon completion, additional crystallization techniques such as vapor diffusion and liquid-liquid diffusion will be accommodated. Macromolecular crystallization using microfluidic technology is envisioned as a fully automated system, which will use the 'tele-science' concept of remote operation and will be developed into a research facility for the International Space Station as well as on the ground.

  5. JBlulce Data Acquisition Software for Macromolecular Crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    2010-06-01

    JBlulce (Java Beam Line Universal Integrated Configuration Environment is a data acquisition software for macromolecular crystallography conforming user interface of the SSRL Blulce that has become a de-factor standard in the field. Besides this interface conformity, JBlulce is a unique system in terms of architecture, speec, capability and osftware implementation. It features only two software layers, the JBlulce clients and the EPICS servers, as compared to three layers present in Blulc and most of similar systems. This layers reduction provides a faster communication with hardware and an easier access to advanced hardware capabilities like on-the-fly scanning. Then JBlulc clients are designed to operate in parallel with the other beamline controls which streamlines the tasks performed by staff such as beamline preparation, maitenance, audting and user assistance. Another distinction is the deployment of multiple plugins that can be written in any programming languag thus involving more staff into the development. further on, JBlulce makes use of unified motion controls allowing for easy scanning and optimizing of any beamline component. Finally, the graphic interface is implemented in Java making full use of rich Java libraries and Jave IDE for debugging. to compare, Blulce user interface is implemented with aging Tcl/tk language providing very restricted capabilities. JBlulce makes full use of the industrial power and wide drivers selection of EPICS in controlling hardware; all hardware commuication is routed via multiple EPICS servers residing on local area network. JBlulce also includes several EPICS State Notation servers aimed at making hardware communication more robust. Besides using EPICS for controlling hardware, JBlulce extensively uses EPICS databases for efficien communications between multiple instances of JBlulce clients and JBlulce pplugins that can run in parallel on different computers. All of the above makes JBlulce one of the biggest and most

  6. JBlulce Data Acquisition Software for Macromolecular Crystallography

    2010-06-01

    JBlulce (Java Beam Line Universal Integrated Configuration Environment is a data acquisition software for macromolecular crystallography conforming user interface of the SSRL Blulce that has become a de-factor standard in the field. Besides this interface conformity, JBlulce is a unique system in terms of architecture, speec, capability and osftware implementation. It features only two software layers, the JBlulce clients and the EPICS servers, as compared to three layers present in Blulc and most of similarmore » systems. This layers reduction provides a faster communication with hardware and an easier access to advanced hardware capabilities like on-the-fly scanning. Then JBlulc clients are designed to operate in parallel with the other beamline controls which streamlines the tasks performed by staff such as beamline preparation, maitenance, audting and user assistance. Another distinction is the deployment of multiple plugins that can be written in any programming languag thus involving more staff into the development. further on, JBlulce makes use of unified motion controls allowing for easy scanning and optimizing of any beamline component. Finally, the graphic interface is implemented in Java making full use of rich Java libraries and Jave IDE for debugging. to compare, Blulce user interface is implemented with aging Tcl/tk language providing very restricted capabilities. JBlulce makes full use of the industrial power and wide drivers selection of EPICS in controlling hardware; all hardware commuication is routed via multiple EPICS servers residing on local area network. JBlulce also includes several EPICS State Notation servers aimed at making hardware communication more robust. Besides using EPICS for controlling hardware, JBlulce extensively uses EPICS databases for efficien communications between multiple instances of JBlulce clients and JBlulce pplugins that can run in parallel on different computers. All of the above makes JBlulce one of the biggest

  7. Macromolecular networks and intelligence in microorganisms

    PubMed Central

    Westerhoff, Hans V.; Brooks, Aaron N.; Simeonidis, Evangelos; García-Contreras, Rodolfo; He, Fei; Boogerd, Fred C.; Jackson, Victoria J.; Goncharuk, Valeri; Kolodkin, Alexey

    2014-01-01

    Living organisms persist by virtue of complex interactions among many components organized into dynamic, environment-responsive networks that span multiple scales and dimensions. Biological networks constitute a type of information and communication technology (ICT): they receive information from the outside and inside of cells, integrate and interpret this information, and then activate a response. Biological networks enable molecules within cells, and even cells themselves, to communicate with each other and their environment. We have become accustomed to associating brain activity – particularly activity of the human brain – with a phenomenon we call “intelligence.” Yet, four billion years of evolution could have selected networks with topologies and dynamics that confer traits analogous to this intelligence, even though they were outside the intercellular networks of the brain. Here, we explore how macromolecular networks in microbes confer intelligent characteristics, such as memory, anticipation, adaptation and reflection and we review current understanding of how network organization reflects the type of intelligence required for the environments in which they were selected. We propose that, if we were to leave terms such as “human” and “brain” out of the defining features of “intelligence,” all forms of life – from microbes to humans – exhibit some or all characteristics consistent with “intelligence.” We then review advances in genome-wide data production and analysis, especially in microbes, that provide a lens into microbial intelligence and propose how the insights derived from quantitatively characterizing biomolecular networks may enable synthetic biologists to create intelligent molecular networks for biotechnology, possibly generating new forms of intelligence, first in silico and then in vivo. PMID:25101076

  8. Macromolecular Topography Leaps into the Digital Age

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lovelace, J.; Bellamy, H.; Snell, E. H.; Borgstahl, G.

    2003-01-01

    A low-cost, real-time digital topography system is under development which will replace x-ray film and nuclear emulsion plates. The imaging system is based on an inexpensive surveillance camera that offers a 1000x1000 array of 8 im square pixels, anti-blooming circuitry, and very quick read out. Currently, the system directly converts x-rays to an image with no phosphor. The system is small and light and can be easily adapted to work with other crystallographic equipment. Preliminary images have been acquired of cubic insulin at the NSLS x26c beam line. NSLS x26c was configured for unfocused monochromatic radiation. Six reflections were collected with stills spaced from 0.002 to 0.001 degrees apart across the entire oscillation range that the reflections were in diffracting condition. All of the reflections were rotated to the vertical to reduce Lorentz and beam related effects. This particular CCD is designed for short exposure applications (much less than 1 sec) and so has a relatively high dark current leading to noisy raw images. The images are processed to remove background and other system noise with a multi-step approach including the use of wavelets, histogram, and mean window filtering. After processing, animations were constructed with the corresponding reflection profile to show the diffraction of the crystal volume vs. the oscillation angle as well as composite images showing the parts of the crystal with the strongest diffraction for each reflection. The final goal is to correlate features seen in reflection profiles captured with fine phi slicing to those seen in the topography images. With this development macromolecular topography finally comes into the digital age.

  9. Macromolecular networks and intelligence in microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Westerhoff, Hans V; Brooks, Aaron N; Simeonidis, Evangelos; García-Contreras, Rodolfo; He, Fei; Boogerd, Fred C; Jackson, Victoria J; Goncharuk, Valeri; Kolodkin, Alexey

    2014-01-01

    Living organisms persist by virtue of complex interactions among many components organized into dynamic, environment-responsive networks that span multiple scales and dimensions. Biological networks constitute a type of information and communication technology (ICT): they receive information from the outside and inside of cells, integrate and interpret this information, and then activate a response. Biological networks enable molecules within cells, and even cells themselves, to communicate with each other and their environment. We have become accustomed to associating brain activity - particularly activity of the human brain - with a phenomenon we call "intelligence." Yet, four billion years of evolution could have selected networks with topologies and dynamics that confer traits analogous to this intelligence, even though they were outside the intercellular networks of the brain. Here, we explore how macromolecular networks in microbes confer intelligent characteristics, such as memory, anticipation, adaptation and reflection and we review current understanding of how network organization reflects the type of intelligence required for the environments in which they were selected. We propose that, if we were to leave terms such as "human" and "brain" out of the defining features of "intelligence," all forms of life - from microbes to humans - exhibit some or all characteristics consistent with "intelligence." We then review advances in genome-wide data production and analysis, especially in microbes, that provide a lens into microbial intelligence and propose how the insights derived from quantitatively characterizing biomolecular networks may enable synthetic biologists to create intelligent molecular networks for biotechnology, possibly generating new forms of intelligence, first in silico and then in vivo.

  10. Distribution and enzymatic activity of heterotrophic bacteria decomposing selected macromolecular compounds in a Baltic Sea sandy beach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podgórska, B.; Mudryk, Z. J.

    2003-03-01

    The potential capability to decompose macromolecular compounds, and the level of extracellular enzyme activities were determined in heterotrophic bacteria isolated from a sandy beach in Sopot on the Southern Baltic Sea coast. Individual isolates were capable of hydrolysing a wide spectrum of organic macromolecular compounds. Lipids, gelatine, and DNA were hydrolyzed most efficiently. Only a very small percentage of strains were able to decompose cellulose, and no pectinolytic bacteria were found. Except for starch-hydrolysis, no significant differences in the intensity of organic compound decomposition were recorded between horizontal and vertical profiles of the studied beach. Of all the studied extracellular enzymes, alkaline phosphatase, esterase lipase, and leucine acrylaminidase were most active; in contrast, the activity α-fucosidase, α-galactosidase and β-glucouronidase was the weakest. The level of extracellular enzyme activity was similar in both sand layers.

  11. Growth medium-dependent glycine incorporation into the peptidoglycan of Caulobacter crescentus.

    PubMed

    Takacs, Constantin N; Hocking, Jason; Cabeen, Matthew T; Bui, Nhat Khai; Poggio, Sebastian; Vollmer, Waldemar; Jacobs-Wagner, Christine

    2013-01-01

    The peptidoglycan (PG) is a macromolecular component of the bacterial cell wall that maintains the shape and integrity of the cell. The PG of Caulobacter crescentus, unlike that of many other Gram-negative bacteria, has repeatedly been shown to contain significant amounts of glycine. This compositional peculiarity has been deemed an intrinsic characteristic of this species. By performing a comprehensive qualitative and quantitative analysis of the C. crescentus PG by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry (MS), we show here that glycine incorporation into the C. crescentus PG depends on the presence of exogenous glycine in the growth medium. High levels of glycine were detected at the fifth position of the peptide side chains of PG isolated from C. crescentus cells grown in the complex laboratory medium PYE or in defined medium (M2G) supplemented with casamino acids or glycine alone. In contrast, glycine incorporation was undetectable when cells were grown in M2G medium lacking glycine. Remarkably, glycine incorporation into C. crescentus peptidoglycan occurred even in the presence of low millimolar to sub-millimolar concentrations of free glycine. High glycine content in the PG had no obvious effects on growth rates, mode of PG incorporation or cell morphology. Hence, the C. crescentus PG is able to retain its physiological functions in cell growth and morphogenesis despite significant alterations in its composition, in what we deem to be unprecedented plasticity.

  12. Polysaccharide-based micro/nanohydrogels for delivering macromolecular therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Ganguly, Kuntal; Chaturvedi, Kiran; More, Uttam A; Nadagouda, Mallikarjuna N; Aminabhavi, Tejraj M

    2014-11-10

    Increased interest in developing novel micro/nanohydrogel based formulations for delivering macromolecular therapeutics has led to multiple choices of biodegradable and biocompatible natural polymers. This interest is largely due to the availability of large number of highly pure recombinant proteins and peptides with tunable properties as well as RNA interference technology that are used in treating some of the deadly diseases that were difficult to be treated by the conventional approaches. The majority of marketed drugs that are now available are in the form of injectables that pose limited patient compliance and convenience. On the other hand, micro/nanotechnology based macromolecular delivery formulations offer many alternative routes of administration and advantages with improved patient compliance and efficient or targeted delivery of intracellular therapeutics to the site of action. This review outlines and critically evaluates the research findings on micro and nano-carrier polymeric hydrogels for the delivery of macromolecular therapeutics.

  13. Macromolecular crystallography beamline X25 at the NSLS

    PubMed Central

    Héroux, Annie; Allaire, Marc; Buono, Richard; Cowan, Matthew L.; Dvorak, Joseph; Flaks, Leon; LaMarra, Steven; Myers, Stuart F.; Orville, Allen M.; Robinson, Howard H.; Roessler, Christian G.; Schneider, Dieter K.; Shea-McCarthy, Grace; Skinner, John M.; Skinner, Michael; Soares, Alexei S.; Sweet, Robert M.; Berman, Lonny E.

    2014-01-01

    Beamline X25 at the NSLS is one of the five beamlines dedicated to macromolecular crystallography operated by the Brookhaven National Laboratory Macromolecular Crystallography Research Resource group. This mini-gap insertion-device beamline has seen constant upgrades for the last seven years in order to achieve mini-beam capability down to 20 µm × 20 µm. All major components beginning with the radiation source, and continuing along the beamline and its experimental hutch, have changed to produce a state-of-the-art facility for the scientific community. PMID:24763654

  14. Probing the Macromolecular Organization of Cells by Electron Tomography

    PubMed Central

    Hoenger, Andreas; McIntosh, J. Richard

    2010-01-01

    Summary A major goal in cell biology is to understand the functional organization of macromolecular complexes in vivo. Electron microscopy is helping cell biologists to achieve this goal, thanks to its ability to resolve structural details in the nanometer range. While issues related to specimen preparation, imaging, and image interpretation make this approach to cell architecture difficult, recent improvements in methods, equipment, and software have facilitated the study of both important macromolecular complexes and comparatively large volumes from cellular specimens. Here, we describe recent progress in electron microscopy of cells and the ways in which the relevant methodologies are helping to elucidate cell architecture. PMID:19185480

  15. Macromolecular crystallography beamline X25 at the NSLS.

    PubMed

    Héroux, Annie; Allaire, Marc; Buono, Richard; Cowan, Matthew L; Dvorak, Joseph; Flaks, Leon; Lamarra, Steven; Myers, Stuart F; Orville, Allen M; Robinson, Howard H; Roessler, Christian G; Schneider, Dieter K; Shea-McCarthy, Grace; Skinner, John M; Skinner, Michael; Soares, Alexei S; Sweet, Robert M; Berman, Lonny E

    2014-05-01

    Beamline X25 at the NSLS is one of the five beamlines dedicated to macromolecular crystallography operated by the Brookhaven National Laboratory Macromolecular Crystallography Research Resource group. This mini-gap insertion-device beamline has seen constant upgrades for the last seven years in order to achieve mini-beam capability down to 20 µm × 20 µm. All major components beginning with the radiation source, and continuing along the beamline and its experimental hutch, have changed to produce a state-of-the-art facility for the scientific community.

  16. A macromolecular prodrug strategy for combinatorial drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Li, Nan-Nan; Lin, Jiantao; Gao, Di; Zhang, Li-Ming

    2014-03-01

    A novel macromolecular prodrug strategy was developed for the combinatorial delivery of two poorly water-soluble drugs, dexamethasone and doxorubicin. In this work, dexamethasone was firstly conjugated onto a water-soluble modified polysaccharide by an acid-labile hydrazone linkage. The resultant macromolecular prodrug had an amphiphilic character and could self-assemble into spherical polymeric micelles in aqueous system. With these micelles, doxorubicin was then encapsulated into their hydrophobic cores. For the conjugated dexamethasone and encapsulated doxorubicin, they could exhibit independent and acid-sensitive release characteristics. For the doxorubicin-loaded prodrug micelles, they were easily be internalized by living cells and showed obvious antitumor activity. PMID:24407691

  17. Crystallization of macromolecular complexes: combinatorial complex crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stura, Enrico A.; Graille, Marc; Charbonnier, Jean-Baptiste

    2001-11-01

    The usefulness of antibody complexation, as a way of increasing the chances of crystallization needs to be re-evaluated after many antibody complexes have been crystallized and their structure determined. It is somewhat striking that among these, only a small number is a complex with a large protein antigen. The problem is that the effort of raising, cleaving and purifying an Fab is rewarded only by an extra chance of getting crystals; depending on the relative likelihood of crystallization of the complexed and uncomplexed protein. The example of the complex between HIV gp120, CD4 and an Fab fragment from a neutralizing antibody suggests that further complexation of an antigen-antibody complex with a third protein could, by increasing the number of possible combinations, improve the likelihood of crystallization. We propose the use of Ig-binding proteins as a way of extending the method from HIV gp120 to all proteins for which there are monoclonal antibodies. We discuss this technique, combinatorial complex crystallization (CCC), as part of a multi-component system for the enhancement of crystallization of macromolecular complexes. The method makes use of single Ig-binding domains from Staphylococcus aureus protein A (SpA), Peptostreptococcus magnus protein L (PpL) and the streptococcal protein G (SpG). The generality of the method depends on the ability of these domains to interact with a large repertoire of antibodies without affecting antigen binding. There is strong evidence to suggest that these Ig-binding domains bind outside the antigen-combining site of the antibody without perturbing antigen binding. It is clear from the crystal structure of the single SpG domain complexed with an Fab that the interaction involves mainly the immunoglobulin CH1 domain, a region not involved in antigen recognition. We have recently determined the structure of the complex between a human Fab and the domain D from SpA and found that steric hindrance is unlikely even for large

  18. Resolving macromolecular structures from electron cryo-tomography data using subtomogram averaging in RELION.

    PubMed

    Bharat, Tanmay A M; Scheres, Sjors H W

    2016-11-01

    Electron cryo-tomography (cryo-ET) is a technique that is used to produce 3D pictures (tomograms) of complex objects such as asymmetric viruses, cellular organelles or whole cells from a series of tilted electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) images. Averaging of macromolecular complexes found within tomograms is known as subtomogram averaging, and this technique allows structure determination of macromolecular complexes in situ. Subtomogram averaging is also gaining in popularity for the calculation of initial models for single-particle analysis. We describe herein a protocol for subtomogram averaging from cryo-ET data using the RELION software (http://www2.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/relion). RELION was originally developed for cryo-EM single-particle analysis, and the subtomogram averaging approach presented in this protocol has been implemented in the existing workflow for single-particle analysis so that users may conveniently tap into existing capabilities of the RELION software. We describe how to calculate 3D models for the contrast transfer function (CTF) that describe the transfer of information in the imaging process, and we illustrate the results of classification and subtomogram averaging refinement for cryo-ET data of purified hepatitis B capsid particles and Saccharomyces cerevisiae 80S ribosomes. Using the steps described in this protocol, along with the troubleshooting and optimization guidelines, high-resolution maps can be obtained in which secondary structure elements are resolved subtomogram. PMID:27685097

  19. Resolving macromolecular structures from electron cryo-tomography data using subtomogram averaging in RELION.

    PubMed

    Bharat, Tanmay A M; Scheres, Sjors H W

    2016-11-01

    Electron cryo-tomography (cryo-ET) is a technique that is used to produce 3D pictures (tomograms) of complex objects such as asymmetric viruses, cellular organelles or whole cells from a series of tilted electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) images. Averaging of macromolecular complexes found within tomograms is known as subtomogram averaging, and this technique allows structure determination of macromolecular complexes in situ. Subtomogram averaging is also gaining in popularity for the calculation of initial models for single-particle analysis. We describe herein a protocol for subtomogram averaging from cryo-ET data using the RELION software (http://www2.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/relion). RELION was originally developed for cryo-EM single-particle analysis, and the subtomogram averaging approach presented in this protocol has been implemented in the existing workflow for single-particle analysis so that users may conveniently tap into existing capabilities of the RELION software. We describe how to calculate 3D models for the contrast transfer function (CTF) that describe the transfer of information in the imaging process, and we illustrate the results of classification and subtomogram averaging refinement for cryo-ET data of purified hepatitis B capsid particles and Saccharomyces cerevisiae 80S ribosomes. Using the steps described in this protocol, along with the troubleshooting and optimization guidelines, high-resolution maps can be obtained in which secondary structure elements are resolved subtomogram.

  20. Effects of macromolecular crowding and osmolyte on human Tau fibrillation.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yingying; Teng, Ningning; Li, Sen

    2016-09-01

    Tau fibrillation is reported to be involved in neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, in which the natural environment is very crowded in the cells. Understanding the role of crowding environments in regulating Tau fibrillation is of great importance for elucidating the etiology of these diseases. In this experiment, the effects of macromolecular crowding and osmolyte reagents in the crowding environment on Tau fibrillation were studied by thioflavin T binding, SDS-PAGE and TEM assays. Ficoll 70 and Dextran 70 of different concentrations were used as macromolecular crowding reagents inside the cells and showed a strong enhancing effect on the fibrillation of normal and hyperphosphorylated Tau. The enhancing effect of Dextran is stronger than that of Ficoll 70 at the same concentration. In addition, the cellular osmolyte sucrose was found to protect Tau against fibrillation, and inhibit the enhancing effect of macromolecular crowding on Tau fibrillation. A possible model for the fibrillation process of Tau and the effect of macromolecular crowding and osmolyte on this process was proposed based on these experimental results. The information obtained from our study can enhance the understanding of how proteins aggregate and avoid aggregation in crowded physiological environments and might lead to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease in vivo.

  1. Macromolecular Pt(IV) Prodrugs from Poly(organo)phosphazenes.

    PubMed

    Henke, Helena; Kryeziu, Kushtrim; Banfić, Jelena; Theiner, Sarah; Körner, Wilfried; Brüggemann, Oliver; Berger, Walter; Keppler, Bernhard K; Heffeter, Petra; Teasdale, Ian

    2016-08-01

    The preparation of novel macromolecular prodrugs via the conjugation of two platinum(IV) complexes to suitably functionalized poly(organo)phosphazenes is presented. The inorganic/organic polymers provide carriers with controlled dimensions due to the use of living cationic polymerization and allow the preparation of conjugates with excellent aqueous solubility but long-term hydrolytic degradability. The macromolecular Pt(IV) prodrugs are designed to undergo intracellular reduction and simultaneous release from the macromolecular carrier to present the active Pt(II) drug derivatives. In vitro investigations show a significantly enhanced intracellular uptake of Pt for the macromolecular prodrugs when compared to small molecule Pt complexes, which is also reflected in an increase in cytotoxicity. Interestingly, drug-resistant sublines also show a significantly smaller resistance against the conjugates compared to clinically established platinum drugs, indicating that an alternative uptake route of the Pt(IV) conjugates might also be able to overcome acquired resistance against Pt(II) drugs. In vivo studies of a selected conjugate show improved tumor shrinkage compared to the respective Pt(IV) complex. PMID:27169668

  2. Macromolecular Pt(IV) Prodrugs from Poly(organo)phosphazenes.

    PubMed

    Henke, Helena; Kryeziu, Kushtrim; Banfić, Jelena; Theiner, Sarah; Körner, Wilfried; Brüggemann, Oliver; Berger, Walter; Keppler, Bernhard K; Heffeter, Petra; Teasdale, Ian

    2016-08-01

    The preparation of novel macromolecular prodrugs via the conjugation of two platinum(IV) complexes to suitably functionalized poly(organo)phosphazenes is presented. The inorganic/organic polymers provide carriers with controlled dimensions due to the use of living cationic polymerization and allow the preparation of conjugates with excellent aqueous solubility but long-term hydrolytic degradability. The macromolecular Pt(IV) prodrugs are designed to undergo intracellular reduction and simultaneous release from the macromolecular carrier to present the active Pt(II) drug derivatives. In vitro investigations show a significantly enhanced intracellular uptake of Pt for the macromolecular prodrugs when compared to small molecule Pt complexes, which is also reflected in an increase in cytotoxicity. Interestingly, drug-resistant sublines also show a significantly smaller resistance against the conjugates compared to clinically established platinum drugs, indicating that an alternative uptake route of the Pt(IV) conjugates might also be able to overcome acquired resistance against Pt(II) drugs. In vivo studies of a selected conjugate show improved tumor shrinkage compared to the respective Pt(IV) complex.

  3. Modeling of Carbon Nanotubes (Nanofibers) as Macromolecular Coils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikitaev, A. K.; Kozlov, G. V.

    2015-12-01

    Modeling of carbon nanotubes (nanofibers) in polymer nanocomposites as macromolecular coils is performed. This approach offers an estimation of the real degree of anisotropy of these nanofillers and allows predicting the properties of the resulting nanocomposites. An important role of the nanofiller - polymer matrix interface is demonstrated.

  4. Macromolecular Pt(IV) Prodrugs from Poly(organo)phosphazenes

    PubMed Central

    Banfić, Jelena; Theiner, Sarah; Körner, Wilfried; Brüggemann, Oliver; Berger, Walter; Keppler, Bernhard K.; Heffeter, Petra; Teasdale, Ian

    2016-01-01

    The preparation of novel macromolecular prodrugs via the conjugation of two platinum(IV) complexes to suitably functionalized poly(organo)phosphazenes is presented. The inorganic/organic polymers provide carriers with controlled dimensions due to the use of living cationic polymerization and allow the preparation of conjugates with excellent aqueous solubility but long-term hydrolytic degradability. The macromolecular Pt(IV) prodrugs are designed to undergo intracellular reduction and simultaneous release from the macromolecular carrier to present the active Pt(II) drug derivatives. In vitro investigations show a significantly enhanced intracellular uptake of Pt for the macromolecular prodrugs when compared to small molecule Pt complexes, which is also reflected in an increase in cytotoxicity. Interestingly, drug-resistant sublines also show a significantly smaller resistance against the conjugates compared to clinically established platinum drugs, indicating that an alternative uptake route of the Pt(IV) conjugates might also be able to overcome acquired resistance against Pt(II) drugs. In vivo studies of a selected conjugate show improved tumor shrinkage compared to the respective Pt(IV) complex. PMID:27169668

  5. Iodinated Contrast Medium Exposure During Computed Tomography Increase the Risk of Subsequent Development of Thyroid Disorders in Patients Without Known Thyroid Disease: A Nationwide Population-Based, Propensity Score-Matched, Longitudinal Follow-Up Study.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Ming-Shun; Chiu, Chien-Shan; Chen, Wen-Chi; Chiang, Jen-Huai; Lin, Shih-Yi; Lin, Meng-Yu; Chang, Shih-Liang; Sheu, Meei-Ling; Hu, Sung-Yuan

    2015-12-01

    To investigate the association between iodinated contrast medium (ICM) exposure during computed tomography (CT) and the subsequent development of thyroid disorders in patients without known thyroid disease in Taiwan, an iodine-sufficient area. We conducted a population-based cohort study by using data from 1996 to 2012 in the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. A total of 33,426 patients who underwent ICM-enhanced CT were included as the study cohort. To avoid selection bias, we used propensity score and matched for the index year (defined as the year of first ICM exposure) to retrieve 33,426 patients as the comparison cohort. No patients in the 2 cohorts had any known thyroid disease before the index year. Patients with a history of amiodarone treatment or coronary angiography and those with <1 year follow-up were excluded. Participants were followed until a new diagnosis of thyroid disorder or December 31, 2011. Hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were calculated using the Cox proportional hazards regression. An association was identified between ICM exposure and the subsequent development of thyroid disorders after adjustment for potential confounders (adjusted HR = 1.17; 95% CI: 1.07-1.29; P = 0.001). Male patients and patients' ages ≥40 years in the ICM-exposure cohort had a higher adjusted HR for developing thyroid disorders than did those in the non-ICM-exposure cohort. Hypothyroidism had the highest adjusted HR (HR = 1.37; 95% CI: 1.06-1.78; P < 0.05) among all thyroid disorders and had a higher risk of development or detection during >0.5-year post-ICM exposure compared with that during ≤0.5-year post-ICM exposure (HR = 1.26; 95% CI: 1.01-1.58; P < 0.05). Repeated ICM exposure increased the risk of thyroid disorders in patients who accepted >1 time of ICM per year on average compared with those who accepted ≤1 time per year on average (adjusted HR = 3.04; 95% CI: 2.47-3.73; P < 0

  6. Contrastive Lexicology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartmann, R. R. K.

    This paper deals with the relation between etymologically related words in different languages. A survey is made of seven stages in the development of contrastive lexicology. These are: prelinguistic word studies, semantics, lexicography, translation, foreign language learning, bilingualism, and finally contrastive analysis. Concerning contrastive…

  7. Interfacial inhibition of macromolecular interactions: nature's paradigm for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Pommier, Yves; Cherfils, Jacqueline

    2005-03-01

    One of nature's strategies for interfering with molecular interactions is to trap macromolecules in transition states with their partners in dead-end complexes that are unable to complete their biological function. This type of inhibition, which we refer to as "interfacial inhibition", is illustrated by two natural inhibitors, brefeldin A (BFA) and camptothecin (CPT), whose modes of action have been elucidated fully in structural studies. Interfacial inhibition occurs at the protein-protein interface in the case of BFA and at the protein-DNA interface in the case of CPT. In both systems, the drugs take advantage of transient structural and energetic conditions created by the macromolecular complex, which give rise to "hot-spots" for drug binding. In addition to these examples, several natural compounds such as forskolin, tubulin inhibitors and immunophilins target protein interfaces. We propose that interfacial inhibition is a paradigm for the discovery of drugs that interfere with macromolecular complexes.

  8. On the variability of experimental data in macromolecular crystallography.

    PubMed

    Pozharski, Edwin

    2012-09-01

    Experimental errors as determined by data-processing algorithms in macromolecular crystallography are compared with the direct error estimates obtained by a multiple crystal data-collection protocol. It is found that several-fold error inflation is necessary to account for crystal-to-crystal variation. It is shown that similar error inflation is observed for data collected from multiple sections of the same crystal, indicating non-uniform crystal growth as one of the likely sources of additional data variation. Other potential sources of error inflation include differential X-ray absorption for different reflections and variation of unit-cell parameters. The underestimation of the experimental errors is more severe in lower resolution shells and for reflections characterized by a higher signal-to-noise ratio. These observations partially account for the gap between the expected and the observed R values in macromolecular crystallography.

  9. Pathological Crystallography: Case Studies of Several Unusual Macromolecular Crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Dauter,Z.; Botos, I.; LaRonde-LeBlanc, N.; Wlodawer, A.

    2005-01-01

    Although macromolecular crystallography is rapidly becoming largely routine owing to advances in methods of data collection, structure solution and refinement, difficult cases are still common. To remind structural biologists about the kinds of crystallographic difficulties that might be encountered, case studies of several successfully completed structure determinations that utilized less than perfect crystals are discussed here. The structure of the proteolytic domain of Archaeoglobus fulgidus Lon was solved with crystals that contained superimposed orthorhombic and monoclinic lattices, a case not previously described for proteins. Another hexagonal crystal form of this protein exhibited an unusually high degree of non-isomorphism. Crystals of A. fulgidus Rio1 kinase exhibited both pseudosymmetry and twinning. Ways of identifying the observed phenomena and approaches to solving and refining macromolecular structures when only less than perfect crystals are available are discussed here.

  10. Controlled architecture for improved macromolecular memory within polymer networks.

    PubMed

    DiPasquale, Stephen A; Byrne, Mark E

    2016-08-01

    This brief review analyzes recent developments in the field of living/controlled polymerization and the potential of this technique for creating imprinted polymers with highly structured architecture with macromolecular memory. As a result, it is possible to engineer polymers at the molecular level with increased homogeneity relating to enhanced template binding and transport. Only recently has living/controlled polymerization been exploited to decrease heterogeneity and substantially improve the efficiency of the imprinting process for both highly and weakly crosslinked imprinted polymers. Living polymerization can be utilized to create imprinted networks that are vastly more efficient than similar polymers produced using conventional free radical polymerization, and these improvements increase the role that macromolecular memory can play in the design and engineering of new drug delivery and sensing platforms. PMID:27322505

  11. Temperature-dependent macromolecular X-ray crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Weik, Martin Colletier, Jacques-Philippe

    2010-04-01

    The dynamical behaviour of crystalline macromolecules and their surrounding solvent as a function of cryo-temperature is reviewed. X-ray crystallography provides structural details of biological macromolecules. Whereas routine data are collected close to 100 K in order to mitigate radiation damage, more exotic temperature-controlled experiments in a broader temperature range from 15 K to room temperature can provide both dynamical and structural insights. Here, the dynamical behaviour of crystalline macromolecules and their surrounding solvent as a function of cryo-temperature is reviewed. Experimental strategies of kinetic crystallography are discussed that have allowed the generation and trapping of macromolecular intermediate states by combining reaction initiation in the crystalline state with appropriate temperature profiles. A particular focus is on recruiting X-ray-induced changes for reaction initiation, thus unveiling useful aspects of radiation damage, which otherwise has to be minimized in macromolecular crystallography.

  12. Stochastic reaction–diffusion algorithms for macromolecular crowding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sturrock, Marc

    2016-06-01

    Compartment-based (lattice-based) reaction–diffusion algorithms are often used for studying complex stochastic spatio-temporal processes inside cells. In this paper the influence of macromolecular crowding on stochastic reaction–diffusion simulations is investigated. Reaction–diffusion processes are considered on two different kinds of compartmental lattice, a cubic lattice and a hexagonal close packed lattice, and solved using two different algorithms, the stochastic simulation algorithm and the spatiocyte algorithm (Arjunan and Tomita 2010 Syst. Synth. Biol. 4, 35–53). Obstacles (modelling macromolecular crowding) are shown to have substantial effects on the mean squared displacement and average number of molecules in the domain but the nature of these effects is dependent on the choice of lattice, with the cubic lattice being more susceptible to the effects of the obstacles. Finally, improvements for both algorithms are presented.

  13. Temperature-dependent macromolecular X-ray crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Weik, Martin; Colletier, Jacques-Philippe

    2010-01-01

    X-ray crystallography provides structural details of biological macromolecules. Whereas routine data are collected close to 100 K in order to mitigate radiation damage, more exotic temperature-controlled experiments in a broader temperature range from 15 K to room temperature can provide both dynamical and structural insights. Here, the dynamical behaviour of crystalline macromolecules and their surrounding solvent as a function of cryo-temperature is reviewed. Experimental strategies of kinetic crystallography are discussed that have allowed the generation and trapping of macromolecular intermediate states by combining reaction initiation in the crystalline state with appropriate temperature profiles. A particular focus is on recruiting X-ray-induced changes for reaction initiation, thus unveiling useful aspects of radiation damage, which otherwise has to be minimized in macromolecular crystallography. PMID:20382997

  14. Isotope labeling for NMR studies of macromolecular structure and interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, P.E.

    1994-12-01

    Implementation of biosynthetic methods for uniform or specific isotope labeling of proteins, coupled with the recent development of powerful heteronuclear multidimensional NMR methods, has led to a dramatic increase in the size and complexity of macromolecular systems that are now amenable to NMR structural analysis. In recent years, a new technology has emerged that combines uniform {sup 13}C, {sup 15}N labeling with heteronuclear multidimensional NMR methods to allow NMR structural studies of systems approaching 25 to 30 kDa in molecular weight. In addition, with the introduction of specific {sup 13}C and {sup 15}N labels into ligands, meaningful NMR studies of complexes of even higher molecular weight have become feasible. These advances usher in a new era in which the earlier, rather stringent molecular weight limitations have been greatly surpassed and NMR can begin to address many central biological problems that involve macromolecular structure, dynamics, and interactions.

  15. Impact of synchrotron radiation on macromolecular crystallography: a personal view

    PubMed Central

    Dauter, Zbigniew; Jaskolski, Mariusz; Wlodawer, Alexander

    2010-01-01

    The introduction of synchrotron radiation sources almost four decades ago has led to a revolutionary change in the way that diffraction data from macromolecular crystals are being collected. Here a brief history of the development of methodologies that took advantage of the availability of synchrotron sources are presented, and some personal experiences with the utilization of synchrotrons in the early days are recalled. PMID:20567074

  16. A 3D cellular context for the macromolecular world

    PubMed Central

    Patwardhan, Ardan; Ashton, Alun; Brandt, Robert; Butcher, Sarah; Carzaniga, Raffaella; Chiu, Wah; Collinson, Lucy; Doux, Pascal; Duke, Elizabeth; Ellisman, Mark H; Franken, Erik; Grünewald, Kay; Heriche, Jean-Karim; Koster, Abraham; Kühlbrandt, Werner; Lagerstedt, Ingvar; Larabell, Carolyn; Lawson, Catherine L; Saibil, Helen R; Sanz-García, Eduardo; Subramaniam, Sriram; Verkade, Paul; Swedlow, Jason R; Kleywegt, Gerard J

    2015-01-01

    We report the outcomes of the discussion initiated at the workshop entitled A 3D Cellular Context for the Macromolecular World and propose how data from emerging three-dimensional (3D) cellular imaging techniques—such as electron tomography, 3D scanning electron microscopy and soft X-ray tomography—should be archived, curated, validated and disseminated, to enable their interpretation and reuse by the biomedical community. PMID:25289590

  17. Comprehensive objective maps of macromolecular conformations by quantitative SAXS analysis

    PubMed Central

    Hura, Greg L.; Budworth, Helen; Dyer, Kevin N.; Rambo, Robert P.; Hammel, Michal

    2013-01-01

    Comprehensive perspectives of macromolecular conformations are required to connect structure to biology. Here we present a small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) Structural Similarity Map (SSM) and Volatility of Ratio (VR) metric providing comprehensive, quantitative and objective (superposition-independent) perspectives on solution state conformations. We validate VR and SSM utility on human MutSβ, a key ABC ATPase and chemotherapeutic target, by revealing MutSβ DNA sculpting and identifying multiple conformational states for biological activity. PMID:23624664

  18. A strategy for dissecting the architectures of native macromolecular assemblies

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Yi; Pellarin, Riccardo; Fridy, Peter C.; Fernandez-Martinez, Javier; Thompson, Mary K.; Li, Yinyin; Wang, Qing Jun; Sali, Andrej; Rout, Michael P.; Chait, Brian T.

    2015-01-01

    Despite the central role of large multi-protein complexes in many biological processes, it remains challenging to elucidate their structures and particularly problematic to define the structures of native macromolecular assemblies, which are often of low abundance. Here, we present a strategy for isolating such complexes and for extracting distance restraints that allow the determination of their molecular architectures. The method was optimized to allow facile use of the extensive global resources of GFP-tagged transgenic cells and animals. PMID:26436480

  19. Enhancement of scleral macromolecular permeability with prostaglandins.

    PubMed Central

    Weinreb, R N

    2001-01-01

    PURPOSE: It is proposed that the sclera is a metabolically active and pharmacologically responsive tissue. These studies were undertaken to determine whether prostaglandin exposure can enhance scleral permeability to high-molecular-weight substances. METHODS: Topical prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF2 alpha) was administered to monkeys to determine if this altered the amount of scleral matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Experiments also were performed to determine whether the prostaglandin F (FP) receptor and gene transcripts are expressed in normal human sclera. Permeability of organ-cultured human sclera following prostaglandin exposure then was studied and the amount of MMP released into the medium measured. Finally, the permeability of human sclera to basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) was determined following prostaglandin exposure. RESULTS: Topical prostaglandin administration that reduced scleral collagen also increased scleral MMP-1, MMP-2, and MMP-3 by 63 +/- 35%, 267 +/- 210%, and 729 +/- 500%, respectively. FP receptor protein was localized in scleral fibroblasts, and FP receptor gene transcript was identified in sclera. Exposure to prostaglandin F2 alpha, 17-phenyltrinor, PGF2 alpha, or latanoprost acid increased scleral permeability by up to 124%, 183%, or 213%, respectively. In these cultures, MMP-1, MMP-2, and MMP-3 were increased by up to 37%, 267%, and 96%, respectively. Finally, transscleral absorption of FGF-2 was increased by up to 126% with scleral exposure to latanoprost. CONCLUSIONS: These studies demonstrate that the sclera is metabolically active and pharmacologically responsive to prostaglandins. Further, they demonstrate the feasibility of cotreatment with prostaglandin to enhance transscleral delivery of peptides, such as growth factors and high-molecular-weight substances, to the posterior segment of the eye. PMID:11797317

  20. Macromolecular Assemblage in the Design of a Synthetic AIDS Vaccine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Defoort, Jean-Philippe; Nardelli, Bernardetta; Huang, Wolin; Ho, David D.; Tam, James P.

    1992-05-01

    We describe a peptide vaccine model based on the mimicry of surface coat protein of a pathogen. This model used a macromolecular assemblage approach to amplify peptide antigens in liposomes or micelles. The key components of the model consisted of an oligomeric lysine scaffolding to amplify peptide antigens covalently 4-fold and a lipophilic membrane-anchoring group to further amplify noncovalently the antigens many-fold in liposomal or micellar form. A peptide antigen derived from the third variable domain of glycoprotein gp120 of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), consisting of neutralizing, T-helper, and T-cytotoxic epitopes, was used in a macromolecular assemblage model (HIV-1 linear peptide amino acid sequence 308-331 in a tetravalent multiple antigen peptide system linked to tripalmitoyl-S-glycerylcysteine). The latter complex, in liposome or micelle, was used to immunize mice and guinea pigs without any adjuvant and found to induce gp120-specific antibodies that neutralize virus infectivity in vitro, elicit cytokine production, and prime CD8^+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes in vivo. Our results show that the macromolecular assemblage approach bears immunological mimicry of the gp120 of HIV virus and may lead to useful vaccines against HIV infection.

  1. Folate-mediated delivery of macromolecular anticancer therapeutic agents.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yingjuan; Low, Philip S

    2002-09-13

    The receptor for folic acid constitutes a useful target for tumor-specific drug delivery, primarily because: (1) it is upregulated in many human cancers, including malignancies of the ovary, brain, kidney, breast, myeloid cells and lung, (2) access to the folate receptor in those normal tissues that express it can be severely limited due to its location on the apical (externally-facing) membrane of polarized epithelia, and (3) folate receptor density appears to increase as the stage/grade of the cancer worsens. Thus, cancers that are most difficult to treat by classical methods may be most easily targeted with folate-linked therapeutics. To exploit these peculiarities of folate receptor expression, folic acid has been linked to both low molecular weight drugs and macromolecular complexes as a means of targeting the attached molecules to malignant cells. Conjugation of folic acid to macromolecules has been shown to enhance their delivery to folate receptor-expressing cancer cells in vitro in almost all situations tested. Folate-mediated macromolecular targeting in vivo has, however, yielded only mixed results, largely because of problems with macromolecule penetration of solid tumors. Nevertheless, prominent examples do exist where folate targeting has significantly improved the outcome of a macromolecule-based therapy, leading to complete cures of established tumors in many cases. This review presents a brief mechanistic background of folate-targeted macromolecular therapeutics and then summarizes the successes and failures observed with each major application of the technology.

  2. What Macromolecular Crowding Can Do to a Protein

    PubMed Central

    Kuznetsova, Irina M.; Turoverov, Konstantin K.; Uversky, Vladimir N.

    2014-01-01

    The intracellular environment represents an extremely crowded milieu, with a limited amount of free water and an almost complete lack of unoccupied space. Obviously, slightly salted aqueous solutions containing low concentrations of a biomolecule of interest are too simplistic to mimic the “real life” situation, where the biomolecule of interest scrambles and wades through the tightly packed crowd. In laboratory practice, such macromolecular crowding is typically mimicked by concentrated solutions of various polymers that serve as model “crowding agents”. Studies under these conditions revealed that macromolecular crowding might affect protein structure, folding, shape, conformational stability, binding of small molecules, enzymatic activity, protein-protein interactions, protein-nucleic acid interactions, and pathological aggregation. The goal of this review is to systematically analyze currently available experimental data on the variety of effects of macromolecular crowding on a protein molecule. The review covers more than 320 papers and therefore represents one of the most comprehensive compendia of the current knowledge in this exciting area. PMID:25514413

  3. Cryo-Electron Tomography for Structural Characterization of Macromolecular Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Cope, Julia; Heumann, John; Hoenger, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) is an emerging 3-D reconstruction technology that combines the principles of tomographic 3-D reconstruction with the unmatched structural preservation of biological material embedded in vitreous ice. Cryo-ET is particularly suited to investigating cell-biological samples and large macromolecular structures that are too polymorphic to be reconstructed by classical averaging-based 3-D reconstruction procedures. This unit aims to make cryo-ET accessible to newcomers and discusses the specialized equipment required, as well as the relevant advantages and hurdles associated with sample preparation by vitrification and cryo-ET. Protocols describe specimen preparation, data recording and 3-D data reconstruction for cryo-ET, with a special focus on macromolecular complexes. A step-by-step procedure for specimen vitrification by plunge freezing is provided, followed by the general practicalities of tilt-series acquisition for cryo-ET, including advice on how to select an area appropriate for acquiring a tilt series. A brief introduction to the underlying computational reconstruction principles applied in tomography is described, along with instructions for reconstructing a tomogram from cryo-tilt series data. Finally, a method is detailed for extracting small subvolumes containing identical macromolecular structures from tomograms for alignment and averaging as a means to increase the signal-to-noise ratio and eliminate missing wedge effects inherent in tomographic reconstructions. PMID:21842467

  4. International summer school on macromolecular crystallographic computing. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    1998-08-01

    The School was the seventh in a series of International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) Crystallographic Symposia. The format of the School was formal lectures in the morning, tutorials in the afternoon, and software demonstrations and more lectures in the evening. The full program which left both the organizers and attendees exhausted, reflects the current state of excitement in the field of macromolecular structure determination using the technique of X-ray crystallography. The new and improved technologies and techniques described in these Proceedings are contributing to that growth and at the same time, as pointed out in the paper given by Sussman, creating challenges for the Protein Data Bank (PDB). As the School progressed, the authors were struck by the similarities to events which took place in small molecule crystallography beginning some 20 to 25 years ago. Growth then was fueled by the advent of new algorithms, affordable computer hardware, and good software. So it is today for macromolecular crystallography, but with the added bonus of the Internet which is changing how scientist conduct their research. Flack presented this view as part of his on-going contribution to how crystallographers use the Internet. After presentations discussing structures en masse they returned to the more traditional mode of presentation which parallels the determination of a single macromolecular structure: data collection -- phasing -- model building and visualization -- refinement.

  5. Cryo-electron tomography for structural characterization of macromolecular complexes.

    PubMed

    Cope, Julia; Heumann, John; Hoenger, Andreas

    2011-08-01

    Cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) is an emerging 3-D reconstruction technology that combines the principles of tomographic 3-D reconstruction with the unmatched structural preservation of biological matter embedded in vitreous ice. Cryo-ET is particularly suited to investigating cell-biological samples and large macromolecular structures that are too polymorphic to be reconstructed by classical averaging-based 3-D reconstruction procedures. This unit aims to make cryo-ET accessible to newcomers and discusses the specialized equipment required, as well as relevant advantages and hurdles associated with sample preparation by vitrification and cryo-ET. Protocols describe specimen preparation, data recording and 3-D data reconstruction for cryo-ET, with a special focus on macromolecular complexes. A step-by-step procedure for specimen vitrification by plunge freezing is provided, followed by the general practicalities of tilt-series acquisition for cryo-ET, including advice on how to select an area appropriate for acquiring a tilt series. A brief introduction to the underlying computational reconstruction principles applied in tomography is described, along with instructions for reconstructing a tomogram from cryo-tilt series data. Finally, a method is detailed for extracting small subvolumes containing identical macromolecular structures from tomograms for alignment and averaging as a means to increase the signal-to-noise ratio and eliminate missing wedge effects inherent in tomographic reconstructions.

  6. Contrast Materials

    MedlinePlus

    ... or other reactions to contrast materials are rare, radiology departments are well-equipped to deal with them. ... is given. However, both the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the European Society of Urogenital Radiology ...

  7. Workshop on algorithms for macromolecular modeling. Final project report, June 1, 1994--May 31, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Leimkuhler, B.; Hermans, J.; Skeel, R.D.

    1995-07-01

    A workshop was held on algorithms and parallel implementations for macromolecular dynamics, protein folding, and structural refinement. This document contains abstracts and brief reports from that workshop.

  8. Contrast lipocryolysis

    PubMed Central

    Pinto, Hernán; Melamed, Graciela

    2014-01-01

    Alternative crystal structures are possible for all lipids and each different crystal structure is called a polymorphic form. Inter-conversion between polymorphisms would imply the possibility of leaning crystal formation toward the most effective polymorphism for adipocyte destruction. Food industry has been tempering lipids for decades. Tempering technology applied to lipocryolysis gave birth to “contrast lipocryolysis”, which involves pre- and post-lipocryolysis fat layer heating as part of a specific tempering protocol. In this study, we evaluated the skinfold thickness of 10 subjects after a single contrast lipocryolysis session and witnessed important and fast reductions. PMID:25068088

  9. Aspiration of Barium Contrast

    PubMed Central

    Fuentes Santos, Cristina; Steen, Bárbara

    2014-01-01

    The aspiration of barium contrast is a rare complication that may occur during studies of the digestive tract. Barium is an inert material that can cause anywhere from an asymptomatic mechanical obstruction to serious symptoms of respiratory distress that can result in patient death. We present the case of a 79-year-old male patient in whom we observed the presence of contrast medium residue in the lung parenchyma as an incidental finding during hospitalization. When the patient's medical file was reviewed, images were found of a barium swallow study that the patient had undergone months earlier, and we were able to observe the exact moment of the aspiration of the contrast material. The patient had been asymptomatic since the test. PMID:25309769

  10. Deorphaning the Macromolecular Targets of the Natural Anticancer Compound Doliculide.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Gisbert; Reker, Daniel; Chen, Tao; Hauenstein, Kurt; Schneider, Petra; Altmann, Karl-Heinz

    2016-09-26

    The cyclodepsipeptide doliculide is a marine natural product with strong actin-polymerizing and anticancer activities. Evidence for doliculide acting as a potent and subtype-selective antagonist of prostanoid E receptor 3 (EP3) is presented. Computational target prediction suggested that this membrane receptor is a likely macromolecular target and enabled immediate in vitro validation. This proof-of-concept study demonstrates the in silico deorphanization of phenotypic screening hits as a viable concept for future natural-product-inspired chemical biology and drug discovery efforts.

  11. Bringing macromolecular machinery to life using 3D animation.

    PubMed

    Iwasa, Janet H

    2015-04-01

    Over the past decade, there has been a rapid rise in the use of three-dimensional (3D) animation to depict molecular and cellular processes. Much of the growth in molecular animation has been in the educational arena, but increasingly, 3D animation software is finding its way into research laboratories. In this review, I will discuss a number of ways in which 3d animation software can play a valuable role in visualizing and communicating macromolecular structures and dynamics. I will also consider the challenges of using animation tools within the research sphere.

  12. Macromolecular therapeutics in cancer treatment: the EPR effect and beyond.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Hiroshi

    2012-12-10

    In this review, I have discussed various issues of the cancer drug targeting primarily related to the EPR (enhanced permeability and retention) effect, which utilized nanomedicine or macromolecular drugs. The content goes back to the development of the first polymer-protein conjugate anticancer agent SMANCS and development of the arterial infusion in Lipiodol formulation into the tumor feeding artery (hepatic artery for hepatoma). The brief account on the EPR effect and its definition, factors involved, heterogeneity, and various methods of augmentation of the EPR effect, which showed remarkably improved clinical outcomes are also discussed. Various obstacles involved in drug developments and commercialization are also discussed through my personal experience and recollections.

  13. Biophysical Highlights from 54 Years of Macromolecular Crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Richardson, Jane S.; Richardson, David C.

    2014-01-01

    The United Nations has declared 2014 the International Year of Crystallography, and in commemoration, this review features a selection of 54 notable macromolecular crystal structures that have illuminated the field of biophysics in the 54 years since the first excitement of the myoglobin and hemoglobin structures in 1960. Chronological by publication of the earliest solved structure, each illustrated entry briefly describes key concepts or methods new at the time and key later work leveraged by knowledge of the three-dimensional atomic structure. PMID:24507592

  14. Evidence that prolonged histamine suffusions produce transient increases in vascular permeability subsequent to the formation of venular macromolecular leakage sites. Proof of the Majno-Palade hypothesis.

    PubMed Central

    Horan, K. L.; Adamski, S. W.; Ayele, W.; Langone, J. J.; Grega, G. J.

    1986-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether histamine-stimulated increases in macromolecular efflux are dependent on the formation of specific vascular leakage sites, or whether other mechanisms need to be invoked to explain the increase in macromolecular efflux produced by this inflammatory mediator. Intravital light microscopy was used to localize and quantitate vascular macromolecular leakage sites in the noneverted hamster cheek pouch. Fluorimetric measurements of plasma and suffusate tracer (FITC-D 70,000 mol wt) concentrations were utilized to quantitate changes in macromolecular efflux. In some experiments, the FITC-D was injected intravenously either at the start of or after the start of a prolonged histamine suffusion for estimation of the duration of the vascular FITC-D leakage response. In saline control cheek pouches there were few, if any, visible FITC-D vascular leakage sites and only small increases in the [FITC-D]s. The arteriolar vasodilators papaverine (1 X 10(-5) M) and isoproterenol (1 X 10(-5) M) failed to increase the formation of vascular FITC-D leakage sites, and the magnitude of the increase in [FITC-D]s produced by these agents was similar to that observed in saline controls. Histamine (1 X 10(-5) M) suffused for either 15, 60, or 120 minutes produced marked increases in [FITC-D]s and in the number of venular FITC-D leakage sites. The venular FITC-D leakage sites began to fade after 10-20 minutes, eventually disappearing altogether. In contrast, the [FITC-D]s was markedly increased throughout the 120-minute observation period. Treatment with papaverine prior to and during the 60-minute histamine suffusion failed to prevent the mediator-stimulated vascular leakage response. In contrast, similar treatment with isoproterenol inhibited the histamine-stimulated increases in [FITC-D]s and the formation of venular FITC-D leakage sites. When the tracer was injected intravenously at the start of the 60-minute histamine suffusion (1 X 10(-5) M

  15. Ferrimagnetic susceptibility contrast agents.

    PubMed

    Bach-Gansmo, T

    1993-01-01

    Contrast agents based on superparamagnetic particles have been in clinical development for more than 5 years, and the complexity of their effects is still not elucidated. The relaxivities are frequently used to give an idea of their efficacy, but these parameters can only be used if they are concentration independent. For large superparamagnetic systems, the evolution of the transverse magnetization is biexponential, after an initial loss of magnetization. Both these characteristics of large superparamagnetic systems should lead to prudence in using the relaxivities as indicators of contrast medium efficacy. Susceptibility induced artefacts have been associated with the use of superparamagnetic contrast agents since the first imaging evaluation took place. The range of concentrations where good contrast effect was achieved without inducing artefacts, as well as blurring and metal artefacts were evaluated. The influence of motion on the induction of artefacts was studied, and compared to the artefacts induced by a paramagnetic agent subject to motion. With a suitable concentration of a negative contrast agent, a signal void could be achieved in the region prone to motion, and no artefacts were induced. If the concentration was too high, a displacement of the region close to the contrast agent was observed. The artefacts occurred in a volume surrounding the contrast agent, i.e., also outside the imaging plane. In comparison a positive, paramagnetic contrast agent induced heavy artefacts in the phase encoding direction, appearing as both high intensity regions and black holes, in a mosaic pattern. Clinical trials of the oral contrast agent OMP for abdominal MR imaging showed this agent to be safe and efficacious. OMP increased the diagnostic efficacy of abdominal MR imaging in 2 of 3 cases examined, with a significant decrease in motion artefacts. Susceptibility contrast agents may also be of use in the evaluation of small lesions in the liver. Particulate material

  16. Visualizing Proteins and Macromolecular Complexes by Negative Stain EM: from Grid Preparation to Image Acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Booth, David S.; Avila-Sakar, Agustin; Cheng, Yifan

    2011-01-01

    Single particle electron microscopy (EM), of both negative stained or frozen hydrated biological samples, has become a versatile tool in structural biology 1. In recent years, this method has achieved great success in studying structures of proteins and macromolecular complexes 2, 3. Compared with electron cryomicroscopy (cryoEM), in which frozen hydrated protein samples are embedded in a thin layer of vitreous ice 4, negative staining is a simpler sample preparation method in which protein samples are embedded in a thin layer of dried heavy metal salt to increase specimen contrast 5. The enhanced contrast of negative stain EM allows examination of relatively small biological samples. In addition to determining three-dimensional (3D) structure of purified proteins or protein complexes 6, this method can be used for much broader purposes. For example, negative stain EM can be easily used to visualize purified protein samples, obtaining information such as homogeneity/heterogeneity of the sample, formation of protein complexes or large assemblies, or simply to evaluate the quality of a protein preparation. In this video article, we present a complete protocol for using an EM to observe negatively stained protein sample, from preparing carbon coated grids for negative stain EM to acquiring images of negatively stained sample in an electron microscope operated at 120kV accelerating voltage. These protocols have been used in our laboratory routinely and can be easily followed by novice users. PMID:22215030

  17. Comparison of two self-assembled macromolecular prodrug micelles with different conjugate positions of SN38 for enhancing antitumor activity

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yi; Piao, Hongyu; Gao, Ying; Xu, Caihong; Tian, Ye; Wang, Lihong; Liu, Jinwen; Tang, Bo; Zou, Meijuan; Cheng, Gang

    2015-01-01

    7-Ethyl-10-hydroxycamptothecin (SN38), an active metabolite of irinotecan (CPT-11), is a remarkably potent antitumor agent. The clinical application of SN38 has been extremely restricted by its insolubility in water. In this study, we successfully synthesized two macromolecular prodrugs of SN38 with different conjugate positions (chitosan-(C10-OH)SN38 and chitosan-(C20-OH)SN38) to improve the water solubility and antitumor activity of SN38. These prodrugs can self-assemble into micelles in aqueous medium. The particle size, morphology, zeta potential, and in vitro drug release of SN38 and its derivatives, as well as their cytotoxicity, pharmacokinetics, and in vivo antitumor activity in a xenograft BALB/c mouse model were studied. In vitro, chitosan-(C10-OH)SN38 (CS-(10s)SN38) and chitosan-(C20-OH) SN38 (CS-(20s)SN38) were 13.3- and 25.9-fold more potent than CPT-11 in the murine colon adenocarcinoma cell line CT26, respectively. The area under the curve (AUC)0–24 of SN38 after intravenously administering CS-(10s)SN38 and CS-(20s)SN38 to Sprague Dawley rats was greatly improved when compared with CPT-11 (both P<0.01). A larger AUC0–24 of CS-(20s)SN38 was observed when compared to CS-(10s)SN38 (P<0.05). Both of the novel self-assembled chitosan-SN38 prodrugs demonstrated superior anticancer activity to CPT-11 in the CT26 xenograft BALB/c mouse model. We have also investigated the differences between these macromolecular prodrug micelles with regards to enhancing the antitumor activity of SN38. CS-(20s)SN38 exhibited better in vivo antitumor activity than CS-(10s)SN38 at a dose of 2.5 mg/kg (P<0.05). In conclusion, both macromolecular prodrug micelles improved the in vivo conversion rate and antitumor activity of SN38, but the prodrug in which C20-OH was conjugated to macromolecular materials could be a more promising platform for SN38 delivery. PMID:25848251

  18. [Contrast media in echography].

    PubMed

    Derchi, L E; Rizzatto, G; Solbiati, L

    1992-09-01

    In medical US, the use of specific contrast media to increase the echogenicity of structures and organs changes their absorption of the US beam, and modifies the through-transmission velocity. This can be of great diagnostic value. Contrast media can help depict vessels and cavities, increase the sensitivity of Doppler examination, and make the differentiation of normal and pathologic tissues easier. The products which are currently available do not completely fulfill the needs of clinical researchers. The first papers reporting on some clinical applications of these contrast media in humans are now appearing in literature. Contrast media for diagnostic US can be classified in five groups: 1) free gas bubbles; 2) stabilized gas bubbles; 3) colloidal suspensions; 4) emulsions; 5) aqueous solutions. These agents are quite different, as to both chemical and physical features and distribution within living tissues. Different clinical applications are thus possible for each of them; a unique contrast medium which will meet all the needs of the various clinical situations seems inconceivable at present. Most probably, a variety of products will develop, each with its own application field; in clinical practice, it seems likely that different products will be used, according to the specific clinical needs.

  19. Bioelectrochemical activity of an electroactive macromolecular weight coenzyme derivative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Pu; Zheng, Haitao; Nie, Pingping; Wei, Yaotian; Feng, Zhenchao; Sun, Tao

    2009-07-01

    As coenzyme utilized by more than hundreds of dehydrogenases, the efficient immobilization and regeneration of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) are of great importance and have practical applications in industrial, analytical and biomedical field. In this paper, an electroactive macromolecular weight coenzyme derivative (PEI-DHBNAD) was prepared by attaching both NAD+ and 3,4-dihydroxybenzaldehyde (3,4-DHB) to a water-soluble polyelectrolyte, poly(ethylenimine) (PEI). The functional polymer exhibited both electrochemical properties of catechol unites and coenzymatic activity of NAD moieties. The macromolecular NAD analogue showed a substantial degree of efficiency relative to free NAD+ with alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and glucose-6-phophate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), and a litter higher Michaelis-Menton constant (Km) was obtained for the coenzyme derivative than free NAD+. The bioelectrochemical properties of PEI-DHB-NAD were investigated by using G6PDH as the model enzyme, and both of them were retained on electrode surface by ultrafiltration membrane. The modified electrode showed typical response to substrate without the addition of free coenzyme, which indicated that PEI-DHB-NAD can carry out the electron transfer between electrode and NAD-dependent dehydrogenase. The utilization of polymer-based PEI-DHB-NAD is convenient for the immobilization of both electron mediator and coenzyme, and offers a practical approach for the construction of reagentless biosensors.

  20. Mechanisms, kinetics, impurities and defects: consequences in macromolecular crystallization

    PubMed Central

    McPherson, Alexander; Kuznetsov, Yurii G.

    2014-01-01

    The nucleation and growth of protein, nucleic acid and virus crystals from solution are functions of underlying kinetic and thermodynamic parameters that govern the process, and these are all supersaturation-dependent. While the mechanisms of macromolecular crystal growth are essentially the same as for conventional crystals, the underlying parameters are vastly different, in some cases orders of magnitude lower, and this produces very different crystallization processes. Numerous physical features of macromolecular crystals are of serious interest to X-ray diffractionists; the resolution limit and mosaicity, for example, reflect the degree of molecular and lattice order. The defect structure of crystals has an impact on their response to flash-cooling, and terminal crystal size is dependent on impurity absorption and incorporation. The variety and extent of these issues are further unique to crystals of biological macromolecules. All of these features are amenable to study using atomic force microscopy, which provides direct images at the nanoscale level. Some of those images are presented here. PMID:24699728

  1. Preparation of phenylboronate affinity rigid monolith with macromolecular porogen.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiang-Jie; Jia, Man; Zhao, Yong-Xin; Liu, Zhao-Sheng; Akber Aisa, Haji

    2016-03-18

    Boronate-affinity monolithic column was first prepared via polystyrene (PS) as porogen in this work. The monolithic polymer was synthetized using 4-vinylphenylboronic acid (4-VPBA) as functional monomer, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EDMA) as crosslinker monomer, and a mixture of PS solution in tetrahydrofuran, the linear macromolecular porogen, and toluene as porogen. Isoquercitrin (ISO) and hyperoside (HYP), isomer diol flavonoid glycosides, can be baseline separated on the poly(VPBA-co-EDMA) monolith. The effect of polymerization variables on the selectivity factor, e.g., the ratio of monomer to crosslinker (M/C), the amount of PS and the molecular weight of macromolecular porogen was investigated. The surface properties of the monolithic polymer were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and nitrogen adsorption. The best polymerization condition was the M/C ratio of 7:3, and the PS concentration of 40 mg/ml. The poly(VPBA-co-EDMA) polymer was also applied to extract cis-diol flavonoid glycosides from the crude extraction of cotton flower. After treated by poly(VPBA-co-EDMA) for solid phase extraction, high purity ISO and HYP (>99.96%) can be obtained with recovery of 83.7% and 78.6%, respectively. PMID:26896914

  2. Preparation of phenylboronate affinity rigid monolith with macromolecular porogen.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiang-Jie; Jia, Man; Zhao, Yong-Xin; Liu, Zhao-Sheng; Akber Aisa, Haji

    2016-03-18

    Boronate-affinity monolithic column was first prepared via polystyrene (PS) as porogen in this work. The monolithic polymer was synthetized using 4-vinylphenylboronic acid (4-VPBA) as functional monomer, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EDMA) as crosslinker monomer, and a mixture of PS solution in tetrahydrofuran, the linear macromolecular porogen, and toluene as porogen. Isoquercitrin (ISO) and hyperoside (HYP), isomer diol flavonoid glycosides, can be baseline separated on the poly(VPBA-co-EDMA) monolith. The effect of polymerization variables on the selectivity factor, e.g., the ratio of monomer to crosslinker (M/C), the amount of PS and the molecular weight of macromolecular porogen was investigated. The surface properties of the monolithic polymer were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and nitrogen adsorption. The best polymerization condition was the M/C ratio of 7:3, and the PS concentration of 40 mg/ml. The poly(VPBA-co-EDMA) polymer was also applied to extract cis-diol flavonoid glycosides from the crude extraction of cotton flower. After treated by poly(VPBA-co-EDMA) for solid phase extraction, high purity ISO and HYP (>99.96%) can be obtained with recovery of 83.7% and 78.6%, respectively.

  3. PRIGo: a new multi-axis goniometer for macromolecular crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Waltersperger, Sandro; Olieric, Vincent; Pradervand, Claude; Glettig, Wayne; Salathe, Marco; Fuchs, Martin R.; Curtin, Adrian; Wang, Xiaoqiang; Ebner, Simon; Panepucci, Ezequiel; Weinert, Tobias; Schulze-Briese, Clemens; Wang, Meitian

    2015-01-01

    The Parallel Robotics Inspired Goniometer (PRIGo) is a novel compact and high-precision goniometer providing an alternative to (mini-)kappa, traditional three-circle goniometers and Eulerian cradles used for sample reorientation in macromolecular crystallography. Based on a combination of serial and parallel kinematics, PRIGo emulates an arc. It is mounted on an air-bearing stage for rotation around ω and consists of four linear positioners working synchronously to achieve x, y, z translations and χ rotation (0–90°), followed by a ϕ stage (0–360°) for rotation around the sample holder axis. Owing to the use of piezo linear positioners and active correction, PRIGo features spheres of confusion of <1 µm, <7 µm and <10 µm for ω, χ and ϕ, respectively, and is therefore very well suited for micro-crystallography. PRIGo enables optimal strategies for both native and experimental phasing crystallographic data collection. Herein, PRIGo hardware and software, its calibration, as well as applications in macromolecular crystallography are described. PMID:26134792

  4. Identifying and Visualizing Macromolecular Flexibility in Structural Biology

    PubMed Central

    Palamini, Martina; Canciani, Anselmo; Forneris, Federico

    2016-01-01

    Structural biology comprises a variety of tools to obtain atomic resolution data for the investigation of macromolecules. Conventional structural methodologies including crystallography, NMR and electron microscopy often do not provide sufficient details concerning flexibility and dynamics, even though these aspects are critical for the physiological functions of the systems under investigation. However, the increasing complexity of the molecules studied by structural biology (including large macromolecular assemblies, integral membrane proteins, intrinsically disordered systems, and folding intermediates) continuously demands in-depth analyses of the roles of flexibility and conformational specificity involved in interactions with ligands and inhibitors. The intrinsic difficulties in capturing often subtle but critical molecular motions in biological systems have restrained the investigation of flexible molecules into a small niche of structural biology. Introduction of massive technological developments over the recent years, which include time-resolved studies, solution X-ray scattering, and new detectors for cryo-electron microscopy, have pushed the limits of structural investigation of flexible systems far beyond traditional approaches of NMR analysis. By integrating these modern methods with powerful biophysical and computational approaches such as generation of ensembles of molecular models and selective particle picking in electron microscopy, more feasible investigations of dynamic systems are now possible. Using some prominent examples from recent literature, we review how current structural biology methods can contribute useful data to accurately visualize flexibility in macromolecular structures and understand its important roles in regulation of biological processes. PMID:27668215

  5. Enhancing Endosomal Escape for Intracellular Delivery of Macromolecular Biologic Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Lönn, Peter; Kacsinta, Apollo D.; Cui, Xian-Shu; Hamil, Alexander S.; Kaulich, Manuel; Gogoi, Khirud; Dowdy, Steven F.

    2016-01-01

    Bioactive macromolecular peptides and oligonucleotides have significant therapeutic potential. However, due to their size, they have no ability to enter the cytoplasm of cells. Peptide/Protein transduction domains (PTDs), also called cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs), can promote uptake of macromolecules via endocytosis. However, overcoming the rate-limiting step of endosomal escape into the cytoplasm remains a major challenge. Hydrophobic amino acid R groups are known to play a vital role in viral escape from endosomes. Here we utilize a real-time, quantitative live cell split-GFP fluorescence complementation phenotypic assay to systematically analyze and optimize a series of synthetic endosomal escape domains (EEDs). By conjugating EEDs to a TAT-PTD/CPP spilt-GFP peptide complementation assay, we were able to quantitatively measure endosomal escape into the cytoplasm of live cells via restoration of GFP fluorescence by intracellular molecular complementation. We found that EEDs containing two aromatic indole rings or one indole ring and two aromatic phenyl groups at a fixed distance of six polyethylene glycol (PEG) units from the TAT-PTD-cargo significantly enhanced cytoplasmic delivery in the absence of cytotoxicity. EEDs address the critical rate-limiting step of endosomal escape in delivery of macromolecular biologic peptide, protein and siRNA therapeutics into cells. PMID:27604151

  6. REFMAC5 for the refinement of macromolecular crystal structures

    PubMed Central

    Murshudov, Garib N.; Skubák, Pavol; Lebedev, Andrey A.; Pannu, Navraj S.; Steiner, Roberto A.; Nicholls, Robert A.; Winn, Martyn D.; Long, Fei; Vagin, Alexei A.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes various components of the macromolecular crystallographic refinement program REFMAC5, which is distributed as part of the CCP4 suite. REFMAC5 utilizes different likelihood functions depending on the diffraction data employed (amplitudes or intensities), the presence of twinning and the availability of SAD/SIRAS experimental diffraction data. To ensure chemical and structural integrity of the refined model, REFMAC5 offers several classes of restraints and choices of model parameterization. Reliable models at resolutions at least as low as 4 Å can be achieved thanks to low-resolution refinement tools such as secondary-structure restraints, restraints to known homologous structures, automatic global and local NCS restraints, ‘jelly-body’ restraints and the use of novel long-range restraints on atomic displacement parameters (ADPs) based on the Kullback–Leibler divergence. REFMAC5 additionally offers TLS parameterization and, when high-resolution data are available, fast refinement of anisotropic ADPs. Refinement in the presence of twinning is performed in a fully automated fashion. REFMAC5 is a flexible and highly optimized refinement package that is ideally suited for refinement across the entire resolution spectrum encountered in macromolecular crystallography. PMID:21460454

  7. Cardiac voltage-gated calcium channel macromolecular complexes.

    PubMed

    Rougier, Jean-Sébastien; Abriel, Hugues

    2016-07-01

    Over the past 20 years, a new field of research, called channelopathies, investigating diseases caused by ion channel dysfunction has emerged. Cardiac ion channels play an essential role in the generation of the cardiac action potential. Investigators have largely determined the physiological roles of different cardiac ion channels, but little is known about the molecular determinants of their regulation. The voltage-gated calcium channel Ca(v)1.2 shapes the plateau phase of the cardiac action potential and allows the influx of calcium leading to cardiomyocyte contraction. Studies suggest that the regulation of Ca(v)1.2 channels is not uniform in working cardiomyocytes. The notion of micro-domains containing Ca(v)1.2 channels and different calcium channel interacting proteins, called macro-molecular complex, has been proposed to explain these observations. The objective of this review is to summarize the currently known information on the Ca(v)1.2 macromolecular complexes in the cardiac cell and discuss their implication in cardiac function and disorder. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cardiomyocyte Biology: Integration of Developmental and Environmental Cues in the Heart edited by Marcus Schaub and Hughes Abriel.

  8. Crowding and hydrodynamic interactions likely dominate in vivo macromolecular motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skolnick, Jeffrey

    2011-03-01

    To begin to elucidate the principles of intermolecular dynamics in the crowded environment of cells, employing brownian dynamics (BD) simulations, we examined possible mechanism(s) responsible for the great reduction in diffusion constants of macromolecules in vivo from that at infinite dilution. In an Escherichia coli cytoplasm model comprised of 15 different macromolecule types at physiological concentrations, BD simulations of molecular-shaped and equivalent sphere representations were performed with a soft repulsive potential. At cellular concentrations, the calculated diffusion constant of GFP is much larger than experiment, with no significant shape dependence. Next, using the equivalent sphere system, hydrodynamic interactions (HI) were considered. Without adjustable parameters, the in vivo experimental GFP diffusion constant was reproduced. Finally, the effects of nonspecific attractive interactions were examined. The reduction in diffusivity is very sensitive to macromolecular radius with the motion of the largest macromolecules dramatically slowed down; this is not seen if HI dominate. In addition, long-lived clusters involving the largest macromolecules form if attractions dominate, whereas HI give rise to significant, size independent intermolecular dynamic correlations. These qualitative differences provide a testable means of differentiating the importance of HI vs. nonspecific attractive interactions on macromolecular motion in cells.

  9. A loop of coagulation factor VIIa influencing macromolecular substrate specificity.

    PubMed

    Bjelke, Jais R; Persson, Egon; Rasmussen, Hanne B; Kragelund, Birthe B; Olsen, Ole H

    2007-01-01

    Coagulation factor VIIa (FVIIa) belongs to a family of proteases being part of the stepwise, self-amplifying blood coagulation cascade. To investigate the impact of the mutation Met(298{156})Lys in FVIIa, we replaced the Gly(283{140})-Met(298{156}) loop with the corresponding loop of factor Xa. The resulting variant exhibited increased intrinsic activity, concurrent with maturation of the active site, a less accessible N-terminus, and, interestingly, an altered macromolecular substrate specificity reflected in an increased ability to cleave factor IX (FIX) and a decreased rate of FX activation compared to that of wild-type FVIIa. In complex with tissue factor, activation of FIX, but not of FX, returned to normal. Deconvolution of the loop graft in order to identify important side chain substitutions resulted in the mutant Val(158{21})Asp/Leu(287{144})Thr/Ala(294{152})Ser/Glu(296{154}) Ile/Met(298{156})Lys-FVIIa with almost the same activity and specificity profile. We conclude that a lysine residue in position 298{156} of FVIIa requires a hydrophilic environment to be fully accommodated. This position appears critical for substrate specificity among the proteases of the blood coagulation cascade due to its prominent position in the macromolecular exosite and possibly via its interaction with the corresponding position in the substrate (i.e. FIX or FX). PMID:17182039

  10. Identifying and Visualizing Macromolecular Flexibility in Structural Biology

    PubMed Central

    Palamini, Martina; Canciani, Anselmo; Forneris, Federico

    2016-01-01

    Structural biology comprises a variety of tools to obtain atomic resolution data for the investigation of macromolecules. Conventional structural methodologies including crystallography, NMR and electron microscopy often do not provide sufficient details concerning flexibility and dynamics, even though these aspects are critical for the physiological functions of the systems under investigation. However, the increasing complexity of the molecules studied by structural biology (including large macromolecular assemblies, integral membrane proteins, intrinsically disordered systems, and folding intermediates) continuously demands in-depth analyses of the roles of flexibility and conformational specificity involved in interactions with ligands and inhibitors. The intrinsic difficulties in capturing often subtle but critical molecular motions in biological systems have restrained the investigation of flexible molecules into a small niche of structural biology. Introduction of massive technological developments over the recent years, which include time-resolved studies, solution X-ray scattering, and new detectors for cryo-electron microscopy, have pushed the limits of structural investigation of flexible systems far beyond traditional approaches of NMR analysis. By integrating these modern methods with powerful biophysical and computational approaches such as generation of ensembles of molecular models and selective particle picking in electron microscopy, more feasible investigations of dynamic systems are now possible. Using some prominent examples from recent literature, we review how current structural biology methods can contribute useful data to accurately visualize flexibility in macromolecular structures and understand its important roles in regulation of biological processes.

  11. Macromolecular Crowding as a Regulator of Gene Transcription

    PubMed Central

    Matsuda, Hiroaki; Putzel, Gregory Garbès; Backman, Vadim; Szleifer, Igal

    2014-01-01

    Studies of macromolecular crowding have shown its important effects on molecular transport and interactions in living cells. Less clear is the effect of crowding when its influence is incorporated into a complex network of interactions. Here, we explore the effects of crowding in the cell nucleus on a model of gene transcription as a network of reactions involving transcription factors, RNA polymerases, and DNA binding sites for these proteins. The novelty of our approach is that we determine the effects of crowding on the rates of these reactions using Brownian dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations, allowing us to integrate molecular-scale information, such as the shapes and sizes of each molecular species, into the rate equations of the model. The steady-state cytoplasmic mRNA concentration shows several regimes with qualitatively different dependences on the volume fraction, ϕ, of crowding agents in the nucleus, including a broad range of parameter values where it depends nonmonotonically on ϕ, with maximum mRNA production occurring at a physiologically relevant value. The extent of this crowding dependence can be modulated by a variety of means, suggesting that the transcriptional output of a gene can be regulated jointly by the local level of macromolecular crowding in the nucleus, together with the local concentrations of polymerases and DNA-binding proteins, as well as other properties of the gene’s physical environment. PMID:24739179

  12. Crosslinked macromolecular structures in bituminous coals: Theoretical and experimental considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucht, Lucy M.; Peppas, Nicolaos A.

    1981-02-01

    Ample evidence from physicochemical experiments suggests that bituminous coals can be described as highly crosslinked and entangled networks of macromolecular chains of irregular structure. Theoretically these structures can be analyzed by statistical mechanical models considering non-Gaussian distribution of the macro-molecular chains along with departure from the Flory theories of crosslinked macromolecules. The models of Kovac (1978) and Peppas and Lucht (1979) have been developed in order to describe non-extractable coal matrices and their behavior during swelling in appropriate swelling agents. The molecular weight between cross-links Mc and the crosslinking density ρx can be determined for various solvents and equilibrium swelling ratios. Few experimental data are available to which these models can be applied. Thus, in view of these new theoretical models, experimental research must be directed towards the reexamination of extraction and swelling behavior of bituminous coals. Some of the important parameters to be determined for characterization of the physical structure of coals include the thermodynamic interaction parameter χ, the crosslinking parameters Mc and ρx and the molecular weight distribution of the extractable coal portion.

  13. Enhancing Endosomal Escape for Intracellular Delivery of Macromolecular Biologic Therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Lönn, Peter; Kacsinta, Apollo D; Cui, Xian-Shu; Hamil, Alexander S; Kaulich, Manuel; Gogoi, Khirud; Dowdy, Steven F

    2016-01-01

    Bioactive macromolecular peptides and oligonucleotides have significant therapeutic potential. However, due to their size, they have no ability to enter the cytoplasm of cells. Peptide/Protein transduction domains (PTDs), also called cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs), can promote uptake of macromolecules via endocytosis. However, overcoming the rate-limiting step of endosomal escape into the cytoplasm remains a major challenge. Hydrophobic amino acid R groups are known to play a vital role in viral escape from endosomes. Here we utilize a real-time, quantitative live cell split-GFP fluorescence complementation phenotypic assay to systematically analyze and optimize a series of synthetic endosomal escape domains (EEDs). By conjugating EEDs to a TAT-PTD/CPP spilt-GFP peptide complementation assay, we were able to quantitatively measure endosomal escape into the cytoplasm of live cells via restoration of GFP fluorescence by intracellular molecular complementation. We found that EEDs containing two aromatic indole rings or one indole ring and two aromatic phenyl groups at a fixed distance of six polyethylene glycol (PEG) units from the TAT-PTD-cargo significantly enhanced cytoplasmic delivery in the absence of cytotoxicity. EEDs address the critical rate-limiting step of endosomal escape in delivery of macromolecular biologic peptide, protein and siRNA therapeutics into cells. PMID:27604151

  14. Identifying and Visualizing Macromolecular Flexibility in Structural Biology.

    PubMed

    Palamini, Martina; Canciani, Anselmo; Forneris, Federico

    2016-01-01

    Structural biology comprises a variety of tools to obtain atomic resolution data for the investigation of macromolecules. Conventional structural methodologies including crystallography, NMR and electron microscopy often do not provide sufficient details concerning flexibility and dynamics, even though these aspects are critical for the physiological functions of the systems under investigation. However, the increasing complexity of the molecules studied by structural biology (including large macromolecular assemblies, integral membrane proteins, intrinsically disordered systems, and folding intermediates) continuously demands in-depth analyses of the roles of flexibility and conformational specificity involved in interactions with ligands and inhibitors. The intrinsic difficulties in capturing often subtle but critical molecular motions in biological systems have restrained the investigation of flexible molecules into a small niche of structural biology. Introduction of massive technological developments over the recent years, which include time-resolved studies, solution X-ray scattering, and new detectors for cryo-electron microscopy, have pushed the limits of structural investigation of flexible systems far beyond traditional approaches of NMR analysis. By integrating these modern methods with powerful biophysical and computational approaches such as generation of ensembles of molecular models and selective particle picking in electron microscopy, more feasible investigations of dynamic systems are now possible. Using some prominent examples from recent literature, we review how current structural biology methods can contribute useful data to accurately visualize flexibility in macromolecular structures and understand its important roles in regulation of biological processes. PMID:27668215

  15. Enzymes as Green Catalysts for Precision Macromolecular Synthesis.

    PubMed

    Shoda, Shin-ichiro; Uyama, Hiroshi; Kadokawa, Jun-ichi; Kimura, Shunsaku; Kobayashi, Shiro

    2016-02-24

    The present article comprehensively reviews the macromolecular synthesis using enzymes as catalysts. Among the six main classes of enzymes, the three classes, oxidoreductases, transferases, and hydrolases, have been employed as catalysts for the in vitro macromolecular synthesis and modification reactions. Appropriate design of reaction including monomer and enzyme catalyst produces macromolecules with precisely controlled structure, similarly as in vivo enzymatic reactions. The reaction controls the product structure with respect to substrate selectivity, chemo-selectivity, regio-selectivity, stereoselectivity, and choro-selectivity. Oxidoreductases catalyze various oxidation polymerizations of aromatic compounds as well as vinyl polymerizations. Transferases are effective catalysts for producing polysaccharide having a variety of structure and polyesters. Hydrolases catalyzing the bond-cleaving of macromolecules in vivo, catalyze the reverse reaction for bond forming in vitro to give various polysaccharides and functionalized polyesters. The enzymatic polymerizations allowed the first in vitro synthesis of natural polysaccharides having complicated structures like cellulose, amylose, xylan, chitin, hyaluronan, and chondroitin. These polymerizations are "green" with several respects; nontoxicity of enzyme, high catalyst efficiency, selective reactions under mild conditions using green solvents and renewable starting materials, and producing minimal byproducts. Thus, the enzymatic polymerization is desirable for the environment and contributes to "green polymer chemistry" for maintaining sustainable society.

  16. Identifying and Visualizing Macromolecular Flexibility in Structural Biology.

    PubMed

    Palamini, Martina; Canciani, Anselmo; Forneris, Federico

    2016-01-01

    Structural biology comprises a variety of tools to obtain atomic resolution data for the investigation of macromolecules. Conventional structural methodologies including crystallography, NMR and electron microscopy often do not provide sufficient details concerning flexibility and dynamics, even though these aspects are critical for the physiological functions of the systems under investigation. However, the increasing complexity of the molecules studied by structural biology (including large macromolecular assemblies, integral membrane proteins, intrinsically disordered systems, and folding intermediates) continuously demands in-depth analyses of the roles of flexibility and conformational specificity involved in interactions with ligands and inhibitors. The intrinsic difficulties in capturing often subtle but critical molecular motions in biological systems have restrained the investigation of flexible molecules into a small niche of structural biology. Introduction of massive technological developments over the recent years, which include time-resolved studies, solution X-ray scattering, and new detectors for cryo-electron microscopy, have pushed the limits of structural investigation of flexible systems far beyond traditional approaches of NMR analysis. By integrating these modern methods with powerful biophysical and computational approaches such as generation of ensembles of molecular models and selective particle picking in electron microscopy, more feasible investigations of dynamic systems are now possible. Using some prominent examples from recent literature, we review how current structural biology methods can contribute useful data to accurately visualize flexibility in macromolecular structures and understand its important roles in regulation of biological processes.

  17. Improved reproducibility of unit-cell parameters in macromolecular cryocrystallography by limiting dehydration during crystal mounting.

    PubMed

    Farley, Christopher; Burks, Geoffry; Siegert, Thomas; Juers, Douglas H

    2014-08-01

    In macromolecular cryocrystallography unit-cell parameters can have low reproducibility, limiting the effectiveness of combining data sets from multiple crystals and inhibiting the development of defined repeatable cooling protocols. Here, potential sources of unit-cell variation are investigated and crystal dehydration during loop-mounting is found to be an important factor. The amount of water lost by the unit cell depends on the crystal size, the loop size, the ambient relative humidity and the transfer distance to the cooling medium. To limit water loss during crystal mounting, a threefold strategy has been implemented. Firstly, crystal manipulations are performed in a humid environment similar to the humidity of the crystal-growth or soaking solution. Secondly, the looped crystal is transferred to a vial containing a small amount of the crystal soaking solution. Upon loop transfer, the vial is sealed, which allows transport of the crystal at its equilibrated humidity. Thirdly, the crystal loop is directly mounted from the vial into the cold gas stream. This strategy minimizes the exposure of the crystal to relatively low humidity ambient air, improves the reproducibility of low-temperature unit-cell parameters and offers some new approaches to crystal handling and cryoprotection.

  18. Improved reproducibility of unit-cell parameters in macromolecular cryocrystallography by limiting dehydration during crystal mounting

    PubMed Central

    Farley, Christopher; Burks, Geoffry; Siegert, Thomas; Juers, Douglas H.

    2014-01-01

    In macromolecular cryocrystallography unit-cell parameters can have low reproducibility, limiting the effectiveness of combining data sets from multiple crystals and inhibiting the development of defined repeatable cooling protocols. Here, potential sources of unit-cell variation are investigated and crystal dehydration during loop-mounting is found to be an important factor. The amount of water lost by the unit cell depends on the crystal size, the loop size, the ambient relative humidity and the transfer distance to the cooling medium. To limit water loss during crystal mounting, a threefold strategy has been implemented. Firstly, crystal manipulations are performed in a humid environment similar to the humidity of the crystal-growth or soaking solution. Secondly, the looped crystal is transferred to a vial containing a small amount of the crystal soaking solution. Upon loop transfer, the vial is sealed, which allows transport of the crystal at its equilibrated humidity. Thirdly, the crystal loop is directly mounted from the vial into the cold gas stream. This strategy minimizes the exposure of the crystal to relatively low humidity ambient air, improves the reproducibility of low-temperature unit-cell parameters and offers some new approaches to crystal handling and cryoprotection. PMID:25084331

  19. The Effect of Attractive Interactions and Macromolecular Crowding on Crystallins Association

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Jiachen; Dobnikar, Jure; Curk, Tine; Song, Fan

    2016-01-01

    In living systems proteins are typically found in crowded environments where their effective interactions strongly depend on the surrounding medium. Yet, their association and dissociation needs to be robustly controlled in order to enable biological function. Uncontrolled protein aggregation often causes disease. For instance, cataract is caused by the clustering of lens proteins, i.e., crystallins, resulting in enhanced light scattering and impaired vision or blindness. To investigate the molecular origins of cataract formation and to design efficient treatments, a better understanding of crystallin association in macromolecular crowded environment is needed. Here we present a theoretical study of simple coarse grained colloidal models to characterize the general features of how the association equilibrium of proteins depends on the magnitude of intermolecular attraction. By comparing the analytic results to the available experimental data on the osmotic pressure in crystallin solutions, we identify the effective parameters regimes applicable to crystallins. Moreover, the combination of two models allows us to predict that the number of binding sites on crystallin is small, i.e. one to three per protein, which is different from previous estimates. We further observe that the crowding factor is sensitive to the size asymmetry between the reactants and crowding agents, the shape of the protein clusters, and to small variations of intermolecular attraction. Our work may provide general guidelines on how to steer the protein interactions in order to control their association. PMID:26954357

  20. The Effect of Attractive Interactions and Macromolecular Crowding on Crystallins Association.

    PubMed

    Wei, Jiachen; Dobnikar, Jure; Curk, Tine; Song, Fan

    2016-01-01

    In living systems proteins are typically found in crowded environments where their effective interactions strongly depend on the surrounding medium. Yet, their association and dissociation needs to be robustly controlled in order to enable biological function. Uncontrolled protein aggregation often causes disease. For instance, cataract is caused by the clustering of lens proteins, i.e., crystallins, resulting in enhanced light scattering and impaired vision or blindness. To investigate the molecular origins of cataract formation and to design efficient treatments, a better understanding of crystallin association in macromolecular crowded environment is needed. Here we present a theoretical study of simple coarse grained colloidal models to characterize the general features of how the association equilibrium of proteins depends on the magnitude of intermolecular attraction. By comparing the analytic results to the available experimental data on the osmotic pressure in crystallin solutions, we identify the effective parameters regimes applicable to crystallins. Moreover, the combination of two models allows us to predict that the number of binding sites on crystallin is small, i.e. one to three per protein, which is different from previous estimates. We further observe that the crowding factor is sensitive to the size asymmetry between the reactants and crowding agents, the shape of the protein clusters, and to small variations of intermolecular attraction. Our work may provide general guidelines on how to steer the protein interactions in order to control their association. PMID:26954357

  1. Sample preparation of biological macromolecular assemblies for the determination of high-resolution structures by cryo-electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Stark, Holger; Chari, Ashwin

    2016-02-01

    Single particle cryo-EM has recently developed into a powerful tool to determine the 3D structure of macromolecular complexes at near-atomic resolution, which allows structural biologists to build atomic models of proteins. All technical aspects of cryo-EM technology have been considerably improved over the last two decades, including electron microscopic hardware, image processing software and the ever growing speed of computers. This leads to a more widespread use of the technique, and it can be anticipated that further automation of electron microscopes and image processing tools will soon fully shift the focus away from the technological aspects, onto biological questions that can be answered. In single particle cryo-EM, no crystals of a macromolecule are required. In contrast to X-ray crystallography, this significantly facilitates structure determination by cryo-EM. Nevertheless, a relatively high level of biochemical control is still essential to obtain high-resolution structures by cryo-EM, and it can be anticipated that the success of the cryo-EM technology goes hand in hand with further developments of sample purification and preparation techniques. This will allow routine high-resolution structure determination of the many macromolecular complexes of the cell that until now represent evasive targets for X-ray crystallographers. Here we discuss the various biochemical tools that are currently available and the existing sample purification and preparation techniques for cryo-EM grid preparation that are needed to obtain high-resolution images for structure determination. PMID:26671943

  2. Sample preparation of biological macromolecular assemblies for the determination of high-resolution structures by cryo-electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Stark, Holger; Chari, Ashwin

    2016-02-01

    Single particle cryo-EM has recently developed into a powerful tool to determine the 3D structure of macromolecular complexes at near-atomic resolution, which allows structural biologists to build atomic models of proteins. All technical aspects of cryo-EM technology have been considerably improved over the last two decades, including electron microscopic hardware, image processing software and the ever growing speed of computers. This leads to a more widespread use of the technique, and it can be anticipated that further automation of electron microscopes and image processing tools will soon fully shift the focus away from the technological aspects, onto biological questions that can be answered. In single particle cryo-EM, no crystals of a macromolecule are required. In contrast to X-ray crystallography, this significantly facilitates structure determination by cryo-EM. Nevertheless, a relatively high level of biochemical control is still essential to obtain high-resolution structures by cryo-EM, and it can be anticipated that the success of the cryo-EM technology goes hand in hand with further developments of sample purification and preparation techniques. This will allow routine high-resolution structure determination of the many macromolecular complexes of the cell that until now represent evasive targets for X-ray crystallographers. Here we discuss the various biochemical tools that are currently available and the existing sample purification and preparation techniques for cryo-EM grid preparation that are needed to obtain high-resolution images for structure determination.

  3. Enhancement of Biological Reactions on Cell Surfaces via Macromolecular Crowding

    PubMed Central

    Chapanian, Rafi; Kwan, David H.; Constantinescu, Iren; Shaikh, Fathima A.; Rossi, Nicholas A.A.; Withers, Stephen G.; Kizhakkedathu, Jayachandran N.

    2016-01-01

    The reaction of macromolecules such as enzymes and antibodies with cell surfaces is often an inefficient process, requiring large amounts of expensive reagent. Here we report a general method based on macromolecular crowding with a range of neutral polymers to enhance such reactions, using red blood cells (RBCs) as a model system. Rates of conversion of Type A and B red blood cells to universal O type by removal of antigenic carbohydrates with selective glycosidases are increased up to 400-fold in the presence of crowders. Similar enhancements are seen for antibody binding. We further explore the factors underlying these enhancements using confocal microscopy and fluorescent recovery after bleaching (FRAP) techniques with various fluorescent protein fusion partners. Increased cell-surface concentration due to volume exclusion, along with two-dimensionally confined diffusion of enzymes close to the cell surface, appear to be the major contributing factors. PMID:25140641

  4. Identification of macromolecular complexes in cryoelectron tomograms of phantom cells

    PubMed Central

    Frangakis, Achilleas S.; Böhm, Jochen; Förster, Friedrich; Nickell, Stephan; Nicastro, Daniela; Typke, Dieter; Hegerl, Reiner; Baumeister, Wolfgang

    2002-01-01

    Electron tomograms of intact frozen-hydrated cells are essentially three-dimensional images of the entire proteome of the cell, and they depict the whole network of macromolecular interactions. However, this information is not easily accessible because of the poor signal-to-noise ratio of the tomograms and the crowded nature of the cytoplasm. Here, we describe a template matching algorithm that is capable of detecting and identifying macromolecules in tomographic volumes in a fully automated manner. The algorithm is based on nonlinear cross correlation and incorporates elements of multivariate statistical analysis. Phantom cells, i.e., lipid vesicles filled with macromolecules, provide a realistic experimental scenario for an assessment of the fidelity of this approach. At the current resolution of ≈4 nm, macromolecules in the size range of 0.5–1 MDa can be identified with good fidelity. PMID:12391313

  5. Size-exclusion chromatography system for macromolecular interaction analysis

    DOEpatents

    Stevens, Fred J.

    1988-01-01

    A low pressure, microcomputer controlled system employing high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) allows for precise analysis of the interaction of two reversibly associating macromolecules such as proteins. Since a macromolecular complex migrates faster than its components during size-exclusion chromatography, the difference between the elution profile of a mixture of two macromolecules and the summation of the elution profiles of the two components provides a quantifiable indication of the degree of molecular interaction. This delta profile is used to qualitatively reveal the presence or absence of significant interaction or to rank the relative degree of interaction in comparing samples and, in combination with a computer simulation, is further used to quantify the magnitude of the interaction in an arrangement wherein a microcomputer is coupled to analytical instrumentation in a novel manner.

  6. On macromolecular refinement at subatomic resolution withinteratomic scatterers

    SciTech Connect

    Afonine, Pavel V.; Grosse-Kunstleve, Ralf W.; Adams, Paul D.; Lunin, Vladimir Y.; Urzhumtsev, Alexandre

    2007-11-09

    A study of the accurate electron density distribution in molecular crystals at subatomic resolution, better than {approx} 1.0 {angstrom}, requires more detailed models than those based on independent spherical atoms. A tool conventionally used in small-molecule crystallography is the multipolar model. Even at upper resolution limits of 0.8-1.0 {angstrom}, the number of experimental data is insufficient for the full multipolar model refinement. As an alternative, a simpler model composed of conventional independent spherical atoms augmented by additional scatterers to model bonding effects has been proposed. Refinement of these mixed models for several benchmark datasets gave results comparable in quality with results of multipolar refinement and superior of those for conventional models. Applications to several datasets of both small- and macro-molecules are shown. These refinements were performed using the general-purpose macromolecular refinement module phenix.refine of the PHENIX package.

  7. Macromolecular Crystallization in Microfluidics for the International Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Monaco, Lisa A.; Spearing, Scott

    2003-01-01

    At NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, the Iterative Biological Crystallization (IBC) project has begun development on scientific hardware for macromolecular crystallization on the International Space Station (ISS). Currently ISS crystallization research is limited to solution recipes that were prepared on the ground prior to launch. The proposed hardware will conduct solution mixing and dispensing on board the ISS, be fully automated, and have imaging functions via remote commanding from the ground. Utilizing microfluidic technology, IBC will allow for on orbit iterations. The microfluidics LabChip(R) devices that have been developed, along with Caliper Technologies, will greatly benefit researchers by allowing for precise fluid handling of nano/pico liter sized volumes. IBC will maximize the amount of science return by utilizing the microfluidic approach and be a valuable tool to structural biologists investigating medically relevant projects.

  8. Extracting trends from two decades of microgravity macromolecular crystallization history

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Judge, Russell A.; Snell, Edward H.; van der Woerd, Mark J.

    2005-01-01

    Since the 1980s hundreds of macromolecular crystal growth experiments have been performed in the reduced acceleration environment of an orbiting spacecraft. Significant enhancements in structural knowledge have resulted from X-ray diffraction of the crystals grown. Similarly, many samples have shown no improvement or degradation in comparison to those grown on the ground. A complex series of interrelated factors affect these experiments and by building a comprehensive archive of the results it was aimed to identify factors that result in success and those that result in failure. Specifically, it was found that dedicated microgravity missions increase the chance of success when compared with those where crystallization took place as a parasitic aspect of the mission. It was also found that the chance of success could not be predicted based on any discernible property of the macromolecule available to us.

  9. The promise of macromolecular crystallization in microfluidic chips

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    van der Woerd, Mark; Ferree, Darren; Pusey, Marc

    2003-01-01

    Microfluidics, or lab-on-a-chip technology, is proving to be a powerful, rapid, and efficient approach to a wide variety of bioanalytical and microscale biopreparative needs. The low materials consumption, combined with the potential for packing a large number of experiments in a few cubic centimeters, makes it an attractive technique for both initial screening and subsequent optimization of macromolecular crystallization conditions. Screening operations, which require a macromolecule solution with a standard set of premixed solutions, are relatively straightforward and have been successfully demonstrated in a microfluidics platform. Optimization methods, in which crystallization solutions are independently formulated from a range of stock solutions, are considerably more complex and have yet to be demonstrated. To be competitive with either approach, a microfluidics system must offer ease of operation, be able to maintain a sealed environment over several weeks to months, and give ready access for the observation and harvesting of crystals as they are grown.

  10. Macromolecular crowding increases structural content of folded proteins.

    PubMed

    Perham, Michael; Stagg, Loren; Wittung-Stafshede, Pernilla

    2007-10-30

    Here we show that increased amount of secondary structure is acquired in the folded states of two structurally-different proteins (alpha-helical VlsE and alpha/beta flavodoxin) in the presence of macromolecular crowding agents. The structural content of flavodoxin and VlsE is enhanced by 33% and 70%, respectively, in 400 mg/ml Ficoll 70 (pH 7, 20 degrees C) and correlates with higher protein-thermal stability. In the same Ficoll range, there are only small effects on the unfolded-state structures of the proteins. This is the first in vitro assessment of crowding effects on the native-state structures at physiological conditions. Our findings imply that for proteins with low intrinsic stability, the functional structures in vivo may differ from those observed in dilute buffers. PMID:17919600

  11. Phenethyl Alcohol I. Effect on Macromolecular Synthesis of Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Rosenkranz, Herbert S.; Carr, Howard S.; Rose, Harry M.

    1965-01-01

    Rosenkranz, Herbert S. (Columbia University, New York, N.Y.), Howard S. Carr, and Harry M. Rose. Phenethyl alcohol. I. Effect on macromolecular synthesis of Escherichia coli. J. Bacteriol. 89:1354–1369. 1965.—An investigation of the mode of action of phenethyl alcohol produced the following results. Phenethyl alcohol had no effect on the physicochemical properties of isolated deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The DNA isolated from phenethyl alcohol-treated bacteria had physicochemical properties identical with those of DNA isolated from normal cells. The metabolic functions most sensitive to the inhibitory action of phenethyl alcohol appeared to be the process of enzyme induction and, possibly, the synthesis of messenger ribonucleic acid. Phenethyl alcohol did not affect the polyuridylic acid-mediated synthesis of polyphenylalanine in a cell-free amino acid-incorporating system. Images PMID:14293009

  12. Conformational States of Macromolecular Assemblies Explored by Integrative Structure Calculation

    PubMed Central

    Thalassinos, Konstantinos; Pandurangan, Arun Prasad; Xu, Min; Alber, Frank; Topf, Maya

    2013-01-01

    Summary A detailed description of macromolecular assemblies in multiple conformational states can be very valuable for understanding cellular processes. At present, structural determination of most assemblies in different biologically relevant conformations cannot be achieved by a single technique and thus requires an integrative approach that combines information from multiple sources. Different techniques require different computational methods to allow efficient and accurate data processing and analysis. Here, we summarize the latest advances and future challenges in computational methods that help the interpretation of data from two techniques—mass spectrometry and three-dimensional cryo-electron microscopy (with focus on alignment and classification of heterogeneous subtomograms from cryo-electron tomography). We evaluate how new developments in these two broad fields will lead to further integration with atomic structures to broaden our picture of the dynamic behavior of assemblies in their native environment. PMID:24010709

  13. Large-volume protein crystal growth for neutron macromolecular crystallography

    DOE PAGES

    Ng, Joseph D.; Baird, James K.; Coates, Leighton; Garcia-Ruiz, Juan M.; Hodge, Teresa A.; Huang, Sijay

    2015-03-30

    Neutron macromolecular crystallography (NMC) is the prevailing method for the accurate determination of the positions of H atoms in macromolecules. As neutron sources are becoming more available to general users, finding means to optimize the growth of protein crystals to sizes suitable for NMC is extremely important. Historically, much has been learned about growing crystals for X-ray diffraction. However, owing to new-generation synchrotron X-ray facilities and sensitive detectors, protein crystal sizes as small as in the nano-range have become adequate for structure determination, lessening the necessity to grow large crystals. Here, some of the approaches, techniques and considerations for themore » growth of crystals to significant dimensions that are now relevant to NMC are revisited. We report that these include experimental strategies utilizing solubility diagrams, ripening effects, classical crystallization techniques, microgravity and theoretical considerations.« less

  14. Large-volume protein crystal growth for neutron macromolecular crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Ng, Joseph D.; Baird, James K.; Coates, Leighton; Garcia-Ruiz, Juan M.; Hodge, Teresa A.; Huang, Sijay

    2015-03-30

    Neutron macromolecular crystallography (NMC) is the prevailing method for the accurate determination of the positions of H atoms in macromolecules. As neutron sources are becoming more available to general users, finding means to optimize the growth of protein crystals to sizes suitable for NMC is extremely important. Historically, much has been learned about growing crystals for X-ray diffraction. However, owing to new-generation synchrotron X-ray facilities and sensitive detectors, protein crystal sizes as small as in the nano-range have become adequate for structure determination, lessening the necessity to grow large crystals. Here, some of the approaches, techniques and considerations for the growth of crystals to significant dimensions that are now relevant to NMC are revisited. We report that these include experimental strategies utilizing solubility diagrams, ripening effects, classical crystallization techniques, microgravity and theoretical considerations.

  15. Macromolecular Crystallization with Microfluidic Free-Interface Diffusion

    SciTech Connect

    Segelke, B

    2005-02-24

    Fluidigm released the Topaz 1.96 and 4.96 crystallization chips in the fall of 2004. Topaz 1.96 and 4.96 are the latest evolution of Fluidigm's microfluidics crystallization technologies that enable ultra low volume rapid screening for macromolecular crystallization. Topaz 1.96 and 4.96 are similar to each other but represent a major redesign of the Topaz system and have of substantially improved ease of automation and ease of use, improved efficiency and even further reduced amount of material needed. With the release of the new Topaz system, Fluidigm continues to set the standard in low volume crystallization screening which is having an increasing impact in the field of structural genomics, and structural biology more generally. In to the future we are likely to see further optimization and increased utility of the Topaz crystallization system, but we are also likely to see further innovation and the emergence of competing technologies.

  16. In-vacuum long-wavelength macromolecular crystallography.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Armin; Duman, Ramona; Henderson, Keith; Mykhaylyk, Vitaliy

    2016-03-01

    Structure solution based on the weak anomalous signal from native (protein and DNA) crystals is increasingly being attempted as part of synchrotron experiments. Maximizing the measurable anomalous signal by collecting diffraction data at longer wavelengths presents a series of technical challenges caused by the increased absorption of X-rays and larger diffraction angles. A new beamline at Diamond Light Source has been built specifically for collecting data at wavelengths beyond the capability of other synchrotron macromolecular crystallography beamlines. Here, the theoretical considerations in support of the long-wavelength beamline are outlined and the in-vacuum design of the endstation is discussed, as well as other hardware features aimed at enhancing the accuracy of the diffraction data. The first commissioning results, representing the first in-vacuum protein structure solution, demonstrate the promising potential of the beamline.

  17. Metabolomics reveals elevated macromolecular degradation in periodontal disease.

    PubMed

    Barnes, V M; Ciancio, S G; Shibly, O; Xu, T; Devizio, W; Trivedi, H M; Guo, L; Jönsson, T J

    2011-11-01

    Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by tissue destruction. In the diseased oral environment, saliva has primarily been considered to act as a protectant by lubricating the tissue, mineralizing the bones, neutralizing the pH, and combating microbes. To understand the metabolic role that saliva plays in the diseased state, we performed untargeted metabolomic profiling of saliva from healthy and periodontitic individuals. Several classes of biochemicals, including dipeptide, amino acid, carbohydrate, lipids, and nucleotide metabolites, were altered, consistent with increased macromolecular degradation of proteins, triacylglycerol, glycerolphospholipids, polysaccharides, and polynucleotides in the individuals with periodontal disease. These changes partially reflected the enhanced host-bacterial interactions in the diseased state as supported by increased levels of bacterially modified amino acids and creatine metabolite. More importantly, the increased lipase, protease, and glycosidase activities associated with periodontitis generated a more favorable energy environment for oral bacteria, potentially exacerbating the disease state. PMID:21856966

  18. Reciprocal Space Mapping of Macromolecular Crystals in the Home Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snell, Edward H.; Fewster, P. F.; Andrew, Norman; Boggon, T. J.; Judge, Russell A.; Pusey, Marc A.

    1999-01-01

    Reciprocal space mapping techniques are used widely by the materials science community to provide physical information about their crystal samples. We have used similar methods at synchrotron sources to look at the quality of macromolecular crystals produced both on the ground and under microgravity conditions. The limited nature of synchrotron time has led us to explore the use of a high resolution materials research diffractometer to perform similar measurements in the home laboratory. Although the available intensity is much reduced due to the beam conditioning necessary for high reciprocal space resolution, lower resolution data can be collected in the same detail as the synchrotron source. Experiments can be optimized at home to make most benefit from the synchrotron time available. Preliminary results including information on the mosaicity and the internal strains from reciprocal space maps will be presented.

  19. Single-particle cryo-electron microscopy of macromolecular complexes.

    PubMed

    Skiniotis, Georgios; Southworth, Daniel R

    2016-02-01

    Recent technological breakthroughs in image acquisition have enabled single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to achieve near-atomic resolution structural information for biological complexes. The improvements in image quality coupled with powerful computational methods for sorting distinct particle populations now also allow the determination of compositional and conformational ensembles, thereby providing key insights into macromolecular function. However, the inherent instability and dynamic nature of biological assemblies remain a tremendous challenge that often requires tailored approaches for successful implementation of the methodology. Here, we briefly describe the fundamentals of single-particle cryo-EM with an emphasis on covering the breadth of techniques and approaches, including low- and high-resolution methods, aiming to illustrate specific steps that are crucial for obtaining structural information by this method.

  20. Cryo electron microscopy to determine the structure of macromolecular complexes.

    PubMed

    Carroni, Marta; Saibil, Helen R

    2016-02-15

    Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is a structural molecular and cellular biology technique that has experienced major advances in recent years. Technological developments in image recording as well as in processing software make it possible to obtain three-dimensional reconstructions of macromolecular assemblies at near-atomic resolution that were formerly obtained only by X-ray crystallography or NMR spectroscopy. In parallel, cryo-electron tomography has also benefitted from these technological advances, so that visualization of irregular complexes, organelles or whole cells with their molecular machines in situ has reached subnanometre resolution. Cryo-EM can therefore address a broad range of biological questions. The aim of this review is to provide a brief overview of the principles and current state of the cryo-EM field.

  1. Spontaneous and specific activation of chemical bonds in macromolecular fluids.

    PubMed

    Park, Insun; Shirvanyants, David; Nese, Alper; Matyjaszewski, Krzysztof; Rubinstein, Michael; Sheiko, Sergei S

    2010-09-01

    Mechanical activation of chemical bonds typically involves the application of external forces, which implies a broad distribution of bond tensions. We demonstrate that controlling the flow profile of a macromolecular fluid generates and delineates mechanical force concentration, enabling a hierarchical activation of chemical bonds on different length scales from the macroscopic to the molecular. Bond tension is spontaneously generated within brushlike macromolecules as they spread on a solid substrate. The molecular architecture creates an uneven distribution of tension in the covalent bonds, leading to spatially controlled bond scission. By controlling the flow rate and the gradient of the film pressure, one can sever the flowing macromolecules with high precision. Specific chemical bonds are activated within distinct macromolecules located in a defined area of a thin film. Furthermore, the flow-controlled loading rate enables quantitative analysis of the bond activation parameters.

  2. Large-volume protein crystal growth for neutron macromolecular crystallography.

    PubMed

    Ng, Joseph D; Baird, James K; Coates, Leighton; Garcia-Ruiz, Juan M; Hodge, Teresa A; Huang, Sijay

    2015-04-01

    Neutron macromolecular crystallography (NMC) is the prevailing method for the accurate determination of the positions of H atoms in macromolecules. As neutron sources are becoming more available to general users, finding means to optimize the growth of protein crystals to sizes suitable for NMC is extremely important. Historically, much has been learned about growing crystals for X-ray diffraction. However, owing to new-generation synchrotron X-ray facilities and sensitive detectors, protein crystal sizes as small as in the nano-range have become adequate for structure determination, lessening the necessity to grow large crystals. Here, some of the approaches, techniques and considerations for the growth of crystals to significant dimensions that are now relevant to NMC are revisited. These include experimental strategies utilizing solubility diagrams, ripening effects, classical crystallization techniques, microgravity and theoretical considerations.

  3. Metabolomics reveals elevated macromolecular degradation in periodontal disease.

    PubMed

    Barnes, V M; Ciancio, S G; Shibly, O; Xu, T; Devizio, W; Trivedi, H M; Guo, L; Jönsson, T J

    2011-11-01

    Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by tissue destruction. In the diseased oral environment, saliva has primarily been considered to act as a protectant by lubricating the tissue, mineralizing the bones, neutralizing the pH, and combating microbes. To understand the metabolic role that saliva plays in the diseased state, we performed untargeted metabolomic profiling of saliva from healthy and periodontitic individuals. Several classes of biochemicals, including dipeptide, amino acid, carbohydrate, lipids, and nucleotide metabolites, were altered, consistent with increased macromolecular degradation of proteins, triacylglycerol, glycerolphospholipids, polysaccharides, and polynucleotides in the individuals with periodontal disease. These changes partially reflected the enhanced host-bacterial interactions in the diseased state as supported by increased levels of bacterially modified amino acids and creatine metabolite. More importantly, the increased lipase, protease, and glycosidase activities associated with periodontitis generated a more favorable energy environment for oral bacteria, potentially exacerbating the disease state.

  4. (129)Xe NMR Relaxation-Based Macromolecular Sensing.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Muller D; Dao, Phuong; Jeong, Keunhong; Slack, Clancy C; Vassiliou, Christophoros C; Finbloom, Joel A; Francis, Matthew B; Wemmer, David E; Pines, Alexander

    2016-08-10

    We report a (129)Xe NMR relaxation-based sensing approach that exploits changes in the bulk xenon relaxation rate induced by slowed tumbling of a cryptophane-based sensor upon target binding. The amplification afforded by detection of the bulk dissolved xenon allows sensitive detection of targets. The sensor comprises a xenon-binding cryptophane cage, a target interaction element, and a metal chelating agent. Xenon associated with the target-bound cryptophane cage is rapidly relaxed and then detected after exchange with the bulk. Here we show that large macromolecular targets increase the rotational correlation time of xenon, increasing its relaxation rate. Upon binding of a biotin-containing sensor to avidin at 1.5 μM concentration, the free xenon T2 is reduced by a factor of 4. PMID:27472048

  5. Timely deposition of macromolecular structures is necessary for peer review

    PubMed Central

    Joosten, Robbie P.; Soueidan, Hayssam; Wessels, Lodewyk F. A.; Perrakis, Anastassis

    2013-01-01

    Most of the macromolecular structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB), which are used daily by thousands of educators and scientists alike, are determined by X-ray crystallography. It was examined whether the crystallographic models and data were deposited to the PDB at the same time as the publications that describe them were submitted for peer review. This condition is necessary to ensure pre-publication validation and the quality of the PDB public archive. It was found that a significant proportion of PDB entries were submitted to the PDB after peer review of the corresponding publication started, and many were only submitted after peer review had ended. It is argued that clear description of journal policies and effective policing is important for pre-publication validation, which is key in ensuring the quality of the PDB and of peer-reviewed literature. PMID:24311569

  6. In-vacuum long-wavelength macromolecular crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Armin; Duman, Ramona; Henderson, Keith; Mykhaylyk, Vitaliy

    2016-01-01

    Structure solution based on the weak anomalous signal from native (protein and DNA) crystals is increasingly being attempted as part of synchrotron experiments. Maximizing the measurable anomalous signal by collecting diffraction data at longer wavelengths presents a series of technical challenges caused by the increased absorption of X-rays and larger diffraction angles. A new beamline at Diamond Light Source has been built specifically for collecting data at wavelengths beyond the capability of other synchrotron macromolecular crystallography beamlines. Here, the theoretical considerations in support of the long-wavelength beamline are outlined and the in-vacuum design of the endstation is discussed, as well as other hardware features aimed at enhancing the accuracy of the diffraction data. The first commissioning results, representing the first in-vacuum protein structure solution, demonstrate the promising potential of the beamline. PMID:26960130

  7. Hierarchical amplification of macromolecular helicity of dynamic helical poly(phenylacetylene)s composed of chiral and achiral phenylacetylenes in dilute solution, liquid crystal, and two-dimensional crystal.

    PubMed

    Ohsawa, Sousuke; Sakurai, Shin-ichiro; Nagai, Kanji; Banno, Motonori; Maeda, Katsuhiro; Kumaki, Jiro; Yashima, Eiji

    2011-01-12

    Optically active poly(phenylacetylene) copolymers consisting of optically active and achiral phenylacetylenes bearing L-alanine decyl esters (1L) and 2-aminoisobutylic acid decyl esters (Aib) as the pendant groups (poly(1L(m)-co-Aib(n))) with various compositions were synthesized by the copolymerization of the optically active 1L with achiral Aib using a rhodium catalyst, and their chiral amplification of the macromolecular helicity in a dilute solution, a lyotropic liquid crystalline (LC) state, and a two-dimensional (2D) crystal on the substrate was investigated by measuring the circular dichroism of the copolymers, mesoscopic cholesteric twist in the LC state (cholesteric helical pitch), and high-resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) images of the self-assembled 2D helix-bundles of the copolymer chains. We found that the macromolecular helicity of poly(1L(m)-co-Aib(n))s could be hierarchically amplified in the order of the dilute solution, LC state, and 2D crystal. In sharp contrast, almost no chiral amplification of the macromolecular helicity was observed for the homopolymer mixtures of 1L and Aib in the LC state and 2D crystal on graphite. PMID:21141965

  8. Macromolecular crystal growth experiments on International Microgravity Laboratory--1.

    PubMed Central

    Day, J.; McPherson, A.

    1992-01-01

    Macromolecular crystal growth experiments, using satellite tobacco mosaic virus (STMV) and canavalin from jack beans as samples, were conducted on a US Space Shuttle mission designated International Microgravity Laboratory--1 (IML-1), flown January 22-29, 1992. Parallel experiments using identical samples were carried out in both a vapor diffusion-based device (PCG) and a liquid-liquid diffusion-based instrument (CRYOSTAT). The experiments in each device were run at 20-22 degrees C and at colder temperatures. Crystals were grown in virtually every trial, but the characteristics of the crystals were highly dependent on the crystallization technique employed and the temperature experience of the sample. In general, very good results, based on visual inspection of the crystals, were obtained in both PCG and CRYOSTAT. Unusually impressive results were, however, achieved for STMV in the CRYOSTAT instrument. STMV crystals grown in microgravity by liquid-liquid diffusion were more than 10-fold greater in total volume than any STMV crystals previously grown in the laboratory. X-ray diffraction data collected from eight STMV crystals grown in CRYOSTAT demonstrated a substantial improvement in diffraction quality over the entire resolution range when compared to data from crystals grown on Earth. In addition, the extent of the diffraction pattern for the STMV crystals grown in space extended to 1.8 A resolution, whereas the best crystals that were ever grown under conditions of Earth's gravity produced data limited to 2.3 A resolution. Other observations indicate that the growth of macromolecular crystals is indeed influenced by the presence or absence of gravity. These observations further suggest, consistent with earlier results, that the elimination of gravity provides a more favorable environment for such processes. PMID:1303744

  9. Macromolecular structure analysis and effective liquefaction pretreatment. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Suuberg, E.M.; Yun, Y.; Lilly, W.D.; Leung, K.; Gates, T.; Otake, Y.; Deevi, S.C.

    1994-07-01

    This project was concerned with characterizing the changes in coal macromolecular structure, that are of significance for liquefaction pretreatments of coal. The macromolecular structure of the insoluble portion of coal is difficult to characterize. Techniques that do so indirectly (based upon, for example, NMR and FTIR characterizations of atomic linkages) are not particularly sensitive for this purpose. Techniques that characterize the elastic structure (such as solvent swelling) are much more sensitive to subtle changes in the network structure. It is for this reason that we focused upon these techniques. The overall objective involved identifying pretreatments that reduce the crosslinking (physical or chemical) of the network structure, and thus lead to materials that can be handled to a greater extent by traditional liquid-phase processing techniques. These techniques tend to be inherently more efficient at producing desirable products. This report is divided into seven chapters. Chapter II summarizes the main experimental approaches used throughout the project, and summarizes the main findings on the Argonne Premium coal samples. Chapter III considers synergistic effects of solvent pairs. It is divided into two subsections. The first is concerned with mixtures of CS{sub 2} with electron donor solvents. The second subsection is concerned with aromatic hydrocarbon - alcohol or hydrocarbon - alcohol mixtures, as might be of interest for preliquefaction delivery of catalysts into bituminous coals. Chapter IV deals with questions of how oxidation might influence the results that are obtained. Chapter V briefly details what conclusions may be drawn concerning the elastic behavior of coals, and the effects of thermal treatments on this behavior. Chapter VI is concerned with theories to describe the action of solvents that are capable of dissociating non-covalent crosslinks. Finally, Chapter VII discusses the practical implications of the study.

  10. Macromolecular crowding: chemistry and physics meet biology (Ascona, Switzerland, 10-14 June 2012)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foffi, G.; Pastore, A.; Piazza, F.; Temussi, P. A.

    2013-08-01

    More than 60 years of biochemical and biophysical studies have accustomed us to think of proteins as highly purified entities that act in isolation, more or less freely diffusing until they find their cognate partner to bind to. While in vitro experiments that reproduce these conditions largely remain the only way to investigate the intrinsic properties of molecules, this approach ignores an important factor: in their natural milieu , proteins are surrounded by several other molecules of different chemical nature, and this crowded environment can considerably modify their behaviour. About 40% of the cellular volume on average is occupied by all sorts of molecules. Furthermore, biological macromolecules live and operate in an extremely structured and complex environment within the cell (endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, cytoskeletal structures, etc). Hence, to further complicate the picture, the interior of the cell is by no means a simply crowded medium, rather, a most crowded and confining one. In recent times, several approaches have been developed in the attempt to take into account important factors such as the ones mentioned above, at both theoretical and experimental levels, so that this field of research is now emerging as one of the most thriving in molecular and cell biology (see figure 1). Figure 1. Figure 1. Left: number of articles containing the word 'crowding' as a keyword limited to the biological and chemical science domains (source: ISI Web of Science). The arrow flags the 2003 'EMBO Workshop on Biological Implications of Macromolecular Crowding' (Embo, 2012). Right: number of citations to articles containing the word 'crowding' limited to the same domains (bars) and an exponential regression curve (source: Elsevier Scopus). To promote the importance of molecular crowding and confinement and provide researchers active in this field an interdisciplinary forum for meeting and exchanging ideas, we recently organized an international conference

  11. Rheo-NMR Studies of an Enzymatic Reaction: Evidence of a Shear-Stable Macromolecular System

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Patrick J.B.; Kakubayashi, Motoko; Dykstra, Robin; Pascal, Steven M.; Williams, Martin A.K.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Understanding the effects of shear forces on biopolymers is key to understanding how biological systems function. Although currently there is good agreement between theoretical predictions and experimental measurements of the behavior of DNA and large multimeric proteins under shear flow, applying the same arguments to globular proteins leads to the prediction that they should only exhibit shear-induced conformational changes at extremely large shear rates. Nevertheless, contradictory experimental evidence continues to appear, and the effect of shear on these biopolymers remains contentious. Here, a custom-built rheo-NMR cell was used to investigate whether shear flow modifies enzyme action compared with that observed quiescently. Specifically, 1H NMR was used to follow the kinetics of the liberation of methanol from the methylesterified polysaccharide pectin by pectinmethylesterase enzymes. Two different demethylesterifying enzymes, known to have different action patterns, were used. In all experiments performed, Couette flows with shear rates of up to 1570 s−1 did not generate detectable differences in the rate of methanol liberation compared to unsheared samples. This study provides evidence for a shear-stable macromolecular system consisting of a largely β-sheet protein and a polysaccharide, in line with current theoretical predictions, but in contrast to some other experimental work on other proteins. PMID:20441763

  12. Solid-state NMR in macromolecular systems: insights on how molecular entities move.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Michael Ryan; Graf, Robert; Spiess, Hans Wolfgang

    2013-09-17

    sciences have emphasized structure. By contrast, following X-ray crystallographers, researchers studying proteins using solution NMR introduced the combination of NMR with computer simulation before that became common practice in solid-state NMR. Today's simulation methods can handle partially ordered or even disordered systems common in synthetic polymers. Thus, the multitechnique approaches employed in NMR of synthetic and biological macromolecules have converged. Therefore, this Account will be relevant to both researchers studying synthetic macromolecular and supramolecular systems and those studying biological complexes.

  13. ProteoPlex: stability optimization of macromolecular complexes by sparse-matrix screening of chemical space.

    PubMed

    Chari, Ashwin; Haselbach, David; Kirves, Jan-Martin; Ohmer, Juergen; Paknia, Elham; Fischer, Niels; Ganichkin, Oleg; Möller, Vanessa; Frye, Jeremiah J; Petzold, Georg; Jarvis, Marc; Tietzel, Michael; Grimm, Clemens; Peters, Jan-Michael; Schulman, Brenda A; Tittmann, Kai; Markl, Jürgen; Fischer, Utz; Stark, Holger

    2015-09-01

    Molecular machines or macromolecular complexes are supramolecular assemblies of biomolecules with a variety of functions. Structure determination of these complexes in a purified state is often tedious owing to their compositional complexity and the associated relative structural instability. To improve the stability of macromolecular complexes in vitro, we present a generic method that optimizes the stability, homogeneity and solubility of macromolecular complexes by sparse-matrix screening of their thermal unfolding behavior in the presence of various buffers and small molecules. The method includes the automated analysis of thermal unfolding curves based on a biophysical unfolding model for complexes. We found that under stabilizing conditions, even large multicomponent complexes reveal an almost ideal two-state unfolding behavior. We envisage an improved biochemical understanding of purified macromolecules as well as a substantial boost in successful macromolecular complex structure determination by both X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy.

  14. ProteoPlex: stability optimization of macromolecular complexes by sparse-matrix screening of chemical space.

    PubMed

    Chari, Ashwin; Haselbach, David; Kirves, Jan-Martin; Ohmer, Juergen; Paknia, Elham; Fischer, Niels; Ganichkin, Oleg; Möller, Vanessa; Frye, Jeremiah J; Petzold, Georg; Jarvis, Marc; Tietzel, Michael; Grimm, Clemens; Peters, Jan-Michael; Schulman, Brenda A; Tittmann, Kai; Markl, Jürgen; Fischer, Utz; Stark, Holger

    2015-09-01

    Molecular machines or macromolecular complexes are supramolecular assemblies of biomolecules with a variety of functions. Structure determination of these complexes in a purified state is often tedious owing to their compositional complexity and the associated relative structural instability. To improve the stability of macromolecular complexes in vitro, we present a generic method that optimizes the stability, homogeneity and solubility of macromolecular complexes by sparse-matrix screening of their thermal unfolding behavior in the presence of various buffers and small molecules. The method includes the automated analysis of thermal unfolding curves based on a biophysical unfolding model for complexes. We found that under stabilizing conditions, even large multicomponent complexes reveal an almost ideal two-state unfolding behavior. We envisage an improved biochemical understanding of purified macromolecules as well as a substantial boost in successful macromolecular complex structure determination by both X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. PMID:26237227

  15. Diffusion NMR studies of macromolecular complex formation, crowding and confinement in soft materials.

    PubMed

    Barhoum, Suliman; Palit, Swomitra; Yethiraj, Anand

    2016-05-01

    Label-free methods to obtain hydrodynamic size from diffusion measurements are desirable in environments that contain multiple macromolecular species at a high total concentration: one example is the crowded cellular environment. In complex, multi-species macromolecular environments - in this article, we feature aqueous systems involving polymers, surfactants and proteins - the link between dynamics and size is harder to unpack due to macromolecular crowding and confinement. In this review, we demonstrate that the pulsed-field gradient NMR technique, with its spectral separation of different chemical components, is ideal for studying the dynamics of the entire system simultaneously and without labelling, in a wide range of systems. The simultaneous measurement of the dynamics of multiple components allows for internal consistency checks and enables quantitative statements about the link between macromolecular dynamics, size, complex formation and crowding in soft materials.

  16. The Macromolecular Neutron Diffractometer MaNDi at the Spallation Neutron Source

    SciTech Connect

    Coates, Leighton; Cuneo, Matthew J.; Frost, Matthew J.; He, Junhong; Weiss, Kevin L.; McFeeters, Hana; Tomanicek, Stephen J.; Vandavasi, Venu Gopal; Langan, Paul; Iverson, Erik B.

    2015-07-18

    The Macromolecular Neutron Diffractometer (MaNDi) is located on beamline 11B of the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Moreover, the instrument is a neutron time-of-flight wavelength-resolved Laue diffractometer optimized to collect diffraction data from single crystals. Finally, the instrument has been designed to provide flexibility in several instrumental parameters, such as beam divergence and wavelength bandwidth, to allow data collection from a range of macromolecular systems.

  17. The Macromolecular Neutron Diffractometer MaNDi at the Spallation Neutron Source

    DOE PAGES

    Coates, Leighton; Cuneo, Matthew J.; Frost, Matthew J.; He, Junhong; Weiss, Kevin L.; McFeeters, Hana; Tomanicek, Stephen J.; Vandavasi, Venu Gopal; Langan, Paul; Iverson, Erik B.

    2015-07-18

    The Macromolecular Neutron Diffractometer (MaNDi) is located on beamline 11B of the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Moreover, the instrument is a neutron time-of-flight wavelength-resolved Laue diffractometer optimized to collect diffraction data from single crystals. Finally, the instrument has been designed to provide flexibility in several instrumental parameters, such as beam divergence and wavelength bandwidth, to allow data collection from a range of macromolecular systems.

  18. Hypoxic Tumor Environments Exhibit Disrupted Collagen I Fibers and Low Macromolecular Transport

    PubMed Central

    Kakkad, Samata M.; Penet, Marie-France; Akhbardeh, Alireza; Pathak, Arvind P.; Solaiyappan, Meiyappan; Raman, Venu; Leibfritz, Dieter; Glunde, Kristine; Bhujwalla, Zaver M.

    2013-01-01

    Hypoxic tumor microenvironments result in an aggressive phenotype and resistance to therapy that lead to tumor progression, recurrence, and metastasis. While poor vascularization and the resultant inadequate drug delivery are known to contribute to drug resistance, the effect of hypoxia on molecular transport through the interstitium, and the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in mediating this transport are unexplored. The dense mesh of fibers present in the ECM can especially influence the movement of macromolecules. Collagen 1 (Col1) fibers form a key component of the ECM in breast cancers. Here we characterized the influence of hypoxia on macromolecular transport in tumors, and the role of Col1 fibers in mediating this transport using an MDA-MB-231 breast cancer xenograft model engineered to express red fluorescent protein under hypoxia. Magnetic resonance imaging of macromolecular transport was combined with second harmonic generation microscopy of Col1 fibers. Hypoxic tumor regions displayed significantly decreased Col1 fiber density and volume, as well as significantly lower macromolecular draining and pooling rates, than normoxic regions. Regions adjacent to severely hypoxic areas revealed higher deposition of Col1 fibers and increased macromolecular transport. These data suggest that Col1 fibers may facilitate macromolecular transport in tumors, and their reduction in hypoxic regions may reduce this transport. Decreased macromolecular transport in hypoxic regions may also contribute to poor drug delivery and tumor recurrence in hypoxic regions. High Col1 fiber density observed around hypoxic regions may facilitate the escape of aggressive cancer cells from hypoxic regions. PMID:24349142

  19. Macromolecular coal structure as revealed by novel diffusion tests

    SciTech Connect

    Peppas, N.A.; Olivares, J.; Drummond, R.; Lustig, S.

    1990-01-01

    The main goal of the present work was the elucidation of the mechanistic characteristics of dynamic transport of various penetrants (solvents) in thin sections of coals by examining their penetrant uptake, front swelling and stress development. An important objective of this work was the study of coal network structure in different thermodynamically compatible penetrants and the analysis of dynamic swelling in terms of present anomalous transport theories. Interferometry/polariscopy, surface image analysis and related techniques were used to quantify the stresses and solvent concentration profiles in these sections. Dynamic and equilibrium swelling behavior were correlated using the polar interaction contributions of the solvent solubility parameters. The penetrant front position was followed in thin coal sections as a function of time. The initial front velocity was calculated for various coals and penetrants. Our penetrant studies with thin coal section from the same coal sample but with different thickness show that within the range of 150 {mu}m to 1500{mu}m the transport mechanism of dimethyl formamide in the macromolecular coal network is non-Fickian. In fact, for the thickest samples the transport mechanism is predominately Case-II whereas in the thinner samples penetrant uptake may be diffusion-controlled. Studies in various penetrants such as acetone, cyclohexane, methanol, methyl ethyl ketone, toluene and methylene chloride indicated that penetrant transport is a non-Fickian phenomenon. Stresses and cracks were observed for transport of methylene chloride. 73 refs., 88 figs., 15 tabs.

  20. The Promise of Macromolecular Crystallization in Micro-fluidic Chips

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vanderWoerd, Mark; Ferree, Darren; Pusey, Marc

    2003-01-01

    Micro-fluidics, or lab on a chip technology, is proving to be a powerful, rapid, and efficient approach to a wide variety of bio-analytical and microscale bio-preparative needs. The low materials consumption, combined with the potential for packing a large number of experiments in a few cubic centimeters, makes it an attractive technique for both initial screening and subsequent optimization of macromolecular crystallization conditions. Screening operations, which require equilibrating macromolecule solution with a standard set of premixed solutions, are relatively straightforward and have been successfully demonstrated in a micro-fluidics platform. More complex optimization methods, where crystallization solutions are independently formulated from a range of stock solutions, are considerably more complex and have yet to be demonstrated. To be competitive with either approach, a micro-fluidics system must offer ease of operation, be able to maintain a sealed environment over several weeks to months, and give ready access for the observation of crystals as they are grown.

  1. Use of Capillaries for Macromolecular Crystallization in a Cryogenic Dewar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ciszak, Ewa; Hammons, Aaron S.; Hong, Young Soo

    2002-01-01

    The enhanced gaseous nitrogen (EGN) dewar is a cryogenic dry shipper with a sealed cylinder inserted inside along with a temperature monitoring device, and is intended for macromolecular crystallization experiments on the International Space Station. Within the dewar, each crystallization experiment is contained as a solution within a plastic capillary tube. The standard procedure for loading samples in these tubes has involved rapid freezing of the precipitant and biomolecular solution, e.g., protein, directly in liquid nitrogen; this method, however, often resulted in uncontrolled formation of air voids, These air pockets, or bubbles, can lead to irreproducible crystallization results. A novel protocol has been developed to prevent formation of bubbles, and this has been tested in the laboratory as well as aboard the International Space Station during a 42-day long mission of July/August 2001. The gain or loss of mass from solutions within the plastic capillaries revealed that mass transport occurred among separated tubes, and that this mass transport was dependent upon the hygroscopic character of the solution contained in any given tube. The surface area of the plastic capillary tube also related to the observed mass transport. Furthermore, the decreased mass of solutions of-protein correlated to observed formation of protein crystals.

  2. Macromolecular Crystallography and Structural Biology Databases at NIST

    PubMed Central

    Gilliland, Gary L.

    2001-01-01

    In the late 1970s, macromolecular crystallography at NIST began with collaboration between NIST and NIH to establish a single-crystal neutron diffractometer. This instrument was constructed and employed to solve a number of crystal structures: bovine ribonuclease A, bovine-ribonuclease-uridine vanadate complex, and porcine insulin. In the mid 1980s a Biomolecular Structure Group was created establishing NIST capabilities in biomolecular singe-crystal x-ray diffraction. The group worked on a variety of structural problems until joining the NIST/UMBI Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology (CARB) in 1987. Crystallographic studies at CARB were then focused on protein engineering efforts that included among others chymosin, subtilisin BPN', interleukin 1β, and glutathione S-transferase. Recently, the structural biology efforts have centered on enzymes in the chorismate metabolic pathways involved in amino acid biosynthesis and in structural genomics that involves determining the structures of “hypothetical” proteins to aid in assigning function. In addition to crystallographic studies, structural biology database activities began with the formal establishment of the Biological Macro-molecule Crystallization Database in 1989. Later, in 1997, NIST in partnership with Rutgers and UCSD formed the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics that successfully acquired the Protein Data Bank. The NIST efforts in these activities have focused on data uniformity, establishing and maintaining the physical archive, and working with the NMR community. PMID:27500071

  3. Elucidating transient macromolecular interactions using paramagnetic relaxation enhancement

    PubMed Central

    Clore, G. Marius; Tang, Chun; Iwahara, Junji

    2007-01-01

    Recent advances in the use of paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE) in structure refinement and in the analysis of transient dynamic processes involved in macromolecular complex formation are presented. In the slow exchange regime, we show, using the SRY/DNA complex as an example, that the PRE provides a powerful tool that can lead to significant increases in the reliability and accuracy of NMR structure determinations. Refinement necessitates the use of an ensemble representation of the paramagnetic center and a model free extension of the Solomon-Bloembergen equations. In the fast exchange regime, the PRE provides insight into dynamic processes and the existence of transient, low population intermediate species. The PRE allows one to characterize dynamic non-specific binding of a protein to DNA; to directly demonstrate that the search process whereby a transcription factor locates its specific DNA target site involves both intramolecular (sliding) and intermolecular (hopping and intersegment transfer) translocation; and to detect and visualize the distribution of an ensemble of transient encounter complexes in protein-protein association. PMID:17913493

  4. Methods for methotrexate determination in macromolecular conjugates drug carrier.

    PubMed

    Ciekot, Jarosław; Goszczyński, Tomasz; Boratyńskit, Janusz

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, two simple, cost-effective and fast methods for quantification of methotrexate (MTX) in the macromolecular conjugates are presented. The method for analysis of total MTX in preparations was based on absorption spectrophotometry. Validation was performed by measuring absorbance at 372 nm of the sodium bicarbonate solution. Curve describing drug concentration against absorption had a linear character in the range of 1.204-40.13 microM. The reproducibility and precision of method was 0.1558 to 3.086%. The recovery of the method was between 99.56 and 104.7%. The limit of quantitation method was 1.050 microM. The method for free MTX determination was based on size exclusion chromatography and UV-VIS detection at the wavelength of 302 nm. Superdex Peptide column (150 x 4.6 mm) and a mobile phase 0.1 M sodium bicarbonate with a flow rate of 0.4 mL/min was used. In the free drug determination method, the curve had a linear character in the range of 2.006-200.6 microM. The reproducibility and precision of method was 0.3761 to 2.452%. The recovery of the method was between 93.18 and 104.5%. The limit of quantitation method was 0.9203 microM. PMID:23285700

  5. Synchrotron radiation macromolecular crystallography: science and spin-offs

    PubMed Central

    Helliwell, John R.; Mitchell, Edward P.

    2015-01-01

    A current overview of synchrotron radiation (SR) in macromolecular crystallography (MX) instrumentation, methods and applications is presented. Automation has been and remains a central development in the last decade, as have the rise of remote access and of industrial service provision. Results include a high number of Protein Data Bank depositions, with an increasing emphasis on the successful use of microcrystals. One future emphasis involves pushing the frontiers of using higher and lower photon energies. With the advent of X-ray free-electron lasers, closely linked to SR developments, the use of ever smaller samples such as nanocrystals, nanoclusters and single molecules is anticipated, as well as the opening up of femtosecond time-resolved diffraction structural studies. At SR sources, a very high-throughput assessment for the best crystal samples and the ability to tackle just a few micron and sub-micron crystals will become widespread. With higher speeds and larger detectors, diffraction data volumes are becoming long-term storage and archiving issues; the implications for today and the future are discussed. Together with the rise of the storage ring to its current pre-eminence in MX data provision, the growing tendency of central facility sites to offer other centralized facilities complementary to crystallography, such as cryo-electron microscopy and NMR, is a welcome development. PMID:25866664

  6. JBluIce-EPICS control system for macromolecular crystallography.

    SciTech Connect

    Stepanov, S.; Makarov, O.; Hilgart, M.; Pothineni, S.; Urakhchin, A.; Devarapalli, S.; Yoder, D.; Becker, M.; Ogata, C.; Sanishvili, R.; Nagarajan, V.; Smith, J. L.; Fischetti, R. F.

    2011-01-01

    The trio of macromolecular crystallography beamlines constructed by the General Medicine and Cancer Institutes Collaborative Access Team (GM/CA-CAT) in Sector 23 of the Advanced Photon Source (APS) have been in growing demand owing to their outstanding beam quality and capacity to measure data from crystals of only a few micrometres in size. To take full advantage of the state-of-the-art mechanical and optical design of these beamlines, a significant effort has been devoted to designing fast, convenient, intuitive and robust beamline controls that could easily accommodate new beamline developments. The GM/CA-CAT beamline controls are based on the power of EPICS for distributed hardware control, the rich Java graphical user interface of Eclipse RCP and the task-oriented philosophy as well as the look and feel of the successful SSRL BluIce graphical user interface for crystallography. These beamline controls feature a minimum number of software layers, the wide use of plug-ins that can be written in any language and unified motion controls that allow on-the-fly scanning and optimization of any beamline component. This paper describes the ways in which BluIce was combined with EPICS and converted into the Java-based JBluIce, discusses the solutions aimed at streamlining and speeding up operations and gives an overview of the tools that are provided by this new open-source control system for facilitating crystallographic experiments, especially in the field of microcrystallography.

  7. Early Diagnosis of Orthopedic Implant Failure Using Macromolecular Imaging Agents

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Ke; Dusad, Anand; Zhang, Yijia; Purdue, P. Edward; Fehringer, Edward V.; Garvin, Kevin L.; Goldring, Steven R.; Wang, Dong

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To develop and evaluate diagnostic tools for early detection of wear particle-induced orthopaedic implant loosening. Methods N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymer was tagged with an near infrared dye and used to detect the inflammation induced by polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) particles in a murine peri-implant osteolysis model. It was established by inserting implant into distal femur and with routine PMMA particles challenging. The osteolysis was evaluated by micro-CT and histological analysis at different time points. Results Significant peri-implant osteolysis was found three-month post PMMA particle challenge by micro-CT and histological analysis. At one-month time point, when there was no significant peri-implant bone loss, HPMA copolymer-near infrared dye conjugate was found to specifically target to the femur with PMMA particles deposition, but not the contralateral control femur with PBS infusion. Conclusion The results from this study demonstrated the feasibility of utilizing the macromolecular diagnostic agent to report particle-induced peri-implant inflammation prior to the development of detectable osteolysis. Recognition of this early pathological event would provide the window of opportunity for prevention of peri-implant osteolysis and subsequent orthopaedic implant failure. PMID:24590878

  8. Synchrotron radiation macromolecular crystallography: science and spin-offs.

    PubMed

    Helliwell, John R; Mitchell, Edward P

    2015-03-01

    A current overview of synchrotron radiation (SR) in macromolecular crystallography (MX) instrumentation, methods and applications is presented. Automation has been and remains a central development in the last decade, as have the rise of remote access and of industrial service provision. Results include a high number of Protein Data Bank depositions, with an increasing emphasis on the successful use of microcrystals. One future emphasis involves pushing the frontiers of using higher and lower photon energies. With the advent of X-ray free-electron lasers, closely linked to SR developments, the use of ever smaller samples such as nanocrystals, nanoclusters and single molecules is anticipated, as well as the opening up of femtosecond time-resolved diffraction structural studies. At SR sources, a very high-throughput assessment for the best crystal samples and the ability to tackle just a few micron and sub-micron crystals will become widespread. With higher speeds and larger detectors, diffraction data volumes are becoming long-term storage and archiving issues; the implications for today and the future are discussed. Together with the rise of the storage ring to its current pre-eminence in MX data provision, the growing tendency of central facility sites to offer other centralized facilities complementary to crystallography, such as cryo-electron microscopy and NMR, is a welcome development.

  9. Timely deposition of macromolecular structures is necessary for peer review

    SciTech Connect

    Joosten, Robbie P.; Soueidan, Hayssam; Wessels, Lodewyk F. A.; Perrakis, Anastassis

    2013-12-01

    Deposition of crystallographic structures should be concurrent with or prior to manuscript submission for peer review, enabling validation and increasing reliability of the PDB. Most of the macromolecular structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB), which are used daily by thousands of educators and scientists alike, are determined by X-ray crystallography. It was examined whether the crystallographic models and data were deposited to the PDB at the same time as the publications that describe them were submitted for peer review. This condition is necessary to ensure pre-publication validation and the quality of the PDB public archive. It was found that a significant proportion of PDB entries were submitted to the PDB after peer review of the corresponding publication started, and many were only submitted after peer review had ended. It is argued that clear description of journal policies and effective policing is important for pre-publication validation, which is key in ensuring the quality of the PDB and of peer-reviewed literature.

  10. Macromolecular metallurgy of binary mesocrystals via designed multiblock terpolymers.

    PubMed

    Xie, Nan; Liu, Meijiao; Deng, Hanlin; Li, Weihua; Qiu, Feng; Shi, An-Chang

    2014-02-26

    Self-assembling block copolymers provide access to the fabrication of various ordered phases. In particular, the ordered spherical phases can be used to engineer soft mesocrystals with domain size at the 5-100 nm scales. Simple block copolymers, such as diblock copolymers, form a limited number of mesocrystals. However multiblock copolymers are capable to form more complex mesocrystals. We demonstrate that designed B1AB2CB3 multiblock terpolymers, in which the A- and C-blocks form spherical domains and the packing of these spheres can be controlled by changing the lengths of the middle and terminal B-blocks, self-assemble into various binary mesocrystals with space group symmetries of a large number of binary ionic crystals, including NaCl, CsCl, ZnS, α-BN, AlB2, CaF2, TiO2, ReO3, Li3Bi, Nb3Sn(A15), and α-Al2O3. This approach can be generalized to other terpolymers as well as to tetrapolymers to obtain ternary mesocrystals. Our study provides a new concept of macromolecular metallurgy for producing crystal phases in a mesoscale and thus makes multiblock copolymers a robust platform for the engineering of functional materials.

  11. Canadian macromolecular crystallography facility: a suite of fully automated beamlines.

    PubMed

    Grochulski, Pawel; Fodje, Michel; Labiuk, Shaunivan; Gorin, James; Janzen, Kathryn; Berg, Russ

    2012-06-01

    The Canadian light source is a 2.9 GeV national synchrotron radiation facility located on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon. The small-gap in-vacuum undulator illuminated beamline, 08ID-1, together with the bending magnet beamline, 08B1-1, constitute the Canadian Macromolecular Crystallography Facility (CMCF). The CMCF provides service to more than 50 Principal Investigators in Canada and the United States. Up to 25% of the beam time is devoted to commercial users and the general user program is guaranteed up to 55% of the useful beam time through a peer-review process. CMCF staff provides "Mail-In" crystallography service to users with the highest scored proposals. Both beamlines are equipped with very robust end-stations including on-axis visualization systems, Rayonix 300 CCD series detectors and Stanford-type robotic sample auto-mounters. MxDC, an in-house developed beamline control system, is integrated with a data processing module, AutoProcess, allowing full automation of data collection and data processing with minimal human intervention. Sample management and remote monitoring of experiments is enabled through interaction with a Laboratory Information Management System developed at the facility.

  12. Reciprocal Space Mapping of Macromolecular Crystals in the Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snell, Edward H.; Boggon, T. J.; Fewster, P. F.; Siddons, D. P.; Stojanof, V.; Pusey, M. L.

    1998-01-01

    The technique of reciprocal space mapping applied to the physical measurement of macromolecular crystals will be described. This technique uses a triple axis diffractometer setup whereby the monochromator is the first crystal, the sample is the second and the third crystal (of the same material as the monochromator) analyzes the diffracted beam. The geometry is such that it is possible to separate mosaic volume effects from lattice strain effects. The deconvolution of the instrument parameters will also be addressed. Results from measurements at Brookhaven National Synchrotron Radiation Source carried out on microgravity and ground-grown crystals will be presented. The required beam characteristics for reciprocal space mapping are also ideal for topographic studies and the first topographs ever recorded from microgravity protein crystal samples will be shown. We are now working on a system which will enable reciprocal space mapping, mosaicity and topography studies to be carried out in the home laboratory. This system uses a rotating anode X-ray source to provide an intense beam then a Bartels double crystal, four reflection monochromator to provide the spectral and geometric beam conditioning necessary such that the instrument characteristics do not mask the measurement. This is coupled to a high precision diffractometer and sensitive detector. Commissioning data and first results from the system will be presented.

  13. Automated identification of elemental ions in macromolecular crystal structures

    SciTech Connect

    Echols, Nathaniel Morshed, Nader; Afonine, Pavel V.; McCoy, Airlie J.; Read, Randy J.; Terwilliger, Thomas C.; Adams, Paul D.

    2014-04-01

    The solvent-picking procedure in phenix.refine has been extended and combined with Phaser anomalous substructure completion and analysis of coordination geometry to identify and place elemental ions. Many macromolecular model-building and refinement programs can automatically place solvent atoms in electron density at moderate-to-high resolution. This process frequently builds water molecules in place of elemental ions, the identification of which must be performed manually. The solvent-picking algorithms in phenix.refine have been extended to build common ions based on an analysis of the chemical environment as well as physical properties such as occupancy, B factor and anomalous scattering. The method is most effective for heavier elements such as calcium and zinc, for which a majority of sites can be placed with few false positives in a diverse test set of structures. At atomic resolution, it is observed that it can also be possible to identify tightly bound sodium and magnesium ions. A number of challenges that contribute to the difficulty of completely automating the process of structure completion are discussed.

  14. Macromolecular crowding fails to fold a globular protein in cells.

    PubMed

    Schlesinger, Alexander P; Wang, Yaqiang; Tadeo, Xavier; Millet, Oscar; Pielak, Gary J

    2011-06-01

    Proteins perform their functions in cells where macromolecular solutes reach concentrations of >300 g/L and occupy >30% of the volume. The volume excluded by these macromolecules stabilizes globular proteins because the native state occupies less space than the denatured state. Theory predicts that crowding can increase the ratio of folded to unfolded protein by a factor of 100, amounting to 3 kcal/mol of stabilization at room temperature. We tested the idea that volume exclusion dominates the crowding effect in cells using a variant of protein L, a 7 kDa globular protein with seven lysine residues replaced by glutamic acids; 84% of the variant molecules populate the denatured state in dilute buffer at room temperature, compared with 0.1% for the wild-type protein. We then used in-cell NMR spectroscopy to show that the cytoplasm of Escherichia coli does not overcome even this modest (∼1 kcal/mol) free-energy deficit. The data are consistent with the idea that nonspecific interactions between cytoplasmic components can overcome the excluded-volume effect. Evidence for these interactions is provided by the observations that adding simple salts folds the variant in dilute solution but increasing the salt concentration inside E. coli does not fold the protein. Our data are consistent with the results of other studies of protein stability in cells and suggest that stabilizing excluded-volume effects, which must be present under crowded conditions, can be ameliorated by nonspecific interactions between cytoplasmic components.

  15. A beamline for macromolecular crystallography at the Advanced Light Source

    SciTech Connect

    Padmore, H.A.; Earnest, T.; Kim, S.H.; Thompson, A.C.; Robinson, A.L.

    1994-08-01

    A beamline for macromolecular crystallography has been designed for the ALS. The source will be a 37-pole wiggler with a, 2-T on-axis peak field. The wiggler will illuminate three beamlines, each accepting 3 mrad of horizontal aperture. The central beamline will primarily be used for multiple-wavelength anomalous dispersion measurements in the wavelength range from 4 to 0.9 {angstrom}. The beamline optics will comprise a double-crystal monochromator with a collimating pre-mirror and a double-focusing mirror after the monochromator. The two side stations will be used for fixed-wavelength experiments within the wavelength range from 1.5 to 0.95 {angstrom}. The optics will consist of a conventional vertically focusing cylindrical mirror followed by an asymmetrically cut curved-crystal monochromator. This paper presents details of the optimization of the wiggler source for crystallography, gives a description of the beamline configuration, and discusses the reasons for the choices made.

  16. A Beam line for Macromolecular Crystallography in ALBA

    SciTech Connect

    Juanhuix, Jordi; Ferrer, Salvador

    2007-01-19

    ALBA is a third generation 3 GeV storage ring being built near Barcelona and foreseen to be operational in 2010. Out of the seven beamlines already funded in ALBA, one will be dedicated to macromolecular crystallography (MX). The beamline, dubbed XALOC, shall cope with a broad range of crystal structures and sizes. To this aim, a flexible optical design involving variable focusing optics has been incorporated into the beamline optics. The photon source will be a 2 m long, in-vacuum undulator with a period of 21.3 mm. The optics will consist in a Si(111), double-crystal monochromator cryogenically cooled, and a pair of mirrors placed in a Kirkpatrick-Baez configuration. The beamline will deliver a high flux beam in the 5-15 keV energy range, with an energy resolution of {delta}E/E {approx}2 x 10-4. In addition to the main beamline, it is being considered the possibility to use a diamond laue monochromator to provide photons at a fixed wavelength to an ancillary branch. This report shows the present status of the beamline design.

  17. Polyion complex micelle MRI contrast agents from poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(l-lysine) block copolymers having Gd-DOTA; preparations and their control of T(1)-relaxivities and blood circulation characteristics.

    PubMed

    Shiraishi, Kouichi; Kawano, Kumi; Maitani, Yoshie; Yokoyama, Masayuki

    2010-12-01

    The current study synthesized macromolecular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents constituted of the poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(L-lysine) block copolymer (PEG-P(Lys)). A chelate group, 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA), was attached to the primary amino group of the block copolymer in desired contents. Gd-DOTA-based macromolecular contrast agents were prepared from PEG-P(Lys) having DOTA (PEG-P(Lys-DOTA) and Gd(III) ions. All of the PEG-P(Lys) block copolymers having gadolinium ions (PEG-P(Lys-DOTA-Gd)) showed higher T(1) relaxivity (per gadolinium), r(1)=5.6-7.3mM(-1)s(-1), than that of a low-molecular-weight gadolinium-chelate, diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid-gadolinium(III) (Gd-DTPA) at 9.4T. The study prepared the polyion complex (PIC) micelles from the amino groups of the lysine units and an oppositely charged polyanion, poly(methacrylic acid) or dextran sulfate, in an aqueous medium. In contrast, the fully DOTA-attached PEG-P(Lys-DOTA-Gd) formed a PIC with a polycation. Compared with partially DOTA-attached cationic PEG-P(Lys-DOTA-Gd), this PIC micelle yielded a forty percent decrease of r(1). This r(1) decrease was considered to result from a change in the accessibility of water molecules to gadolinium ions in the micelles' inner core. The r(1) was decreased upon formation of the PIC micelle, and this change proved that our concept worked in vitro. Blood-circulation characteristics of PIC micelles were controlled by means of changing the molecular weight of the counter anion. The PIC micelles accumulated in tumor tissues, and MRI study showed T1W image of axial slice of tumor area was significantly enhanced at 24h after the injection.

  18. Classification and basic properties of contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Geraldes, Carlos F G C; Laurent, Sophie

    2009-01-01

    A comprehensive classification of contrast agents currently used or under development for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is presented. Agents based on small chelates, macromolecular systems, iron oxides and other nanosystems, as well as responsive, chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) and hyperpolarization agents are covered in order to discuss the various possibilities of using MRI as a molecular imaging technique. The classification includes composition, magnetic properties, biodistribution and imaging applications. Chemical compositions of various classes of MRI contrast agents are tabulated, and their magnetic status including diamagnetic, paramagnetic and superparamagnetic are outlined. Classification according to biodistribution covers all types of MRI contrast agents including, among others, extracellular, blood pool, polymeric, particulate, responsive, oral, and organ specific (hepatobiliary, RES, lymph nodes, bone marrow and brain). Various targeting strategies of molecular, macromolecular and particulate carriers are also illustrated.

  19. DOMMINO 2.0: integrating structurally resolved protein-, RNA-, and DNA-mediated macromolecular interactions.

    PubMed

    Kuang, Xingyan; Dhroso, Andi; Han, Jing Ginger; Shyu, Chi-Ren; Korkin, Dmitry

    2016-01-01

    Macromolecular interactions are formed between proteins, DNA and RNA molecules. Being a principle building block in macromolecular assemblies and pathways, the interactions underlie most of cellular functions. Malfunctioning of macromolecular interactions is also linked to a number of diseases. Structural knowledge of the macromolecular interaction allows one to understand the interaction's mechanism, determine its functional implications and characterize the effects of genetic variations, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms, on the interaction. Unfortunately, until now the interactions mediated by different types of macromolecules, e.g. protein-protein interactions or protein-DNA interactions, are collected into individual and unrelated structural databases. This presents a significant obstacle in the analysis of macromolecular interactions. For instance, the homogeneous structural interaction databases prevent scientists from studying structural interactions of different types but occurring in the same macromolecular complex. Here, we introduce DOMMINO 2.0, a structural Database Of Macro-Molecular INteractiOns. Compared to DOMMINO 1.0, a comprehensive database on protein-protein interactions, DOMMINO 2.0 includes the interactions between all three basic types of macromolecules extracted from PDB files. DOMMINO 2.0 is automatically updated on a weekly basis. It currently includes ∼1,040,000 interactions between two polypeptide subunits (e.g. domains, peptides, termini and interdomain linkers), ∼43,000 RNA-mediated interactions, and ∼12,000 DNA-mediated interactions. All protein structures in the database are annotated using SCOP and SUPERFAMILY family annotation. As a result, protein-mediated interactions involving protein domains, interdomain linkers, C- and N- termini, and peptides are identified. Our database provides an intuitive web interface, allowing one to investigate interactions at three different resolution levels: whole subunit network

  20. Contrast associated nephropathy in the elderly.

    PubMed

    Carrillo-Alvira, Félix; Rivera-Bermúdez, Carlos G; Jiménez-Velázquez, Ivonne Z; Ramos-Romey, Cristina; González-Concepción, Juan J

    2008-01-01

    Contrast medium studies have become an important tool for management and diagnosis in many medical specialties. As we age, the need for such studies increase in presence of multiple comorbidities as coronary artery disease and diabetes mellitus. Nephropathy induced by iodine contrast medium is an important complication of radiological procedures, most common in the aged, and a potentially preventable one. For this reason, the understanding and prevention of contrast associated nephropathy is of prime importance to prevent morbidity and mortality in the geriatric population.

  1. Macromolecular ab initio phasing enforcing secondary and tertiary structure

    PubMed Central

    Millán, Claudia; Sammito, Massimo; Usón, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Ab initio phasing of macromolecular structures, from the native intensities alone with no experimental phase information or previous particular structural knowledge, has been the object of a long quest, limited by two main barriers: structure size and resolution of the data. Current approaches to extend the scope of ab initio phasing include use of the Patterson function, density modification and data extrapolation. The authors’ approach relies on the combination of locating model fragments such as polyalanine α-helices with the program PHASER and density modification with the program SHELXE. Given the difficulties in discriminating correct small substructures, many putative groups of fragments have to be tested in parallel; thus calculations are performed in a grid or supercomputer. The method has been named after the Italian painter Arcimboldo, who used to compose portraits out of fruit and vegetables. With ARCIMBOLDO, most collections of fragments remain a ‘still-life’, but some are correct enough for density modification and main-chain tracing to reveal the protein’s true portrait. Beyond α-helices, other fragments can be exploited in an analogous way: libraries of helices with modelled side chains, β-strands, predictable fragments such as DNA-binding folds or fragments selected from distant homologues up to libraries of small local folds that are used to enforce nonspecific tertiary structure; thus restoring the ab initio nature of the method. Using these methods, a number of unknown macromolecules with a few thousand atoms and resolutions around 2 Å have been solved. In the 2014 release, use of the program has been simplified. The software mediates the use of massive computing to automate the grid access required in difficult cases but may also run on a single multicore workstation (http://chango.ibmb.csic.es/ARCIMBOLDO_LITE) to solve straightforward cases. PMID:25610631

  2. JBluIce–EPICS control system for macromolecular crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Stepanov, Sergey; Makarov, Oleg; Hilgart, Mark; Pothineni, Sudhir Babu; Urakhchin, Alex; Devarapalli, Satish; Yoder, Derek; Becker, Michael; Ogata, Craig; Sanishvili, Ruslan; Venugopalan, Nagarajan; Smith, Janet L.; Fischetti, Robert F.

    2011-01-01

    The trio of macromolecular crystallography beamlines constructed by the General Medicine and Cancer Institutes Collaborative Access Team (GM/CA-CAT) in Sector 23 of the Advanced Photon Source (APS) have been in growing demand owing to their outstanding beam quality and capacity to measure data from crystals of only a few micrometres in size. To take full advantage of the state-of-the-art mechanical and optical design of these beamlines, a significant effort has been devoted to designing fast, convenient, intuitive and robust beamline controls that could easily accommodate new beamline developments. The GM/CA-CAT beamline controls are based on the power of EPICS for distributed hardware control, the rich Java graphical user interface of Eclipse RCP and the task-oriented philosophy as well as the look and feel of the successful SSRL BluIce graphical user interface for crystallography. These beamline controls feature a minimum number of software layers, the wide use of plug-ins that can be written in any language and unified motion controls that allow on-the-fly scanning and optimization of any beamline com­ponent. This paper describes the ways in which BluIce was combined with EPICS and converted into the Java-based JBluIce, discusses the solutions aimed at streamlining and speeding up operations and gives an overview of the tools that are provided by this new open-source control system for facilitating crystallo­graphic experiments, especially in the field of microcrystallo­graphy. PMID:21358048

  3. Macromolecular compositions of phytoplankton in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Bo Kyung; Lee, Jang Han; Joo, HuiTae; Song, Ho Jung; Yang, Eun Jin; Lee, Sang Hoon; Lee, Sang H.

    2016-01-01

    The biochemical compositions (proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids) of phytoplankton provide useful information for their environmental growth conditions and nutritional status as a basic food source for upper trophic consumers. Concentrations of these compositions were assessed at 100, 30, and 1% light penetration depths within the euphotic zone in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica, using colorimetric techniques. The major inorganic nutrients were generally abundant throughout the study area. The average chlorophyll a (chl-a) concentration was 49.2 mg m-2 (S.D.=±27.6 mg m-2) and large phytoplankton (>20 μm) accounted for 64.1% of the total chl-a concentration. The biochemical compositions of the phytoplankton were not significantly different among different light depths or productivity stations. The overall compositions of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids from all stations averaged 65.9% (S.D.=±12.5%), 22.4% (S.D.=±10.9%), and 11.7% (S.D.=±6.5%), respectively. Regardless of dominant phytoplankton species, nitrogen-abundant conditions sustained high protein compositions of phytoplankton in the Amundsen Sea during the cruise period. Based on the macromolecular compositions, the average food material (FM) concentration was 219.4 μg L-1 (S.D.=±151.1 μg L-1) and correlated positively with the primary productivity in the Amundsen Sea. High protein/carbohydrate ratios (>1) and large proportions of proteins suggest that phytoplankton provide nitrogen-sufficient foods to higher trophic consumers through a higher efficiency of protein carbon incorporated into herbivores.

  4. Macromolecular ab initio phasing enforcing secondary and tertiary structure.

    PubMed

    Millán, Claudia; Sammito, Massimo; Usón, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Ab initio phasing of macromolecular structures, from the native intensities alone with no experimental phase information or previous particular structural knowledge, has been the object of a long quest, limited by two main barriers: structure size and resolution of the data. Current approaches to extend the scope of ab initio phasing include use of the Patterson function, density modification and data extrapolation. The authors' approach relies on the combination of locating model fragments such as polyalanine α-helices with the program PHASER and density modification with the program SHELXE. Given the difficulties in discriminating correct small substructures, many putative groups of fragments have to be tested in parallel; thus calculations are performed in a grid or supercomputer. The method has been named after the Italian painter Arcimboldo, who used to compose portraits out of fruit and vegetables. With ARCIMBOLDO, most collections of fragments remain a 'still-life', but some are correct enough for density modification and main-chain tracing to reveal the protein's true portrait. Beyond α-helices, other fragments can be exploited in an analogous way: libraries of helices with modelled side chains, β-strands, predictable fragments such as DNA-binding folds or fragments selected from distant homologues up to libraries of small local folds that are used to enforce nonspecific tertiary structure; thus restoring the ab initio nature of the method. Using these methods, a number of unknown macromolecules with a few thousand atoms and resolutions around 2 Å have been solved. In the 2014 release, use of the program has been simplified. The software mediates the use of massive computing to automate the grid access required in difficult cases but may also run on a single multicore workstation (http://chango.ibmb.csic.es/ARCIMBOLDO_LITE) to solve straightforward cases.

  5. Macromolecular ab initio phasing enforcing secondary and tertiary structure.

    PubMed

    Millán, Claudia; Sammito, Massimo; Usón, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Ab initio phasing of macromolecular structures, from the native intensities alone with no experimental phase information or previous particular structural knowledge, has been the object of a long quest, limited by two main barriers: structure size and resolution of the data. Current approaches to extend the scope of ab initio phasing include use of the Patterson function, density modification and data extrapolation. The authors' approach relies on the combination of locating model fragments such as polyalanine α-helices with the program PHASER and density modification with the program SHELXE. Given the difficulties in discriminating correct small substructures, many putative groups of fragments have to be tested in parallel; thus calculations are performed in a grid or supercomputer. The method has been named after the Italian painter Arcimboldo, who used to compose portraits out of fruit and vegetables. With ARCIMBOLDO, most collections of fragments remain a 'still-life', but some are correct enough for density modification and main-chain tracing to reveal the protein's true portrait. Beyond α-helices, other fragments can be exploited in an analogous way: libraries of helices with modelled side chains, β-strands, predictable fragments such as DNA-binding folds or fragments selected from distant homologues up to libraries of small local folds that are used to enforce nonspecific tertiary structure; thus restoring the ab initio nature of the method. Using these methods, a number of unknown macromolecules with a few thousand atoms and resolutions around 2 Å have been solved. In the 2014 release, use of the program has been simplified. The software mediates the use of massive computing to automate the grid access required in difficult cases but may also run on a single multicore workstation (http://chango.ibmb.csic.es/ARCIMBOLDO_LITE) to solve straightforward cases. PMID:25610631

  6. Macromolecular syntheses during biosynthesis of prodigiosin by Serratia marcescens.

    PubMed

    Williams, R P; Scott, R H; Lim, D V; Qadri, S M

    1976-01-01

    Amino acids that were utilized as sole sources of carbon and nitrogen for growth of Serratia marcescens Nima resulted in biosynthesis of prodigiosin in non-proliferating bacteria. Addition of alanine, proline, or histidine to non-proliferating cells incubated at 27 C increased the rate of protein synthesis and also caused biosynthesis of prodigiosin. No increase in the rate of protein synthesis was observed upon the addition of amino acids that did not stimulate prodigiosin biosynthesis. Increased rates of synthesis of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) (a small amount) also occurred after addition of amino acids that resulted in biosynthesis of prodigiosin. After incubation of 24 h, the total amount of protein in suspensions of bacteria to which alanine or proline was added increased 67 and 98%, respectively. Total amounts of DNA and of RNA also increased before synthesis of prodigiosin. The amounts of these macromolecules did not increase after addition of amino acids that did not induce biosynthesis of progidiosin. However, macromolecular synthesis was not related only to prodigiosin biosynthesis because the rates of DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis also increased in suspensions of bacteria incubated with proline at 39 C, at which temperature no prodigiosin was synthesized. The quantities of DNA, RNA, and protein synthesized were lower in non-proliferating cells than in growing cells. The data indicated that amino acids causing biosynthesis of prodigiosin in non-proliferating cells must be metabolized and serve as sources of carbon and of nitrogen for synthesis of macromolecules and intermediates. Prodigiosin was synthesized secondarily to these primary metabolic events.

  7. A Compact X-Ray System for Macromolecular Crystallography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gubarev, Mikhail; Ciszak, Ewa; Ponomarev, Igor; Gibson, Walter; Joy, Marshall

    2000-01-01

    We describe the design and performance of a high flux x-ray system for a macromolecular crystallography that combines a microfocus x-ray generator (40 micrometer full width at half maximum spot size at a power level of 46.5 W) and a collimating polycapillary optic. The Cu Ka lpha x-ray flux produced by this optimized system through a 500,um diam orifice is 7.0 times greater than the x-ray flux previously reported by Gubarev et al. [M. Gubarev et al., J. Appl. Crystallogr. 33, 882 (2000)]. The x-ray flux from the microfocus system is also 2.6 times higher than that produced by a rotating anode generator equipped with a graded multilayer monochromator (green optic, Osmic Inc. CMF24-48-Cu6) and 40% less than that produced by a rotating anode generator with the newest design of graded multilayer monochromator (blue optic, Osmic, Inc. CMF12-38-Cu6). Both rotating anode generators operate at a power level of 5000 W, dissipating more than 100 times the power of our microfocus x-ray system. Diffraction data collected from small test crystals are of high quality. For example, 42 540 reflections collected at ambient temperature from a lysozyme crystal yielded R(sub sym)=5.0% for data extending to 1.70 A, and 4.8% for the complete set of data to 1.85 A. The amplitudes of the observed reflections were used to calculate difference electron density maps that revealed positions of structurally important ions and water molecules in the crystal of lysozyme using the phases calculated from the protein model.

  8. A Compact X-Ray System for Macromolecular Crystallography. 5

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gubarev, Mikhail; Ciszak, Ewa; Ponomarev, Igor; Joy, Marshall

    2000-01-01

    We describe the design and performance of a high flux x-ray system for macromolecular crystallography that combines a microfocus x-ray generator (40 gm FWHM spot size at a power level of 46.5Watts) and a 5.5 mm focal distance polycapillary optic. The Cu K(sub alpha) X-ray flux produced by this optimized system is 7.0 times above the X-ray flux previously reported. The X-ray flux from the microfocus system is also 3.2 times higher than that produced by the rotating anode generator equipped with a long focal distance graded multilayer monochromator (Green optic; CMF24-48-Cu6) and 30% less than that produced by the rotating anode generator with the newest design of graded multilayer monochromator (Blue optic; CMF12-38-Cu6). Both rotating anode generators operate at a power level of 5000 Watts, dissipating more than 100 times the power of our microfocus x-ray system. Diffraction data collected from small test crystals are of high quality. For example, 42,540 reflections collected at ambient temperature from a lysozyme crystal yielded R(sub sym) 5.0% for the data extending to 1.7A, and 4.8% for the complete set of data to 1.85A. The amplitudes of the reflections were used to calculate difference electron density maps that revealed positions of structurally important ions and water molecules in the crystal of lysozyme using the phases calculated from the protein model.

  9. A simple quantitative model of macromolecular crowding effects on protein folding: Application to the murine prion protein(121-231)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergasa-Caceres, Fernando; Rabitz, Herschel A.

    2013-06-01

    A model of protein folding kinetics is applied to study the effects of macromolecular crowding on protein folding rate and stability. Macromolecular crowding is found to promote a decrease of the entropic cost of folding of proteins that produces an increase of both the stability and the folding rate. The acceleration of the folding rate due to macromolecular crowding is shown to be a topology-dependent effect. The model is applied to the folding dynamics of the murine prion protein (121-231). The differential effect of macromolecular crowding as a function of protein topology suffices to make non-native configurations relatively more accessible.

  10. Leaching of organic acids from macromolecular organic matter by non-supercritical CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauer, P.; Glombitza, C.; Kallmeyer, J.

    2012-04-01

    The storage of CO2 in underground reservoirs is discussed controversly in the scientific literature. The worldwide search for suitable storage formations also considers coal-bearing strata. CO2 is already injected into seams for enhanced recovery of coal bed methane. However, the effects of increased CO2 concentration, especially on organic matter rich formations, are rarely investigated. The injected CO2 will dissolve in the pore water, causing a decrease in pH and resulting in acidic formation waters. Huge amounts of low molecular weight organic acids (LMWOAs) are chemically bound to the macromolecular matrix of sedimentary organic matter and may be liberated by hydrolysis, which is enhanced by the acidic porewater. Recent investigations outlined the importance of LMWOAs as a feedstock for microbial life in the subsurface [1]. Therefore, injection of CO2 into coal formations may result in enhanced nutrient supply for subsurface microbes. To investigate the effect of high concentrations of dissolved CO2 on the release of LMWOAs from coal we developed an inexpensive high-pressure high temperature system that allows manipulating the partial pressure of dissolved gases at pressures and temperatures up to 60 MPa and 120° C, respectively. In a reservoir vessel, gases are added to saturate the extraction medium to the desired level. Inside the extraction vessel hangs a flexible and inert PVDF sleeve (polyvinylidene fluoride, almost impermeable for gases), holding the sample and separating it from the pressure fluid. The flexibility of the sleeve allows for subsampling without loss of pressure. Coal samples from the DEBITS-1 well, Waikato Basin, NZ (R0 = 0.29, TOC = 30%). were extracted at 90° C and 5 MPa, either with pure or CO2-saturated water. Subsamples were taken at different time points during the extraction. The extracted LMWOAs such as formate, acetate and oxalate were analysed by ion chromatography. Yields of LMWOAs were higher with pure water than with CO2

  11. Connexin26 regulates assembly and maintenance of cochlear gap junction macromolecular complex for normal hearing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamiya, Kazusaku; Fukunaga, Ichiro; Hatakeyama, Kaori; Ikeda, Katsuhisa

    2015-12-01

    Hereditary deafness affects about 1 in 2000 children and GJB2 gene mutation is most frequent cause for this disease in the world. GJB2 encodes connexin26 (Cx26), a component in cochlear gap junction. Recently, we found macromolecular change of gap junction plaques with two different types of Cx26 mutation as major classification of clinical case, one is a model of dominant negative type, Cx26R75W+ and the other is conditional gene deficient mouse, Cx26f/fP0Cre as a model for insufficiency of gap junction protein [6]. Gap junction composed mainly of Cx26 and Cx30 in wild type mice formed large planar gap junction plaques (GJP). In contrast, Cx26R75W+ and Cx26f/fP0Cre showed fragmented small round GJPs around the cell border. In Cx26f/fP0Cre, some of the cells with Cx26 expression due to their cellular mosaicism showed normal large GJP with Cx26 and Cx30 only at the cell junction site between two Cx26 positive cells. These indicate that bilateral Cx26 expressions from both adjacent cells are essential for the formation of the cochlear linear GJP, and it is not compensated by other cochlear Connexins such as Connexin30. In the present study, we demonstrated a new molecular pathology in most common hereditary deafness with different types of Connexin26 mutations, and this machinery can be a new target for drag design of hereditary deafness.

  12. Metabolic growth rate control in Escherichia coli may be a consequence of subsaturation of the macromolecular biosynthetic apparatus with substrates and catalytic components.

    PubMed

    Jensen, K F; Pedersen, S

    1990-06-01

    In this paper, the Escherichia coli cell is considered as a system designed for rapid growth, but limited by the medium. We propose that this very design causes the cell to become subsaturated with precursors and catalytic components at all levels of macromolecular biosynthesis and leads to a molecular sharing economy at a high level of competition inside the cell. Thus, the promoters compete with each other in the binding of a limited amount of free RNA polymerase and the ribosome binding sites on the mRNA chains compete with each other for the free ribosomes. The macromolecular chain elongation reactions sequester a considerable proportion of the total amount of RNA polymerase and ribosomes in the cells. We propose that the degree of subsaturation of the macromolecular biosynthetic apparatus renders a variable fraction of RNA polymerase and ribosomes unavailable for the initiation of new chain synthesis and that this, at least in part, determines the composition of the cell as a function of the growth rate. Thus, at rapid growth, the high speed of the elongation reactions enables the cell to increase the concentrations of free RNA polymerase and ribosomes for initiation purposes. Furthermore, it is proposed that the speed of RNA polymerase movement is adjusted to the performance speed of the ribosomes. Mechanistically, this adjustment of the coupling between transcription and translation involves transcriptional pause sites along the RNA chains, the adjustment of the saturation level of RNA polymerase with the nucleoside triphosphate substrates, and the concentration of ppGpp, which is known to inhibit RNA chain elongation. This model is able to explain the stringent response and the control of stable RNA and of ribosome synthesis in steady states and in shifts, as well as the rate of overall protein synthesis as a function of the growth rate. PMID:1694554

  13. Metabolic growth rate control in Escherichia coli may be a consequence of subsaturation of the macromolecular biosynthetic apparatus with substrates and catalytic components.

    PubMed Central

    Jensen, K F; Pedersen, S

    1990-01-01

    In this paper, the Escherichia coli cell is considered as a system designed for rapid growth, but limited by the medium. We propose that this very design causes the cell to become subsaturated with precursors and catalytic components at all levels of macromolecular biosynthesis and leads to a molecular sharing economy at a high level of competition inside the cell. Thus, the promoters compete with each other in the binding of a limited amount of free RNA polymerase and the ribosome binding sites on the mRNA chains compete with each other for the free ribosomes. The macromolecular chain elongation reactions sequester a considerable proportion of the total amount of RNA polymerase and ribosomes in the cells. We propose that the degree of subsaturation of the macromolecular biosynthetic apparatus renders a variable fraction of RNA polymerase and ribosomes unavailable for the initiation of new chain synthesis and that this, at least in part, determines the composition of the cell as a function of the growth rate. Thus, at rapid growth, the high speed of the elongation reactions enables the cell to increase the concentrations of free RNA polymerase and ribosomes for initiation purposes. Furthermore, it is proposed that the speed of RNA polymerase movement is adjusted to the performance speed of the ribosomes. Mechanistically, this adjustment of the coupling between transcription and translation involves transcriptional pause sites along the RNA chains, the adjustment of the saturation level of RNA polymerase with the nucleoside triphosphate substrates, and the concentration of ppGpp, which is known to inhibit RNA chain elongation. This model is able to explain the stringent response and the control of stable RNA and of ribosome synthesis in steady states and in shifts, as well as the rate of overall protein synthesis as a function of the growth rate. PMID:1694554

  14. Metabolic growth rate control in Escherichia coli may be a consequence of subsaturation of the macromolecular biosynthetic apparatus with substrates and catalytic components.

    PubMed

    Jensen, K F; Pedersen, S

    1990-06-01

    In this paper, the Escherichia coli cell is considered as a system designed for rapid growth, but limited by the medium. We propose that this very design causes the cell to become subsaturated with precursors and catalytic components at all levels of macromolecular biosynthesis and leads to a molecular sharing economy at a high level of competition inside the cell. Thus, the promoters compete with each other in the binding of a limited amount of free RNA polymerase and the ribosome binding sites on the mRNA chains compete with each other for the free ribosomes. The macromolecular chain elongation reactions sequester a considerable proportion of the total amount of RNA polymerase and ribosomes in the cells. We propose that the degree of subsaturation of the macromolecular biosynthetic apparatus renders a variable fraction of RNA polymerase and ribosomes unavailable for the initiation of new chain synthesis and that this, at least in part, determines the composition of the cell as a function of the growth rate. Thus, at rapid growth, the high speed of the elongation reactions enables the cell to increase the concentrations of free RNA polymerase and ribosomes for initiation purposes. Furthermore, it is proposed that the speed of RNA polymerase movement is adjusted to the performance speed of the ribosomes. Mechanistically, this adjustment of the coupling between transcription and translation involves transcriptional pause sites along the RNA chains, the adjustment of the saturation level of RNA polymerase with the nucleoside triphosphate substrates, and the concentration of ppGpp, which is known to inhibit RNA chain elongation. This model is able to explain the stringent response and the control of stable RNA and of ribosome synthesis in steady states and in shifts, as well as the rate of overall protein synthesis as a function of the growth rate.

  15. Contribution of Macromolecular Antioxidants to Dietary Antioxidant Capacity: A Study in the Spanish Mediterranean Diet.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Jiménez, Jara; Díaz-Rubio, M Elena; Saura-Calixto, Fulgencio

    2015-12-01

    Epidemiological and clinical studies show that diets with a high antioxidant capacity, such us those rich in plant food and beverages, are associated with significant decreases in the overall risk of cardiovascular disease or colorectal cancer. Current studies on dietary antioxidants and dietary antioxidant capacity focus exclusively on low molecular weight or soluble antioxidants (vitamins C and E, phenolic compounds and carotenoids), ignoring macromolecular antioxidants. These are polymeric phenolic compounds or polyphenols and carotenoids linked to plant food macromolecules that yield bioavailable metabolites by the action of the microbiota with significant effects either local and/or systemic after absorption. This study determined the antioxidant capacity of the Spanish Mediterranean diet including for the first time both soluble and macromolecular antioxidants. Antioxidant capacity and consumption data of the 54 most consumed plant foods and beverages were used. Results showed that macromolecular antioxidants are the major dietary antioxidants, contributing a 61% to the diet antioxidant capacity (8000 μmol Trolox, determined by ABTS method). The antioxidant capacity data for foods and beverages provided here may be used to estimate the dietary antioxidant capacity in different populations, where similar contributions of macromolecular antioxidants may be expected, and also to design antioxidant-rich diets. Including macromolecular antioxidants in mechanistic, intervention and observational studies on dietary antioxidants may contribute to a better understanding of the role of antioxidants in nutrition and health.

  16. PDBe: improved accessibility of macromolecular structure data from PDB and EMDB.

    PubMed

    Velankar, Sameer; van Ginkel, Glen; Alhroub, Younes; Battle, Gary M; Berrisford, John M; Conroy, Matthew J; Dana, Jose M; Gore, Swanand P; Gutmanas, Aleksandras; Haslam, Pauline; Hendrickx, Pieter M S; Lagerstedt, Ingvar; Mir, Saqib; Fernandez Montecelo, Manuel A; Mukhopadhyay, Abhik; Oldfield, Thomas J; Patwardhan, Ardan; Sanz-García, Eduardo; Sen, Sanchayita; Slowley, Robert A; Wainwright, Michael E; Deshpande, Mandar S; Iudin, Andrii; Sahni, Gaurav; Salavert Torres, Jose; Hirshberg, Miriam; Mak, Lora; Nadzirin, Nurul; Armstrong, David R; Clark, Alice R; Smart, Oliver S; Korir, Paul K; Kleywegt, Gerard J

    2016-01-01

    The Protein Data Bank in Europe (http://pdbe.org) accepts and annotates depositions of macromolecular structure data in the PDB and EMDB archives and enriches, integrates and disseminates structural information in a variety of ways. The PDBe website has been redesigned based on an analysis of user requirements, and now offers intuitive access to improved and value-added macromolecular structure information. Unique value-added information includes lists of reviews and research articles that cite or mention PDB entries as well as access to figures and legends from full-text open-access publications that describe PDB entries. A powerful new query system not only shows all the PDB entries that match a given query, but also shows the 'best structures' for a given macromolecule, ligand complex or sequence family using data-quality information from the wwPDB validation reports. A PDBe RESTful API has been developed to provide unified access to macromolecular structure data available in the PDB and EMDB archives as well as value-added annotations, e.g. regarding structure quality and up-to-date cross-reference information from the SIFTS resource. Taken together, these new developments facilitate unified access to macromolecular structure data in an intuitive way for non-expert users and support expert users in analysing macromolecular structure data.

  17. PDBe: improved accessibility of macromolecular structure data from PDB and EMDB

    PubMed Central

    Velankar, Sameer; van Ginkel, Glen; Alhroub, Younes; Battle, Gary M.; Berrisford, John M.; Conroy, Matthew J.; Dana, Jose M.; Gore, Swanand P.; Gutmanas, Aleksandras; Haslam, Pauline; Hendrickx, Pieter M. S.; Lagerstedt, Ingvar; Mir, Saqib; Fernandez Montecelo, Manuel A.; Mukhopadhyay, Abhik; Oldfield, Thomas J.; Patwardhan, Ardan; Sanz-García, Eduardo; Sen, Sanchayita; Slowley, Robert A.; Wainwright, Michael E.; Deshpande, Mandar S.; Iudin, Andrii; Sahni, Gaurav; Salavert Torres, Jose; Hirshberg, Miriam; Mak, Lora; Nadzirin, Nurul; Armstrong, David R.; Clark, Alice R.; Smart, Oliver S.; Korir, Paul K.; Kleywegt, Gerard J.

    2016-01-01

    The Protein Data Bank in Europe (http://pdbe.org) accepts and annotates depositions of macromolecular structure data in the PDB and EMDB archives and enriches, integrates and disseminates structural information in a variety of ways. The PDBe website has been redesigned based on an analysis of user requirements, and now offers intuitive access to improved and value-added macromolecular structure information. Unique value-added information includes lists of reviews and research articles that cite or mention PDB entries as well as access to figures and legends from full-text open-access publications that describe PDB entries. A powerful new query system not only shows all the PDB entries that match a given query, but also shows the ‘best structures’ for a given macromolecule, ligand complex or sequence family using data-quality information from the wwPDB validation reports. A PDBe RESTful API has been developed to provide unified access to macromolecular structure data available in the PDB and EMDB archives as well as value-added annotations, e.g. regarding structure quality and up-to-date cross-reference information from the SIFTS resource. Taken together, these new developments facilitate unified access to macromolecular structure data in an intuitive way for non-expert users and support expert users in analysing macromolecular structure data. PMID:26476444

  18. Effects of cell turnover and leaky junctions on arterial macromolecular permeability - Relation to atherogenesis

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Shingjong.

    1989-01-01

    To test the hypothesis that transiently open junctions around the endothelial cells undergoing turnover are the large pores through which macromolecules (with the size of albumin or larger) cross the endothelium in large arteries, experiments were performed on Sprague-Dawley, spontaneously hypertensive (SHR), and Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats under anesthesia. Endothelial macromolecular permeability was studied in both en face and cross-sectional preparations of the thoracic aorta by using fluorescence-labeled albumin and low density lipoprotein (LDL). Foci of macromolecular leakage in the aorta were visualized and mapped with fluorescence microscopy. Replicating endothelial cells were identified by {sup 3}H-thymidine autoradiography and hemotoxylin staining, and dead endothelia cells were detected by IgG immunocytochemistry. The occurrence of cell replication or death was correlated with macromolecular leakage in the aorta. Under the fluorescence microscope, endothelial macromolecular leakage was clearly identified as discrete spots or larger foci. Both the number density and the size of tracer leaky foci increased with time. A higher number density of leaky foci was found in branching areas. A high degree of correlation was found between macromolecular permeability and endothelial cell mitosis or death at the cellular level. A significantly higher density of tracer leaky foci was noted in SHR than in WKY, which was accompanied by greater frequencies of both endothelial cell mitosis and death. During cell turnover, aortic endothelial cells continuously undergo structural remodeling, including cell junctions. Poorly organized clefts associated with the remodeling provide the pathway through which macromolecules enter the arterial wall.

  19. Host responses and metabolic profiles of wood components in Dutch elm hybrids with a contrasting tolerance to Dutch elm disease

    PubMed Central

    Ďurkovič, Jaroslav; Kačík, František; Olčák, Dušan; Kučerová, Veronika; Krajňáková, Jana

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Changes occurring in the macromolecular traits of cell wall components in elm wood following attack by Ophiostoma novo-ulmi, the causative agent of Dutch elm disease (DED), are poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to compare host responses and the metabolic profiles of wood components for two Dutch elm (Ulmus) hybrids, ‘Groeneveld’ (a susceptible clone) and ‘Dodoens’ (a tolerant clone), that have contrasting survival strategies upon infection with the current prevalent strain of DED. Methods Ten-year-old plants of the hybrid elms were inoculated with O. novo-ulmi ssp. americana × novo-ulmi. Measurements were made of the content of main cell wall components and extractives, lignin monomer composition, macromolecular traits of cellulose and neutral saccharide composition. Key Results Upon infection, medium molecular weight macromolecules of cellulose were degraded in both the susceptible and tolerant elm hybrids, resulting in the occurrence of secondary cell wall ruptures and cracks in the vessels, but rarely in the fibres. The 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectra revealed that loss of crystalline and non-crystalline cellulose regions occurred in parallel. The rate of cellulose degradation was influenced by the syringyl:guaiacyl ratio in lignin. Both hybrids commonly responded to the medium molecular weight cellulose degradation with the biosynthesis of high molecular weight macromolecules of cellulose, resulting in a significant increase in values for the degree of polymerization and polydispersity. Other responses of the hybrids included an increase in lignin content, a decrease in relative proportions of d-glucose, and an increase in proportions of d-xylose. Differential responses between the hybrids were found in the syringyl:guaiacyl ratio in lignin. Conclusions In susceptible ‘Groeneveld’ plants, syringyl-rich lignin provided a far greater degree of protection from cellulose degradation than in ‘Dodoens’, but

  20. Synthesis and characterization of macromolecular layers grafted to polymer surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burtovyy, Oleksandr

    The composition and behavior of surfaces and interfaces play a pivotal role in dictating the overall efficiency of the majority of polymeric materials and devices. Surface properties of the materials can be altered using surface modification techniques. It is necessary to highlight that successful methods of surface modification should affect only the upper layer of the polymer material without changing bulk properties. The processes must introduce new functionalities to the surface, optimize surface roughness, lubrication, hydrophobicity, hydrophilicity, adhesion, conductivity, and/or biocompatibility. Research presented in this dissertation is dedicated to the synthesis, characterization, and application of thin macromolecular layers anchored to polymer substrates. Specifically, attachment of functional polymers via a "grafting to" approach has been extensively studied using PET and nylon model substrates. First, poly(glycidyl methacrylate) was used to introduce permanent functionalities to the model substrates by anchoring it to model films. Then, three different functional polymers were grafted on top of the previous layer. As one part of this study, the temperature and time dependence of grafting functional layers were studied. The surface coverage by hydrophobic polymer was determined from experimental data and predicted by a model. In general, the model has a high degree of predictive capability. Next, surface modification of polymeric fibers and membranes is presented as an important application of the polymer thin layers targeted in the study. Specifically, the procedures developed for surface modification of model substrates was employed for modification of PET, nylon, and cotton fabrics as well as PET track-etched membranes. Since epoxy groups are highly reactive in various chemical reactions, the approach becomes virtually universal, allowing both various surfaces and end-functionalized macromolecules to be used in the grafted layer synthesis. PET

  1. Macromolecular properties and polymeric structure of canine tracheal mucins.

    PubMed Central

    Shankar, V; Virmani, A K; Naziruddin, B; Sachdev, G P

    1991-01-01

    Two high-Mr mucus glycoproteins (mucins), CTM-A and CTM-B, were highly purified from canine tracheal pouch secretions, and their macromolecular properties as well as polymeric structure were investigated. On SDS/composite-gel electrophoresis, a diffuse band was observed for each mucin. Polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis using 6% gels also showed the absence of low-Mr contaminants in the mucins. Comparison of chemical and amino acid compositions revealed significant differences between the two mucins. Using a static-laser-light-scattering technique, CTM-A and CTM-B were found to have weight-average Mr values of about 11.0 x 10(6) and 1.4 x 10(6) respectively. Both mucins showed concentration-dependent aggregation in buffer containing 6 M-guanidine hydrochloride. Under similar experimental conditions, reduced-alkylated CTM-A had an Mr of 5.48 x 10(6) and showed no concentration-dependent aggregation. Hydrophobic properties of the mucins, investigated by the fluorescent probe technique using mansylphenylalanine as the probe, showed the presence of a large number of low-affinity (KD approx. 10(5) M) binding sites. These sites appeared to be located on the non-glycosylated regions of the protein core, since Pronase digestion of the mucins almost completely eliminated probe binding. Reduction of disulphide bonds of CTM-A and CTM-B did not significantly alter the probe-binding properties. Also, addition of increasing NaCl concentrations (0.03-1.0 M) to the buffer caused only a small change in the hydrophobic properties of native and reduced-alkylated mucins. CTM-A was deglycosylated, without notable in the hydrophobic properties of native and reduced-alkylated mucins. CTM-A was deglycosylated, without notable degradation, using a combination of chemical and enzymic methods. On SDS/PAGE the protein core was estimated to have an Mr of approx. 60,000. On the basis of the protein and carbohydrate contents of the major mucin CTM-A, the mucin monomer was calculated to have an

  2. Path Similarity Analysis: A Method for Quantifying Macromolecular Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Seyler, Sean L.; Kumar, Avishek; Thorpe, M. F.; Beckstein, Oliver

    2015-01-01

    Diverse classes of proteins function through large-scale conformational changes and various sophisticated computational algorithms have been proposed to enhance sampling of these macromolecular transition paths. Because such paths are curves in a high-dimensional space, it has been difficult to quantitatively compare multiple paths, a necessary prerequisite to, for instance, assess the quality of different algorithms. We introduce a method named Path Similarity Analysis (PSA) that enables us to quantify the similarity between two arbitrary paths and extract the atomic-scale determinants responsible for their differences. PSA utilizes the full information available in 3N-dimensional configuration space trajectories by employing the Hausdorff or Fréchet metrics (adopted from computational geometry) to quantify the degree of similarity between piecewise-linear curves. It thus completely avoids relying on projections into low dimensional spaces, as used in traditional approaches. To elucidate the principles of PSA, we quantified the effect of path roughness induced by thermal fluctuations using a toy model system. Using, as an example, the closed-to-open transitions of the enzyme adenylate kinase (AdK) in its substrate-free form, we compared a range of protein transition path-generating algorithms. Molecular dynamics-based dynamic importance sampling (DIMS) MD and targeted MD (TMD) and the purely geometric FRODA (Framework Rigidity Optimized Dynamics Algorithm) were tested along with seven other methods publicly available on servers, including several based on the popular elastic network model (ENM). PSA with clustering revealed that paths produced by a given method are more similar to each other than to those from another method and, for instance, that the ENM-based methods produced relatively similar paths. PSA applied to ensembles of DIMS MD and FRODA trajectories of the conformational transition of diphtheria toxin, a particularly challenging example, showed that

  3. New Paradigm for Macromolecular Crystallography Experiments at SSRL: Automated Crystal Screening And Remote Data Collection

    SciTech Connect

    Soltis, S.M.; Cohen, A.E.; Deacon, A.; Eriksson, T.; Gonzalez, A.; McPhillips, S.; Chui, H.; Dunten, P.; Hollenbeck, M.; Mathews, I.; Miller, M.; Moorhead, P.; Phizackerley, R.P.; Smith, C.; Song, J.; Bedem, H.van dem; Ellis, P.; Kuhn, P.; McPhillips, T.; Sauter, N.; Sharp, K.

    2009-05-26

    Complete automation of the macromolecular crystallography experiment has been achieved at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) through the combination of robust mechanized experimental hardware and a flexible control system with an intuitive user interface. These highly reliable systems have enabled crystallography experiments to be carried out from the researchers' home institutions and other remote locations while retaining complete control over even the most challenging systems. A breakthrough component of the system, the Stanford Auto-Mounter (SAM), has enabled the efficient mounting of cryocooled samples without human intervention. Taking advantage of this automation, researchers have successfully screened more than 200 000 samples to select the crystals with the best diffraction quality for data collection as well as to determine optimal crystallization and cryocooling conditions. These systems, which have been deployed on all SSRL macromolecular crystallography beamlines and several beamlines worldwide, are used by more than 80 research groups in remote locations, establishing a new paradigm for macromolecular crystallography experimentation.

  4. Macromolecular crowding conditions enhance glycation and oxidation of whey proteins in ultrasound-induced Maillard reaction.

    PubMed

    Perusko, Marija; Al-Hanish, Ayah; Cirkovic Velickovic, Tanja; Stanic-Vucinic, Dragana

    2015-06-15

    High intensity ultrasound (HIUS) can promote Maillard reaction (MR). Macromolecular crowding conditions accelerate reactions and stabilise protein structure. The aim of this study was to investigate if combined application of ultrasound and macromolecular crowding can improve efficiency of MR. The presence of crowding agent (polyethylene glycol) significantly increased ultrasound-induced whey protein (WP) glycation by arabinose. An increase in glycation efficiency results only in slight change of WP structure. Macromolecular crowding intensifies oxidative modifications of WP, as well as formation of amyloid-like structures by enhancement of MR. Solubility at different pH, thermal stability and antioxidative capacity of glycated WP were increased, especially in the presence of crowding agent, compared to sonicated nonglycated proteins. The application of HIUS under crowding conditions can be a new approach for enhancement of reactions in general, enabling short processing time and mild conditions, while preserving protein structure and minimising protein aggregation.

  5. New paradigm for macromolecular crystallography experiments at SSRL: automated crystal screening and remote data collection

    PubMed Central

    Soltis, S. Michael; Cohen, Aina E.; Deacon, Ashley; Eriksson, Thomas; González, Ana; McPhillips, Scott; Chui, Hsui; Dunten, Pete; Hollenbeck, Michael; Mathews, Irimpan; Miller, Mitch; Moorhead, Penjit; Phizackerley, R. Paul; Smith, Clyde; Song, Jinhu; van dem Bedem, Henry; Ellis, Paul; Kuhn, Peter; McPhillips, Timothy; Sauter, Nicholas; Sharp, Kenneth; Tsyba, Irina; Wolf, Guenter

    2008-01-01

    Complete automation of the macromolecular crystallography experiment has been achieved at SSRL through the combination of robust mechanized experimental hardware and a flexible control system with an intuitive user interface. These highly reliable systems have enabled crystallography experiments to be carried out from the researchers’ home institutions and other remote locations while retaining complete control over even the most challenging systems. A breakthrough component of the system, the Stanford Auto-Mounter (SAM), has enabled the efficient mounting of cryocooled samples without human intervention. Taking advantage of this automation, researchers have successfully screened more than 200 000 samples to select the crystals with the best diffraction quality for data collection as well as to determine optimal crystallization and cryocooling conditions. These systems, which have been deployed on all SSRL macromolecular crystallography beamlines and several beamlines worldwide, are used by more than 80 research groups in remote locations, establishing a new paradigm for macromolecular crystallo­graphy experimentation. PMID:19018097

  6. Macromolecular crowding conditions enhance glycation and oxidation of whey proteins in ultrasound-induced Maillard reaction.

    PubMed

    Perusko, Marija; Al-Hanish, Ayah; Cirkovic Velickovic, Tanja; Stanic-Vucinic, Dragana

    2015-06-15

    High intensity ultrasound (HIUS) can promote Maillard reaction (MR). Macromolecular crowding conditions accelerate reactions and stabilise protein structure. The aim of this study was to investigate if combined application of ultrasound and macromolecular crowding can improve efficiency of MR. The presence of crowding agent (polyethylene glycol) significantly increased ultrasound-induced whey protein (WP) glycation by arabinose. An increase in glycation efficiency results only in slight change of WP structure. Macromolecular crowding intensifies oxidative modifications of WP, as well as formation of amyloid-like structures by enhancement of MR. Solubility at different pH, thermal stability and antioxidative capacity of glycated WP were increased, especially in the presence of crowding agent, compared to sonicated nonglycated proteins. The application of HIUS under crowding conditions can be a new approach for enhancement of reactions in general, enabling short processing time and mild conditions, while preserving protein structure and minimising protein aggregation. PMID:25660883

  7. Visualizing Macromolecular Complexes with In Situ Liquid Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, James E.; Jungjohann, K. L.; Wong, Peony C. K.; Chiu, Po-Lin; Dutrow, Gavin H.; Arslan, Ilke; Browning, Nigel D.

    2012-11-01

    A central focus of biological research is understanding the structure/function relationship of macromolecular protein complexes. Yet conventional transmission electron microscopy techniques are limited to static observations. Here we present the first direct images of purified macromolecular protein complexes using in situ liquid scanning transmission electron microscopy. Our results establish the capability of this technique for visualizing the interface between biology and nanotechnology with high fidelity while also probing the interactions of biomolecules within solution. This method represents an important advancement towards allowing future high-resolution observations of biological processes and conformational dynamics in real-time.

  8. Accounting for large amplitude protein deformation during in silico macromolecular docking.

    PubMed

    Bastard, Karine; Saladin, Adrien; Prévost, Chantal

    2011-02-22

    Rapid progress of theoretical methods and computer calculation resources has turned in silico methods into a conceivable tool to predict the 3D structure of macromolecular assemblages, starting from the structure of their separate elements. Still, some classes of complexes represent a real challenge for macromolecular docking methods. In these complexes, protein parts like loops or domains undergo large amplitude deformations upon association, thus remodeling the surface accessible to the partner protein or DNA. We discuss the problems linked with managing such rearrangements in docking methods and we review strategies that are presently being explored, as well as their limitations and success.

  9. Poly(isophthalic acid)(ethylene oxide) as a Macromolecular Modulator for Metal-Organic Polyhedra.

    PubMed

    Chen, Teng-Hao; Wang, Le; Trueblood, Jonathan V; Grassian, Vicki H; Cohen, Seth M

    2016-08-01

    A new strategy was developed by using a polymer ligand, poly(isophthalic acid)(ethylene oxide), to modulate the growth of metal-organic polyhedra (MOP) crystals. This macromolecular modulator can effectively control the crystal habit of several different Cu24L24 (L = isophthalic acid derivatives) MOPs. The polymer also directed the formation of MOP structures under reaction conditions that only produce metal-organic frameworks in the absence of modulator. Moreover, the polymer also enabled the deposition of MOP crystals on glass surfaces. This macromolecular modulator strategy provides an innovative approach to control the morphology and assembly of MOP particles. PMID:27400759

  10. Visualizing macromolecular complexes with in situ liquid scanning transmission electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Evans, James E; Jungjohann, Katherine L; Wong, Peony C K; Chiu, Po-Lin; Dutrow, Gavin H; Arslan, Ilke; Browning, Nigel D

    2012-11-01

    A central focus of biological research is understanding the structure/function relationship of macromolecular protein complexes. Yet conventional transmission electron microscopy techniques are limited to static observations. Here we present the first direct images of purified macromolecular protein complexes using in situ liquid scanning transmission electron microscopy. Our results establish the capability of this technique for visualizing the interface between biology and nanotechnology with high fidelity while also probing the interactions of biomolecules within solution. This method represents an important advancement towards allowing future high-resolution observations of biological processes and conformational dynamics in real-time.

  11. Acetate utilization and macromolecular synthesis during sporulation of yeast.

    PubMed

    Esposito, M S; Esposito, R E; Arnaud, M; Halvorson, H O

    1969-10-01

    Acetate utilization and macromolecule synthesis during sporulation (meiosis) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae were studied. When diploid cells are transferred from glucose nutrient medium to acetate sporulation medium at early stationary phase, respiration of the exogenously supplied acetate proceeds without any apparent lag. At the completion of ascospore development, 62% of the acetate carbon consumed has been respired, 22% remains in the soluble pool, and 16% is incorporated into lipids, protein, nucleic acids, and other cell components. Measurements of the rate of protein synthesis during sporulation reveal two periods of maximal synthetic activity: an early phase coincidental with increases in deoxyribonucleic acid, ribonucleic acid, and protein cellular content and a later phase during ascospore formation. Experiments in which protein synthesis was inhibited at intervals during sporulation indicate that protein synthesis is required both for the initiation and completion of ascus development.

  12. Selective inhibition of the prothrombinase complex: factor Va alters macromolecular recognition of a tick anticoagulant peptide mutant by factor Xa.

    PubMed

    Betz, A; Vlasuk, G P; Bergum, P W; Krishnaswamy, S

    1997-01-01

    The prothrombinase complex assembles through reversible interactions between the protease, factor Xa, the cofactor, factor Va, and acidic phospholipid membranes in the presence of calcium ions. Changes in macromolecular recognition by factor Xa which may result from its interaction with factor Va in the prothrombinase complex have been probed using a recombinant derivative of tick anticoagulant peptide where Arg3 has been replaced with Ala (R3A-TAP). In contrast to the wild type inhibitor, R3A-TAP was a weak competitive inhibitor of factor Xa (Ki = 794 nM). The inhibition of the prothrombinase complex by R3A-TAP was characterized by slow, tight-binding kinetics with an increased affinity of approximately 4000-fold (Ki* = 0.195 nM) relative to that of solution-phase factor Xa. Stopped-flow measurements using p-aminobenzamidine (PAB) demonstrated that the reaction between solution-phase factor Xa and R3A-TAP could be adequately described by a single reversible step with rate constants that were consistent with equilibrium binding measurements. The rate-limiting bimolecular combination of R3A-TAP and factor Xa was competitive with PAB binding of the protease. In contrast, the reaction of R3A-TAP with prothrombinase measured using PAB yielded biphasic stopped-flow traces, indicating a multistep pathway for the reaction of the inhibitor with the enzyme complex. The kinetic measurements were consistent with the initial formation of a ternary complex between R3A-TAP, prothrombinase, and PAB followed by two unimolecular steps which lead to PAB dissociation from the enzyme. In this case, prior occupation of the active site by PAB had no effect on the bimolecular reaction between R3A-TAP and prothrombinase. Thus, the interaction of factor Xa with factor Va on the membrane surface alters recognition of R3A-TAP by the protease, leading to changes in the thermodynamics as well as in the observed kinetic mechanism for the reaction. Therefore, a single amino acid substitution in

  13. Macromolecular crowding gives rise to microviscosity, anomalous diffusion and accelerated actin polymerization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rashid, Rafi; Chee, Stella Min Ling; Raghunath, Michael; Wohland, Thorsten

    2015-05-01

    Macromolecular crowding (MMC) has been used in various in vitro experimental systems to mimic in vivo physiology. This is because the crowded cytoplasm of cells contains many different types of solutes dissolved in an aqueous medium. MMC in the extracellular microenvironment is involved in maintaining stem cells in their undifferentiated state (niche) as well as in aiding their differentiation after they have travelled to new locations outside the niche. MMC at physiologically relevant fractional volume occupancies (FVOs) significantly enhances the adipogenic differentiation of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells during chemically induced adipogenesis. The mechanism by which MMC produces this enhancement is not entirely known. In the context of extracellular collagen deposition, we have recently reported the importance of optimizing the FVO while minimizing the bulk viscosity. Two opposing properties will determine the net rate of a biochemical reaction: the negative effect of bulk viscosity and the positive effect of the excluded volume, the latter being expressed by the FVO. In this study we have looked more closely at the effect of viscosity on reaction rates. We have used fluorimetry to measure the rate of actin polymerization and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) to measure diffusion of various probes in solutions containing the crowder Ficoll at physiological concentrations. Similar to its effect on collagen, Ficoll enhanced the actin polymerization rate despite increasing the bulk viscosity. Our FCS measurements reveal a relatively minor component of anomalous diffusion. In addition, our measurements do suggest that microviscosity becomes relevant in a crowded environment. We ruled out bulk viscosity as a cause of the rate enhancement by performing the actin polymerization assay in glycerol. These opposite effects of Ficoll and glycerol led us to conclude that microviscosity becomes relevant at the length scale of the reacting

  14. Macromolecular crowding gives rise to microviscosity, anomalous diffusion and accelerated actin polymerization.

    PubMed

    Rashid, Rafi; Chee, Stella Min Ling; Raghunath, Michael; Wohland, Thorsten

    2015-04-30

    Macromolecular crowding (MMC) has been used in various in vitro experimental systems to mimic in vivo physiology. This is because the crowded cytoplasm of cells contains many different types of solutes dissolved in an aqueous medium. MMC in the extracellular microenvironment is involved in maintaining stem cells in their undifferentiated state (niche) as well as in aiding their differentiation after they have travelled to new locations outside the niche. MMC at physiologically relevant fractional volume occupancies (FVOs) significantly enhances the adipogenic differentiation of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells during chemically induced adipogenesis. The mechanism by which MMC produces this enhancement is not entirely known. In the context of extracellular collagen deposition, we have recently reported the importance of optimizing the FVO while minimizing the bulk viscosity. Two opposing properties will determine the net rate of a biochemical reaction: the negative effect of bulk viscosity and the positive effect of the excluded volume, the latter being expressed by the FVO. In this study we have looked more closely at the effect of viscosity on reaction rates. We have used fluorimetry to measure the rate of actin polymerization and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) to measure diffusion of various probes in solutions containing the crowder Ficoll at physiological concentrations. Similar to its effect on collagen, Ficoll enhanced the actin polymerization rate despite increasing the bulk viscosity. Our FCS measurements reveal a relatively minor component of anomalous diffusion. In addition, our measurements do suggest that microviscosity becomes relevant in a crowded environment. We ruled out bulk viscosity as a cause of the rate enhancement by performing the actin polymerization assay in glycerol. These opposite effects of Ficoll and glycerol led us to conclude that microviscosity becomes relevant at the length scale of the reacting

  15. [Contrast media in MR mammography].

    PubMed

    Tontsch, P; Bauer, M; Birmelin, G; von Landenberg, E; Moeller, T B; Raible, G

    1997-03-01

    A standardized relationship between concentration of contrast media and normalized signal intensity should be the basis of a diagnostic evaluation of MR-mammography at different sites and with different sequences. In this work we compared the dynamic range of the MR-compatible contrast medium Magnevist at different sequences and machines. For this purpose we made measurements with a phantom, consisting of MR-compatible glass tubes filled with contrast medium of different concentrations. The glass tubes were placed in a water bath. All measurements were made with breast coils. The signal intensity of the glass tubes was normalized to the signal intensity of the native probe (water = 1). These normalized dynamic curves were compared with each other in order to find, for the different machines, the sequence which is nearest to a defined "Standard-Curve". As this task proved not possible for all machines, we measured how the dynamic curves of the different machines related to the "Standard-Curve". For all sequences we made also measurements with a female student to assure the quality of the pictures. Thus the participating radiologists can now compare their dynamic measurements of breast lesions with each other. PMID:9172669

  16. Hydropyrolysis: A new technique for the analysis of macromolecular material in meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sephton, Mark A.; Love, Gordon D.; Meredith, Will; Snape, Colin E.; Sun, Cheng-Gong; Watson, Jonathan S.

    2005-10-01

    The carbonaceous chondrite meteorites are fragments of asteroids that have remained relatively unprocessed since the formation of the Solar System 4.56 billion years ago. The major organic component in these meteorites is a macromolecular phase that is resistant to solvent extraction. The information contained within macromolecular material can be accessed by degradative techniques such as pyrolysis. Hydropyrolysis refers to pyrolysis assisted by high hydrogen gas pressures and a dispersed sulphided molybdenum catalyst. Hydropyrolysis of the Murchison macromolecular material successfully releases much greater quantities of hydrocarbons than traditional pyrolysis techniques (twofold greater than hydrous pyrolysis) including significant amounts of high molecular weight polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) such as phenanthrene, carbazole, fluoranthene, pyrene, chrysene, perylene, benzoperylene and coronene units with varying degrees of alkylation. When hydropyrolysis products are collected using a silica trap immersed in liquid nitrogen, the technique enables the solubilisation and retention of compounds with a wide range of volatilities (i.e. benzene to coronene). This report describes the hydropyrolysis method and the information it can provide about meteorite macromolecular material constitution.

  17. Hydropyrolysis of insoluble carbonaceous matter in the Murchison meteorite: new insights into its macromolecular structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sephton, M. A.; Love, G. D.; Watson, J. S.; Verchovsky, A. B.; Wright, I. P.; Snape, C. E.; Gilmour, I.

    2004-03-01

    The major organic component of carbonaceous chondrites is a solvent-insoluble, high molecular weight macromolecular material that constitutes at least 70% of the total organic content in these meteorites. Analytical pyrolysis is often used to thermally decompose macromolecular organic matter in an inert atmosphere into lower molecular weight fragments that are more amenable to conventional organic analytical techniques. Hydropyrolysis refers to pyrolysis assisted by high hydrogen gas pressures and a dispersed catalytically-active molybdenum sulfide phase. Hydropyrolysis of meteorites has not been attempted previously although it is ideally suited to such studies due to its relatively high yields. Hydropyrolysis of the Murchison macromolecular material successfully releases significant amounts of high molecular weight PAH including phenanthrene, carbazole, fluoranthene, pyrene, chrysene, perylene, benzoperylene and coronene units with varying degrees of alklyation. Analysis of both the products and residue from hydropyrolysis reveals that the meteoritic organic network contains both labile (pyrolysable) and refractory (nonpyrolysable) fractions. Comparisons of hydropyrolysis yields of Murchison macromolecular materials with those from terrestrial coals indicate that the refractory component probably consists of a network dominated by at least five- or six-ring PAH units cross-linked together.

  18. The interplay of intrinsic disorder and macromolecular crowding on α-synuclein fibril formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirai, Nobu C.; Kikuchi, Macoto

    2016-02-01

    α-synuclein (α-syn) is an intrinsically disordered protein which is considered to be one of the causes of Parkinson's disease. This protein forms amyloid fibrils when in a highly concentrated solution. The fibril formation of α-syn is induced not only by increases in α-syn concentration but also by macromolecular crowding. In order to investigate the coupled effect of the intrinsic disorder of α-syn and macromolecular crowding, we construct a lattice gas model of α-syn in contact with a crowding agent reservoir based on statistical mechanics. The main assumption is that α-syn can be expressed as coarse-grained particles with internal states coupled with effective volume; and disordered states are modeled by larger particles with larger internal entropy than other states. Thanks to the simplicity of the model, we can exactly calculate the number of conformations of crowding agents, and this enables us to prove that the original grand canonical ensemble with a crowding agent reservoir is mathematically equivalent to a canonical ensemble without crowding agents. In this expression, the effect of macromolecular crowding is absorbed in the internal entropy of disordered states; it is clearly shown that the crowding effect reduces the internal entropy. Based on Monte Carlo simulation, we provide scenarios of crowding-induced fibril formation. We also discuss the recent controversy over the existence of helically folded tetramers of α-syn, and suggest that macromolecular crowding is the key to resolving the controversy.

  19. Mixed macromolecular crowding inhibits amyloid formation of hen egg white lysozyme.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Bing-Rui; Zhou, Zheng; Hu, Qing-Lian; Chen, Jie; Liang, Yi

    2008-03-01

    The effects of two single macromolecular crowding agents, Ficoll 70 and bovine serum albumin (BSA), and one mixed macromolecular crowding agent containing both BSA and Ficoll 70, on amyloid formation of hen egg white lysozyme have been examined by thioflavin T binding, Congo red binding, transmission electron microscopy, and activity assay, as a function of crowder concentration and composition. Both the mixed crowding agent and the protein crowding agent BSA at 100 g/l almost completely inhibit amyloid formation of lysozyme and stabilize lysozyme activity on the investigated time scale, but Ficoll 70 at the same concentration neither impedes amyloid formation of lysozyme effectively nor stabilizes lysozyme activity. Further kinetic and isothermal titration calorimetry analyses indicate that a mixture of 5 g/l BSA and 95 g/l Ficoll 70 inhibits amyloid formation of lysozyme and maintains lysozyme activity via mixed macromolecular crowding as well as weak, nonspecific interactions between BSA and nonnative lysozyme. Our data demonstrate that BSA and Ficoll 70 cooperatively contribute to both the inhibitory effect and the stabilization effect of the mixed crowding agent, suggesting that mixed macromolecular crowding inside the cell may play a role in posttranslational quality control mechanism.

  20. Influence of macromolecular prorads on the network formation in polyethylene induced by electron beam irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Etten, A.E.P. van; Engelen, Y.M.T.; Overbergh, N.M.M.

    1993-12-31

    The use of low molecular weight acrylate terminated polybutadiene (PBd) as a macromolecular prorad for the electron beam crosslinking of polyethylene (PE) was studied and compared with the commonly used low molecular weight crosslinking agent triallylisocyanurate (TAIC). It appears that PBd and PE phase-separate during processing resulting in finely dispersed PBd particles (0.4 {mu}) in a polyethylene matrix. Obviously, the dispersed PBd particle can not improve the crosslink density of PE which explains the lower crosslinking density of the blends with PBd compared to the TAIC blends. Nevertheless, it can not be excluded that the presence of some dissolved PBd in the amorphous PE domains has a slight influence on the network formation in PE. Apparently, to study the influence of macromolecular prorads on the crosslink density and the visco-elastic properties of a PE network containing foreign polymer chains, a macromolecular prorad should be used which more resembles PE than PBd does. However, the use of macromolecular prorads which more resemble PE will have less influence on the visco-elastic network properties.

  1. Type IV kerogens as analogues for organic macromolecular materials in aqueously altered carbonaceous chondrites.

    PubMed

    Matthewman, Richard; Martins, Zita; Sephton, Mark A

    2013-04-01

    Understanding the processes involved in the evolution of organic matter in the early Solar System requires extensive experimental work. The scientifically valuable carbonaceous chondrites are principal targets for organic analyses, but these meteorites are rare. Meteoritic analog materials available in larger quantities, on which experiments can be performed, would be highly beneficial. The bulk of the organic inventory of carbonaceous chondrites is made up of solvent-insoluble macromolecular material. This high-molecular-weight entity provides a record of thermal and aqueous parent-body alteration of precursor organic structures present at the birth of the Solar System. To identify an effective analogue for this macromolecular material, we analyzed a series of terrestrial kerogens by pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Type I and II kerogens are unsuitable analogues owing to their highly aliphatic nature. Type III kerogens show some similarities to meteoritic macromolecular materials but display a substantial biological heritage. Type IV kerogens, in this study derived from Mesozoic paleosols and produced by the reworking and oxidation of organic matter, represent an effective analogue. Some isomeric differences exist between meteoritic macromolecular materials and type IV kerogens, and stepped pyrolysis indicates variations in thermal stability. In addition to being a suitable material for novel experimentation, type IV kerogens also have the potential to aid in the optimization of instruments for deployment on Mars. PMID:23551239

  2. Pyelolithotomy by the use of a hydrophilous macromolecular binding material ("pyeloform" pyelotomy).

    PubMed

    Nagy, Z; Frang, D; Jávor, A; Götz, F; Szatmári, J; Vizi, L; Kovács, G

    1984-01-01

    The use of a synthetic macromolecular hydrophilous binding material for the extraction of multiple renal calculi (" Pyeloform " pyelotomy) is reported. An account of the results of animal studies in vitro is given and the possibilities of the method in are pointed out. PMID:6724825

  3. Macromolecular Crowding Modulates Folding Mechanism of α/β Protein Apoflavodoxin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Homouz, D.; Stagg, L.; Wittungstafshede, P.; Cheung, M.

    2009-01-01

    Protein dynamics in cells may be different from that in dilute solutions in vitro since the environment in cells is highly concentrated with other macromolecules. This volume exclusion due to macromolecular crowding is predicted to affect both equilibrium and kinetic processes involving protein conformational changes. To quantify macromolecular crowding effects on protein folding mechanisms, here we have investigated the folding energy landscape of an alpha/beta protein, apoflavodoxin, in the presence of inert macromolecular crowding agents using in silico and in vitro approaches. By coarse-grained molecular simulations and topology-based potential interactions, we probed the effects of increased volume fraction of crowding agents (phi_c) as well as of crowding agent geometry (sphere or spherocylinder) at high phi_c. Parallel kinetic folding experiments with purified Desulfovibro desulfuricans apoflavodoxin in vitro were performed in the presence of Ficoll (sphere) and Dextran (spherocylinder) synthetic crowding agents. In conclusion, we have identified in silico crowding conditions that best enhance protein stability and discovered that upon manipulation of the crowding conditions, folding routes experiencing topological frustrations can be either enhanced or relieved. The test-tube experiments confirmed that apoflavodoxin's time-resolved folding path is modulated by crowding agent geometry. We propose that macromolecular crowding effects may be a tool for manipulation of protein folding and function in living cells.

  4. Apparatus for separating particles utilizing engineered acoustic contrast capture particles

    SciTech Connect

    Kaduchak, Gregory; Ward, Michael D

    2014-10-21

    An apparatus for separating particles from a medium includes a capillary defining a flow path therein that is in fluid communication with a medium source. The medium source includes engineered acoustic contrast capture particle having a predetermined acoustic contrast. The apparatus includes a vibration generator that is operable to produce at least one acoustic field within the flow path. The acoustic field produces a force potential minima for positive acoustic contrast particles and a force potential minima for negative acoustic contrast particles in the flow path and drives the engineered acoustic contrast capture particles to either the force potential minima for positive acoustic contrast particles or the force potential minima for negative acoustic contrast particles.

  5. Apparatus for separating particles utilizing engineered acoustic contrast capture particles

    SciTech Connect

    Kaduchak, Gregory; Ward, Michael D.

    2011-12-27

    An apparatus for separating particles from a medium includes a capillary defining a flow path therein that is in fluid communication with a medium source. The medium source includes engineered acoustic contrast capture particle having a predetermined acoustic contrast. The apparatus includes a vibration generator that is operable to produce at least one acoustic field within the flow path. The acoustic field produces a force potential minima for positive acoustic contrast particles and a force potential minima for negative acoustic contrast particles in the flow path and drives the engineered acoustic contrast capture particles to either the force potential minima for positive acoustic contrast particles or the force potential minima for negative acoustic contrast particles.

  6. Apparatus for separating particles utilizing engineered acoustic contrast capture particles

    DOEpatents

    Kaduchak, Gregory; Ward, Michael D

    2016-05-17

    An apparatus for separating particles from a medium includes a capillary defining a flow path therein that is in fluid communication with a medium source. The medium source includes engineered acoustic contrast capture particle having a predetermined acoustic contrast. The apparatus includes a vibration generator that is operable to produce at least one acoustic field within the flow path. The acoustic field produces a force potential minima for positive acoustic contrast particles and a force potential minima for negative acoustic contrast particles in the flow path and drives the engineered acoustic contrast capture particles to either the force potential minima for positive acoustic contrast particles or the force potential minima for negative acoustic contrast particles.

  7. Flexibility damps macromolecular crowding effects on protein folding dynamics: Application to the murine prion protein (121-231)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergasa-Caceres, Fernando; Rabitz, Herschel A.

    2014-01-01

    A model of protein folding kinetics is applied to study the combined effects of protein flexibility and macromolecular crowding on protein folding rate and stability. It is found that the increase in stability and folding rate promoted by macromolecular crowding is damped for proteins with highly flexible native structures. The model is applied to the folding dynamics of the murine prion protein (121-231). It is found that the high flexibility of the native isoform of the murine prion protein (121-231) reduces the effects of macromolecular crowding on its folding dynamics. The relevance of these findings for the pathogenic mechanism are discussed.

  8. Cost-effective imprinting combining macromolecular crowding and a dummy template for the fast purification of punicalagin from pomegranate husk extract.

    PubMed

    Sun, Guang-Ying; Wang, Chao; Luo, Yu-Qin; Zhao, Yong-Xin; Yang, Jian; Liu, Zhao-Sheng; Aisa, Haji Akber

    2016-05-01

    The combination of molecular crowding and virtual imprinting was employed to develop a cost-effective method to prepare molecularly imprinted polymers. By using linear polymer polystyrene as a macromolecular crowding agent, an imprinted polymer recognizable to punicalagin had been successfully synthesized with punicalin as the dummy template. The resulting punicalin-imprinted polymer presented a remarkable selectivity to punicalagin with an imprinting factor of 3.17 even at extremely low consumption of the template (template/monomer ratio of 1:782). In contrast, the imprinted polymer synthesized without crowding agent, did not show any imprinting effect at so low template amount. The imprinted polymers made by combination of molecular crowding and virtual imprinting can be utilized for the fast separation of punicalagin from pomegranate husk extract after optimizing the protocol of solid-phase extraction with the recovery of 85.3 ± 1.2%. PMID:27027975

  9. Crystal structure of Jararacussin-I: the highly negatively charged catalytic interface contributes to macromolecular selectivity in snake venom thrombin-like enzymes.

    PubMed

    Ullah, A; Souza, T A C B; Zanphorlin, L M; Mariutti, R B; Santana, V S; Murakami, M T; Arni, R K

    2013-01-01

    Snake venom serine proteinases (SVSPs) are hemostatically active toxins that perturb the maintenance and regulation of both the blood coagulation cascade and fibrinolytic feedback system at specific points, and hence, are widely used as tools in pharmacological and clinical diagnosis. The crystal structure of a thrombin-like enzyme (TLE) from Bothrops jararacussu venom (Jararacussin-I) was determined at 2.48 Å resolution. This is the first crystal structure of a TLE and allows structural comparisons with both the Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix Protein C Activator and the Trimeresurus stejnegeri plasminogen activator. Despite the highly conserved overall fold, significant differences in the amino acid compositions and three-dimensional conformations of the loops surrounding the active site significantly alter the molecular topography and charge distribution profile of the catalytic interface. In contrast to other SVSPs, the catalytic interface of Jararacussin-I is highly negatively charged, which contributes to its unique macromolecular selectivity. PMID:23139169

  10. Macromolecularly crowded in vitro microenvironments accelerate the production of extracellular matrix-rich supramolecular assemblies

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Pramod; Satyam, Abhigyan; Fan, Xingliang; Collin, Estelle; Rochev, Yury; Rodriguez, Brian J.; Gorelov, Alexander; Dillon, Simon; Joshi, Lokesh; Raghunath, Michael; Pandit, Abhay; Zeugolis, Dimitrios I.

    2015-01-01

    Therapeutic strategies based on the principles of tissue engineering by self-assembly put forward the notion that functional regeneration can be achieved by utilising the inherent capacity of cells to create highly sophisticated supramolecular assemblies. However, in dilute ex vivo microenvironments, prolonged culture time is required to develop an extracellular matrix-rich implantable device. Herein, we assessed the influence of macromolecular crowding, a biophysical phenomenon that regulates intra- and extra-cellular activities in multicellular organisms, in human corneal fibroblast culture. In the presence of macromolecules, abundant extracellular matrix deposition was evidenced as fast as 48 h in culture, even at low serum concentration. Temperature responsive copolymers allowed the detachment of dense and cohesive supramolecularly assembled living substitutes within 6 days in culture. Morphological, histological, gene and protein analysis assays demonstrated maintenance of tissue-specific function. Macromolecular crowding opens new avenues for a more rational design in engineering of clinically relevant tissue modules in vitro. PMID:25736020

  11. Size evolution of highly amphiphilic macromolecular solution assemblies via a distinct bimodal pathway

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, Elizabeth G.; Murphy, Ryan P.; Seppala, Jonathan E.; Smart, Thomas P.; Hann, Sarah D.

    2014-01-01

    The solution self-assembly of macromolecular amphiphiles offers an efficient, bottom-up strategy for producing well--defined nanocarriers, with applications ranging from drug delivery to nanoreactors. Typically, the generation of uniform nanocarrier architecturesis controlled by processing methods that rely upon cosolvent mixtures. These preparation strategies hinge on the assumption that macromolecular solution nanostructures are kinetically stable following transfer from an organic/aqueous cosolvent into aqueous solution. Herein we demonstrate that unequivocal step-change shifts in micelle populations occur over several weeks following transfer into a highly selective solvent. The unexpected micelle growth evolves through a distinct bimodal distribution separated by multiple fusion events and critically depends on solution agitation. Notably, these results underscore fundamental similarities between assembly processes in amphiphilic polymer, small molecule, and protein systems. Moreover, the non-equilibrium micelle size increase can have a major impact on the assumed stability of solution assemblies, for which performance is dictated by nanocarrier size and structure. PMID:24710204

  12. 3DEM Loupe: Analysis of macromolecular dynamics using structures from electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Nogales-Cadenas, R; Jonic, S; Tama, F; Arteni, A A; Tabas-Madrid, D; Vázquez, M; Pascual-Montano, A; Sorzano, C O S

    2013-07-01

    Electron microscopy (EM) provides access to structural information of macromolecular complexes in the 3-20 Å resolution range. Normal mode analysis has been extensively used with atomic resolution structures and successfully applied to EM structures. The major application of normal modes is the identification of possible conformational changes in proteins. The analysis can throw light on the mechanism following ligand binding, protein-protein interactions, channel opening and other functional macromolecular movements. In this article, we present a new web server, 3DEM Loupe, which allows normal mode analysis of any uploaded EM volume using a user-friendly interface and an intuitive workflow. Results can be fully explored in 3D through animations and movies generated by the server. The application is freely available at http://3demloupe.cnb.csic.es.

  13. The emerging role of native mass spectrometry in characterizing the structure and dynamics of macromolecular complexes

    PubMed Central

    Boeri Erba, Elisabetta; Petosa, Carlo

    2015-01-01

    Mass spectrometry (MS) is a powerful tool for determining the mass of biomolecules with high accuracy and sensitivity. MS performed under so-called “native conditions” (native MS) can be used to determine the mass of biomolecules that associate noncovalently. Here we review the application of native MS to the study of protein−ligand interactions and its emerging role in elucidating the structure of macromolecular assemblies, including soluble and membrane protein complexes. Moreover, we discuss strategies aimed at determining the stoichiometry and topology of subunits by inducing partial dissociation of the holo-complex. We also survey recent developments in "native top-down MS", an approach based on Fourier Transform MS, whereby covalent bonds are broken without disrupting non-covalent interactions. Given recent progress, native MS is anticipated to play an increasingly important role for researchers interested in the structure of macromolecular complexes. PMID:25676284

  14. From “Simple” DNA-Protein Interactions to the Macromolecular Machines of Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    von Hippel, Peter H.

    2008-01-01

    The physicochemical concepts that underlie our present ideas on the structure and assembly of the “macromolecular machines of gene expression” are developed, starting with the structure and folding of the individual protein and DNA components, the thermodynamics and kinetics of their conformational rearrangements during complex assembly, and the molecular basis of the sequence specificity and recognition interactions of the final assemblies that include the DNA genome. The role of diffusion in reduced dimensions in the kinetics of the assembly of macromolecular machines from their components is also considered, and diffusion-driven reactions are compared with those fueled by ATP binding and hydrolysis, as well as by the specific covalent chemical modifications involved in rearranging chromatin and modifying signal transduction networks in higher organisms. PMID:17477836

  15. PIMADb: A Database of Protein–Protein Interactions in Huge Macromolecular Assemblies

    PubMed Central

    Mathew, Oommen K.; Sowdhamini, Ramanathan

    2016-01-01

    Protein–protein interactions play a very important role in the process of cellular functionality. Intricate details about the interactions between the proteins in a macromolecular assembly are important to understand the function and significance of protein complexes. We are reporting about a database of protein–protein interactions in huge macromolecular assemblies (PIMADb) that records the intrinsic details of 189,532 interchain interactions in 40,049 complexes from the Protein Data Bank. These details include the results of the quantification and analysis of all the interactions in the complex. The availability of interprotomer interaction networks can enable the design of point mutation experiments. PIMADb can be accessed from the URL: http://caps.ncbs.res.in/pimadb PMID:27478368

  16. High-Resolution Macromolecular Structure Determination by MicroED, a cryo-EM Method.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, J A; Gonen, T

    2016-01-01

    Microelectron diffraction (MicroED) is a new cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) method capable of determining macromolecular structures at atomic resolution from vanishingly small 3D crystals. MicroED promises to solve atomic resolution structures from even the tiniest of crystals, less than a few hundred nanometers thick. MicroED complements frontier advances in crystallography and represents part of the rebirth of cryo-EM that is making macromolecular structure determination more accessible for all. Here we review the concept and practice of MicroED, for both the electron microscopist and crystallographer. Where other reviews have addressed specific details of the technique (Hattne et al., 2015; Shi et al., 2016; Shi, Nannenga, Iadanza, & Gonen, 2013), we aim to provide context and highlight important features that should be considered when performing a MicroED experiment.

  17. Optimal cytoplasmatic density and flux balance model under macromolecular crowding effects.

    PubMed

    Vazquez, Alexei

    2010-05-21

    Macromolecules occupy between 34% and 44% of the cell cytoplasm, about half the maximum packing density of spheres in three dimension. Yet, there is no clear understanding of what is special about this value. To address this fundamental question we investigate the effect of macromolecular crowding on cell metabolism. We develop a cell scale flux balance model capturing the main features of cell metabolism at different nutrient uptakes and macromolecular densities. Using this model we show there are two metabolic regimes at low and high nutrient uptakes. The latter regime is characterized by an optimal cytoplasmatic density where the increase of reaction rates by confinement and the decrease by diffusion slow-down balance. More important, the predicted optimal density is in the range of the experimentally determined density of Escherichia coli.

  18. Radiation damage in macromolecular crystallography: what is it and why should we care?

    PubMed Central

    Garman, Elspeth F.

    2010-01-01

    Radiation damage inflicted during diffraction data collection in macromolecular crystallography has re-emerged in the last decade as a major experimental and computational challenge, as even for crystals held at 100 K it can result in severe data-quality degradation and the appearance in solved structures of artefacts which affect biological interpretations. Here, the observable symptoms and basic physical processes involved in radiation damage are described and the concept of absorbed dose as the basic metric against which to monitor the experimentally observed changes is outlined. Investigations into radiation damage in macromolecular crystallography are ongoing and the number of studies is rapidly increasing. The current literature on the subject is compiled as a resource for the interested researcher. PMID:20382986

  19. Romp: The Method of Choice for Precise Macromolecular Engineering and Synthesis of Smart Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khosravi, Ezat; Castle, Thomas C.; Kujawa, Margaret; Leejarkpai, Jan; Hutchings, Lian R.; Hine, Peter J.

    The recent advances in olefin metathesis highlight the impact of Ring Opening Metathesis Polymerisation (ROMP) as a powerful technique for macromolecular engineering and synthesis of smart materials with well-defined structures. ROMP has attracted a considerable research attention recently particularly by industry largely due to the development of well-defined metal complexes as initiators and also because of the award of the Noble Prize for Chemistry in 2005 to three scientists (Chauvin, Grubbs, Schrock) for their contributions in this area. This chapter discusses several interesting examples in order to demonstrate that ROMP is a power tool in macromolecular engineering and that it allows the design and synthesis of polymers with novel topologies.

  20. ACHESYM: an algorithm and server for standardized placement of macromolecular models in the unit cell

    PubMed Central

    Kowiel, Marcin; Jaskolski, Mariusz; Dauter, Zbigniew

    2014-01-01

    Despite the existence of numerous useful conventions in structural crystallography, for example for the choice of the asymmetric part of the unit cell or of reciprocal space, surprisingly no standards are in use for the placement of the molecular model in the unit cell, often leading to inconsistencies or confusion. A conceptual solution for this problem has been proposed for macromolecular crystal structures based on the idea of the anti-Cheshire unit cell. Here, a program and server (called ACHESYM; http://achesym.ibch.poznan.pl) are presented for the practical implementation of this concept. In addition, the first task of ACHESYM is to find an optimal (compact) macromolecular assembly if more than one polymer chain exists. ACHESYM processes PDB (atomic parameters and TLS matrices) and mmCIF (diffraction data) input files to produce a new coordinate set and to reindex the reflections and modify their phases, if necessary. PMID:25478846

  1. Viscoelasticity of living materials: mechanics and chemistry of muscle as an active macromolecular system.

    PubMed

    Qian, Hong

    2008-06-01

    At the molecular and cellular level, mechanics and chemistry are two aspects of the same macromolecular system. We present a bottom-up approach to such systems based on Kramers' diffusion theory of chemical reactions, the theory of polymer dynamics, and the recently developed models for molecular motors. Using muscle as an example, we develop a viscoelastic theory of muscle in terms of an simple equation for single motor protein movement. Both A.V. Hill's contractile component and A.F. Huxley's equation of sliding-filament motion are shown to be special cases of the general viscoelastic theory of the active material. Some disparity between the mechanical and the chemical views of cross-bridges and motor proteins are noted, and a duality between force and energy in discrete states and transitions of macromolecular systems is discussed.

  2. High-Resolution Macromolecular Structure Determination by MicroED, a cryo-EM Method.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, J A; Gonen, T

    2016-01-01

    Microelectron diffraction (MicroED) is a new cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) method capable of determining macromolecular structures at atomic resolution from vanishingly small 3D crystals. MicroED promises to solve atomic resolution structures from even the tiniest of crystals, less than a few hundred nanometers thick. MicroED complements frontier advances in crystallography and represents part of the rebirth of cryo-EM that is making macromolecular structure determination more accessible for all. Here we review the concept and practice of MicroED, for both the electron microscopist and crystallographer. Where other reviews have addressed specific details of the technique (Hattne et al., 2015; Shi et al., 2016; Shi, Nannenga, Iadanza, & Gonen, 2013), we aim to provide context and highlight important features that should be considered when performing a MicroED experiment. PMID:27572734

  3. Advances in electron microscopy: A qualitative view of instrumentation development for macromolecular imaging and tomography.

    PubMed

    Schröder, Rasmus R

    2015-09-01

    Macromolecular imaging and tomography of ice embedded samples has developed into a mature imaging technology, in structural biology today widely referred to simply as cryo electron microscopy.(1) While the pioneers of the technique struggled with ill-suited instruments, state-of-the-art cryo microscopes are now readily available and an increasing number of groups are producing excellent high-resolution structural data of macromolecular complexes, of cellular organelles, or the morphology of whole cells. Instrumentation developers, however, are offering yet more novel electron optical devices, such as energy filters and monochromators, aberration correctors or physical phase plates. Here we discuss how current instrumentation has already changed cryo EM, and how newly available instrumentation - often developed in other fields of electron microscopy - may further develop the use and applicability of cryo EM to the imaging of single isolated macromolecules of smaller size or molecules embedded in a crowded cellular environment.

  4. Clustering procedures for the optimal selection of data sets from multiple crystals in macromolecular crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Foadi, James; Aller, Pierre; Alguel, Yilmaz; Cameron, Alex; Axford, Danny; Owen, Robin L.; Armour, Wes; Waterman, David G.; Iwata, So; Evans, Gwyndaf

    2013-08-01

    A systematic approach to the scaling and merging of data from multiple crystals in macromolecular crystallography is introduced and explained. The availability of intense microbeam macromolecular crystallography beamlines at third-generation synchrotron sources has enabled data collection and structure solution from microcrystals of <10 µm in size. The increased likelihood of severe radiation damage where microcrystals or particularly sensitive crystals are used forces crystallographers to acquire large numbers of data sets from many crystals of the same protein structure. The associated analysis and merging of multi-crystal data is currently a manual and time-consuming step. Here, a computer program, BLEND, that has been written to assist with and automate many of the steps in this process is described. It is demonstrated how BLEND has successfully been used in the solution of a novel membrane protein.

  5. Size evolution of highly amphiphilic macromolecular solution assemblies via a distinct bimodal pathway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelley, Elizabeth G.; Murphy, Ryan P.; Seppala, Jonathan E.; Smart, Thomas P.; Hann, Sarah D.; Sullivan, Millicent O.; Epps, Thomas H.

    2014-04-01

    The solution self-assembly of macromolecular amphiphiles offers an efficient, bottom-up strategy for producing well-defined nanocarriers, with applications ranging from drug delivery to nanoreactors. Typically, the generation of uniform nanocarrier architectures is controlled by processing methods that rely on cosolvent mixtures. These preparation strategies hinge on the assumption that macromolecular solution nanostructures are kinetically stable following transfer from an organic/aqueous cosolvent into aqueous solution. Herein we demonstrate that unequivocal step-change shifts in micelle populations occur over several weeks following transfer into a highly selective solvent. The unexpected micelle growth evolves through a distinct bimodal distribution separated by multiple fusion events and critically depends on solution agitation. Notably, these results underscore fundamental similarities between assembly processes in amphiphilic polymer, small molecule and protein systems. Moreover, the non-equilibrium micelle size increase can have a major impact on the assumed stability of solution assemblies, for which performance is dictated by nanocarrier size and structure.

  6. Macromolecular synthesis and membrane perturbation assays for mechanisms of action studies of antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Cotsonas King, Amy; Wu, Liping

    2009-12-01

    The definition and confirmation of the mechanism of action of an NCE is central to antimicrobial drug discovery. Most antibiotics currently in clinical use selectively target and block one or more bacterial macromolecular synthesis processes, e.g., DNA replication, RNA synthesis (transcription), protein synthesis (translation), cell wall (peptidoglycan) synthesis, and fatty acid (lipid) biosynthesis. This unit includes two protocols for determining the effect of test compounds on macromolecular synthesis, one in test tube format and the other in 96-well plate format. A membrane potential depolarization protocol is also provided. Disruption of cell membrane integrity may be a legitimate mechanism of action for antibacterials, but it also may be the result of nonspecific cell membrane activity, an effect that must be ruled out for mammalian cells. These assays provide useful means for verifying inhibition of an intended target pathway with investigational antimicrobial compounds. They can also be used as valuable secondary assays for lead optimization to eliminate inhibitors that display nonselective toxicity.

  7. (Questions)n on phloem biology. 2. Mass flow, molecular hopping, distribution patterns and macromolecular signalling.

    PubMed

    van Bel, Aart J E; Furch, Alexandra C U; Hafke, Jens B; Knoblauch, Michael; Patrick, John W

    2011-10-01

    This review speculates on correlations between mass flow in sieve tubes and the distribution of photoassimilates and macromolecular signals. Since micro- (low-molecular compounds) and macromolecules are withdrawn from, and released into, the sieve-tube sap at various rates, distribution patterns of these compounds do not strictly obey mass-flow predictions. Due to serial release and retrieval transport steps executed by sieve tube plasma membranes, micromolecules are proposed to "hop" between sieve element/companion cell complexes and phloem parenchyma cells under source-limiting conditions (apoplasmic hopping). Under sink-limiting conditions, micromolecules escape from sieve tubes via pore-plasmodesma units and are temporarily stored. It is speculated that macromolecules "hop" between sieve elements and companion cells using plasmodesmal trafficking mechanisms (symplasmic hopping). We explore how differential tagging may influence distribution patterns of macromolecules and how their bidirectional movement could arise. Effects of exudation techniques on the macromolecular composition of sieve-tube sap are discussed. PMID:21889037

  8. [Contrast sensitivity in glaucoma].

    PubMed

    Bartos, D

    1989-05-01

    Author reports on results of the contrast sensitivity examinations using the Cambridge low-contrast lattice test supplied by Clement Clarke International LTD, in patients with open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension. In glaucoma patients there was observed statistically significant decrease of the contrast sensitivity. In patients with ocular hypertension decrease of the contrast sensitivity was in patients affected by corresponding changes of the visual field and of the optical disc. The main advantages of the Cambridge low-contrast lattice test were simplicity, rapidity and precision of its performance. PMID:2743444

  9. The R-factor gap in macromolecular crystallography: an untapped potential for insights on accurate structures

    PubMed Central

    Holton, James M; Classen, Scott; Frankel, Kenneth A; Tainer, John A

    2014-01-01

    In macromolecular crystallography, the agreement between observed and predicted structure factors (Rcryst and Rfree) is seldom better than 20%. This is much larger than the estimate of experimental error (Rmerge). The difference between Rcryst and Rmerge is the R-factor gap. There is no such gap in small-molecule crystallography, for which calculated structure factors are generally considered more accurate than the experimental measurements. Perhaps the true noise level of macromolecular data is higher than expected? Or is the gap caused by inaccurate phases that trap refined models in local minima? By generating simulated diffraction patterns using the program MLFSOM, and including every conceivable source of experimental error, we show that neither is the case. Processing our simulated data yielded values that were indistinguishable from those of real data for all crystallographic statistics except the final Rcryst and Rfree. These values decreased to 3.8% and 5.5% for simulated data, suggesting that the reason for high R-factors in macromolecular crystallography is neither experimental error nor phase bias, but rather an underlying inadequacy in the models used to explain our observations. The present inability to accurately represent the entire macromolecule with both its flexibility and its protein-solvent interface may be improved by synergies between small-angle X-ray scattering, computational chemistry and crystallography. The exciting implication of our finding is that macromolecular data contain substantial hidden and untapped potential to resolve ambiguities in the true nature of the nanoscale, a task that the second century of crystallography promises to fulfill. Database Coordinates and structure factors for the real data have been submitted to the Protein Data Bank under accession 4tws. PMID:25040949

  10. Folding dynamics of Trp-cage in the presence of chemical interference and macromolecular crowding. I

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samiotakis, Antonios; Cheung, Margaret S.

    2011-11-01

    Proteins fold and function in the crowded environment of the cell's interior. In the recent years it has been well established that the so-called "macromolecular crowding" effect enhances the folding stability of proteins by destabilizing their unfolded states for selected proteins. On the other hand, chemical and thermal denaturation is often used in experiments as a tool to destabilize a protein by populating the unfolded states when probing its folding landscape and thermodynamic properties. However, little is known about the complicated effects of these synergistic perturbations acting on the kinetic properties of proteins, particularly when large structural fluctuations, such as protein folding, have been involved. In this study, we have first investigated the folding mechanism of Trp-cage dependent on urea concentration by coarse-grained molecular simulations where the impact of urea is implemented into an energy function of the side chain and/or backbone interactions derived from the all-atomistic molecular dynamics simulations with urea through a Boltzmann inversion method. In urea solution, the folding rates of a model miniprotein Trp-cage decrease and the folded state slightly swells due to a lack of contact formation between side chains at the terminal regions. In addition, the equilibrium m-values of Trp-cage from the computer simulations are in agreement with experimental measurements. We have further investigated the combined effects of urea denaturation and macromolecular crowding on Trp-cage's folding mechanism where crowding agents are modeled as hard-spheres. The enhancement of folding rates of Trp-cage is most pronounced by macromolecular crowding effect when the extended conformations of Trp-cast dominate at high urea concentration. Our study makes quantitatively testable predictions on protein folding dynamics in a complex environment involving both chemical denaturation and macromolecular crowding effects.

  11. Developing genetic tools to exploit Chaetomium thermophilum for biochemical analyses of eukaryotic macromolecular assemblies

    PubMed Central

    Kellner, Nikola; Schwarz, Johannes; Sturm, Miriam; Fernandez-Martinez, Javier; Griesel, Sabine; Zhang, Wenzhu; Chait, Brian T.; Rout, Michael P.; Kück, Ulrich; Hurt, Ed

    2016-01-01

    We describe a method to genetically manipulate Chaetomium thermophilum, a eukaryotic thermophile, along with various biochemical applications. The transformation method depends on a thermostable endogenous selection marker operating at high temperatures combined with chromosomal integration of target genes. Our technique allows exploiting eukaryotic thermophiles as source for purifying thermostable native macromolecular complexes with an emphasis on the nuclear pore complex, holding great potential for applications in basic science and biotechnology. PMID:26864114

  12. Accurate macromolecular structures using minimal measurements from X-ray free-electron lasers.

    PubMed

    Hattne, Johan; Echols, Nathaniel; Tran, Rosalie; Kern, Jan; Gildea, Richard J; Brewster, Aaron S; Alonso-Mori, Roberto; Glöckner, Carina; Hellmich, Julia; Laksmono, Hartawan; Sierra, Raymond G; Lassalle-Kaiser, Benedikt; Lampe, Alyssa; Han, Guangye; Gul, Sheraz; DiFiore, Dörte; Milathianaki, Despina; Fry, Alan R; Miahnahri, Alan; White, William E; Schafer, Donald W; Seibert, M Marvin; Koglin, Jason E; Sokaras, Dimosthenis; Weng, Tsu-Chien; Sellberg, Jonas; Latimer, Matthew J; Glatzel, Pieter; Zwart, Petrus H; Grosse-Kunstleve, Ralf W; Bogan, Michael J; Messerschmidt, Marc; Williams, Garth J; Boutet, Sébastien; Messinger, Johannes; Zouni, Athina; Yano, Junko; Bergmann, Uwe; Yachandra, Vittal K; Adams, Paul D; Sauter, Nicholas K

    2014-05-01

    X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) sources enable the use of crystallography to solve three-dimensional macromolecular structures under native conditions and without radiation damage. Results to date, however, have been limited by the challenge of deriving accurate Bragg intensities from a heterogeneous population of microcrystals, while at the same time modeling the X-ray spectrum and detector geometry. Here we present a computational approach designed to extract meaningful high-resolution signals from fewer diffraction measurements.

  13. Sensitive, hydrosoluble, macromolecular fluorogenic substrates for human immunodeficiency virus 1 proteinase.

    PubMed Central

    Anjuère, F; Monsigny, M; Lelièvre, Y; Mayer, R

    1993-01-01

    Hydrosoluble macromolecular fluorogenic substrates specific for the human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) proteinase have been prepared. The fluoresceinyl peptide Ftc-epsilon-Ahx-Ser-Phe-Asn-Phe-Pro-Gln-Ile-Thr-(Gly)n, corresponding to the first cleavage site of HIV-1 gag-pol native precursor was linked to a water-soluble neutral (Lys)n derivative. The epsilon-aminohexanoyl residue (epsilon-Ahx) and the glycyl sequence were added in order to improve the stability of the substrate and the accessibility of the cleavage site to the HIV-1 proteinase respectively. This macro-molecular peptidic-substrate conjugate is significantly more water-soluble than the free peptide itself on a substrate molar concentration basis. The assay is based on the quantitative precipitation of the polymeric material by adding propan-2-ol whereas the fluorescent peptide moiety released upon proteolysis remains soluble in the supernatant. The proteinase activity is assessed by measuring the fluorescence of the supernatant. This assay allows the detection of a few fmol of HIV-1 proteinase, even in the presence of cell culture media, plasma or cell lysate and it gives accurate results within a large proteinase concentration range. The hydrosoluble macromolecular substrate is also suitable for determining the HIV-1 proteinase activity using 96-well microplates, allowing us to test accurately and rapidly numerous enzyme samples and/or the potency of new proteinase inhibitors. PMID:8489513

  14. Macromolecular crowding can account for RNase-sensitive constraint of bacterial nucleoid structure

    SciTech Connect

    Foley, Patricia L.; Wilson, David B.; Shuler, Michael L.

    2010-04-23

    The shape and compaction of the bacterial nucleoid may affect the accessibility of genetic material to the transcriptional machinery in natural and synthetic systems. To investigate this phenomenon, the nature and contribution of RNA and protein to the compaction of nucleoids that had been gently released from Escherichia coli cells were investigated using fluorescent and transmission electron microscopy. We propose that the removal of RNA from the bacterial nucleoid affects nucleoid compaction by altering the branching density and molecular weight of the nucleoid. We show that a common detergent in nucleoid preparations, Brij 58, plays a previously unrecognized role as a macromolecular crowding agent. RNA-free nucleoids adopt a compact structure similar in size to exponential-phase nucleoids when the concentration of Brij 58 is increased, consistent with our hypothesis. We present evidence that control and protein-free nucleoids behave similarly in solutions containing a macromolecular crowding agent. These results show that the contribution to DNA compaction by nucleoid-associated proteins is small when compared to macromolecular crowding effects.

  15. Protein self-association induced by macromolecular crowding: a quantitative analysis by magnetic relaxation dispersion.

    PubMed

    Snoussi, Karim; Halle, Bertil

    2005-04-01

    In the presence of high concentrations of inert macromolecules, the self-association of proteins is strongly enhanced through an entropic, excluded-volume effect variously called macromolecular crowding or depletion attraction. Despite the predicted large magnitude of this universal effect and its far-reaching biological implications, few experimental studies of macromolecular crowding have been reported. Here, we introduce a powerful new technique, fast field-cycling magnetic relaxation dispersion, for investigating crowding effects on protein self-association equilibria. By recording the solvent proton spin relaxation rate over a wide range of magnetic field strengths, we determine the populations of coexisting monomers and decamers of bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor in the presence of dextran up to a macromolecular volume fraction of 27%. Already at a dextran volume fraction of 14%, we find a 30-fold increase of the decamer population and 510(5)-fold increase of the association constant. The analysis of these results, in terms of a statistical-mechanical model that incorporates polymer flexibility as well as the excluded volume of the protein, shows that the dramatic enhancement of bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor self-association can be quantitatively rationalized in terms of hard repulsive interactions. PMID:15665132

  16. Automated macromolecular model building for X-ray crystallography using ARP/wARP version 7

    PubMed Central

    Langer, Gerrit G; Cohen, Serge X; Lamzin, Victor S; Perrakis, Anastassis

    2008-01-01

    ARP/wARP is a software suite to build macromolecular models in X-ray crystallography electron density maps. Structural genomics initiatives and the study of complex macromolecular assemblies and membrane proteins all rely on advanced methods for 3D structure determination. ARP/wARP meets these needs by providing the tools to obtain a macromolecular model automatically, with a reproducible computational procedure. ARP/wARP 7.0 tackles several tasks: iterative protein model building including a high-level decision-making control module; fast construction of the secondary structure of a protein; building flexible loops in alternate conformations; fully automated placement of ligands, including a choice of the best fitting ligand from a “cocktail”; and finding ordered water molecules. All protocols are easy to handle by a non-expert user through a graphical user interface or a command line. The time required is typically a few minutes although iterative model building may take a few hours. PMID:18600222

  17. Protein crystallography for aspiring crystallographers or how to avoid pitfalls and traps in macromolecular structure determination

    PubMed Central

    Wlodawer, Alexander; Minor, Wladek; Dauter, Zbigniew; Jaskolski, Mariusz

    2014-01-01

    The number of macromolecular structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank now approaches 100 000, with the vast majority of them determined by crystallographic methods. Thousands of papers describing such structures have been published in the scientific literature, and 20 Nobel Prizes in chemistry or medicine have been awarded for discoveries based on macromolecular crystallography. New hardware and software tools have made crystallography appear to be an almost routine (but still far from being analytical) technique and many structures are now being determined by scientists with very limited experience in the practical aspects of the field. However, this apparent ease is sometimes illusory and proper procedures need to be followed to maintain high standards of structure quality. In addition, many noncrystallographers may have problems with the critical evaluation and interpretation of structural results published in the scientific literature. The present review provides an outline of the technical aspects of crystallography for less experienced practitioners, as well as information that might be useful for users of macromolecular structures, aiming to show them how to interpret (but not overinterpret) the information present in the coordinate files and in their description. A discussion of the extent of information that can be gleaned from the atomic coordinates of structures solved at different resolution is provided, as well as problems and pitfalls encountered in structure determination and interpretation. PMID:24034303

  18. Asymmetrical macromolecular complex formation of lysophosphatidic acid receptor 2 (LPA2) mediates gradient sensing in fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Ren, Aixia; Moon, Changsuk; Zhang, Weiqiang; Sinha, Chandrima; Yarlagadda, Sunitha; Arora, Kavisha; Wang, Xusheng; Yue, Junming; Parthasarathi, Kaushik; Heil-Chapdelaine, Rick; Tigyi, Gabor; Naren, Anjaparavanda P

    2014-12-26

    Chemotactic migration of fibroblasts toward growth factors relies on their capacity to sense minute extracellular gradients and respond to spatially confined receptor-mediated signals. Currently, mechanisms underlying the gradient sensing of fibroblasts remain poorly understood. Using single-particle tracking methodology, we determined that a lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) gradient induces a spatiotemporally restricted decrease in the mobility of LPA receptor 2 (LPA2) on chemotactic fibroblasts. The onset of decreased LPA2 mobility correlates to the spatial recruitment and coupling to LPA2-interacting proteins that anchor the complex to the cytoskeleton. These localized PDZ motif-mediated macromolecular complexes of LPA2 trigger a Ca(2+) puff gradient that governs gradient sensing and directional migration in response to LPA. Disruption of the PDZ motif-mediated assembly of the macromolecular complex of LPA2 disorganizes the gradient of Ca(2+) puffs, disrupts gradient sensing, and reduces the directional migration of fibroblasts toward LPA. Our findings illustrate that the asymmetric macromolecular complex formation of chemoattractant receptors mediates gradient sensing and provides a new mechanistic basis for models to describe gradient sensing of fibroblasts.

  19. A smooth and differentiable bulk-solvent model for macromolecular diffraction

    SciTech Connect

    Fenn, T. D.; Schnieders, M. J.; Brunger, A. T.

    2010-09-01

    A new method for modeling the bulk solvent in macromolecular diffraction data based on Babinet’s principle is presented. The proposed models offer the advantage of differentiability with respect to atomic coordinates. Inclusion of low-resolution data in macromolecular crystallography requires a model for the bulk solvent. Previous methods have used a binary mask to accomplish this, which has proven to be very effective, but the mask is discontinuous at the solute–solvent boundary (i.e. the mask value jumps from zero to one) and is not differentiable with respect to atomic parameters. Here, two algorithms are introduced for computing bulk-solvent models using either a polynomial switch or a smoothly thresholded product of Gaussians, and both models are shown to be efficient and differentiable with respect to atomic coordinates. These alternative bulk-solvent models offer algorithmic improvements, while showing similar agreement of the model with the observed amplitudes relative to the binary model as monitored using R, R{sub free} and differences between experimental and model phases. As with the standard solvent models, the alternative models improve the agreement primarily with lower resolution (>6 Å) data versus no bulk solvent. The models are easily implemented into crystallographic software packages and can be used as a general method for bulk-solvent correction in macromolecular crystallography.

  20. Conformational Statistics of Semi-Flexible Macromolecular Chains with Internal Joints

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yu

    2010-01-01

    Fluctuations in the bending angles at internal irregularities of DNA and RNA (such as symmetric loops, bulges, and nicks/gaps) have been observed from various experiments. However, little effort has been made to computationally predict and explain the statistical behavior of semi-flexible chains with internal defects. In this paper, we describe the general structure of these macromolecular chains as inextensible elastic chains with one or more internal joints which have limited ranges of rotation, and propose a method to compute the probability density functions of the end-to-end pose of these macromolecular chains. Our method takes advantage of the operational properties of the non-commutative Fourier transform for the group of rigid-body motions in three-dimensional space, SE(3). Two representative types of joints, the hinge for planar rotation and the ball joint for spatial rotation, are discussed in detail. The proposed method applies to various stiffness models of semi-flexible chain-like macromolecules. Examples are calculated using the Kratky-Porod model with specified stiffness, angular fluctuation, and joint locations. Entropic effects associated with internal angular fluctuations of semi-flexible macromolecular chains with internal joints can be computed using this formulation. Our method also provides a potential tool to detect the existence of internal irregularities. PMID:21243113

  1. Principles and Overview of Sampling Methods for Modeling Macromolecular Structure and Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Moffatt, Ryan; Ma, Buyong; Nussinov, Ruth

    2016-01-01

    Investigation of macromolecular structure and dynamics is fundamental to understanding how macromolecules carry out their functions in the cell. Significant advances have been made toward this end in silico, with a growing number of computational methods proposed yearly to study and simulate various aspects of macromolecular structure and dynamics. This review aims to provide an overview of recent advances, focusing primarily on methods proposed for exploring the structure space of macromolecules in isolation and in assemblies for the purpose of characterizing equilibrium structure and dynamics. In addition to surveying recent applications that showcase current capabilities of computational methods, this review highlights state-of-the-art algorithmic techniques proposed to overcome challenges posed in silico by the disparate spatial and time scales accessed by dynamic macromolecules. This review is not meant to be exhaustive, as such an endeavor is impossible, but rather aims to balance breadth and depth of strategies for modeling macromolecular structure and dynamics for a broad audience of novices and experts. PMID:27124275

  2. Protein crystallography for aspiring crystallographers or how to avoid pitfalls and traps in macromolecular structure determination.

    PubMed

    Wlodawer, Alexander; Minor, Wladek; Dauter, Zbigniew; Jaskolski, Mariusz

    2013-11-01

    The number of macromolecular structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank now approaches 100,000, with the vast majority of them determined by crystallographic methods. Thousands of papers describing such structures have been published in the scientific literature, and 20 Nobel Prizes in chemistry or medicine have been awarded for discoveries based on macromolecular crystallography. New hardware and software tools have made crystallography appear to be an almost routine (but still far from being analytical) technique and many structures are now being determined by scientists with very limited experience in the practical aspects of the field. However, this apparent ease is sometimes illusory and proper procedures need to be followed to maintain high standards of structure quality. In addition, many noncrystallographers may have problems with the critical evaluation and interpretation of structural results published in the scientific literature. The present review provides an outline of the technical aspects of crystallography for less experienced practitioners, as well as information that might be useful for users of macromolecular structures, aiming to show them how to interpret (but not overinterpret) the information present in the coordinate files and in their description. A discussion of the extent of information that can be gleaned from the atomic coordinates of structures solved at different resolution is provided, as well as problems and pitfalls encountered in structure determination and interpretation.

  3. Atrial natriuretic peptide increases microvascular blood flow and macromolecular escape during renin infusion in the hamster

    SciTech Connect

    Boric, M.P.; Albertini, R. )

    1990-02-01

    The effects of Atrial Natriuretic Peptide (ANP) on microvascular hemodynamics and macromolecular permselectivity were studied in the hamster cheek pouch under resting conditions and during intravenous renin infusion. Fluorescent intravital microscopy was used to observe arteriolar diameters and to detect escape of fluorescent dextran of 150 K-Daltons (FITC-Dx-150). Microvascular plasma flow was estimated by clearance of 51Cr-EDTA and net macromolecular transport by clearance of FITC-Dx-150. At rest, topical ANP (2-250 ng/ml) had no effect on arteriolar diameter, 51Cr-EDTA clearance, relative vascular conductance (RVC) or FITC-Dx-150 clearance. Infusion of renin (10 mU/Kg/Hr, iv) elevated systemic arterial pressure by 30% and reduced cheek pouch RVC by 26%. During renin infusion, topical ANP (50 ng/ml) produced transient arteriolar vasodilation, and increased 51Cr-EDTA clearance (+35%), RVC (+58%) and FITC-Dx-150 clearance (+54%), without affecting systemic pressure. ANP did not induce venular leakage sites under any condition, but changes in FITC-Dx-150 clearance were highly correlated with changes in 51Cr-EDTA clearance, suggesting that the larger macromolecular escape was due to increases in microvascular blood flow and capillary/post-capillary hydrostatic pressure.

  4. Macromolecular crowding in the Escherichia coli periplasm maintains alpha-synuclein disorder.

    PubMed

    McNulty, Brian C; Young, Gregory B; Pielak, Gary J

    2006-02-01

    The natively disordered protein alpha-synuclein is the primary component of Lewy bodies, the cellular hallmark of Parkinson's disease. Most studies of this protein are performed in dilute solution, but its biologically relevant role is performed in the crowded environment inside cells. We addressed the effects of macromolecular crowding on alpha-synuclein by combining NMR data acquired in living Escherichia coli with in vitro NMR data. The crowded environment in the E.coli periplasm prevents a conformational change that is detected at 35 degrees C in dilute solution. This change is associated with an increase in hydrodynamic radius and the formation of secondary structure in the N-terminal 100 amino acid residues. By preventing this temperature-induced conformational change, crowding in the E.coli periplasm stabilizes the disordered monomer. We obtain the same stabilization in vitro upon crowding alpha-synuclein with 300 g/l of bovine serum albumin, indicating that crowding alone is sufficient to stabilize the disordered, monomeric protein. Two disease-associated variants (A30P and A53T) behave in the same way in both dilute solution and in the E.coli periplasm. These data reveal the importance of approaching the effects of macromolecular crowding on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, our work shows that discrete structured protein conformations may not be achieved by alpha-synuclein inside cells, implicating the commonly overlooked aspect of macromolecular crowding as a possible factor in the etiology of Parkinson's disease.

  5. Asymmetrical macromolecular complex formation of lysophosphatidic acid receptor 2 (LPA2) mediates gradient sensing in fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Ren, Aixia; Moon, Changsuk; Zhang, Weiqiang; Sinha, Chandrima; Yarlagadda, Sunitha; Arora, Kavisha; Wang, Xusheng; Yue, Junming; Parthasarathi, Kaushik; Heil-Chapdelaine, Rick; Tigyi, Gabor; Naren, Anjaparavanda P

    2014-12-26

    Chemotactic migration of fibroblasts toward growth factors relies on their capacity to sense minute extracellular gradients and respond to spatially confined receptor-mediated signals. Currently, mechanisms underlying the gradient sensing of fibroblasts remain poorly understood. Using single-particle tracking methodology, we determined that a lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) gradient induces a spatiotemporally restricted decrease in the mobility of LPA receptor 2 (LPA2) on chemotactic fibroblasts. The onset of decreased LPA2 mobility correlates to the spatial recruitment and coupling to LPA2-interacting proteins that anchor the complex to the cytoskeleton. These localized PDZ motif-mediated macromolecular complexes of LPA2 trigger a Ca(2+) puff gradient that governs gradient sensing and directional migration in response to LPA. Disruption of the PDZ motif-mediated assembly of the macromolecular complex of LPA2 disorganizes the gradient of Ca(2+) puffs, disrupts gradient sensing, and reduces the directional migration of fibroblasts toward LPA. Our findings illustrate that the asymmetric macromolecular complex formation of chemoattractant receptors mediates gradient sensing and provides a new mechanistic basis for models to describe gradient sensing of fibroblasts. PMID:25542932

  6. The chemical structure of macromolecular fractions of a sulfur-rich oil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richnow, Hans H.; Jenisch, Angela; Michaelis, Walter

    1993-06-01

    A selective stepwise chemical degradation has been developed for structural studies of highmolecularweight (HMW) fractions of sulfur-rich oils. The degradation steps are: (i) desulfurization (ii) cleavage of oxygen-carbon bonds (iii) oxidation of aromatic structural units. After each step, the remaining macromolecular matter was subjected to the subsequent reaction. This degradation scheme was applied to the asphaltene, the resin and a macromolecular fraction of low polarity (LPMF) of the Rozel Point oil. Total amounts of degraded low-molecular-weight compounds increased progressively in the order asphaltene < resin < LPMF. Desulfurization yielded mainly phytane, steranes and triterpanes. Oxygen-carbon bond cleavage resulted in hydrocarbon fractions predominated by n-alkanes and acyclic isoprenoids. The oxidation step afforded high amounts of linear carboxylic acids in the range of C 11 to C 33. The released compounds provide a more complete picture of the molecular structure of the oil fractions than previously available. Labelling experiments with deuterium atoms allowed to characterize the site of bonding and the type of linkage for the released compounds. Evidence is presented that subunits of the macromolecular network are attached simultaneously by oxygen and sulfur (n-alkanes, hopanes) or by sulfur and aromatic units ( n-alkanes, steranes).

  7. Liberation of microbial substrates from macromolecular organic matter by non-supercritical CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauer, P.; Glombitza, C.; Kallmeyer, J.

    2012-12-01

    The worldwide search for suitable underground storage formations for CO2 also considers coal-bearing strata. CO2 is already injected into coal seams for enhanced recovery of coal bed methane. However, the geochemical and microbiological effects of increased CO2 concentrations on organic matter rich formations are rarely investigated. The injected CO2 will dissolve in the pore water, causing a decrease in pH and resulting in acidic formation waters. Low molecular weight organic acids (LMWOAs) are chemically bound to the macromolecular matrix of sedimentary organic matter and may be liberated by hydrolysis, which is enhanced under acidic conditions. Recent investigations outlined the importance of LMWOAs as a feedstock for subsurface microbial life [1]. Therefore, injection of CO2 into coal formations may result in enhanced nutrient supply for subsurface microbes. To investigate the effects of highly CO2-saturated waters on the release of LMWOAs from coal, we developed an inexpensive high-pressure-high-temperature system that allows manipulating the concentration of dissolved gases up to 60 MPa and 120°C, respectively. The sample is placed in a flexible, gas-tight and inert PVDF sleeve, separating it from the pressure fluid and allowing for subsampling without loss of pressure. Lignite samples from the DEBITS-1 well, Waikato Basin, NZ and the Welzow-Süd open-cast mine, Niederlausitz, Germany, were extracted at 90° C and 5 MPa, with either pure water, CO2-saturated water, CO2/NO2 or CO2/SO2-saturated water. Subsamples were taken at different time points during the 72 hrs. long extraction. Extraction of LMWOAs from coal samples with our pressurised system resulted in yields that were up to four times higher than those reported for Soxhlet extraction [2]. These higher yields may be explained by the fact that during Soxhlet extraction the sample only gets into contact with freshly distilled water, whereas in our system the extraction fluid is circulated, resulting in

  8. Developments in optics and performance at BL13-XALOC, the macromolecular crystallography beamline at the Alba Synchrotron

    PubMed Central

    Juanhuix, Jordi; Gil-Ortiz, Fernando; Cuní, Guifré; Colldelram, Carles; Nicolás, Josep; Lidón, Julio; Boter, Eva; Ruget, Claude; Ferrer, Salvador; Benach, Jordi

    2014-01-01

    BL13-XALOC is currently the only macromolecular crystallography beamline at the 3 GeV ALBA synchrotron near Barcelona, Spain. The optics design is based on an in-vacuum undulator, a Si(111) channel-cut crystal monochromator and a pair of KB mirrors. It allows three main operation modes: a focused configuration, where both mirrors can focus the beam at the sample position to 52 µm × 5.5 µm FWHM (H × V); a defocused configuration that can match the size of the beam to the dimensions of the crystals or to focus the beam at the detector; and an unfocused configuration, where one or both mirrors are removed from the photon beam path. To achieve a uniform defocused beam, the slope errors of the mirrors were reduced down to 55 nrad RMS by employing a novel method that has been developed at the ALBA high-accuracy metrology laboratory. Thorough commissioning with X-ray beam and user operation has demonstrated an excellent energy and spatial stability of the beamline. The end-station includes a high-accuracy single-axis diffractometer, a removable mini-kappa stage, an automated sample-mounting robot and a photon-counting detector that allows shutterless operation. The positioning tables of the diffractometer and the detector are based on a novel and highly stable design. This equipment, together with the operation flexibility of the beamline, allows a large variety of types of crystals to be tackled, from medium-sized crystals with large unit-cell parameters to microcrystals. Several examples of data collections measured during beamline commissioning are described. The beamline started user operation on 18 July 2012. PMID:24971961

  9. Davisson-Germer Prize in Atomic or Surface Physics Lecture: Line 'Em All Up: Macromolecular Assembly at Liquid Interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richmond, Geraldine

    2013-03-01

    Advances in our molecular level understanding of the ubiquitous fluid interface comprised of a hydrophobic fluid medium, and an aqueous solution of soluble ions and solutes has been slow until recently. This more recent upsurge in interest and progress comes from advances in both experimental and computational techniques as well as the increasingly important role that this interface is playing in such areas as green chemistry, nanoparticle synthesis, improved oil and mineral recovery and water purification. The presentation will focus on our most recent efforts in understanding (1) the molecular structure of the interface between two immiscible liquids, (2) the penetration of aqueous phase ions into the interfacial region and their effect on its properties, and (3) the structure and dynamics of the adsorption of surfactants, polymers and nanoparticles at this interface. To gain insights into these processes we use a combination of vibrational sum frequency spectroscopy, surface tension measurements using the pendant drop method, and molecular dynamics simulations. The results demonstrate that weak interactions between interfacial oil and water molecules create an interface that exhibits a high degree of molecular structuring and ordering, and with properties quite different than what is observed at the air-water interface. As a consequence of these interfacial oil-water interactions, the interface provides a unique environment for the adsorption and assembly of ions, polymers and nanoparticles that are drawn to its inner-most regions. Examples of our studies that provide new insights into the unique nature of adsorption, adsorption dynamics and macromolecular assembly at this interface will be provided.

  10. Contrast Intravasation During Hysterosalpingography

    PubMed Central

    Bhoil, Rohit; Sood, Dinesh; Sharma, Tanupriya; Sood, Shilpa; Sharma, Jiten; Kumar, Nitesh; Ahluwalia, Ajay; Parekh, Dipen; Mistry, Kewal A.; Sood, Saurav

    2016-01-01

    Summary Hysterosalpingography is an imaging method to evaluate the endometrial and uterine morphology and fallopian tube patency. Contrast intravasation implies backflow of injected contrast into the adjoining vessels mostly the veins and may be related to factors altering endometrial vascularity and permeability. Radiologists and gynaecologists should be well acquainted with the technique of hysterosalpingography, its interpretation, and intravasation of contrast agents for safer procedure and to minimize the associated complications. PMID:27279925

  11. Macromolecular crowding favors the fibrillization of β2-microglobulin by accelerating the nucleation step and inhibiting fibril disassembly.

    PubMed

    Luo, Xu-Dong; Kong, Fan-Lou; Dang, Hai-Bin; Chen, Jie; Liang, Yi

    2016-11-01

    Hemodialysis-associated amyloidosis (HAA) involves the fibrillization of β2-microglobulin (β2M) and occurs in crowded physiological environments. However, how macromolecular crowding affects amyloid formation of β2M remains elusive. Here we study the effects of macromolecular crowding on amyloid formation and fibril disassembly of wild-type human β2M and its pathogenic mutant ΔN6. At strongly acidic pH2.5, the presence of a strong crowding agent (Ficoll 70 or dextran 70) not only dramatically accelerates the fibrillization of both wild-type β2M and its ΔN6 variant by reducing the lag time to a large extent, indicating the acceleration of the nucleation phase, but also remarkably increases the amount of β2M fibrils. At weakly acidic pH6.2, such an enhancing effect of macromolecular crowding on fibril formation is only observed for pathogenic mutant ΔN6, but not for wild-type β2M which does not form amyloid fibrils in the absence and presence of a crowding agent. Thus, we propose that the monomers of β2M form the nuclei, which is enhanced by macromolecular crowding, followed by the step of fibril elongation. Furthermore, at physiological pH, macromolecular crowding remarkably inhibits β2M fibril disassembly by decreasing rate constants corresponding to fast and slow stages of fibril disaggregation. Our data demonstrate that macromolecular crowding favors the fibrillization of β2M by accelerating the nucleation step and inhibiting fibril disassembly. Our findings provide clear evidence for the pathology of HAA that macromolecular crowding should be taken into account. PMID:27481166

  12. Synthetic laser medium

    DOEpatents

    Stokowski, Stanley E.

    1989-01-01

    A laser medium is particularly useful in high average power solid state lasers. The laser medium includes a chormium dopant and preferably neodymium ions as codopant, and is primarily a gadolinium scandium gallium garnet, or an analog thereof. Divalent cations inhibit spiral morphology as large boules from which the laser medium is derived are grown, and a source of ions convertible between a trivalent state and a tetravalent state at a low ionization energy are in the laser medium to reduce an absorption coefficient at about one micron wavelength otherwise caused by the divalent cations. These divalent cations and convertible ions are dispersed in the laser medium. Preferred convertible ions are provided from titanium or cerium sources.

  13. Synthetic laser medium

    DOEpatents

    Stokowski, S.E.

    1987-10-20

    A laser medium is particularly useful in high average power solid state lasers. The laser medium includes a chromium dopant and preferably neodymium ions as codopant, and is primarily a gadolinium scandium gallium garnet, or an analog thereof. Divalent cations inhibit spiral morphology as large boules from which the laser medium is derived are grown, and a source of ions convertible between a trivalent state and a tetravalent state at a low ionization energy are in the laser medium to reduce an absorption coefficient at about one micron wavelength otherwise caused by the divalent cations. These divalent cations and convertible ions are dispersed in the laser medium. Preferred convertible ions are provided from titanium or cerium sources.

  14. Behavioral Contrast in Infants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fagen, Jeffrey W.

    This study used the behavioral contrast paradigm to assess the excitatory and inhibitory capabilities of young infants. Behavioral contrast is described as the phenomenon whereby the rates of responding in the presence of two stimuli, both of which were previously associated with reinforcement, change in opposite directions when only one of them…

  15. 13C-NMR off-resonance rotating frame spin-lattice relaxation studies of bovine lens gamma-crystallin self association: effect of 'macromolecular crowding'.

    PubMed

    Stevens, A; Wang, S X; Caines, G H; Schleich, T

    1995-01-01

    The NMR technique of 13C off-resonance rotating frame spin-lattice relaxation, which provides an accurate assessment of the effective rotational correlation time (tau 0, eff) for macromolecular rotational diffusion, was applied to the study of gamma-crystallin association as a function of protein concentration and temperature. Values of the effective rotational correlation time for gamma-crystallin rotational diffusion were obtained at moderate to high protein concentrations (80-350 mg/ml) and at temperatures above, and below, the cold cataract phase transition temperature. With increasing concentration gamma-crystallin was observed to increasingly associate as reflected by larger values of tau 0, eff Decreasing temperature in the range of 35 to 22 degrees C was found to result in no change in the temperature corrected value of tau 0, eff at a gamma-crystallin concentration of 80 mg/ml, whereas at temperatures of 18 degrees C or below, this parameter was approx. twofold larger, suggesting the occurrence of a well defined phase transition, which correlated well with the cold cataract phase transition temperature. At higher protein concentrations, by contrast, tau 0, eff (temperature corrected) was found to increase by approx. 1.6- to 2-times in the temperature interval 35 degrees C to 22 degrees C, a result consistent with the dependence of the cold cataract phase transition temperature on gamma-crystallin concentration. Analysis of intensity ratio dispersion curves, using an assumed model of isodesmic association, permitted the estimation of the association constant characterizing the aggregation under particular conditions of concentration and temperature. The significant increase in the value of the association constant with moderate increases in protein concentration was rationalized by invoking the effect of 'macromolecular crowding'. The results obtained in this study suggest that in the intact lens, where high protein concentrations prevail, gamma

  16. Induction of internucleosomal DNA fragmentation by carcinogenic chromate: relationship to DNA damage, genotoxicity, and inhibition of macromolecular synthesis.

    PubMed Central

    Manning, F C; Blankenship, L J; Wise, J P; Xu, J; Bridgewater, L C; Patierno, S R

    1994-01-01

    Hexavalent chromium (Cr) compounds are respiratory carcinogens in humans and animals. Treatment of Chinese hamster ovary cells with 150 and 300 microM sodium chromate (Na2CrO4) for 2 hr decreased colony-forming efficiency by 46 and 92%, respectively. These treatments induced dose-dependent internucleosomal fragmentation of cellular DNA beyond 24 hr after chromate treatment. This fragmentation pattern is characteristic of apoptosis as a mechanism of cell death. These treatments also induced an immediate inhibition of macromolecular synthesis and delayed progression of cells through S-phase of the cell cycle. Cell growth (as evidenced by DNA synthesis) was inhibited for at least 4 days and transcription remained suppressed for at least 32 hr. Many of the cells that did progress to metaphase exhibited chromosome damage. Chromate caused the dose-dependent formation of DNA single-strand breaks and DNA-protein cross-links, but these were repaired 8 and 24 hr after removal of the treatment, respectively. In contrast, Cr-DNA adducts (up to 1/100 base-pairs) were extremely resistant to repair and were still detectable even 5 days after treatment. Compared with other regions of the genome, DNA-protein cross-links and Cr adducts were preferentially associated with the nuclear matrix DNA of treated cells, which was 4.5-fold enriched in actively transcribed genes. Chromium adducts, formed on DNA in vitro at a similar level to that detected in nuclear matrix DNA, arrested the progression of a DNA polymerase in a sequence-specific manner, possibly through the formation of DNA-DNA cross-links.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) Images Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 7. PMID:7843091

  17. Compressive Phase Contrast Tomography

    SciTech Connect

    Maia, Filipe; MacDowell, Alastair; Marchesini, Stefano; Padmore, Howard A.; Parkinson, Dula Y.; Pien, Jack; Schirotzek, Andre; Yang, Chao

    2010-09-01

    When x-rays penetrate soft matter, their phase changes more rapidly than their amplitude. Interference effects visible with high brightness sources creates higher contrast, edge enhanced images. When the object is piecewise smooth (made of big blocks of a few components), such higher contrast datasets have a sparse solution. We apply basis pursuit solvers to improve SNR, remove ring artifacts, reduce the number of views and radiation dose from phase contrast datasets collected at the Hard X-Ray Micro Tomography Beamline at the Advanced Light Source. We report a GPU code for the most computationally intensive task, the gridding and inverse gridding algorithm (non uniform sampled Fourier transform).

  18. The influence of interchain coupling on intramolecular oscillation mobility in coupled macromolecular chains: The case of coplanar parallel chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Čevizović, D.; Petković, S.; Galović, S.; Chizhov, A.; Reshetnyak, A.

    2015-10-01

    We enlarge our results from the study of the hopping mechanism of the oscillation excitation transport in 1D model of one biologica-likel macromolecular chain to the case of a system composed from two 1D parallel macromolecular chains with consideration of the properties of intramolecular oscillation excitations. We suppose, that due to the exciton interaction with thermal oscillation (generated by mechanical phonon subsystem) of structural elements (consisting of the peptide group) of the chains, the exciton becomes by self trapped and forms the polaron state. We suggest a model which generalizes the modified Holstein polaron model to the case of two macromolecular chains and find that because of the interchain coupling, the exciton energy band is splitted into two subbands. The hopping process of exciton migration along the macromolecular chains is studied in dependence of system parameters and temperature. We pay an special attention to the temperature range (near T = 300 K) in which living cells operate. It is found that for the certain values of the system parameters there exists the abrupt change of the exciton migration nature from practically free (light) exciton motion to an immobile (heavy, dressed by phonon cloud) quasiparticle We discuss an application of the obtained results to the exciton transport both within deoxyribonucleic acid molecule and in the 2D polymer films organized from such macromolecular chains.

  19. A Web Resource for Standardized Benchmark Datasets, Metrics, and Rosetta Protocols for Macromolecular Modeling and Design

    PubMed Central

    Pache, Roland A.; Ollikainen, Noah; Kundert, Kale; O'Meara, Matthew J.; Smith, Colin A.; Kortemme, Tanja

    2015-01-01

    The development and validation of computational macromolecular modeling and design methods depend on suitable benchmark datasets and informative metrics for comparing protocols. In addition, if a method is intended to be adopted broadly in diverse biological applications, there needs to be information on appropriate parameters for each protocol, as well as metrics describing the expected accuracy compared to experimental data. In certain disciplines, there exist established benchmarks and public resources where experts in a particular methodology are encouraged to supply their most efficient implementation of each particular benchmark. We aim to provide such a resource for protocols in macromolecular modeling and design. We present a freely accessible web resource (https://kortemmelab.ucsf.edu/benchmarks) to guide the development of protocols for protein modeling and design. The site provides benchmark datasets and metrics to compare the performance of a variety of modeling protocols using different computational sampling methods and energy functions, providing a “best practice” set of parameters for each method. Each benchmark has an associated downloadable benchmark capture archive containing the input files, analysis scripts, and tutorials for running the benchmark. The captures may be run with any suitable modeling method; we supply command lines for running the benchmarks using the Rosetta software suite. We have compiled initial benchmarks for the resource spanning three key areas: prediction of energetic effects of mutations, protein design, and protein structure prediction, each with associated state-of-the-art modeling protocols. With the help of the wider macromolecular modeling community, we hope to expand the variety of benchmarks included on the website and continue to evaluate new iterations of current methods as they become available. PMID:26335248

  20. Macromolecular crowding effects on protein-protein binding affinity and specificity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Young C.; Best, Robert B.; Mittal, Jeetain

    2010-11-01

    Macromolecular crowding in cells is recognized to have a significant impact on biological function, yet quantitative models for its effects are relatively undeveloped. The influence of crowding on protein-protein interactions is of particular interest, since these mediate many processes in the cell, including the self-assembly of larger complexes, recognition, and signaling. We use a residue-level coarse-grained model to investigate the effects of macromolecular crowding on the assembly of protein-protein complexes. Interactions between the proteins are treated using a fully transferable energy function, and interactions of protein residues with the spherical crowders are repulsive. We show that the binding free energy for two protein complexes, ubiquitin/UIM1 and cytochrome c/cytochrome c peroxidase, decreases modestly as the concentration of crowding agents increases. To obtain a quantitative description of the stabilizing effect, we map the aspherical individual proteins and protein complexes onto spheres whose radii are calculated from the crowder-excluded protein volumes. With this correspondence, we find that the change in the binding free energy due to crowding can be quantitatively described by the scaled particle theory model without any fitting parameters. The effects of a mixture of different-size crowders—as would be found in a real cell—are predicted by the same model with an additivity ansatz. We also obtain the remarkable result that crowding increases the fraction of specific complexes at the expense of nonspecific transient encounter complexes in a crowded environment. This result, due to the greater excluded volume of the nonspecific complexes, demonstrates that macromolecular crowding can have subtle functional effects beyond the relative stability of bound and unbound complexes.

  1. Localization of protein aggregation in Escherichia coli is governed by diffusion and nucleoid macromolecular crowding effect.

    PubMed

    Coquel, Anne-Sophie; Jacob, Jean-Pascal; Primet, Mael; Demarez, Alice; Dimiccoli, Mariella; Julou, Thomas; Moisan, Lionel; Lindner, Ariel B; Berry, Hugues

    2013-04-01

    Aggregates of misfolded proteins are a hallmark of many age-related diseases. Recently, they have been linked to aging of Escherichia coli (E. coli) where protein aggregates accumulate at the old pole region of the aging bacterium. Because of the potential of E. coli as a model organism, elucidating aging and protein aggregation in this bacterium may pave the way to significant advances in our global understanding of aging. A first obstacle along this path is to decipher the mechanisms by which protein aggregates are targeted to specific intercellular locations. Here, using an integrated approach based on individual-based modeling, time-lapse fluorescence microscopy and automated image analysis, we show that the movement of aging-related protein aggregates in E. coli is purely diffusive (Brownian). Using single-particle tracking of protein aggregates in live E. coli cells, we estimated the average size and diffusion constant of the aggregates. Our results provide evidence that the aggregates passively diffuse within the cell, with diffusion constants that depend on their size in agreement with the Stokes-Einstein law. However, the aggregate displacements along the cell long axis are confined to a region that roughly corresponds to the nucleoid-free space in the cell pole, thus confirming the importance of increased macromolecular crowding in the nucleoids. We thus used 3D individual-based modeling to show that these three ingredients (diffusion, aggregation and diffusion hindrance in the nucleoids) are sufficient and necessary to reproduce the available experimental data on aggregate localization in the cells. Taken together, our results strongly support the hypothesis that the localization of aging-related protein aggregates in the poles of E. coli results from the coupling of passive diffusion-aggregation with spatially non-homogeneous macromolecular crowding. They further support the importance of "soft" intracellular structuring (based on macromolecular

  2. A Web Resource for Standardized Benchmark Datasets, Metrics, and Rosetta Protocols for Macromolecular Modeling and Design.

    PubMed

    Ó Conchúir, Shane; Barlow, Kyle A; Pache, Roland A; Ollikainen, Noah; Kundert, Kale; O'Meara, Matthew J; Smith, Colin A; Kortemme, Tanja

    2015-01-01

    The development and validation of computational macromolecular modeling and design methods depend on suitable benchmark datasets and informative metrics for comparing protocols. In addition, if a method is intended to be adopted broadly in diverse biological applications, there needs to be information on appropriate parameters for each protocol, as well as metrics describing the expected accuracy compared to experimental data. In certain disciplines, there exist established benchmarks and public resources where experts in a particular methodology are encouraged to supply their most efficient implementation of each particular benchmark. We aim to provide such a resource for protocols in macromolecular modeling and design. We present a freely accessible web resource (https://kortemmelab.ucsf.edu/benchmarks) to guide the development of protocols for protein modeling and design. The site provides benchmark datasets and metrics to compare the performance of a variety of modeling protocols using different computational sampling methods and energy functions, providing a "best practice" set of parameters for each method. Each benchmark has an associated downloadable benchmark capture archive containing the input files, analysis scripts, and tutorials for running the benchmark. The captures may be run with any suitable modeling method; we supply command lines for running the benchmarks using the Rosetta software suite. We have compiled initial benchmarks for the resource spanning three key areas: prediction of energetic effects of mutations, protein design, and protein structure prediction, each with associated state-of-the-art modeling protocols. With the help of the wider macromolecular modeling community, we hope to expand the variety of benchmarks included on the website and continue to evaluate new iterations of current methods as they become available.

  3. The "macromolecular tourist": universal temperature dependence of thermal diffusion in aqueous colloidal suspensions.

    PubMed

    Iacopini, S; Rusconi, R; Piazza, R

    2006-01-01

    By performing measurements on a large class of macromolecular and colloidal systems, we show that thermophoresis (particle drift induced by thermal gradients) in aqueous solvents displays a distinctive universal dependence on temperature. For systems of particles interacting via temperature-independent forces, this behavior is strictly related to the solvent thermal expansivity, while an additional, T-independent term is needed to account for the behavior of "thermophilic" (migrating to the warmth) particles. The former relation between thermophoresis and thermal expansion may be exploited to envisage other fruitful studies of colloidal diffusion in inhomogeneous fluids. PMID:16446985

  4. The Stanford Automated Mounter: Pushing the limits of sample exchange at the SSRL macromolecular crystallography beamlines

    DOE PAGES

    Russi, Silvia; Song, Jinhu; McPhillips, Scott E.; Cohen, Aina E.

    2016-02-24

    The Stanford Automated Mounter System, a system for mounting and dismounting cryo-cooled crystals, has been upgraded to increase the throughput of samples on the macromolecular crystallography beamlines at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource. This upgrade speeds up robot maneuvers, reduces the heating/drying cycles, pre-fetches samples and adds an air-knife to remove frost from the gripper arms. As a result, sample pin exchange during automated crystal quality screening now takes about 25 s, five times faster than before this upgrade.

  5. Ground Based Program for the Physical Analysis of Macromolecular Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malkin, Alexander J.

    1998-01-01

    During the past year we have focused on application of in situ Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) for studies of the growth mechanisms and kinetics of crystallization for different macromolecular systems. Mechanisms of macrostep formation and their decay, which are important in understanding of defect formation, were studied on the surfaces of thaumatin, catalase, canavalin and lysozyme crystals. Experiments revealed that step bunching on crystalline surfaces occurred either due to two- or three-dimensional nucleation on the terraces of vicinal slopes or as a result of uneven step generation by complex dislocation sources. No step bunching arising from interaction of individual steps in the course of the experiment was observed. The molecular structure of the growth steps for thaumatin and lipase crystals were deduced. It was further shown that growth step advance occurs by incorporation of single protein molecules. In singular directions growth steps move by one-dimensional nucleation on step edges followed by lateral growth. One-dimensional nuclei have different sizes, less then a single unit cell, varying for different directions of step movement. There is no roughness due to thermal fluctuations, and each protein molecule which incorporated into the step remained. Growth kinetics for catalase crystals was investigated over wide supersaturation ranges. Strong directional kinetic anisotropy in the tangential step growth rates in different directions was seen. The influence of impurities on growth kinetics and cessation of macromolecular crystals was studied. Thus, for catalase, in addition to pronounced impurity effects on the kinetics of crystallization, we were also able to directly observe adsorption of some impurities. At low supersaturation we repeatedly observed filaments which formed from impurity molecules sedimenting on the surfaces. Similar filaments were observed on the surfaces of thaumatin, canavalin and STMV crystals as well, but the frequency was low

  6. A New Program for Detecting the Geometrical Core of a Set of Structures of Macromolecular Complexes.

    PubMed

    Vakulenko, Yu A; Nagaev, B E; Alexeevski, A V; Karyagina, A S; Spirin, S A

    2016-04-01

    Comparison of structures of homological proteins often helps to understand functionally significant features of these structures. This concerns not only structures of separate protein chains, but also structures of macromolecular complexes. In particular, a comparison of complexes of homologous proteins with DNA is significant for analysis of the recognition of DNA by proteins. We present program LCore for detecting geometrical cores of a family of structures; a geometrical core is a set of amino acid residues and nucleotides that disposed similarly in all structures of the family. We describe the algorithm of the program, its web interface, and an example of its application to analysis of complexes of homeodomains with DNA.

  7. Radiation damage and derivatization in macromolecular crystallography: a structure factor’s perspective

    PubMed Central

    Owen, Robin L.; Sherrell, Darren A.

    2016-01-01

    During, or even after, data collection the presence and effects of radiation damage in macromolecular crystallography may not always be immediately obvious. Despite this, radiation damage is almost always present, with site-specific damage occurring on very short time (dose) scales well before global damage becomes apparent. A result of both site-specific radiation damage and derivatization is a change in the relative intensity of reflections. The size and approximate rate of onset of X-ray-induced transformations is compared with the changes expected from derivatization, and strategies for minimizing radiation damage are discussed. PMID:26960125

  8. Simulation of macromolecular liquids with the adaptive resolution molecular dynamics technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, J. H.; Klein, R.; Delle Site, L.

    2016-08-01

    We extend the application of the adaptive resolution technique (AdResS) to liquid systems composed of alkane chains of different lengths. The aim of the study is to develop and test the modifications of AdResS required in order to handle the change of representation of large molecules. The robustness of the approach is shown by calculating several relevant structural properties and comparing them with the results of full atomistic simulations. The extended scheme represents a robust prototype for the simulation of macromolecular systems of interest in several fields, from material science to biophysics.

  9. Chirality as a physical aspect of structure formation in biological macromolecular systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malyshko, E. V.; Tverdislov, V. A.

    2016-08-01

    A novel regularity of hierarchical structures is found in the formation of chiral biological macromolecular systems. The formation of structures with alternating chirality (helical structures) serves as an instrument of stratification. The ability of a carbon atom to form chiral compounds is an important factor that determined the carbon basis of living systems on the Earth as well as their development through a series of chiral bifurcations. In the course of biological evolution, the helical structures became basic elements of the molecular machines in the cell. The discreteness of structural levels allowed the mechanical degrees of freedom formation in the molecular machines in the cell.

  10. Remote Access to the PXRR Macromolecular Crystallography Facilities at the NSLS

    SciTech Connect

    Soares, A.S.; Schneider, D. K.; Skinner, J. M.; Cowan, M.; Buono, R.; Robinson, H. H.; Heroux, A.; Carlucci-Dayton, M.; Saxena, A.; Sweet, R. M.

    2008-09-01

    The most recent surge of innovations that have simplified and streamlined the process of determining macromolecular structures by crystallography owes much to the efforts of the structural genomics community. However, this was only the last step in a long evolution that saw the metamorphosis of crystallography from an heroic effort that involved years of dedication and skill into a straightforward measurement that is occasionally almost trivial. Many of the steps in this remarkable odyssey involved reducing the physical labor that is demanded of experimenters in the field. Other steps reduced the technical expertise required for conducting those experiments.

  11. Remote Access to the PXRR Macromolecular Crystallography Facilities at the NSLS

    SciTech Connect

    A Soares; D Schneider; J Skinner; M Cowan; R Buono; H Robinson; A Heroux; M Carlucci-Dayton; A Saxena; R Sweet

    2011-12-31

    The most recent surge of innovations that have simplified and streamlined the process of determining macromolecular structures by crystallography owes much to the efforts of the structural genomics community. However, this was only the last step in a long evolution that saw the metamorphosis of crystallography from an heroic effort that involved years of dedication and skill into a straightforward measurement that is occasionally almost trivial. Many of the steps in this remarkable odyssey involved reducing the physical labor that is demanded of experimenters in the field. Other steps reduced the technical expertise required for conducting those experiments.

  12. The Stanford Automated Mounter: pushing the limits of sample exchange at the SSRL macromolecular crystallography beamlines

    PubMed Central

    Russi, Silvia; Song, Jinhu; McPhillips, Scott E.; Cohen, Aina E.

    2016-01-01

    The Stanford Automated Mounter System, a system for mounting and dismounting cryo-cooled crystals, has been upgraded to increase the throughput of samples on the macromolecular crystallography beamlines at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource. This upgrade speeds up robot maneuvers, reduces the heating/drying cycles, pre-fetches samples and adds an air-knife to remove frost from the gripper arms. Sample pin exchange during automated crystal quality screening now takes about 25 s, five times faster than before this upgrade. PMID:27047309

  13. Simulation of macromolecular liquids with the adaptive resolution molecular dynamics technique.

    PubMed

    Peters, J H; Klein, R; Delle Site, L

    2016-08-01

    We extend the application of the adaptive resolution technique (AdResS) to liquid systems composed of alkane chains of different lengths. The aim of the study is to develop and test the modifications of AdResS required in order to handle the change of representation of large molecules. The robustness of the approach is shown by calculating several relevant structural properties and comparing them with the results of full atomistic simulations. The extended scheme represents a robust prototype for the simulation of macromolecular systems of interest in several fields, from material science to biophysics. PMID:27627414

  14. New methods of structure refinement for macromolecular structure determination by NMR

    PubMed Central

    Clore, G. Marius; Gronenborn, Angela M.

    1998-01-01

    Recent advances in multidimensional NMR methodology have permitted solution structures of proteins in excess of 250 residues to be solved. In this paper, we discuss several methods of structure refinement that promise to increase the accuracy of macromolecular structures determined by NMR. These methods include the use of a conformational database potential and direct refinement against three-bond coupling constants, secondary 13C shifts, 1H shifts, T1/T2 ratios, and residual dipolar couplings. The latter two measurements provide long range restraints that are not accessible by other solution NMR parameters. PMID:9600889

  15. The "macromolecular tourist": universal temperature dependence of thermal diffusion in aqueous colloidal suspensions.

    PubMed

    Iacopini, S; Rusconi, R; Piazza, R

    2006-01-01

    By performing measurements on a large class of macromolecular and colloidal systems, we show that thermophoresis (particle drift induced by thermal gradients) in aqueous solvents displays a distinctive universal dependence on temperature. For systems of particles interacting via temperature-independent forces, this behavior is strictly related to the solvent thermal expansivity, while an additional, T-independent term is needed to account for the behavior of "thermophilic" (migrating to the warmth) particles. The former relation between thermophoresis and thermal expansion may be exploited to envisage other fruitful studies of colloidal diffusion in inhomogeneous fluids.

  16. Colloids containing gadolinium-capped gold nanoparticles as high relaxivity dual-modality contrast agents for CT and MRI.

    PubMed

    Zeng, ChengCai; Shi, XiaoNi; Wu, Bo; Zhang, Dong; Zhang, WeiLu

    2014-11-01

    A type of novel macromolecular colloid was prepared from gadolinium-based poly(l-succinimide) and gold nanoparticles (GNPs) with Au-S covalent bonds. The colloid displayed improved stability in aqueous media and regular arrays in partial region. Moreover, these materials enhanced the contrast 9 times more than that of the corresponding uncoated Au compound when the Au mass content was only 0.15%. Therefore, these materials might have potential as dual-modality contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT).

  17. Psychophysical contrast calibration

    PubMed Central

    To, Long; Woods, Russell L; Goldstein, Robert B; Peli, Eli

    2013-01-01

    Electronic displays and computer systems offer numerous advantages for clinical vision testing. Laboratory and clinical measurements of various functions and in particular of (letter) contrast sensitivity require accurately calibrated display contrast. In the laboratory this is achieved using expensive light meters. We developed and evaluated a novel method that uses only psychophysical responses of a person with normal vision to calibrate the luminance contrast of displays for experimental and clinical applications. Our method combines psychophysical techniques (1) for detection (and thus elimination or reduction) of display saturating nonlinearities; (2) for luminance (gamma function) estimation and linearization without use of a photometer; and (3) to measure without a photometer the luminance ratios of the display’s three color channels that are used in a bit-stealing procedure to expand the luminance resolution of the display. Using a photometer we verified that the calibration achieved with this procedure is accurate for both LCD and CRT displays enabling testing of letter contrast sensitivity to 0.5%. Our visual calibration procedure enables clinical, internet and home implementation and calibration verification of electronic contrast testing. PMID:23643843

  18. Macromolecular liquids

    SciTech Connect

    Safinya, C.R.; Safran, S.A. ); Pincus, P.A. )

    1990-01-01

    Liquids include a broad range of material systems which are of high scientific and technological interest. Generally speaking, these are partially ordered or disordered phases where the individual molecular species have organized themselves on length scales which are larger than simple fluids, typically between 10 Angstroms and several microns. The specific systems reported on in this book include membranes, microemulsions, micelles, liquid crystals, colloidal suspensions, and polymers. They have a major impact on a broad spectrum of technological industries such as displays, plastics, soap and detergents, chemicals and petroleum, and pharmaceuticals.

  19. Influence of macromolecular architecture on necking in polymer extrusion film casting process

    SciTech Connect

    Pol, Harshawardhan; Banik, Sourya; Azad, Lal Busher; Doshi, Pankaj; Lele, Ashish; Thete, Sumeet

    2015-05-22

    Extrusion film casting (EFC) is an important polymer processing technique that is used to produce several thousand tons of polymer films/coatings on an industrial scale. In this research, we are interested in understanding quantitatively how macromolecular chain architecture (for example long chain branching (LCB) or molecular weight distribution (MWD or PDI)) influences the necking and thickness distribution of extrusion cast films. We have used different polymer resins of linear and branched molecular architecture to produce extrusion cast films under controlled experimental conditions. The necking profiles of the films were imaged and the velocity profiles during EFC were monitored using particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) technique. Additionally, the temperature profiles were captured using an IR thermography and thickness profiles were calculated. The experimental results are compared with predictions of one-dimensional flow model of Silagy et al{sup 1} wherein the polymer resin rheology is modeled using molecular constitutive equations such as the Rolie-Poly (RP) and extended Pom Pom (XPP). We demonstrate that the 1-D flow model containing the molecular constitutive equations provides new insights into the role of macromolecular chain architecture on film necking.{sup 1}D. Silagy, Y. Demay, and J-F. Agassant, Polym. Eng. Sci., 36, 2614 (1996)

  20. Macromolecular metabolism of a differentiated rat keratinocyte culture system following exposure to sulfur mustard

    SciTech Connect

    Vaughan, F.L.; Zaman, S.; Scavarelli, R.; Bernstein, I.A.

    1988-01-01

    A method for producing a stratified, squamous epithelium in vitro by cultivating rat keratinocytes on nylon membranes has been developed in this laboratory. This epidermal-like culture is being used to obtain a better understanding of the mechanism of skin vesication after topical exposure to the sulfur mustard bis(beta-chloroethyl) sulfide (BCES) dissolved in a selected solvent. Radiolabeled macromolecular precursors (thymidine, uridine, and leucine) have been used to study the effect of BCES on the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and protein, respectively, after topical exposure to the mustard at concentrations of 0.01-500 nmol/cm2 dissolved in 70% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). From these and other studies it has been determined that exposure to even the low concentration of 0.01 nmol BCES/cm2 for 30 min results in significant inhibition of (/sup 3/H)thymidine incorporation, although complete recovery occurs by 24 h. Significant inhibition of (/sup 3/H)uridine and (/sup 14/C)leucine incorporation is observed only after exposure to much higher concentrations of BCES (10-500 nmol/cm2). This suggests a very early lesion in macromolecular metabolism with DNA being the primary target.

  1. Ion Channel Macromolecular Complexes in Cardiomyocytes: Roles in Sudden Cardiac Death

    PubMed Central

    Abriel, Hugues; Rougier, Jean-Sébastien; Jalife, José

    2015-01-01

    The movement of ions across specific channels embedded on the membrane of individual cardiomyocytes is crucial for the generation and propagation of the cardiac electrical impulse. Emerging evidence over the last 20 years strongly suggests that the normal electrical function of the heart is the result of dynamic interactions of membrane ion channels working in an orchestrated fashion as part of complex molecular networks. Such networks work together with exquisite temporal precision to generate each action potential and contraction. Macromolecular complexes play crucial roles in transcription, translation, oligomerization, trafficking, membrane retention, glycosylation, posttranslational modification, turnover, function and degradation of all cardiac ion channels known to date. In addition, the accurate timing of each cardiac beat and contraction demands, a comparable precision on the assembly and organizations of sodium, calcium and potassium channel complexes within specific subcellular microdomains, where physical proximity allows for prompt and efficient interaction. This review article, part of the Compendium on Sudden Cardiac Death, discusses the major issues related to the role of ion channel macromolecular assemblies in normal cardiac electrical function and the mechanisms of arrhythmias leading to sudden cardiac death. It provides an idea of how these issues are being addressed in the laboratory and in the clinic, which important questions remain unanswered, and what future research will be needed to improve knowledge and advance therapy. PMID:26044251

  2. Atomic-force-microscopy studies of phase separations in macromolecular systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuznetsov, Yu. G.; Malkin, A. J.; McPherson, A.

    1998-09-01

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been used to visualize events arising from the formation of intervening metastable phases at the surfaces of macromolecular crystals growing from solution. Crystals investigated were of the proteins canavalin, thaumatin, lipase, xylanase, and catalase, crystals of transfer RNA, and crystals of satellite tobacco mosaic virus. Two types of aggregates were observed. The first were small, linear and branched aggregates, perhaps fractile in structure. These were incorporated into growing crystals as impurities, and they produced defects of various kinds. The second aggregate form we infer to be liquid-protein droplets which were particularly evident in freshly mixed protein-precipitant solutions. Droplets, upon sedimentation, have two possible fates. In some cases they immediately restructured as crystalline multilayer stacks whose development was guided by and contiguous with the underlying lattice. These contributed to the ordered growth of the crystal by serving as sources of growth steps. In other cases, liquid-protein droplets formed distinct microcrystals, somehow discontinuous with the underlying lattice, and these were subsequently incorporated into the growing substrate crystal with the formation of defects. Scarring experiments with the AFM tip indicated that liquid-protein droplets with the potential to rapidly crystallize were a consequence of concentration instabilities near the crystal's surfaces. The AFM study suggests that phase separation and the appearance of aggregates having limited order is a common occurrence in supersaturated macromolecular solutions such as the protein-precipitant solutions used for crystallization.

  3. MxCuBE: a synchrotron beamline control environment customized for macromolecular crystallography experiments.

    PubMed

    Gabadinho, José; Beteva, Antonia; Guijarro, Matias; Rey-Bakaikoa, Vicente; Spruce, Darren; Bowler, Matthew W; Brockhauser, Sandor; Flot, David; Gordon, Elspeth J; Hall, David R; Lavault, Bernard; McCarthy, Andrew A; McCarthy, Joanne; Mitchell, Edward; Monaco, Stéphanie; Mueller-Dieckmann, Christoph; Nurizzo, Didier; Ravelli, Raimond B G; Thibault, Xavier; Walsh, Martin A; Leonard, Gordon A; McSweeney, Sean M

    2010-09-01

    The design and features of a beamline control software system for macromolecular crystallography (MX) experiments developed at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) are described. This system, MxCuBE, allows users to easily and simply interact with beamline hardware components and provides automated routines for common tasks in the operation of a synchrotron beamline dedicated to experiments in MX. Additional functionality is provided through intuitive interfaces that enable the assessment of the diffraction characteristics of samples, experiment planning, automatic data collection and the on-line collection and analysis of X-ray emission spectra. The software can be run in a tandem client-server mode that allows for remote control and relevant experimental parameters and results are automatically logged in a relational database, ISPyB. MxCuBE is modular, flexible and extensible and is currently deployed on eight macromolecular crystallography beamlines at the ESRF. Additionally, the software is installed at MAX-lab beamline I911-3 and at BESSY beamline BL14.1.

  4. An Efficient Low Storage and Memory Treatment of Gridded Interaction Fields for Simulations of Macromolecular Association.

    PubMed

    Ozboyaci, Musa; Martinez, Michael; Wade, Rebecca C

    2016-09-13

    Computer simulations of molecular systems often make use of regular rectangular grids with equidistant spacing to store information on their molecular interaction fields, e.g., electrostatic potential. These grids provide an easy way to store the data as they do not require any particular specification of the structure of the data. However, such grids may easily become large, and the storage and memory demands may become so high that calculations become infeasible. To overcome this problem, we show here how the data structure DT-Grid can be adapted and applied to efficiently represent macromolecular interaction grids by exploiting the nonuniformity of information on the grid; at the same time, this data structure ensures fast random data access. We demonstrate use of the DT-Grid data structure for potential of mean force and Brownian dynamics simulations of protein-surface binding and macromolecular association with the SDA software. We further demonstrate that the DT-Grid structure enables systems of large size, such as a viral capsid, and high resolution grids to be handled that are beyond current computational feasibility. PMID:27463233

  5. Correction of the viscous drag induced errors in macromolecular manipulation experiments using atomic force microscope.

    PubMed

    Liu, Runcong; Roman, Marisa; Yang, Guoliang

    2010-06-01

    We describe a method to correct the errors induced by viscous drag on the cantilever in macromolecular manipulation experiments using the atomic force microscope. The cantilever experiences a viscous drag force in these experiments because of its motion relative to the surrounding liquid. This viscous force superimposes onto the force generated by the macromolecule under study, causing ambiguity in the experimental data. To remove this artifact, we analyzed the motions of the cantilever and the liquid in macromolecular manipulation experiments, and developed a novel model to treat the viscous drag on the cantilever as the superposition of the viscous force on a static cantilever in a moving liquid and that on a bending cantilever in a static liquid. The viscous force was measured under both conditions and the results were used to correct the viscous drag induced errors from the experimental data. The method will be useful for many other cantilever based techniques, especially when high viscosity and high cantilever speed are involved. PMID:20590242

  6. A brief history of macromolecular crystallography, illustrated by a family tree and its Nobel fruits.

    PubMed

    Jaskolski, Mariusz; Dauter, Zbigniew; Wlodawer, Alexander

    2014-09-01

    As a contribution to the celebration of the year 2014, declared by the United Nations to be 'The International Year of Crystallography', the FEBS Journal is dedicating this issue to papers showcasing the intimate union between macromolecular crystallography and structural biology, both in historical perspective and in current research. Instead of a formal editorial piece, by way of introduction, this review discusses the most important, often iconic, achievements of crystallographers that led to major advances in our understanding of the structure and function of biological macromolecules. We identified at least 42 scientists who received Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry or Medicine for their contributions that included the use of X-rays or neutrons and crystallography, including 24 who made seminal discoveries in macromolecular sciences. Our spotlight is mostly, but not only, on the recipients of this most prestigious scientific honor, presented in approximately chronological order. As a summary of the review, we attempt to construct a genealogy tree of the principal lineages of protein crystallography, leading from the founding members to the present generation.

  7. Oral delivery of macromolecular drugs: Where we are after almost 100years of attempts.

    PubMed

    Moroz, Elena; Matoori, Simon; Leroux, Jean-Christophe

    2016-06-01

    Since the first attempt to administer insulin orally in humans more than 90years ago, the oral delivery of macromolecular drugs (>1000g/mol) has been rather disappointing. Although several clinical pilot studies have demonstrated that the oral absorption of macromolecules is possible, the bioavailability remains generally low and variable. This article reviews the formulations and biopharmaceutical aspects of orally administered biomacromolecules on the market and in clinical development for local and systemic delivery. The most successful approaches for systemic delivery often involve a combination of enteric coating, protease inhibitors and permeation enhancers in relatively high amounts. However, some of these excipients have induced local or systemic adverse reactions in preclinical and clinical studies, and long-term studies are often missing. Therefore, strategies aimed at increasing the oral absorption of macromolecular drugs should carefully take into account the benefit-risk ratio. In the absence of specific uptake pathways, small and potent peptides that are resistant to degradation and that present a large therapeutic window certainly represent the best candidates for systemic absorption. While we acknowledge the need for systemically delivering biomacromolecules, it is our opinion that the oral delivery to local gastrointestinal targets is currently more promising because of their accessibility and the lacking requirement for intestinal permeability enhancement.

  8. Macromolecular Crowding Studies of Amino Acids Using NMR Diffusion Measurements and Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Virk, Amninder; Stait-Gardner, Timothy; Willis, Scott; Torres, Allan; Price, William

    2015-02-01

    Molecular crowding occurs when the total concentration of macromolecular species in a solution is so high that a considerable proportion of the volume is physically occupied and therefore not accessible to other molecules. This results in significant changes in the solution properties of the molecules in such systems. Macromolecular crowding is ubiquitous in biological systems due to the generally high intracellular protein concentrations. The major hindrance to understanding crowding is the lack of direct comparison of experimental data with theoretical or simulated data. Self-diffusion is sensitive to changes in the molecular weight and shape of the diffusing species, and the available diffusion space (i.e., diffusive obstruction). Consequently, diffusion measurements are a direct means for probing crowded systems including the self-association of molecules. In this work, nuclear magnetic resonance measurements of the self-diffusion of four amino acids (glycine, alanine, valine and phenylalanine) up to their solubility limit in water were compared directly with molecular dynamics simulations. The experimental data were then analyzed using various models of aggregation and obstruction. Both experimental and simulated data revealed that the diffusion of both water and the amino acids were sensitive to the amino acid concentration. The direct comparison of the simulated and experimental data afforded greater insights into the aggregation and obstruction properties of each amino acid.

  9. Influence of macromolecular architecture on necking in polymer extrusion film casting process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pol, Harshawardhan; Banik, Sourya; Azad, Lal Busher; Thete, Sumeet; Doshi, Pankaj; Lele, Ashish

    2015-05-01

    Extrusion film casting (EFC) is an important polymer processing technique that is used to produce several thousand tons of polymer films/coatings on an industrial scale. In this research, we are interested in understanding quantitatively how macromolecular chain architecture (for example long chain branching (LCB) or molecular weight distribution (MWD or PDI)) influences the necking and thickness distribution of extrusion cast films. We have used different polymer resins of linear and branched molecular architecture to produce extrusion cast films under controlled experimental conditions. The necking profiles of the films were imaged and the velocity profiles during EFC were monitored using particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) technique. Additionally, the temperature profiles were captured using an IR thermography and thickness profiles were calculated. The experimental results are compared with predictions of one-dimensional flow model of Silagy et al1 wherein the polymer resin rheology is modeled using molecular constitutive equations such as the Rolie-Poly (RP) and extended Pom Pom (XPP). We demonstrate that the 1-D flow model containing the molecular constitutive equations provides new insights into the role of macromolecular chain architecture on film necking.1D. Silagy, Y. Demay, and J-F. Agassant, Polym. Eng. Sci., 36, 2614 (1996).

  10. Polymer-albumin conjugate for the facilitated delivery of macromolecular platinum drugs.

    PubMed

    Dag, Aydan; Jiang, Yanyan; Karim, Khairil Juhanni Abd; Hart-Smith, Gene; Scarano, Wei; Stenzel, Martina H

    2015-05-01

    The delivery of macromolecular platinum drugs into cancerous cells is enhanced by conjugating the polymer to albumin. The monomers N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) and Boc protected 1,3-diaminopropan-2-yl acrylate (Ac-DAP-Boc) are copolymerized in the presence of a furan protected maleimide functionalized reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) agent. The resulting polymer with a composition of P(HPMA14 -co-(Ac-DAP-Boc)9 ) and a molecular weight of Mn = 7600 g mol(-1) (Đ = 1.24) is used as a macromolecular ligand for the conjugation to the platinum drug. Thermogravimetric analysis reveals full conjugation. After deprotection of the maleimide functionality of the polymer, the reactive polymer is conjugated to albumin using the Cys34 functionality. The conjugation is monitored using size exclusion chromatography, MALDI-TOF (matrix assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight), and SDS Page (sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis). The polymer-albumin conjugates self-assemble in water into nanoparticles of sizes of around 80 nm thanks to the hydrophobic nature of the platinum drugs. The albumin coated nanoparticles are readily taken up by ovarian cancer cell lines and they show superior toxicity compared to a control sample without protein coating. PMID:25790077

  11. The Neurobiologist's Guide to Structural Biology: A Primer on Why Macromolecular Structure Matters and How to Evaluate Structural Data

    PubMed Central

    Minor, Daniel L.

    2010-01-01

    Structural biology now plays a prominent role in addressing questions central to understanding how excitable cells function. Although interest in the insights gained from the definition and dissection of macromolecular anatomy is high, many neurobiologists remain unfamiliar with the methods employed. This primer aims to help neurobiologists understand approaches for probing macromolecular structure and where the limits and challenges remain. Using examples of macromolecules with neurobiological importance, the review covers X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy (EM), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and biophysical methods with which these approaches are often paired: isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), equilibrium analytical ultracentifugation, and molecular dynamics (MD). PMID:17521566

  12. Survey of contrast media used in coronary angiograph

    SciTech Connect

    Weikl, A.; Hubmann, M.

    1982-01-01

    In recent years, various contrast media have been developed for use in coronary angiography. These contrast media may be divided into ionic contrast media of high osmolality, those of low osmolality, and nonionic contrast materials. We conducted our own clinical studies with 40 patients. In random succession a standard contrast medium (ionic, of high osmolality) and a new-generation contrast medium (either nonionic or ionic with low osmolality) were injected into the right and left coronary arteries. After each injection we measured the systolic and diastolic blood pressure using a liquid-filled coronary catheter. In addition, the change in the length of the cardiac cycle was registered in terms of the R-R interval (in ms) and at the same time, leads I, II, and III of the ECG were recorded. We studied the influence of the various contrast media on the activity of ATPase in in vitro experiments, using Lasser and Lang's. When ionic contrast media of low osmolality and nonionic contrast media were utilized the heart rate showed no change. Disturbances of rhythm such as ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation were not observed. All of the contrast media used produced the same ECG changes. These changes can be ascribed to the inhibition of ATPase. The arterial blood pressure was lowered significantly only by ionic contrast media of high osmolality only.

  13. Contrast image correction method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schettini, Raimondo; Gasparini, Francesca; Corchs, Silvia; Marini, Fabrizio; Capra, Alessandro; Castorina, Alfio

    2010-04-01

    A method for contrast enhancement is proposed. The algorithm is based on a local and image-dependent exponential correction. The technique aims to correct images that simultaneously present overexposed and underexposed regions. To prevent halo artifacts, the bilateral filter is used as the mask of the exponential correction. Depending on the characteristics of the image (piloted by histogram analysis), an automated parameter-tuning step is introduced, followed by stretching, clipping, and saturation preserving treatments. Comparisons with other contrast enhancement techniques are presented. The Mean Opinion Score (MOS) experiment on grayscale images gives the greatest preference score for our algorithm.

  14. Macromolecular crowding: chemistry and physics meet biology (Ascona, Switzerland, 10-14 June 2012).

    PubMed

    Foffi, G; Pastore, A; Piazza, F; Temussi, P A

    2013-08-02

    More than 60 years of biochemical and biophysical studies have accustomed us to think of proteins as highly purified entities that act in isolation, more or less freely diffusing until they find their cognate partner to bind to. While in vitro experiments that reproduce these conditions largely remain the only way to investigate the intrinsic properties of molecules, this approach ignores an important factor: in their natural milieu , proteins are surrounded by several other molecules of different chemical nature, and this crowded environment can considerably modify their behaviour. About 40% of the cellular volume on average is occupied by all sorts of molecules. Furthermore, biological macromolecules live and operate in an extremely structured and complex environment within the cell (endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, cytoskeletal structures, etc). Hence, to further complicate the picture, the interior of the cell is by no means a simply crowded medium, rather, a most crowded and confining one. In recent times, several approaches have been developed in the attempt to take into account important factors such as the ones mentioned above, at both theoretical and experimental levels, so that this field of research is now emerging as one of the most thriving in molecular and cell biology (see figure 1). [Formula: see text] Figure 1. Left: number of articles containing the word 'crowding' as a keyword limited to the biological and chemical science domains (source: ISI Web of Science). The arrow flags the 2003 'EMBO Workshop on Biological Implications of Macromolecular Crowding' (Embo, 2012). Right: number of citations to articles containing the word 'crowding' limited to the same domains (bars) and an exponential regression curve (source: Elsevier Scopus). To promote the importance of molecular crowding and confinement and provide researchers active in this field an interdisciplinary forum for meeting and exchanging ideas, we recently organized an international

  15. Macromolecular crowding: chemistry and physics meet biology (Ascona, Switzerland, 10-14 June 2012).

    PubMed

    Foffi, G; Pastore, A; Piazza, F; Temussi, P A

    2013-08-01

    More than 60 years of biochemical and biophysical studies have accustomed us to think of proteins as highly purified entities that act in isolation, more or less freely diffusing until they find their cognate partner to bind to. While in vitro experiments that reproduce these conditions largely remain the only way to investigate the intrinsic properties of molecules, this approach ignores an important factor: in their natural milieu , proteins are surrounded by several other molecules of different chemical nature, and this crowded environment can considerably modify their behaviour. About 40% of the cellular volume on average is occupied by all sorts of molecules. Furthermore, biological macromolecules live and operate in an extremely structured and complex environment within the cell (endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, cytoskeletal structures, etc). Hence, to further complicate the picture, the interior of the cell is by no means a simply crowded medium, rather, a most crowded and confining one. In recent times, several approaches have been developed in the attempt to take into account important factors such as the ones mentioned above, at both theoretical and experimental levels, so that this field of research is now emerging as one of the most thriving in molecular and cell biology (see figure 1). [Formula: see text] Figure 1. Left: number of articles containing the word 'crowding' as a keyword limited to the biological and chemical science domains (source: ISI Web of Science). The arrow flags the 2003 'EMBO Workshop on Biological Implications of Macromolecular Crowding' (Embo, 2012). Right: number of citations to articles containing the word 'crowding' limited to the same domains (bars) and an exponential regression curve (source: Elsevier Scopus). To promote the importance of molecular crowding and confinement and provide researchers active in this field an interdisciplinary forum for meeting and exchanging ideas, we recently organized an international

  16. Macromolecular crowding: chemistry and physics meet biology (Ascona, Switzerland, 10-14 June 2012)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foffi, G.; Pastore, A.; Piazza, F.; Temussi, P. A.

    2013-08-01

    More than 60 years of biochemical and biophysical studies have accustomed us to think of proteins as highly purified entities that act in isolation, more or less freely diffusing until they find their cognate partner to bind to. While in vitro experiments that reproduce these conditions largely remain the only way to investigate the intrinsic properties of molecules, this approach ignores an important factor: in their natural milieu , proteins are surrounded by several other molecules of different chemical nature, and this crowded environment can considerably modify their behaviour. About 40% of the cellular volume on average is occupied by all sorts of molecules. Furthermore, biological macromolecules live and operate in an extremely structured and complex environment within the cell (endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, cytoskeletal structures, etc). Hence, to further complicate the picture, the interior of the cell is by no means a simply crowded medium, rather, a most crowded and confining one. In recent times, several approaches have been developed in the attempt to take into account important factors such as the ones mentioned above, at both theoretical and experimental levels, so that this field of research is now emerging as one of the most thriving in molecular and cell biology (see figure 1). Figure 1. Figure 1. Left: number of articles containing the word 'crowding' as a keyword limited to the biological and chemical science domains (source: ISI Web of Science). The arrow flags the 2003 'EMBO Workshop on Biological Implications of Macromolecular Crowding' (Embo, 2012). Right: number of citations to articles containing the word 'crowding' limited to the same domains (bars) and an exponential regression curve (source: Elsevier Scopus). To promote the importance of molecular crowding and confinement and provide researchers active in this field an interdisciplinary forum for meeting and exchanging ideas, we recently organized an international conference

  17. Phonation in Tonal Contrasts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuang, Jianjing

    2013-01-01

    Phonation is used in many tonal languages, but how it should be incorporated into tonal systems is not well understood. The purpose of this dissertation thus is to examine the role of phonation in tonal contrasts, and to investigate how phonation and pitch interact in the tonal space. This dissertation presents close studies of tonal contrasts…

  18. Directionality in Contrastive Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    James, Carl

    A contrastive analysis (CA) does not require commitment to directionality. Even asymmetrical interlingual correspondence can be handled by adirectional statements. If well executed, a CA is capable of handling three pairs of L2 learning phenomena: (1) going from language A to language B and vice versa; (2) productive and receptive command; and (3)…

  19. Contributors to contrast between glioma and brain tissue in chemical exchange saturation transfer sensitive imaging at 3 Tesla.

    PubMed

    Scheidegger, Rachel; Wong, Eric T; Alsop, David C

    2014-10-01

    Off-resonance saturation transfer images have shown intriguing differences in intensity in glioma compared to normal brain tissues. Interpretation of these differences is complicated, however, by the presence of multiple sources of exchanging magnetization including amide, amine, and hydroxyl protons, asymmetric magnetization transfer contrast (MTC) from macromolecules, and various protons with resonances in the aliphatic spectral region. We report a study targeted at separating these components and identifying their relative contributions to contrast in glioma. Off-resonance z-spectra at several saturation powers and durations were obtained from 6 healthy controls and 8 patients with high grade glioma. Results indicate that broad macromolecular MTC in normal brain tissue is responsible for the majority of contrast with glioma. Amide exchange could be detected with lower saturation power than has previously been reported in glioma, but it was a weak signal source with no detectable contrast from normal brain tissue. At higher saturation powers, amine proton exchange was a major contributor to the observed signal but showed no significant difference from normal brain. Robust acquisition strategies that effectively isolate the contributions of broad macromolecular MTC asymmetry from amine exchange were demonstrated that may provide improved contrast between glioma and normal tissue. PMID:24857712

  20. Modulation of 3-methylcholanthrene toxicity in cultured neoplastic keratinocytes by glucocorticoids and retinoids is not accounted for by macromolecular adduct formation

    SciTech Connect

    Rubin, A.L.; Rice, R.H. )

    1989-04-01

    3-Methylcholanthrene (3-MC) greatly inhibits the growth of two lines of human squamous carcinoma cells, SCC-9 and SCC-12B{sub 2}. The degree of 3-MC-mediated inhibition, however, was markedly alleviated by inclusion of retinoic acid and hydrocortisone or dexamethasone in the culture medium. These physiological effectors, which are known to have opposing actions on keratinocyte character in SCC cells, did not significantly alter either aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase activity or macromolecular adduct formation. Further analysis of the cellular responses indicated that hydrocortisone and, in some experiments, retinoids increased the growth rate in 3-MC-exposed cultures, while 3-MC increased the saturation density in retinoic acid-exposed cultures, an example of interference with a physiological response of the cells. These results indicate that alteration of the differentiated state, regardless of the direction of the change, can alter the sensitivity of these cells to toxic stimuli. Further investigation of the bases of such toxic responses and their modulation by the microenvironment may enhance our understanding of the target cell specificity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

  1. Hypermedia as medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dede, Christopher J.

    1990-01-01

    Claims and rebuttals that hypermedia (the associative, nonlinear interconnection of multimedia materials) is a fundamentally innovative means of thinking and communicating are described. This representational architecture has many advantages that make it a major advance over other media; however, it also has several intrinsic problems that severly limits its effectiveness as a medium. These advantages and limits in applications are discussed.

  2. Holographic recording medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gange, Robert Allen (Inventor)

    1977-01-01

    A holographic recording medium comprising a conductive substrate, a photoconductive layer and an electrically alterable layer of a linear, low molecular weight hydrocarbon polymer has improved fatigue resistance. An acrylic barrier layer can be interposed between the photoconductive and electrically alterable layers.

  3. Polarizable Atomic Multipole X-Ray Refinement: Particle Mesh Ewald Electrostatics for Macromolecular Crystals.

    PubMed

    Schnieders, Michael J; Fenn, Timothy D; Pande, Vijay S

    2011-04-12

    Refinement of macromolecular models from X-ray crystallography experiments benefits from prior chemical knowledge at all resolutions. As the quality of the prior chemical knowledge from quantum or classical molecular physics improves, in principle so will resulting structural models. Due to limitations in computer performance and electrostatic algorithms, commonly used macromolecules X-ray crystallography refinement protocols have had limited support for rigorous molecular physics in the past. For example, electrostatics is often neglected in favor of nonbonded interactions based on a purely repulsive van der Waals potential. In this work we present advanced algorithms for desktop workstations that open the door to X-ray refinement of even the most challenging macromolecular data sets using state-of-the-art classical molecular physics. First we describe theory for particle mesh Ewald (PME) summation that consistently handles the symmetry of all 230 space groups, replicates of the unit cell such that the minimum image convention can be used with a real space cutoff of any size and the combination of space group symmetry with replicates. An implementation of symmetry accelerated PME for the polarizable atomic multipole optimized energetics for biomolecular applications (AMOEBA) force field is presented. Relative to a single CPU core performing calculations on a P1 unit cell, our AMOEBA engine called Force Field X (FFX) accelerates energy evaluations by more than a factor of 24 on an 8-core workstation with a Tesla GPU coprocessor for 30 structures that contain 240 000 atoms on average in the unit cell. The benefit of AMOEBA electrostatics evaluated with PME for macromolecular X-ray crystallography refinement is demonstrated via rerefinement of 10 crystallographic data sets that range in resolution from 1.7 to 4.5 Å. Beginning from structures obtained by local optimization without electrostatics, further optimization using AMOEBA with PME electrostatics improved

  4. Macromolecular crowding meets oxygen tension in human mesenchymal stem cell culture - A step closer to physiologically relevant in vitro organogenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cigognini, Daniela; Gaspar, Diana; Kumar, Pramod; Satyam, Abhigyan; Alagesan, Senthilkumar; Sanz-Nogués, Clara; Griffin, Matthew; O’Brien, Timothy; Pandit, Abhay; Zeugolis, Dimitrios I.

    2016-08-01

    Modular tissue engineering is based on the cells’ innate ability to create bottom-up supramolecular assemblies with efficiency and efficacy still unmatched by man-made devices. Although the regenerative potential of such tissue substitutes has been documented in preclinical and clinical setting, the prolonged culture time required to develop an implantable device is associated with phenotypic drift and/or cell senescence. Herein, we demonstrate that macromolecular crowding significantly enhances extracellular matrix deposition in human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell culture at both 20% and 2% oxygen tension. Although hypoxia inducible factor - 1α was activated at 2% oxygen tension, increased extracellular matrix synthesis was not observed. The expression of surface markers and transcription factors was not affected as a function of oxygen tension and macromolecular crowding. The multilineage potential was also maintained, albeit adipogenic differentiation was significantly reduced in low oxygen tension cultures, chondrogenic differentiation was significantly increased in macromolecularly crowded cultures and osteogenic differentiation was not affected as a function of oxygen tension and macromolecular crowding. Collectively, these data pave the way for the development of bottom-up tissue equivalents based on physiologically relevant developmental processes.

  5. Fractionation and characterization of soy β-conglycinin-dextran conjugates via macromolecular crowding environment and dry heating.

    PubMed

    Weng, Jingyi; Qi, Junru; Yin, Shouwei; Wang, Jinmei; Guo, Jian; Feng, Jilu; Liu, Qianru; Zhu, Jianhua; Yang, Xiaoquan

    2016-04-01

    Conjugates of β-conglycinin and dextran were prepared by heating in solution under macromolecular crowding environment and dry-heating methods, and then fractionated by solubility at pH 4.8 and pH 6.5 and characterized. The results showed that the degree of glycation of the conjugates extracted from pH 4.8 were higher than the conjugates extracted from pH 6.5. Corresponding to the higher degree of glycation, it was supposed that the β-conglycinin of groups 4.8 of macromolecular crowding environment was completely surrounded by the dextran molecular while that of groups 6.5 were encircled partially with a lower degree of glycation. Compared to β-conglycinin, groups 4.8 demonstrated a decreasing surface hydrophobicity and sulfhydryl group content while groups 6.5 increased. The secondary structure of β-conglycinin soluble at pH 4.8 after conjugating under macromolecular crowding environment tended to stretch out and the highly ordered structure turn to random structures. The differences between the extraction of pH 4.8 and pH 6.5 conjugated by dry-heating methods were not as remarkable as the difference between the extraction conjugated by macromolecular crowding environment.

  6. Macromolecular crowding meets oxygen tension in human mesenchymal stem cell culture - A step closer to physiologically relevant in vitro organogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Cigognini, Daniela; Gaspar, Diana; Kumar, Pramod; Satyam, Abhigyan; Alagesan, Senthilkumar; Sanz-Nogués, Clara; Griffin, Matthew; O’Brien, Timothy; Pandit, Abhay; Zeugolis, Dimitrios I.

    2016-01-01

    Modular tissue engineering is based on the cells’ innate ability to create bottom-up supramolecular assemblies with efficiency and efficacy still unmatched by man-made devices. Although the regenerative potential of such tissue substitutes has been documented in preclinical and clinical setting, the prolonged culture time required to develop an implantable device is associated with phenotypic drift and/or cell senescence. Herein, we demonstrate that macromolecular crowding significantly enhances extracellular matrix deposition in human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell culture at both 20% and 2% oxygen tension. Although hypoxia inducible factor - 1α was activated at 2% oxygen tension, increased extracellular matrix synthesis was not observed. The expression of surface markers and transcription factors was not affected as a function of oxygen tension and macromolecular crowding. The multilineage potential was also maintained, albeit adipogenic differentiation was significantly reduced in low oxygen tension cultures, chondrogenic differentiation was significantly increased in macromolecularly crowded cultures and osteogenic differentiation was not affected as a function of oxygen tension and macromolecular crowding. Collectively, these data pave the way for the development of bottom-up tissue equivalents based on physiologically relevant developmental processes. PMID:27478033

  7. Macromolecular crowding meets oxygen tension in human mesenchymal stem cell culture - A step closer to physiologically relevant in vitro organogenesis.

    PubMed

    Cigognini, Daniela; Gaspar, Diana; Kumar, Pramod; Satyam, Abhigyan; Alagesan, Senthilkumar; Sanz-Nogués, Clara; Griffin, Matthew; O'Brien, Timothy; Pandit, Abhay; Zeugolis, Dimitrios I

    2016-01-01

    Modular tissue engineering is based on the cells' innate ability to create bottom-up supramolecular assemblies with efficiency and efficacy still unmatched by man-made devices. Although the regenerative potential of such tissue substitutes has been documented in preclinical and clinical setting, the prolonged culture time required to develop an implantable device is associated with phenotypic drift and/or cell senescence. Herein, we demonstrate that macromolecular crowding significantly enhances extracellular matrix deposition in human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell culture at both 20% and 2% oxygen tension. Although hypoxia inducible factor - 1α was activated at 2% oxygen tension, increased extracellular matrix synthesis was not observed. The expression of surface markers and transcription factors was not affected as a function of oxygen tension and macromolecular crowding. The multilineage potential was also maintained, albeit adipogenic differentiation was significantly reduced in low oxygen tension cultures, chondrogenic differentiation was significantly increased in macromolecularly crowded cultures and osteogenic differentiation was not affected as a function of oxygen tension and macromolecular crowding. Collectively, these data pave the way for the development of bottom-up tissue equivalents based on physiologically relevant developmental processes.

  8. Probing the Interplay of Size, Shape, and Solution Environment in Macromolecular Diffusion Using a Simple Refraction Experiment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mankidy, Bijith D.; Coutinho, Cecil A.; Gupta, Vinay K.

    2010-01-01

    The diffusion coefficient of polymers is a critical parameter in biomedicine, catalysis, chemical separations, nanotechnology, and other industrial applications. Here, measurement of macromolecular diffusion in solutions is described using a visually instructive, undergraduate-level optical refraction experiment based on Weiner's method. To…

  9. Chromatography: concepts and contrasts

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, J.M.

    1988-01-01

    As the author states in the Preface, this text attempts to provide a unified approach to chromatography (hence the title) by way of contrasting similarities and differences between gas chromatography (GC), column liquid chromatography (LC), and thin-layer chromatography (TLC). This book is also said to be pitched at an elementary level, suitable for most newcomers to the field (e.g., advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students in the academic world, as well as bench-level chemists in industry).

  10. Polychromatic diffraction contrast tomography

    SciTech Connect

    King, A.; Reischig, P.; Adrien, J.; Peetermans, S.; Ludwig, W.

    2014-11-15

    This tutorial review introduces the use of polychromatic radiation for 3D grain mapping using X-ray diffraction contrast tomography. The objective is to produce a 3D map of the grain shapes and orientations within a bulk, millimeter-sized polycrystalline sample. The use of polychromatic radiation enables the standard synchrotron X-ray technique to be applied in a wider range of contexts: 1) Using laboratory X-ray sources allows a much wider application of the diffraction contrast tomography technique. 2) Neutron sources allow large samples, or samples containing high Z elements to be studied. 3) Applied to synchrotron sources, smaller samples may be treated, or faster measurements may be possible. Challenges and particularities in the data acquisition and processing, and the limitations of the different variants, are discussed. - Highlights: • We present a tutorial review of polychromatic diffraction contrast tomography techniques. • The use of polychromatic radiation allows the standard synchrotron DCT technique to be extended to a range of other sources. • The characteristics and limitations of all variants of the techniques are derived, discussed and compared. • Examples using laboratory X-ray and cold neutron radiation are presented. • Suggestions for the future development of these techniques are presented.

  11. Peripheral venous contrast echocardiography.

    PubMed

    Seward, J B; Tajik, A J; Hagler, D J; Ritter, D G

    1977-02-01

    Contrast echocardiography is the technique of injecting various echo-producing agents into the bloodstream and, with standard echocardiographic techniques, observing the blood flow patterns as revealed by the resulting cloud of echoes. These techniques have only recently been utilized to evaluate various cardiac defects. Two physical properties of these agents characterize their usefulness: (1) clouds of echoes can be observed downstream as well as at the injection site, and (2) the echo-producing quality of these agents is completely lost with a single transit through either the pulmonary or the systemic capillary bed. Thus, detection of resultant echoes in both the venous and the arterial blood pool is indicative of abnormal shunting. In 60 patients with a spectrum of cardiac defects and a wide range in age of presentation, studies were made of (1) the feasibility of performing contrast echocardiography with superficial peripheral venous injections, and (2) the clinical usefulness of this relatively noninvasive technique in detecting and localizing intracardiac right ot left shunting. Most superficial peripheral veins could be utilized, and the resultant contrast echograms were reproducible and similar in quality to those obtained more central (caval) injections. Right to left shunts could be localized in the atrial, ventricular or intrapulmonary level. Characteristic flow patterns were also recognized for tricuspid atresia and common ventricle.

  12. The kinetic dose limit in room-temperature time-resolved macromolecular crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Schmidt, M.; Srajer, V.; Purwar, N.; Tripathi, S.

    2012-05-24

    Protein X-ray structures are determined with ionizing radiation that damages the protein at high X-ray doses. As a result, diffraction patterns deteriorate with the increased absorbed dose. Several strategies such as sample freezing or scavenging of X-ray-generated free radicals are currently employed to minimize this damage. However, little is known about how the absorbed X-ray dose affects time-resolved Laue data collected at physiological temperatures where the protein is fully functional in the crystal, and how the kinetic analysis of such data depends on the absorbed dose. Here, direct evidence for the impact of radiation damage on the function of a protein is presented using time-resolved macromolecular crystallography. The effect of radiation damage on the kinetic analysis of time-resolved X-ray data is also explored.

  13. Visualization of macromolecular complexes using cryo-electron microscopy with FEI Tecnai transmission electron microscopes

    PubMed Central

    Grassucci, Robert A; Taylor, Derek; Frank, Joachim

    2009-01-01

    This protocol details the steps used for visualizing the frozen-hydrated grids as prepared following the accompanying protocol entitled ‘Preparation of macromolecular complexes for visualization using cryo-electron microscopy.’ This protocol describes how to transfer the grid to the microscope using a standard cryo-transfer holder or, alternatively, using a cryo-cartridge loading system, and how to collect low-dose data using an FEI Tecnai transmission electron microscope. This protocol also summarizes and compares the various options that are available in data collection for three-dimensional (3D) single-particle reconstruction. These options include microscope settings, choice of detectors and data collection strategies both in situations where a 3D reference is available and in the absence of such a reference (random-conical and common lines). PMID:18274535

  14. Macromolecular Approaches to Prevent Thrombosis and Intimal Hyperplasia Following Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease remains one of the largest contributors to death worldwide. Improvements in cardiovascular technology leading to the current generation of drug-eluting stents, bioresorbable stents, and drug-eluting balloons, coupled with advances in antirestenotic therapeutics developed by pharmaceutical community, have had a profound impact on quality of life and longevity. However, these procedures and devices contribute to both short- and long-term complications. Thus, room for improvement and development of new, alternative strategies exists. Two major approaches have been investigated to improve outcomes following percutaneous coronary intervention including perivascular delivery and luminal paving. For both approaches, polymers play a major role as controlled research vehicles, carriers for cells, and antithrombotic coatings. With improvements in catheter delivery devices and increases in our understanding of the biology of healthy and diseased vessels, the time is ripe for development of novel macromolecular coatings that can protect the vessel lumen following balloon angioplasty and promote healthy vascular healing. PMID:24964369

  15. Acoustic methods for high-throughput protein crystal mounting at next-generation macromolecular crystallographic beamlines.

    PubMed

    Roessler, Christian G; Kuczewski, Anthony; Stearns, Richard; Ellson, Richard; Olechno, Joseph; Orville, Allen M; Allaire, Marc; Soares, Alexei S; Héroux, Annie

    2013-09-01

    To take full advantage of advanced data collection techniques and high beam flux at next-generation macromolecular crystallography beamlines, rapid and reliable methods will be needed to mount and align many samples per second. One approach is to use an acoustic ejector to eject crystal-containing droplets onto a solid X-ray transparent surface, which can then be positioned and rotated for data collection. Proof-of-concept experiments were conducted at the National Synchrotron Light Source on thermolysin crystals acoustically ejected onto a polyimide `conveyor belt'. Small wedges of data were collected on each crystal, and a complete dataset was assembled from a well diffracting subset of these crystals. Future developments and implementation will focus on achieving ejection and translation of single droplets at a rate of over one hundred per second. PMID:23955046

  16. Parallel macromolecular delivery and biochemical/electrochemical interface to cells employing nanostructures

    SciTech Connect

    McKnight, Timothy E; Melechko, Anatoli V; Griffin, Guy D; Guillorn, Michael A; Merkulov, Vladimir L; Simpson, Michael L

    2015-03-31

    Systems and methods are described for parallel macromolecular delivery and biochemical/electrochemical interface to whole cells employing carbon nanostructures including nanofibers and nanotubes. A method includes providing a first material on at least a first portion of a first surface of a first tip of a first elongated carbon nanostructure; providing a second material on at least a second portion of a second surface of a second tip of a second elongated carbon nanostructure, the second elongated carbon nanostructure coupled to, and substantially parallel to, the first elongated carbon nanostructure; and penetrating a boundary of a biological sample with at least one member selected from the group consisting of the first tip and the second tip.

  17. Ground Based Program for the Physical Analysis of Macromolecular Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malkin, Alexander J.

    1999-01-01

    In a reported period in situ atomic force microscopy was utilized in our laboratory to study mechanisms of growth and kinetics of crystallization of ten protein and virus crystals. These included canavalin, thaumatin, apoferritin, lipase, catalase, t-RNA, lysozyme, xylanase, turnip yellow mosaic virus (TYMV) and satellite tobacco mosaic virus (STMV). We have also designed and constructed in our laboratory both in situ conventional two-beam Michelson and phase shift Mach-Zenhder interferometers. Computer software for the processing of the interferometric images was developed as well. Interferometric techniques were applied for studies of growth kinetics and transport phenomena in crystallization of several macromolecular crystals. As a result of this work we have published 21 papers and have given many presentations at international and national meetings. A list of these publications and conference presentations is attached.

  18. Rasta silanes: new silyl resins with novel macromolecular architecture via living free radical polymerization

    PubMed

    Lindsley; Hodges; Filzen; Watson; Geyer

    2000-09-01

    Heating TEMPO-methyl resin with dialkylsilane styrenes affords larger resin beads via living free radical polymerization. The new silyl resins prepared by this solvent-free suspension polymerization protocol have been coined "Rasta silanes". Rasta silanes have a novel macromolecular architecture typified by long straight chain polymers bearing the silanes which emanate from the phenyl rings of a cross-linked polystyrene core. By careful selection of comonomers during the polymerization step, loading capacity, silane spacing, and the relative distance of the silane moieties from the resin core can be controlled. The consistently high-loading Rasta silane resins produced can be easily converted into either a reactive silyl chloride or triflate to subsequently anchor alcohols and phenols to the solid phase. Cleavage from the resin can be mediated by treatment with HF.pyridine, TFA solutions, or TBAF.

  19. DNA translocation through α-hemolysin nanopores with potential application to macromolecular data storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khulbe, Pramod K.; Mansuripur, Masud; Gruener, Raphael

    2005-05-01

    Digital information can be encoded in the building-block sequence of macromolecules, such as RNA and single-stranded DNA. Methods of "writing" and "reading" macromolecular strands are currently available, but they are slow and expensive. In an ideal molecular data storage system, routine operations such as write, read, erase, store, and transfer must be done reliably and at high speed within an integrated chip. As a first step toward demonstrating the feasibility of this concept, we report preliminary results of DNA readout experiments conducted in miniaturized chambers that are scalable to even smaller dimensions. We show that translocation of a single-stranded DNA molecule (consisting of 50 adenosine bases followed by 100 cytosine bases) through an ion channel yields a characteristic signal that is attributable to the two-segment structure of the molecule. We also examine the dependence of the translocation rate and speed on the adjustable parameters of the experiment.

  20. RosettaScripts: a scripting language interface to the Rosetta macromolecular modeling suite.

    PubMed

    Fleishman, Sarel J; Leaver-Fay, Andrew; Corn, Jacob E; Strauch, Eva-Maria; Khare, Sagar D; Koga, Nobuyasu; Ashworth, Justin; Murphy, Paul; Richter, Florian; Lemmon, Gordon; Meiler, Jens; Baker, David

    2011-01-01

    Macromolecular modeling and design are increasingly useful in basic research, biotechnology, and teaching. However, the absence of a user-friendly modeling framework that provides access to a wide range of modeling capabilities is hampering the wider adoption of computational methods by non-experts. RosettaScripts is an XML-like language for specifying modeling tasks in the Rosetta framework. RosettaScripts provides access to protocol-level functionalities, such as rigid-body docking and sequence redesign, and allows fast testing and deployment of complex protocols without need for modifying or recompiling the underlying C++ code. We illustrate these capabilities with RosettaScripts protocols for the stabilization of proteins, the generation of computationally constrained libraries for experimental selection of higher-affinity binding proteins, loop remodeling, small-molecule ligand docking, design of ligand-binding proteins, and specificity redesign in DNA-binding proteins. PMID:21731610

  1. Boundary element solution of macromolecular electrostatics: interaction energy between two proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, H X

    1993-01-01

    The boundary element technique is implemented to solve for the electrostatic potential of macromolecules in an ionic solution. This technique entails solving surface integral equations that are equivalent to the Poisson and the Poisson-Boltzmann equations governing the electrostatic potential inside the macromolecules and and in the solvent. A simple but robust method is described for discretizing the macromolecular surfaces in order to approximate the integral equations by linear algebraic equations. Particular attention is paid to the interaction energy between two macromolecules, and an iterative procedure is devised to make the calculation more efficient. This iterative procedure is illustrated in the electron transfer system of cytochrome c and cytochrome c peroxidase. PMID:8218918

  2. Localized reconstruction of subunits from electron cryomicroscopy images of macromolecular complexes

    PubMed Central

    Ilca, Serban L.; Kotecha, Abhay; Sun, Xiaoyu; Poranen, Minna M.; Stuart, David I.; Huiskonen, Juha T.

    2015-01-01

    Electron cryomicroscopy can yield near-atomic resolution structures of highly ordered macromolecular complexes. Often however some subunits bind in a flexible manner, have different symmetry from the rest of the complex, or are present in sub-stoichiometric amounts, limiting the attainable resolution. Here we report a general method for the localized three-dimensional reconstruction of such subunits. After determining the particle orientations, local areas corresponding to the subunits can be extracted and treated as single particles. We demonstrate the method using three examples including a flexible assembly and complexes harbouring subunits with either partial occupancy or mismatched symmetry. Most notably, the method allows accurate fitting of the monomeric RNA-dependent RNA polymerase bound at the threefold axis of symmetry inside a viral capsid, revealing for the first time its exact orientation and interactions with the capsid proteins. Localized reconstruction is expected to provide novel biological insights in a range of challenging biological systems. PMID:26534841

  3. Function and dynamics of macromolecular complexes explored by integrative structural and computational biology.

    PubMed

    Purdy, Michael D; Bennett, Brad C; McIntire, William E; Khan, Ali K; Kasson, Peter M; Yeager, Mark

    2014-08-01

    Three vignettes exemplify the potential of combining EM and X-ray crystallographic data with molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to explore the architecture, dynamics and functional properties of multicomponent, macromolecular complexes. The first two describe how EM and X-ray crystallography were used to solve structures of the ribosome and the Arp2/3-actin complex, which enabled MD simulations that elucidated functional dynamics. The third describes how EM, X-ray crystallography, and microsecond MD simulations of a GPCR:G protein complex were used to explore transmembrane signaling by the β-adrenergic receptor. Recent technical advancements in EM, X-ray crystallography and computational simulation create unprecedented synergies for integrative structural biology to reveal new insights into heretofore intractable biological systems.

  4. A Test of Macromolecular Crystallization in Microgravity: Large, Well-Ordered Insulin Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borgstahl, Gloria E. O.; Vahedi-Faridi, Ardeschir; Lovelace, Jeff; Bellamy, Henry D.; Snell, Edward H.; Whitaker, Ann F. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Crystals of insulin grown in microgravity on space shuttle mission STS-95 were extremely well-ordered and unusually large (many > 2 mm). The physical characteristics of six microgravity and six earth-grown crystals were examined by X-ray analysis employing superfine f slicing and unfocused synchrotron radiation. This experimental setup allowed hundreds of reflections to be precisely examined for each crystal in a short period of time. The microgravity crystals were on average 34 times larger, had 7 times lower mosaicity, had 54 times higher reflection peak heights and diffracted to significantly higher resolution than their earth grown counterparts. A single mosaic domain model could account for reflections in microgravity crystals whereas reflections from earth crystals required a model with multiple mosaic domains. This statistically significant and unbiased characterization indicates that the microgravity environment was useful for the improvement of crystal growth and resultant diffraction quality in insulin crystals and may be similarly useful for macromolecular crystals in general.

  5. RosettaScripts: a scripting language interface to the Rosetta macromolecular modeling suite.

    PubMed

    Fleishman, Sarel J; Leaver-Fay, Andrew; Corn, Jacob E; Strauch, Eva-Maria; Khare, Sagar D; Koga, Nobuyasu; Ashworth, Justin; Murphy, Paul; Richter, Florian; Lemmon, Gordon; Meiler, Jens; Baker, David

    2011-01-01

    Macromolecular modeling and design are increasingly useful in basic research, biotechnology, and teaching. However, the absence of a user-friendly modeling framework that provides access to a wide range of modeling capabilities is hampering the wider adoption of computational methods by non-experts. RosettaScripts is an XML-like language for specifying modeling tasks in the Rosetta framework. RosettaScripts provides access to protocol-level functionalities, such as rigid-body docking and sequence redesign, and allows fast testing and deployment of complex protocols without need for modifying or recompiling the underlying C++ code. We illustrate these capabilities with RosettaScripts protocols for the stabilization of proteins, the generation of computationally constrained libraries for experimental selection of higher-affinity binding proteins, loop remodeling, small-molecule ligand docking, design of ligand-binding proteins, and specificity redesign in DNA-binding proteins.

  6. Phase transitions of macromolecular microsphere composite hydrogels based on the stochastic Cahn–Hilliard equation

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Xiao Ji, Guanghua Zhang, Hui

    2015-02-15

    We use the stochastic Cahn–Hilliard equation to simulate the phase transitions of the macromolecular microsphere composite (MMC) hydrogels under a random disturbance. Based on the Flory–Huggins lattice model and the Boltzmann entropy theorem, we develop a reticular free energy suit for the network structure of MMC hydrogels. Taking the random factor into account, with the time-dependent Ginzburg-Landau (TDGL) mesoscopic simulation method, we set up a stochastic Cahn–Hilliard equation, designated herein as the MMC-TDGL equation. The stochastic term in the equation is constructed appropriately to satisfy the fluctuation-dissipation theorem and is discretized on a spatial grid for the simulation. A semi-implicit difference scheme is adopted to numerically solve the MMC-TDGL equation. Some numerical experiments are performed with different parameters. The results are consistent with the physical phenomenon, which verifies the good simulation of the stochastic term.

  7. Recent Major Improvements to the ALS Sector 5 MacromolecularCrystallography Beamlines

    SciTech Connect

    Morton, Simon A.; Glossinger, James; Smith-Baumann, Alexis; McKean, John P.; Trame, Christine; Dickert, Jeff; Rozales, Anthony; Dauz,Azer; Taylor, John; Zwart, Petrus; Duarte, Robert; Padmore, Howard; McDermott, Gerry; Adams, Paul

    2007-07-01

    Although the Advanced Light Source (ALS) was initially conceived primarily as a low energy (1.9GeV) 3rd generation source of VUV and soft x-ray radiation it was realized very early in the development of the facility that a multipole wiggler source coupled with high quality, (brightness preserving), optics would result in a beamline whose performance across the optimal energy range (5-15keV) for macromolecular crystallography (MX) would be comparable to, or even exceed, that of many existing crystallography beamlines at higher energy facilities. Hence, starting in 1996, a suite of three beamlines, branching off a single wiggler source, was constructed, which together formed the ALS Macromolecular Crystallography Facility. From the outset this facility was designed to cater equally to the needs of both academic and industrial users with a heavy emphasis placed on the development and introduction of high throughput crystallographic tools, techniques, and facilities--such as large area CCD detectors, robotic sample handling and automounting facilities, a service crystallography program, and a tightly integrated, centralized, and highly automated beamline control environment for users. This facility was immediately successful, with the primary Multiwavelength Anomalous Diffraction beamline (5.0.2) in particular rapidly becoming one of the foremost crystallographic facilities in the US--responsible for structures such as the 70S ribosome. This success in-turn triggered enormous growth of the ALS macromolecular crystallography community and spurred the development of five additional ALS MX beamlines all utilizing the newly developed superconducting bending magnets ('superbends') as sources. However in the years since the original Sector 5.0 beamlines were built the performance demands of macromolecular crystallography users have become ever more exacting; with growing emphasis placed on studying larger complexes, more difficult structures, weakly diffracting or smaller

  8. Integration and global analysis of isothermal titration calorimetry data for studying macromolecular interactions.

    PubMed

    Brautigam, Chad A; Zhao, Huaying; Vargas, Carolyn; Keller, Sandro; Schuck, Peter

    2016-05-01

    Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) is a powerful and widely used method to measure the energetics of macromolecular interactions by recording a thermogram of differential heating power during a titration. However, traditional ITC analysis is limited by stochastic thermogram noise and by the limited information content of a single titration experiment. Here we present a protocol for bias-free thermogram integration based on automated shape analysis of the injection peaks, followed by combination of isotherms from different calorimetric titration experiments into a global analysis, statistical analysis of binding parameters and graphical presentation of the results. This is performed using the integrated public-domain software packages NITPIC, SEDPHAT and GUSSI. The recently developed low-noise thermogram integration approach and global analysis allow for more precise parameter estimates and more reliable quantification of multisite and multicomponent cooperative and competitive interactions. Titration experiments typically take 1-2.5 h each, and global analysis usually takes 10-20 min.

  9. Anion Recognition in Water: Recent Advances from a Supramolecular and Macromolecular Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Langton, Matthew J.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The recognition of anions in water remains a key challenge in modern supramolecular chemistry, and is essential if proposed applications in biological, medical, and environmental arenas that typically require aqueous conditions are to be achieved. However, synthetic anion receptors that operate in water have, in general, been the exception rather than the norm to date. Nevertheless, a significant step change towards routinely conducting anion recognition in water has been achieved in the past few years, and this Review highlights these approaches, with particular focus on controlling and using the hydrophobic effect, as well as more exotic interactions such as C−H hydrogen bonding and halogen bonding. We also look beyond the field of small‐molecule recognition into the macromolecular domain, covering recent advances in anion recognition based on biomolecules, polymers, and nanoparticles. PMID:26612067

  10. Macromolecular crowding creates heterogeneous environments of gene expression in picolitre droplets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Maike M. K.; Meijer, Lenny H. H.; Spruijt, Evan; Maas, Roel J. M.; Rosquelles, Marta Ventosa; Groen, Joost; Heus, Hans A.; Huck, Wilhelm T. S.

    2016-02-01

    Understanding the dynamics of complex enzymatic reactions in highly crowded small volumes is crucial for the development of synthetic minimal cells. Compartmentalized biochemical reactions in cell-sized containers exhibit a degree of randomness due to the small number of molecules involved. However, it is unknown how the physical environment contributes to the stochastic nature of multistep enzymatic processes. Here, we present a robust method to quantify gene expression noise in vitro using droplet microfluidics. We study the changes in stochasticity in the cell-free gene expression of two genes compartmentalized within droplets as a function of DNA copy number and macromolecular crowding. We find that decreased diffusion caused by a crowded environment leads to the spontaneous formation of heterogeneous microenvironments of mRNA as local production rates exceed the diffusion rates of macromolecules. This heterogeneity leads to a higher probability of the molecular machinery staying in the same microenvironment, directly increasing the system's stochasticity.

  11. Proteome-wide dataset supporting the study of ancient metazoan macromolecular complexes

    PubMed Central

    Phanse, Sadhna; Wan, Cuihong; Borgeson, Blake; Tu, Fan; Drew, Kevin; Clark, Greg; Xiong, Xuejian; Kagan, Olga; Kwan, Julian; Bezginov, Alexandr; Chessman, Kyle; Pal, Swati; Cromar, Graham; Papoulas, Ophelia; Ni, Zuyao; Boutz, Daniel R.; Stoilova, Snejana; Havugimana, Pierre C.; Guo, Xinghua; Malty, Ramy H.; Sarov, Mihail; Greenblatt, Jack; Babu, Mohan; Derry, W. Brent; Tillier, Elisabeth R.; Wallingford, John B.; Parkinson, John; Marcotte, Edward M.; Emili, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Our analysis examines the conservation of multiprotein complexes among metazoa through use of high resolution biochemical fractionation and precision mass spectrometry applied to soluble cell extracts from 5 representative model organisms Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, Mus musculus, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, and Homo sapiens. The interaction network obtained from the data was validated globally in 4 distant species (Xenopus laevis, Nematostella vectensis, Dictyostelium discoideum, Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and locally by targeted affinity-purification experiments. Here we provide details of our massive set of supporting biochemical fractionation data available via ProteomeXchange (PXD002319-PXD002328), PPIs via BioGRID (185267); and interaction network projections via (http://metazoa.med.utoronto.ca) made fully accessible to allow further exploration. The datasets here are related to the research article on metazoan macromolecular complexes in Nature [1]. PMID:26870755

  12. ‘Broken symmetries’ in macromolecular crystallography: phasing from unmerged data

    PubMed Central

    Schiltz, Marc; Bricogne, Gérard

    2010-01-01

    The space-group symmetry of a crystal structure imposes a point-group symmetry on its diffraction pattern, giving rise to so-called symmetry-equivalent reflections. Instances in macromolecular crystallography are discussed in which the sym­metry in reciprocal space is broken, i.e. where symmetry-related reflections are no longer equivalent. Such a situation occurs when the sample suffers from site-specific radiation damage during the X-ray measurements. Another example of broken symmetry arises from the polarization anisotropy of anomalous scattering. In these cases, the genuine intensity differences between symmetry-related reflections can be exploited to yield phase information in the structure-solution process. In this approach, the usual separation of the data merging and phasing steps is abandoned. The data are kept unmerged down to the Harker construction, where the symmetry-breaking effects are explicitly modelled and refined and become a source of supplementary phase information. PMID:20382998

  13. Phenix - a comprehensive python-based system for macromolecular structure solution

    SciTech Connect

    Terwilliger, Thomas C; Hung, Li - Wei; Adams, Paul D; Afonine, Pavel V; Bunkoczi, Gabor; Chen, Vincent B; Davis, Ian; Echols, Nathaniel; Headd, Jeffrey J; Grosse Kunstleve, Ralf W; Mccoy, Airlie J; Moriarty, Nigel W; Oeffner, Robert; Read, Randy J; Richardson, David C; Richardson, Jane S; Zwarta, Peter H

    2009-01-01

    Macromolecular X-ray crystallography is routinely applied to understand biological processes at a molecular level. However, significant time and effort are still required to solve and complete many of these structures because of the need for manual interpretation of complex numerical data using many software packages, and the repeated use of interactive three-dimensional graphics. Phenix has been developed to provide a comprehensive system for crystallographic structure solution with an emphasis on automation of all procedures. This has relied on the development of algorithms that minimize or eliminate subjective input, the development of algorithms that automate procedures that are traditionally performed by hand, and finally the development of a framework that allows a tight integration between the algorithms.

  14. Site-selective electroless nickel plating on patterned thin films of macromolecular metal complexes.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Mutsumi; Yamagiwa, Hiroki; Asakawa, Daisuke; Noguchi, Makoto; Kurashina, Tadashi; Fukawa, Tadashi; Shirai, Hirofusa

    2010-12-01

    We demonstrate a simple route to depositing nickel layer patterns using photocross-linked polymer thin films containing palladium catalysts, which can be used as adhesive interlayers for fabrication of nickel patterns on glass and plastic substrates. Electroless nickel patterns can be obtained in three steps: (i) the pattern formation of partially quaterized poly(vinyl pyridine) by UV irradiation, (ii) the formation of macromolecular metal complex with palladium, and (iii) the nickel metallization using electroless plating bath. Metallization is site-selective and allows for a high resolution. And the resulting nickel layered structure shows good adhesion with glass and plastic substrates. The direct patterning of metallic layers onto insulating substrates indicates a great potential for fabricating micro/nano devices.

  15. Clustering procedures for the optimal selection of data sets from multiple crystals in macromolecular crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Foadi, James; Aller, Pierre; Alguel, Yilmaz; Cameron, Alex; Axford, Danny; Owen, Robin L.; Armour, Wes; Waterman, David G.; Iwata, So; Evans, Gwyndaf

    2013-01-01

    The availability of intense microbeam macromolecular crystallography beamlines at third-generation synchrotron sources has enabled data collection and structure solution from microcrystals of <10 µm in size. The increased likelihood of severe radiation damage where microcrystals or particularly sensitive crystals are used forces crystallographers to acquire large numbers of data sets from many crystals of the same protein structure. The associated analysis and merging of multi-crystal data is currently a manual and time-consuming step. Here, a computer program, BLEND, that has been written to assist with and automate many of the steps in this process is described. It is demonstrated how BLEND has successfully been used in the solution of a novel membrane protein. PMID:23897484

  16. Flexible torsion-angle noncrystallographic symmetry restraints for improved macromolecular structure refinement

    PubMed Central

    Headd, Jeffrey J.; Echols, Nathaniel; Afonine, Pavel V.; Moriarty, Nigel W.; Gildea, Richard J.; Adams, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    One of the great challenges in refining macromolecular crystal structures is a low data-to-parameter ratio. Historically, knowledge from chemistry has been used to help to improve this ratio. When a macromolecule crystallizes with more than one copy in the asymmetric unit, the noncrystallographic symmetry relationships can be exploited to provide additional restraints when refining the working model. However, although globally similar, NCS-related chains often have local differences. To allow for local differences between NCS-related molecules, flexible torsion-based NCS restraints have been introduced, coupled with intelligent rotamer handling for protein chains, and are available in phenix.refine for refinement of models at all resolutions. PMID:24816103

  17. The kinetic dose limit in room-temperature time-resolved macromolecular crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, M.; Šrajer, V.; Purwar, N.; Tripathi, S.

    2012-01-01

    Protein X-ray structures are determined with ionizing radiation that damages the protein at high X-ray doses. As a result, diffraction patterns deteriorate with the increased absorbed dose. Several strategies such as sample freezing or scavenging of X-ray-generated free radicals are currently employed to minimize this damage. However, little is known about how the absorbed X-ray dose affects time-resolved Laue data collected at physiological temperatures where the protein is fully functional in the crystal, and how the kinetic analysis of such data depends on the absorbed dose. Here, direct evidence for the impact of radiation damage on the function of a protein is presented using time-resolved macromolecular crystallography. The effect of radiation damage on the kinetic analysis of time-resolved X-ray data is also explored. PMID:22338689

  18. Polymer segregation under confinement: Influences of macromolecular crowding and the interaction between the polymer and crowders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yuhao; Yu, Wancheng; Wang, Jiajun; Luo, Kaifu

    2015-10-01

    Entropy driven polymer segregation in confinements as a model for chromosome separation in bacteria has attracted wide attention; however, the effects of macromolecular crowding and the interaction between the binding protein and the newly replicated DNA on the segregation dynamics are not clear. Using Langevin dynamics simulations, we investigate the influences of crowders and the attractive interaction between the polymer and a small number of crowders on segregation of two overlapping polymers under a cylindrical confinement. We find that the segregation time increases with increasing the volume fraction of crowders due to the slower chain diffusion in crowded environments. For a fixed volume fraction of crowders, the segregation time decreases with increasing the size of crowders. Moreover, the attractive interaction between the polymer and a small number of crowders can significantly facilitate the chain segregation. These results are important for understanding the chromosome segregation in living cells.

  19. Macromolecular crowding develops heterogeneous environments of gene expression in picoliter droplets

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Maike M. K.; Meijer, Lenny H. H.; Spruijt, Evan; Maas, Roel J. M.; Roquelles, Marta Ventosa; Groen, Joost; Heus, Hans A.; Huck, Wilhelm T. S.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the dynamics of complex enzymatic reactions in highly crowded small volumes is crucial for the development of synthetic minimal cells. Compartmentalised biochemical reactions in cell-sized containers exhibit a degree of randomness due to the small number of molecules involved. However, it is unknown how the physical environment contributes to the stochastic nature of multistep enzymatic processes. Here, we present a robust method to quantify gene expression noise in vitro using droplet microfluidics. We study the changes in stochasticity in cell-free gene expression of two genes compartmentalised within droplets as a function of DNA copy number and macromolecular crowding. We find that decreased diffusion caused by a crowded environment leads to the spontaneous formation of heterogeneous micro-environments of mRNA as local production rates exceed diffusion rates of macromolecules. This heterogeneity leads to a higher probability of the molecular machinery to stay in the same microenvironment, directly increasing the system’s stochasticity. PMID:26501750

  20. Experimental determination of optimal root-mean-square deviations of macromolecular bond lengths and angles from their restrained ideal values.

    PubMed

    Tickle, Ian J

    2007-12-01

    A number of inconsistencies are apparent in the recent research paper by Jaskolski et al. [(2007), Acta Cryst. D63, 611-620] concerning their recommendations for the values of the magnitude and resolution-dependence of the root-mean-square deviations (RMSDs) of bond lengths and angles from their restrained ideal values in macromolecular refinement, as well as their suggestions for the use of variable standard uncertainties dependent on atomic displacement parameters (ADPs) and occupancies. Whilst many of the comments and suggestions in the paper regarding updates for the ideal geometry values proposed by Engh and Huber are entirely reasonable and supported by the experimental evidence, the recommendations concerning the optimal values of RMSDs appear to be in conflict with previous experimental and theoretical work in this area [Tickle et al. (1998), Acta Cryst. D54, 243-252] and indeed appear to be based on a misunderstanding of the distinction between RMSD and standard uncertainty (SU). In contrast, it is proposed here that the optimal values of all desired weighting parameters, in particular the weighting parameters for the ADP differences and for the diffraction terms, be estimated by the purely objective procedure of maximizing the experiment-based log(free likelihood). In principle, this allows all weighting parameters that are not known accurately a priori to be scaled globally, relative to those that are known accurately, for an optimal refinement. The RMS Z score (RMSZ) is recommended as a more satisfactory statistic than the RMSD to assess the extent to which the geometry deviates from the ideal values and a theoretical rationale for the results obtained is presented in which the optimal RMSZ is identified as the calculated versus true Z-score correlation coefficient, the latter being a monotonic function of the resolution cutoff of the data. Regarding the proposal to use variable standard uncertainties, it is suggested that any departure from the current

  1. Harvesting and cryo-cooling crystals of membrane proteins grown in lipidic mesophases for structure determination by macromolecular crystallography.

    PubMed

    Li, Dianfan; Boland, Coilín; Aragao, David; Walsh, Kilian; Caffrey, Martin

    2012-09-02

    An important route to understanding how proteins function at a mechanistic level is to have the structure of the target protein available, ideally at atomic resolution. Presently, there is only one way to capture such information as applied to integral membrane proteins (Figure 1), and the complexes they form, and that method is macromolecular X-ray crystallography (MX). To do MX diffraction quality crystals are needed which, in the case of membrane proteins, do not form readily. A method for crystallizing membrane proteins that involves the use of lipidic mesophases, specifically the cubic and sponge phases(1-5), has gained considerable attention of late due to the successes it has had in the G protein-coupled receptor field(6-21) (www.mpdb.tcd.ie). However, the method, henceforth referred to as the in meso or lipidic cubic phase method, comes with its own technical challenges. These arise, in part, due to the generally viscous and sticky nature of the lipidic mesophase in which the crystals, which are often micro-crystals, grow. Manipulating crystals becomes difficult as a result and particularly so during harvesting(22,23). Problems arise too at the step that precedes harvesting which requires that the glass sandwich plates in which the crystals grow (Figure 2)(24,25) are opened to expose the mesophase bolus, and the crystals therein, for harvesting, cryo-cooling and eventual X-ray diffraction data collection. The cubic and sponge mesophase variants (Figure 3) from which crystals must be harvested have profoundly different rheologies(4,26). The cubic phase is viscous and sticky akin to a thick toothpaste. By contrast, the sponge phase is more fluid with a distinct tendency to flow. Accordingly, different approaches for opening crystallization wells containing crystals growing in the cubic and the sponge phase are called for as indeed different methods are required for harvesting crystals from the two mesophase types. Protocols for doing just that have been

  2. Macromolecular Stabilization by Excluded Cosolutes: Mean Field Theory of Crowded Solutions.

    PubMed

    Sapir, Liel; Harries, Daniel

    2015-07-14

    We propose a mean field theory to account for the experimentally determined temperature dependence of protein stabilization that emerges in solutions crowded by preferentially excluded cosolutes. Based on regular solution theory and employing the Flory-Huggins approximation, our model describes cosolutes in terms of their size, and two temperature-dependent microscopic parameters that correspond to macromolecule-cosolute and bulk solution interactions. The theory not only predicts a "depletion force" that can account for the experimentally observed stabilization of protein folding or association in the presence of excluded cosolutes but also predicts the full range of associated entropic and enthalpic components. Remarkably, depending on cosolute identity and in accordance with experiments, the theory describes entropically as well as enthalpically dominated depletion forces, even those disfavored by entropy. This emerging depletion attraction cannot be simply linked to molecular volumes. Instead, the relevant parameter is an effective volume that represents an interplay between solvent, cosolute, and macromolecular interactions. We demonstrate that the apparent depletion free energy is often accompanied by significant yet compensating entropy and enthalpy terms that, although having a net zero contribution to stabilization, can obscure the underlying molecular mechanism. This study underscores the importance of including often-neglected free energy terms that correspond to solvent-cosolute and cosolute-macromolecule interactions, which for most typical cosolutes are expected to be temperature dependent. We propose that experiments specifically aimed at resolving the temperature-dependence of cosolute exclusion from macromolecular surfaces should help reveal the full range of the underlying molecular mechanisms of the depletion force.

  3. Effects of hydrophobic macromolecular crowders on amyloid β (16-22) aggregation.

    PubMed

    Latshaw, David C; Hall, Carol K

    2015-07-01

    In Alzheimer's disease (AD), the amyloid β (Aβ) peptide aggregates in the brain to form progressively larger oligomers, fibrils, and plaques. The aggregation process is strongly influenced by the presence of other macromolecular species, called crowders, that can exert forces on the proteins. One very common attribute of macromolecular crowders is their hydrophobicity. We examined the effect of hydrophobic crowders on protein aggregation by using discontinuous molecular dynamics (DMD) simulations in combination with an intermediate resolution protein model, PRIME20. The systems considered contained 48 Aβ (16-22) peptides and crowders with diameters of 5 Å, 20 Å, and 40 Å, represented by hard spheres or spheres with square-well/square-shoulder interactions, at a crowder volume fraction of ϕ = 0.10. Results show that low levels of crowder hydrophobicity are capable of increasing the fibrillation lag time and high levels of crowder hydrophobicity can fully prevent the formation of fibrils. The types of structures that remain during the final stages of the simulations are summarized in a global phase diagram that shows fibril, disordered oligomer, or β-sheet phases in the space spanned by crowder size and crowder hydrophobicity. In particular, at high levels of hydrophobicity, simulations with 5 Å crowders result in only disordered oligomers and simulations with 40 Å crowders result in only β-sheets. The presence of hydrophobic crowders reduces the antiparallel β-sheet content of fibrils, whereas hard sphere crowders increase it. Finally, strong hydrophobic crowders alter the secondary structure of the Aβ (16-22) monomers, bending them into a shape that is incapable of forming ordered β-sheets or fibrils. These results qualitatively agree with previous theoretical and experimental work.

  4. Building macromolecular assemblies by information-driven docking: introducing the HADDOCK multibody docking server.

    PubMed

    Karaca, Ezgi; Melquiond, Adrien S J; de Vries, Sjoerd J; Kastritis, Panagiotis L; Bonvin, Alexandre M J J

    2010-08-01

    Over the last years, large scale proteomics studies have generated a wealth of information of biomolecular complexes. Adding the structural dimension to the resulting interactomes represents a major challenge that classical structural experimental methods alone will have difficulties to confront. To meet this challenge, complementary modeling techniques such as docking are thus needed. Among the current docking methods, HADDOCK (High Ambiguity-Driven DOCKing) distinguishes itself from others by the use of experimental and/or bioinformatics data to drive the modeling process and has shown a strong performance in the critical assessment of prediction of interactions (CAPRI), a blind experiment for the prediction of interactions. Although most docking programs are limited to binary complexes, HADDOCK can deal with multiple molecules (up to six), a capability that will be required to build large macromolecular assemblies. We present here a novel web interface of HADDOCK that allows the user to dock up to six biomolecules simultaneously. This interface allows the inclusion of a large variety of both experimental and/or bioinformatics data and supports several types of cyclic and dihedral symmetries in the docking of multibody assemblies. The server was tested on a benchmark of six cases, containing five symmetric homo-oligomeric protein complexes and one symmetric protein-DNA complex. Our results reveal that, in the presence of either bioinformatics and/or experimental data, HADDOCK shows an excellent performance: in all cases, HADDOCK was able to generate good to high quality solutions and ranked them at the top, demonstrating its ability to model symmetric multicomponent assemblies. Docking methods can thus play an important role in adding the structural dimension to interactomes. However, although the current docking methodologies were successful for a vast range of cases, considering the variety and complexity of macromolecular assemblies, inclusion of some kind of

  5. PURY: a database of geometric restraints of hetero compounds for refinement in complexes with macromolecular structures.

    PubMed

    Andrejasic, Miha; Praaenikar, Jure; Turk, Dusan

    2008-11-01

    The number and variety of macromolecular structures in complex with ;hetero' ligands is growing. The need for rapid delivery of correct geometric parameters for their refinement, which is often crucial for understanding the biological relevance of the structure, is growing correspondingly. The current standard for describing protein structures is the Engh-Huber parameter set. It is an expert data set resulting from selection and analysis of the crystal structures gathered in the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD). Clearly, such a manual approach cannot be applied to the vast and ever-growing number of chemical compounds. Therefore, a database, named PURY, of geometric parameters of chemical compounds has been developed, together with a server that accesses it. PURY is a compilation of the whole CSD. It contains lists of atom classes and bonds connecting them, as well as angle, chirality, planarity and conformation parameters. The current compilation is based on CSD 5.28 and contains 1978 atom classes and 32,702 bonding, 237,068 angle, 201,860 dihedral and 64,193 improper geometric restraints. Analysis has confirmed that the restraints from the PURY database are suitable for use in macromolecular crystal structure refinement and should be of value to the crystallographic community. The database can be accessed through the web server http://pury.ijs.si/, which creates topology and parameter files from deposited coordinates in suitable forms for the refinement programs MAIN, CNS and REFMAC. In the near future, the server will move to the CSD website http://pury.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/.

  6. Transformations of the macromolecular landscape at mitochondria during DNA-damage-induced apoptotic cell death.

    PubMed

    Yadav, N; Pliss, A; Kuzmin, A; Rapali, P; Sun, L; Prasad, P; Chandra, D

    2014-10-09

    Apoptosis is a dynamic process regulated by mitochondrion critical for cellular respiration and survival. Execution of apoptosis is mediated by multiple protein signaling events at mitochondria. Initiation and progression of apoptosis require numerous apoptogenic factors that are either released from or sequestered in mitochondria, which may transform the biomolecular makeup of the organelle. In this communication, using Raman microspectroscopy, we demonstrate that transformation in biomolecular composition of mitochondrion may be used as apoptosis marker in an individual cell. For the first time, we show that significant changes occur in the concentrations of RNA, DNA, protein, and lipid constituents of mitochondria during apoptosis. The structural analysis of proteins on mitochondria demonstrated a decrease in α-helix secondary structure content, and an increase in the levels of random coils and β-sheets on mitochondria. This may represent an additional hallmark of apoptosis. Strikingly, we observed nearly identical changes in macromolecular content of mitochondria both in the presence and absence of a key proapoptotic protein, Bax (Bcl-2-associated X protein). Increased DNA level in mitochondria corresponded with higher mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), and mitochondrial ROS production. Upregulation of polymerase-γ (POLG), mitochondrial helicase Twinkle, and mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) in response to DNA damage correlated with increased mtDNA and RNA synthesis. Elevated activity of oxidative phosphorylation complexes supports functional mitochondrial respiration during apoptosis. Thus, we define previously unknown dynamic correlation of macromolecular structure of mitochondria and apoptosis progression in the presence and absence of Bax protein. These findings open up a new approach for monitoring physiological status of cells by non invasive single-cell method.

  7. Dynamic simulation of concentrated macromolecular solutions with screened long-range hydrodynamic interactions: Algorithm and limitations

    PubMed Central

    Ando, Tadashi; Chow, Edmond; Skolnick, Jeffrey

    2013-01-01

    Hydrodynamic interactions exert a critical effect on the dynamics of macromolecules. As the concentration of macromolecules increases, by analogy to the behavior of semidilute polymer solutions or the flow in porous media, one might expect hydrodynamic screening to occur. Hydrodynamic screening would have implications both for the understanding of macromolecular dynamics as well as practical implications for the simulation of concentrated macromolecular solutions, e.g., in cells. Stokesian dynamics (SD) is one of the most accurate methods for simulating the motions of N particles suspended in a viscous fluid at low Reynolds number, in that it considers both far-field and near-field hydrodynamic interactions. This algorithm traditionally involves an O(N3) operation to compute Brownian forces at each time step, although asymptotically faster but more complex SD methods are now available. Motivated by the idea of hydrodynamic screening, the far-field part of the hydrodynamic matrix in SD may be approximated by a diagonal matrix, which is equivalent to assuming that long range hydrodynamic interactions are completely screened. This approximation allows sparse matrix methods to be used, which can reduce the apparent computational scaling to O(N). Previously there were several simulation studies using this approximation for monodisperse suspensions. Here, we employ newly designed preconditioned iterative methods for both the computation of Brownian forces and the solution of linear systems, and consider the validity of this approximation in polydisperse suspensions. We evaluate the accuracy of the diagonal approximation method using an intracellular-like suspension. The diffusivities of particles obtained with this approximation are close to those with the original method. However, this approximation underestimates intermolecular correlated motions, which is a trade-off between accuracy and computing efficiency. The new method makes it possible to perform large-scale and

  8. PURY: a database of geometric restraints of hetero compounds for refinement in complexes with macromolecular structures.

    PubMed

    Andrejasic, Miha; Praaenikar, Jure; Turk, Dusan

    2008-11-01

    The number and variety of macromolecular structures in complex with ;hetero' ligands is growing. The need for rapid delivery of correct geometric parameters for their refinement, which is often crucial for understanding the biological relevance of the structure, is growing correspondingly. The current standard for describing protein structures is the Engh-Huber parameter set. It is an expert data set resulting from selection and analysis of the crystal structures gathered in the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD). Clearly, such a manual approach cannot be applied to the vast and ever-growing number of chemical compounds. Therefore, a database, named PURY, of geometric parameters of chemical compounds has been developed, together with a server that accesses it. PURY is a compilation of the whole CSD. It contains lists of atom classes and bonds connecting them, as well as angle, chirality, planarity and conformation parameters. The current compilation is based on CSD 5.28 and contains 1978 atom classes and 32,702 bonding, 237,068 angle, 201,860 dihedral and 64,193 improper geometric restraints. Analysis has confirmed that the restraints from the PURY database are suitable for use in macromolecular crystal structure refinement and should be of value to the crystallographic community. The database can be accessed through the web server http://pury.ijs.si/, which creates topology and parameter files from deposited coordinates in suitable forms for the refinement programs MAIN, CNS and REFMAC. In the near future, the server will move to the CSD website http://pury.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/. PMID:19020347

  9. Macromolecular Stabilization by Excluded Cosolutes: Mean Field Theory of Crowded Solutions.

    PubMed

    Sapir, Liel; Harries, Daniel

    2015-07-14

    We propose a mean field theory to account for the experimentally determined temperature dependence of protein stabilization that emerges in solutions crowded by preferentially excluded cosolutes. Based on regular solution theory and employing the Flory-Huggins approximation, our model describes cosolutes in terms of their size, and two temperature-dependent microscopic parameters that correspond to macromolecule-cosolute and bulk solution interactions. The theory not only predicts a "depletion force" that can account for the experimentally observed stabilization of protein folding or association in the presence of excluded cosolutes but also predicts the full range of associated entropic and enthalpic components. Remarkably, depending on cosolute identity and in accordance with experiments, the theory describes entropically as well as enthalpically dominated depletion forces, even those disfavored by entropy. This emerging depletion attraction cannot be simply linked to molecular volumes. Instead, the relevant parameter is an effective volume that represents an interplay between solvent, cosolute, and macromolecular interactions. We demonstrate that the apparent depletion free energy is often accompanied by significant yet compensating entropy and enthalpy terms that, although having a net zero contribution to stabilization, can obscure the underlying molecular mechanism. This study underscores the importance of including often-neglected free energy terms that correspond to solvent-cosolute and cosolute-macromolecule interactions, which for most typical cosolutes are expected to be temperature dependent. We propose that experiments specifically aimed at resolving the temperature-dependence of cosolute exclusion from macromolecular surfaces should help reveal the full range of the underlying molecular mechanisms of the depletion force. PMID:26575781

  10. D3, the new diffractometer for the macromolecular crystallography beamlines of the Swiss Light Source

    PubMed Central

    Fuchs, Martin R.; Pradervand, Claude; Thominet, Vincent; Schneider, Roman; Panepucci, Ezequiel; Grunder, Marcel; Gabadinho, Jose; Dworkowski, Florian S. N.; Tomizaki, Takashi; Schneider, Jörg; Mayer, Aline; Curtin, Adrian; Olieric, Vincent; Frommherz, Uli; Kotrle, Goran; Welte, Jörg; Wang, Xinyu; Maag, Stephan; Schulze-Briese, Clemens; Wang, Meitian

    2014-01-01

    A new diffractometer for microcrystallography has been developed for the three macromolecular crystallography beamlines of the Swiss Light Source. Building upon and critically extending previous developments realised for the high-resolution endstations of the two undulator beamlines X06SA and X10SA, as well as the super-bend dipole beamline X06DA, the new diffractometer was designed to the following core design goals. (i) Redesign of the goniometer to a sub-micrometer peak-to-peak cylinder of confusion for the horizontal single axis. Crystal sizes down to at least 5 µm and advanced sample-rastering and scanning modes are supported. In addition, it can accommodate the new multi-axis goniometer PRIGo (Parallel Robotics Inspired Goniometer). (ii) A rapid-change beam-shaping element system with aperture sizes down to a minimum of 10 µm for microcrystallography measurements. (iii) Integration of the on-axis microspectrophotometer MS3 for microscopic sample imaging with 1 µm image resolution. Its multi-mode optical spectroscopy module is always online and supports in situ UV/Vis absorption, fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy. (iv) High stability of the sample environment by a mineral cast support construction and by close containment of the cryo-stream. Further features are the support for in situ crystallization plate screening and a minimal achievable detector distance of 120 mm for the Pilatus 6M, 2M and the macromolecular crystallography group’s planned future area detector Eiger 16M. PMID:24562555

  11. Superresolution intrinsic fluorescence imaging of chromatin utilizing native, unmodified nucleic acids for contrast.

    PubMed

    Dong, Biqin; Almassalha, Luay M; Stypula-Cyrus, Yolanda; Urban, Ben E; Chandler, John E; Nguyen, The-Quyen; Sun, Cheng; Zhang, Hao F; Backman, Vadim

    2016-08-30

    Visualizing the nanoscale intracellular structures formed by nucleic acids, such as chromatin, in nonperturbed, structurally and dynamically complex cellular systems, will help expand our understanding of biological processes and open the next frontier for biological discovery. Traditional superresolution techniques to visualize subdiffractional macromolecular structures formed by nucleic acids require exogenous labels that may perturb cell function and change the very molecular processes they intend to study, especially at the extremely high label densities required for superresolution. However, despite tremendous interest and demonstrated need, label-free optical superresolution imaging of nucleotide topology under native nonperturbing conditions has never been possible. Here we investigate a photoswitching process of native nucleotides and present the demonstration of subdiffraction-resolution imaging of cellular structures using intrinsic contrast from unmodified DNA based on the principle of single-molecule photon localization microscopy (PLM). Using DNA-PLM, we achieved nanoscopic imaging of interphase nuclei and mitotic chromosomes, allowing a quantitative analysis of the DNA occupancy level and a subdiffractional analysis of the chromosomal organization. This study may pave a new way for label-free superresolution nanoscopic imaging of macromolecular structures with nucleotide topologies and could contribute to the development of new DNA-based contrast agents for superresolution imaging.

  12. Superresolution intrinsic fluorescence imaging of chromatin utilizing native, unmodified nucleic acids for contrast

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Biqin; Almassalha, Luay M.; Stypula-Cyrus, Yolanda; Urban, Ben E.; Chandler, John E.; Nguyen, The-Quyen; Sun, Cheng; Zhang, Hao F.; Backman, Vadim

    2016-01-01

    Visualizing the nanoscale intracellular structures formed by nucleic acids, such as chromatin, in nonperturbed, structurally and dynamically complex cellular systems, will help expand our understanding of biological processes and open the next frontier for biological discovery. Traditional superresolution techniques to visualize subdiffractional macromolecular structures formed by nucleic acids require exogenous labels that may perturb cell function and change the very molecular processes they intend to study, especially at the extremely high label densities required for superresolution. However, despite tremendous interest and demonstrated need, label-free optical superresolution imaging of nucleotide topology under native nonperturbing conditions has never been possible. Here we investigate a photoswitching process of native nucleotides and present the demonstration of subdiffraction-resolution imaging of cellular structures using intrinsic contrast from unmodified DNA based on the principle of single-molecule photon localization microscopy (PLM). Using DNA-PLM, we achieved nanoscopic imaging of interphase nuclei and mitotic chromosomes, allowing a quantitative analysis of the DNA occupancy level and a subdiffractional analysis of the chromosomal organization. This study may pave a new way for label-free superresolution nanoscopic imaging of macromolecular structures with nucleotide topologies and could contribute to the development of new DNA-based contrast agents for superresolution imaging. PMID:27535934

  13. Superresolution intrinsic fluorescence imaging of chromatin utilizing native, unmodified nucleic acids for contrast.

    PubMed

    Dong, Biqin; Almassalha, Luay M; Stypula-Cyrus, Yolanda; Urban, Ben E; Chandler, John E; Nguyen, The-Quyen; Sun, Cheng; Zhang, Hao F; Backman, Vadim

    2016-08-30

    Visualizing the nanoscale intracellular structures formed by nucleic acids, such as chromatin, in nonperturbed, structurally and dynamically complex cellular systems, will help expand our understanding of biological processes and open the next frontier for biological discovery. Traditional superresolution techniques to visualize subdiffractional macromolecular structures formed by nucleic acids require exogenous labels that may perturb cell function and change the very molecular processes they intend to study, especially at the extremely high label densities required for superresolution. However, despite tremendous interest and demonstrated need, label-free optical superresolution imaging of nucleotide topology under native nonperturbing conditions has never been possible. Here we investigate a photoswitching process of native nucleotides and present the demonstration of subdiffraction-resolution imaging of cellular structures using intrinsic contrast from unmodified DNA based on the principle of single-molecule photon localization microscopy (PLM). Using DNA-PLM, we achieved nanoscopic imaging of interphase nuclei and mitotic chromosomes, allowing a quantitative analysis of the DNA occupancy level and a subdiffractional analysis of the chromosomal organization. This study may pave a new way for label-free superresolution nanoscopic imaging of macromolecular structures with nucleotide topologies and could contribute to the development of new DNA-based contrast agents for superresolution imaging. PMID:27535934

  14. Use of a Genetically Engineered Protein for the Design of a Multivalent MRI Contrast Agent

    PubMed Central

    Karfeld, Lindsay S.; Bull, Steve R.; Davis, Nicolynn E.; Meade, Thomas J.; Barron, Annelise E.

    2008-01-01

    The majority of clinically used contrast agents (CAs) for magnetic resonance imaging have low relaxivities and thus require high concentrations for signal enhancement. Research has turned to multivalent, macromolecular CAs to increase CA efficiency. However, previously developed macromolecular CAs do not provide high relaxivities, have limited biocompatibility, and/or do not have a structure that is readily modifiable to tailor to particular applications. We report a new family of multivalent, biomacromolecular, genetically engineered protein polymer-based CAs; the protein backbone contains evenly spaced lysines that are derivatized with gadolinium (Gd(III)) chelators. The protein's length and repeating amino acid sequence are genetically specified. We reproducibly obtained conjugates with an average of 8 – 9 Gd(III) chelators per protein. These multivalent CAs reproducibly provide a high relaxivity of 7.3 mM-1s-1 per Gd(III) and 62.6 mM-1s-1 per molecule. Furthermore, they can be incorporated into biomaterial hydrogels via chemical crosslinking of remaining free lysines, and provide a dramatic contrast enhancement. Thus, these protein polymer CAs could be a useful tool for following the evolution of tissue engineering scaffolds. PMID:17927227

  15. Liquid chromatographic extraction medium

    DOEpatents

    Horwitz, E. Philip; Dietz, Mark L.

    1994-01-01

    A method and apparatus for extracting strontium and technetium values from biological, industrial and environmental sample solutions using a chromatographic column is described. An extractant medium for the column is prepared by generating a solution of a diluent containing a Crown ether and dispersing the solution on a resin substrate material. The sample solution is highly acidic and is introduced directed to the chromatographic column and strontium or technetium is eluted using deionized water.

  16. Liquid chromatographic extraction medium

    DOEpatents

    Horwitz, E.P.; Dietz, M.L.

    1994-09-13

    A method and apparatus are disclosed for extracting strontium and technetium values from biological, industrial and environmental sample solutions using a chromatographic column. An extractant medium for the column is prepared by generating a solution of a diluent containing a Crown ether and dispersing the solution on a resin substrate material. The sample solution is highly acidic and is introduced directed to the chromatographic column and strontium or technetium is eluted using deionized water. 1 fig.

  17. Determination of contrast media administration to achieve a targeted contrast enhancement in CT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahbaee, Pooyan; Li, Yuan; Segars, Paul; Marin, Daniele; Nelson, Rendon; Samei, Ehsan

    2015-03-01

    Contrast enhancement is a key component of CT imaging and offer opportunities for optimization. The design and optimization of new techniques however requires orchestration with the scan parameters and further a methodology to relate contrast enhancement and injection function. In this study, we used such a methodology to develop a method, analytical inverse method, to predict the required injection function to achieve a desired contrast enhancement in a given organ by incorporation of a physiologically based compartmental model. The method was evaluated across 32 different target contrast enhancement functions for aorta, kidney, stomach, small intestine, and liver. The results exhibited that the analytical inverse method offers accurate performance with error in the range of 10% deviation between the predicted and desired organ enhancement curves. However, this method is incapable of predicting the injection function based on the liver enhancement. The findings of this study can be useful in optimizing contrast medium injection function as well as the scan timing to provide more consistency in the way that the contrast enhanced CT examinations are performed. To our knowledge, this work is one of the first attempts to predict the contrast material injection function for a desired organ enhancement curve.

  18. Contrast and depth perception: effects of texture contrast and area contrast.

    PubMed

    Ichihara, Shigeru; Kitagawa, Norimichi; Akutsu, Hiromi

    2007-01-01

    Many objects in natural scenes have textures on their surfaces. Contrast of the texture surfaces (the texture contrast) reduces when the viewing distance increases. Similarly, contrast between the surfaces of the objects and the background (the area contrast) reduces when the viewing distance increases. The texture contrast and the area contrast were defined by the contrast between random dots, and by the contrast between the average luminance of the dot pattern and the luminance of the background, respectively. To examine how these two types of contrast influence depth perception, we ran two experiments. In both experiments two areas of random-dot patterns were presented against a uniform background, and participants rated relative depth between the two areas. We found that the rated depth of the patterned areas increased with increases in texture contrast. Furthermore, the effect of the texture contrast on depth judgment increased when the area contrast became low.

  19. Saphenous Venous Ablation with Hot Contrast in a Canine Model

    SciTech Connect

    Prasad, Amit Qian Zhong; Kirsch, David; Eissa, Marna; Narra, Pavan; Lopera, Jorge; Espinoza, Carmen G.; Castaneda, Wifrido

    2008-01-15

    Purpose. To determine the feasibility, efficacy, and safety of thermal ablation of the saphenous vein with hot contrast medium. Methods. Twelve saphenous veins of 6 dogs were percutaneously ablated with hot contrast medium. In all animals, ablation was performed in the vein of one leg, followed by ablation in the contralateral side 1 month later. An occlusion balloon catheter was placed in the infragenicular segment of the saphenous vein via a jugular access to prevent unwanted thermal effects on the non-target segment of the saphenous vein. After inflation of the balloon, 10 ml of hot contrast medium was injected under fluoroscopic control through a sheath placed in the saphenous vein above the ankle. A second 10 ml injection of hot contrast medium was made after 5 min in each vessel. Venographic follow-up of the ablated veins was performed at 1 month (n = 12) and 2 months (n = 6). Results. Follow-up venograms showed that all ablated venous segments were occluded at 1 month. In 6 veins which were followed up to 2 months, 4 (66%) remained occluded, 1 (16%) was partially patent, and the remaining vein (16%) was completely patent. In these latter 2 cases, an inadequate amount of hot contrast was delivered to the lumen due to a closed balloon catheter downstream which did not allow contrast to displace blood within the vessel. Discussion. Hot contrast medium thermal ablation of the saphenous vein appears feasible, safe, and effective in the canine model, provided an adequate amount of embolization agent is used.

  20. EMatch: an efficient method for aligning atomic resolution subunits into intermediate-resolution cryo-EM maps of large macromolecular assemblies

    PubMed Central

    Dror, Oranit; Lasker, Keren; Nussinov, Ruth; Wolfson, Haim

    2007-01-01

    Structural analysis of biological machines is essential for inferring their function and mechanism. Nevertheless, owing to their large size and instability, deciphering the atomic structure of macromolecular assemblies is still considered as a challenging task that cannot keep up with the rapid advances in the protein-identification process. In contrast, structural data at lower resolution is becoming more and more available owing to recent advances in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) techniques. Once a cryo-EM map is acquired, one of the basic questions asked is what are the folds of the components in the assembly and what is their configuration. Here, a novel knowledge-based computational method, named EMatch, towards tackling this task for cryo-EM maps at 6–10 Å resolution is presented. The method recognizes and locates possible atomic resolution structural homologues of protein domains in the assembly. The strengths of EMatch are demonstrated on a cryo-EM map of native GroEL at 6 Å resolution. PMID:17164525

  1. Macromolecular prodrug that provides the irinotecan (CPT-11) active-metabolite SN-38 with ultralong half-life, low C(max), and low glucuronide formation.

    PubMed

    Santi, Daniel V; Schneider, Eric L; Ashley, Gary W

    2014-03-27

    We have recently reported a chemical approach for half-life extension that utilizes β-eliminative linkers to attach amine-containing drugs or prodrugs to macromolecules. The linkers release free drug or prodrug over periods ranging from a few hours to over 1 year. We adapted these linkers for use with phenol-containing drugs. Here, we prepared PEG conjugates of the irinotecan (CPT-11) active metabolite SN-38 via a phenyl ether that release the drug with predictable long half-lives. Pharmacokinetic studies in the rat indicate that, in contrast to other SN-38 prodrugs, the slowly released SN-38 shows a very low C(max), is kept above target concentrations for extended periods, and forms very little SN-38 glucuronide (the precursor of enterotoxic SN-38). The low SN-38 glucuronide is attributed to low hepatic uptake of SN-38. These macromolecular prodrugs have unique pharmacokinetic profiles that may translate to less intestinal toxicity and interpatient variability than the SN-38 prodrugs thus far studied.

  2. Facile Fabrication of Water Dispersible Latex Particles with Homogeneous or Chain-Segregated Surface from RAFT Polymerization Using a Mixture of Two Macromolecular Chain Transfer Agents.

    PubMed

    Sun, Li; Hong, Liangzhi; Wang, Chaoyang

    2016-04-01

    Water dispersible latex particles with randomly mixed shells or chain segregated surface are synthesized from one-pot reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer heterogeneous polymerization of benzyl methacrylate (BzMA) using a mixture of poly(glycerol monomethacrylate) (PGMA) and poly(2,3-bis(succinyloxy)propyl methacrylate) (PBSPMA) macromolecular chain transfer agents. In methanol, the two in situ synthesized PGMA-b-PBzMA and PBSPMA-b-PBzMA diblock copolymers coaggregate into spherical micelles, which contain PBzMA core and discrete PGMA and PBSPMA nanodomains on the shell. In contrast, in water-methanol mixture (V/V = 9/1), latex particles with homogeneous distribution of PGMA and PBSPMA polymer chains on the shell are obtained. The reasons leading to formation of latex particles with homogenous or chain-segregated surface are discussed, and polymerization kinetics and physical state of PBSPMA in methanol and water-methanol mixtures are ascribed. These polymeric micelles with patterned functional group on the surface are potentially important for application in supracolloidal hierarchical assemblies and catalysis.

  3. EMatch: an efficient method for aligning atomic resolution subunits into intermediate-resolution cryo-EM maps of large macromolecular assemblies

    SciTech Connect

    Dror, Oranit Lasker, Keren; Nussinov, Ruth; Wolfson, Haim

    2007-01-01

    A method for detecting structural homologs of components in an intermediate resolution cryo-EM map and their spatial configuration is presented. Structural analysis of biological machines is essential for inferring their function and mechanism. Nevertheless, owing to their large size and instability, deciphering the atomic structure of macromolecular assemblies is still considered as a challenging task that cannot keep up with the rapid advances in the protein-identification process. In contrast, structural data at lower resolution is becoming more and more available owing to recent advances in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) techniques. Once a cryo-EM map is acquired, one of the basic questions asked is what are the folds of the components in the assembly and what is their configuration. Here, a novel knowledge-based computational method, named EMatch, towards tackling this task for cryo-EM maps at 6–10 Å resolution is presented. The method recognizes and locates possible atomic resolution structural homologues of protein domains in the assembly. The strengths of EMatch are demonstrated on a cryo-EM map of native GroEL at 6 Å resolution.

  4. Facile Fabrication of Water Dispersible Latex Particles with Homogeneous or Chain-Segregated Surface from RAFT Polymerization Using a Mixture of Two Macromolecular Chain Transfer Agents.

    PubMed

    Sun, Li; Hong, Liangzhi; Wang, Chaoyang

    2016-04-01

    Water dispersible latex particles with randomly mixed shells or chain segregated surface are synthesized from one-pot reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer heterogeneous polymerization of benzyl methacrylate (BzMA) using a mixture of poly(glycerol monomethacrylate) (PGMA) and poly(2,3-bis(succinyloxy)propyl methacrylate) (PBSPMA) macromolecular chain transfer agents. In methanol, the two in situ synthesized PGMA-b-PBzMA and PBSPMA-b-PBzMA diblock copolymers coaggregate into spherical micelles, which contain PBzMA core and discrete PGMA and PBSPMA nanodomains on the shell. In contrast, in water-methanol mixture (V/V = 9/1), latex particles with homogeneous distribution of PGMA and PBSPMA polymer chains on the shell are obtained. The reasons leading to formation of latex particles with homogenous or chain-segregated surface are discussed, and polymerization kinetics and physical state of PBSPMA in methanol and water-methanol mixtures are ascribed. These polymeric micelles with patterned functional group on the surface are potentially important for application in supracolloidal hierarchical assemblies and catalysis. PMID:26954075

  5. On Establishing Underlying Tonal Contrast

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Snider, Keith

    2014-01-01

    Phonological field work is largely about establishing contrast in comparable environments. The notion of phonological contrast, however, can be confusing, particularly in its application to tone analysis. Does it mean phonemic contrast in the structuralist sense, or does it mean underlying contrast in the generative sense? Many linguists, in…

  6. On motion in a resisting medium: A historical perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hackborn, William W.

    2016-02-01

    This paper examines, compares, and contrasts ideas about motion, especially the motion of a body in a resisting medium, proposed by Galileo, Newton, and Tartaglia, the author of the first text on exterior ballistics, within the context of the Aristotelian philosophy prevalent when these scholars developed their ideas. This historical perspective offers insights on the emergence of a scientific paradigm for motion, particularly with respect to the challenge of incorporating into this paradigm the role played by the medium.

  7. The Local Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferlet, Roger

    Substantial progress in the field of the Local Interstellar Medium has been largely due to recent launches of space missions, mostly in the UV and X-ray domains, but also to ground-based observations, mainly in high resolution spectroscopy. However, a clear gap seems to remain between the wealth of new data and the theoretical understanding. This paper gives an overview of some observational aspects, with no attempt of completeness or doing justice to all the people involved in the field. As progress rarely evolves in straight paths, we can expect that our present picture of the solar system surroundings is not definitive.

  8. DENSE MEDIUM CYCLONE OPTIMIZATON

    SciTech Connect

    Gerald H. Luttrell; Chris J. Barbee; Peter J. Bethell; Chris J. Wood

    2005-06-30

    Dense medium cyclones (DMCs) are known to be efficient, high-tonnage devices suitable for upgrading particles in the 50 to 0.5 mm size range. This versatile separator, which uses centrifugal forces to enhance the separation of fine particles that cannot be upgraded in static dense medium separators, can be found in most modern coal plants and in a variety of mineral plants treating iron ore, dolomite, diamonds, potash and lead-zinc ores. Due to the high tonnage, a small increase in DMC efficiency can have a large impact on plant profitability. Unfortunately, the knowledge base required to properly design and operate DMCs has been seriously eroded during the past several decades. In an attempt to correct this problem, a set of engineering tools have been developed to allow producers to improve the efficiency of their DMC circuits. These tools include (1) low-cost density tracers that can be used by plant operators to rapidly assess DMC performance, (2) mathematical process models that can be used to predict the influence of changes in operating and design variables on DMC performance, and (3) an expert advisor system that provides plant operators with a user-friendly interface for evaluating, optimizing and trouble-shooting DMC circuits. The field data required to develop these tools was collected by conducting detailed sampling and evaluation programs at several industrial plant sites. These data were used to demonstrate the technical, economic and environmental benefits that can be realized through the application of these engineering tools.

  9. In vitro analysis of PDZ-dependent CFTR macromolecular signaling complexes.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yanning; Wang, Shuo; Li, Chunying

    2012-08-13

    has been shown to be of functional significance, suggesting that PDZ scaffold proteins may facilitate formation of CFTR macromolecular signaling complexes for specific/selective and efficient signaling in cells(16-18). Multiple biochemical assays have been developed to study CFTR-involving protein interactions, such as co-immunoprecipitation, pull-down assay, pair-wise binding assay, colorimetric pair-wise binding assay, and macromolecular complex assembly assay(16-19,28,29). Here we focus on the detailed procedures of assembling a PDZ motif-dependent CFTR-containing macromolecular complex in vitro, which is used extensively by our laboratory to study protein-protein or domain-domain interactions involving CFTR(16-19,28,29).

  10. Deuterium Abundance in the Local Interstellar Medium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferlet, R.; Gry, C.; Vidal-Madjar, A.

    1984-01-01

    The present situation of deuterium abundance evaluation in interstellar space is discussed, and it is shown that it should be or = .00001 by studying in more detail lambda the Sco line of sight and by observing two NaI interstellar components toward that star, it can be shown that the D/H evaluation made toward lambda Sco is in fact related to the local interstellar medium (less than 10 pc from the Sun). Because this evaluation is also or = .00001 it is in striking contrast with the one made toward alpha Aur (D/H or = .000018 confirming the fact that the deuterium abundance in the local interstellar medium varies by at least a factor of two over few parsecs.

  11. AutoDrug: fully automated macromolecular crystallography workflows for fragment-based drug discovery

    SciTech Connect

    Tsai, Yingssu; McPhillips, Scott E.; González, Ana; McPhillips, Timothy M.; Zinn, Daniel; Cohen, Aina E.; Feese, Michael D.; Bushnell, David; Tiefenbrunn, Theresa; Stout, C. David; Ludaescher, Bertram; Hedman, Britt; Hodgson, Keith O.; Soltis, S. Michael

    2013-05-01

    New software has been developed for automating the experimental and data-processing stages of fragment-based drug discovery at a macromolecular crystallography beamline. A new workflow-automation framework orchestrates beamline-control and data-analysis software while organizing results from multiple samples. AutoDrug is software based upon the scientific workflow paradigm that integrates the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource macromolecular crystallography beamlines and third-party processing software to automate the crystallography steps of the fragment-based drug-discovery process. AutoDrug screens a cassette of fragment-soaked crystals, selects crystals for data collection based on screening results and user-specified criteria and determines optimal data-collection strategies. It then collects and processes diffraction data, performs molecular replacement using provided models and detects electron density that is likely to arise from bound fragments. All processes are fully automated, i.e. are performed without user interaction or supervision. Samples can be screened in groups corresponding to particular proteins, crystal forms and/or soaking conditions. A single AutoDrug run is only limited by the capacity of the sample-storage dewar at the beamline: currently 288 samples. AutoDrug was developed in conjunction with RestFlow, a new scientific workflow-automation framework. RestFlow simplifies the design of AutoDrug by managing the flow of data and the organization of results and by orchestrating the execution of computational pipeline steps. It also simplifies the execution and interaction of third-party programs and the beamline-control system. Modeling AutoDrug as a scientific workflow enables multiple variants that meet the requirements of different user groups to be developed and supported. A workflow tailored to mimic the crystallography stages comprising the drug-discovery pipeline of CoCrystal Discovery Inc. has been deployed and successfully

  12. Efficient new ribozyme mimics: direct mapping of molecular design principles from small molecules to macromolecular, biomimetic catalysts.

    PubMed

    Putnam, W C; Daniher, A T; Trawick, B N; Bashkin, J K

    2001-05-15

    Dramatic improvements in ribozyme mimics have been achieved by employing the principles of small molecule catalysis to the design of macromolecular, biomimetic reagents. Ribozyme mimics derived from the ligand 2,9-dimethylphenanthroline (neocuproine) show at least 30-fold improvements in efficiency at sequence-specific RNA cleavage when compared with analogous o-phenanthroline- and terpyridine-derived reagents. The suppression of hydroxide-bridged dimers and the greater activation of coordinated water by Cu(II) neocuproine (compared with the o-phenanthroline and terpyridine complexes) better allow Cu(II) to reach its catalytic potential as a biomimetic RNA cleavage agent. This work demonstrates the direct mapping of molecular design principles from small-molecule cleavage to macromolecular cleavage events, generating enhanced biomimetic, sequence-specific RNA cleavage agents.

  13. Large-scale analysis of macromolecular crowding effects on protein aggregation using a reconstituted cell-free translation system

    PubMed Central

    Niwa, Tatsuya; Sugimoto, Ryota; Watanabe, Lisa; Nakamura, Shugo; Ueda, Takuya; Taguchi, Hideki

    2015-01-01

    Proteins must fold into their native structures in the crowded cellular environment, to perform their functions. Although such macromolecular crowding has been considered to affect the folding properties of proteins, large-scale experimental data have so far been lacking. Here, we individually translated 142 Escherichia coli cytoplasmic proteins using a reconstituted cell-free translation system in the presence of macromolecular crowding reagents (MCRs), Ficoll 70 or dextran 70, and evaluated the aggregation propensities of 142 proteins. The results showed that the MCR effects varied depending on the proteins, although the degree of these effects was modest. Statistical analyses suggested that structural parameters were involved in the effects of the MCRs. Our dataset provides a valuable resource to understand protein folding and aggregation inside cells. PMID:26500644

  14. 08B1-1: an automated beamline for macromolecular crystallography experiments at the Canadian Light Source.

    PubMed

    Fodje, Michel; Grochulski, Pawel; Janzen, Kathryn; Labiuk, Shaunivan; Gorin, James; Berg, Russ

    2014-05-01

    Beamline 08B1-1 is a recently commissioned bending-magnet beamline at the Canadian Light Source. The beamline is designed for automation and remote access. Together with the undulator-based beamline 08ID-1, they constitute the Canadian Macromolecular Crystallography Facility. This paper describes the design, specifications, hardware and software of beamline 08B1-1. A few scientific results using data obtained at the beamline will be highlighted.

  15. Contrastive Rhetoric in the Writing Classroom: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petric, Bojana

    2005-01-01

    This note explores the role of contrastive rhetoric in writing pedagogy in the context of a monolingual class, in this case a group of students from the Russian Federation studying at an English medium university in Central Europe. The study compares students' argumentative essays written before and after a short writing course, which aimed to…

  16. Macromolecular IgA1 taken from patients with familial IgA nephropathy or their asymptomatic relatives have higher reactivity to mesangial cells in vitro.

    PubMed

    Tam, Ka Ying; Leung, Joseph C K; Chan, Loretta Y Y; Lam, Man Fai; Tang, Sydney C W; Lai, Kar Neng

    2009-06-01

    Multiple cases of IgA nephropathy (IgAN) may occur in families; we compared their prognosis to sporadic cases of this disease. We isolated macromolecular IgA1 from 60 patients with familial IgAN, 91 of their asymptomatic relatives, 43 patients with sporadic IgAN (SpIgAN), 90 of their asymptomatic relatives, and 43 healthy subjects. Compared with SpIgAN patients, those with multiplex familial IgAN (MpIgAN) had more advanced renal histopathology and more galactose-deficient macromolecular IgA1 in their serum. Further, when we tested the effects of the macromolecular IgA1 on human mesangial cells in culture, we found that the macromolecular IgA1 taken from familial clusters had enhanced binding to mesangial cells and caused increased expression of interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and monocyte chemotactic peptide-1. The macromolecular IgA1 isolated from asymptomatic relatives caused increased cytokine expression in the mesangial cells when derived from MpIgAN compared with SpIgAN or healthy controls. While these studies suggest that macromolecular IgA1 isolated from patients with MpIgAN is more pathogenic than that from patients with SpIgAN, long term follow-up will be needed to clarify the risk in asymptomatic relatives of the patients with multiplex familial disease.

  17. A decade of user operation on the macromolecular crystallography MAD beamline ID14-4 at the ESRF.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, Andrew A; Brockhauser, Sandor; Nurizzo, Didier; Theveneau, Pascal; Mairs, Trevor; Spruce, Darren; Guijarro, Matias; Lesourd, Marc; Ravelli, Raimond B G; McSweeney, Sean

    2009-11-01

    ID14-4 at the ESRF is the first tunable undulator-based macromolecular crystallography beamline that can celebrate a decade of user service. During this time ID14-4 has not only been instrumental in the determination of the structures of biologically important molecules but has also contributed significantly to the development of various instruments, novel data collection schemes and pioneering radiation damage studies on biological samples. Here, the evolution of ID14-4 over the last decade is presented, and some of the major improvements that were carried out in order to maintain its status as one of the most productive macromolecular crystallography beamlines are highlighted. The experimental hutch has been upgraded to accommodate a high-precision diffractometer, a sample changer and a large CCD detector. More recently, the optical hutch has been refurbished in order to improve the X-ray beam quality on ID14-4 and to incorporate the most modern and robust optical elements used at other ESRF beamlines. These new optical elements will be described and their effect on beam stability discussed. These studies may be useful in the design, construction and maintenance of future X-ray beamlines for macromolecular crystallography and indeed other applications, such as those planned for the ESRF upgrade.

  18. Effect of minimizing amount of template by addition of macromolecular crowding agent on preparation of molecularly imprinted monolith.

    PubMed

    Sun, Guang-Ying; Zhong, Dan-Dan; Li, Xiang-Jie; Luo, Yu-Qing; Ba, Hang; Liu, Zhao-Sheng; Aisa, Haji Akber

    2015-09-01

    One of the main challenges in the preparation of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) is the substantial initial amount of template needed because of the requirement of high load capacities for most applications. A new strategy of macromolecular crowding was suggested to solve this problem by reducing the amount of template in the polymerization recipe. In a ternary porogenic system of polystyrene (PS) (crowding agent), tetrahydrofuran, and toluene, an imprinted monolithic column with high porosity and good permeability was synthesized using a mixture of ellagic acid (template), acrylamide, and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate. The effect of polymerization factors, including monomer-template molar ratio and the molecular weight and concentration of PS, on the imprinting effect of the resulting MIP monoliths was systematically investigated. At a high ratio of monomer-template (120:1), the greatest imprinting factor of 32.4 was obtained on the MIP monolith with the aid of macromolecular crowding agent. The PS-based imprinted monolith had imprinting even at the extremely high ratio of functional monomer to template of 1510:1. Furthermore, an off-line solid-phase extraction based on the ground MIP was conducted, and the purification recovery of ellagic acid from pomegranate-rind extract was up to 80 %. In conclusion, this approach based on macromolecular crowding is simple, and is especially valuable for those applications of MIP preparation for which a rare template is used.

  19. Pitfalls in assessing microvascular endothelial barrier function: impedance-based devices versus the classic macromolecular tracer assay

    PubMed Central

    Bischoff, Iris; Hornburger, Michael C.; Mayer, Bettina A.; Beyerle, Andrea; Wegener, Joachim; Fürst, Robert

    2016-01-01

    The most frequently used parameters to describe the barrier properties of endothelial cells (ECs) in vitro are (i) the macromolecular permeability, indicating the flux of a macromolecular tracer across the endothelium, and (ii) electrical impedance of ECs grown on gold-film electrodes reporting on the cell layer’s tightness for ion flow. Due to the experimental differences between these approaches, inconsistent observations have been described. Here, we present the first direct comparison of these assays applied to one single cell type (human microvascular ECs) under the same experimental conditions. The impact of different pharmacological tools (histamine, forskolin, Y-27632, blebbistatin, TRAP) on endothelial barrier function was analyzed by Transwell® tracer assays and two commercial impedance devices (xCELLigence®, ECIS®). The two impedance techniques provided very similar results for all compounds, whereas macromolecular permeability readings were found to be partly inconsistent with impedance. Possible reasons for these discrepancies are discussed. We conclude that the complementary combination of both approaches is highly recommended to overcome the restrictions of each assay. Since the nature of the growth support may contribute to the observed differences, structure-function relationships should be based on cells that are consistently grown on either permeable or impermeable growth supports in all experiments. PMID:27025965

  20. Single-Step Affinity Purification (ssAP) and Mass Spectrometry of Macromolecular Complexes in the Yeast S. cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Trahan, Christian; Aguilar, Lisbeth-Carolina; Oeffinger, Marlene

    2016-01-01

    Cellular functions are mostly defined by the dynamic interactions of proteins within macromolecular networks. Deciphering the composition of macromolecular complexes and their dynamic rearrangements is the key to getting a comprehensive picture of cellular behavior and to understanding biological systems. In the last decade, affinity purification coupled to mass spectrometry has emerged as a powerful tool to comprehensively study interaction networks and their assemblies. However, the study of these interactomes has been hampered by severe methodological limitations. In particular, the affinity purification of intact complexes from cell lysates suffers from protein and RNA degradation, loss of transient interactors, and poor overall yields. In this chapter, we describe a rapid single-step affinity purification method for the efficient isolation of dynamic macromolecular complexes. The technique employs cell lysis by cryo-milling, which ensures nondegraded starting material in the submicron range, and magnetic beads, which allow for dense antibody-conjugation and thus rapid complex isolation, while avoiding loss of transient interactions. The method is epitope tag-independent, and overcomes many of the previous limitations to produce large interactomes with almost no contamination. The protocol described here has been optimized for the yeast S. cerevisiae.