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Sample records for macromolecular structure solution

  1. Ab initio solution of macromolecular crystal structures without direct methods.

    PubMed

    McCoy, Airlie J; Oeffner, Robert D; Wrobel, Antoni G; Ojala, Juha R M; Tryggvason, Karl; Lohkamp, Bernhard; Read, Randy J

    2017-04-04

    The majority of macromolecular crystal structures are determined using the method of molecular replacement, in which known related structures are rotated and translated to provide an initial atomic model for the new structure. A theoretical understanding of the signal-to-noise ratio in likelihood-based molecular replacement searches has been developed to account for the influence of model quality and completeness, as well as the resolution of the diffraction data. Here we show that, contrary to current belief, molecular replacement need not be restricted to the use of models comprising a substantial fraction of the unknown structure. Instead, likelihood-based methods allow a continuum of applications depending predictably on the quality of the model and the resolution of the data. Unexpectedly, our understanding of the signal-to-noise ratio in molecular replacement leads to the finding that, with data to sufficiently high resolution, fragments as small as single atoms of elements usually found in proteins can yield ab initio solutions of macromolecular structures, including some that elude traditional direct methods.

  2. PHENIX: a comprehensive Python-based system for macromolecular structure solution

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Paul D.; Afonine, Pavel V.; Bunkóczi, Gábor; Chen, Vincent B.; Davis, Ian W.; Echols, Nathaniel; Headd, Jeffrey J.; Hung, Li-Wei; Kapral, Gary J.; Grosse-Kunstleve, Ralf W.; McCoy, Airlie J.; Moriarty, Nigel W.; Oeffner, Robert; Read, Randy J.; Richardson, David C.; Richardson, Jane S.; Terwilliger, Thomas C.; Zwart, Peter H.

    2010-01-01

    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 macromolecular crystallo­graphic structure solution with an emphasis on the 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. PMID:20124702

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. A General Method for Modeling Macromolecular Shape in Solution

    PubMed Central

    Harding, Stephen E.

    1987-01-01

    A general method for modeling macromolecular shape in solution is described involving measurements of viscosity, radius of gyration, and the second thermodynamic virial coefficient. The method, which should be relatively straightforward to apply, does not suffer from uniqueness problems, involves shape functions that are independent of hydration, and models the gross conformation of the macromolecule in solution as a general triaxial ellipsoid. The method is illustrated by application to myosin, and the relevance and applicability of ellipsoid modeling to biological structures is discussed. PMID:19431695

  7. Long-range correlations, geometrical structure, and transport properties of macromolecular solutions. The equivalence of configurational statistics and geometrodynamics of large molecules.

    PubMed

    Mezzasalma, Stefano A

    2007-12-04

    A special theory of Brownian relativity was previously proposed to describe the universal picture arising in ideal polymer solutions. In brief, it redefines a Gaussian macromolecule in a 4-dimensional diffusive spacetime, establishing a (weak) Lorentz-Poincaré invariance between liquid and polymer Einstein's laws for Brownian movement. Here, aimed at inquiring into the effect of correlations, we deepen the extension of the special theory to a general formulation. The previous statistical equivalence, for dynamic trajectories of liquid molecules and static configurations of macromolecules, and rather obvious in uncorrelated systems, is enlarged by a more general principle of equivalence, for configurational statistics and geometrodynamics. Accordingly, the three geodesic motion, continuity, and field equations could be rewritten, and a number of scaling behaviors were recovered in a spacetime endowed with general static isotropic metric (i.e., for equilibrium polymer solutions). We also dealt with universality in the volume fraction and, unexpectedly, found that a hyperscaling relation of the form, (average size) x (diffusivity) x (viscosity)1/2 ~f(N0, phi0) is fulfilled in several regimes, both in the chain monomer number (N) and polymer volume fraction (phi). Entangled macromolecular dynamics was treated as a geodesic light deflection, entaglements acting in close analogy to the field generated by a spherically symmetric mass source, where length fluctuations of the chain primitive path behave as azimuth fluctuations of its shape. Finally, the general transformation rule for translational and diffusive frames gives a coordinate gauge invariance, suggesting a widened Lorentz-Poincaré symmetry for Brownian statistics. We expect this approach to find effective applications to solutions of arbitrarily large molecules displaying a variety of structures, where the effect of geometry is more explicit and significant in itself (e.g., surfactants, lipids, proteins).

  8. Solution-Phase Processes of Macromolecular Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Minamitani, Elizabeth Forsythe

    2004-01-01

    We have proposed, for the tetragonal form of chicken egg lysozyme, that solution phase assembly processes are needed to form the growth units for crystal nucleation and growth. The starting point for the self-association process is the monomeric protein, and the final crystallographic symmetry is defined by the initial dimerization interactions of the monomers and subsequent n-mers formed, which in turn are a function of the crystallization conditions. It has been suggested that multimeric proteins generally incorporate the underlying multimers symmetry into the final crystallographic symmetry. We posed the question of what happens to a protein that is known to grow as an n-mer when it is placed in solution conditions where it is monomeric. The trypsin-treated, or cut, form of the protein canavalin (CCAN) has been shown to nucleate and grow crystals as a trimer from neutral to slightly acidic solutions. Under these conditions the solution is composed almost wholly of trimers. The insoluble protein can be readily dissolved by weakly basic solution, which results in a solution that is monomeric. There are three possible outcomes to an attempt at crystallization of the protein under monomeric (high pH) conditions: 1) we will obtain the same crystals as under trimer conditions, but at different protein concentrations governed by the self association equilibria; 2) we will obtain crystals having a different symmetry, based upon a monomeric growth unit; 3) we will not obtain crystals. Obtaining the first result would be indicative that the solution-phase self-association process is critical to the crystal nucleation and growth process. The second result would be less clear, as it may also reflect a pH-dependent shift in the trimer-trimer molecular interactions. The third result, particularly for experiments in the transition pH's between trimeric and monomeric CCAN, would indicate that the monomer does not crystallize, and that solution phase self association is not part

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. The Phenix software for automated determination of macromolecular structures.

    PubMed

    Adams, Paul D; Afonine, Pavel V; Bunkóczi, Gábor; Chen, Vincent B; Echols, Nathaniel; Headd, Jeffrey J; Hung, Li-Wei; Jain, Swati; Kapral, Gary J; Grosse Kunstleve, Ralf W; McCoy, Airlie J; Moriarty, Nigel W; Oeffner, Robert D; Read, Randy J; Richardson, David C; Richardson, Jane S; Terwilliger, Thomas C; Zwart, Peter H

    2011-09-01

    X-ray crystallography is a critical tool in the study of biological systems. It is able to provide information that has been a prerequisite to understanding the fundamentals of life. It is also a method that is central to the development of new therapeutics for human disease. Significant time and effort are required to determine and optimize many macromolecular structures because of the need for manual interpretation of complex numerical data, often using many different software packages, and the repeated use of interactive three-dimensional graphics. The Phenix software package has been developed to provide a comprehensive system for macromolecular crystallographic structure solution with an emphasis on automation. This has required the development of new algorithms that minimize or eliminate subjective input in favor of built-in expert-systems knowledge, the automation of procedures that are traditionally performed by hand, and the development of a computational framework that allows a tight integration between the algorithms. The application of automated methods is particularly appropriate in the field of structural proteomics, where high throughput is desired. Features in Phenix for the automation of experimental phasing with subsequent model building, molecular replacement, structure refinement and validation are described and examples given of running Phenix from both the command line and graphical user interface.

  12. The structural dynamics of macromolecular processes

    PubMed Central

    Russel, Daniel; Lasker, Keren; Phillips, Jeremy; Schneidman-Duhovny, Dina; Velázquez-Muriel, Javier A.; Sali, Andrej

    2009-01-01

    Summary Dynamic processes involving macromolecular complexes are essential to cell function. These processes take place over a wide variety of length scales from nanometers to micrometers, and over time scales from nanoseconds to many minutes. As a result, information from a variety of different experimental and computational approaches is required. We review the relevant sources of information and introduce a framework for integrating the data to produce representations of dynamic processes. PMID:19223165

  13. Homogenization Theory for the Prediction of Obstructed Solute Diffusivity in Macromolecular Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Donovan, Preston; Chehreghanianzabi, Yasaman; Rathinam, Muruhan; Zustiak, Silviya Petrova

    2016-01-01

    The study of diffusion in macromolecular solutions is important in many biomedical applications such as separations, drug delivery, and cell encapsulation, and key for many biological processes such as protein assembly and interstitial transport. Not surprisingly, multiple models for the a-priori prediction of diffusion in macromolecular environments have been proposed. However, most models include parameters that are not readily measurable, are specific to the polymer-solute-solvent system, or are fitted and do not have a physical meaning. Here, for the first time, we develop a homogenization theory framework for the prediction of effective solute diffusivity in macromolecular environments based on physical parameters that are easily measurable and not specific to the macromolecule-solute-solvent system. Homogenization theory is useful for situations where knowledge of fine-scale parameters is used to predict bulk system behavior. As a first approximation, we focus on a model where the solute is subjected to obstructed diffusion via stationary spherical obstacles. We find that the homogenization theory results agree well with computationally more expensive Monte Carlo simulations. Moreover, the homogenization theory agrees with effective diffusivities of a solute in dilute and semi-dilute polymer solutions measured using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. Lastly, we provide a mathematical formula for the effective diffusivity in terms of a non-dimensional and easily measurable geometric system parameter. PMID:26731550

  14. Homogenization Theory for the Prediction of Obstructed Solute Diffusivity in Macromolecular Solutions.

    PubMed

    Donovan, Preston; Chehreghanianzabi, Yasaman; Rathinam, Muruhan; Zustiak, Silviya Petrova

    2016-01-01

    The study of diffusion in macromolecular solutions is important in many biomedical applications such as separations, drug delivery, and cell encapsulation, and key for many biological processes such as protein assembly and interstitial transport. Not surprisingly, multiple models for the a-priori prediction of diffusion in macromolecular environments have been proposed. However, most models include parameters that are not readily measurable, are specific to the polymer-solute-solvent system, or are fitted and do not have a physical meaning. Here, for the first time, we develop a homogenization theory framework for the prediction of effective solute diffusivity in macromolecular environments based on physical parameters that are easily measurable and not specific to the macromolecule-solute-solvent system. Homogenization theory is useful for situations where knowledge of fine-scale parameters is used to predict bulk system behavior. As a first approximation, we focus on a model where the solute is subjected to obstructed diffusion via stationary spherical obstacles. We find that the homogenization theory results agree well with computationally more expensive Monte Carlo simulations. Moreover, the homogenization theory agrees with effective diffusivities of a solute in dilute and semi-dilute polymer solutions measured using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. Lastly, we provide a mathematical formula for the effective diffusivity in terms of a non-dimensional and easily measurable geometric system parameter.

  15. Fast native-SAD phasing for routine macromolecular structure determination.

    PubMed

    Weinert, Tobias; Olieric, Vincent; Waltersperger, Sandro; Panepucci, Ezequiel; Chen, Lirong; Zhang, Hua; Zhou, Dayong; Rose, John; Ebihara, Akio; Kuramitsu, Seiki; Li, Dianfan; Howe, Nicole; Schnapp, Gisela; Pautsch, Alexander; Bargsten, Katja; Prota, Andrea E; Surana, Parag; Kottur, Jithesh; Nair, Deepak T; Basilico, Federica; Cecatiello, Valentina; Pasqualato, Sebastiano; Boland, Andreas; Weichenrieder, Oliver; Wang, Bi-Cheng; Steinmetz, Michel O; Caffrey, Martin; Wang, Meitian

    2015-02-01

    We describe a data collection method that uses a single crystal to solve X-ray structures by native SAD (single-wavelength anomalous diffraction). We solved the structures of 11 real-life examples, including a human membrane protein, a protein-DNA complex and a 266-kDa multiprotein-ligand complex, using this method. The data collection strategy is suitable for routine structure determination and can be implemented at most macromolecular crystallography synchrotron beamlines.

  16. VQLM: A visual query language for macromolecular structural databases

    SciTech Connect

    Cohen, D.; Dickinson, B.; Salem, H.

    1994-12-31

    Databases of macromolecular structures allow researchers to identify general principles of molecular behavior. They do this by providing a variety of data obtained under a number of different experimental conditions. Many new tools have been developed recently to aid in exploratory analysis of structural data. However, some queries of interest still require considerable manual filtering of data. In particular, studies attempting to make generalizations about complex arrangements of atoms or building blocks in macro-molecular structures cannot be approached directly with existing tools. Such studies are frequently carried out on only a few structures or else require a labor-intensive process. To address this problem, we have developed a visual language, VQLM (Visual Query Language for Macromolecules). A query is formulated in this language by drawing an abstract picture of sub-structures to be searched for in the database and specifying constraints on the objects in them. To illustrate the usefulness of our language, we show how to encode a number of queries that were found scientifically interesting in the published literature in molecular biology. VQLM relies on VQL, a new database language, as its underlying engine for database retrieval and computation. We believe that VQLM will make macromolecular structural data more accessible to scientists, enabling faster and deeper data analysis.

  17. Maintaining network security: how macromolecular structures cross the peptidoglycan layer.

    PubMed

    Scheurwater, Edie M; Burrows, Lori L

    2011-05-01

    Peptidoglycan plays a vital role in bacterial physiology, maintaining cell shape and resisting cellular lysis from high internal turgor pressures. Its integrity is carefully maintained by controlled remodeling during growth and division by the coordinated activities of penicillin-binding proteins, lytic transglycosylases, and N-acetylmuramyl-l-alanine amidases. However, its small pore size (∼2 nm) and covalently closed structure make it a formidable barrier to the assembly of large macromolecular cell-envelope-spanning complexes involved in motility and secretion. Here, we review the strategies used by Gram-negative bacteria to assemble such macromolecular complexes across the peptidoglycan layer, while preserving its essential structural role. In addition, we discuss evidence that suggests that peptidoglycan can be integrated into cell-envelope-spanning complexes as a structural and functional extension of their architecture.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Modeling Symmetric Macromolecular Structures in Rosetta3

    PubMed Central

    DiMaio, Frank; Leaver-Fay, Andrew; Bradley, Phil; Baker, David; André, Ingemar

    2011-01-01

    Symmetric protein assemblies play important roles in many biochemical processes. However, the large size of such systems is challenging for traditional structure modeling methods. This paper describes the implementation of a general framework for modeling arbitrary symmetric systems in Rosetta3. We describe the various types of symmetries relevant to the study of protein structure that may be modeled using Rosetta's symmetric framework. We then describe how this symmetric framework is efficiently implemented within Rosetta, which restricts the conformational search space by sampling only symmetric degrees of freedom, and explicitly simulates only a subset of the interacting monomers. Finally, we describe structure prediction and design applications that utilize the Rosetta3 symmetric modeling capabilities, and provide a guide to running simulations on symmetric systems. PMID:21731614

  1. Macromolecular structure phasing by neutron anomalous diffraction

    PubMed Central

    Cuypers, Maxime G.; Mason, Sax A.; Mossou, Estelle; Haertlein, Michael; Forsyth, V. Trevor; Mitchell, Edward P.

    2016-01-01

    In this report we show for the first time that neutron anomalous dispersion can be used in a practical manner to determine experimental phases of a protein crystal structure, providing a new tool for structural biologists. The approach is demonstrated through the use of a state-of-the-art monochromatic neutron diffractometer at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in combination with crystals of perdeuterated protein that minimise the level of hydrogen incoherent scattering and enhance the visibility of the anomalous signal. The protein used was rubredoxin in which cadmium replaced the iron at the iron-sulphur site. While this study was carried out using a steady-state neutron beam source, the results will be of major interest for capabilities at existing and emerging spallation neutron sources where time-of-flight instruments provide inherent energy discrimination. In particular this capability may be expected to offer unique opportunities to a rapidly developing structural biology community where there is increasing interest in the identification of protonation states, protein/water interactions and protein-ligand interactions – all of which are of central importance to a wide range of fundamental and applied areas in the biosciences. PMID:27511806

  2. E-MSD: the European Bioinformatics Institute Macromolecular Structure Database

    PubMed Central

    Boutselakis, H.; Dimitropoulos, D.; Fillon, J.; Golovin, A.; Henrick, K.; Hussain, A.; Ionides, J.; John, M.; Keller, P. A.; Krissinel, E.; McNeil, P.; Naim, A.; Newman, R.; Oldfield, T.; Pineda, J.; Rachedi, A.; Copeland, J.; Sitnov, A.; Sobhany, S.; Suarez-Uruena, A.; Swaminathan, J.; Tagari, M.; Tate, J.; Tromm, S.; Velankar, S.; Vranken, W.

    2003-01-01

    The E-MSD macromolecular structure relational database (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/msd) is designed to be a single access point for protein and nucleic acid structures and related information. The database is derived from Protein Data Bank (PDB) entries. Relational database technologies are used in a comprehensive cleaning procedure to ensure data uniformity across the whole archive. The search database contains an extensive set of derived properties, goodness-of-fit indicators, and links to other EBI databases including InterPro, GO, and SWISS-PROT, together with links to SCOP, CATH, PFAM and PROSITE. A generic search interface is available, coupled with a fast secondary structure domain search tool. PMID:12520052

  3. 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.

  4. Conformational States of macromolecular assemblies explored by integrative structure calculation.

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-03

    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.

  5. Bulk-solvent correction in large macromolecular structures.

    PubMed

    Rees, Bernard; Jenner, Lasse; Yusupov, Marat

    2005-09-01

    The estimation of the bulk-solvent contribution to the diffraction of a macromolecular crystal makes use of a solvent mask which delimits the bulk-solvent regions in the crystal. It is shown that the way this mask is usually defined in CNS contains a bias which can lead to absurd results in the case of very large structures, where the calculations can only be made on relatively coarse grids. A modified procedure is described and applied to 70S ribosome data at 5.5 A resolution. The B factor affecting the bulk solvent is also discussed. Even in this case of very high and widely variable atomic B factors, it seems sufficient to consider a constant and isotropic B factor for the bulk solvent. This is initially set to the average value of the atomic B factor, but can be refined.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Macromolecular Crystallography and Structural Biology Databases at NIST.

    PubMed

    Gilliland, G 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.

  9. The effect of macromolecular crowding on the structure of the protein complex superoxide dismutase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajapaksha Mudalige, Ajith Rathnaweera

    Biological environments contain between 7 - 40% macromolecules by volume. This reduces the available volume for macromolecules and elevates the osmotic pressure relative to pure water. Consequently, biological macromolecules in their native environments tend to adopt more compact and dehydrated conformations than those in vitro. This effect is referred to as macromolecular crowding and constitutes an important physical difference between native biological environments and the simple solutions in which biomolecules are usually studied. We used small angle scattering (SAS) to measure the effects of macromolecular crowding on the size of a protein complex, superoxide dismutase (SOD). Crowding was induced using 400 MW polyethylene glycol (PEG), triethylene glycol (TEG), methyl-alpha-glucoside (alpha-MG) and trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). Parallel small angle neutron scattering (SANS) and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) allowed us to unambiguously attribute apparent changes in radius of gyration to changes in the structure of SOD. For a 40% PEG solution, we find that the volume of SOD was reduced by 9%. SAS coupled with osmotic pressure measurements allowed us to estimate a compressibility modulus for SOD. We believe this to be the first time the osmotic compressibility of a protein complex was measured. Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations are widely used to obtain insights on biomolecular processes. However, it is not clear whether MD is capable of predicting subtle effects of macromolecular crowding. We used our experimentally observed compressibility of SOD to evaluate the ability of MD to predict macromolecular crowding. Effects of macromolecular crowding due to PEG on SOD were modeled using an all atom MD simulation with the CHARMM forcefield and the crystallographically resolved structures of SOD and PEG. Two parallel MD simulations were performed for SOD in water and SOD in 40% PEG for over 150~ns. Over the period of the simulation the SOD structure in 40

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Scale invariance of the density fluctuations in films and macromolecular aggregates in poly(styrene) solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novikov, D. V.; Krasovskiĭ, A. N.; Osmolovskaya, N. A.; Efremov, V. I.

    2007-02-01

    The specific features of the transformation of a polymer solution into a solid state (film) of an amorphous polymer are investigated using electron microscopy. The correspondence between the characteristics of fractal macromolecular aggregates in a solution and the parameters of the spatial distribution of density fluctuations at the surface of the film is established using a linear atactic poly(styrene) as an example. The correspondence exists under the condition that the packing density of coils does not exceed a critical value at the liquid-solid phase transition point and the polymer concentration in the solution provides the formation of a continuous network of entangled macromolecules.

  13. Microelectrophoretic study of calcium oxalate monohydrate in macromolecular solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curreri, P. A.; Onoda, G. Y., Jr.; Finlayson, B.

    1987-01-01

    Electrophoretic mobilities were measured for calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) in solutions containing macromolecules. Two mucopolysaccharides (sodium heparin and chondroitin sulfate) and two proteins (positively charged lysozyme and negatively charged bovine serum albumin) were studied as adsorbates. The effects of pH, calcium oxalate surface charge (varied by calcium or oxalate ion activity), and citrate concentration were investigated. All four macromolecules showed evidence for adsorption. The macromolecule concentrations needed for reversing the surface charge indicated that the mucopolysaccharides have greater affinity for the COM surface than the proteins. Citrate ions at high concentrations appear to compete effectively with the negative protein for surface sites but show no evidence for competing with the positively charged protein.

  14. Exact solutions for kinetic models of macromolecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Chemla, Yann R; Moffitt, Jeffrey R; Bustamante, Carlos

    2008-05-15

    Dynamic biological processes such as enzyme catalysis, molecular motor translocation, and protein and nucleic acid conformational dynamics are inherently stochastic processes. However, when such processes are studied on a nonsynchronized ensemble, the inherent fluctuations are lost, and only the average rate of the process can be measured. With the recent development of methods of single-molecule manipulation and detection, it is now possible to follow the progress of an individual molecule, measuring not just the average rate but the fluctuations in this rate as well. These fluctuations can provide a great deal of detail about the underlying kinetic cycle that governs the dynamical behavior of the system. However, extracting this information from experiments requires the ability to calculate the general properties of arbitrarily complex theoretical kinetic schemes. We present here a general technique that determines the exact analytical solution for the mean velocity and for measures of the fluctuations. We adopt a formalism based on the master equation and show how the probability density for the position of a molecular motor at a given time can be solved exactly in Fourier-Laplace space. With this analytic solution, we can then calculate the mean velocity and fluctuation-related parameters, such as the randomness parameter (a dimensionless ratio of the diffusion constant and the velocity) and the dwell time distributions, which fully characterize the fluctuations of the system, both commonly used kinetic parameters in single-molecule measurements. Furthermore, we show that this formalism allows calculation of these parameters for a much wider class of general kinetic models than demonstrated with previous methods.

  15. Structure, function and folding of phosphoglycerate kinase are strongly perturbed by macromolecular crowding.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samiotakis, Antonios; Dhar, Apratim; Ebbinghaus, Simon; Nienhaus, Lea; Homouz, Dirar; Gruebele, Martin; Cheung, Margaret

    2010-10-01

    We combine experiment and computer simulation to show how macromolecular crowding dramatically affects the structure, function and folding landscape of phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK). Fluorescence labeling shows that compact states of yeast PGK are populated as the amount of crowding agents (Ficoll 70) increases. Coarse-grained molecular simulations reveal three compact ensembles: C (crystal structure), CC (collapsed crystal) and Sph (spherical compact). With an adjustment for viscosity, crowded wild type PGK and fluorescent PGK are about 15 times or more active in 200 mg/ml Ficoll than in aqueous solution. Our results suggest a new solution to the classic problem of how the ADP and diphosphoglycerate binding sites of PGK come together to make ATP: rather than undergoing a hinge motion, the ADP and substrate sites are already located in proximity under crowded conditions that mimic the in vivo conditions under which the enzyme actually operates.

  16. The electrokinetic behavior of calcium oxalate monohydrate in macromolecular solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curreri, P. A.; Onoda, G. Y., Jr.; Finlayson, B.

    1988-01-01

    Electrophoretic mobilities were measured for calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) in solutions containing macromolecules. Two mucopolysaccharides (sodium heparin and chrondroitin sulfate) and two proteins (positively charged lysozyme and negatively charged bovine serum albumin) were studied as adsorbates. The effects of pH, calcium oxalate surface charge (varied by calcium or oxalate ion activity), and citrate concentration were investigated. All four macromolecules showed evidence for chemical adsorption. The macromolecule concentrations needed for reversing the surface charge indicated that the mucopopolysacchrides have greater affinity for the COM surface than the proteins. The amount of proteins that can chemically adsorb appears to be limited to approximately one monomolecular layer. When the surface charge is high, an insufficient number of proteins can chemically adsorb to neutralize or reverse the surface charge. The remaining surface charge is balanced by proteins held near the surface by longer range electrostatic forces only. Citrate ions at high concentrations appear to compete effectively with the negative protein for surface sites but show no evidence for competing with the positively charged protein.

  17. Towards an efficient compression of 3D coordinates of macromolecular structures

    PubMed Central

    Valasatava, Yana; Bradley, Anthony R.; Rose, Alexander S.; Duarte, Jose M.; Prlić, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    The size and complexity of 3D macromolecular structures available in the Protein Data Bank is constantly growing. Current tools and file formats have reached limits of scalability. New compression approaches are required to support the visualization of large molecular complexes and enable new and scalable means for data analysis. We evaluated a series of compression techniques for coordinates of 3D macromolecular structures and identified the best performing approaches. By balancing compression efficiency in terms of the decompression speed and compression ratio, and code complexity, our results provide the foundation for a novel standard to represent macromolecular coordinates in a compact and useful file format. PMID:28362865

  18. Towards an efficient compression of 3D coordinates of macromolecular structures.

    PubMed

    Valasatava, Yana; Bradley, Anthony R; Rose, Alexander S; Duarte, Jose M; Prlić, Andreas; Rose, Peter W

    2017-01-01

    The size and complexity of 3D macromolecular structures available in the Protein Data Bank is constantly growing. Current tools and file formats have reached limits of scalability. New compression approaches are required to support the visualization of large molecular complexes and enable new and scalable means for data analysis. We evaluated a series of compression techniques for coordinates of 3D macromolecular structures and identified the best performing approaches. By balancing compression efficiency in terms of the decompression speed and compression ratio, and code complexity, our results provide the foundation for a novel standard to represent macromolecular coordinates in a compact and useful file format.

  19. Reliable and efficient solution of genome-scale models of Metabolism and macromolecular Expression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Ding; Yang, Laurence; Fleming, Ronan M. T.; Thiele, Ines; Palsson, Bernhard O.; Saunders, Michael A.

    2017-01-01

    Constraint-Based Reconstruction and Analysis (COBRA) is currently the only methodology that permits integrated modeling of Metabolism and macromolecular Expression (ME) at genome-scale. Linear optimization computes steady-state flux solutions to ME models, but flux values are spread over many orders of magnitude. Data values also have greatly varying magnitudes. Standard double-precision solvers may return inaccurate solutions or report that no solution exists. Exact simplex solvers based on rational arithmetic require a near-optimal warm start to be practical on large problems (current ME models have 70,000 constraints and variables and will grow larger). We have developed a quadruple-precision version of our linear and nonlinear optimizer MINOS, and a solution procedure (DQQ) involving Double and Quad MINOS that achieves reliability and efficiency for ME models and other challenging problems tested here. DQQ will enable extensive use of large linear and nonlinear models in systems biology and other applications involving multiscale data.

  20. 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

    2016-01-04

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Phasing macromolecular structures via structure-invariant algebra.

    PubMed

    Hauptman, H; Han, F

    1993-01-01

    Owing to the breakdown of Friedel's law when anomalous scatterers are present, unique values of the three-phase structure invariants in the whole range from 0 to 2pi are determined by measured values of diffraction intensities alone. Two methods are described for going from presumed known values of these invariants to the values of the individual phases. The first, dependent on a scheme for resolving the 2pi ambiguity in the estimate omega(HK) of the triplet phi(H) + phi(K) + phi(-H-K), solves by least squares the resulting redundant system of linear equations phi(H) + phi(K) + phi(-H-K) = omega(HK). The second attempts to minimize the weighted sum of squares of differences between the true values of the cosine and sine invariants and their estimates. The latter method is closely related to one based on the 'minimal principle' which determines the values of a large set of phases as the constrained global minimum of a function of all the phases in the set. Both methods work in the sense that they yield values of the individual phases substantially better than the values of the initial estimates of the triplets. However, the second method proves to be superior to the first but requires, in addition to estimates of the triplets, initial estimates of the values of the individual phases.

  4. Fast Method for Computing Chemical Potentials and Liquid-Liquid Phase Equilibria of Macromolecular Solutions.

    PubMed

    Qin, Sanbo; Zhou, Huan-Xiang

    2016-08-25

    Chemical potential is a fundamental property for determining thermodynamic equilibria involving exchange of molecules, such as between two phases of molecular systems. Previously, we developed the fast Fourier transform (FFT)-based method for Modeling Atomistic Protein-crowder interactions (FMAP) to calculate excess chemical potentials according to the Widom insertion. Intermolecular interaction energies were expressed as correlation functions and evaluated via FFT. Here, we extend this method to calculate liquid-liquid phase equilibria of macromolecular solutions. Chemical potentials are calculated by FMAP over a wide range of molecular densities, and the condition for coexistence of low- and high-density phases is determined by the Maxwell equal-area rule. When benchmarked on Lennard-Jones fluids, our method produces an accurate phase diagram at 18% of the computational cost of the current best method. Importantly, the gain in computational speed increases dramatically as the molecules become more complex, leading to many orders of magnitude in speed up for atomistically represented proteins. We demonstrate the power of FMAP by reporting the first results for the liquid-liquid coexistence curve of γII-crystallin represented at the all-atom level. Our method may thus open the door to accurate determination of phase equilibria for macromolecular mixtures such as protein-protein mixtures and protein-RNA mixtures, that are known to undergo liquid-liquid phase separation, both in vitro and in vivo.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. The neurobiologist's guide to structural biology: a primer on why macromolecular structure matters and how to evaluate structural data.

    PubMed

    Minor, Daniel L

    2007-05-24

    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).

  8. Influence of protein crowder size on hydration structure and dynamics in macromolecular crowding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Po-hung; Yu, Isseki; Feig, Michael; Sugita, Yuji

    2017-03-01

    We investigate the effects of protein crowder sizes on hydration structure and dynamics in macromolecular crowded systems by all-atom MD simulations. The crowded systems consisting of only small proteins showed larger total surface areas than those of large proteins at the same volume fractions. As a result, more water molecules were trapped within the hydration shells, slowing down water diffusion. The simulation results suggest that the protein crowder size is another factor to determine the effect of macromolecular crowding and to explain the experimental kinetic data of proteins and DNAs in the presence of crowding agents.

  9. 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…

  10. Reliable and efficient solution of genome-scale models of Metabolism and macromolecular Expression

    DOE PAGES

    Ma, Ding; Yang, Laurence; Fleming, Ronan M. T.; ...

    2017-01-18

    Currently, Constraint-Based Reconstruction and Analysis (COBRA) is the only methodology that permits integrated modeling of Metabolism and macromolecular Expression (ME) at genome-scale. Linear optimization computes steady-state flux solutions to ME models, but flux values are spread over many orders of magnitude. Data values also have greatly varying magnitudes. Furthermore, standard double-precision solvers may return inaccurate solutions or report that no solution exists. Exact simplex solvers based on rational arithmetic require a near-optimal warm start to be practical on large problems (current ME models have 70,000 constraints and variables and will grow larger). We also developed a quadrupleprecision version of ourmore » linear and nonlinear optimizer MINOS, and a solution procedure (DQQ) involving Double and Quad MINOS that achieves reliability and efficiency for ME models and other challenging problems tested here. DQQ will enable extensive use of large linear and nonlinear models in systems biology and other applications involving multiscale data.« less

  11. Reliable and efficient solution of genome-scale models of Metabolism and macromolecular Expression

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Ding; Yang, Laurence; Fleming, Ronan M. T.; Thiele, Ines; Palsson, Bernhard O.; Saunders, Michael A.

    2017-01-01

    Constraint-Based Reconstruction and Analysis (COBRA) is currently the only methodology that permits integrated modeling of Metabolism and macromolecular Expression (ME) at genome-scale. Linear optimization computes steady-state flux solutions to ME models, but flux values are spread over many orders of magnitude. Data values also have greatly varying magnitudes. Standard double-precision solvers may return inaccurate solutions or report that no solution exists. Exact simplex solvers based on rational arithmetic require a near-optimal warm start to be practical on large problems (current ME models have 70,000 constraints and variables and will grow larger). We have developed a quadruple-precision version of our linear and nonlinear optimizer MINOS, and a solution procedure (DQQ) involving Double and Quad MINOS that achieves reliability and efficiency for ME models and other challenging problems tested here. DQQ will enable extensive use of large linear and nonlinear models in systems biology and other applications involving multiscale data. PMID:28098205

  12. A MACROMOLECULAR REPEATING UNIT OF MITOCHONDRIAL STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-Morán, H.; Oda, T.; Blair, P. V.; Green, D. E.

    1964-01-01

    A repeating particle associated with the cristae and the inner membrane of the external envelope has been recognized and characterized in beef heart mitochondria by correlated electron microscopic and biochemical studies. Many thousands (ca. 104 to 105) of these particles, disposed in regular arrays, are present in a single mitochondrion. The repeating particle, called the elementary particle (EP), consists of three parts: (1) a spherical or polyhedral head piece (80 to 100 A in diameter); (2) a cylindrical stalk (about 50 A long and 30 to 40 A wide); and (3) a base piece (40 x 110 A). The base pieces of the elementary particles form an integral part of the outer dense layers of the cristae. The elementary particles can be seen in electron micrographs of mitochondria in situ, of isolated mitochondria, and of submitochondrial particles with a complete electron transfer chain. Negative staining with phosphotungstate is only one of several techniques that can be used for reproducible demonstration of the repeating particles and underlying subunit organization of mitochondrial membranes. A particulate unit containing a complete electron transfer chain can be isolated from beef heart mitochondria. The isolated unit approximates in size that of the elementary particle in situ. The molecular weight of the particle in situ is calculated to be 1.3 x 106. Evidence is presented for identifying the isolated unit with the elementary particle visualized in situ. The elementary particle of the mitochondrion is believed to be a prototype of a class of functional particles or macromolecular assemblies of similar size found in association with membranes generally. PMID:14195622

  13. 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

  14. Macromolecular recognition.

    PubMed

    Deremble, Cyril; Lavery, Richard

    2005-04-01

    Computational methods are being developed both to detect the binding surfaces of individual macromolecules and to predict the structure of binary macromolecular complexes. Speeding up and refining this process has required work on search algorithms, molecular representations and interaction potentials. Although backbone flexibility and solvent effects continue to pose problems, encouraging results have been obtained for both protein-protein and protein-DNA complexes.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Gordon Research Conference on Dynamics of Macromolecular and Polyelectrolyte Solutions Held in Oxnard, California on 12-16 February 1990

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-04-01

    Polyelectrolyte Solutions* was held IZ-16 February, 1990, at Casa Sirena Hotel, Oxnard, CA There were ninety-one scientists iarticipatIng. ’cludiq thirty-four...MACROMOLECULAR AND POLYELECT’ROLYTE 5’LUToNS Casa Sirena . Oxnard. CA Lee Magid - Chairman Peter Pusey - VIce-Chairman Monday. February 12 S.J. Candau...12-16, 1990 Casa Sirena Marina Hotel Oxnard, California REGISTRATION LIST Bruce J. Ackerson 149 Sauver Candau 136 Oklahoma State University Universit4

  18. Macromolecular X-ray structure determination using weak, single-wavelength anomalous data

    SciTech Connect

    Bunkóczi, Gábor; McCoy, Airlie J.; Echols, Nathaniel; Grosse-Kunstleve, Ralf W.; Adams, Paul D.; Holton, James M.; Read, Randy J.; Terwilliger, Thomas C.

    2014-12-22

    We describe a likelihood-based method for determining the substructure of anomalously scattering atoms in macromolecular crystals that allows successful structure determination by single-wavelength anomalous diffraction (SAD) X-ray analysis with weak anomalous signal. With the use of partial models and electron density maps in searches for anomalously scattering atoms, testing of alternative values of parameters and parallelized automated model-building, this method has the potential to extend the applicability of the SAD method in challenging cases.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Macromolecular Prodrugs of Ribavirin: Structure-Function Correlation as Inhibitors of Influenza Infectivity.

    PubMed

    Riber, Camilla Frich; Hinton, Tracey M; Gajda, Paulina; Zuwala, Kaja; Tolstrup, Martin; Stewart, Cameron; Zelikin, Alexander N

    2017-01-03

    The requirement for new antiviral therapeutics is an ever present need. Particularly lacking are broad spectrum antivirals that have low toxicity. We develop such agents based on macromolecular prodrugs whereby both the polymer chain and the drug released from the polymer upon cell entry have antiviral effects. Specifically, macromolecular prodrugs were designed herein based on poly(methacrylic acid) and ribavirin. Structure-function parameter space was analyzed via the synthesis of 10 polymer compositions varied by molar mass and drug content. Antiviral activity was tested in cell culture against both low and high pathogenic strains of influenza. Lead compounds were successfully used to counter infectivity of influenza in chicken embryos. The lead composition with the highest activity against influenza was also active against another respiratory pathogen, respiratory syncytial virus, providing opportunity to potentially treat infection by the two pathogens with one antiviral agent. In contrast, structure-function activity against the herpes simplex virus was drastically different, revealing limitations of the broad spectrum antiviral agents based on macromolecular prodrugs.

  3. Biological water: Its vital role in macromolecular structure and function.

    PubMed

    Despa, Florin

    2005-12-01

    Water in tissues and cells is confined by intervening cellular components and is subject to structural effects that are not present in its bulk counterpart. The structuring effects lower the dielectric susceptibility of water molecules and induce a "red shift" of their relaxation frequency. This is also a source of polarization fields that contribute to the effective interactions between macromolecules. The behavior of water molecules at hydrophilic sites is different from that at hydrophobic sites, and this dissimilar behavior promotes the anisotropy of the hydration shell of proteins. The anisotropy of the hydration shell is essential for the enzyme function, but it is also important in detecting denaturation of the protein (i.e., proteins expose their hydrophobic parts to water during unfolding). The most significant differences between biological and ordinary water will be presented along with how this information can be used to decipher patterns in dynamical behavior of biological water and to detect possible structural changes of the cellular components.

  4. Structure of metaphase chromosomes: a role for effects of macromolecular crowding.

    PubMed

    Hancock, Ronald

    2012-01-01

    In metaphase chromosomes, chromatin is compacted to a concentration of several hundred mg/ml by mechanisms which remain elusive. Effects mediated by the ionic environment are considered most frequently because mono- and di-valent cations cause polynucleosome chains to form compact ~30-nm diameter fibres in vitro, but this conformation is not detected in chromosomes in situ. A further unconsidered factor is predicted to influence the compaction of chromosomes, namely the forces which arise from crowding by macromolecules in the surrounding cytoplasm whose measured concentration is 100-200 mg/ml. To mimic these conditions, chromosomes were released from mitotic CHO cells in solutions containing an inert volume-occupying macromolecule (8 kDa polyethylene glycol, 10.5 kDa dextran, or 70 kDa Ficoll) in 100 µM K-Hepes buffer, with contaminating cations at only low micromolar concentrations. Optical and electron microscopy showed that these chromosomes conserved their characteristic structure and compaction, and their volume varied inversely with the concentration of a crowding macromolecule. They showed a canonical nucleosomal structure and contained the characteristic proteins topoisomerase IIα and the condensin subunit SMC2. These observations, together with evidence that the cytoplasm is crowded in vivo, suggest that macromolecular crowding effects should be considered a significant and perhaps major factor in compacting chromosomes. This model may explain why ~30-nm fibres characteristic of cation-mediated compaction are not seen in chromosomes in situ. Considering that crowding by cytoplasmic macromolecules maintains the compaction of bacterial chromosomes and has been proposed to form the liquid crystalline chromosomes of dinoflagellates, a crowded environment may be an essential characteristic of all genomes.

  5. Denatured state structural property determines protein stabilization by macromolecular crowding: a thermodynamic and structural approach.

    PubMed

    Mittal, Shruti; Singh, Laishram Rajendrakumar

    2013-01-01

    Understanding of protein structure and stability gained to date has been acquired through investigations made under dilute conditions where total macromolecular concentration never surpasses 10 g l(-1). However, biological macromolecules are known to evolve and function under crowded intracellular environments that comprises of proteins, nucleic acids, ribosomes and carbohydrates etc. Crowded environment is known to result in altered biological properties including thermodynamic, structural and functional aspect of macromolecules as compared to the macromolecules present in our commonly used experimental dilute buffers (for example, Tris HCl or phosphate buffer). In this study, we have investigated the thermodynamic and structural consequences of synthetic crowding agent (Ficoll 70) on three different proteins (Ribonuclease-A, lysozyme and holo α-lactalbumin) at different pH values. We report here that the effect of crowding is protein dependent in terms of protein thermal stability and structure. We also observed that the structural characteristics of the denatured state determines if crowding will have an effect or not on the protein stability.

  6. Evolution of the macromolecular structure of sporopollenin during thermal degradation.

    PubMed

    Bernard, S; Benzerara, K; Beyssac, O; Balan, E; Brown, G E

    2015-10-01

    Reconstructing the original biogeochemistry of organic microfossils requires quantifying the extent of the chemical transformations they experienced during burial and maturation processes. In the present study, fossilization experiments have been performed using modern sporopollenin chosen as an analogue for the resistant biocompounds possibly constituting the wall of many organic microfossils. Sporopollenin powder has been processed thermally under argon atmosphere at different temperatures (up to 1000 °C) for varying durations (up to 900 min). Solid residues of each experiment have been characterized using infrared, Raman and synchrotron-based XANES spectroscopies. Results indicate that significant defunctionalisation and aromatization affect the molecular structure of sporopollenin with increasing temperature. Two distinct stages of evolution with temperature are observed: in a first stage, sporopollenin experiences dehydrogenation and deoxygenation simultaneously (below 500 °C); in a second stage (above 500 °C) an increasing concentration in aromatic groups and a lateral growth of aromatic layers are observed. With increasing heating duration (up to 900 min) at a constant temperature (360 °C), oxygen is progressively lost and conjugated carbon-carbon chains or domains grow progressively, following a log-linear kinetic behavior. Based on the comparison with natural spores fossilized within metasediments which experienced intense metamorphism, we show that the present experimental simulations may not perfectly mimic natural diagenesis and metamorphism. Yet, performing such laboratory experiments provides key insights on the processes transforming biogenic molecules into molecular fossils.

  7. Structural analysis of macromolecular levan produced by Bacillus megaterium GJT321 based on enzymatic method.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xiaomeng; Li, Liyan; Zhang, Jingliang; Shen, Zhaopeng; Zhu, Changliang; Wang, Peng; Jiang, Xiaolu

    2016-12-01

    Extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) produced by Bacillus megaterium GJT321 was isolated from fermentation broth and further purified by gel filtration chromatography. The molecular weight of EPS was estimated as 1946kDa by gel permeation chromatography (GPC), so this EPS was determined as macromolecular polysaccharide. Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FT-IR) showed that the kind of heterocyclic compound composing EPS was furanose. The structural characteristics of EPS were investigated by means of enzymatic method, electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and NMR spectra analysis. The structure elucidation of the EPS was accomplished, and it was β - (2, 6) -D- fructofuranose, namely levan.

  8. Automated Structure Solution with the PHENIX Suite

    SciTech Connect

    Zwart, Peter H.; Zwart, Peter H.; Afonine, Pavel; Grosse-Kunstleve, Ralf W.; Hung, Li-Wei; Ioerger, Tom R.; McCoy, A.J.; McKee, Eric; Moriarty, Nigel; Read, Randy J.; Sacchettini, James C.; Sauter, Nicholas K.; Storoni, L.C.; Terwilliger, Tomas C.; Adams, Paul D.

    2008-06-09

    Significant time and effort are often required to solve and complete a macromolecular crystal structure. The development of automated computational methods for the analysis, solution and completion of crystallographic structures has the potential to produce minimally biased models in a short time without the need for manual intervention. The PHENIX software suite is a highly automated system for macromolecular structure determination that can rapidly arrive at an initial partial model of a structure without significant human intervention, given moderate resolution and good quality data. This achievement has been made possible by the development of new algorithms for structure determination, maximum-likelihood molecular replacement (PHASER), heavy-atom search (HySS), template and pattern-based automated model-building (RESOLVE, TEXTAL), automated macromolecular refinement (phenix.refine), and iterative model-building, density modification and refinement that can operate at moderate resolution (RESOLVE, AutoBuild). These algorithms are based on a highly integrated and comprehensive set of crystallographic libraries that have been built and made available to the community. The algorithms are tightly linked and made easily accessible to users through the PHENIX Wizards and the PHENIX GUI.

  9. Automated structure solution with the PHENIX suite

    SciTech Connect

    Terwilliger, Thomas C; Zwart, Peter H; Afonine, Pavel V; Grosse - Kunstleve, Ralf W

    2008-01-01

    Significant time and effort are often required to solve and complete a macromolecular crystal structure. The development of automated computational methods for the analysis, solution, and completion of crystallographic structures has the potential to produce minimally biased models in a short time without the need for manual intervention. The PHENIX software suite is a highly automated system for macromolecular structure determination that can rapidly arrive at an initial partial model of a structure without significant human intervention, given moderate resolution, and good quality data. This achievement has been made possible by the development of new algorithms for structure determination, maximum-likelihood molecular replacement (PHASER), heavy-atom search (HySS), template- and pattern-based automated model-building (RESOLVE, TEXTAL), automated macromolecular refinement (phenix. refine), and iterative model-building, density modification and refinement that can operate at moderate resolution (RESOLVE, AutoBuild). These algorithms are based on a highly integrated and comprehensive set of crystallographic libraries that have been built and made available to the community. The algorithms are tightly linked and made easily accessible to users through the PHENIX Wizards and the PHENIX GUI.

  10. Automated structure refinement of macromolecular assemblies from cryo-EM maps using Rosetta

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ray Yu-Ruei; Song, Yifan; Barad, Benjamin A; Cheng, Yifan; Fraser, James S; DiMaio, Frank

    2016-01-01

    Cryo-EM has revealed the structures of many challenging yet exciting macromolecular assemblies at near-atomic resolution (3–4.5Å), providing biological phenomena with molecular descriptions. However, at these resolutions, accurately positioning individual atoms remains challenging and error-prone. Manually refining thousands of amino acids – typical in a macromolecular assembly – is tedious and time-consuming. We present an automated method that can improve the atomic details in models that are manually built in near-atomic-resolution cryo-EM maps. Applying the method to three systems recently solved by cryo-EM, we are able to improve model geometry while maintaining the fit-to-density. Backbone placement errors are automatically detected and corrected, and the refinement shows a large radius of convergence. The results demonstrate that the method is amenable to structures with symmetry, of very large size, and containing RNA as well as covalently bound ligands. The method should streamline the cryo-EM structure determination process, providing accurate and unbiased atomic structure interpretation of such maps. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17219.001 PMID:27669148

  11. 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.

  12. Macromolecular conformation in solution. Study of carbonic anhydrase by the positron annihilation technique.

    PubMed Central

    Handel, E D; Graf, G; Glass, J C

    1980-01-01

    The structural features of carbonic anhydrase (carbonate hydro-lyase; EC 4.2.1.1) in aqueous solution were probed by the positron annihilation technique. The data obtained under varying conditions of temperature, pH, and enzyme concentration were interpreted in terms of the free volume model. The change of enzymic activity with temperature is accompanied by a change in free volume of the protein. Upon thermal denaturation an irreversible change in free volume of the molecule occurred. At low temperatures the protein-water interactions were investigated. These results are discussed in terms of current concepts of structure-function relationships in proteins. This study shows the sensitivity of the positron annihilation method toward the structure of proteins related to their overall conformation and to the nature of bound water. PMID:6789901

  13. Instrumentation on multi-scaled scattering of bio-macromolecular solutions.

    PubMed

    Chu, Benjamin; Fang, Dufei; Mao, Yimin

    2015-05-04

    The design, construction and initial tests on a combined laser light scattering and synchrotron X-ray scattering instrument can cover studies of length scales from atomic sizes in Angstroms to microns and dynamics from microseconds to seconds are presented. In addition to static light scattering (SLS), dynamic light scattering (DLS), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD), the light scattering instrument is being developed to carry out studies in mildly turbid solutions, in the presence of multiple scattering. Three-dimensional photon cross correlation function (3D-PCCF) measurements have been introduced to couple with synchrotron X-ray scattering to study the structure, size and dynamics of macromolecules in solution.

  14. Instrumentation on Multi-Scaled Scattering of Bio-Macromolecular Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Benjamin; Fang, Dufei; Mao, Yimin

    2015-01-01

    The design, construction and initial tests on a combined laser light scattering and synchrotron X-ray scattering instrument can cover studies of length scales from atomic sizes in Angstroms to microns and dynamics from microseconds to seconds are presented. In addition to static light scattering (SLS), dynamic light scattering (DLS), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD), the light scattering instrument is being developed to carry out studies in mildly turbid solutions, in the presence of multiple scattering. Three-dimensional photon cross correlation function (3D-PCCF) measurements have been introduced to couple with synchrotron X-ray scattering to study the structure, size and dynamics of macromolecules in solution. PMID:25946340

  15. 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

  16. New computational tools for H/D determination in macromolecular structures from neutron data.

    PubMed

    Siliqi, Dritan; Caliandro, Rocco; Carrozzini, Benedetta; Cascarano, Giovanni Luca; Mazzone, Annamaria

    2010-11-01

    Two new computational methods dedicated to neutron crystallography, called n-FreeLunch and DNDM-NDM, have been developed and successfully tested. The aim in developing these methods is to determine hydrogen and deuterium positions in macromolecular structures by using information from neutron density maps. Of particular interest is resolving cases in which the geometrically predicted hydrogen or deuterium positions are ambiguous. The methods are an evolution of approaches that are already applied in X-ray crystallography: extrapolation beyond the observed resolution (known as the FreeLunch procedure) and a difference electron-density modification (DEDM) technique combined with the electron-density modification (EDM) tool (known as DEDM-EDM). It is shown that the two methods are complementary to each other and are effective in finding the positions of H and D atoms in neutron density maps.

  17. Using support vector machines to improve elemental ion identification in macromolecular crystal structures

    SciTech Connect

    Morshed, Nader; Echols, Nathaniel; Adams, Paul D.

    2015-05-01

    A method to automatically identify possible elemental ions in X-ray crystal structures has been extended to use support vector machine (SVM) classifiers trained on selected structures in the PDB, with significantly improved sensitivity over manually encoded heuristics. In the process of macromolecular model building, crystallographers must examine electron density for isolated atoms and differentiate sites containing structured solvent molecules from those containing elemental ions. This task requires specific knowledge of metal-binding chemistry and scattering properties and is prone to error. A method has previously been described to identify ions based on manually chosen criteria for a number of elements. Here, the use of support vector machines (SVMs) to automatically classify isolated atoms as either solvent or one of various ions is described. Two data sets of protein crystal structures, one containing manually curated structures deposited with anomalous diffraction data and another with automatically filtered, high-resolution structures, were constructed. On the manually curated data set, an SVM classifier was able to distinguish calcium from manganese, zinc, iron and nickel, as well as all five of these ions from water molecules, with a high degree of accuracy. Additionally, SVMs trained on the automatically curated set of high-resolution structures were able to successfully classify most common elemental ions in an independent validation test set. This method is readily extensible to other elemental ions and can also be used in conjunction with previous methods based on a priori expectations of the chemical environment and X-ray scattering.

  18. Biological Macromolecular Structures Data from the RCSB Protein Data Bank (RCSB PDB)

    DOE Data Explorer

    The Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB) is a non-profit consortium that works to improve understanding of the function of biological systems through the study of the 3-D structure of biological macromolecules. The RCSB PDB is one of three sites serving as deposition, data processing, and distribution sites of the Protein Data Bank Archive. Each site provides its own view of the primary data, thus providing a variety of tools and resources for the global community. RCSB is also the official keeper for the PDB archive, with sole access authority to the PDB archive directory structure and contents. The RCSB PDB Information Portal for Biological Macromolecular Structures offers online tools for search and retrieval, for visualizing structures, for depositing, validating, or downloading data, news and highlights, a discussion forum, and links to other areas of related research. The PDB archive is a repository of atomic coordinates and other information describing proteins and other important biological macromolecules. Structural biologists use methods such as X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, and cryo-electron microscopy to determine the location of each atom relative to each other in the molecule. They then deposit this information, which is then annotated and publicly released into the archive by the wwPDB. Results can be viewed as 3-D images or models.

  19. Using support vector machines to improve elemental ion identification in macromolecular crystal structures

    DOE PAGES

    Morshed, Nader; Echols, Nathaniel; Adams, Paul D.

    2015-04-25

    In the process of macromolecular model building, crystallographers must examine electron density for isolated atoms and differentiate sites containing structured solvent molecules from those containing elemental ions. This task requires specific knowledge of metal-binding chemistry and scattering properties and is prone to error. A method has previously been described to identify ions based on manually chosen criteria for a number of elements. Here, the use of support vector machines (SVMs) to automatically classify isolated atoms as either solvent or one of various ions is described. Two data sets of protein crystal structures, one containing manually curated structures deposited with anomalousmore » diffraction data and another with automatically filtered, high-resolution structures, were constructed. On the manually curated data set, an SVM classifier was able to distinguish calcium from manganese, zinc, iron and nickel, as well as all five of these ions from water molecules, with a high degree of accuracy. Additionally, SVMs trained on the automatically curated set of high-resolution structures were able to successfully classify most common elemental ions in an independent validation test set. This method is readily extensible to other elemental ions and can also be used in conjunction with previous methods based on a priori expectations of the chemical environment and X-ray scattering.« less

  20. Using support vector machines to improve elemental ion identification in macromolecular crystal structures

    SciTech Connect

    Morshed, Nader; Echols, Nathaniel; Adams, Paul D.

    2015-04-25

    In the process of macromolecular model building, crystallographers must examine electron density for isolated atoms and differentiate sites containing structured solvent molecules from those containing elemental ions. This task requires specific knowledge of metal-binding chemistry and scattering properties and is prone to error. A method has previously been described to identify ions based on manually chosen criteria for a number of elements. Here, the use of support vector machines (SVMs) to automatically classify isolated atoms as either solvent or one of various ions is described. Two data sets of protein crystal structures, one containing manually curated structures deposited with anomalous diffraction data and another with automatically filtered, high-resolution structures, were constructed. On the manually curated data set, an SVM classifier was able to distinguish calcium from manganese, zinc, iron and nickel, as well as all five of these ions from water molecules, with a high degree of accuracy. Additionally, SVMs trained on the automatically curated set of high-resolution structures were able to successfully classify most common elemental ions in an independent validation test set. This method is readily extensible to other elemental ions and can also be used in conjunction with previous methods based on a priori expectations of the chemical environment and X-ray scattering.

  1. Using support vector machines to improve elemental ion identification in macromolecular crystal structures.

    PubMed

    Morshed, Nader; Echols, Nathaniel; Adams, Paul D

    2015-05-01

    In the process of macromolecular model building, crystallographers must examine electron density for isolated atoms and differentiate sites containing structured solvent molecules from those containing elemental ions. This task requires specific knowledge of metal-binding chemistry and scattering properties and is prone to error. A method has previously been described to identify ions based on manually chosen criteria for a number of elements. Here, the use of support vector machines (SVMs) to automatically classify isolated atoms as either solvent or one of various ions is described. Two data sets of protein crystal structures, one containing manually curated structures deposited with anomalous diffraction data and another with automatically filtered, high-resolution structures, were constructed. On the manually curated data set, an SVM classifier was able to distinguish calcium from manganese, zinc, iron and nickel, as well as all five of these ions from water molecules, with a high degree of accuracy. Additionally, SVMs trained on the automatically curated set of high-resolution structures were able to successfully classify most common elemental ions in an independent validation test set. This method is readily extensible to other elemental ions and can also be used in conjunction with previous methods based on a priori expectations of the chemical environment and X-ray scattering.

  2. X-ray Footprinting at Beamline X28C: A National Resource for Studying Macromolecular Structure and Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    D'Mello, R.; Gupta, S; Bohen, J; Abel, D; Toomey, J; Sullivan, M; Chance, M

    2009-01-01

    X-ray footprinting employs intense X-rays produced by synchrotron radiation to generate hydroxyl radicals in solution on microseconds-milliseconds timescales. These hydroxyls radicals undergo stable reaction with solvent accessible sites of macromolecule and produce covalent modifications, which are appropriate to probing macromolecule dynamics under physiological condition. For nucleic acids, one analyzes the pattern of fragments after X-ray exposure by gel electrophoresis; the protected sections that are not cleaved yield a 'footprint'. For proteins, the exposed samples are digested with proteases and analyzed by liquid chromatography- and tandem-mass spectrometry to determine the extent and sites of modification. The data provide detailed structural information to map tertiary contacts of macromolecular interactions, which can subsequently be used as constraints for molecular modeling to generate high-resolution structures. This method is unique in providing 'local' structural information in solution for gaining insight into dynamic processes involving, large RNA-protein and protein-protein assemblies on biologically relevant timescales. The method also can uniquely probe the 'local' structure of large complexes poised at equilibrium for functional states of interest, and has been extended to in vivo studies. Beamline X28C is located at the National Synchrotron Light Source of Brookhaven National Laboratory. An expanding set of user groups utilize this national resource funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health. The facility is operated by the Center for Synchrotron Biosciences and the Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics of Case Western Reserve University. The facility supports both onsite and offsite user access. Beam time is allocated online through peer reviewed user proposal system. Examples of recent research projects are provided.

  3. Conservation of peptide structure of outer membrane protein-macromolecular complex from Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, M V; Wilde, C E

    1984-01-01

    The structural conservation of an outer membrane protein of Neisseria gonorrhoeae called OMP-MC (outer membrane protein-macromolecular complex) was investigated by determining the isoelectric point and amino-terminal amino acid sequence of the protein and by using high-performance liquid chromatography for comparative tryptic peptide mapping. The 76,000-dalton subunits generated by reduction and alkylation of the native 800,000-dalton complex from six test strains focused in ultrathin gels as bands of restricted heterogeneity at an approximate pI of 7.6. Dansyl chloride labeling indicated that all strains shared glycine as the amino-terminal amino acid. Sequence analysis of OMP-MC from two strains revealed no amino acid differences within the first 11 residues. Dual-label peptide maps revealed an extremely high degree of conservation of peptide structure. The results indicate that (i) OMP-MCs isolated from various strains of N. gonorrhoeae share structural homology and (ii) the 800,000-dalton complex is a homopolymer composed of 10 to 12 apparently identical 76,000-dalton subunits. Images PMID:6421738

  4. Time-resolved analysis of macromolecular structures during reactions by stopped-flow electrooptics.

    PubMed

    Porschke, D

    1998-07-01

    A stopped-flow field-jump instrument and its use for the analysis of macromolecular structure changes during reactions is described. The operation of the new instrument is simple and reliable, owing to a new type of cell construction with electrodes directly integrated in a quartz cuvette: major advantages are the relatively low demand on sample quantities and a high time resolution. The stopped flow is characterized by a dead time of approximately 0.5 ms. Electric field pulses with field strengths up to 20 kV/cm and rise times in the nanosecond range are applied at adjustable times after stop of the flow. The time resolution of the optical detection is up to the nanosecond time range. The instrument may be used for the combination of stopped flow with temperature-jump and field-jump experiments. A particularly useful new application is the analysis of macromolecular reactions by electrooptical measurements, because electrooptical data provide information about structures. This is demonstrated for the intercalation of ethidium into double-helical DNA. The transients, measured at 313 nm, where the signal is exclusively due to ethidium bound to the DNA, demonstrate a relatively high negative dichroism at 0.5 ms after mixing. The absolute value of this negative dichroism increases in the millisecond time range and approaches the equilibrium value within about a second. The dichroism decay time constants demonstrate a clear increase of the effective DNA length due to ethidium binding, already 0.5 ms after mixing; a further increase to the equilibrium value is found in the millisecond time range. The analysis of these data demonstrate the existence of up to three relaxation processes, depending on the conditions of the experiments. The dichroism amplitudes, together with the decay time constants, indicate that all the reaction states found in the present investigation are complexes with insertion of ethidium residues between basepairs. Moreover, the data clearly show

  5. Biomolecular interactions modulate macromolecular structure and dynamics in atomistic model of a bacterial cytoplasm

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Isseki; Mori, Takaharu; Ando, Tadashi; Harada, Ryuhei; Jung, Jaewoon; Sugita, Yuji; Feig, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Biological macromolecules function in highly crowded cellular environments. The structure and dynamics of proteins and nucleic acids are well characterized in vitro, but in vivo crowding effects remain unclear. Using molecular dynamics simulations of a comprehensive atomistic model cytoplasm we found that protein-protein interactions may destabilize native protein structures, whereas metabolite interactions may induce more compact states due to electrostatic screening. Protein-protein interactions also resulted in significant variations in reduced macromolecular diffusion under crowded conditions, while metabolites exhibited significant two-dimensional surface diffusion and altered protein-ligand binding that may reduce the effective concentration of metabolites and ligands in vivo. Metabolic enzymes showed weak non-specific association in cellular environments attributed to solvation and entropic effects. These effects are expected to have broad implications for the in vivo functioning of biomolecules. This work is a first step towards physically realistic in silico whole-cell models that connect molecular with cellular biology. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19274.001 PMID:27801646

  6. In situ macromolecular crystallography using microbeams.

    PubMed

    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

    2012-05-01

    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.

  7. 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

  8. Macromolecular therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jiyuan; Kopeček, Jindřich

    2014-09-28

    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.

  9. Predictive Mechanical Characterization of Macro-Molecular Material Chemistry Structures of Cement Paste at Nano Scale - Two-phase Macro-Molecular Structures of Calcium Silicate Hydrate, Tri-Calcium Silicate, Di-Calcium Silicate and Calcium Hydroxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padilla Espinosa, Ingrid Marcela

    Concrete is a hierarchical composite material with a random structure over a wide range of length scales. At submicron length scale the main component of concrete is cement paste, formed by the reaction of Portland cement clinkers and water. Cement paste acts as a binding matrix for the other components and is responsible for the strength of concrete. Cement paste microstructure contains voids, hydrated and unhydrated cement phases. The main crystalline phases of unhydrated cement are tri-calcium silicate (C3S) and di-calcium silicate (C2S), and of hydrated cement are calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) and calcium hydroxide (CH). Although efforts have been made to comprehend the chemical and physical nature of cement paste, studies at molecular level have primarily been focused on individual components. Present research focuses on the development of a method to model, at molecular level, and analysis of the two-phase combination of hydrated and unhydrated phases of cement paste as macromolecular systems. Computational molecular modeling could help in understanding the influence of the phase interactions on the material properties, and mechanical performance of cement paste. Present work also strives to create a framework for molecular level models suitable for potential better comparisons with low length scale experimental methods, in which the sizes of the samples involve the mixture of different hydrated and unhydrated crystalline phases of cement paste. Two approaches based on two-phase cement paste macromolecular structures, one involving admixed molecular phases, and the second involving cluster of two molecular phases are investigated. The mechanical properties of two-phase macromolecular systems of cement paste consisting of key hydrated phase CSH and unhydrated phases C3S or C2S, as well as CSH with the second hydrated phase CH were calculated. It was found that these cement paste two-phase macromolecular systems predicted an isotropic material behavior. Also

  10. Free kick instead of cross-validation in maximum-likelihood refinement of macromolecular crystal structures

    SciTech Connect

    Pražnikar, Jure; Turk, Dušan

    2014-12-01

    The maximum-likelihood free-kick target, which calculates model error estimates from the work set and a randomly displaced model, proved superior in the accuracy and consistency of refinement of crystal structures compared with the maximum-likelihood cross-validation target, which calculates error estimates from the test set and the unperturbed model. The refinement of a molecular model is a computational procedure by which the atomic model is fitted to the diffraction data. The commonly used target in the refinement of macromolecular structures is the maximum-likelihood (ML) function, which relies on the assessment of model errors. The current ML functions rely on cross-validation. They utilize phase-error estimates that are calculated from a small fraction of diffraction data, called the test set, that are not used to fit the model. An approach has been developed that uses the work set to calculate the phase-error estimates in the ML refinement from simulating the model errors via the random displacement of atomic coordinates. It is called ML free-kick refinement as it uses the ML formulation of the target function and is based on the idea of freeing the model from the model bias imposed by the chemical energy restraints used in refinement. This approach for the calculation of error estimates is superior to the cross-validation approach: it reduces the phase error and increases the accuracy of molecular models, is more robust, provides clearer maps and may use a smaller portion of data for the test set for the calculation of R{sub free} or may leave it out completely.

  11. Novel 3D bio-macromolecular bilinear descriptors for protein science: Predicting protein structural classes.

    PubMed

    Marrero-Ponce, Yovani; Contreras-Torres, Ernesto; García-Jacas, César R; Barigye, Stephen J; Cubillán, Néstor; Alvarado, Ysaías J

    2015-06-07

    In the present study, we introduce novel 3D protein descriptors based on the bilinear algebraic form in the ℝ(n) space on the coulombic matrix. For the calculation of these descriptors, macromolecular vectors belonging to ℝ(n) space, whose components represent certain amino acid side-chain properties, were used as weighting schemes. Generalization approaches for the calculation of inter-amino acidic residue spatial distances based on Minkowski metrics are proposed. The simple- and double-stochastic schemes were defined as approaches to normalize the coulombic matrix. The local-fragment indices for both amino acid-types and amino acid-groups are presented in order to permit characterizing fragments of interest in proteins. On the other hand, with the objective of taking into account specific interactions among amino acids in global or local indices, geometric and topological cut-offs are defined. To assess the utility of global and local indices a classification model for the prediction of the major four protein structural classes, was built with the Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) technique. The developed LDA-model correctly classifies the 92.6% and 92.7% of the proteins on the training and test sets, respectively. The obtained model showed high values of the generalized square correlation coefficient (GC(2)) on both the training and test series. The statistical parameters derived from the internal and external validation procedures demonstrate the robustness, stability and the high predictive power of the proposed model. The performance of the LDA-model demonstrates the capability of the proposed indices not only to codify relevant biochemical information related to the structural classes of proteins, but also to yield suitable interpretability. It is anticipated that the current method will benefit the prediction of other protein attributes or functions.

  12. Complexation of Statins with β-Cyclodextrin in Solutions of Small Molecular Additives and Macromolecular Colloids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Süle, András; Csempesz, Ferenc

    The solubility of lovastatin and simvastatin (inevitable drugs in the management of cardiovascular diseases) was studied by phase-solubility measurements in multicomponent colloidal and non-colloidal media. Complexation in aqueous solutions of the highly lipophilic statins with β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) in the absence and the presence of dissolved polyvinyl pyrrolidone, its monomeric compound, tartaric acid and urea, respectively, were investigated. For the characterization of the CD-statin inclusion complexes, stability constants for the associates have been calculated.

  13. An NMR study of macromolecular aggregation in a model polymer-surfactant solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barhoum, Suliman; Yethiraj, Anand

    2010-01-01

    A model complex-forming nonionic polymer-anionic surfactant system in aqueous solution has been studied at different surfactant concentrations. Using pulsed-field-gradient diffusion NMR spectroscopy, we obtain the self-diffusion coefficients of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEO) and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) simultaneously and as a function of SDS concentration. In addition, we obtain NMR relaxation rates and chemical shifts as a function of SDS concentration. Within the context of a simple model, our experimental results yield the onset of aggregation of SDS on PEO chains (CAC=3.5 mM), a crossover concentration (C2=60 mM) which signals a sharp change in relaxation behavior, as well as an increase in free surfactant concentration and a critical concentration (Cm=145 mM) which signals a distinct change in diffusion behavior and a crossover to a solution containing free micelles. Cm also marks the concentration above which obstruction effects are definitely important. In addition, we obtain the concentration of SDS in monomeric form and in the form of free micelles, as well as the average number of SDS molecules in a PEO-SDS aggregate (NAggr). Taken together, our results suggests continuous changes in the aggregation phenomenon over much of the concentration but with three distinct concentrations that signal changes in the nature of the aggregates.

  14. Mechanism of helix induction in poly(4-carboxyphenyl isocyanide) with chiral amines and memory of the macromolecular helicity and its helical structures.

    PubMed

    Hase, Yoko; Nagai, Kanji; Iida, Hiroki; Maeda, Katsuhiro; Ochi, Noriaki; Sawabe, Kyoichi; Sakajiri, Koichi; Okoshi, Kento; Yashima, Eiji

    2009-08-05

    An optically inactive poly(4-carboxyphenyl isocyanide) (poly-1-H) changed its structure into the prevailing, one-handed helical structure upon complexation with optically active amines in dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) and water, and the complexes show a characteristic induced circular dichroism in the polymer backbone region. Moreover, the macromolecular helicity induced in water and aqueous organic solutions containing more than 50 vol % water could be "memorized" even after complete removal of the chiral amines (h-poly-1b-H), while that induced in DMSO and DMSO-water mixtures containing less than 30 vol % water could not maintain the optical activity after removal of the chiral amines (poly-1a-H). We now report fully detailed studies of the helix induction mechanism with chiral amines and the memory of the macromolecular helicity in water and a DMSO-water mixture by various spectroscopic measurements, theoretical calculations, and persistence length measurements together with X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements. From the spectroscopic results, such as circular dichroism (CD), absorption, IR, vibrational CD, and NMR of poly-1a-H, h-poly-1b-H, and original poly-1-H, we concluded that the specific configurational isomerization around the C horizontal lineN double bonds occurs during the helicity induction process in each solvent. In order to obtain the structural information, XRD measurements were done on the uniaxially oriented films of the corresponding methyl esters (poly-1-Me, poly-1a-Me, and h-poly-1b-Me) prepared from their liquid crystalline polymer solutions. On the basis of the XRD analyses, the most plausible helical structure of poly-1a-Me was proposed to be a 9-unit/5-turn helix with two monomer units as a repeating unit, and that of h-poly-1b-Me was proposed to be a 10-unit/3-turn helix consisting of one repeating monomer unit. The density functional theory calculations of poly(phenyl isocyanide), a model polymer of h-poly-1b-Me, afforded a 7-unit/2-turn

  15. NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) and macromolecular migration in a melt or in concentrated solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Addad, J. P. C.

    1983-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to analyze the migration process of long polymer molecules in a melt or in concentrated solutions as it may be observed from the dynamics of the transverse magnetization of nuclear spins linked to these chains. The low frequency viscoelastic relaxation of polymer systems is known to be mainly controlled by the mechanism of dissociation of topological constraints excited on chains and which are called entanglements. This mechanism exhibits a strong dependence upon the chain molecular weight. These topological constraints also govern the diffusion process of polymer chains. So, the accurate description of the diffusion motion of a chain may be a convenient way to characterize disentanglement processes necessarily involved in any model proposed to explain viscoelastic effects.

  16. SOLVE and RESOLVE: automated structure solution, density modification and model building.

    PubMed

    Terwilliger, Thomas

    2004-01-01

    The software SOLVE and RESOLVE can carry out all the steps in macromolecular structure solution, from scaling and heavy-atom location through phasing, density modification and model-building in the MAD, SAD and MIR cases. SOLVE uses scoring scheme to convert the decision-making in macromolecular structure solution to an optimization problem. RESOLVE carries out the identification of NCS, density modification and automated model-building. The procedure is fully automated and can function at resolutions as low as 3 A.

  17. 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

  18. Asphalts and asphaltenes: Macromolecular structure, precipitation properties, and flow in porous media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rassamdana, Hossein

    Depending on rock and fluid properties, more than 50% of reservoir oil in place is normally produced by enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods. Among the EOR techniques, miscible flooding is one of the most efficient and widely-used methods. However, this method can suffer from the formation and precipitation of asphalt aggregates. In addition, asphalt deposition is also a major hindrance to heavy oil production, and even primary recovery operations. Asphalt deposition can alter the reservoir rock properties, fluid saturation distribution, fluid flow properties, and eventually the ultimate oil recovery. The shortage of studies on the macromolecular structure and growth mechanisms of asphalt particles is the main reason for the unsuccessful modeling of their precipitation properties. The equivocal behavior of asphalt under some specific conditions could be the other reason. In this research we look at the problem of asphalt formation, flow, and precipitation from three different angles. We analyze extensive small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering data, precipitation data, and molecular weight distribution measurements, and show that they all suggest conclusively that asphalts and asphaltenes are fractal aggregates, and their growth mechanisms are diffusion-limited particle (DLP) and diffusion-limited cluster-cluster (DLCC) aggregation processes. These results lead us to development of a scaling equation of state for predicting asphalt precipitation properties, such as its onset and amount of precipitation. Another result of our study is an analytical equation for modeling the molecular weight distribution of asphalt and asphaltene aggregates. In addition, asphalt phase behavior in miscible and immiscible injections is studied. The effect of the governing thermodynamic factors, such as the pressure, temperature, and composition of the oil and precipitation agents, on the asphalt aggregation and disaggregation processes are investigated. Finally, a model is developed to

  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. Teaching structure: student use of software tools for understanding macromolecular structure in an undergraduate biochemistry course.

    PubMed

    Jaswal, Sheila S; O'Hara, Patricia B; Williamson, Patrick L; Springer, Amy L

    2013-01-01

    Because understanding the structure of biological macromolecules is critical to understanding their function, students of biochemistry should become familiar not only with viewing, but also with generating and manipulating structural representations. We report a strategy from a one-semester undergraduate biochemistry course to integrate use of structural representation tools into both laboratory and homework activities. First, early in the course we introduce the use of readily available open-source software for visualizing protein structure, coincident with modules on amino acid and peptide bond properties. Second, we use these same software tools in lectures and incorporate images and other structure representations in homework tasks. Third, we require a capstone project in which teams of students examine a protein-nucleic acid complex and then use the software tools to illustrate for their classmates the salient features of the structure, relating how the structure helps explain biological function. To ensure engagement with a range of software and database features, we generated a detailed template file that can be used to explore any structure, and that guides students through specific applications of many of the software tools. In presentations, students demonstrate that they are successfully interpreting structural information, and using representations to illustrate particular points relevant to function. Thus, over the semester students integrate information about structural features of biological macromolecules into the larger discussion of the chemical basis of function. Together these assignments provide an accessible introduction to structural representation tools, allowing students to add these methods to their biochemical toolboxes early in their scientific development.

  1. Teaching Structure: Student Use of Software Tools for Understanding Macromolecular Structure in an Undergraduate Biochemistry Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jaswal, Sheila S.; O'Hara, Patricia B.; Williamson, Patrick L.; Springer, Amy L.

    2013-01-01

    Because understanding the structure of biological macromolecules is critical to understanding their function, students of biochemistry should become familiar not only with viewing, but also with generating and manipulating structural representations. We report a strategy from a one-semester undergraduate biochemistry course to integrate use of…

  2. Force interacts with macromolecular structure in activation of TGF-β.

    PubMed

    Dong, Xianchi; Zhao, Bo; Iacob, Roxana E; Zhu, Jianghai; Koksal, Adem C; Lu, Chafen; Engen, John R; Springer, Timothy A

    2017-02-02

    Integrins are adhesion receptors that transmit force across the plasma membrane between extracellular ligands and the actin cytoskeleton. In activation of the transforming growth factor-β1 precursor (pro-TGF-β1), integrins bind to the prodomain, apply force, and release the TGF-β growth factor. However, we know little about how integrins bind macromolecular ligands in the extracellular matrix or transmit force to them. Here we show how integrin αVβ6 binds pro-TGF-β1 in an orientation biologically relevant for force-dependent release of TGF-β from latency. The conformation of the prodomain integrin-binding motif differs in the presence and absence of integrin binding; differences extend well outside the interface and illustrate how integrins can remodel extracellular matrix. Remodelled residues outside the interface stabilize the integrin-bound conformation, adopt a conformation similar to earlier-evolving family members, and show how macromolecular components outside the binding motif contribute to integrin recognition. Regions in and outside the highly interdigitated interface stabilize a specific integrin/pro-TGF-β orientation that defines the pathway through these macromolecules which actin-cytoskeleton-generated tensile force takes when applied through the integrin β-subunit. Simulations of force-dependent activation of TGF-β demonstrate evolutionary specializations for force application through the TGF-β prodomain and through the β- and not α-subunit of the integrin.

  3. Selenourea: a convenient phasing vehicle for macromolecular X-ray crystal structures

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Zhipu

    2016-01-01

    Majority of novel X-ray crystal structures of proteins are currently solved using the anomalous diffraction signal provided by selenium after incorporation of selenomethionine instead of natural methionine by genetic engineering methods. However, selenium can be inserted into protein crystals in the form of selenourea (SeC(NH2)2), by adding the crystalline powder of selenourea into mother liquor or cryo-solution with native crystals, in analogy to the classic procedure of heavy-atom derivatization. Selenourea is able to bind to reactive groups at the surface of macromolecules primarily through hydrogen bonds, where the selenium atom may serve as acceptor and amide groups as donors. Selenourea has different chemical properties than heavy-atom reagents and halide ions and provides a convenient way of phasing crystal structures of macromolecules. PMID:27841370

  4. Mass spectrometric methods to analyze the structural organization of macromolecular complexes.

    PubMed

    Rajabi, Khadijeh; Ashcroft, Alison E; Radford, Sheena E

    2015-11-01

    With the development of soft ionization techniques such as electrospray ionization (ESI), mass spectrometry (MS) has found widespread application in structural biology. The ability to transfer large biomolecular complexes intact into the gas-phase, combined with the low sample consumption and high sensitivity of MS, has made ESI-MS a method of choice for the characterization of macromolecules. This paper describes the application of MS to study large non-covalent complexes. We categorize the available techniques in two groups. First, solution-based techniques in which the biomolecules are labeled in solution and subsequently characterized by MS. Three MS-based techniques are discussed, namely hydroxyl radical footprinting, cross-linking and hydrogen/deuterium exchange (HDX) MS. In the second group, MS-based techniques to probe intact biomolecules in the gas-phase, e.g. side-chain microsolvation, HDX and ion mobility spectrometry are discussed. Together, the approaches place MS as a powerful methodology for an ever growing plethora of structural applications.

  5. Single-step Antibody-based Affinity Cryo-Electron Microscopy for Imaging and Structural Analysis of Macromolecular Assemblies

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Guimei; Vago, Frank; Zhang, Dongsheng; Snyder, Jonathan E.; Yan, Rui; Zhang, Ci; Benjamin, Christopher; Jiang, Xi; Kuhn, Richard J.; Serwer, Philip; Thompson, David H.; Jiang, Wen

    2014-01-01

    Single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is an emerging powerful tool for structural studies of macromolecular assemblies (i.e., protein complexes and viruses). Although single particle cryo-EM requires less concentrated and smaller amounts of samples than X-ray crystallography, it remains challenging to study specimens that are low-abundance, low-yield, or short-lived. The recent development of affinity grid techniques can potentially further extend single particle cryo-EM to these challenging samples by combining sample purification and cryo-EM grid preparation into a single step. Here we report a new design of affinity cryo-EM approach, cryo-SPIEM, that applies a traditional pathogen diagnosis tool Solid Phase Immune Electron Microscopy (SPIEM) to the single particle cryo-EM method. This approach provides an alternative, largely simplified and easier to use affinity grid that directly works with most native macromolecular complexes with established antibodies, and enables cryo-EM studies of native samples directly from cell cultures. In the present work, we extensively tested the feasibility of cryo-SPIEM with multiple samples including those of high or low molecular weight, macromolecules with low or high symmetry, His-tagged or native particles, and high- or low-yield macromolecules. Results for all these samples (nonpurified His-tagged bacteriophage T7, His-tagged E. coli ribosomes, native Sindbis virus, and purified but low-concentration native Tulane virus) demonstrated the capability of cryo-SPIEM approach in specifically trapping and concentrating target particles on TEM grids with minimal view constraints for cryo-EM imaging and determination of 3D structures. PMID:24780590

  6. Single-step antibody-based affinity cryo-electron microscopy for imaging and structural analysis of macromolecular assemblies.

    PubMed

    Yu, Guimei; Vago, Frank; Zhang, Dongsheng; Snyder, Jonathan E; Yan, Rui; Zhang, Ci; Benjamin, Christopher; Jiang, Xi; Kuhn, Richard J; Serwer, Philip; Thompson, David H; Jiang, Wen

    2014-07-01

    Single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is an emerging powerful tool for structural studies of macromolecular assemblies (i.e., protein complexes and viruses). Although single particle cryo-EM requires less concentrated and smaller amounts of samples than X-ray crystallography, it remains challenging to study specimens that are low-abundance, low-yield, or short-lived. The recent development of affinity grid techniques can potentially further extend single particle cryo-EM to these challenging samples by combining sample purification and cryo-EM grid preparation into a single step. Here we report a new design of affinity cryo-EM approach, cryo-SPIEM, that applies a traditional pathogen diagnosis tool Solid Phase Immune Electron Microscopy (SPIEM) to the single particle cryo-EM method. This approach provides an alternative, largely simplified and easier to use affinity grid that directly works with most native macromolecular complexes with established antibodies, and enables cryo-EM studies of native samples directly from cell cultures. In the present work, we extensively tested the feasibility of cryo-SPIEM with multiple samples including those of high or low molecular weight, macromolecules with low or high symmetry, His-tagged or native particles, and high- or low-yield macromolecules. Results for all these samples (non-purified His-tagged bacteriophage T7, His-tagged Escherichiacoli ribosomes, native Sindbis virus, and purified but low-concentration native Tulane virus) demonstrated the capability of cryo-SPIEM approach in specifically trapping and concentrating target particles on TEM grids with minimal view constraints for cryo-EM imaging and determination of 3D structures.

  7. Neutron Spectroscopy as a Probe of Macromolecular Structure and Dynamics under Extreme Spatial Confinement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barroso-Bujans, F.; Fernandez-Alonso, F.; Colmenero, J.

    2014-11-01

    We illustrate the use of high-resolution neutron spectroscopy to explore the extreme spatial confinement of soft matter in nanostructured materials. Two well-defined limits are considered, involving either intercalation or interfacial adsorption of the ubiquitous polymer poly(ethylene oxide) in graphite-oxide-based hosts. Vibrational modes associated with the confined macromolecular phase undergo dramatic changes over a broad range of energy transfers, from those associated with intermolecular modes in the Terahertz frequency range (1 THz = 33 cm-1), to those characteristic of strong chemical bonds above 2000 cm-1. We also consider the effects of polymer chain size and chemical composition of the host material. Variation of the degree of oxidation and exfoliation of graphite oxide leads to two distinct cases, namely: (i) subnanometer two-dimensional confinement; and (ii) surface immobilization. Case (i) is characterised by significant changes to conformational and collective vibrational modes of the polymer as a consequence of a preferentially planar trans-trans-trans chain conformation, whereas case (ii) leads to a substantial increase in the population of gauche conformers. Macroscopically, case (i) translates into the complete suppression of crystallization and glassy behaviour. In contrast, case (ii) exhibits well-defined glass and melting transitions associated with the confined phase, yet at significantly lower temperatures than those of the bulk.

  8. Self-consistent treatment of the local dielectric permittivity and electrostatic potential in solution for polarizable macromolecular force fields

    PubMed Central

    Hassan, Sergio A.

    2012-01-01

    A self-consistent method is presented for the calculation of the local dielectric permittivity and electrostatic potential generated by a solute of arbitrary shape and charge distribution in a polar and polarizable liquid. The structure and dynamics behavior of the liquid at the solute/liquid interface determine the spatial variations of the density and the dielectric response. Emphasis here is on the treatment of the interface. The method is an extension of conventional methods used in continuum protein electrostatics, and can be used to estimate changes in the static dielectric response of the liquid as it adapts to charge redistribution within the solute. This is most relevant in the context of polarizable force fields, during electron structure optimization in quantum chemical calculations, or upon charge transfer. The method is computationally efficient and well suited for code parallelization, and can be used for on-the-fly calculations of the local permittivity in dynamics simulations of systems with large and heterogeneous charge distributions, such as proteins, nucleic acids, and polyelectrolytes. Numerical calculation of the system free energy is discussed for the general case of a liquid with field-dependent dielectric response. PMID:22920098

  9. Space-group and origin ambiguity in macromolecular structures with pseudo-symmetry and its treatment with the program Zanuda.

    PubMed

    Lebedev, Andrey A; Isupov, Michail N

    2014-09-01

    The presence of pseudo-symmetry in a macromolecular crystal and its interplay with twinning may lead to an incorrect space-group (SG) assignment. Moreover, if the pseudo-symmetry is very close to an exact crystallographic symmetry, the structure can be solved and partially refined in the wrong SG. Typically, in such incorrectly determined structures all or some of the pseudo-symmetry operations are, in effect, taken for crystallographic symmetry operations and vice versa. A mistake only becomes apparent when the R(free) ceases to decrease below 0.39 and further model rebuilding and refinement cannot improve the refinement statistics. If pseudo-symmetry includes pseudo-translation, the uncertainty in SG assignment may be associated with an incorrect choice of origin, as demonstrated by the series of examples provided here. The program Zanuda presented in this article was developed for the automation of SG validation. Zanuda runs a series of refinements in SGs compatible with the observed unit-cell parameters and chooses the model with the highest symmetry SG from a subset of models that have the best refinement statistics.

  10. Facilitating best practices in collecting anomalous scattering data for de novo structure solution at the ESRF Structural Biology Beamlines

    PubMed Central

    de Sanctis, Daniele; Oscarsson, Marcus; Popov, Alexander; Svensson, Olof; Leonard, Gordon

    2016-01-01

    The constant evolution of synchrotron structural biology beamlines, the viability of screening protein crystals for a wide range of heavy-atom derivatives, the advent of efficient protein labelling and the availability of automatic data-processing and structure-solution pipelines have combined to make de novo structure solution in macromolecular crystallography a less arduous task. Nevertheless, the collection of diffraction data of sufficient quality for experimental phasing is still a difficult and crucial step. Here, some examples of good data-collection practice for projects requiring experimental phasing are presented and recent developments at the ESRF Structural Biology beamlines that have facilitated these are illustrated. PMID:26960128

  11. Structural Studies on Membrane Proteins and Biological Macromolecular Assemblies in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsukihara, Tomitake

    Structural studies on membrane proteins have been performed at atomic level by both three-dimensional X-ray crystallography and two-dimensional electron crystallography in Japan as in Europe and Unites States. More than 13 membrane protein structures were elucidate by X-ray method in our country, and seven membrane protein structures were determined by cryo-electron microscopic method developed by Fujiyoshi of Kyoto University. Extensive crystallographic studies on calcium pump and cytochrome c oxidase elucidated their functional mechanisms at atomic level. Structure and switching mechanism of a flagellum were studied by X-ray and electron microscopic methods. Vault structure exhibiting D39 symmetry was determined by X-ray method.

  12. Avoidable errors in deposited macromolecular structures: an impediment to efficient data mining

    PubMed Central

    Dauter, Zbigniew; Wlodawer, Alexander; Minor, Wladek; Jaskolski, Mariusz; Rupp, Bernhard

    2014-01-01

    Whereas the vast majority of the more than 85 000 crystal structures of macromolecules currently deposited in the Protein Data Bank are of high quality, some suffer from a variety of imperfections. Although this fact has been pointed out in the past, it is still worth periodic updates so that the metadata obtained by global analysis of the available crystal structures, as well as the utilization of the individual structures for tasks such as drug design, should be based on only the most reliable data. Here, selected abnormal deposited structures have been analysed based on the Bayesian reasoning that the correctness of a model must be judged against both the primary evidence as well as prior knowledge. These structures, as well as information gained from the corresponding publications (if available), have emphasized some of the most prevalent types of common problems. The errors are often perfect illustrations of the nature of human cognition, which is frequently influenced by preconceptions that may lead to fanciful results in the absence of proper validation. Common errors can be traced to negligence and a lack of rigorous verification of the models against electron density, creation of non-parsimonious models, generation of improbable numbers, application of incorrect symmetry, illogical presentation of the results, or violation of the rules of chemistry and physics. Paying more attention to such problems, not only in the final validation stages but during the structure-determination process as well, is necessary not only in order to maintain the highest possible quality of the structural repositories and databases but most of all to provide a solid basis for subsequent studies, including large-scale data-mining projects. For many scientists PDB deposition is a rather infrequent event, so the need for proper training and supervision is emphasized, as well as the need for constant alertness of reason and critical judgment as absolutely necessary safeguarding

  13. Improving the accuracy of macromolecular structure refinement at 7 Å resolution.

    PubMed

    Brunger, Axel T; Adams, Paul D; Fromme, Petra; Fromme, Raimund; Levitt, Michael; Schröder, Gunnar F

    2012-06-06

    In X-ray crystallography, molecular replacement and subsequent refinement is challenging at low resolution. We compared refinement methods using synchrotron diffraction data of photosystem I at 7.4 Å resolution, starting from different initial models with increasing deviations from the known high-resolution structure. Standard refinement spoiled the initial models, moving them further away from the true structure and leading to high R(free)-values. In contrast, DEN refinement improved even the most distant starting model as judged by R(free), atomic root-mean-square differences to the true structure, significance of features not included in the initial model, and connectivity of electron density. The best protocol was DEN refinement with initial segmented rigid-body refinement. For the most distant initial model, the fraction of atoms within 2 Å of the true structure improved from 24% to 60%. We also found a significant correlation between R(free) values and the accuracy of the model, suggesting that R(free) is useful even at low resolution.

  14. Macromolecular Interactions Control Structural and Thermal Properties of Regenerated Tri-Component Blended Films

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Ashley; Waters, Joshua C.; Stanton, John; Hess, Joseph; Salas-de la Cruz, David

    2016-01-01

    With a growing need for sustainable resources research has become highly interested in investigating the structure and physical properties of biomaterials composed of natural macromolecules. In this study, we assessed the structural, morphological, and thermal properties of blended, regenerated films comprised of cellulose, lignin, and hemicellulose (xylan) using the ionic liquid 1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride (AMIMCl). Attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray scattering, and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) were used to qualitatively and quantitatively measure bonding interactions, morphology, and thermal stability of the regenerated films. The results demonstrated that the regenerated films’ structural, morphological, and thermal character changed as a function of lignin-xylan concentration. The decomposition temperature rose according to an increase in lignin content and the surface topography of the regenerated films changed from fibrous to spherical patterns. This suggests that lignin-xylan concentration alters the self-assembly of lignin and the cellulose microfibril development. X-ray scattering confirms the extent of the morphological and molecular changes. Our data reveals that the inter- and intra-molecular interactions with the cellulose crystalline domains, along with the amount of disorder in the system, control the microfibril dimensional characteristics, lignin self-assembly, and possibly the overall material′s structural and thermal properties. PMID:27916801

  15. MolProbity: all-atom structure validation for macromolecular crystallography.

    PubMed

    Chen, Vincent B; Arendall, W Bryan; Headd, Jeffrey J; Keedy, Daniel A; Immormino, Robert M; Kapral, Gary J; Murray, Laura W; Richardson, Jane S; Richardson, David C

    2010-01-01

    MolProbity is a structure-validation web service that provides broad-spectrum solidly based evaluation of model quality at both the global and local levels for both proteins and nucleic acids. It relies heavily on the power and sensitivity provided by optimized hydrogen placement and all-atom contact analysis, complemented by updated versions of covalent-geometry and torsion-angle criteria. Some of the local corrections can be performed automatically in MolProbity and all of the diagnostics are presented in chart and graphical forms that help guide manual rebuilding. X-ray crystallography provides a wealth of biologically important molecular data in the form of atomic three-dimensional structures of proteins, nucleic acids and increasingly large complexes in multiple forms and states. Advances in automation, in everything from crystallization to data collection to phasing to model building to refinement, have made solving a structure using crystallography easier than ever. However, despite these improvements, local errors that can affect biological interpretation are widespread at low resolution and even high-resolution structures nearly all contain at least a few local errors such as Ramachandran outliers, flipped branched protein side chains and incorrect sugar puckers. It is critical both for the crystallographer and for the end user that there are easy and reliable methods to diagnose and correct these sorts of errors in structures. MolProbity is the authors' contribution to helping solve this problem and this article reviews its general capabilities, reports on recent enhancements and usage, and presents evidence that the resulting improvements are now beneficially affecting the global database.

  16. Cooperative macromolecular device revealed by meta-analysis of static and time-resolved structures

    SciTech Connect

    Ren, Zhong; Šrajer, Vukica; Knapp, James E.; Royer, Jr., William E.

    2013-04-08

    Here we present a meta-analysis of a large collection of static structures of a protein in the Protein Data Bank in order to extract the progression of structural events during protein function. We apply this strategy to the homodimeric hemoglobin HbI from Scapharca inaequivalvis. We derive a simple dynamic model describing how binding of the first ligand in one of the two chemically identical subunits facilitates a second binding event in the other partner subunit. The results of our ultrafast time-resolved crystallographic studies support this model. We demonstrate that HbI functions like a homodimeric mechanical device, such as pliers or scissors. Ligand-induced motion originating in one subunit is transmitted to the other via conserved pivot points, where the E and F' helices from two partner subunits are 'bolted' together to form a stable dimer interface permitting slight relative rotation but preventing sliding.

  17. Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy As a Tool for Assessing Macromolecular Structure and Function in Living Cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Conggangg; Zhao, Jiajing; Cheng, Kai; Ge, Yuwei; Wu, Qiong; Ye, Yansheng; Xu, Guohua; Zhang, Zeting; Zheng, Wenwen; Zhang, Xu; Zhou, Xin; Pielak, Gary; Liu, Maili

    2017-03-09

    Investigating the structure, modification, interaction, and function of biomolecules in their native cellular environment leads to physiologically relevant knowledge about their mechanisms, which will benefit drug discovery and design. In recent years, nuclear and electron magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has emerged as a useful tool for elucidating the structure and function of biomacromolecules, including proteins, nucleic acids, and carbohydrates in living cells at atomic resolution. In this review, we summarize the progress and future of in-cell NMR as it is applied to proteins, nucleic acids, and carbohydrates. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry Volume 10 is June 12, 2017. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  18. Macromolecular recognition: Structural aspects of the origin of the genetic system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rein, Robert; Sokalski, W. Andrzej; Barak, Dov; Luo, Ning; Zielinski, Theresa Julia; Shibata, Masayuki

    1991-01-01

    Theoretical simulation of prebiotic chemical processes is an invaluable tool for probing the phenomenon of the evolution of life. Using computational and modeling techniques and guided by analogies from present day systems, we seek to understand the emergence of the genetic apparatus, enzymatic catalysis and protein synthesis under prebiotic conditions. Modeling of the ancestral aminoacyl-tRNA-synthetases (aRS) may provide important clues to the emergence of the genetic code and the protein synthetic machinery. The minimal structural requirements for the catalysis of tRNA aminoacylation are being explored. A formation of an aminoacyl adenylate was studied in the framework of ab initio molecular orbital theory. The role of individual residues in the vicinity of the TyrRS active site was examined, and the effect of all possible amino acids substitutions near the active site was examined. A formation of aminoacyl tRNA was studied by the molecular modeling system SYBYL with the high resolution crystallographic structures of the present day tRNA, aRS's complexes. The ultimate goal is to propose a simple RNA segment that is small enough to be build in the primordial chemical environment but maintains the specificity and catalytic activity of the contemporary RNA enzyme. To understand the mechanism of ribozyme catalyzed reactions, ab initio and semi-empirical (ZINDO) programs were used to investigate the reaction path of transphosphorylation. A special emphasis was placed on the possible catalytic and structural roles played by the coordinated magnesium cation. Both the inline and adjacent mechanisms of transphosphorylation were studied. The structural characteristics of the target helices, particularly a possible role for the G-T pair, is also studied by a molecular dynamics (MD) simulation technique.

  19. Testing of the structure of macromolecular polymer films containing solid active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bölcskei, É.; Süvegh, K.; Marek, T.; Regdon, G.; Pintye-Hódi, K.

    2011-07-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the structure of free films of Eudragit ® L 30D-55 containing different concentrations (0%, 1% or 5%) of diclofenac sodium by positron annihilation spectroscopy. The data revealed that the size of the free-volume holes and the lifetimes of ortho-positronium atoms decreased with increase of the API concentration. Films containing 5% of the API exhibited a different behavior during storage (17 °C, 65% relative humidity (RH)) in consequence of the uptake of water from the air.

  20. Reducing irreducible complexity: divergence of quaternary structure and function in macromolecular assemblies.

    PubMed

    Egelman, Edward H

    2010-02-01

    The bacterial flagellar system is an intricate assembly (containing approximately 40 different proteins) that is involved in both protein secretion and bacterial motility. It has also become the icon of the neo-creationist movement in the United States, with the argument that it shows 'irreducible complexity' and could not have been the product of evolution. Recent studies provide new insights into the evolution of the flagellar system and lead to the suggestion that the divergence of quaternary structure in protein assemblies may be an underappreciated mechanism for rapid evolutionary divergence. Work on the enzyme FucU, involved in fucose metabolism, may suggest similar conclusions.

  1. Macromolecular recognition: Structural aspects of the origin of the genetic system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rein, Robert; Barak, Dov; Luo, Ning; Zielinski, Theresa Julia; Shibata, Masayuki

    1991-01-01

    Theoretical simulation of prebiotic chemical processes is an invaluable tool for probing the phenomenon of evolution of life. Using computational and modeling techniques and guided by analogies from present day systems we, seek to understand the emergence of genetic apparatus, enzymatic catalysis and protein synthesis under prebiotic conditions. In one possible scenario, the RNA enzymatic reaction plays a key role in the emergence of the self-replicating and offers a clue to the onset of enzymatic catalysis prior to the existence of the protein biosynthetic machinery. Our ultimate goal is to propose a simple RNA segment which contains the specificity and catalytic activity of the contemporary RNA enzyme and which could emerge in a primordial chemical environment. To understand the mechanism of ribozyme catalyzed reactions, ab initio and semi-empirical (ZINDO) programs were used to investigate the reaction path of transphosphorylation. A special emphasis was placed on the possible catalytic and structural roles played by the coordinated magnesium cation. Both the inline and adjacent mechanisms of transphosphorylation have been studied. Another important aspect of this reaction is the identity of the functional groups which are essential for the acid base catalysis. The structural characteristics of the target helices, particularly a possible role of G center dot T pair, is under examination by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation technique. Modeling of the ancestral aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aRS) may provide important clues to the emergence of the genetic code and the protein synthetic machinery. Assuming that the catalytic function evolved before the elements of specific recognition of a particular amino acid, we are exploring the minimal structural requirements for the catalysis of tRNA aminoacylation. The molecular modeling system SYBYL was used for this study based on the high resolution crystallographic structures of the present day tyrosyl-adenylate:tyrRS and

  2. Structural Relaxations in Bulk and Thin Film Polymers: Role of Macromolecular Architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Peter

    2014-03-01

    Structural relaxations that occur in polymers quenched below the glass transition temperature, Tg, are responsible for time-dependent changes in physical properties that include optical, specific volume and the enthalpy. This phenomenon, physical aging, has been of interest in bulk polymers for decades and much is understood. The aging rate, R, is known to increase as the temperature at which the glass ages, T' , decreases below Tg, due to the increasing departure from structural equilibrium; it then decreases with further decreases in T. We show that the aging rates of star-shaped polymers are slower than their linear analogs of the same degree of polymerization, N. Whereas the temperature dependence of R is independent of N for linear chains, it depends on the functionality, f , and on the degree of polymerization per arm, N', of the star-shaped macromolecules. R decreases with increasing f , for N' less than a threshold degree of polymerization, which increases with increasing f. The aging of very thin films (h ~ 100 nm) is dependent on the distance, z, from an external interface. With the use positron annihilation spectroscopy (PALS) we determined the z-dependence of the Tg in thin films and showed that the aging rate is largely determined by the difference between the local glass transition temperature of the films and T'. Finally we show that the aging rates of linear and star-shaped macromolecules are consistent with experimental findings of glassy dynamics in both systems.

  3. Structure and property relations of macromolecular self-assemblies at interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zhihao

    Hydrophilic polymer chains, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), are attached to glass surfaces by silylation of the silanol groups on glass surfaces with the omega-(methoxyl terminated PEG) trimethoxysilanes. These tethered polymer chains resemble the self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of PEG, which exhibit excellent biocompatibility and provide a model system for studying the interactions of proteins with polymer surfaces. The low molecular weight PEGs tend to extend, forming a brush-like monolayer, whereas the longer polymer chains tend to interpenetrate each other, forming a mushroom-like PEG monolayer at the interface. Interactions between a plasma protein, bovine serum albumin, and the PEG-SAMs are investigated in terms of protein adsorption and diffusion on the surfaces by the technique of fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). The diffusion and aggregation behaviors of the protein on the two monolayers are found to be quite different despite the similarities in adsorption and desorption behaviors. The results are analyzed with a hypothesis of the hydrated surface dynamics. A method of covalently bonding phospholipid molecules to silica substrates followed by loading with free phospholipids is demonstrated to form well organized and stable phospholipid self-assembled monolayers. Surfaces of such SAMs structurally mimic the aqueous sides of phospholipid bilayer membranes. The dynamics of phospholipids and an adsorbed protein, lipase, in the SAMs are probed with FRAP, in terms of lateral diffusion of both phospholipids and protein molecules. The esterase activity of lipase on the SAM surfaces is confirmed by the hydrolysis reaction of a substrate, umbelliferone stearate, showing such lipid SAMs posess biomembrane functionality in terms of interfacial activation of the membranous enzymes. Dynamics of polyethylene oxide and polypropylene oxide tri-block copolymers, PEO-PPO-PEO and PPO-PEO-PPO, at the air/water interface upon thermal stimulation is studied by

  4. 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

  5. Emerging applications of small angle solution scattering in structural biology.

    PubMed

    Chaudhuri, Barnali N

    2015-03-01

    Small angle solution X-ray and neutron scattering recently resurfaced as powerful tools to address an array of biological problems including folding, intrinsic disorder, conformational transitions, macromolecular crowding, and self or hetero-assembling of biomacromolecules. In addition, small angle solution scattering complements crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and other structural methods to aid in the structure determinations of multidomain or multicomponent proteins or nucleoprotein assemblies. Neutron scattering with hydrogen/deuterium contrast variation, or X-ray scattering with sucrose contrast variation to a certain extent, is a convenient tool for characterizing the organizations of two-component systems such as a nucleoprotein or a lipid-protein assembly. Time-resolved small and wide-angle solution scattering to study biological processes in real time, and the use of localized heavy-atom labeling and anomalous solution scattering for applications as FRET-like molecular rulers, are amongst promising newer developments. Despite the challenges in data analysis and interpretation, these X-ray/neutron solution scattering based approaches hold great promise for understanding a wide variety of complex processes prevalent in the biological milieu.

  6. Radiation damage in macromolecular cryocrystallography.

    PubMed

    Ravelli, Raimond B G; Garman, Elspeth F

    2006-10-01

    X-ray radiation damage to cryocooled ( approximately 100 K) macromolecular crystals has emerged as a general problem, especially since the advent of third generation synchrotron undulator sources. Interest in understanding the physical and chemical phenomena behind the observed effects is growing rapidly. The specific structural damage seen in electron density maps has to be accounted for when studying intermediates, and can sometimes be related to biological function. Radiation damage induces non-isomorphism, thus hampering traditional phasing methods. However, specific damage can also be used to obtain phases. With an increased knowledge of expected crystal lifetime, beamline characteristics and types of damage, macromolecular crystallographers might soon be able to account for radiation damage in data collection, processing and phasing.

  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. 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.

  9. Transition state structures in solution

    SciTech Connect

    Bertran, J.; Lluch, J. M.; Gonzalez-Lafont, A.; Dillet, V.; Perez, V.

    1995-04-05

    In the present paper the location of transition state structures for reactions in solution has been studied. Continuum model calculations have been carried out on the Friedel-Crafts alkylation reaction and a proton transfer through a water molecule between two oxygen atoms in formic acid. In this model the separation between the chemical system and the solvent has been introduced. On the other hand, the discrete Monte Carlo methodology has also been used to simulate the solvent effect on dissociative electron transfer processes. In this model, the hypothesis of separability is not assumed. Finally, the validity of both approaches is discussed.

  10. Transition state structures in solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertrán, J.; Lluch, J. M.; Gonzàlez-Lafont, A.; Dillet, V.; Pérez, V.

    1995-04-01

    In the present paper the location of transition state structures for reactions in solution has been studied. Continuum model calculations have been carried out on the Friedel-Crafts alkylation reaction and a proton transfer through a water molecule between two oxygen atoms in formic acid. In this model the separation between the chemical system and the solvent has been introduced. On the other hand, the discrete Monte Carlo methodology has also been used to simulate the solvent effect on dissociative electron transfer processes. In this model, the hypothesis of separability is not assumed. Finally, the validity of both approaches is discussed.

  11. Continuous mutual improvement of macromolecular structure models in the PDB and of X-ray crystallographic software: the dual role of deposited experimental data

    SciTech Connect

    Terwilliger, Thomas C.; Bricogne, Gerard

    2014-10-01

    Macromolecular structures deposited in the PDB can and should be continually reinterpreted and improved on the basis of their accompanying experimental X-ray data, exploiting the steady progress in methods and software that the deposition of such data into the PDB on a massive scale has made possible. Accurate crystal structures of macromolecules are of high importance in the biological and biomedical fields. Models of crystal structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) are in general of very high quality as deposited. However, methods for obtaining the best model of a macromolecular structure from a given set of experimental X-ray data continue to progress at a rapid pace, making it possible to improve most PDB entries after their deposition by re-analyzing the original deposited data with more recent software. This possibility represents a very significant departure from the situation that prevailed when the PDB was created, when it was envisioned as a cumulative repository of static contents. A radical paradigm shift for the PDB is therefore proposed, away from the static archive model towards a much more dynamic body of continuously improving results in symbiosis with continuously improving methods and software. These simultaneous improvements in methods and final results are made possible by the current deposition of processed crystallographic data (structure-factor amplitudes) and will be supported further by the deposition of raw data (diffraction images). It is argued that it is both desirable and feasible to carry out small-scale and large-scale efforts to make this paradigm shift a reality. Small-scale efforts would focus on optimizing structures that are of interest to specific investigators. Large-scale efforts would undertake a systematic re-optimization of all of the structures in the PDB, or alternatively the redetermination of groups of structures that are either related to or focused on specific questions. All of the resulting structures should be

  12. Structure of supersaturated zincate solutions

    SciTech Connect

    Dmitrenko, V.E.; Balyakina, N.N.; Baulov, V.I.; Kotov, A.V.; Zubov, M.S.

    1985-09-01

    During the discharge of chemical power sources with zinc electrodes, supersaturated zincate solution (SZS) is formed from which zinc oxide or hydroxide precipitates as a function of time. The deposit detracts from the functioning of these power sources. In view of the model suggested for the structure of SZS, it is expected that a stabilizing effect would be exerted on SZS by compounds having proton-donating groups which do not give off the protons in the strongly alkaline medium and are not discharged in this medium. For a check of this, the authors chose to use xylitol and molasses in their experiments. The SZS were produced with a mock-up silver-zinc battery using the procedure previously described.

  13. Controlling the phase structures of polymer/surfactant complexes by changing macromolecular architecture and adding n-alcohols.

    PubMed

    Percebom, Ana Maria; Loh, Watson

    2016-03-15

    Phase behavior of complex salts formed by a cationic surfactant and different ethoxylated polyions was investigated in water and with addition of two n-alcohols of different chain lengths: n-butanol and n-decanol. The polyion possesses a main chain of methacrylic acid randomly grafted with oligo(ethylene oxide) chains. Strong electrostatic interaction between the anionic main chain and the cationic surfactant hexadecyltrimethylammonium (C16TA) leads to the formation of C16TAP(MA-MAEO(n)) x:y complex salts. Modifications in polyion structure, such as changes in the proportion of grafted comonomers and in the side chain length caused differences in the overall balance of interactions with water and n-alcohols, altering the complex salt solubility and, consequently, the formed liquid-crystalline structures. The role of n-decanol as a cosurfactant was verified, but the hydrophilic side chains expanded the capacity of the formed liquid crystalline phases to incorporate water. Additionally, a novel structure, probably cubic bicontinuous (Pn3m), was observed coexisting with lamellar phases at low water concentration. Because n-butanol is known for being a good solvent for poly(ethylene oxide), these side chains intensified the role of this short chain n-alcohol as cosolvent for C16TAP(MA-MAEO(n)) x:y complex salts, favoring the formation of disordered solutions, including a bicontinuous microemulsion.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Continuous mutual improvement of macromolecular structure models in the PDB and of X-ray crystallographic software: The dual role of deposited experimental data

    SciTech Connect

    Terwilliger, Thomas C.; Bricogne, Gerard

    2014-09-30

    Accurate crystal structures of macromolecules are of high importance in the biological and biomedical fields. Models of crystal structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) are in general of very high quality as deposited. However, methods for obtaining the best model of a macromolecular structure from a given set of experimental X-ray data continue to progress at a rapid pace, making it possible to improve most PDB entries after their deposition by re-analyzing the original deposited data with more recent software. This possibility represents a very significant departure from the situation that prevailed when the PDB was created, when it was envisioned as a cumulative repository of static contents. A radical paradigm shift for the PDB is therefore proposed, away from the static archive model towards a much more dynamic body of continuously improving results in symbiosis with continuously improving methods and software. These simultaneous improvements in methods and final results are made possible by the current deposition of processed crystallographic data (structure-factor amplitudes) and will be supported further by the deposition of raw data (diffraction images). It is argued that it is both desirable and feasible to carry out small-scale and large-scale efforts to make this paradigm shift a reality. Small-scale efforts would focus on optimizing structures that are of interest to specific investigators. Large-scale efforts would undertake a systematic re-optimization of all of the structures in the PDB, or alternatively the redetermination of groups of structures that are either related to or focused on specific questions. All of the resulting structures should be made generally available, along with the precursor entries, with various views of the structures being made available depending on the types of questions that users are interested in answering.

  18. Continuous mutual improvement of macromolecular structure models in the PDB and of X-ray crystallographic software: The dual role of deposited experimental data

    DOE PAGES

    Terwilliger, Thomas C.; Bricogne, Gerard

    2014-09-30

    Accurate crystal structures of macromolecules are of high importance in the biological and biomedical fields. Models of crystal structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) are in general of very high quality as deposited. However, methods for obtaining the best model of a macromolecular structure from a given set of experimental X-ray data continue to progress at a rapid pace, making it possible to improve most PDB entries after their deposition by re-analyzing the original deposited data with more recent software. This possibility represents a very significant departure from the situation that prevailed when the PDB was created, when itmore » was envisioned as a cumulative repository of static contents. A radical paradigm shift for the PDB is therefore proposed, away from the static archive model towards a much more dynamic body of continuously improving results in symbiosis with continuously improving methods and software. These simultaneous improvements in methods and final results are made possible by the current deposition of processed crystallographic data (structure-factor amplitudes) and will be supported further by the deposition of raw data (diffraction images). It is argued that it is both desirable and feasible to carry out small-scale and large-scale efforts to make this paradigm shift a reality. Small-scale efforts would focus on optimizing structures that are of interest to specific investigators. Large-scale efforts would undertake a systematic re-optimization of all of the structures in the PDB, or alternatively the redetermination of groups of structures that are either related to or focused on specific questions. All of the resulting structures should be made generally available, along with the precursor entries, with various views of the structures being made available depending on the types of questions that users are interested in answering.« less

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Practical macromolecular cryocrystallography.

    PubMed

    Pflugrath, J W

    2015-06-01

    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.

  5. Annealing macromolecular crystals.

    PubMed

    Hanson, B Leif; Bunick, Gerard J

    2007-01-01

    The process of crystal annealing has been used to improve the quality of diffraction from crystals that would otherwise be discarded for displaying unsatisfactory diffraction after flash cooling. Although techniques and protocols vary, macromolecular crystals are annealed by warming the flash-cooled crystal, then flash cooling it again. To apply macromolecular crystal annealing, a flash-cooled crystal displaying unacceptably high mosaicity or diffraction from ice is removed from the goniometer and immediately placed in cryoprotectant buffer. The crystal is incubated in the buffer at either room temperature or the temperature at which the crystal was grown. After about 3 min, the crystal is remounted in the loop and flash cooled. In situ annealing techniques, where the cold stream is diverted and the crystal allowed to warm on the loop prior to flash cooling, are variations of annealing that appears to work best when large solvent channels are not present in the crystal lattice or the solvent content of the crystal is relatively low.

  6. Small angle neutron scattering for the structural study of intrinsically disordered proteins in solution: a practical guide.

    PubMed

    Gabel, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Small angle neutron scattering (SANS) allows studying bio-macromolecular structures and interactions in solution. It is particularly well-suited to study structural properties of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) over a wide range of length-scales ranging from global aspects (radii of gyration and molecular weight) down to short-distance properties (e.g., cross-sectional analysis). In this book chapter, we provide a practical guide on how to carry out SANS experiments on IDPs and discuss the complementary aspects and strengths of SANS with respect to small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS).

  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. RECENT ADVANCES IN MACROMOLECULAR HYDRODYNAMIC MODELING

    PubMed Central

    Aragon, Sergio R.

    2010-01-01

    The modern implementation of the boundary element method (S.R. Aragon, J. Comput. Chem. 25(2004)1191–12055) has ushered unprecedented accuracy and precision for the solution of the Stokes equations of hydrodynamics with stick boundary conditions. This article begins by reviewing computations with the program BEST of smooth surface objects such as ellipsoids, the dumbbell, and cylinders that demonstrate that the numerical solution of the integral equation formulation of hydrodynamics yields very high precision and accuracy. When BEST is used for macromolecular computations, the limiting factor becomes the definition of the molecular hydrodynamic surface and the implied effective solvation of the molecular surface. Studies on 49 different proteins, ranging in molecular weight from 9 to over 400 kDa, have shown that a model using a 1.1 A thick hydration layer describes all protein transport properties very well for the overwhelming majority of them. In addition, this data implies that the crystal structure is an excellent representation of the average solution structure for most of them. In order to investigate the origin of a handful of significant discrepancies in some multimeric proteins (over −20% observed in the intrinsic viscosity), the technique of Molecular Dynamics simulation (MD) has been incorporated into the research program. A preliminary study of dimeric α-chymotrypsin using approximate implicit water MD is presented. In addition I describe the successful validation of modern protein force fields, ff03 and ff99SB, for the accurate computation of solution structure in explicit water simulation by comparison of trajectory ensemble average computed transport properties with experimental measurements. This work includes small proteins such as lysozyme, ribonuclease and ubiquitin using trajectories around 10 ns duration. We have also studied a 150 kDa flexible monoclonal IgG antibody, trastuzumab, with multiple independent trajectories encompassing over

  9. 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.

  10. Computing the origin and evolution of the ribosome from its structure — Uncovering processes of macromolecular accretion benefiting synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    Caetano-Anollés, Gustavo; Caetano-Anollés, Derek

    2015-01-01

    Accretion occurs pervasively in nature at widely different timeframes. The process also manifests in the evolution of macromolecules. Here we review recent computational and structural biology studies of evolutionary accretion that make use of the ideographic (historical, retrodictive) and nomothetic (universal, predictive) scientific frameworks. Computational studies uncover explicit timelines of accretion of structural parts in molecular repertoires and molecules. Phylogenetic trees of protein structural domains and proteomes and their molecular functions were built from a genomic census of millions of encoded proteins and associated terminal Gene Ontology terms. Trees reveal a ‘metabolic-first’ origin of proteins, the late development of translation, and a patchwork distribution of proteins in biological networks mediated by molecular recruitment. Similarly, the natural history of ancient RNA molecules inferred from trees of molecular substructures built from a census of molecular features shows patchwork-like accretion patterns. Ideographic analyses of ribosomal history uncover the early appearance of structures supporting mRNA decoding and tRNA translocation, the coevolution of ribosomal proteins and RNA, and a first evolutionary transition that brings ribosomal subunits together into a processive protein biosynthetic complex. Nomothetic structural biology studies of tertiary interactions and ancient insertions in rRNA complement these findings, once concentric layering assumptions are removed. Patterns of coaxial helical stacking reveal a frustrated dynamics of outward and inward ribosomal growth possibly mediated by structural grafting. The early rise of the ribosomal ‘turnstile’ suggests an evolutionary transition in natural biological computation. Results make explicit the need to understand processes of molecular growth and information transfer of macromolecules. PMID:27096056

  11. 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.

  12. Urban infrastructure choices structure climate solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creutzig, Felix; Agoston, Peter; Minx, Jan C.; Canadell, Josep G.; Andrew, Robbie M.; Quéré, Corinne Le; Peters, Glen P.; Sharifi, Ayyoob; Yamagata, Yoshiki; Dhakal, Shobhakar

    2016-12-01

    Cities are becoming increasingly important in combatting climate change, but their overall role in global solution pathways remains unclear. Here we suggest structuring urban climate solutions along the use of existing and newly built infrastructures, providing estimates of the mitigation potential.

  13. 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.

  14. Effect of structural alteration on the macromolecular properties of brown and bituminous coals, quantitative relationships to the hydrogenation reactivity with tetralin

    SciTech Connect

    Kuznetsov, P.N.; Kuznetsova, L.I.; Bimer, J.; Salbut, P.D.; Gruber, R.

    1996-12-31

    The mobility of macromolecular network has been found to be the fundamental property of both brown and bituminous coals governing the reactivity for hydrogenation with tetralin. In Kansk-Achinsk brown coal, this was primarily affected by carboxylate cross-linking via polyvalent cations like Ca.

  15. Role of macromolecular crowding and salt ions on the structural-fluctuation of a highly compact configuration of carbonmonoxycytochrome c.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Rajesh; Sharma, Deepak; Jain, Rishu; Kumar, Sandeep; Kumar, Rajesh

    2015-12-01

    Carbonmonoxycytochrome c refolds to a native-like compact state (NCO-state), where the non-native Fe(2+)-CO interaction persists. Structural and molecular properties extracted from CD, fluorescence and NMR experiments reveal that the NCO-state shows the generic properties of molten globules. Slow thermal-dissociation of CO transforms the NCO-state to native-state (N-state), where the native Fe(2+)-M80 bond recovers. To determine the role of crowding agents and salt ions on the structural-fluctuation of NCO, the kinetic and thermodynamic parameters for CO-dissociation from NCO (NCO→N+CO) were measured at varying concentrations of crowding agents (dextran 70, dextran 40, ficoll 70) and salt ions (anion: ClO4(-), I(-), Br(-), NO3(-), Cl(-); cation: NH4(+), K(+), Na(+)). As [crowding agent] or [ion] is increased, the rate coefficient of CO-dissociation (kdiss) decreases exponentially. Furthermore, the extent of decrease in kdiss is found to be dependent on (i) size, charge density and charge dispersion of the ion, and (ii) size, shape, and viscosity of the crowding agent.

  16. Femtosecond light-induced macromolecular self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebane, Aleksander; Mikhaylov, Alexander

    2016-09-01

    We report femtosecond light-induced macromolecular self-assembly (FLIMSA), which is observed when a high peak intensity femtosecond laser beam propagates through aqueous solution of pseudoisocyanine iodide (PIC) J-aggregates and induces the formation of 0.1 - 1.0 mm-size tube-like structure surrounding the laser beam, while at the same time allowing the beam to continue propagating without obstruction or scattering. The FLIMSA material is morphologically heterogeneous and gel-like and is formed at the margins rather than at the center of the beam. As a potential explanation of this effect we assume that the FLIMSA is induced by the high photon flux gradient characteristic of the femtosecond laser beam periphery. This hypothesis is corroborated by control experiments, where J-aggregate samples were illuminated with nanosecond laser sources with a varying pulse duration, power- and beam shape characteristics, but where no FLIMSA formation was observed.

  17. Stochastic dynamics of macromolecular-assembly networks.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saiz, Leonor; Vilar, Jose

    2006-03-01

    The formation and regulation of macromolecular complexes provides the backbone of most cellular processes, including gene regulation and signal transduction. The inherent complexity of assembling macromolecular structures makes current computational methods strongly limited for understanding how the physical interactions between cellular components give rise to systemic properties of cells. Here we present a stochastic approach to study the dynamics of networks formed by macromolecular complexes in terms of the molecular interactions of their components [1]. Exploiting key thermodynamic concepts, this approach makes it possible to both estimate reaction rates and incorporate the resulting assembly dynamics into the stochastic kinetics of cellular networks. As prototype systems, we consider the lac operon and phage λ induction switches, which rely on the formation of DNA loops by proteins [2] and on the integration of these protein-DNA complexes into intracellular networks. This cross-scale approach offers an effective starting point to move forward from network diagrams, such as those of protein-protein and DNA-protein interaction networks, to the actual dynamics of cellular processes. [1] L. Saiz and J.M.G. Vilar, submitted (2005). [2] J.M.G. Vilar and L. Saiz, Current Opinion in Genetics & Development, 15, 136-144 (2005).

  18. New methods for measuring macromolecular interactions in solution via static light scattering: basic methodology and application to nonassociating and self-associating proteins.

    PubMed

    Attri, Arun K; Minton, Allen P

    2005-02-01

    A method for rapid detection and characterization of reversible associations of macromolecules in solution is presented. A programmable dual-syringe infusion pump is used to introduce a solution of time-varying composition into parallel flow cells for concurrent measurement of laser light scattering at multiple angles and ultraviolet-visible absorbance. An experiment lasting less than 15 min produces a large and information-rich set of data, consisting of several thousand values of the Rayleigh ratio as a function of solute concentration(s) and scattering angle. Using a novel treatment of the data, the entire data set may be equally rapidly analyzed in the context of models for self-association. Validation experiments conducted on previously characterized nonassociating and self-associating proteins yielded robust values for molecular weights in the range 10-330 kDa and equilibrium association constants for dimer formation in the range 2 x 10(3)-6 x 10(5) M(-1).

  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. Electrostatics in the self-assembly of macromolecular surfactants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendes, E.; Schädler, V.; Marques, C. M.; Lindner, P.; Wiesner, U.

    1997-12-01

    We report on a small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) study of dilute solutions of neutral and charged polystyrene-polyisoprene (PS-b-PI) diblock copolymers in dimethyl acetamide (DMAc), a polar selective solvent for PS. This is a model macromolecular surfactant system: the low glass temperature of the PI block ensures that thermodynamic equilibrium can be attained; the ionic character of the copolymers is provided by a single sulfonate group at the free chain end of the PI block. The crossover from ionic to non-ionic behaviour is investigated by addition of salt. The results are compared to theoretical predictions for micellization of these model macromolecular systems.

  1. 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.

  2. A public database of macromolecular diffraction experiments.

    PubMed

    Grabowski, Marek; Langner, Karol M; Cymborowski, Marcin; Porebski, Przemyslaw J; Sroka, Piotr; Zheng, Heping; Cooper, David R; Zimmerman, Matthew D; Elsliger, Marc André; Burley, Stephen K; Minor, Wladek

    2016-11-01

    The low reproducibility of published experimental results in many scientific disciplines has recently garnered negative attention in scientific journals and the general media. Public transparency, including the availability of `raw' experimental data, will help to address growing concerns regarding scientific integrity. Macromolecular X-ray crystallography has led the way in requiring the public dissemination of atomic coordinates and a wealth of experimental data, making the field one of the most reproducible in the biological sciences. However, there remains no mandate for public disclosure of the original diffraction data. The Integrated Resource for Reproducibility in Macromolecular Crystallography (IRRMC) has been developed to archive raw data from diffraction experiments and, equally importantly, to provide related metadata. Currently, the database of our resource contains data from 2920 macromolecular diffraction experiments (5767 data sets), accounting for around 3% of all depositions in the Protein Data Bank (PDB), with their corresponding partially curated metadata. IRRMC utilizes distributed storage implemented using a federated architecture of many independent storage servers, which provides both scalability and sustainability. The resource, which is accessible via the web portal at http://www.proteindiffraction.org, can be searched using various criteria. All data are available for unrestricted access and download. The resource serves as a proof of concept and demonstrates the feasibility of archiving raw diffraction data and associated metadata from X-ray crystallographic studies of biological macromolecules. The goal is to expand this resource and include data sets that failed to yield X-ray structures in order to facilitate collaborative efforts that will improve protein structure-determination methods and to ensure the availability of `orphan' data left behind for various reasons by individual investigators and/or extinct structural genomics

  3. Transmucosal macromolecular drug delivery.

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-03

    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

  4. Universal BPS structure of stationary supergravity solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bossard, Guillaume; Nicolai, Hermann; Stelle, K. S.

    2009-07-01

    We study asymptotically flat stationary solutions of four-dimensional supergravity theories via the associated fraktur G/fraktur H* pseudo-Riemannian non-linear sigma models in three spatial dimensions. The Noether charge Script C associated to fraktur G is shown to satisfy a characteristic equation that determines it as a function of the four-dimensional conserved charges. The matrix Script C is nilpotent for non-rotating extremal solutions. The nilpotency degree of Script C is directly related to the BPS degree of the corresponding solution when they are BPS. Equivalently, the charges can be described in terms of a Weyl spinor |Script Crangle of Spin*(2Script N), and then the characteristic equation becomes equivalent to a generalisation of the Cartan pure spinor constraint on |Script Crangle. The invariance of a given solution with respect to supersymmetry is determined by an algebraic `Dirac equation' on the Weyl spinor |Script Crangle. We explicitly solve this equation for all pure supergravity theories and we characterise the stratified structure of the moduli space of asymptotically Taub-NUT black holes with respect to their BPS degree. The analysis is valid for any asymptotically flat stationary solutions for which the singularities are protected by horizons. The fraktur H*-orbits of extremal solutions are identified as Lagrangian submanifolds of nilpotent orbits of fraktur G, and so the moduli space of extremal spherically symmetric black holes is identified as a Lagrangian subvariety of the variety of nilpotent elements of fraktur g. We also generalise the notion of active duality transformations to an `almost action' of the three-dimensional duality group fraktur G on asymptotically flat stationary solutions.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Structure and dynamics of calmodulin in solution.

    PubMed Central

    Wriggers, W; Mehler, E; Pitici, F; Weinstein, H; Schulten, K

    1998-01-01

    To characterize the dynamic behavior of calmodulin in solution, we have carried out molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of the Ca2+-loaded structure. The crystal structure of calmodulin was placed in a solvent sphere of radius 44 A, and 6 Cl- and 22 Na+ ions were included to neutralize the system and to model a 150 mM salt concentration. The total number of atoms was 32,867. During the 3-ns simulation, the structure exhibits large conformational changes on the nanosecond time scale. The central alpha-helix, which has been shown to unwind locally upon binding of calmodulin to target proteins, bends and unwinds near residue Arg74. We interpret this result as a preparative step in the more extensive structural transition observed in the "flexible linker" region 74-82 of the central helix upon complex formation. The major structural change is a reorientation of the two Ca2+-binding domains with respect to each other and a rearrangement of alpha-helices in the N-terminus domain that makes the hydrophobic target peptide binding site more accessible. This structural rearrangement brings the domains to a more favorable position for target binding, poised to achieve the orientation observed in the complex of calmodulin with myosin light-chain kinase. Analysis of solvent structure reveals an inhomogeneity in the mobility of water in the vicinity of the protein, which is attributable to the hydrophobic effect exerted by calmodulin's binding sites for target peptides. PMID:9545028

  8. Solvent isotope effect on macromolecular dynamics in E. coli.

    PubMed

    Jasnin, Marion; Tehei, Moeava; Moulin, Martine; Haertlein, Michael; Zaccai, Giuseppe

    2008-06-01

    Elastic incoherent neutron scattering was used to explore solvent isotope effects on average macromolecular dynamics in vivo. Measurements were performed on living E. coli bacteria containing H2O and D2O, respectively, close to physiological conditions of temperature. Global macromolecular flexibility, expressed as mean square fluctuation (MSF) values, and structural resilience in a free energy potential, expressed as a mean effective force constant, [Symbol: see text]k'[Symbol: see text], were extracted in the two solvent conditions. They referred to the average contribution of all macromolecules inside the cell, mostly dominated by the internal motions of the protein fraction. Flexibility and resilience were both found to be smaller in D2O than in H2O. A difference was expected because the driving forces behind macromolecular stabilization and dynamics are different in H2O and D2O. In D2O, the hydrophobic effect is known to be stronger than in H2O: it favours the burial of non-polar surfaces as well as their van der Waals' packing in the macromolecule cores. This may lead to the observed smaller MSF values. In contrast, in H2O, macromolecules would present more water-exposed surfaces, which would give rise to larger MSF values, in particular at the macromolecular surface. The smaller [Symbol: see text]k'[Symbol: see text] value suggested a larger entropy content in the D2O case due to increased sampling of macromolecular conformational substates.

  9. Crystallization of macromolecular complexes:. stoichiometric variation screening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stura, Enrico A.; Graille, Marc; Taussig, Michael J.; Sutton, Brian; Gore, Michael G.; Silverman, Gregg J.; Charbonnier, Jean-Baptiste

    2001-11-01

    Theoretically a crystal may contain both complexed and uncomplexed molecules simultaneously in the same lattice. Since we seldom screen for such possibilities, such occurrences are only rarely reported. Here we propose that stoichiometry should be one of the parameters to be screened in the crystallization of macromolecular complexes. By allowing for non-biologically significant stoichiometries, we may increase the chances of crystallizing a macromolecular complex and of selecting arrangements which crystallize better or yield more ordered crystals. Although biological forces tend to be stronger than lattice-building interactions, in the crystal the latter will dominate numerically. By allowing for a varied stoichiometry we permit a wider selection of lattice-building contacts and increase the probability of crystallization. From these theoretical considerations we have developed methodology compatible with classical solubility screening and other well-established crystallization principles. We discuss this technique, stoichiometric variation screening (SVS), as part of a multicomponent system for the enhancement of crystallization of macromolecular complexes. We present this technique as an extension of reverse screening and illustrate the complementarity in the methodology. We present two examples of the use of SVS: the complexes between an immunoglobulin Fab fragment and two bacterial proteins, namely the D domain of protein A from Staphylococcus aureus (SpA) and a single domain of protein L from Peptostreptococcus magnus (PpL). In the first example there are 3 Fab molecules and only 2 SpA D domains (domD) (2 complexed and 1 unliganded Fab), in the second 2 Fabs and only 1 PpL domain (1 complexed and 1 unliganded Fab). SVS has the added and unique advantage that in the same crystal we have information on both the unliganded and complexed states under precisely identical conditions: one structure, two answers. Together with a combinatorial method for complex

  10. Static Structure of Polydisperse Micellar Solutions.

    PubMed

    Mileva

    2000-12-15

    A model study of polydisperse micellar solutions formed by ionic amphiphiles in the presence of added salt is proposed. The structural peculiarities of the system are determined by effective potentials including the screened electrostatic and the hardcore interactions. A perturbation procedure is applied to expand the characteristic parameters of the system around a reference system. The basic result is a model size distribution curve that accounts not only for the inherent polydispersity of the system but also includes the interaggregate interactions and the space correlation of the aggregates. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

  11. 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

  12. Structure and aggregation in model tetramethylurea solutions

    SciTech Connect

    Gupta, Rini; Patey, G. N.

    2014-08-14

    The structure of model aqueous tetramethylurea (TMU) solutions is investigated employing large-scale (32 000, 64 000 particles) molecular dynamics simulations. Results are reported for TMU mole fractions, X{sub t}, ranging from infinite dilution up to 0.07, and for two temperatures, 300 and 330 K. Two existing force fields for TMU-water solutions are considered. These are the GROMOS 53A6 united-atom TMU model combined with SPC/E water [TMU(GROMOS-UA)/W(SPC/E)], and the more frequently employed AMBER03 all-atom force field for TMU combined with the TIP3P water model [TMU(AMBER-AA)/W(TIP3P)]. It is shown that TMU has a tendency towards aggregation for both models considered, but the tendency is significantly stronger for the [TMU(AMBER-AA)/W(TIP3P)] force field. For this model signs of aggregation are detected at X{sub t} = 0.005, aggregation is a well established feature of the solution at X{sub t} = 0.02, and the aggregates increase further in size with increasing concentration. This is in agreement with at least some experimental studies, which report signals of aggregation in the low concentration regime. The TMU aggregates exhibit little structure and are simply loosely ordered, TMU-rich regions of solution. The [TMU(GROMOS-UA)/W(SPC/E)] model shows strong signs of aggregation only at higher concentrations (X{sub t} ≳ 0.04), and the aggregates appear more loosely ordered, and less well-defined than those occurring in the [TMU(AMBER-AA)/W(TIP3P)] system. For both models, TMU aggregation increases when the temperature is increased from 300 to 330 K, consistent with an underlying entropy driven, hydrophobic interaction mechanism. At X{sub t} = 0.07, the extra-molecular correlation length expected for microheterogeneous solutions has become comparable with the size of the simulation cell for both models considered, indicating that even the systems simulated here are sufficiently large only at low concentrations.

  13. Structure and aggregation in model tetramethylurea solutions.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Rini; Patey, G N

    2014-08-14

    The structure of model aqueous tetramethylurea (TMU) solutions is investigated employing large-scale (32,000, 64,000 particles) molecular dynamics simulations. Results are reported for TMU mole fractions, X(t), ranging from infinite dilution up to 0.07, and for two temperatures, 300 and 330 K. Two existing force fields for TMU-water solutions are considered. These are the GROMOS 53A6 united-atom TMU model combined with SPC/E water [TMU(GROMOS-UA)/W(SPC/E)], and the more frequently employed AMBER03 all-atom force field for TMU combined with the TIP3P water model [TMU(AMBER-AA)/W(TIP3P)]. It is shown that TMU has a tendency towards aggregation for both models considered, but the tendency is significantly stronger for the [TMU(AMBER-AA)/W(TIP3P)] force field. For this model signs of aggregation are detected at X(t) = 0.005, aggregation is a well established feature of the solution at X(t) = 0.02, and the aggregates increase further in size with increasing concentration. This is in agreement with at least some experimental studies, which report signals of aggregation in the low concentration regime. The TMU aggregates exhibit little structure and are simply loosely ordered, TMU-rich regions of solution. The [TMU(GROMOS-UA)/W(SPC/E)] model shows strong signs of aggregation only at higher concentrations (X(t) ≳ 0.04), and the aggregates appear more loosely ordered, and less well-defined than those occurring in the [TMU(AMBER-AA)/W(TIP3P)] system. For both models, TMU aggregation increases when the temperature is increased from 300 to 330 K, consistent with an underlying entropy driven, hydrophobic interaction mechanism. At X(t) = 0.07, the extra-molecular correlation length expected for microheterogeneous solutions has become comparable with the size of the simulation cell for both models considered, indicating that even the systems simulated here are sufficiently large only at low concentrations.

  14. STRUCTURE AND PROPERTIES OF SOLID SOLUTIONS.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    Contents: solid solution strengthening and strain aging in Ag-base Al alloys; solid solution strengthening and aging in Cu-base Al alloys; solid ... solution strengthening in NaCl-base NaBr solutions; short-range order; solid solution strength in the gold-silver system.

  15. Macromolecular Materials and Engineering

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cover: The image shows electrospun fibers based on poly(lactic acid)/polyaniline blends with diameters from 90 to 1000 nm. The structural characteristics of the fibers are compared to cast films by scanning electron microscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, differential scanning calorimetry, and ato...

  16. 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.

  17. Macromolecular recognition in the Protein Data Bank

    PubMed Central

    Janin, Joël; Rodier, Francis; Chakrabarti, Pinak; Bahadur, Ranjit P.

    2007-01-01

    Crystal structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank illustrate the diversity of biological macromolecular recognition: transient interactions in protein–protein and protein–DNA complexes and permanent assemblies in homodimeric proteins. The geometric and physical chemical properties of the macromolecular interfaces that may govern the stability and specificity of recognition are explored in complexes and homodimers compared with crystal-packing interactions. It is found that crystal-packing interfaces are usually much smaller; they bury fewer atoms and are less tightly packed than in specific assemblies. Standard-size interfaces burying 1200–2000 Å2 of protein surface occur in protease–inhibitor and antigen–antibody complexes that assemble with little or no conformation changes. Short-lived electron-transfer complexes have small interfaces; the larger size of the interfaces observed in complexes involved in signal transduction and homodimers correlates with the presence of conformation changes, often implicated in biological function. Results of the CAPRI (critical assessment of predicted interactions) blind prediction experiment show that docking algorithms efficiently and accurately predict the mode of assembly of proteins that do not change conformation when they associate. They perform less well in the presence of large conformation changes and the experiment stimulates the development of novel procedures that can handle such changes. PMID:17164520

  18. Macromolecular Crystal Quality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snell, Edward H.; Borgstahl, Gloria E. O.; Bellamy, Henry D.; Curreri, Peter A. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    There are many ways of judging a good crystal. Which we use depends on the qualities we seek. For gemstones size, clarity and impurity levels (color) are paramount. For the semiconductor industry purity is probably the most important quality. For the structural crystallographer the primary desideratum is the somewhat more subtle concept of internal order. In this chapter we discuss the effect of internal order (or the lack of it) on the crystal's diffraction properties.

  19. Structure and Dynamics of Cellulose Molecular Solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Howard; Zhang, Xin; Tyagi, Madhusudan; Mao, Yimin; Briber, Robert

    Molecular dissolution of microcrystalline cellulose has been achieved through mixing with ionic liquid 1-Ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate (EMIMAc), and organic solvent dimethylformamide (DMF). The mechanism of cellulose dissolution in tertiary mixtures has been investigated by combining quasielastic and small angle neutron scattering (QENS and SANS). As SANS data show that cellulose chains take Gaussian-like conformations in homogenous solutions, which exhibit characteristics of having an upper critical solution temperature, the dynamic signals predominantly from EMIMAc molecules indicate strong association with cellulose in the dissolution state. The mean square displacement quantities support the observation of the stoichiometric 3:1 EMIMAc to cellulose unit molar ratio, which is a necessary criterion for the molecular dissolution of cellulose. Analyses of dynamics structure factors reveal the temperature dependence of a slow and a fast process for EMIMAc's bound to cellulose and in DMF, respectively, as well as a very fast process due possibly to the rotational motion of methyl groups, which persisted to near the absolute zero.

  20. Organoactinide chemistry: synthesis, structure, and solution dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Brennan, J.G.

    1985-12-01

    This thesis considers three aspects of organoactinide chemistry. In chapter one, a bidentate phosphine ligand was used to kinetically stabilize complexes of the type Cp/sub 2/MX/sub 2/. Ligand redistribution processes are present throughout the synthetic work, as has often been observed in uranium cyclopentadienyl chemistry. The effects of covalent M-L bonding on the solution and solid state properties of U(III) coordination complexes are considered. In particular, the nature of the more subtle interaction between the metal and the neutral ligand are examined. Using relative basicity data obtained in solution, and solid state structural data (and supplemented by gas phase photoelectron measurements), it is demonstrated that the more electron rich U(III) centers engage in significant U ..-->.. L ..pi..-donation. Trivalent uranium is shown to be capable of acting either as a one- or two-electron reducing agent toward a wide variety of unsaturated organic and inorganic molecules, generating molecular classes unobtainable via traditional synthetic approaches, as well as offering an alternative synthetic approach to molecules accessible via metathesis reactions. Ligand redistribution processes are again observed, but given the information concerning ligand lability, this reactivity pattern is applied to the synthesis of pure materials inaccessible from redox chemistry. 214 refs., 33 figs., 10 tabs.

  1. MACROMOLECULAR PHYSIOLOGY OF PLASTIDS

    PubMed Central

    Henningsen, K. W.; Boynton, J. E.

    1970-01-01

    Sequential changes occurring in the etioplasts of the primary leaf of 7-day-old dark-grown barley seedlings upon continuous illumination with 20 lux have been investigated by electron microscopy, in vivo spectrophotometry, and thin-layer chromatography. Following photoconversion of the protochlorophyllide pigment to chlorophyllide and the structural transformation of the crystalline prolamellar bodies, the tubules of the prolamellar bodies are dispersed into the primary lamellar layers. As both chlorophyll a and b accumulate, extensive formation of grana takes place. After 4 hr of greening, protochlorophyllide starts to reaccumulate, and concomitantly both large and small crystalline prolamellar bodies are formed. This protochlorophyllide is rapidly photoconverted upon exposure of the leaves to high light intensity, which also effects a rapid reorganization of the recrystallized prolamellar bodies into primary lamellar layers. PMID:5411076

  2. Structure of aqueous sodium perchlorate solutions.

    PubMed

    General, Ignacio J; Asciutto, Eliana K; Madura, Jeffry D

    2008-12-04

    Salt solutions have been the object of study of many scientists through history, but one of the most important findings came along when the Hofmeister series were discovered. Their importance arises from the fact that they influence the relative solubility of proteins, and solubility is directly related to one of today's holy grails: protein folding. In this work we characterize one of the more-destabilizing salts in the series, sodium perchlorate, by studying it as an aqueous solution at various concentrations ranging from 0.08 to 1.60 mol/L. Molecular dynamics simulations at room temperature permitted a detailed study of the organization of solvent and cosolvent, in terms of its radial distribution functions, along with the study of the structure of hydrogen bonds in the ions' solvation shells. We found that the distribution functions have some variations in their shape as concentration changes, but the position of their peaks is mostly unaffected. Regarding water, the most salient fact is the noticeable (although small) change in the second hydration shell and even beyond, especially for g(O(w)***O(w)), showing that the locality of salt effects should not be restricted to considerations of only the first solvation shell. The perturbation of the second shell also appears in the study of the HB network, where the difference between the number of HBs around a water molecule and around the Na(+) cation gets much smaller as one goes from the first to the second solvation shell, yet the difference is not negligible. Nevertheless, the effect of the ions past their first hydration shell is not enough to make a noticeable change in the global HB network. The Kirkwood-Buff theory of liquids was applied to our system, in order to calculate the activity derivative of the cosolvent. This coefficient, along with a previously calculated preferential binding, allowed us to establish that if a folded AP peptide is immersed in the studied solution, becoming the solute, then

  3. Clustering procedures for the optimal selection of data sets from multiple crystals in macromolecular crystallography.

    PubMed

    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

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. An autonomous structural health monitoring solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Featherston, Carol A.; Holford, Karen M.; Pullin, Rhys; Lees, Jonathan; Eaton, Mark; Pearson, Matthew

    2013-05-01

    Combining advanced sensor technologies, with optimised data acquisition and diagnostic and prognostic capability, structural health monitoring (SHM) systems provide real-time assessment of the integrity of bridges, buildings, aircraft, wind turbines, oil pipelines and ships, leading to improved safety and reliability and reduced inspection and maintenance costs. The implementation of power harvesting, using energy scavenged from ambient sources such as thermal gradients and sources of vibration in conjunction with wireless transmission enables truly autonomous systems, reducing the need for batteries and associated maintenance in often inaccessible locations, alongside bulky and expensive wiring looms. The design and implementation of such a system however presents numerous challenges. A suitable energy source or multiple sources capable of meeting the power requirements of the system, over the entire monitoring period, in a location close to the sensor must be identified. Efficient power management techniques must be used to condition the power and deliver it, as required, to enable appropriate measurements to be taken. Energy storage may be necessary, to match a continuously changing supply and demand for a range of different monitoring states including sleep, record and transmit. An appropriate monitoring technique, capable of detecting, locating and characterising damage and delivering reliable information, whilst minimising power consumption, must be selected. Finally a wireless protocol capable of transmitting the levels of information generated at the rate needed in the required operating environment must be chosen. This paper considers solutions to some of these challenges, and in particular examines SHM in the context of the aircraft environment.

  7. Macromolecular Diffusion in Polymer Nanocomposites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gam, Sangah; Meth, Jeff; Zane, Steve; Winey, Karen; Clarke, Nigel; Composto, Russell

    2011-03-01

    Macromolecular diffusion in crowded systems is important in biological and engineered systems. We have studied macromolecular diffusion through a model polymer nanocomposite (PNC) containing phenyl grafted silica nanoparticles (NPs), randomly distributed in a polystyrene matrix. Over a wide range of NP loading and tracer molecular weight (M), the scaling of the diffusion coefficient with M is in excellent agreement with the entropic barrier model (EBM) previously used to describe diffusion of DNA through confined media (e.g., gels and nanopores). To investigate the effect of NP size, diffusion was measured in PNC's with silica NPs having diameters of 28 and 12 nm. The normalized diffusion coefficients (D / D0) plotted against the interparticle separation relative to probe size (i.e., ID/ 2 Rg) collapse on a master curve. Diffusion in a poly(methyl methacrylate):silica NP system was also investigated to understand how attractive interactions (i.e., enthalpy) perturb motion relative to the polystyrene and phenyl-silica NP system which is athermal. Finally, a flux-based model is proposed and compared with experimental results.

  8. 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

  9. Special quasirandom structures for perovskite solid solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Zhijun; Nahas, Yousra; Xu, Bin; Prosandeev, Sergey; Wang, Dawei; Bellaiche, Laurent

    2016-11-01

    Special quasirandom structures (SQS) are presently generated for disordered (A‧1-x {{\\text{A}}\\prime \\prime} x )BX3 and A(B‧1-x {{\\text{B}}\\prime \\prime} x )X3 perovskite solid solutions, with x  =  1/2 as well as 1/3 and 2/3. These SQS configurations are obtained by imposing that the so-called Cowley parameters are as close to zero as possible for the three nearest neighboring shells. Moreover, these SQS configurations are slightly larger in size than those available in the literature for x  =  1/2, mostly because of the current capabilities of atomistic techniques. They are used here within effective Hamiltonian schemes to predict various properties, which are then compared to those associated with large random supercells, in a variety of compounds, namely (Ba1-x Sr x )TiO3, Pb(Zr1-x Ti x )O3, Pb(Sc0.5Nb0.5)O3, Ba(Zr1-x Ti x )O3, Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3 and (Bi1-x Nd x )FeO3. It is found that these SQS configurations can reproduce many properties of large random supercells of most of these disordered perovskite alloys, below some finite material-dependent temperature. Examples of these properties are electrical polarization, anti-phase and in-phase octahedral tiltings, antipolar motions, antiferromagnetism, strain, piezoelectric coefficients, dielectric response, specific heat and even the formation of polar nanoregions (PNRs) in some relaxors. Some limitations of these SQS configurations are also pointed out and explained.

  10. Combined Effects of Agitation, Macromolecular Crowding, and Interfaces on Amyloidogenesis*

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chiu Fan; Bird, Sarah; Shaw, Michael; Jean, Létitia; Vaux, David J.

    2012-01-01

    Amyloid formation and accumulation is a hallmark of protein misfolding diseases and is associated with diverse pathologies including type II diabetes and Alzheimer's disease (AD). In vitro, amyloidogenesis is widely studied in conditions that do not simulate the crowded and viscous in vivo environment. A high volume fraction of most biological fluids is occupied by various macromolecules, a phenomenon known as macromolecular crowding. For some amyloid systems (e.g. α-synuclein) and under shaking condition, the excluded volume effect of macromolecular crowding favors aggregation, whereas increased viscosity reduces the kinetics of these reactions. Amyloidogenesis can also be catalyzed by hydrophobic-hydrophilic interfaces, represented by the air-water interface in vitro and diverse heterogeneous interfaces in vivo (e.g. membranes). In this study, we investigated the effects of two different crowding polymers (dextran and Ficoll) and two different experimental conditions (with and without shaking) on the fibrilization of amyloid-β peptide, a major player in AD pathogenesis. Specifically, we demonstrate that, during macromolecular crowding, viscosity dominates over the excluded volume effect only when the system is spatially non homogeneous (i.e. an air-water interface is present). We also show that the surfactant activity of the crowding agents can critically influence the outcome of macromolecular crowding and that the structure of the amyloid species formed may depend on the polymer used. This suggests that, in vivo, the outcome of amyloidogenesis may be affected by both macromolecular crowding and spatial heterogeneity (e.g. membrane turn-over). More generally, our work suggests that any factors causing changes in crowding may be susceptibility factors in AD. PMID:22988239

  11. The growth of filaments under macromolecular confinement using scaling theory.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Lin; Pan, Wei; Lu, Xi; Li, Desheng; Zhao, Jiang; Liang, Dehai

    2015-11-14

    Quantitatively describing macromolecular confinement is still a challenge. Using the assembly of DNA tiles in a polyacrylamide network as a model, we studied the effect of macromolecular confinement on the growth of the filament by scaling theory. The results show that the confinement regulates the morphology, the initial growth rate v, and the eventual length of the filament Nm. The initial growth rate is dependent on the medium viscosity η as ν∝η(-0.94), and the filament adjusts its length in the given confined space as Nm∝ (ξ/Rg)(1.8), with ξ being the mesh size of the polyacrylamide solution and Rg being the radius of gyration of polyacrylamide.

  12. 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.

  13. Macromolecular Crowding Enhances Catalytic Efficiency and Stability of α-Amylase

    PubMed Central

    Yadav, Jay Kant

    2013-01-01

    In the present study an attempt was made to investigate the macromolecular crowding effect on functional attributes of α-amylase. High concentrations of sugar based cosolvents, (e.g., trehalose, sucrose, sorbitol, and glycerol) were used to mimic the macromolecular crowding environment (of cellular milieu) under in vitro conditions. To assess the effect of macromolecular crowding, the activity and structural properties of the enzyme were evaluated in the presence of different concentrations of the above cosolvents. Based on the results it is suggested that the macromolecular crowding significantly improves the catalytic efficiency of the enzyme with marginal change in the structure. Out of four cosolvents examined, trehalose was found to be the most effective in consistently enhancing thermal stability of the enzyme. Moreover, the relative effectiveness of the above cosolvents was found to be dependent on their concentration used. PMID:25969780

  14. Visual automated macromolecular model building.

    PubMed

    Langer, Gerrit G; Hazledine, Saul; Wiegels, Tim; Carolan, Ciaran; Lamzin, Victor S

    2013-04-01

    Automated model-building software aims at the objective interpretation of crystallographic diffraction data by means of the construction or completion of macromolecular models. Automated methods have rapidly gained in popularity as they are easy to use and generate reproducible and consistent results. However, the process of model building has become increasingly hidden and the user is often left to decide on how to proceed further with little feedback on what has preceded the output of the built model. Here, ArpNavigator, a molecular viewer tightly integrated into the ARP/wARP automated model-building package, is presented that directly controls model building and displays the evolving output in real time in order to make the procedure transparent to the user.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. WAXS studies of the structural diversity of hemoglobin in solution.

    SciTech Connect

    Makowski, L.; Bardhan, J.; Gore, D.; Lal, J.; Mandava, S.; Park, S.; Rodi, D. J.; Ho, N. T.; Ho, C.; Fischetti, R. F.

    2011-01-01

    Specific ligation states of hemoglobin are, when crystallized, capable of taking on multiple quaternary structures. The relationship between these structures, captured in crystal lattices, and hemoglobin structure in solution remains uncertain. Wide-angle X-ray solution scattering (WAXS) is a sensitive probe of protein structure in solution that can distinguish among similar structures and has the potential to contribute to these issues. We used WAXS to assess the relationships among the structures of human and bovine hemoglobins in different liganded forms in solution. WAXS data readily distinguished among the various forms of hemoglobins. WAXS patterns confirm some of the relationships among hemoglobin structures that have been defined through crystallography and NMR and extend others. For instance, methemoglobin A in solution is, as expected, nearly indistinguishable from HbCO A. Interestingly, for bovine hemoglobin, the differences between deoxy-Hb, methemoglobin and HbCO are smaller than the corresponding differences in human hemoglobin. WAXS data were also used to assess the spatial extent of structural fluctuations of various hemoglobins in solution. Dynamics has been implicated in allosteric control of hemoglobin, and increased dynamics has been associated with lowered oxygen affinity. Consistent with that notion, WAXS patterns indicate that deoxy-Hb A exhibits substantially larger structural fluctuations than HbCO A. Comparisons between the observed WAXS patterns and those predicted on the basis of atomic coordinate sets suggest that the structures of Hb in different liganded forms exhibit clear differences from known crystal structure.

  18. Automated data collection for macromolecular crystallography.

    PubMed

    Winter, Graeme; McAuley, Katherine E

    2011-09-01

    An overview, together with some practical advice, is presented of the current status of the automation of macromolecular crystallography (MX) data collection, with a focus on MX beamlines at Diamond Light Source, UK.

  19. 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.

  20. Protein folding, stability, and solvation structure in osmolyte solutions hydrophobicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montgomery Pettitt, B.

    2008-03-01

    The hydrophobic effect between solutes in aqueous solutions plays a central role in our understanding of recognition and folding of proteins and self assembly of lipids. Hydrophobicity induces nonideal solution behavior which plays a role in many aspects of biophysics. Work on the use of small biochemical compounds to crowd protein solutions indicates that a quantitative description of their non-ideal behavior is possible and straightforward. Here, we will show what the structural origin of this non-ideal solution behavior is from expression derived from a semi grand ensemble approach. We discuss the consequences of these findings regarding protein folding stability and solvation in crowded solutions through a structural analysis of the m-value or the change in free energy difference of a macromolecule in solution with respect to the concentration of a third component. This effect has recently been restudied and new mechanisms proposed for its origins in terms of transfer free energies and hydrophobicity.

  1. Low-resolution structures of proteins in solution retrieved from X-ray scattering with a genetic algorithm.

    PubMed Central

    Chacón, P; Morán, F; Díaz, J F; Pantos, E; Andreu, J M

    1998-01-01

    Small-angle x-ray solution scattering (SAXS) is analyzed with a new method to retrieve convergent model structures that fit the scattering profiles. An arbitrary hexagonal packing of several hundred beads containing the problem object is defined. Instead of attempting to compute the Debye formula for all of the possible mass distributions, a genetic algorithm is employed that efficiently searches the configurational space and evolves best-fit bead models. Models from different runs of the algorithm have similar or identical structures. The modeling resolution is increased by reducing the bead radius together with the search space in successive cycles of refinement. The method has been tested with protein SAXS (0.001 < S < 0.06 A(-1)) calculated from x-ray crystal structures, adding noise to the profiles. The models obtained closely approach the volumes and radii of gyration of the known structures, and faithfully reproduce the dimensions and shape of each of them. This includes finding the active site cavity of lysozyme, the bilobed structure of gamma-crystallin, two domains connected by a stalk in betab2-crystallin, and the horseshoe shape of pancreatic ribonuclease inhibitor. The low-resolution solution structure of lysozyme has been directly modeled from its experimental SAXS profile (0.003 < S < 0.03 A(-1)). The model describes lysozyme size and shape to the resolution of the measurement. The method may be applied to other proteins, to the analysis of domain movements, to the comparison of solution and crystal structures, as well as to large macromolecular assemblies. PMID:9635731

  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. Protein Folding, Stability, and Solvation Structure in Osmolyte Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Rösgen, Jörg; Pettitt, B. Montgomery; Bolen, David Wayne

    2005-01-01

    An understanding of the impact of the crowded conditions in the cytoplasm on its biomolecules is of clear importance to biochemical, medical, and pharmaceutical science. Our previous work on the use of small biochemical compounds to crowd protein solutions indicates that a quantitative description of their nonideal behavior is possible and straightforward. Here, we show the structural origin of the nonideal solution behavior. We discuss the consequences of these findings regarding protein folding stability and solvation in crowded solutions through a structural analysis of the m-value or the change in free-energy difference of a macromolecule in solution with respect to the concentration of a third component. PMID:16113118

  4. Solution structure of nickel-peptide deformylase.

    PubMed

    Dardel, F; Ragusa, S; Lazennec, C; Blanquet, S; Meinnel, T

    1998-07-17

    In the accompanying paper, we report that zinc is unlikely to be the co-factor supporting peptide deformylase activity in vivo. In contrast, nickel binding promotes full enzyme activity. The three-dimensional structure of the resulting nickel-containing peptide deformylase (catalytic domain, residues 1 to 147) was solved by NMR using a 13C-15N-doubly labelled protein sample. A set of 2261 restraints could be collected, with an average of 15.4 per amino acid. The resolution, which shows a good definition for the position of most side-chains, is greatly improved compared to that previously reported for the zinc-containing, inactive form. A comparison of the two stuctures indicates however that both share the same 3D organization. This shows that the nature of the bound metal is the primary determinant of the hydrolytic activity of this enzyme. Site-directed mutagenesis enabled us to determine the conserved residues of PDF involved in the structure of the active site. In particular, a buried arginine appears to be critical for the positioning of Cys90, one of the metal ligands. Furthermore, the 3D structure of peptide deformylase was compared to thermolysin and metzincins. Although the structural folds are very different, they all display a common structural motif involving an alpha-helix and a three-stranded beta-sheet. These conserved structural elements build a common scaffold which includes the active site, suggesting a common hydrolytic mechanism for these proteases. Finally, an invariant glycine shared by both PDF and metzincins enables us to extend the conserved motif from HEXXH to HEXXHXXG.

  5. Solution Structure of Yeast Rpn9

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yunfei; Wu, Yujie; Li, Qianwen; Zhang, Wenbo; Jin, Changwen

    2015-01-01

    The regulatory particle (RP) of the 26 S proteasome functions in preparing polyubiquitinated substrates for degradation. The lid complex of the RP contains an Rpn8-Rpn11 heterodimer surrounded by a horseshoe-shaped scaffold formed by six proteasome-COP9/CSN-initiation factor (PCI)-containing subunits. The PCI domains are essential for lid assembly, whereas the detailed molecular mechanisms remain elusive. Recent cryo-EM studies at near-atomic resolution provided invaluable information on the RP architecture in different functional states. Nevertheless, atomic resolution structural information on the RP is still limited, and deeper understanding of RP assembly mechanism requires further studies on the structures and interactions of individual subunits or subcomplexes. Herein we report the high-resolution NMR structures of the PCI-containing subunit Rpn9 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The 45-kDa protein contains an all-helical N-terminal domain and a C-terminal PCI domain linked via a semiflexible hinge. The N-terminal domain mediates interaction with the ubiquitin receptor Rpn10, whereas the PCI domain mediates interaction with the neighboring PCI subunit Rpn5. The Rpn9-Rpn5 interface highlights two structural motifs on the winged helix module forming a hydrophobic center surrounded by ionic pairs, which is a common pattern for all PCI-PCI interactions in the lid. The results suggest that divergence in surface composition among different PCI pairs may contribute to the modulation of lid assembly. PMID:25631053

  6. Polybivalency and disordered proteins in ordering macromolecular assemblies.

    PubMed

    Barbar, Elisar; Nyarko, Afua

    2015-01-01

    Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are prevalent in macromolecular assemblies and are thought to mediate protein recognition in complex regulatory processes and signaling pathways. The formation of a polybivalent scaffold is a key process by which IDPs drive early steps in macromolecular assemblies. Three intrinsically disordered proteins, IC, Swallow and Nup159, are core components, respectively, of cytoplasmic dynein, bicoid mRNA localization apparatus, and nuclear pore complexes. In all three systems, the hub protein LC8 recognizes on the IDP, short linear motifs that are fully disordered in the apo form, but adopt a β-strand when bound to LC8. The IDP/LC8 complex forms a bivalent scaffold primed to bind additional bivalent ligands. Scaffold formation also promotes self-association and/or higher order organization of the IDP components at a site distant from LC8 binding. Rigorous thermodynamic analyses imply that association of additional bivalent ligands is driven by entropic effects where the first binding event is weak but subsequent binding of additional ligands occurs with higher affinity. Here, we review specific examples of macromolecular assemblies in which polybivalency of aligned IDP duplexes not only enhances binding affinity and results in formation of a stable complex but also compensates unfavorable steric and enthalpic interactions. We propose that polybivalent scaffold assembly involving IDPs and LC8-like proteins is a general process in the cell biology of a class of multi-protein structures that are stable yet fine-tuned for diverse cellular requirements.

  7. Cryosalts: suppression of ice formation in macromolecular crystallography.

    PubMed

    Rubinson, K A; Ladner, J E; Tordova, M; Gilliland, G L

    2000-08-01

    Quality data collection for macromolecular cryocrystallography requires suppressing the formation of crystalline or microcrystalline ice that may result from flash-freezing crystals. Described here is the use of lithium formate, lithium chloride and other highly soluble salts for forming ice-ring-free aqueous glasses upon cooling from ambient temperature to 100 K. These cryosalts are a new class of cryoprotectants that are shown to be effective with a variety of commonly used crystallization solutions and with proteins crystallized under different conditions. The influence of cryosalts on crystal mosaicity and diffraction resolution is comparable with or superior to traditional organic cryoprotectants.

  8. 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.

  9. Solution processed organic microarray with inverted structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toglia, Patrick; Lewis, Jason; Lafalce, Evan; Jiang, Xiaomei

    2011-03-01

    We have fabricated inverted organic microarray using a novel solution-based technique. The array consists of 60 small (1 square mm) solar cells on a one inch by one inch glass substrate. The device utilizes photoactive materials such as a blend of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM). Manipulation of active layer nanomorphology has been done by choice of solvents and annealing conditions. Detailed analysis of device physics including current voltage characteristics, external quantum efficiency and carrier recombinations will be presented and complimented by AFM images and glazing angle XRD of the active layer under different processing conditions. The procedure described here has the full potential for use in future fabrication of microarrays with single cell as small as 0.01 square mm for application in DC power supplies for electrostatic Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices. This work was supported by New Energy Technology Inc. and Florida High Tech Corridor Matching Fund (FHT 09-18).

  10. Taking X-ray Diffraction to the Limit: Macromolecular Structures from Femtosecond X-ray Pulses and Diffraction Microscopy of Cells with Synchrotron Radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Chapman, H N; Miao, J; Kirz, J; Sayre, D; Hodgson, K O

    2003-10-01

    The methodology of X-ray crystallography has recently been successfully extended to the structure determination of non-crystalline specimens. The phase problem was solved by using the oversampling method, which takes advantage of ''continuous'' diffraction pattern from non-crystalline specimens. Here we review the principle of this newly developed technique and discuss the ongoing experiments of imaging non-periodic objects, like cells and cellular structures using coherent and bright X-rays from the 3rd generation synchrotron radiation. In the longer run, the technique may be applied to image single biomolecules by using the anticipated X-ray free electron lasers. Computer simulations have so far demonstrated two important steps: (1) by using an extremely intense femtosecond X-ray pulse, a diffraction pattern can be recorded from a macromolecule before radiation damage manifests itself, and (2) the phase information can be ab initio retrieved from a set of calculated noisy diffraction patterns of single protein molecules.

  11. A Sco protein among the hypothetical proteins of Bacillus lehensis G1: Its 3D macromolecular structure and association with Cytochrome C Oxidase

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background At least a quarter of any complete genome encodes for hypothetical proteins (HPs) which are largely non-similar to other known, well-characterized proteins. Predicting and solving their structures and functions is imperative to aid understanding of any given organism as a complete biological system. The present study highlights the primary effort to classify and cluster 1202 HPs of Bacillus lehensis G1 alkaliphile to serve as a platform to mine and select specific HP(s) to be studied further in greater detail. Results All HPs of B. lehensis G1 were grouped according to their predicted functions based on the presence of functional domains in their sequences. From the metal-binding group of HPs of the cluster, an HP termed Bleg1_2507 was discovered to contain a thioredoxin (Trx) domain and highly-conserved metal-binding ligands represented by Cys69, Cys73 and His159, similar to all prokaryotic and eukaryotic Sco proteins. The built 3D structure of Bleg1_2507 showed that it shared the βαβαββ core structure of Trx-like proteins as well as three flanking β-sheets, a 310 –helix at the N-terminus and a hairpin structure unique to Sco proteins. Docking simulations provided an interesting view of Bleg1_2507 in association with its putative cytochrome c oxidase subunit II (COXII) redox partner, Bleg1_2337, where the latter can be seen to hold its partner in an embrace, facilitated by hydrophobic and ionic interactions between the proteins. Although Bleg1_2507 shares relatively low sequence identity (47%) to BsSco, interestingly, the predicted metal-binding residues of Bleg1_2507 i.e. Cys-69, Cys-73 and His-159 were located at flexible active loops similar to other Sco proteins across biological taxa. This highlights structural conservation of Sco despite their various functions in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Conclusions We propose that HP Bleg1_2507 is a Sco protein which is able to interact with COXII, its redox partner and therefore, may possess

  12. 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

  13. Effects of macromolecular crowding on genetic networks.

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-21

    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.

  14. Automated macromolecular model building for X-ray crystallography using ARP/wARP version 7.

    PubMed

    Langer, Gerrit; 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 nonexpert 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.

  15. Rapid structural analysis of nanomaterials in aqueous solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryuzaki, Sou; Tsutsui, Makusu; He, Yuhui; Yokota, Kazumichi; Arima, Akihide; Morikawa, Takanori; Taniguchi, Masateru; Kawai, Tomoji

    2017-04-01

    Rapid structural analysis of nanoscale matter in a liquid environment represents innovative technologies that reveal the identities and functions of biologically important molecules. However, there is currently no method with high spatio-temporal resolution that can scan individual particles in solutions to gain structural information. Here we report the development of a nanopore platform realizing quantitative structural analysis for suspended nanomaterials in solutions with a high z-axis and xy-plane spatial resolution of 35.8 ± 1.1 and 12 nm, respectively. We used a low thickness-to-diameter aspect ratio pore architecture for achieving cross sectional areas of analyte (i.e. tomograms). Combining this with multiphysics simulation methods to translate ionic current data into tomograms, we demonstrated rapid structural analysis of single polystyrene (Pst) beads and single dumbbell-like Pst beads in aqueous solutions.

  16. Multi-crystal Anomalous Diffraction for Low-resolution Macromolecular Phasing

    SciTech Connect

    Q Liu; Z Zhang; W Hendrickson

    2011-12-31

    Multiwavelength anomalous diffraction (MAD) and single-wavelength anomalous diffraction (SAD) are the two most commonly used methods for de novo determination of macromolecular structures. Both methods rely on the accurate extraction of anomalous signals; however, because of factors such as poor intrinsic order, radiation damage, inadequate anomalous scatterers, poor diffraction quality and other noise-causing factors, the anomalous signal from a single crystal is not always good enough for structure solution. In this study, procedures for extracting more accurate anomalous signals by merging data from multiple crystals are devised and tested. SAD phasing tests were made with a relatively large (1456 ordered residues) poorly diffracting (d{sub min} = 3.5 {angstrom}) selenomethionyl protein (20 Se). It is quantified that the anomalous signal, success in substructure determination and accuracy of phases and electron-density maps all improve with an increase in the number of crystals used in merging. Structure solutions are possible when no single crystal can support structural analysis. It is proposed that such multi-crystal strategies may be broadly useful when only weak anomalous signals are available.

  17. 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.

  18. Structural analysis of 5-fluorouracil and thymine solid solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogt, Frederick G.; Vena, Joseph A.; Chavda, Manisha; Clawson, Jacalyn S.; Strohmeier, Mark; Barnett, Maria E.

    2009-08-01

    Solid-state analysis with powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), solid-state NMR (SSNMR), and other spectroscopic and physical methods can provide detailed structural information about organic and pharmaceutical cocrystals. In this study, a range of solid-state analysis methods are used to characterize co-crystallized solid solutions of 5-fluorouracil and thymine. 1H, 13C and 19F SSNMR and PXRD methods are used to study the structure and disorder present in a solid solution previously prepared by solution evaporation methods; here the solid solution is prepared over a wider stoichiometric range by solvent-drop grinding techniques. Long-range perturbations of key chemical shifts are detectable by SSNMR, indicating that the solid solution is not random. Cross-polarization and heteronuclear correlation SSNMR experiments between 1H, 13C, and 19F nuclei offer insight into the structure of this solid solution, and density functional theory (DFT) methods are applied to calculate lattice energies and NMR properties in order to understand the population of the two primary disordered sites in the crystal structure. In addition, a second solid solution of 5-fluorouracil and thymine is reported and analyzed. This solid solution, which was produced by solvent-drop grinding experiments and characterized by SSNMR and powder X-ray diffraction methods, is determined to be an isostructural phase to that of anhydrous thymine with the inclusion of 5-fluorouracil defects. A similar effect does not occur under excess 5-fluorouracil conditions; instead, phase-separated Form 1 of 5-fluorouracil and anhydrous thymine are obtained. DFT calculations are applied to offer a possible explanation for this disparity.

  19. 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.

  20. Neutron Crystallography for Macromolecular Structure Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuroki, Ryota

    Hydrogen atoms in proteins as well as protein-bound water molecules play a significant role in many chemical reaction processes in living systems, such as catalytic reaction and molecular recognition. Neutron crystallography is a powerful tool to identify locations of light atoms like hydrogen. In the field of neutron crystallography, the development of diffractometers and techniques for preparation and crystallization of target samples has been developed to complement the low flux of neutron sources. In Japan, single-crystal diffractometers named BIX-3 and BIX-4 have been developed, and contribute to the effective collection of neutron diffraction data. Recent developments on the complementary use of neutron and X-ray diffraction data have begun solving previously undetermined problems of protein function. Further efforts to acquire higher measurement performance are now in progress to increase the application of neutron crystallographic studies.

  1. 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.

  2. Thermodynamic signatures in macromolecular interactions involving conformational flexibility.

    PubMed

    Menzel, Anja; Neumann, Piotr; Schwieger, Christian; Stubbs, Milton T

    2014-07-01

    The energetics of macromolecular interactions are complex, particularly where protein flexibility is involved. Exploiting serendipitous differences in the plasticity of a series of closely related trypsin variants, we analyzed the enthalpic and entropic contributions accompanying interaction with L45K-eglin C. Binding of the four variants show significant differences in released heat, although the affinities vary little, in accordance with the principle of enthalpy-entropy compensation. Binding of the most disordered variant is almost entirely enthalpically driven, with practically no entropy change. As structures of the complexes reveal negligible differences in protein-inhibitor contacts, we conclude that solvent effects contribute significantly to binding affinities.

  3. [Structure and Activity of Fungal Lipases in Bile Salt Solutions].

    PubMed

    Bogdanova, L R; Bakirova, D R; Valiullina, Yu A; Idiyatullin, B Z; Faizullin, D A; Zueva, O S; Zuev, Yu F

    2016-01-01

    The changes in structure and catalytic properties of fungal lipases (Candida rugosa, Rhizomucor miehei, Mucor javanicus) were investigated in micellar solutions of bile salts that differ in hydrophilic-lypophilic balance and reaction medium properties. The methods of circular dichroism and tryptophan fluorescence were applied to estimate the changes in peptide structure within complexes with bile salt micelles. Bile salts do not exert a significant influence on the structure of the enzymes under study: in Rh. miehei and M. javanicus lipases the alpha helix content slightly decreased, the influence of bile salts on the C. rugosa structure was not revealed. Despite negligible structural modifications in the enzymes, in bile salt solutions a considerable change in their catalytic properties was observed: an abrupt decrease in catalytic effectiveness. Substrate-bile salts micelles complex formation was demonstrated by the NMR self-diffusion method. The model of a regulation of fungal lipase activity was proposed.

  4. Mixed Consolidation Solution for a Reinforced Concrete Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lute, M.

    2016-06-01

    During the last years, reinforced concrete structures become subject for rehabilitation due to two factors: their long life span and large change in norms that leaded to a large increase of seismic loads in Eastern Europe. These lead to a necessity for rehabilitation of existing building stock in order to use them during their entire life span at the maximum potential. The present paper proposes a solution for rehabilitation for three reinforced concrete building of a hospital, that consumed a half of their life span and do not correspond anymore to present norms. The chosen solution is a combination between CFRP rehabilitation and increase of structural elements cross section in order to achieve the stiffness balance in the structure nodes that is required by present norms. As a further matter, correction in stiffness of local elements diminished the lateral drifts of the structure and improved the global seismic response of the building.

  5. On the structure of an aqueous propylene glycol solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhys, Natasha H.; Gillams, Richard J.; Collins, Louise E.; Callear, Samantha K.; Lawrence, M. Jayne; McLain, Sylvia E.

    2016-12-01

    Using a combination of neutron diffraction and empirical potential structure refinement computational modelling, the interactions in a 30 mol. % aqueous solution of propylene glycol (PG), which govern both the hydration and association of this molecule in solution, have been assessed. From this work it appears that PG is readily hydrated, where the most prevalent hydration interactions were found to be through both the PG hydroxyl groups but also alkyl groups typically considered hydrophobic. Hydration interactions of PG dominate the solution over PG self-self interactions and there is no evidence of more extensive association. This hydration behavior for PG in solutions suggests that the preference of PG to be hydrated rather than to be self-associated may translate into a preference for PG to bind to lipids rather than itself, providing a potential explanation for how PG is able to enhance the apparent solubility of drug molecules in vivo.

  6. On the structure of an aqueous propylene glycol solution.

    PubMed

    Rhys, Natasha H; Gillams, Richard J; Collins, Louise E; Callear, Samantha K; Lawrence, M Jayne; McLain, Sylvia E

    2016-12-14

    Using a combination of neutron diffraction and empirical potential structure refinement computational modelling, the interactions in a 30 mol. % aqueous solution of propylene glycol (PG), which govern both the hydration and association of this molecule in solution, have been assessed. From this work it appears that PG is readily hydrated, where the most prevalent hydration interactions were found to be through both the PG hydroxyl groups but also alkyl groups typically considered hydrophobic. Hydration interactions of PG dominate the solution over PG self-self interactions and there is no evidence of more extensive association. This hydration behavior for PG in solutions suggests that the preference of PG to be hydrated rather than to be self-associated may translate into a preference for PG to bind to lipids rather than itself, providing a potential explanation for how PG is able to enhance the apparent solubility of drug molecules in vivo.

  7. Outrunning free radicals in room-temperature macromolecular crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Owen, Robin L. Axford, Danny; Nettleship, Joanne E.; Owens, Raymond J.; Robinson, James I.; Morgan, Ann W.; Doré, Andrew S.; Lebon, Guillaume; Tate, Christopher G.; Fry, Elizabeth E.; Ren, Jingshan; Stuart, David I.; Evans, Gwyndaf

    2012-06-15

    A systematic increase in lifetime is observed in room-temperature protein and virus crystals through the use of reduced exposure times and a fast detector. A significant increase in the lifetime of room-temperature macromolecular crystals is reported through the use of a high-brilliance X-ray beam, reduced exposure times and a fast-readout detector. This is attributed to the ability to collect diffraction data before hydroxyl radicals can propagate through the crystal, fatally disrupting the lattice. Hydroxyl radicals are shown to be trapped in amorphous solutions at 100 K. The trend in crystal lifetime was observed in crystals of a soluble protein (immunoglobulin γ Fc receptor IIIa), a virus (bovine enterovirus serotype 2) and a membrane protein (human A{sub 2A} adenosine G-protein coupled receptor). The observation of a similar effect in all three systems provides clear evidence for a common optimal strategy for room-temperature data collection and will inform the design of future synchrotron beamlines and detectors for macromolecular crystallography.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Structures and stability of salt-bridge in aqueous solution.

    PubMed

    Sagarik, Kritsana; Chaiyapongs, Supaporn

    2005-09-01

    Structures and stability of salt-bridges in aqueous solutions were investigated using a complex formed from the guanidinium (Gdm+) and formate (FmO-) ions as a model system. The Test-particle model (T-model) potentials to describe the interactions in the Gdm+-H2O, FmO(-)-H2O and Gdm+-FmO- complexes were constructed, tested and applied in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of the aqueous solutions at 298 K. The three-dimensional structures and energetic of the hydrogen bond (H-bond) networks of water in the first hydration shells of the Gdm+ and FmO- ions, as well as the Gdm+-FmO- complex, were visualized and analyzed using various probability distribution (PD) maps. The structures of the average potential energy landscapes at the H-bond networks were employed to characterize the stability and dynamic behavior of water molecules in the first hydration shells of the solutes. It was observed that water molecules in the first hydration shell of the close-contact Gdm+-FmO- complex form associated H-bond networks, which introduce a net stabilization effect to the ion-pair, whereas those in the interstitial H-bond network destabilize and break the solvent-separated Gdm+-FmO- complex. The present results showed that, in order to provide complete insights into the structures and stability of ion-pairs in aqueous solutions, explicit water molecules have to be included in the model calculations.

  11. Solution structures of nanoassemblies based on pyrogallol[4]arenes.

    PubMed

    Kumari, Harshita; Deakyne, Carol A; Atwood, Jerry L

    2014-10-21

    Nanoassemblies of hydrogen-bonded and metal-seamed pyrogallol[4]arenes have been shown to possess novel solution-phase geometries. Further, we have demonstrated that both guest encapsulation and structural rearrangements may be studied by solution-phase techniques such as small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and diffusion NMR. Application of these techniques to pyrogallol[4]arene-based nanoassemblies has allowed (1) differentiation among spherical, ellipsoidal, toroidal, and tubular structures in solution, (2) determination of factors that control the preferred geometrical shape and size of the nanoassemblies, and (3) detection of small variations in metric dimensions distinguishing similarly and differently shaped nanoassemblies in a given solution. Indeed, we have shown that the solution-phase structure of such nanoassemblies is often quite different from what one would predict based on solid-state studies, a result in disagreement with the frequently made assumption that these assemblies have similar structures in the two phases. We instead have predicted solid-state architectures from solution-phase structures by combining the solution-phase analysis with solid-state magnetic and elemental analyses. Specifically, the iron-seamed C-methylpyrogallol[4]arene nanoassembly was found to be tubular in solution and predicted to be tubular in the solid state, but it was found to undergo a rearrangement from a tubular to spherical geometry in solution as a function of base concentration. The absence of metal within a tubular framework affects its stability in both solution and the solid state; however, this instability is not necessarily characteristic of hydrogen-bonded capsular entities. Even metal seaming of the capsules does not guarantee similar solid-state and solution-phase architectures. The rugby ball-shaped gallium-seamed C-butylpyrogallol[4]arene hexamer becomes toroidal on dissolution, as does the spherically shaped gallium/zinc-seamed C-butylpyrogallol[4

  12. Crystal structure solution from experimentally determined atomic pair distribution functions

    SciTech Connect

    Juhas, P.; Granlund, L.; Gujarathi, S.R.; Duxbury, P.M.; Billinge, S.J.L.

    2010-05-25

    An extension of the Liga algorithm for structure solution from atomic pair distribution functions (PDFs), to handle periodic crystal structures with multiple elements in the unit cell, is described. The procedure is performed in three separate steps. First, pair distances are extracted from the experimental PDF. In the second step the Liga algorithm is used to find unit-cell sites consistent with these pair distances. Finally, the atom species are assigned over the cell sites by minimizing the overlap of their empirical atomic radii. The procedure has been demonstrated on synchrotron X-ray PDF data from 16 test samples. The structure solution was successful for 14 samples, including cases with enlarged supercells. The algorithm success rate and the reasons for the failed cases are discussed, together with enhancements that should improve its convergence and usability.

  13. Structural and Spectroscopic Properties of Water Around Small Hydrophobic Solutes

    PubMed Central

    Montagna, Maria; Sterpone, Fabio; Guidoni, Leonardo

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the structural, dynamical and spectroscopic properties of water molecules around a solvated methane by means of Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics simulations. Despite their mobility, in the first-shell water molecules are dynamically displaced in a clathrate-like cage around the hydrophobic solute. No significant differences in water geometrical parameters, in molecular dipole moments or in hydrogen bonding properties are observed between in-shell and out-shell molecules, indicating that liquid water can accommodate a small hydrophobic solute without altering its structural properties. The calculated contribution of the first shell water molecules to the infrared spectra does not show significant differences with respect the bulk signal once the effects of the missing polarization of second-shell molecules has been taken into account. Small fingerprints of the clathrate-like structure appear in the vibrational density of states in the libration and OH stretching regions. PMID:22946539

  14. [Macromolecular aromatic network characteristics of Chinese power coal analyzed by synchronous fluorescence and X-ray diffraction].

    PubMed

    Ye, Cui-Ping; Feng, Jie; Li, Wen-Ying

    2012-07-01

    Coal structure, especially the macromolecular aromatic skeleton structure, has a strong influence on coke reactivity and coal gasification, so it is the key to grasp the macromolecular aromatic skeleton coal structure for getting the reasonable high efficiency utilization of coal. However, it is difficult to acquire their information due to the complex compositions and structure of coal. It has been found that the macromolecular aromatic network coal structure would be most isolated if small molecular of coal was first extracted. Then the macromolecular aromatic skeleton coal structure would be clearly analyzed by instruments, such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), fluorescence spectroscopy with synchronous mode (Syn-F), Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) etc. Based on the previous results, according to the stepwise fractional liquid extraction, two Chinese typical power coals, PS and HDG, were extracted by silica gel as stationary phase and acetonitrile, tetrahydrofuran (THF), pyridine and 1-methyl-2-pyrollidinone (NMP) as a solvent group for sequential elution. GPC, Syn-F and XRD were applied to investigate molecular mass distribution, condensed aromatic structure and crystal characteristics. The results showed that the size of aromatic layers (La) is small (3-3.95 nm) and the stacking heights (Lc) are 0.8-1.2 nm. The molecular mass distribution of the macromolecular aromatic network structure is between 400 and 1 130 amu, with condensed aromatic numbers of 3-7 in the structure units.

  15. Solution superstructures: truncated cubeoctahedron structures of pyrogallol[4]arene nanoassemblies.

    PubMed

    Kumari, Harshita; Kline, Steven R; Fowler, Drew A; Mossine, Andrew V; Deakyne, Carol A; Atwood, Jerry L

    2014-01-04

    Giant nanocapsules: the solution-phase structures of PgC1Ho and PgC3Ho have been investigated using in situ neutron scattering measurements. The SANS results show the presence of spherical nanoassemblies of radius 18.2 Å, which are larger than the previously reported metal-seamed PgC3 hexamers (radius = 10 Å). The spherical architectures conform to a truncated cubeoctahedron geometry, indicating formation of the first metal-containing pyrogallol[4]arene-based dodecameric nanoassemblies in solution.

  16. Development of solution techniques for nonlinear structural analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vos, R. G.; Andrews, J. S.

    1974-01-01

    Nonlinear structural solution methods in the current research literature are classified according to order of the solution scheme, and it is shown that the analytical tools for these methods are uniformly derivable by perturbation techniques. A new perturbation formulation is developed for treating an arbitrary nonlinear material, in terms of a finite-difference generated stress-strain expansion. Nonlinear geometric effects are included in an explicit manner by appropriate definition of an applicable strain tensor. A new finite-element pilot computer program PANES (Program for Analysis of Nonlinear Equilibrium and Stability) is presented for treatment of problems involving material and geometric nonlinearities, as well as certain forms on nonconservative loading.

  17. Electronic structures of Ascaris trypsin inhibitor in solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Haoping

    2003-11-01

    The electronic structures of Ascaris trypsin inhibitor in solution are obtained by the first-principles, all-electron, ab initio calculation using the self-consistent cluster-embedding (SCCE) method. The inhibitor, made up of 62 amino acid residues with 912 atoms, has two three-dimensional solution structures: 1ata and 1atb. The calculated ground-state energy of structure 1atb is lower than that of structure 1ata by 6.12 eV. The active sites are determined and explained: only structure 1atb has a N terminal at residue ARG+31. This shows that the structure 1atb is the stable and active form of the inhibitor, which is in agreement with the experimental results. The calculation reveals that some parts of the inhibitor can be easily changed while the inhibitor’s biological activity may be kept. This kind of information may be helpful in fighting viruses such as AIDS, SARS, and flu, since these viruses have higher variability. The calculation offers an independent theoretical estimate of the precision of structure determination.

  18. Relationship between solution structure and phase behavior: a neutron scattering study of concentrated aqueous hexamethylenetetramine solutions.

    PubMed

    Burton, R C; Ferrari, E S; Davey, R J; Finney, J L; Bowron, D T

    2009-04-30

    The water-hexamethylenetetramine system displays features of significant interest in the context of phase equilibria in molecular materials. First, it is possible to crystallize two solid phases depending on temperature, both hexahydrate and anhydrous forms. Second, saturated aqueous solutions in equilibrium with these forms exhibit a negative dependence of solubility (retrograde) on temperature. In this contribution, neutron scattering experiments (with isotopic substitution) of concentrated aqueous hexamethylenetetramine solutions combined with empirical potential structure refinement (EPSR) were used to investigate the time-averaged atomistic details of this system. Through the derivation of radial distribution functions, quantitative details emerge of the solution coordination, its relationship to the nature of the solid phases, and of the underlying cause of the solubility behavior of this molecule.

  19. Selection and evolution in macromolecular systems.

    PubMed

    Demetrius, L

    1983-08-21

    The notion of a quasi-species represents the ensemble of macromolecular sequences derived by the mechanism of mutation and replication from a single wild type. In Eigen (1971) and Eigen & Schuster (1979), the deterministic evolution of this ensemble under constant environmental conditions is given in terms of continuous models which describe the dynamics of the distribution of polynucleotides. This paper starts from a discrete model of macromolecular evolution and introduces the notion of a genealogy in order to study the dynamics of the quasi-species in constant and variable environments. We introduce, in terms of these genealogies, the notions of entropy and adaptive value of a quasi-species and the notion of capacity of the environment. We discuss the significance of these indices as measures of selective value and we analyse the conditions under which these measures coincide with the growth rate of the quasi-species.

  20. What happens to the structure of water in cryoprotectant solutions?

    PubMed

    Towey, James J; Soper, Alan K; Dougan, Lorna

    2013-01-01

    Cryoprotectant molecules are widely utilised in basic molecular research through to industrial and biomedical applications. The molecular mechanisms by which cryoprotectants stabilise and protect molecules and cells, along with suppressing the formation of ice, are incompletely understood. To gain greater insight into these mechanisms, we have completed an experimental determination of the structure of aqueous glycerol. Our investigation combines neutron diffraction experiments with isotopic substitution and computational modelling to determine the atomistic level structure of the glycerol-water mixtures, across the complete concentration range at room temperature. We examine the local structure of the system focusing on water structure. By comparing our data with that from other studies of cryoprotectant solutions, we attempt to find general rules for the action of cryoprotectants on water structure. We also discuss how these molecular scale interactions may be related to the macroscopic properties of the system.

  1. Flow-induced structured phase in nonionic micellar solutions.

    PubMed

    Cardiel, Joshua J; Tonggu, Lige; de la Iglesia, Pablo; Zhao, Ya; Pozzo, Danilo C; Wang, Liguo; Shen, Amy Q

    2013-12-17

    In this work, we consider the flow of a nonionic micellar solution (precursor) through an array of microposts, with focus on its microstructural and rheological evolution. The precursor contains polyoxyethylene(20) sorbitan monooleate (Tween-80) and cosurfactant monolaurin (ML). An irreversible flow-induced structured phase (NI-FISP) emerges after the nonionic precursor flows through the hexagonal micropost arrays, when subjected to strain rates ~10(4) s(-1) and strain ~10(3). NI-FISP consists of close-looped micellar bundles and multiconnected micellar networks as evidenced by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). We also conduct small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) measurements in both precursor and NI-FISP to illustrate the structural transition. We propose a potential mechanism for the NI-FISP formation that relies on the micropost arrays and the flow kinematics in the microdevice to induce entropic fluctuations in the micellar solution. Finally, we show that the rheological variation from a viscous precursor solution to a viscoelastic micellar structured phase is associated with the structural evolution from the precursor to NI-FISP.

  2. Travelling Wave Solutions in Multigroup Age-Structured Epidemic Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ducrot, Arnaut; Magal, Pierre; Ruan, Shigui

    2010-01-01

    Age-structured epidemic models have been used to describe either the age of individuals or the age of infection of certain diseases and to determine how these characteristics affect the outcomes and consequences of epidemiological processes. Most results on age-structured epidemic models focus on the existence, uniqueness, and convergence to disease equilibria of solutions. In this paper we investigate the existence of travelling wave solutions in a deterministic age-structured model describing the circulation of a disease within a population of multigroups. Individuals of each group are able to move with a random walk which is modelled by the classical Fickian diffusion and are classified into two subclasses, susceptible and infective. A susceptible individual in a given group can be crisscross infected by direct contact with infective individuals of possibly any group. This process of transmission can depend upon the age of the disease of infected individuals. The goal of this paper is to provide sufficient conditions that ensure the existence of travelling wave solutions for the age-structured epidemic model. The case of two population groups is numerically investigated which applies to the crisscross transmission of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and some sexual transmission diseases.

  3. Macromolecular extraction based on contour evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhaobin; Guo, Miao; Zhu, Ying; Yang, Lizhen; Ma, Yi-de

    2013-03-01

    Detecting the region of interest plays an important role in the field of image processing and analysis. For the microscopic image of plant embryo slice, region of interest usually indicates various cells or macromolecules. Combining contour evolution theory and pulse coupled neural network, we propose a new method of macromolecular detection and extraction for biological microscopic image. Some existing methods are compared with the proposed method. Experimental results show the proposed method has the better performance than existing methods.

  4. Protein conformational studies for macromolecularly imprinted polymers.

    PubMed

    Kryscio, David R; Fleming, Michael Q; Peppas, Nicholas A

    2012-08-01

    CD is used to clearly show the negative impact of common ligands on the overall conformation of BSA, a typical protein template in macromolecularly imprinted polymers. This change occurs at concentrations far lower than those generally used in the literature. These findings are important as they offer insight into a potential fundamental reason for the lack of success in protein imprinting to date despite significant interest from the scientific community.

  5. Steady state solutions to dynamically loaded periodic structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kalinowski, A. J.

    1980-01-01

    The general problem of solving for the steady state (time domain) dynamic response (i.e., NASTRAN rigid format-8) of a general elastic periodic structure subject to a phase difference loading of the type encountered in traveling wave propagation problems was studied. Two types of structural configurations were considered; in the first type, the structure has a repeating pattern over a span that is long enough to be considered, for all practical purposes, as infinite; in the second type, the structure has structural rotational symmetry in the circumferential direction. The theory and a corresponding set of DMAP instructions which permits the NASTRAN user to automatically alter the rigid format-8 sequence to solve the intended class of problems are presented. Final results are recovered as with any ordinary rigid format-8 solution, except that the results are only printed for the typical periodic segment of the structure. A simple demonstration problem having a known exact solution is used to illustrate the implementation of the procedure.

  6. Heparin's solution structure determined by small-angle neutron scattering.

    PubMed

    Rubinson, Kenneth A; Chen, Yin; Cress, Brady F; Zhang, Fuming; Linhardt, Robert J

    2016-12-01

    Heparin is a linear, anionic polysaccharide that is widely used as a clinical anticoagulant. Despite its discovery 100 years ago in 1916, the solution structure of heparin remains unknown. The solution shape of heparin has not previously been examined in water under a range of concentrations, and here is done so in D2 O solution using small-angle neutron scattering (SANS). Solutions of 10 kDa heparin-in the millimolar concentration range-were probed with SANS. Our results show that when sodium concentrations are equivalent to the polyelectrolyte's charge or up to a few hundred millimoles higher, the molecular structure of heparin is compact and the shape could be well modeled by a cylinder with a length three to four times its diameter. In the presence of molar concentrations of sodium, the molecule becomes extended to nearly its full length estimated from reported X-ray measurements on stretched fibers. This stretched form is not found in the presence of molar concentrations of potassium ions. In this high-potassium environment, the heparin molecules have the same shape as when its charges were mostly protonated at pD ≈ 0.5, that is, they are compact and approximately half the length of the extended molecules.

  7. Water structure around peptide fragments in aqueous solutions

    SciTech Connect

    McLain, Sylvia E; Soper, Alan K; Watts, Prof Anthony

    2008-01-01

    The bulk water structure around small peptide fragments - glycyl-L-alanine, glycyl-L-proline and L-alanyl-L-proline - has been determined by a combination of neutron diffraction with isotopic substitution and empirical potential structural refinement techniques. The addition of each of the dipeptides to water yields a decreased water-water coordination in the surrounding water solvent. Additionally both the Ow-Ow radial distribution functions and the water-water spatial density functions in all of the solutions indicate an electrostrictive effect in the second water coordination shell of the bulk water network. This effect is not observed in similar experiments on the amino acid L-proline alone in solution, which is one component of two of the peptides measured here.

  8. Effect of Ternary Solutes on the Evolution of Structure and Gel Formation in Amphiphilic Copolymer Solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meznarich, Norman Anthony Kang

    Aqueous solutions of polyoxyethylene-polyoxypropylene-polyoxyethylene (PEO-PPO-PEO) amphiphilic triblock copolymers (commercially known as Pluronic surfactants) undergo reversible and temperature-dependent micellization and arrangement into cubic ordered lattices known as "micelle gels". The macroscopic behavior of the ordering is a transition from a liquid to a gel. While the phase behavior and gel structure of pure Pluronic surfactant solutions have been well studied, less is known about the effects of added ternary solutes. In this dissertation, a comprehensive investigation into the effects of the added pharmaceutical methylparaben on solutions of F127 ranging from 10 to 30 wt% was conducted in order to better understand the behavior of F127 in multicomponent pharmaceutical formulations. The viscoelastic properties of F127 gel formation were studied using rheometry, where heating rates of 0.1, 1, and 10 degrees C/min were also used to probe the kinetics of the gel transition. In solutions containing methylparaben, F127 gelation occurred at up to 15 degrees C lower temperatures and was accelerated by a factor of three to four. Small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) was used to characterize the structure of the ordered domains, and how they were affected by the presence of dissolved pharmaceuticals. It was found that ordered domain formation changed from heterogeneous nucleation and growth to possible homogeneous nucleation and growth. A roughly 2% reduction in the cubic lattice parameter was also observed for solutions containing methylparaben. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) experiments were performed on a series of different Pluronic surfactants in order to characterize the micellization behavior as a function of PPO center block length and PEO/PPO ratio. Added methylparaben suppressed the micellization endotherm, the degree of suppression depending linearly on the amount of added methylparaben, as well as the length of the PPO center block and PEO

  9. Supersaturated lysozyme solution structure studied by chemical cross-linking.

    PubMed

    Hall, Clayton L; Clemens, John R; Brown, Amanda M; Wilson, Lori J

    2005-06-01

    Glutaraldehyde cross-linking followed by separation has been used to detect aggregates of chicken egg-white lysozyme (CEWL) in supersaturated solutions. In solutions of varying NaCl content, the number of aggregates was found to be related to the ionic strength of the solution. Separation by SDS-PAGE showed that percentage of dimer in solution ranged from 25.3% for no NaCl to 27.1% at 15% NaCl, and the aggregates larger than dimer increased from 1.9% for no NaCl to 36.8% at 15% NaCl. Conversely, the percentage of monomers decreased from 72.8% without NaCl to 36.1% at 15% NaCl. Molecular weights by capillary electrophoresis (SDS-CE) were found to be multiples of the monomer molecular weights, with the exception of trimer, which indicates a very compact structure. Native separation was accomplished using size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) and gave a lower monomer concentration and higher aggregate concentration than SDS-CE, which is a denaturing separation method. Most noticeably, trimers were absent in the SEC separation. The number of aggregates did not change with increased time between addition of NaCl and addition of cross-linking agent when separated by gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The results suggest that high ionic strength CEWL solutions are highly aggregated and that denaturing separation methods disrupt cross-linked products.

  10. Outrunning free radicals in room-temperature macromolecular crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Owen, Robin L.; Axford, Danny; Nettleship, Joanne E.; Owens, Raymond J.; Robinson, James I.; Morgan, Ann W.; Doré, Andrew S.; Lebon, Guillaume; Tate, Christopher G.; Fry, Elizabeth E.; Ren, Jingshan; Stuart, David I.; Evans, Gwyndaf

    2012-01-01

    A significant increase in the lifetime of room-temperature macromolecular crystals is reported through the use of a high-brilliance X-ray beam, reduced exposure times and a fast-readout detector. This is attributed to the ability to collect diffraction data before hydroxyl radicals can propagate through the crystal, fatally disrupting the lattice. Hydroxyl radicals are shown to be trapped in amorphous solutions at 100 K. The trend in crystal lifetime was observed in crystals of a soluble protein (immunoglobulin γ Fc receptor IIIa), a virus (bovine enterovirus serotype 2) and a membrane protein (human A2A adenosine G-protein coupled receptor). The observation of a similar effect in all three systems provides clear evidence for a common optimal strategy for room-temperature data collection and will inform the design of future synchrotron beamlines and detectors for macro­molecular crystallography. PMID:22751666

  11. Solution structures of antimalarial drug-heme complexes.

    PubMed

    Leed, Alison; DuBay, Kateri; Ursos, Lyann M B; Sears, Devin; De Dios, Angel C; Roepe, Paul D

    2002-08-13

    Paramagnetic metal centers [such as Fe(III) found within ferriprotoporphyrin IX heme (FPIX)] exert through space effects on the relaxation rate of nearby proton spins that depend critically on the metal-proton distance. We have measured these effects for all protons of several antimalarial drugs that bind to FPIX by systematically varying the drug:heme molar ratio in high field NMR experiments. These measurements allow us to determine precise FPIX Fe-drug H distances for the solution structures of noncovalent complexes formed between FPIX mu-oxo dimers and the antimalarial drugs chloroquine (CQ), quinine (QN), and quinidine (QD). Using these distances, we then performed distance restraint calculations to determine the lowest-energy solution structures of these complexes. Structures were solved for neutral, monoprotic (+1), and diprotic (+2) forms of the drugs. Analysis of these structures allows us to visualize for the first time the stereospecific differences between QN and QD binding to FPIX and the differences in populations of QN and QD solution structures upon changes in digestive vacuolar pH for drug resistant malarial parasites [Dzekunov, S. M., et al. (2000) Mol. Biochem. Parasitol. 110, 107-124]. The data indicate a previously unrecognized key role for the CQ aliphatic chain in stabilizing FPIX-CQ complexes, and suggest how lengthening or shortening the chain might perturb stability. We also define FPIX:drug stoichiometries of 2:1 for the complexes formed at physiological FPIX concentrations, in contrast to the 4:1 and 5:1 stoichiometries previously determined at higher FPIX concentrations [Dorn, A., et al. (1998) Biochem. Pharmacol. 55, 727-736]. These atomic resolution antimalarial drug-heme structures should help elucidate how these drugs inhibit formation of hemozoin during metabolism of heme within the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum and assist ongoing development of strategies for circumventing antimalarial drug resistance.

  12. Light scattering measurements supporting helical structures for chromatin in solution.

    PubMed

    Campbell, A M; Cotter, R I; Pardon, J F

    1978-05-01

    Laser light scattering measurements have been made on a series of polynucleosomes containing from 50 to 150 nucleosomes. Radii of gyration have been determined as a function of polynucleosome length for different ionic strength solutions. The results suggest that at low ionic strength the chromatin adopts a loosely helical structure rather than a random coil. The helix becomes more regular on increasing the ionic strength, the dimension resembling those proposed by Finch and Klug for their solenoid model.

  13. The Effect of Macromolecular Crowding, Ionic Strength and Calcium Binding on Calmodulin Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qian; Liang, Kao-Chen; Czader, Arkadiusz; Waxham, M. Neal; Cheung, Margaret S.

    2011-01-01

    The flexibility in the structure of calmodulin (CaM) allows its binding to over 300 target proteins in the cell. To investigate the structure-function relationship of CaM, we combined methods of computer simulation and experiments based on circular dichroism (CD) to investigate the structural characteristics of CaM that influence its target recognition in crowded cell-like conditions. We developed a unique multiscale solution of charges computed from quantum chemistry, together with protein reconstruction, coarse-grained molecular simulations, and statistical physics, to represent the charge distribution in the transition from apoCaM to holoCaM upon calcium binding. Computationally, we found that increased levels of macromolecular crowding, in addition to calcium binding and ionic strength typical of that found inside cells, can impact the conformation, helicity and the EF hand orientation of CaM. Because EF hand orientation impacts the affinity of calcium binding and the specificity of CaM's target selection, our results may provide unique insight into understanding the promiscuous behavior of calmodulin in target selection inside cells. PMID:21829336

  14. 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.

  15. A primer in macromolecular linguistics.

    PubMed

    Searls, David B

    2013-03-01

    Polymeric macromolecules, when viewed abstractly as strings of symbols, can be treated in terms of formal language theory, providing a mathematical foundation for characterizing such strings both as collections and in terms of their individual structures. In addition this approach offers a framework for analysis of macromolecules by tools and conventions widely used in computational linguistics. This article introduces the ways that linguistics can be and has been applied to molecular biology, covering the relevant formal language theory at a relatively nontechnical level. Analogies between macromolecules and human natural language are used to provide intuitive insights into the relevance of grammars, parsing, and analysis of language complexity to biology.

  16. 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.

  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. Flavin Adenine Dinucleotide Structural Motifs: From Solution to Gas Phase

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) is involved in important metabolic reactions where the biological function is intrinsically related to changes in conformation. In the present work, FAD conformational changes were studied in solution and in gas phase by measuring the fluorescence decay time and ion-neutral collision cross sections (CCS, in a trapped ion mobility spectrometer, TIMS) as a function of the solvent conditions (i.e., organic content) and gas-phase collisional partner (i.e., N2 doped with organic molecules). Changes in the fluorescence decay suggest that FAD can exist in four conformations in solution, where the abundance of the extended conformations increases with the organic content. TIMS-MS experiments showed that FAD can exist in the gas phase as deprotonated (M = C27H31N9O15P2) and protonated forms (M = C27H33N9O15P2) and that multiple conformations (up to 12) can be observed as a function of the starting solution for the [M + H]+ and [M + Na]+molecular ions. In addition, changes in the relative abundances of the gas-phase structures were observed from a “stack” to a “close” conformation when organic molecules were introduced in the TIMS cell as collision partners. Candidate structures optimized at the DFT/B3LYP/6-31G(d,p) were proposed for each IMS band, and results showed that the most abundant IMS band corresponds to the most stable candidate structure. Solution and gas-phase experiments suggest that the driving force that stabilizes the different conformations is based on the interaction of the adenine and isoalloxazine rings that can be tailored by the “solvation” effect created with the organic molecules. PMID:25222439

  19. Scientific Benchmarks for Guiding Macromolecular Energy Function Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Leaver-Fay, Andrew; O’Meara, Matthew J.; Tyka, Mike; Jacak, Ron; Song, Yifan; Kellogg, Elizabeth H.; Thompson, James; Davis, Ian W.; Pache, Roland A.; Lyskov, Sergey; Gray, Jeffrey J.; Kortemme, Tanja; Richardson, Jane S.; Havranek, James J.; Snoeyink, Jack; Baker, David; Kuhlman, Brian

    2013-01-01

    Accurate energy functions are critical to macromolecular modeling and design. We describe new tools for identifying inaccuracies in energy functions and guiding their improvement, and illustrate the application of these tools to improvement of the Rosetta energy function. The feature analysis tool identifies discrepancies between structures deposited in the PDB and low energy structures generated by Rosetta; these likely arise from inaccuracies in the energy function. The optE tool optimizes the weights on the different components of the energy function by maximizing the recapitulation of a wide range of experimental observations. We use the tools to examine three proposed modifications to the Rosetta energy function: improving the unfolded state energy model (reference energies), using bicubic spline interpolation to generate knowledge based torisonal potentials, and incorporating the recently developed Dunbrack 2010 rotamer library (Shapovalov and Dunbrack, 2011). PMID:23422428

  20. 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.

  1. Solution structure and thermodynamics of 2',5' RNA intercalation.

    PubMed

    Horowitz, Eric D; Lilavivat, Seth; Holladay, Benjamin W; Germann, Markus W; Hud, Nicholas V

    2009-04-29

    As a means to explore the influence of the nucleic acid backbone on the intercalative binding of ligands to DNA and RNA, we have determined the solution structure of a proflavine-bound 2',5'-linked octamer duplex with the sequence GCCGCGGC. This structure represents the first NMR structure of an intercalated RNA duplex, of either backbone structural isomer. By comparison with X-ray crystal structures, we have identified similarities and differences between intercalated 3',5' and 2',5'-linked RNA duplexes. First, the two forms of RNA have different sugar pucker geometries at the intercalated nucleotide steps, yet have the same interphosphate distances. Second, as in intercalated 3',5' RNA, the phosphate backbone angle zeta at the 2',5' RNA intercalation site prefers to be in the trans conformation, whereas unintercalated 2',5' and 3',5' RNA prefer the -gauche conformation. These observations provide new insights regarding the transitions required for intercalation of a phosphodiester-ribose backbone and suggest a possible contribution of the backbone to the origin of the nearest-neighbor exclusion principle. Thermodynamic studies presented for intercalation of both structural RNA isomers also reveal a surprising sensitivity of intercalator binding enthalpy and entropy to the details of RNA backbone structure.

  2. Macromolecular cross-linked enzyme aggregates (M-CLEAs) of α-amylase.

    PubMed

    Nadar, Shamraja S; Muley, Abhijeet B; Ladole, Mayur R; Joshi, Pranoti U

    2016-03-01

    Macromolecular cross-linked enzyme aggregates (M-CLEAs) of α-amylase were prepared by precipitation and subsequent cross-linking. The non-toxic, biodegradable, biocompatible, renewable polysaccharide based macromolecular cross-linkers viz. agar, chitosan, dextran, and gum arabic were used as a substitute for traditional glutaraldehyde to augment activity recovery toward macromolecular substrate. Macromolecular cross-linkers were prepared by periodate mediated controlled oxidation of polysaccharides. The effects of precipitating agent, concentration and different cross-linkers on activity recovery of α-amylase CLEAs were investigated. α-Amylase aggregated with ammonium sulphate and cross-linked by dextran showed 91% activity recovery, whereas glutaraldehyde CLEAs (G-CLEAs) exhibited 42% activity recovery. M-CLEAs exhibited higher thermal stability in correlation with α-amylase and G-CLEAs. Moreover, dextran and chitosan M-CLEAs showed same affinity for starch hydrolysis as of free α-amylase. The changes in secondary structures revealed the enhancements in structural and conformational rigidity attributed by cross-linkers. Finally, after five consecutive cycles dextran M-CLEAs retained 1.25 times higher initial activity than G-CLEAs.

  3. Brownian Dynamics Simulation of Protein Solutions: Structural and Dynamical Properties

    PubMed Central

    Mereghetti, Paolo; Gabdoulline, Razif R.; Wade, Rebecca C.

    2010-01-01

    The study of solutions of biomacromolecules provides an important basis for understanding the behavior of many fundamental cellular processes, such as protein folding, self-assembly, biochemical reactions, and signal transduction. Here, we describe a Brownian dynamics simulation procedure and its validation for the study of the dynamic and structural properties of protein solutions. In the model used, the proteins are treated as atomically detailed rigid bodies moving in a continuum solvent. The protein-protein interaction forces are described by the sum of electrostatic interaction, electrostatic desolvation, nonpolar desolvation, and soft-core repulsion terms. The linearized Poisson-Boltzmann equation is solved to compute electrostatic terms. Simulations of homogeneous solutions of three different proteins with varying concentrations, pH, and ionic strength were performed. The results were compared to experimental data and theoretical values in terms of long-time self-diffusion coefficients, second virial coefficients, and structure factors. The results agree with the experimental trends and, in many cases, experimental values are reproduced quantitatively. There are no parameters specific to certain protein types in the interaction model, and hence the model should be applicable to the simulation of the behavior of mixtures of macromolecules in cell-like crowded environments. PMID:21112303

  4. Structural studies of ammonia and metallic lithium-ammonia solutions.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Helen; Wasse, Jonathan C; Skipper, Neal T; Hayama, Shusaku; Bowron, Daniel T; Soper, Alan K

    2003-03-05

    The technique of hydrogen/deuterium isotopic substitution has been used to extract detailed information concerning the solvent structure in pure ammonia and metallic lithium-ammonia solutions. In pure ammonia we find evidence for approximately 2.0 hydrogen bonds around each central nitrogen atom, with an average N-H distance of 2.4 A. On addition of alkali metal, we observe directly significant disruption of this hydrogen bonding. At 8 mol % metal there remains only around 0.7 hydrogen bond per nitrogen atom. This value decreases to 0.0 for the saturated solution of 21 mol % metal, as all ammonia molecules have then become incorporated into the tetrahedral first solvation spheres of the lithium cations. In conjunction with a classical three-dimensional computer modeling technique, we are now able to identify a well-defined second cationic solvation shell. In this secondary shell the nitrogen atoms tend to reside above the faces and edges of the primary tetrahedral shell. Furthermore, the computer-generated models reveal that on addition of alkali metal the solvent molecules form voids of approximate radius 2.5-3.0 A. Our data therefore provide new insight into the structure of the polaronic cavities and tunnels, which have been theoretically predicted for lithium-ammonia solutions.

  5. Protein-complex structure completion using IPCAS (Iterative Protein Crystal structure Automatic Solution).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weizhe; Zhang, Hongmin; Zhang, Tao; Fan, Haifu; Hao, Quan

    2015-07-01

    Protein complexes are essential components in many cellular processes. In this study, a procedure to determine the protein-complex structure from a partial molecular-replacement (MR) solution is demonstrated using a direct-method-aided dual-space iterative phasing and model-building program suite, IPCAS (Iterative Protein Crystal structure Automatic Solution). The IPCAS iteration procedure involves (i) real-space model building and refinement, (ii) direct-method-aided reciprocal-space phase refinement and (iii) phase improvement through density modification. The procedure has been tested with four protein complexes, including two previously unknown structures. It was possible to use IPCAS to build the whole complex structure from one or less than one subunit once the molecular-replacement method was able to give a partial solution. In the most challenging case, IPCAS was able to extend to the full length starting from less than 30% of the complex structure, while conventional model-building procedures were unsuccessful.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ciszak, Ewa; Hammons, Aaron S.; Hong, Young Soo; Curreri, Peter A. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    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. The standard procedure for loading samples in these tubes has involved rapid freezing of the precipitant and biomolecule solution directly in liquid nitrogen; this method, however, often results in uncontrolled formation of air voids. These air pockets, or bubbles, then 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 of 2001. Furthermore, gain or loss of mass from solutions within the capillaries revealed that mass transport amongst separated tubes occurred, and that this mass transport was determined by the hygroscopic character of a solution contained in any given tube. The sample volume and the surface area of the plastic capillary tube also related to the observed mass transport.

  8. Advances in macromolecular data storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mansuripur, Masud

    2014-09-01

    user-data in a scheme that benefits from the massive parallelism of thousands of Read/Write stations within the same three-dimensionally micro-structured device.

  9. The solution structure of acyl carrier protein from Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Wong, Hing C; Liu, Gaohua; Zhang, Yong-Mei; Rock, Charles O; Zheng, Jie

    2002-05-03

    Acyl carrier protein (ACP) performs the essential function of shuttling the intermediates between the enzymes that constitute the type II fatty acid synthase system. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is unique in producing extremely long mycolic acids, and tubercular ACP, AcpM, is also unique in possessing a longer carboxyl terminus than other ACPs. We determined the solution structure of AcpM using protein NMR spectroscopy to define the similarities and differences between AcpM and the typical structures. The amino-terminal region of the structure is well defined and consists of four helices arranged in a right-handed bundle held together by interhelical hydrophobic interactions similar to the structures of other bacterial ACPs. The unique carboxyl-terminal extension from helix IV has a "melted down" feature, and the end of the molecule is a random coil. A comparison of the apo- and holo-forms of AcpM revealed that the 4'-phosphopantetheine group oscillates between two states; in one it is bound to a hydrophobic groove on the surface of AcpM, and in another it is solvent-exposed. The similarity between AcpM and other ACPs reveals the conserved structural motif that is recognized by all type II enzymes. However, the function of the coil domain extending from helix IV to the carboxyl terminus remains enigmatic, but its structural characteristics suggest that it may interact with the very long chain intermediates in mycolic acid biosynthesis or control specific protein-protein interactions.

  10. On the atomic structure of cocaine in solution.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Andrew J; Busch, Sebastian; Pardo, Luis Carlos; Callear, Samantha K; Biggin, Philip C; McLain, Sylvia E

    2016-01-14

    Cocaine is an amphiphilic drug which has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Here, a combination of neutron diffraction and computation has been used to investigate the atomic scale structure of cocaine in aqueous solutions. Both the observed conformation and hydration of cocaine appear to contribute to its ability to cross hydrophobic layers afforded by the BBB, as the average conformation yields a structure which might allow cocaine to shield its hydrophilic regions from a lipophilic environment. Specifically, the carbonyl oxygens and amine group on cocaine, on average, form ∼5 bonds with the water molecules in the surrounding solvent, and the top 30% of water molecules within 4 Å of cocaine are localized in the cavity formed by an internal hydrogen bond within the cocaine molecule. This water mediated internal hydrogen bonding suggests a mechanism of interaction between cocaine and the BBB that negates the need for deprotonation prior to interaction with the lipophilic portions of this barrier. This finding also has important implications for understanding how neurologically active molecules are able to interact with both the blood stream and BBB and emphasizes the use of structural measurements in solution in order to understand important biological function.

  11. Structure and Dynamics of Interacting Nanoparticles in Semidilute Polymer Solutions

    DOE PAGES

    Pollng-Skutvik, Ryan; Mongcopa, Katrina Irene S.; Faraone, Antonio; ...

    2016-08-17

    We investigate the structure and dynamics of silica nanoparticles and polymer chains in semidilute solutions of high molecular weight polystyrene in 2-butanone to determine the effect of long-range interparticle interactions on the coupling between particle and polymer dynamics. Particles at concentrations of 1–10 wt % are well dispersed in the semidilute polymer solutions and exhibit long-range electrostatic repulsions between particles. Because the particles are comparably sized to the radius of gyration of the polymer, the particle dynamics is predicted to couple to that of the polymer. We verify that the polymer structure and dynamics are not significantly affected by themore » particles, indicating that the particle–polymer coupling does not change with increasing particle loading. We find that the coupling between the dynamics of comparably sized particles and polymer results in subdiffusive particle dynamics, as expected. Over the interparticle distance, however, the particle dynamics is hindered and not fully described by the relaxation of the surrounding polymer chains. Instead, the particle dynamics is inversely related to the structure factor, suggesting that physical particle–polymer coupling on short length scales and interparticle interactions on long length scales both present energetic barriers to particle motion that lead to subdiffusive dynamics and de Gennes narrowing, respectively.« less

  12. Structure and Dynamics of Interacting Nanoparticles in Semidilute Polymer Solutions

    SciTech Connect

    Pollng-Skutvik, Ryan; Mongcopa, Katrina Irene S.; Faraone, Antonio; Narayanan, Suresh; Conrad, Jacinta C.; Krishnamoorti, Ramanan

    2016-08-17

    We investigate the structure and dynamics of silica nanoparticles and polymer chains in semidilute solutions of high molecular weight polystyrene in 2-butanone to determine the effect of long-range interparticle interactions on the coupling between particle and polymer dynamics. Particles at concentrations of 1–10 wt % are well dispersed in the semidilute polymer solutions and exhibit long-range electrostatic repulsions between particles. Because the particles are comparably sized to the radius of gyration of the polymer, the particle dynamics is predicted to couple to that of the polymer. We verify that the polymer structure and dynamics are not significantly affected by the particles, indicating that the particle–polymer coupling does not change with increasing particle loading. We find that the coupling between the dynamics of comparably sized particles and polymer results in subdiffusive particle dynamics, as expected. Over the interparticle distance, however, the particle dynamics is hindered and not fully described by the relaxation of the surrounding polymer chains. Instead, the particle dynamics is inversely related to the structure factor, suggesting that physical particle–polymer coupling on short length scales and interparticle interactions on long length scales both present energetic barriers to particle motion that lead to subdiffusive dynamics and de Gennes narrowing, respectively.

  13. Development of macromolecular prodrug for rheumatoid arthritis☆

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Fang; Quan, Ling-dong; Cui, Liao; Goldring, Steven R.; Wang, Dong

    2012-01-01

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that is considered to be one of the major public health problems worldwide. The development of therapies that target tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and co-stimulatory pathways that regulate the immune system have revolutionized the care of patients with RA. Despite these advances, many patients continue to experience symptomatic and functional impairment. To address this issue, more recent therapies that have been developed are designed to target intracellular signaling pathways involved in immunoregulation. Though this approach has been encouraging, there have been major challenges with respect to off-target organ side effects and systemic toxicities related to the widespread distribution of these signaling pathways in multiple cell types and tissues. These limitations have led to an increasing interest in the development of strategies for the macromolecularization of anti-rheumatic drugs, which could target them to the inflamed joints. This approach enhances the efficacy of the therapeutic agent with respect to synovial inflammation, while markedly reducing non-target organ adverse side effects. In this manuscript, we provide a comprehensive overview of the rational design and optimization of macromolecular prodrugs for treatment of RA. The superior and the sustained efficacy of the prodrug may be partially attributed to their Extravasation through Leaky Vasculature and subsequent Inflammatory cell-mediated Sequestration (ELVIS) in the arthritic joints. This biologic process provides a plausible mechanism, by which macromolecular prodrugs preferentially target arthritic joints and illustrates the potential benefits of applying this therapeutic strategy to the treatment of other inflammatory diseases. PMID:22433784

  14. Solution to certain problems in the failure of composite structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodsell, Johnathan

    The present work contains the solution of two problems in composite structures. In the first, an approximate elasticity solution for prediction of the displacement, stress and strain fields within the m-layer, symmetric and balanced angle-ply composite laminate of finite-width subjected anticlastic bending deformation is developed. The solution is shown to recover classical laminated plate theory predictions at interior regions of the laminate and thereby illustrates the boundary layer character of this interlaminar phenomenon. The results exhibit the anticipated response in congruence with the solutions for uniform axial extension and uniform temperature change, where divergence of the interlaminar shearing stress is seen to occur at the intersection of the free-edge and planes between lamina of +theta and -theta orientation. The analytical results show excellent agreement with the finite-element predictions for the same boundary-value problem and thereby provide an efficient and compact solution available for parametric studies of the influence of geometry and material properties. The solution is combined with previously developed solutions for uniform axial extension and uniform temperature change of the identical laminate and the combined solution is exercised to compare the relative magnitudes of free-edge phenomenon arising from the different loading conditions, to study very thick laminates and laminates where the laminate width is less than the laminate thickness. Significantly, it was demonstrated that the solution is valid for arbitrary stacking sequence and the solution was exercised to examine antisymmetric and non-symmetric laminates. Finally, the solution was exercised to determine the dimensions of the boundary layer for very large numbers of layers. It was found that the dimension of the boundary layer width in bending is approximately twice that in uniform axial extension and uniform temperature change. In the second, the intrinsic flaw concept is

  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. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Ng, Joseph D.; Baird, James K.; Coates, Leighton; ...

    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

  18. Revealing the macromolecular targets of complex natural products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reker, Daniel; Perna, Anna M.; Rodrigues, Tiago; Schneider, Petra; Reutlinger, Michael; Mönch, Bettina; Koeberle, Andreas; Lamers, Christina; Gabler, Matthias; Steinmetz, Heinrich; Müller, Rolf; Schubert-Zsilavecz, Manfred; Werz, Oliver; Schneider, Gisbert

    2014-12-01

    Natural products have long been a source of useful biological activity for the development of new drugs. Their macromolecular targets are, however, largely unknown, which hampers rational drug design and optimization. Here we present the development and experimental validation of a computational method for the discovery of such targets. The technique does not require three-dimensional target models and may be applied to structurally complex natural products. The algorithm dissects the natural products into fragments and infers potential pharmacological targets by comparing the fragments to synthetic reference drugs with known targets. We demonstrate that this approach results in confident predictions. In a prospective validation, we show that fragments of the potent antitumour agent archazolid A, a macrolide from the myxobacterium Archangium gephyra, contain relevant information regarding its polypharmacology. Biochemical and biophysical evaluation confirmed the predictions. The results obtained corroborate the practical applicability of the computational approach to natural product ‘de-orphaning’.

  19. 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.

  20. Interfacial structures of acidic and basic aqueous solutions

    SciTech Connect

    Tian, C.; Ji, N.; Waychunas, G.; Shen, Y.R.

    2008-10-20

    Phase-sensitive sum-frequency vibrational spectroscopy was used to study water/vapor interfaces of HCl, HI, and NaOH solutions. The measured imaginary part of the surface spectral responses provided direct characterization of OH stretch vibrations and information about net polar orientations of water species contributing to different regions of the spectrum. We found clear evidence that hydronium ions prefer to emerge at interfaces. Their OH stretches contribute to the 'ice-like' band in the spectrum. Their charges create a positive surface field that tends to reorient water molecules more loosely bonded to the topmost water layer with oxygen toward the interface, and thus enhances significantly the 'liquid-like' band in the spectrum. Iodine ions in solution also like to appear at the interface and alter the positive surface field by forming a narrow double-charge layer with hydronium ions. In NaOH solution, the observed weak change of the 'liquid-like' band and disappearance of the 'ice-like' band in the spectrum indicates that OH{sup -} ions must also have excess at the interface. How they are incorporated in the interfacial water structure is however not clear.

  1. Structure and dynamics of of solution polymerized polyureas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Taeyi; Jeong, Youmi; Runt, James

    2011-03-01

    Polyureas consisting of alternating soft and hard (urea containing) segments exhibit physical properties that are closely related to their microphase separated structure, which consist of rigid (high Tg and sometimes crystalline) hard domains embedded in a matrix dominated by flexible polyether segments. Polyurea properties can be controlled over a rather broad range by varying the chemical structures, molecular weight of the components, and reaction stoichiometry. In the present study, we focus primarily on linear polyureas synthesized using methylene diphenyl diisocyanate and polytetramethylene oxide-di-p-aminobenzoate using a solution polymerization method. Soft segment (diamine) molecular weights were varied from 460 to 860 to 1200 g/mol and characterize their morphology, hydrogen bonding, mechanical behavior and dielectric properties upon varying molecular weight of diamines. This presentation will focus on our latest findings, particularly details of the microphase separated morphology and molecular dynamics as measured using dielectric relaxation spectroscopy This work is supported by Office of Naval Research.

  2. Structure of a passivated Ge surface prepared from aqueous solution.

    SciTech Connect

    Lyman, P. F.; Sakata, O.; Marasco, D, L.; Lee, T.-L.; Breneman, K. D.; Keane, D. T.; Bedzyk, M. J.; Materials Science Division; Northwestern Univ.; Univ. of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

    2000-08-10

    The structure of a passivating sulfide layer on Ge(001) was studied using X-ray standing waves and X-ray fluorescence. The sulfide layer was formed by reacting clean Ge substrates in (NH{sub 4}){sub 2}S solutions of various concentrations at 80{sup o}C. For each treatment, a sulfide layer containing approximately two to three monolayers (ML) of S was formed on the surface, and an ordered structure was found at the interface that contained approximately 0.4 ML of S. Our results suggest the rapid formation of a glassy GeS{sub x} layer containing 1.5-2.5 ML S residing atop a partially ordered interfacial layer of bridge-bonded S. The passivating reaction appears to be self-limited to 2-3 ML at this reaction temperature.

  3. Dilute-solution Structure of Charged Arborescent Graft Polymer

    SciTech Connect

    Yun, Seok; Briber, R M; Kee, R. Andrew; Gauthier, Mario

    2006-01-01

    The solutions of charged G1 arborescent polystyrene-graft-poly(2-vinylpyridine) copolymers in methanol-d4 and D{sub 2}O were investigated over a dilute concentration range {phi} = 0.005-0.05 ({phi}: mass fraction) using small-angle neutron scattering (SANS). Upon addition of acid (HCl) arborescent graft polymers became charged and a peak appeared in SANS data. The interparticle distance (d{sub exp}) calculated from a peak position corresponded to the expected value (d{sub uni}) for a uniform particle distribution. This indicates the formation of liquid-like ordering due to long-range Coulombic repulsions. The smaller dielectric constant of methanol-d4 resulted in long-range electrostatic repulsions persisting to lower polymer concentration than in D{sub 2}O. The slow mode scattering was observed by dynamic light scattering measurements for the same polymer solutions, indicating the presence of structural inhomogeneity in the solutions. Both the peak and slow mode disappeared by addition of NaCl or excess HCl into the solutions due to the screening of electrostatic interactions. The G1 polymer grafted with longer P2VP chains (M{sub w} {approx} 30,000 versus 5000 g mol) formed a gel on addition of HCl. This result reveals that molecular expansion is more significant for arborescent polymers with longer (M{sub w} {approx} 30,000) linear polyelectrolyte branches, resulting in gelation for {phi} > 0.01. Upon addition of NaCl or excess HCl a gel transformed back to a liquid resulted from the screening of electrostatic interactions.

  4. 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

  5. A use of Ramachandran potentials in protein solution structure determinations.

    PubMed

    Bertini, Ivano; Cavallaro, Gabriele; Luchinat, Claudio; Poli, Irene

    2003-08-01

    A strategy is developed to use database-derived phi-psi constraints during simulated annealing procedures for protein solution structure determination in order to improve the Ramachandran plot statistics, while maintaining the agreement with the experimental constraints as the sole criterion for the selection of the family. The procedure, fully automated, consists of two consecutive simulated annealing runs. In the first run, the database-derived phi-psi constraints are enforced for all amino acids (but prolines and glycines). A family of structures is then selected on the ground of the lowest violations of the experimental constraints only, and the phi-psi values for each residue are examined. In the second and final run, the database-derived phi-psi constraints are enforced only for those residues which in the first run have ended in one and the same favored phi-psi region. For residues which are either spread over different favored regions or concentrated in disallowed regions, the constraints are not enforced. The final family is then selected, after the second run, again only based on the agreement with the experimental constraints. This automated approach was implemented in DYANA and was tested on as many as 12 proteins, including some containing paramagnetic metals, whose structures had been previously solved in our laboratory. The quality of the structures, and of Ramachandran plot statistics in particular, was notably improved while preserving the agreement with the experimental constraints.

  6. Solution structures of rat amylin peptide: simulation, theory, and experiment.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Allam S; Wang, Lu; Lin, Yu-Shan; Ling, Yun; Chopra, Manan; Zanni, Martin T; Skinner, James L; De Pablo, Juan J

    2010-02-03

    Amyloid deposits of amylin in the pancreas are an important characteristic feature found in patients with Type-2 diabetes. The aggregate has been considered important in the disease pathology and has been studied extensively. However, the secondary structures of the individual peptide have not been clearly identified. In this work, we present detailed solution structures of rat amylin using a combination of Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations. A new Monte Carlo method is presented to determine the free energy of distinct biomolecular conformations. Both folded and random-coil conformations of rat amylin are observed in water and their relative stability is examined in detail. The former contains an alpha-helical segment comprised of residues 7-17. We find that at room temperature the folded structure is more stable, whereas at higher temperatures the random-coil structure predominates. From the configurations and weights we calculate the alpha-carbon NMR chemical shifts, with results that are in reasonable agreement with experiments of others. We also calculate the infrared spectrum in the amide I stretch regime, and the results are in fair agreement with the experimental line shape presented herein.

  7. Solution Structures of Rat Amylin Peptide: Simulation, Theory, and Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Reddy, Allam S.; Wang, Lu; Lin, Yu-Shan; Ling, Yun; Chopra, Manan; Zanni, Martin T.; Skinner, James L.; De Pablo, Juan J.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Amyloid deposits of amylin in the pancreas are an important characteristic feature found in patients with Type-2 diabetes. The aggregate has been considered important in the disease pathology and has been studied extensively. However, the secondary structures of the individual peptide have not been clearly identified. In this work, we present detailed solution structures of rat amylin using a combination of Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations. A new Monte Carlo method is presented to determine the free energy of distinct biomolecular conformations. Both folded and random-coil conformations of rat amylin are observed in water and their relative stability is examined in detail. The former contains an α-helical segment comprised of residues 7–17. We find that at room temperature the folded structure is more stable, whereas at higher temperatures the random-coil structure predominates. From the configurations and weights we calculate the α-carbon NMR chemical shifts, with results that are in reasonable agreement with experiments of others. We also calculate the infrared spectrum in the amide I stretch regime, and the results are in fair agreement with the experimental line shape presented herein. PMID:20141758

  8. Solution structure of the HU protein from Bacillus stearothermophilus.

    PubMed

    Vis, H; Mariani, M; Vorgias, C E; Wilson, K S; Kaptein, R; Boelens, R

    1995-12-08

    The histone-like protein HU from Bacillus stearothermophilus is a dimer with a molecular mass of 19.5 kDa that is capable of bending DNA. An X-ray structure has been determined, but no structure could be established for a large part of the supposed DNA-binding beta-arms. Using distance and dihedral constraints derived from triple-resonance NMR data of a 13C/15N doubly-labelled HU protein 49 distance geometry structures were calculated, which were refined by means of restrained Molecular Dynamics. From this set a total of 25 refined structures were selected having low constraint energy and few constraint violations. The ensemble of 25 structures display a root-mea-square co-ordinate deviation of 0.36 A with respect to the average structure, calculated over the backbone heavy atoms of residues 2 to 54 and 75 to 90 (and residues 2' to 54' and 75' to 90' of the second monomer). The structure of the core is very similar to that observed in the X-ray structure, with a pairwise r.m.s.d. of 1.06 A. The structure of the beta-hairpin arm contains a double flip-over at the prolines in the two strands of the beta-arm. Strong 15N-NH heteronuclear nuclear Overhauser effects indicate that the beta-arm and especially the tip is flexible. This explains the disorder observed in the solution and X-ray structures of the beta-arm, in respect of the core of the protein. Overlayed onto itself the beta-arm is better defined, with an r.m.s.d. of 1.0 A calculated over the backbone heavy atoms of residues 54 to 59 and 69 to 74. The tip of the arm adopts a well-defined 4:6 beta-hairpin conformation similar to the iron co-ordinating beta-arms of rubredoxin.

  9. NMR solution structures of actin depolymerizing factor homology domains

    PubMed Central

    Goroncy, Alexander K; Koshiba, Seizo; Tochio, Naoya; Tomizawa, Tadashi; Sato, Manami; Inoue, Makato; Watanabe, Satoru; Hayashizaki, Yoshihide; Tanaka, Akiko; Kigawa, Takanori; Yokoyama, Shigeyuki

    2009-01-01

    Actin is one of the most conserved proteins in nature. Its assembly and disassembly are regulated by many proteins, including the family of actin-depolymerizing factor homology (ADF-H) domains. ADF-H domains can be divided into five classes: ADF/cofilin, glia maturation factor (GMF), coactosin, twinfilin, and Abp1/drebrin. The best-characterized class is ADF/cofilin. The other four classes have drawn much less attention and very few structures have been reported. This study presents the solution NMR structure of the ADF-H domain of human HIP-55-drebrin-like protein, the first published structure of a drebrin-like domain (mammalian), and the first published structure of GMF β (mouse). We also determined the structures of mouse GMF γ, the mouse coactosin-like domain and the C-terminal ADF-H domain of mouse twinfilin 1. Although the overall fold of the five domains is similar, some significant differences provide valuable insights into filamentous actin (F-actin) and globular actin (G-actin) binding, including the identification of binding residues on the long central helix. This long helix is stabilized by three or four residues. Notably, the F-actin binding sites of mouse GMF β and GMF γ contain two additional β-strands not seen in other ADF-H structures. The G-actin binding site of the ADF-H domain of human HIP-55-drebrin-like protein is absent and distorted in mouse GMF β and GMF γ. PMID:19768801

  10. [Solution structure and antibacterial mechanism of two synthetic antimicrobial peptides].

    PubMed

    Yang, Lin; Fan, Meihua; Liu, Xuezhu; Wu, Mei; Shi, Ge; Liao, Zhi

    2011-11-01

    Mytilin-derived-peptide-1 (MDP-1) and mytilin-derived-peptide-2 (MDP-2) are two truncated decapeptides with reversed sequence synthesized corresponding to the residues 20-29 of mytilin-1 (GenBank Accession No. FJ973154) from M. coruscus. The objective of this study is to characterize the structural basis of these two peptides for their antimicrobial activities and functional differences, and to investigate the inhibitory mechanism of MDPs on Escherichia coli and Sarcina lutea. The structures of MDP-1 and MDP-2 in solution were determined by 1H 2D NMR methods; the antibactericidal effects of MDPs on E. coli and S. lutea were observed by transmitted electron microscopy (TEM). Both MDP-1 and MDP-2 have a well-defined loop structure stabilized by two additional disulfide bridges, which resemble the-hairpin structure of mytilin-1 model. The surface profile of MDPs' structures was characterized by protruding charged residues surrounded by hydrophobic residues. TEM analysis showed that MDPs destroyed cytoplasmic membrane and cell wall of bacteria and the interface between the cell wall and membrane was blurred. Furthermore, some holes were observed in treated bacteria, which resulted in cell death. Structural comparison between MDP-1 and MDP-2 shows that the distribution of positively charged amino acids on the loop of MDPs is topologically different significantly, which might be the reason why MDP-2 has higher activity than MDP-1. Furthermore, TEM results suggested that the bactericidal mechanisms of MDPs against E. coli and S. lutea were similar. Both MDP-1 and MDP-2 could attach to the negatively charged bacterial wall by positively charged amino acid residues and destroy the bacteria membrane in a pore-forming manner, thus cause the contents of the cells to release and eventually cell death.

  11. Design and application of a C{sup ++} macromolecular class library

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, W.; Shindyalov, I.N.; Bourne, P.E.

    1994-12-31

    PDBlib is an extensible object oriented class library written in C{sup ++} for representing the 3-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules. PDBlib forms the kernel of a larger software framework being developed for assisting in knowledge discovery from macromolecular structure data. The software design strategy used by PDBlib, how the library may be used and several prototype applications that use the library are summarized. PDBlib represents the structural features of proteins, DNA, RNA, and complexes thereof, at a level of detail on a par with that which can be parsed from a Protein Data Bank (PDB) entry. However, the memory resident representation of the macromolecule is independent of the PDB entry and can be obtained from other back-end data sources, for example, existing relational databases and our own object oriented database (OOPDB) built on top of the commercial object oriented database, ObjectStore. At the front-end are several prototype applications that use the library: Macromolecular Query Language (MMQL) is based on a separate class library (MMQLlib) for building complex queries pertaining to macromolecular structure; PDBtool is an interactive structure verification tool; and PDBview, is a structure rendering tool used either as a stand alone tool or as part of another application. Each of these software components are described.

  12. Gorgon and Pathwalking: Macromolecular Modeling Tools for Subnanometer Resolution Density Maps

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Matthew L.; Baker, Mariah R.; Hryc, Corey F.; Ju, Tao; Chiu, Wah

    2013-01-01

    The complex interplay of proteins and other molecules, often in the form of large transitory assemblies, are critical to cellular function. Today, X-ray crystallography and electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) are routinely used to image these macromolecular complexes, though often at limited resolutions. Despite the rapidly growing number of macromolecular structures, few tools exist for modeling and annotating structures in the range of 3-10Å resolution. To address this need, we have developed a number of utilities specifically targeting subnanometer resolution density maps. As part of the 2010 Cryo-EM Modeling Challenge, we demonstrated two of our latest de novo modeling tools, Pathwalking and Gorgon, as well as a tool for secondary structure identification (SSEHunter) and a new rigid-body/flexible fitting tool in Gorgon. In total, we submitted 30 structural models from ten different subnanometer resolution data sets in four of the six challenge categories. Each of our utlities produced accurate structural models and annotations across the various density maps. In the end, the utilities that we present here offer users a robust toolkit for analyzing and modeling protein structure in macromolecular assemblies at non-atomic resolutions. PMID:22696403

  13. Unveiling Contacts within Macromolecular Assemblies by Solving Minimum Weight Connectivity Inference (MWC) Problems.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Deepesh; Caillouet, Christelle; Coudert, David; Cazals, Frederic

    2015-08-01

    Consider a set of oligomers listing the subunits involved in subcomplexes of a macromolecular assembly, obtained e.g. using native mass spectrometry or affinity purification. Given these oligomers, connectivity inference (CI) consists of finding the most plausible contacts between these subunits, and minimum connectivity inference (MCI) is the variant consisting of finding a set of contacts of smallest cardinality. MCI problems avoid speculating on the total number of contacts but yield a subset of all contacts and do not allow exploiting a priori information on the likelihood of individual contacts. In this context, we present two novel algorithms, MILP-W and MILP-WB. The former solves the minimum weight connectivity inference (MWCI), an optimization problem whose criterion mixes the number of contacts and their likelihood. The latter uses the former in a bootstrap fashion to improve the sensitivity and the specificity of solution sets.Experiments on three systems (yeast exosome, yeast proteasome lid, human eIF3), for which reference contacts are known (crystal structure, cryo electron microscopy, cross-linking), show that our algorithms predict contacts with high specificity and sensitivity, yielding a very significant improvement over previous work, typically a twofold increase in sensitivity.The software accompanying this paper is made available and should prove of ubiquitous interest whenever connectivity inference from oligomers is faced.

  14. Structure and dynamics of aqueous solution of uranyl ions

    SciTech Connect

    Chopra, Manish; Choudhury, Niharendu

    2014-04-24

    The present work describes a molecular dynamics simulation study of structure and dynamics of aqueous solution of uranyl ions in water. Structural properties of the system in terms of radial distribution functions and dynamical characteristics as obtained through velocity autocorrelation function and mean square displacements have been analyzed. The results for radial distribution functions show the oxygen of water to form the first solvation shell at 2.4 Å around the uranium atom, whereas the hydrogen atoms of water are distributed around the uranium atom with the major peak at around 3.0 Å. Analyses of transport behaviors of ions and water through MSD indicates that the diffusion of the uranyl ion is much less as compared to that of the water molecules. It is also observed that the dynamical behavior of water molecules gets modified due to the presence of uranyl ion. The effect of increase in concentration of uranyl ions on the structure and dynamics of water molecules is also studied.

  15. Nanostructured Block Copolymer Solutions and Composites: Mechanical and Structural Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Lynn

    2015-03-01

    Self-assembled block copolymer templates are used to control the nanoscale structure of materials that would not otherwise order in solution. In this work, we have developed a technique to use close-packed cubic and cylindrical mesophases of a thermoreversible block copolymer (PEO-PPO-PEO) to impart spatial order on dispersed nanoparticles. The thermoreversible nature of the template allows for the dispersion of particles synthesized outside the template. This feature extends the applicability of this templating method to many particle-polymer systems, including proteins, and also permits a systematic evaluation of the impact of design parameters on the structure and mechanical properties of the nanocomposites. The criteria for forming co-crystals have been characterized using small-angle scatting and the mechanical properties of these soft crystals determined. Numerous crystal structures have been reported for the block copolymer system and we have taken advantage of several to generate soft co-crystals. The result of this templating is spatially ordered nanoparticle arrays embedded within the block copolymer nanostructure. These soft materials can be shear aligned into crystals with long range order and this shear alignment is discussed. Finally, the dynamics of nanoparticles within the nanostructured material are characterized with fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). The applications and general behavior of these nanostructured hydrogels are outlined.

  16. Hydration structure of salt solutions from ab initio molecular dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Bankura, Arindam; Carnevale, Vincenzo; Klein, Michael L.

    2013-01-07

    The solvation structures of Na{sup +}, K{sup +}, and Cl{sup -} ions in aqueous solution have been investigated using density functional theory (DFT) based Car-Parrinello (CP) molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. CPMD trajectories were collected for systems containing three NaCl or KCl ion pairs solvated by 122 water molecules using three different but commonly employed density functionals (BLYP, HCTH, and PBE) with electron correlation treated at the level of the generalized gradient approximation (GGA). The effect of including dispersion forces was analyzed through the use of an empirical correction to the DFT-GGA scheme. Special attention was paid to the hydration characteristics, especially the structural properties of the first solvation shell of the ions, which was investigated through ion-water radial distribution functions, coordination numbers, and angular distribution functions. There are significant differences between the present results obtained from CPMD simulations and those provided by classical MD based on either the CHARMM force field or a polarizable model. Overall, the computed structural properties are in fair agreement with the available experimental results. In particular, the observed coordination numbers 5.0-5.5, 6.0-6.4, and 6.0-6.5 for Na{sup +}, K{sup +}, and Cl{sup -}, respectively, are consistent with X-ray and neutron scattering studies but differ somewhat from some of the many other recent computational studies of these important systems. Possible reasons for the differences are discussed.

  17. Hydration structure of salt solutions from ab initio molecular dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bankura, Arindam; Carnevale, Vincenzo; Klein, Michael L.

    2013-01-01

    The solvation structures of Na^+, K^+, and Cl^- ions in aqueous solution have been investigated using density functional theory (DFT) based Car-Parrinello (CP) molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. CPMD trajectories were collected for systems containing three NaCl or KCl ion pairs solvated by 122 water molecules using three different but commonly employed density functionals (BLYP, HCTH, and PBE) with electron correlation treated at the level of the generalized gradient approximation (GGA). The effect of including dispersion forces was analyzed through the use of an empirical correction to the DFT-GGA scheme. Special attention was paid to the hydration characteristics, especially the structural properties of the first solvation shell of the ions, which was investigated through ion-water radial distribution functions, coordination numbers, and angular distribution functions. There are significant differences between the present results obtained from CPMD simulations and those provided by classical MD based on either the CHARMM force field or a polarizable model. Overall, the computed structural properties are in fair agreement with the available experimental results. In particular, the observed coordination numbers 5.0-5.5, 6.0-6.4, and 6.0-6.5 for Na^+, K^+, and Cl^-, respectively, are consistent with X-ray and neutron scattering studies but differ somewhat from some of the many other recent computational studies of these important systems. Possible reasons for the differences are discussed.

  18. Hydration structure of salt solutions from ab initio molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Bankura, Arindam; Carnevale, Vincenzo; Klein, Michael L

    2013-01-07

    The solvation structures of Na(+), K(+), and Cl(-) ions in aqueous solution have been investigated using density functional theory (DFT) based Car-Parrinello (CP) molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. CPMD trajectories were collected for systems containing three NaCl or KCl ion pairs solvated by 122 water molecules using three different but commonly employed density functionals (BLYP, HCTH, and PBE) with electron correlation treated at the level of the generalized gradient approximation (GGA). The effect of including dispersion forces was analyzed through the use of an empirical correction to the DFT-GGA scheme. Special attention was paid to the hydration characteristics, especially the structural properties of the first solvation shell of the ions, which was investigated through ion-water radial distribution functions, coordination numbers, and angular distribution functions. There are significant differences between the present results obtained from CPMD simulations and those provided by classical MD based on either the CHARMM force field or a polarizable model. Overall, the computed structural properties are in fair agreement with the available experimental results. In particular, the observed coordination numbers 5.0-5.5, 6.0-6.4, and 6.0-6.5 for Na(+), K(+), and Cl(-), respectively, are consistent with X-ray and neutron scattering studies but differ somewhat from some of the many other recent computational studies of these important systems. Possible reasons for the differences are discussed.

  19. Tertiary structure of conotoxin GIIIA in aqueous solution.

    PubMed

    Lancelin, J M; Kohda, D; Tate, S; Yanagawa, Y; Abe, T; Satake, M; Inagaki, F

    1991-07-16

    The three-dimensional structure of conotoxin GIIIA, an important constituent of the venom from the marine hunting snail Conus geographus L., was determined in aqueous solution by two-dimensional proton nuclear magnetic resonance and simulated annealing based methods. On the basis of 162 assigned nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE) connectivities obtained at the medium field strength frequency of 400 MHz, 74 final distance constraints of sequential and tertiary ones were derived and used together with 18 torsion angle (phi, chi 1) constraints and 9 distance constraints derived from disulfide bridges. A total of 32 converged structures were obtained from 200 runs of calculations. The atomic root-mean-square (RMS) difference about the mean coordinate positions (excluding the terminal residues 1 and 22) is 0.8 A for backbone atoms (N, C alpha, C). Conotoxin GIIIA is characterized by a particular folding of the 22 amino acid peptidic chain, which is stabilized by three disulfide bridges arranged in cage at the center of a discoidal structure of approximately 20-A diameter. The seven cationic side chains of lysine and arginine residues project radially into the solvent and form potential sites of interaction with the skeletal muscle sodium channel for which the toxin is a strong inhibitor. The present results provide a molecular basis to elucidate the remarkable physiological properties of this neurotoxin.

  20. DNA-functionalized gold nanoparticles in macromolecularly crowded polymer solutions.

    PubMed

    Shin, Jeehae; Zhang, Xu; Liu, Juewen

    2012-11-15

    DNA-functionalized gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are one of the most commonly used reagents in nanobiotechnology. They are important not only for practical applications in analytical chemistry and drug delivery, but also for fundamental understanding of nanoscience. For biological samples such as blood serum or for intracellular applications, the effects of crowded cellular proteins and nucleic acids need to be considered. The thermodynamic effect of crowding is to induce nanoparticle aggregation. But before such aggregation can take place, there might also be a depletion repulsive barrier. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is one of the most frequently used polymers to mimic the crowded cellular environment. We show herein that while DNA-functionalized AuNPs are very stable in buffer (e.g., no PEG) and citrate-capped AuNPs are very stable in PEG, DNA-functionalized AuNPs are unstable in PEG and are easily aggregated. Although such aggregation in PEG is mediated by DNA, no sharp melting transition typical for DNA-linked AuNPs is observed. We attribute this broad melting to depletion force instead of DNA base pairing. The effects of PEG molecular weight, concentration and temperature have been studied in detail and we also find an interesting PEG phase separation and AuNP partition into the water-rich phase at high temperature.

  1. Structure and phase behavior of aqueous methylcellulose solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McAllister, John; Schmidt, Peter; Lodge, Timothy; Bates, Frank

    2015-03-01

    Cellulose ethers (CE) constitute a multi-billion dollar industry, and have found end uses in a broad array of applications from construction materials, food products, personal care products, and pharmaceuticals for more than 80 years. Methylcellulose (MC, with the trade name METHOCEL™) is a CE in which there is a partial substitution of -OH groups with -OCH3 groups. This results in a polymer that is water-soluble at low temperatures, and aqueous solutions of MC display gelation and phase separation at higher temperatures. The nature of MC gelation has been debated for many years, and this project has made significant advances in the understanding of the solution properties of CEs. We have characterized a fibrillar structure of MC gels by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) and small angle neutron scattering (SANS). Using light scattering, turbidity measurements, and dynamic mechanical spectroscopy (DMS) we report that MC microphase separates by nucleation and growth of fibril aggregates, and is a different process from LCST phase separation.

  2. Characterization of Chitin and Chitosan Molecular Structure in Aqueous Solution

    SciTech Connect

    Franca, Eduardo D.; Lins, Roberto D.; Freitas, Luiz C.; Straatsma, t. P.

    2008-11-08

    Molecular dynamics simulations have been used to characterize the structure of chitin and chitosan fibers in aqueous solutions. Chitin fibers, whether isolated or in the form of a β-chitin nanoparticle, adopt the so-called 2-fold helix with Φ and φ values similar to its crystalline state. In solution, the intramolecular hydrogen bond HO3(n)•••O5(n+1) responsible for the 2-fold helical motif is stabilized by hydrogen bonds with water molecules in a well-defined orientation. On the other hand, chitosan can adopt five distinct helical motifs and its conformational equilibrium is highly dependent on pH. The hydrogen bond pattern and solvation around the O3 atom of insoluble chitosan (basic pH) are nearly identical to these quantities in chitin. Our findings suggest that the solubility and conformation of these polysaccharides are related to the stability of the intrachain HO3(n)•••O5(n+1) hydrogen bond, which is affect by the water exchange around the O3-HO3 hydroxyl group.

  3. Solution structures and molecular interactions of selective melanocortin receptor antagonists.

    PubMed

    Lee, Chul-Jin; Yun, Ji-Hye; Lim, Sung-Kil; Lee, Weontae

    2010-12-01

    The solution structures and inter-molecular interaction of the cyclic melanocortin antagonists SHU9119, JKC363, HS014, and HS024 with receptor molecules have been determined by NMR spectroscopy and molecular modeling. While SHU9119 is known as a nonselective antagonist, JKC363, HS014, and HS024 are selective for the melanocortin subtype-4 receptor (MC4R) involved in modulation of food intake. Data from NMR and molecular dynamics suggest that the conformation of the Trp9 sidechain in the three MC4R-selective antagonists is quite different from that of SHU9119. This result strongly supports the concept that the spatial orientation of the hydrophobic aromatic residue is more important for determining selectivity than the presence of a basic, "arginine-like" moiety responsible for biological activity. We propose that the conformation of hydrophobic residues of MCR antagonists is critical for receptor-specific selectivity.

  4. Structural dependence of MEH-PPV chromism in solution.

    PubMed

    de Magalhães, Carlos E T; Savedra, Ranylson M L; Dias, Karina S; Ramos, Rodrigo; Siqueira, Melissa F

    2017-03-01

    The chromism observed in the MEH-PPV polymer in tetrahydrofuran (THF) solution is discussed as a function of the structural morphology of the backbone chains. To evaluate this phenomenon, we carried out simulations employing a hybrid methodology using molecular dynamics and quantum mechanical approaches. Our results support the hypothesis that the morphological order-disorder transition is related to the change from red to blue phase observed experimentally. The morphological disorder is associated with total or partial twisted arrangements in the polymer backbone, which induces an electronic conjugation length more confined to shorter segments. In addition, the main band of the MEH-PPV UV-Vis spectrum at the lower wavelength is related to the blue phase, in contrast to the red phase found for the more planar backbone chains.

  5. Three-dimensional solution structure of Acanthamoeba profilin-I

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

    We have determined a medium resolution three-dimensional solution structure of Acanthamoeba profilin-I by multidimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. This 13-kD actin binding protein consists of a five stranded antiparallel beta sheet flanked by NH2- and COOH-terminal helices on one face and by a third helix and a two stranded beta sheet on the other face. Data from actin-profilin cross- linking experiments and the localization of conserved residues between profilins in different phyla indicate that actin binding occurs on the molecular face occupied by the terminal helices. The other face of the molecule contains the residues that differ between Acanthamoeba profilins-I and II and may be important in determining the difference in polyphosphoinositide binding between these isoforms. This suggests that lipids and actin bind to different faces of the molecule. PMID:8397216

  6. Identifying duplicate crystal structures: XTALCOMP, an open-source solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lonie, David C.; Zurek, Eva

    2012-03-01

    applications may consider enantiomorphic structures to be identical. Solution method: The XtalComp algorithm overcomes these issues to detect duplicate structures regardless of differences in representation. It begins by performing a Niggli reduction on the inputs, standardizing the translation vectors and orientations. A transform search is performed to identify candidate sets of rotations, reflections, and translations that potentially map the description of one crystal onto the other, solving the problems of enantiomorphs and rotationally degenerate lattices. The atomic positions resulting from each candidate transform are then compared, using a cell-expansion technique to remove periodic boundary issues. Computational noise is treated by comparing non-integer quantities using a specified tolerance. Running time: The test run provided takes less than a second to complete.

  7. 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

  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. Simulation and display of macromolecular complexes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nir, S.; Garduno, R.; Rein, R.; Macelroy, R. D.

    1977-01-01

    In association with an investigation of the interaction of proteins with DNA and RNA, an interactive computer program for building, manipulating, and displaying macromolecular complexes has been designed. The system provides perspective, planar, and stereoscopic views on the computer terminal display, as well as views for standard and nonstandard observer locations. The molecule or its parts may be rotated and/or translated in any direction; bond connections may be added or removed by the viewer. Molecular fragments may be juxtaposed in such a way that given bonds are aligned, and given planes and points coincide. Another subroutine provides for the duplication of a given unit such as a DNA or amino-acid base.

  10. Macromolecular recognition and macroscopic interactions by cyclodextrins.

    PubMed

    Harada, Akira; Takashima, Yoshinori

    2013-10-01

    Herein macromolecular recognition by cyclodextrins (CDs) is summarized. Recognition of macromolecules by CDs is classified as main-chain recognition or side-chain recognition. We found that CDs form inclusion complexes with various polymers with high selectivity. Polyrotaxanes in which many CDs are entrapped in a polymer chain were prepared. Tubular polymers were prepared from the polyrotaxanes. CDs were found to recognize side-chains of polymers selectively. CD host polymers were found to form gels with guest polymers in water. These gels showed self-healing properties. When azobenzene was used as a guest, the gel showed sol-gel transition by photoirradiation. When ferrocene was used, redox-responsive gels were obtained. Macroscopic self-assembly through molecular recognition has been discovered. Photoswitchable gel association and dissociation have been observed.

  11. From "simple" DNA-protein interactions to the macromolecular machines of gene expression.

    PubMed

    von Hippel, Peter H

    2007-01-01

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Structure of carboxymyoglobin in crystals and in solution.

    PubMed Central

    Makinen, M W; Houtchens, R A; Caughey, W S

    1979-01-01

    The configuration of the heme-carbonyl group upon binding of carbon monoxide to sperm whale myoglobin (Mb) in crystals is evaluated on the basis of infrared spectroscopic methods. Multiplets of the totally symmetric C-O stretching mode are observed for the heme-bound ligand near 1933, 1944, and 1967 cm-1, corresponding to three different heme-carbonyl conformers. Variations in the relative proportions of these conformers can be induced by incorporation of small fractions of metMb or deoxyMb into MbCO crystals. The configuration of the iron-carbonyl with respect to the immediate coordination environment of the heme iron is assigned for each v(CO) stretching frequency on the basis of a detailed comparison of the three-dimensional structures of the heme environments of MbCO, metMb, and deoxyMb defined by crystallographic methods. The structures of the three heme-carbonyl conformers account for the v(CO) infrared absorption bands that can be observed for MbCO in solution. PMID:293700

  15. 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.

  16. Macromolecular Powder Diffraction: Ready for genuine biological problems.

    PubMed

    Karavassili, Fotini; Margiolaki, Irene

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge of 3D structures of biological molecules plays a major role in both understanding important processes of life and developing pharmaceuticals. Among several methods available for structure determination, macromolecular X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) has transformed over the past decade from an impossible dream to a respectable method. XRPD can be employed in biosciences for various purposes such as observing phase transitions, characterizing bulk pharmaceuticals, determining structures via the molecular replacement method, detecting ligands in protein-ligand complexes, as well as combining micro-sized single crystal crystallographic data and powder diffraction data. Studies using synchrotron and laboratory sources in some standard configuration setups are reported in this review, including their respective advantages and disadvantages. Methods presented here provide an alternative, complementary set of tools to resolve structural problems. A variety of already existing software packages for powder diffraction data processing and analysis, some of which have been adapted to large unit cell studies, are briefly described. This review aims to provide necessary elements of theory and current methods, along with practical explanations, available software packages and highlighted case studies.

  17. Solution structure and dynamics of ADF from Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Rahul; Pathak, Prem Prakash; Shukla, Vaibhav Kumar; Jain, Anupam; Srivastava, Shubhra; Tripathi, Sarita; Krishna Pulavarti, S V S R; Mehta, Simren; Sibley, L David; Arora, Ashish

    2011-10-01

    Toxoplasma gondii ADF (TgADF) belongs to a functional subtype characterized by strong G-actin sequestering activity and low F-actin severing activity. Among the characterized ADF/cofilin proteins, TgADF has the shortest length and is missing a C-terminal helix implicated in F-actin binding. In order to understand its characteristic properties, we have determined the solution structure of TgADF and studied its backbone dynamics from ¹⁵N-relaxation measurements. TgADF has conserved ADF/cofilin fold consisting of a central mixed β-sheet comprised of six β-strands that are partially surrounded by three α-helices and a C-terminal helical turn. The high G-actin sequestering activity of TgADF relies on highly structurally and dynamically optimized interactions between G-actin and G-actin binding surface of TgADF. The equilibrium dissociation constant for TgADF and rabbit muscle G-actin was 23.81 nM, as measured by ITC, which reflects very strong affinity of TgADF and G-actin interactions. The F-actin binding site of TgADF is partially formed, with a shortened F-loop that does not project out of the ellipsoid structure and a C-terminal helical turn in place of the C-terminal helix α4. Yet, it is more rigid than the F-actin binding site of Leishmania donovani cofilin. Experimental observations and structural features do not support the interaction of PIP2 with TgADF, and PIP2 does not affect the interaction of TgADF with G-actin. Overall, this study suggests that conformational flexibility of G-actin binding sites enhances the affinity of TgADF for G-actin, while conformational rigidity of F-actin binding sites of conventional ADF/cofilins is necessary for stable binding to F-actin.

  18. Visualization of the atomic structure of solid solutions with the NaCl structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babanov, Yu. A.; Ponomarev, D. A.; Ustinov, V. V.

    2015-04-01

    It has been shown how an atomic cluster for a solid solution with a rock salt structure can be constructed using the Pauling model. Simulation has been performed for 343000 ions of Ni x Zn1 - x O3 ( x = 0, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1.0) oxide substitutional solid solutions. Coordinates of all cluster ions are obtained and distribution functions of ion pairs (Ni-O, Ni-Ni, Ni-Zn, Zn-Zn, Zn-O, O-O) are constructed as functions of distance. The shape of the normal distribution indicates the existence of bounded chaos in the system of oxide solid solutions. The width of the Gaussian distribution function is determined by the difference of metal ionic radii. The results are in agreement with both X-ray diffraction and EXAFS spectroscopy data.

  19. Development of an online UV-visible microspectrophotometer for a macromolecular crystallography beamline.

    PubMed

    Shimizu, Nobutaka; Shimizu, Tetsuya; Baba, Seiki; Hasegawa, Kazuya; Yamamoto, Masaki; Kumasaka, Takashi

    2013-11-01

    Measurement of the UV-visible absorption spectrum is a convenient technique for detecting chemical changes of proteins, and it is therefore useful to combine spectroscopy and diffraction studies. An online microspectrophotometer for the UV-visible region was developed and installed on the macromolecular crystallography beamline, BL38B1, at SPring-8. This spectrophotometer is equipped with a difference dispersive double monochromator, a mercury-xenon lamp as the light source, and a photomultiplier as the detector. The optical path is mostly constructed using mirrors, in order to obtain high brightness in the UV region, and the confocal optics are assembled using a cross-slit diaphragm like an iris to eliminate stray light. This system can measure optical densities up to a maximum of 4.0. To study the effect of radiation damage, preliminary measurements of glucose isomerase and thaumatin crystals were conducted in the UV region. Spectral changes dependent on X-ray dose were observed at around 280 nm, suggesting that structural changes involving Trp or Tyr residues occurred in the protein crystal. In the case of the thaumatin crystal, a broad peak around 400 nm was also generated after X-ray irradiation, suggesting the cleavage of a disulfide bond. Dose-dependent spectral changes were also observed in cryo-solutions alone, and these changes differed with the composition of the cryo-solution. These responses in the UV region are informative regarding the state of the sample; consequently, this device might be useful for X-ray crystallography.

  20. Structure and solution properties of enzymatically synthesized glycogen.

    PubMed

    Kajiura, Hideki; Takata, Hiroki; Kuriki, Takashi; Kitamura, Shinichi

    2010-04-19

    Recently, a new enzymatic process for glycogen production was developed. In this process, short-chain amylose is used as a substrate for branching enzymes (BE, EC 2.4.1.18). The molecular weight of the enzymatically synthesized glycogen (ESG) depends on the size and concentration of the substrate. Structural and physicochemical properties of ESG were compared to those of natural source glycogen (NSG). The average chain length, interior chain length, and exterior chain length of ESG were 8.2-11.6, 2.0-3.3, and 4.2-7.6, respectively. These values were within the range of variation of NSG. The appearances of both ESG and NSG in solution were opalescent (milky white and slightly bluish). Furthermore, transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy showed that ESG molecules formed spherical particles, and that there were no differences between ESG and NSG. Viscometric analyses also showed the spherical nature of both glycogens. When ESG and NSG were treated with pullulanase, a glucan-hydrolyzing enzyme known to degrade glycogen only on its surface portion, both glycogens were similarly degraded. These analyses revealed that ESG shares similar molecular shapes and surface properties with NSG.

  1. a Procedural Solution to Model Roman Masonry Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cappellini, V.; Saleri, R.; Stefani, C.; Nony, N.; De Luca, L.

    2013-07-01

    The paper will describe a new approach based on the development of a procedural modelling methodology for archaeological data representation. This is a custom-designed solution based on the recognition of the rules belonging to the construction methods used in roman times. We have conceived a tool for 3D reconstruction of masonry structures starting from photogrammetric surveying. Our protocol considers different steps. Firstly we have focused on the classification of opus based on the basic interconnections that can lead to a descriptive system used for their unequivocal identification and design. Secondly, we have chosen an automatic, accurate, flexible and open-source photogrammetric pipeline named Pastis Apero Micmac - PAM, developed by IGN (Paris). We have employed it to generate ortho-images from non-oriented images, using a user-friendly interface implemented by CNRS Marseille (France). Thirdly, the masonry elements are created in parametric and interactive way, and finally they are adapted to the photogrammetric data. The presented application, currently under construction, is developed with an open source programming language called Processing, useful for visual, animated or static, 2D or 3D, interactive creations. Using this computer language, a Java environment has been developed. Therefore, even if the procedural modelling reveals an accuracy level inferior to the one obtained by manual modelling (brick by brick), this method can be useful when taking into account the static evaluation on buildings (requiring quantitative aspects) and metric measures for restoration purposes.

  2. Solution structures of stromelysin complexed to thiadiazole inhibitors.

    PubMed Central

    Stockman, B. J.; Waldon, D. J.; Gates, J. A.; Scahill, T. A.; Kloosterman, D. A.; Mizsak, S. A.; Jacobsen, E. J.; Belonga, K. L.; Mitchell, M. A.; Mao, B.; Petke, J. D.; Goodman, L.; Powers, E. A.; Ledbetter, S. R.; Kaytes, P. S.; Vogeli, G.; Marshall, V. P.; Petzold, G. L.; Poorman, R. A.

    1998-01-01

    Unregulated or overexpressed matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), including stromelysin, collagenase, and gelatinase. have been implicated in several pathological conditions including arthritis and cancer. Small-molecule MMP inhibitors may have therapeutic value in the treatment of these diseases. In this regard, the solution structures of two stromelysin/ inhibitor complexes have been investigated using 1H, 13C, and 15N NMR spectroscopy. Both-inhibitors are members of a novel class of matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor that contain a thiadiazole group and that interact with stromelysin in a manner distinct from other classes of inhibitors. The inhibitors coordinate the catalytic zinc atom through their exocyclic sulfur atom, with the remainder of the ligand extending into the S1-S3 side of the active site. The binding of inhibitor containing a protonated or fluorinated aromatic ring was investigated using 1H and 19F NMR spectroscopy. The fluorinated ring was found to have a reduced ring-flip rate compared to the protonated version. A strong, coplanar interaction between the fluorinated ring of the inhibitor and the aromatic ring of Tyr155 is proposed to account for the reduced ring-flip rate and for the increase in binding affinity observed for the fluorinated inhibitor compared to the protonated inhibitor. Binding interactions observed for the thiadiazole class of ligands have implications for the design of matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors. PMID:9827994

  3. JBluIce-EPICS control system for macromolecular crystallography.

    PubMed

    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

    2011-03-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Space warping order parameters and symmetry: application to multiscale simulation of macromolecular assemblies.

    PubMed

    Singharoy, Abhishek; Joshi, Harshad; Miao, Yinglong; Ortoleva, Peter J

    2012-07-26

    Coarse-grained features of macromolecular assemblies are understood via a set of order parameters (OPs) constructed in terms of their all-atom configuration. OPs are shown to be slowly changing in time and capture the large-scale spatial features of macromolecular assemblies. The relationship of these variables to the classic notion of OPs based on symmetry breaking phase transitions is discussed. OPs based on space warping transformations are analyzed in detail as they naturally provide a connection between overall structure of an assembly and all-atom configuration. These OPs serve as the basis of a multiscale analysis that yields Langevin equations for OP dynamics. In this context, the characteristics of OPs and PCA modes are compared. The OPs enable efficient all-atom multiscale simulations of the dynamics of macromolecular assemblies in response to changes in microenvironmental conditions, as demonstrated on the structural transitions of cowpea chlorotic mottle virus capsid (CCMV) and RNA of the satellite tobacco mosaic virus (STMV).

  6. Macromolecular components of tomato fruit pectin.

    PubMed

    Fishman, M L; Gross, K C; Gillespie, D T; Sondey, S M

    1989-10-01

    Chelate and alkaline-soluble pectin extracted from cell walls of pericarp tissue from mature green, turning, and red ripe (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) fruit (cv. Rutgers), were studied by high-performance size-exclusion chromatography. Computer-aided curve fitting of the chromatograms to a series of Gaussian-shaped components revealed that pectin from all fractions was composed of a linear combination of five macromolecular-sized species. The relative sizes of these macromolecules as obtained from their radii of gyration were 1:2:4:8:16. Dialysis against 0.05 M NaCl induced partial dissociation of the biopolymers. Apparently, the weight fraction of smaller sized species increased at the expense of larger ones. Also, the dissociation produced low-molecular-weight fragments. Behavior in the presence of 0.05 M NaCl led to the conclusion that cell wall pectin acted as if it were an aggregated mosaic, held together at least partially through noncovalent interactions.

  7. Structure of supersaturated solution and crystal nucleation induced by diffusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ooshima, Hiroshi; Igarashi, Koichi; Iwasa, Hideo; Yamamoto, Ren

    2013-06-01

    The effect of a seed crystal on nucleation of L-alanine from a quiescent supersaturated solution was investigated. When a seed crystal was not used, nucleation did not occur at least for 5 h. When a seed crystal was introduced into the supersaturated solution with careful attention to avoid convection of the solution, fine crystals appeared at the place far from the seed crystal. At that time, there was no convection at the place that fine crystals appeared. Namely, there was no possibility that those fine crystals came from the surface of seed crystal. We supposed that nucleation was induced by directional diffusion of solute molecules caused by growth of the seed crystal. In order to prove this hypothesis, we designed an experiment using an apparatus composed of two compartments divided by a dialysis membrane that L-alanine molecules could freely permeate. Two supersaturated solutions having a supersaturation ratio of 1.2 and a smaller ratio were placed in the two compartments in the absence of seed crystals. This apparatus allowed the directional diffusion of solute molecules between two solutions. Nucleation occurred within 30 min. The frequency of nucleation among 7-times repeated experiments was in proportion to the difference of supersaturation ratio between the two solutions. This result poses a new mechanism of the secondary nucleation that the directional diffusion caused by growth of existing crystals induces nucleation.

  8. Valence Electronic Structure of Aqueous Solutions: Insights from Photoelectron Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seidel, Robert; Winter, Bernd; Bradforth, Stephen E.

    2016-05-01

    The valence orbital electron binding energies of water and of embedded solutes are crucial quantities for understanding chemical reactions taking place in aqueous solution, including oxidation/reduction, transition-metal coordination, and radiation chemistry. Their experimental determination based on liquid-photoelectron spectroscopy using soft X-rays is described, and we provide an overview of valence photoelectron spectroscopy studies reported to date. We discuss principal experimental aspects and several theoretical approaches to compute the measured binding energies of the least tightly bound molecular orbitals. Solutes studied are presented chronologically, from simple electrolytes, via transition-metal ion solutions and several organic and inorganic molecules, to biologically relevant molecules, including aqueous nucleotides and their components. In addition to the lowest vertical ionization energies, the measured valence photoelectron spectra also provide information on adiabatic ionization energies and reorganization energies for the oxidation (ionization) half-reaction. For solutes with low solubility, resonantly enhanced ionization provides a promising alternative pathway.

  9. Nucleosome and DNA-protein condensed structures in solution from flow birefringence and intrinsic viscosity

    SciTech Connect

    Harrington, R.E.

    1980-10-01

    Highly sensitive streaming birefringence measurements combined with intrinsic viscosity are used to characterize the shape anisometry and optical anisotropy of nucleosomes over a range of salt concentration > 30 mM KCl and of structures obtained by the condensation of high molecular weight DNA with polylysine. These measurements appear useful for several reasons. Both streaming birefringence and intrinsic viscosity are hydrodynamic properties based upon the rotational diffusion of macromolecular particles and hence are inherently more sensitive to details of particle anisometry than are hydrodynamic properties based upon translational diffusion. An established body of both hydrodynamic and continuum dielectric optical theory is available with which to interpret streaming birefringence results. Extinction angles (i.e., mean orientation angles of particles in a velocity gradient) are entirely hydrodynamic properties, and hence can be interpreted through the rotational coefficient to characterize particle anisometry and to estimate absolute dimensions. The ratio of Maxwell coefficient to intrinsic viscosity is proportional to the absolute particle anisotropy. The high optical anisotropy of DNA relative to that of associated protein permits certain details of tertiary structure and shape anisometry to be estimated from the observed optical anisotropy compared to optical models involving the DNA alone. The method is essentially independent of solvent.

  10. The Lunar Internal Structure Model: Problems and Solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nefedyev, Yuri; Gusev, Alexander; Petrova, Natalia; Varaksina, Natalia

    decomposition of gravitational field of the Moon of members up to 165th order with a high degree of accuracy. Judging from the given data, the distinctive feature of the Moon’s gravitational field is that harmonics of the third and even the fourth order are comparable with harmonics of the second order, except for member J2. General conclusion: according to recent data, the true figure of the Moon is much more complex than a three-axis ellipsoid. Gravitational field and dynamic figure of the multilayered Moon: One of the main goals of selenodesy is the study of a dynamic figure of the Moon which determines distribution of the mass within the Moon’s body. A dynamic figure is shaped by the inertia ellipsoid set by values of resultant moments of inertia of the Moon A, B, C and their orientation in space. Selenoid satellites (SS) open new and most perspective opportunities in the study of gravitational field and the Moon’s figure. SSs “Moon 10”, “Apollo”, “Clementine”, “Lunar Prospector” trajectory tracking data processing has allowed for identification of coefficients in decomposition of gravitational field of the Moon of members up to 165th order with a high degree of accuracy. Judging from the given data, the distinctive feature of the Moon’s gravitational field is that harmonics of the third and even the fourth order are comparable with harmonics of the second order. Difference from zero of c-coefficients proves asymmetry of gravitational fields on the visible and invisible sides of the Moon. As a first attempt at solving the problem, the report presents the survey of internal structure of the Moon, tabulated values of geophysical parameters and geophysical profile of the Moon, including liquid lunar core, analytical solution of Clairaut’s equation for the two-layer model of the Moon; mathematical and bifurcational analysis of solution based on physically justified task options; original debugged software in VBA programming language for computer

  11. A Sensitized Emission Based Calibration of FRET Efficiency for Probing the Architecture of Macromolecular Machines.

    PubMed

    Joglekar, Ajit; Chen, Renjie; Lawrimore, Joshua

    2013-01-01

    Macromolecular machines participate in almost every cell biological function. These machines can take the form of well-defined protein structures such as the kinetochore, or more loosely organized protein assemblies like the endocytic coat. The protein architecture of these machines-the arrangement of multiple copies of protein subunits at the nanoscale, is necessary for understanding their cell biological function and biophysical mechanism. Defining this architecture in vivo presents a major challenge. High density of protein molecules within macromolecular machines severely limits the effectiveness of super-resolution microscopy. However, this density is ideal for Forster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET), which can determine the proximity between neighboring molecules. Here, we present a simple FRET quantitation scheme that calibrates a standard epifluorescence microscope for measuring donor-acceptor separations. This calibration can be used to deduce FRET efficiency fluorescence intensity measurements. This method will allow accurate determination of FRET efficiency over a wide range of values and FRET pair number. It will also allow dynamic FRET measurements with high spatiotemporal resolution under cell biological conditions. Although the poor maturation efficiency of genetically encoded fluorescent proteins presents a challenge, we show that its effects can be alleviated. To demonstrate this methodology, we probe the in vivo architecture of the γ-Tubulin Ring. Our technique can be applied to study the architecture and dynamics of a wide range of macromolecular machines.

  12. Competition between chemical denaturation and macromolecular crowding effects on the folding dynamics of proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samiotakis, Antonios; Cheung, Margaret

    2011-03-01

    It is well known that proteins fold and function in the crowded environment of the cell's interior. In the recent years it has been established that the so-called ``macromolecular crowding'' effect can enhance the folding stability of proteins by destabilizing their unfolded states. On the other hand, chemical and thermal denaturation are often used in experiments as tools to destabilize protein structures when probing a protein's folding landscape. However, little is known about the combined effects of these competing phenomena on proteins. In this work, we use coarse-grained molecular simulations to study the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of the small peptide Trp-cage, in the combined presence of macromolecular crowders and chemical denaturant. With the use of an energy function derived by all-atomistic simulations in the presence of urea, we investigate the thermodynamics and kinetics of Trp-cage's folding mechanism at several concentrations of urea. The effects of the competition between stabilization by macromolecular crowding and destabilization by chemical denaturation will also be discussed. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation, Molecular & Cellular Biosciences (MCB0919974).

  13. Structure of concentrated aqueous solutions of scandium chloride

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smirnov, P. R.; Grechin, O. V.

    2017-03-01

    It is shown via X-ray diffraction that aqueous solutions of scandium chloride form ionic associates in a wide range of concentrations. It is established that the Sc3+ ion coordination number increases upon dilution to 8.2 at an unchanged Sc3+-OH2 distance of 0.215 nm. The second coordination sphere of the cation forms at an average distance of 0.420 nm. The number of solvent molecules in the sphere logically increases during dilution. It is concluded that the anion does not form its own sphere in highly concentrated solutions. This coordination sphere begins to form only in solutions with moderate concentrations at a distance of 0.315 nm, and it contains six water molecules in diluted solutions.

  14. On the coupling of solvent characteristics to the electronic structure of solute molecules.

    PubMed

    Bogatko, Stuart; Cauët, Emilie; Geerlings, Paul; De Proft, Frank

    2014-02-28

    We present the results of a theoretical investigation focusing on the solvent structure surrounding the -1, 0 and +1 charged species of F, Cl, Br and I halogen atoms and F2, Cl2, Br2 and I2 di-halogen molecules in a methanol solvent and its influence on the electronic structure of the solute molecules. Our results show a large stabilizing effect arising from the solute-solvent interactions. Well-formed first solvation shells are observed for all species, the structure of which is strongly influenced by the charge of the solute species. Detailed analysis reveals that coordination number, CN, solvent orientation, θ, and solute-solvent distance, d, are important structural characteristics which are coupled to changes in the electronic structure of the solute. We propose that the fundamental chemistry of any solute species is generally regulated by these solvent degrees of freedom.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. The structure of ionic aqueous solutions at interfaces: An intrinsic structure analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bresme, Fernando; Chacón, Enrique; Tarazona, Pedro; Wynveen, Aaron

    2012-09-01

    We investigate the interfacial structure of ionic solutions consisting of alkali halide ions in water at concentrations in the range 0.2-1.0 molal and at 300 K. Combining molecular dynamics simulations of point charge ion models and a recently introduced computational approach that removes the averaging effect of interfacial capillary waves, we compute the intrinsic structure of the aqueous interface. The interfacial structure is more complex than previously inferred from the analysis of mean profiles. We find a strong alternating double layer structure near the interface, which depends on the cation and anion size. Relatively small changes in the ion diameter disrupt the double layer structure, promoting the adsorption of anions or inducing the density enhancement of small cations with diameters used in simulation studies of lithium solutions. The density enhancement of the small cations is mediated by their strong water solvation shell, with one or more water molecules "anchoring" the ion to the outermost water layer. We find that the intrinsic interfacial electrostatic potential features very strong oscillations with a minimum at the liquid surface that is ˜4 times stronger than the electrostatic potential in the bulk. For the water model employed in this work, SPC/E, the electrostatic potential at the water surface is ˜-2 V, equivalent to ˜80 kBT (for T = 300 K), much stronger than previously considered. Furthermore, we show that the utilization of the intrinsic surface technique provides a route to extract ionic potentials of mean force that are not affected by the thermal fluctuations, which limits the accuracy of most past approaches including the popular umbrella sampling technique.

  19. Solvation structure of coumarin 1 in acetonitrile: role of the electrostatic solute solvent potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diraison, M.; Millie, P.; Pommeret, S.; Gustavsson, T.; Mialocq, J.-Cl

    1998-01-01

    A molecular dynamics simulation study of a coumarin 1 molecule solvated in acetonitrile, in its S 0 and S 1 electronic states, is presented. Three solute-solvent interaction potentials, all containing the same Lennard-Jones component but different electrostatic interactions, have been considered. The structure of the solvent around the large dye solute strongly depends on the electrostatic solute-solvent potential, illustrating the crucial role of the local electric field. An accurate description of the charge distribution of the solute is therefore necessary to describe correctly the solute-solvent structure and the solvation energy.

  20. Structural qualia: a solution to the hard problem of consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Loorits, Kristjan

    2014-01-01

    The hard problem of consciousness has been often claimed to be unsolvable by the methods of traditional empirical sciences. It has been argued that all the objects of empirical sciences can be fully analyzed in structural terms but that consciousness is (or has) something over and above its structure. However, modern neuroscience has introduced a theoretical framework in which also the apparently non-structural aspects of consciousness, namely the so called qualia or qualitative properties, can be analyzed in structural terms. That framework allows us to see qualia as something compositional with internal structures that fully determine their qualitative nature. Moreover, those internal structures can be identified which certain neural patterns. Thus consciousness as a whole can be seen as a complex neural pattern that misperceives some of its own highly complex structural properties as monadic and qualitative. Such neural pattern is analyzable in fully structural terms and thereby the hard problem is solved. PMID:24672510

  1. Macromolecular Antioxidants and Dietary Fiber in Edible Seaweeds.

    PubMed

    Sanz-Pintos, Nerea; Pérez-Jiménez, Jara; Buschmann, Alejandro H; Vergara-Salinas, José Rodrigo; Pérez-Correa, José Ricardo; Saura-Calixto, Fulgencio

    2017-02-01

    Seaweeds are rich in different bioactive compounds with potential uses in drugs, cosmetics and the food industry. The objective of this study was to analyze macromolecular antioxidants or nonextractable polyphenols, in several edible seaweed species collected in Chile (Gracilaria chilensis, Callophyllis concepcionensis, Macrocystis pyrifera, Scytosyphon lomentaria, Ulva sp. and Enteromorpha compressa), including their 1st HPLC characterization. Macromolecular antioxidants are commonly ignored in studies of bioactive compounds. They are associated with insoluble dietary fiber and exhibit significant biological activity, with specific features that are different from those of both dietary fiber and extractable polyphenols. We also evaluated extractable polyphenols and dietary fiber, given their relationship with macromolecular antioxidants. Our results show that macromolecular antioxidants are a major polyphenol fraction (averaging 42% to total polyphenol content), with hydroxycinnamic acids, hydroxybenzoic acids and flavonols being the main constituents. This fraction also showed remarkable antioxidant capacity, as determined by 2 complementary assays. The dietary fiber content was over 50% of dry weight, with some samples exhibiting the target proportionality between soluble and insoluble dietary fiber for adequate nutrition. Overall, our data show that seaweed could be an important source of commonly ignored macromolecular antioxidants.

  2. Application of finite-element-based solution technologies for viscoplastic structural analyses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arya, V. K.

    1990-01-01

    Finite-element solution technology developed for use in conjunction with advanced viscoplastic models is described. The development of such solution technology is necessary for performing stress/life analyses of engineering structural problems where the complex geometries and loadings make the conventional analytical solutions difficult. The versatility of the solution technology is demonstrated by applying it to viscoplastic models possessing different mathematical structures and encompassing isotropic and anisotropic material. The computational results qualitatively replicate deformation behavior observed in experiments on prototypical structural components.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Solution structure of an antifreeze protein CfAFP-501 from Choristoneura fumiferana.

    PubMed

    Li, Congmin; Guo, Xianrong; Jia, Zongchao; Xia, Bin; Jin, Changwen

    2005-07-01

    Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) are widely employed by various organisms as part of their overwintering survival strategy. AFPs have the unique ability to suppress the freezing point of aqueous solution and inhibit ice recrystallization through binding to the ice seed crystals and restricting their growth. The solution structure of CfAFP-501 from spruce budworm has been determined by NMR spectroscopy. Our result demonstrates that CfAFP-501 retains its rigid and highly regular structure in solution. Overall, the solution structure is similar to the crystal structure except the N- and C-terminal regions. NMR spin-relaxation experiments further indicate the overall rigidity of the protein and identify a collection of residues with greater flexibilities. Furthermore, Pro91 shows a cis conformation in solution instead of the trans conformation determined in the crystal structure.

  7. Special quasirandom structure modeling of fluorite-structured oxide solid solutions with aliovalent cation substitutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolff-Goodrich, Silas; Hanken, Benjamin E.; Solomon, Jonathan M.; Asta, Mark

    2015-07-01

    The accuracy of the special quasirandom structure (SQS) approach for modeling the structure and energetics of fluorite-structured oxide solid solutions with aliovalent cation substitutions is assessed in an ionic-pair potential study of urania and ceria based systems mixed with trivalent rare-earth ions. Mixing enthalpies for SQS supercells containing 96 and 324 lattice sites were calculated using ionic pair potentials for U0.5La0.5O1.75, U0.5Y0.5O1.75, Ce0.5La0.5O1.75, Ce0.5Y0.5O1.75, and Ce0.5Gd0.5O1.75, which all have stoichiometries of pyrochlores. The SQS results were compared to benchmark values for random substitutional disorder obtained using large supercell models. The calculations show significant improvement of the mixing enthalpy for the larger 324 site SQS, which is attributed to a better description of the structural distortions, as characterized by the radial distribution functions in relaxed systems.

  8. 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.

  9. Integrated Force Method Solution to Indeterminate Structural Mechanics Problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patnaik, Surya N.; Hopkins, Dale A.; Halford, Gary R.

    2004-01-01

    Strength of materials problems have been classified into determinate and indeterminate problems. Determinate analysis primarily based on the equilibrium concept is well understood. Solutions of indeterminate problems required additional compatibility conditions, and its comprehension was not exclusive. A solution to indeterminate problem is generated by manipulating the equilibrium concept, either by rewriting in the displacement variables or through the cutting and closing gap technique of the redundant force method. Compatibility improvisation has made analysis cumbersome. The authors have researched and understood the compatibility theory. Solutions can be generated with equal emphasis on the equilibrium and compatibility concepts. This technique is called the Integrated Force Method (IFM). Forces are the primary unknowns of IFM. Displacements are back-calculated from forces. IFM equations are manipulated to obtain the Dual Integrated Force Method (IFMD). Displacement is the primary variable of IFMD and force is back-calculated. The subject is introduced through response variables: force, deformation, displacement; and underlying concepts: equilibrium equation, force deformation relation, deformation displacement relation, and compatibility condition. Mechanical load, temperature variation, and support settling are equally emphasized. The basic theory is discussed. A set of examples illustrate the new concepts. IFM and IFMD based finite element methods are introduced for simple problems.

  10. Reverse engineering chemical structures from molecular descriptors : how many solutions?

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, William Michael; Martin, Shawn Bryan; Faulon, Jean-Loup Michel

    2005-06-01

    Physical, chemical and biological properties are the ultimate information of interest for chemical compounds. Molecular descriptors that map structural information to activities and properties are obvious candidates for information sharing. In this paper, we consider the feasibility of using molecular descriptors to safely exchange chemical information in such a way that the original chemical structures cannot be reverse engineered. To investigate the safety of sharing such descriptors, we compute the degeneracy (the number of structure matching a descriptor value) of several 2D descriptors, and use various methods to search for and reverse engineer structures. We examine degeneracy in the entire chemical space taking descriptors values from the alkane isomer series and the PubChem database. We further use a stochastic search to retrieve structures matching specific topological index values. Finally, we investigate the safety of exchanging of fragmental descriptors using deterministic enumeration.

  11. 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.

  12. MUFOLD: A new solution for protein 3D structure prediction.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jingfen; Wang, Qingguo; Barz, Bogdan; He, Zhiquan; Kosztin, Ioan; Shang, Yi; Xu, Dong

    2010-04-01

    There have been steady improvements in protein structure prediction during the past 2 decades. However, current methods are still far from consistently predicting structural models accurately with computing power accessible to common users. Toward achieving more accurate and efficient structure prediction, we developed a number of novel methods and integrated them into a software package, MUFOLD. First, a systematic protocol was developed to identify useful templates and fragments from Protein Data Bank for a given target protein. Then, an efficient process was applied for iterative coarse-grain model generation and evaluation at the Calpha or backbone level. In this process, we construct models using interresidue spatial restraints derived from alignments by multidimensional scaling, evaluate and select models through clustering and static scoring functions, and iteratively improve the selected models by integrating spatial restraints and previous models. Finally, the full-atom models were evaluated using molecular dynamics simulations based on structural changes under simulated heating. We have continuously improved the performance of MUFOLD by using a benchmark of 200 proteins from the Astral database, where no template with >25% sequence identity to any target protein is included. The average root-mean-square deviation of the best models from the native structures is 4.28 A, which shows significant and systematic improvement over our previous methods. The computing time of MUFOLD is much shorter than many other tools, such as Rosetta. MUFOLD demonstrated some success in the 2008 community-wide experiment for protein structure prediction CASP8.

  13. Finite element solution of transient fluid-structure interaction problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Everstine, Gordon C.; Cheng, Raymond S.; Hambric, Stephen A.

    1991-01-01

    A finite element approach using NASTRAN is developed for solving time-dependent fluid-structure interaction problems, with emphasis on the transient scattering of acoustic waves from submerged elastic structures. Finite elements are used for modeling both structure and fluid domains to facilitate the graphical display of the wave motion through both media. For the liquid, the use of velocity potential as the fundamental unknown results in a symmetric matrix equation. The approach is illustrated for the problem of transient scattering from a submerged elastic spherical shell subjected to an incident tone burst. The use of an analogy between the equations of elasticity and the wave equation of acoustics, a necessary ingredient to the procedure, is summarized.

  14. Automatic protein structure solution from weak X-ray data

    PubMed Central

    Skubák, Pavol; Pannu, Navraj S.

    2013-01-01

    Determining new protein structures from X-ray diffraction data at low resolution or with a weak anomalous signal is a difficult and often an impossible task. Here we propose a multivariate algorithm that simultaneously combines the structure determination steps. In tests on over 140 real data sets from the protein data bank, we show that this combined approach can automatically build models where current algorithms fail, including an anisotropically diffracting 3.88 Å RNA polymerase II data set. The method seamlessly automates the process, is ideal for non-specialists and provides a mathematical framework for successfully combining various sources of information in image processing. PMID:24231803

  15. Automatic protein structure solution from weak X-ray data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skubák, Pavol; Pannu, Navraj S.

    2013-11-01

    Determining new protein structures from X-ray diffraction data at low resolution or with a weak anomalous signal is a difficult and often an impossible task. Here we propose a multivariate algorithm that simultaneously combines the structure determination steps. In tests on over 140 real data sets from the protein data bank, we show that this combined approach can automatically build models where current algorithms fail, including an anisotropically diffracting 3.88 Å RNA polymerase II data set. The method seamlessly automates the process, is ideal for non-specialists and provides a mathematical framework for successfully combining various sources of information in image processing.

  16. Solution softening in magnesium alloys: the effect of solid solutions on the dislocation core structure and nonbasal slip.

    PubMed

    Tsuru, T; Udagawa, Y; Yamaguchi, M; Itakura, M; Kaburaki, H; Kaji, Y

    2013-01-16

    There is a pressing need to improve the ductility of magnesium alloys so that they can be applied as lightweight structural materials. In this study, a mechanism for enhancing the ductility of magnesium alloys has been pursued using the atomistic method. The generalized stacking fault (GSF) energies for basal and prismatic planes in magnesium were calculated by using density functional theory, and the effect of the GSF energy on the dislocation core structures was examined using a semidiscrete variational Peierls-Nabarro model. Yttrium was found to have an anomalous influence on the solution softening owing to a reduction in the GSF energy gradient.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

    2001-01-01

    Conventional x-ray diffraction topography is currently used to map defects in the bulk of protein crystals, but the lack of sufficient contrast is frequently a limiting factor. We experimentally demonstrate that this barrier can be circumvented using a method that combines phase sensitive and diffraction imaging principles. Details of defects revealed in tetragonal lysozyme and cubic ferritin crystals are presented and discussed. The approach enabling the detection of the phase changes of diffracted x rays should prove to be useful in the study of defect structures in a broad range of biological macromolecular crystals.

  19. Comparison of the crystal and solution structures of calmodulin and troponin C

    SciTech Connect

    Heidorn, D.B.; Trewhella, J.

    1988-02-09

    X-ray solution scattering data from skeletal muscle troponin C and from calmodulin have been measured. Modeling studies based on the crystal structure coordinates for these proteins show discrepancies between the solution data and the crystal structure that indicate that if the size and shape of the globular domains are the same in solution as in the crystal, the distances between them must be smaller by several angstroms. Bringing the globular domains closer together requires structural changes in the interconnecting helix that joins them.

  20. Solutions for Missing Data in Structural Equation Modeling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carter, Rufus Lynn

    2006-01-01

    Many times in both educational and social science research it is impossible to collect data that is complete. When administering a survey, for example, people may answer some questions and not others. This missing data causes a problem for researchers using structural equation modeling (SEM) techniques for data analyses. Because SEM and…

  1. Radiation damage within nucleoprotein complexes studied by macromolecular X-ray crystallography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bury, Charles S.; Carmichael, Ian; McGeehan, John E.; Garman, Elspeth F.

    2016-11-01

    In X-ray crystallography, for the determination of the 3-D structure of macromolecules, radiation damage is still an inherent problem at modern third generation synchrotron sources, even when utilising cryo-crystallographic techniques (sample held at 100 K). At doses of just several MGy, at which a typical diffraction dataset is collected, site-specific radiation-induced chemical changes are known to manifest within protein crystals, and a wide body of literature is now devoted to understanding the mechanisms behind such damage. Far less is known regarding radiation-induced damage to crystalline nucleic acids and the wider class of nucleoprotein complexes during macromolecular X-ray crystallography (MX) data collection. As the MX structural biology community now strives to solve structures for increasingly larger and complex macromolecular assemblies, it essential to understand how such structures are affected by the X-ray radiation used to solve them. The purpose of this review is to summarise advances in the field of specific damage to nucleoprotein complexes and to present case studies of MX damage investigations on both protein-DNA (C.Esp1396I) and protein-RNA (TRAP) complexes. To motivate further investigations into MX damage mechanisms within nucleoprotein complexes, current and emerging protocols for investigating specific damage within Fobs(n)-Fobs(1) electron density difference maps are discussed.

  2. Macromolecular Crowding Regulates the Gene Expression Profile by Limiting Diffusion

    PubMed Central

    Golkaram, Mahdi; Hellander, Stefan; Drawert, Brian; Petzold, Linda R.

    2016-01-01

    We seek to elucidate the role of macromolecular crowding in transcription and translation. It is well known that stochasticity in gene expression can lead to differential gene expression and heterogeneity in a cell population. Recent experimental observations by Tan et al. have improved our understanding of the functional role of macromolecular crowding. It can be inferred from their observations that macromolecular crowding can lead to robustness in gene expression, resulting in a more homogeneous cell population. We introduce a spatial stochastic model to provide insight into this process. Our results show that macromolecular crowding reduces noise (as measured by the kurtosis of the mRNA distribution) in a cell population by limiting the diffusion of transcription factors (i.e. removing the unstable intermediate states), and that crowding by large molecules reduces noise more efficiently than crowding by small molecules. Finally, our simulation results provide evidence that the local variation in chromatin density as well as the total volume exclusion of the chromatin in the nucleus can induce a homogenous cell population. PMID:27893768

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Molecular solutes in ionic liquids: a structural perspective.

    PubMed

    Pádua, Agílio A H; Costa Gomes, Margarida F; Canongia Lopes, José N A

    2007-11-01

    Understanding physicochemical properties of ionic liquids is important for their rational use in extractions, reactions, and other applications. Ionic liquids are not simple fluids: their ions are generally asymetric, flexible, with delocalized electrostatic charges, and available in a wide variety. It is difficult to capture their subtle properties with models that are too simplistic. Molecular simulation using atomistic force fields, which describe structures and interactions in detail, is an excellent tool to gain insights into their liquid-state organization, how they solvate different compounds, and what molecular factors determine their properties. The identification of certain ionic liquids as self-organized phases, with aggregated nonpolar and charged domains, provides a new way to interpret the solvation and structure of their mixtures. Many advances are the result of a successful interplay between experiment and modeling, possible in this field where none of the two methodologies had a previous advance.

  6. Raman spectra and ab initio calculation of a structure of aqueous solutions of methanol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hushvaktov, H. A.; Tukhvatullin, F. H.; Jumabaev, A.; Tashkenbaev, U. N.; Absanov, A. A.; Hudoyberdiev, B. G.; Kuyliev, B.

    2017-03-01

    Small amount of low molecular weight alcohols leads to appearance of some special properties of alcohol-water solutions. In the literature it is associated with structural changes in solution with changing concentration. However, the problem special properties and structure of solutions at low concentration of alcohol is not very clear. Accordingly, we carried out quantum-chemical calculations and experimental studies of aqueous solutions of methyl alcohol. The calculations performed for ten molecular alcohol-water mixtures showed that with a low concentration of methyl alcohol in water the solubility of alcohol is poor: the alcohol molecules are displaced from the water structure and should form a particular structure. Thus, with low concentration of alcohol in the aqueous solution there are two types of structures: the structure of water and the structure of alcohol that should lead to the presence of specific properties. At high concentration of alcohol the structure of water is destroyed and there is just the structure made of alcohol-water aggregates. This interpretation is consistent with the experimental data of Raman spectroscopy. The band of Csbnd O vibrations of alcohol is detected to be of complex character just in the region of the presence of specific properties. Formation of intermolecular H-bonds also complicates the Raman spectra of Osbnd H or O-D vibrations of pure alcohol: a non-coincidence of peak frequencies, a shift of the band towards low-frequency region, a strong broadening of the band.

  7. ANOVA-HDMR structure of the higher order nodal diffusion solution

    SciTech Connect

    Bokov, P. M.; Prinsloo, R. H.; Tomasevic, D. I.

    2013-07-01

    Nodal diffusion methods still represent a standard in global reactor calculations, but employ some ad-hoc approximations (such as the quadratic leakage approximation) which limit their accuracy in cases where reference quality solutions are sought. In this work we solve the nodal diffusion equations utilizing the so-called higher-order nodal methods to generate reference quality solutions and to decompose the obtained solutions via a technique known as High Dimensional Model Representation (HDMR). This representation and associated decomposition of the solution provides a new formulation of the transverse leakage term. The HDMR structure is investigated via the technique of Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), which indicates why the existing class of transversely-integrated nodal methods prove to be so successful. Furthermore, the analysis leads to a potential solution method for generating reference quality solutions at a much reduced calculational cost, by applying the ANOVA technique to the full higher order solution. (authors)

  8. Modelling size and structure of nanoparticles formed from drying of submicron solution aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bandyopadhyay, Arpan A.; Pawar, Amol A.; Venkataraman, Chandra; Mehra, Anurag

    2015-01-01

    Drying of submicron solution aerosols, under controlled conditions, has been explored to prepare nanoparticles for drug delivery applications. A computational model of solution drop evaporation is developed to study the evolution of solute gradients inside the drop and predict the size and shell thickness of precipitating nanoparticles. The model considers evaporation as a two-stage process involving droplet shrinkage and shell growth. It was corroborated that droplet evaporation rate controls the solute distribution within a droplet and the resulting particle structure (solid or shell type). At higher gas temperatures, rapid build-up of solute near drop surface from high evaporation rates results in early attainment of critical supersaturation solubility and a steeper solute gradient, which favours formation of larger, shell-type particles. At lower gas temperatures, formation of smaller, solid nanoparticles is indicated. The computed size and shell thickness are in good agreement with experimentally prepared lipid nanoparticles. This study indicates that solid or shell structure of precipitated nanoparticles is strongly affected by evaporation rate, while initial solute concentration in the precursor solution and atomized droplet size affect shell thickness. For the gas temperatures considered, evaporative cooling leads to droplet temperature below the melting point of the lipid solute. Thus, we conclude that control over nanoparticle size and structure, of thermolabile precursor materials suitable for drug delivery, can be achieved by controlling evaporation rates, through selection of aerosol processing conditions.

  9. Solution Structure of the Conserved Hypothetical Protein Rv2302 from Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    SciTech Connect

    Buchko, Garry W.; Kim, Chang Y.; Terwilliger, Thomas C.; Kennedy, Michael A.

    2006-08-01

    The hypothetical Mycobacterium tuberculosis protein RV2302 (80 residues, MW = 8.6 kDa) has been characterized using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. Size exclusion chromatography and NMR spectroscopy suggest that RV2302 is as a monomer is solution. Circular dichroism spectroscopy indicates the protein is structured in solution, but, irreversible unfolds upon heating with an inflection point of {approx}48 C. Using NMR based methods we determined the solution structure of RV2302. The protein contains a five strand, anti-parallel b-sheet core with one C-terminal a-helix (A65-A75) nestled against its side. Dali searches using the structure closest to the average structure did not identify any high similarities to any other known protein structure. Consequently, the structure of Rv2302 may potentially represent a novel protein fold.

  10. Characterization of tailor-made copolymers of oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate and N,N-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate as nonviral gene transfer agents: influence of macromolecular structure on gene vector particle properties and transfection efficiency.

    PubMed

    Uzgün, Senta; Akdemir, Ozgür; Hasenpusch, Günther; Maucksch, Christof; Golas, Monika M; Sander, Bjoern; Stark, Holger; Imker, Rabea; Lutz, Jean-François; Rudolph, Carsten

    2010-01-11

    Oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylates (OEGMA) of various chain lengths (i.e., 9, 23, or 45 EG units) and N,N-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA) were copolymerized by atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), yielding well-defined P(DMAEMA-co-OEGMA) copolymers with increasing OEGMA molar fractions (F(OEGMA)) but a comparable degree of polymerization (DP approximately 120). Increase of both F(OEGMA) and OEGMA chain lengths correlated inversely with gene vector size, morphology, and zeta potential. P(DMAEMA-co-OEGMA) copolymers prevented gene vector aggregation at high plasmid DNA (pDNA) concentrations in isotonic solution and did not induce cytotoxicity even at high concentrations. Transfection efficiency of the most efficient P(DMAEMA-co-OEGMA) copolymers was found to be >10-fold lower compared with branched polyethylenimine (PEI) 25 kDa. Although OEGMA copolymerization largely reduced gene vector binding with the cell surface, cellular internalization of the bound complexes was less affected. These observations suggest that inefficient endolysosomal escape limits transfection efficiency of P(DMAEMA-co-OEGMA) copolymer gene vectors. Despite this observation, optimized p(DMAEMA-co-OEGMA) gene vectors remained stable under conditions for in vivo application leading to 7-fold greater gene expression in the lungs compared with PEI. Tailor-made P(DMAEMA-co-OEGMA) copolymers are promising nonviral gene transfer agents that fulfill the requirements for successful in vivo gene delivery.

  11. Both Reversible Self-Association and Structural Changes Underpin Molecular Viscoelasticity of mAb Solutions.

    PubMed

    Sarangapani, Prasad S; Weaver, Justin; Parupudi, Arun; Besong, Tabot M D; Adams, Gary G; Harding, Stephen E; Manikwar, Prakash; Castellanos, Maria M; Bishop, Steven M; Pathak, Jai A

    2016-12-01

    The role of antibody structure (conformation) in solution rheology is probed. It is demonstrated here that pH-dependent changes in the tertiary structure of 2 mAb solutions lead to viscoelasticity and not merely a shear viscosity (η) increase. Steady shear flow curves on mAb solutions are reported over broad pH (3.0 ≤ pH ≤ 8.7) and concentration (2 mg/mL ≤ c ≤ 120 mg/mL) ranges to comprehensively characterize their rheology. Results are interpreted using size exclusion chromatography, differential scanning calorimetry, analytical ultracentrifugation, near-UV circular dichroism, and dynamic light scattering. Changes in tertiary structure with concentration lead to elastic yield stress and increased solution viscosity in solution of "mAb1." These findings are supported by dynamic light scattering and differential scanning calorimetry, which show increased hydrodynamic radius of mAb1 at low pH and a reduced melting temperature Tm, respectively. Conversely, another molecule at 120 mg/mL solution concentration is a strong viscoelastic gel due to perturbed tertiary structure (seen in circular dichroism) at pH 3.0, but the same molecule responds as a viscous liquid due to reversible self-association at pH 7.4 (verified by analytical ultracentrifugation). Both protein-protein interactions and structural perturbations govern pH-dependent viscoelasticity of mAb solutions.

  12. Anomalous variations of crystal habits and solution properties in the context of the crystallization medium structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiryanova, E. V.; Ugolkov, V. L.; Pyankova, L. A.; Filatov, S. K.

    2009-12-01

    The effect of the real structure of solutions on crystallization is one of the basic issues of crystallogenesis, which is also important for resolving problems of genetic mineralogy. The study of the NaNO3-H2O and KNO3-H2O model systems yielded new data on anomalous characteristics of crystal-forming systems, including morphological and kinetic properties of crystals, crystal-solution equilibrium, and physical properties of solutions (light scattering, thermal properties, IR parameters, pH), providing information on the structure of solutions. The internally consistent data confirm the previously suggested variations in structural heterogeneity of solutions related to minor (2-4%) variations in their composition, which result in numerous disturbances of monotonicity (thermal-concentration oscillations) in the liquidus curves of salts. It is shown that these variations can be caused by variable size and composition of crystal hydrate clusters. The experimental data indicate that the effect of the real solution structure on crystal morphology and crystal-solution equilibrium is enhanced in multicomponent systems, including natural crystal-forming systems. Anomalous faceting and habit, zoning, a sectorial structure of crystals, and nonuniform entrapment of admixtures cannot be ruled out in these systems.

  13. Structural characterization of human general transcription factor TFIIF in solution

    PubMed Central

    Akashi, Satoko; Nagakura, Shinjiro; Yamamoto, Seiji; Okuda, Masahiko; Ohkuma, Yoshiaki; Nishimura, Yoshifumi

    2008-01-01

    Human general transcription factor IIF (TFIIF), a component of the transcription pre-initiation complex (PIC) associated with RNA polymerase II (Pol II), was characterized by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), and chemical cross-linking. Recombinant TFIIF, composed of an equimolar ratio of α and β subunits, was bacterially expressed, purified to homogeneity, and found to have a transcription activity similar to a natural one in the human in vitro transcription system. SEC of purified TFIIF, as previously reported, suggested that this protein has a size >200 kDa. In contrast, ESI-MS of the purified sample gave a molecular size of 87 kDa, indicating that TFIIF is an αβ heterodimer, which was confirmed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) MS of the cross-linked TFIIF components. Recent electron microscopy (EM) and photo-cross-linking studies showed that the yeast TFIIF homolog containing Tfg1 and Tfg2, corresponding to the human α and β subunits, exists as a heterodimer in the PIC, so the human TFIIF is also likely to exist as a heterodimer even in the PIC. In the yeast PIC, EM and photo-cross-linking studies showed different results for the mutual location of TFIIE and TFIIF along DNA. We have examined the direct interaction between human TFIIF and TFIIE by ESI-MS, SEC, and chemical cross-linking; however, no direct interaction was observed, at least in solution. This is consistent with the previous photo-cross-linking observation that TFIIF and TFIIE flank DNA separately on both sides of the Pol II central cleft in the yeast PIC. PMID:18218714

  14. AGGREGATES: Finding structures in simulation results of solutions.

    PubMed

    Bernardes, Carlos E S

    2017-04-15

    Molecular Dynamic and Monte-Carlo simulations are widely used to investigate the structure and physical properties of solids and liquids at a molecular level. Tools to extract the most relevant information from the obtained results are, however, in considerable demand. One such tool, the program AGGREGATES, is described in this work. Based on distance criteria, the program searches trajectory files for the presence of molecular clusters and computes several statistical and shape properties for these structures. Tools designed to investigate the local organization and the molecular conformations in the clusters are also available. Among these, it is introduced a new approach to perform a First Shell Analysis, by looking for the presence of atomic contacts between molecules. These elements are particularly useful to obtain information on molecular assembly processes (such as the nucleation of crystals or colloidal particles) or to investigate polymorphism in organic compounds. The program features are illustrated here through the investigation of the 4'-hydroxyacetophenone + ethanol system. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Phase Behavior of a Single Structured Ionomer Chain in Solution

    SciTech Connect

    Aryal, Dipak; Etampawala, Thusitha; Perahia, Dvora; Grest, Gary S.

    2014-08-14

    Structured polymers offer a means to tailor transport pathways within mechanically stable manifolds. Here we examine the building block of such a membrane, namely a single large pentablock co-polymer that consist of a center block of a randomly sulfonated polystyrene, designed for transport, tethered to poly-ethylene-r-propylene and end-capped by poly-t-butyl styrene, for mechanical stability,using molecular dynamics simulations. The polymer structure in a cyclohexane-heptane mixture, a technologically viable solvent, and in water, a poor solvent for all segments and a ubiquitous substance is extracted. In all solvents the pentablock collapsed into nearly spherical aggregates where the ionic block is segregated. In hydrophobic solvents, the ionic block resides in the center, surrounded by swollen intermix of flexible and end blocks. In water all blocks are collapsed with the sulfonated block residing on the surface. Our results demonstrate that solvents drive different local nano-segregation, providing a gateway to assemble membranes with controlled topology.

  16. Phase Behavior of a Single Structured Ionomer Chain in Solution

    DOE PAGES

    Aryal, Dipak; Etampawala, Thusitha; Perahia, Dvora; ...

    2014-08-14

    Structured polymers offer a means to tailor transport pathways within mechanically stable manifolds. Here we examine the building block of such a membrane, namely a single large pentablock co-polymer that consist of a center block of a randomly sulfonated polystyrene, designed for transport, tethered to poly-ethylene-r-propylene and end-capped by poly-t-butyl styrene, for mechanical stability,using molecular dynamics simulations. The polymer structure in a cyclohexane-heptane mixture, a technologically viable solvent, and in water, a poor solvent for all segments and a ubiquitous substance is extracted. In all solvents the pentablock collapsed into nearly spherical aggregates where the ionic block is segregated. Inmore » hydrophobic solvents, the ionic block resides in the center, surrounded by swollen intermix of flexible and end blocks. In water all blocks are collapsed with the sulfonated block residing on the surface. Our results demonstrate that solvents drive different local nano-segregation, providing a gateway to assemble membranes with controlled topology.« less

  17. Solution structure of 3-oxo-delta5-steroid isomerase.

    PubMed

    Wu, Z R; Ebrahimian, S; Zawrotny, M E; Thornburg, L D; Perez-Alvarado, G C; Brothers, P; Pollack, R M; Summers, M F

    1997-04-18

    The three-dimensional structure of the enzyme 3-oxo-delta5-steroid isomerase (E.C. 5.3.3.1), a 28-kilodalton symmetrical dimer, was solved by multidimensional heteronuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The two independently folded monomers pack together by means of extensive hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions. Each monomer comprises three alpha helices and a six-strand mixed beta-pleated sheet arranged to form a deep hydrophobic cavity. Catalytically important residues Tyr14 (general acid) and Asp38 (general base) are located near the bottom of the cavity and positioned as expected from mechanistic hypotheses. An unexpected acid group (Asp99) is also located in the active site adjacent to Tyr14, and kinetic and binding studies of the Asp99 to Ala mutant demonstrate that Asp99 contributes to catalysis by stabilizing the intermediate.

  18. Minimizing distortion in truss structures - A Hopfield network solution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fu, B.; Hajela, P.

    1992-01-01

    Distortions in truss structures can result from random errors in element lengths that are typical of a manufacturing process. These distortions may be minimized by an optimal selection of elements from those available for placement between the prescribed nodes - a combinatorial optimization problem requiring significant investment of computational resource for all but the smallest problems. The present paper describes a formulation in which near-optimal element assignments are obtained as minimum-energy stable states, of an analogous Hopfield neural network. This requires mapping of the optimization problem into an energy function of the appropriate Liapunov form. The computational architecture is ideally suited to a parallel processor implementation and offers significant savings in computational effort. A numerical implementation of the approach is discussed with reference to planar truss problems.

  19. Minimizing distortion in truss structures -- a Hopfield network solution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fu, B.; Hajela, P.

    1993-01-01

    Distortions in truss structures can result from random errors in elemental lengths that are typical of a manufacturing process. These distortions may be minimized by an optimal selection of elements from those available for placement between the prescribed nodes -- a combinatorial optimization problem requiring significant investment of computational resource for all but the smallest problems. The present paper describes a formulation in which near-optimal element assignments are obtained as minimum energy, stable states, of an analogous Hopfield neural network. This requires mapping of the optimization problem into an energy function of the appropriate Lyapunov form. The computational architecture is ideally suited to a parallel processor implementation and offers significant savings in computational effort. A numerical implementation of the approach is discussed with reference to planar truss problems.

  20. 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

  1. Modifications in structure and interaction of nanoparticle-protein-surfactant complexes in electrolyte solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehan, Sumit; Kumar, S.; Aswal, V. K.; Schweins, R.

    2016-05-01

    SANS experiments of three-component system of anionic silica nanoparticles, anionic BSA protein and anionic SDS surfactants have been carried out without and with electrolyte in aqueous solution. In both the cases, the interaction of surfactant with protein results in formation of bead-necklace structure of protein-surfactant complexes in solution. These protein-surfactant complexes interact very differently with nanoparticles in absence and presence of electrolyte. In absence of electrolyte, nanoparticles remain in dispersed phase in solution, whereas with the addition of electrolyte the nanoparticles fractal aggregates are formed. SANS describes the phase behavior to be governed by competition of electrostatic and depletion interactions among the components solution.

  2. The interplay of network structure and dispatch solutions in power grid cascading failures.

    PubMed

    Reynolds-Barredo, Jose M; Newman, David E; Carreras, Benjamin A; Dobson, Ian

    2016-11-01

    For a given minimum cost of the electricity dispatch, multiple equivalent dispatch solutions may exist. We explore the sensitivity of networks to these dispatch solutions and their impact on the vulnerability of the network to cascading failure blackouts. It is shown that, depending on the heterogeneity of the network structure, the blackout statistics can be sensitive to the dispatch solution chosen, with the clustering coefficient of the network being a key ingredient. We also investigate mechanisms or configurations that decrease discrepancies that can occur between the different dispatch solutions.

  3. The interplay of network structure and dispatch solutions in power grid cascading failures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynolds-Barredo, Jose M.; Newman, David E.; Carreras, Benjamin A.; Dobson, Ian

    2016-11-01

    For a given minimum cost of the electricity dispatch, multiple equivalent dispatch solutions may exist. We explore the sensitivity of networks to these dispatch solutions and their impact on the vulnerability of the network to cascading failure blackouts. It is shown that, depending on the heterogeneity of the network structure, the blackout statistics can be sensitive to the dispatch solution chosen, with the clustering coefficient of the network being a key ingredient. We also investigate mechanisms or configurations that decrease discrepancies that can occur between the different dispatch solutions.

  4. A framework for querying a database for structural information on 3D images of macromolecules: A web-based query-by-content prototype on the BioImage macromolecular server.

    PubMed

    de Alarcón, P A; Gupta, A; Carazo, J M

    1999-01-01

    Nowadays we are experiencing a remarkable growth in the number of databases that have become accessible over the Web. However, in a certain number of cases, for example, in the case of BioImage, this information is not of a textual nature, thus posing new challenges in the design of tools to handle these data. In this work, we concentrate on the development of new mechanisms aimed at "querying" these databases of complex data sets by their intrinsic content, rather than by their textual annotations only. We concentrate our efforts on a subset of BioImage containing 3D images (volumes) of biological macromolecules, implementing a first prototype of a "query-by-content" system. In the context of databases of complex data types the term query-by-content makes reference to those data modeling techniques in which user-defined functions aim at "understanding" (to some extent) the informational content of the data sets. In these systems the matching criteria introduced by the user are related to intrinsic features concerning the 3D images themselves, hence, complementing traditional queries by textual key words only. Efficient computational algorithms are required in order to "extract" structural information of the 3D images prior to storing them in the database. Also, easy-to-use interfaces should be implemented in order to obtain feedback from the expert. Our query-by-content prototype is used to construct a concrete query, making use of basic structural features, which are then evaluated over a set of three-dimensional images of biological macromolecules. This experimental implementation can be accessed via the Web at the BioImage server in Madrid, at http://www.bioimage.org/qbc/index.html.

  5. 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

  6. Localization of Protein Aggregation in Escherichia coli Is Governed by Diffusion and Nucleoid Macromolecular Crowding Effect

    PubMed Central

    Coquel, Anne-Sophie; Jacob, Jean-Pascal; Primet, Mael; Demarez, Alice; Dimiccoli, Mariella; Julou, Thomas; Moisan, Lionel

    2013-01-01

    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

  7. 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.

  8. A structured multi-block solution-adaptive mesh algorithm with mesh quality assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingram, Clint L.; Laflin, Kelly R.; Mcrae, D. Scott

    1995-01-01

    The dynamic solution adaptive grid algorithm, DSAGA3D, is extended to automatically adapt 2-D structured multi-block grids, including adaption of the block boundaries. The extension is general, requiring only input data concerning block structure, connectivity, and boundary conditions. Imbedded grid singular points are permitted, but must be prevented from moving in space. Solutions for workshop cases 1 and 2 are obtained on multi-block grids and illustrate both increased resolution of and alignment with the solution. A mesh quality assessment criteria is proposed to determine how well a given mesh resolves and aligns with the solution obtained upon it. The criteria is used to evaluate the grid quality for solutions of workshop case 6 obtained on both static and dynamically adapted grids. The results indicate that this criteria shows promise as a means of evaluating resolution.

  9. Investigations on the structure of DMSO and acetone in aqueous solution

    SciTech Connect

    McLain, Sylvia E; Soper, Alan K

    2007-01-01

    Aqueous solutions of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and acetone have been investigated using neutron diffraction augmented with isotopic substitution and empirical potential structure refinement computer simulations. Each solute has been measured at two concentrations-1:20 and 1:2 solute:water mole ratios. At both concentrations for each solute, the tetrahedral hydrogen bonding network of water is largely unperturbed, though the total water molecule coordination number is reduced in the higher 1:2 concentrations. With higher concentrations of acetone, water tends to segregate into clusters, while in higher concentrations of DMSO the present study reconfirms that the structure of the liquid is dominated by DMSO-water interactions. This result may have implications for the highly nonideal behavior observed in the thermodynamic functions for 1:2 DMSO-water solutions.

  10. Solution structure of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase

    SciTech Connect

    Trewhella, J.; Olah, G.A.; Walsh, D.A.; Mitchell, R.D.

    1998-12-31

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project as Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Protein phosphorylation is well established as one of the most important mechanisms of signal transduction and cellular regulation. Two of the key enzymes that catalyze these phosphorylation reactions are the cAMP- (PKA) and cGMP- (PKG) dependent protein kinases. PKA has served as the prototypic model of this class of enzymes that now comprises in excess of 300 phylogenetically related proteins. A large number of these protein kinases are critical for the regulation of cell function and a full analysis of their similarities and differences is essential to understand their diverse physiological roles. The cAMP-dependent protein kinase has the subunit structure R2C2, in which C and R refer to the catalytic and regulatory subunits, respectively. The cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) is highly homologous to PKA but is distinguished from it by having the regulatory and catalytic domains on a contiguous polypeptide. The studies described here use small-angle scattering and Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) spectroscopy to study domain movements and conformational changes in these enzymes in different functional states in order to elucidate the molecular bases for the regulation of their activities.

  11. Imaging Macromolecular Interactions at an Interface

    PubMed Central

    Lampe, Joshua W.; Liao, Zhengzheng; Dmochowski, Ivan J.; Ayyaswamy, Portonovo S.; Eckmann, David M.

    2010-01-01

    Important physiological, pathological, and technological processes occur at continuous and dispersed phase interfaces. Understanding these processes is limited by inability to quantitate molecular events occurring at the interface. To provide a model-independent measurement of protein concentration and mobility at the interface, we employed confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Fluorescently labeled albumin and fibrinogen were studied singly, pairwise, and with a surfactant, Pluronic F-127, in aqueous droplets. CLSM enables measurement of molecular behaviors manifest as surface inhomogeneity and of biophysical quantities including partitioning between the bulk and the gas-liquid (GL) interface. We conclude that albumin and fibrinogen behave substantially differently at the GL interface, that adsorption from multi-species solutions is fundamentally different than adsorption from solutions of single species, and surfactants can inhibit proteins from occupying the interface. PMID:20085337

  12. Imaging macromolecular interactions at an interface.

    PubMed

    Lampe, Joshua W; Liao, Zhengzheng; Dmochowski, Ivan J; Ayyaswamy, Portonovo S; Eckmann, David M

    2010-02-16

    Important physiological, pathological, and technological processes occur at continuous and dispersed phase interfaces. Understanding these processes is limited by inability to quantitate molecular events occurring at the interface. To provide a model-independent measurement of protein concentration and mobility at the interface, we employed confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Fluorescently labeled albumin and fibrinogen were studied singly, pairwise, and with a surfactant, Pluronic F-127, in aqueous droplets. CLSM enables measurement of molecular behaviors manifest as surface inhomogeneity and of biophysical quantities including partitioning between the bulk and the gas-liquid (GL) interface. We conclude that albumin and fibrinogen behave substantially differently at the GL interface, adsorption from multispecies solutions is fundamentally different than adsorption from solutions of single species, and surfactants can inhibit proteins from occupying the interface.

  13. SASSIE: A program to study intrinsically disordered biological molecules and macromolecular ensembles using experimental scattering restraints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curtis, Joseph E.; Raghunandan, Sindhu; Nanda, Hirsh; Krueger, Susan

    2012-02-01

    A program to construct ensembles of biomolecular structures that are consistent with experimental scattering data are described. Specifically, we generate an ensemble of biomolecular structures by varying sets of backbone dihedral angles that are then filtered using experimentally determined restraints to rapidly determine structures that have scattering profiles that are consistent with scattering data. We discuss an application of these tools to predict a set of structures for the HIV-1 Gag protein, an intrinsically disordered protein, that are consistent with small-angle neutron scattering experimental data. We have assembled these algorithms into a program called SASSIE for structure generation, visualization, and analysis of intrinsically disordered proteins and other macromolecular ensembles using neutron and X-ray scattering restraints. Program summaryProgram title: SASSIE Catalogue identifier: AEKL_v1_0 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AEKL_v1_0.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: GNU General Public License v3 No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 3 991 624 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 826 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: Python, C/C++, Fortran Computer: PC/Mac Operating system: 32- and 64-bit Linux (Ubuntu 10.04, Centos 5.6) and Mac OS X (10.6.6) RAM: 1 GB Classification: 3 External routines: Python 2.6.5, numpy 1.4.0, swig 1.3.40, scipy 0.8.0, Gnuplot-py-1.8, Tcl 8.5, Tk 8.5, Mac installation requires aquaterm 1.0 (or X window system) and Xcode 3 development tools. Nature of problem: Open source software to generate structures of disordered biological molecules that subsequently allow for the comparison of computational and experimental results is limiting the use of scattering resources. Solution method: Starting with an all atom model of a protein, for example, users can input

  14. Macromolecular and Materials Design Using Polyphosphazenes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-05-18

    application--the immobilization of the enzyme urease --will be described here (53). Solutions of MEEP and urease in water were fabricated into films by water... immobilization of biologically-active species. MEEP forms excellent hydrogels when crosslinked by either gamma-ray or UV- irradiation techniques. One...reactor devices. The wide variety of side groups available in polyphosphazenes is an asset for surface immobilizations of this type Connection to Small

  15. Chemical biology at the crossroads of molecular structure and mechanism.

    PubMed

    Doudna, Jennifer A

    2005-11-01

    Chemical insight into biological function is the holy grail of structural biology. Small molecules are central players as building blocks, effectors and probes of macromolecular structure and function.

  16. Effects of macromolecular crowding on alkaline phosphatase unfolding, conformation and stability.

    PubMed

    Jia, Jiajia; Peng, Xin; Qi, Wei; Su, Rongxin; He, Zhimin

    2017-03-23

    The interior of the cell is tightly packed with various biological macromolecules, which affects physiological processes, especially protein folding process. To explore how macromolecular crowding may influence protein folding process, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) was chosen as a model protein, and the unfolding process of ALP induced by GdnHCl was studied in the presence of crowding agents such as PEG 4000, Dextran 70 and Ficoll 70. The effect of macromolecular crowding on the denatured state of ALP was directly probed by measuring enzyme activities, fluorescence spectroscopy and circular dichroism. From the results of circular dichroism, GdnHCl induced a biphasic change, suggesting that a three-state unfolding mechanism was involved in the denaturation process irrespective of the absence or presence of crowding agents. It was also found that crowding agents had a little impact on the unfolding process of ALP. The results of phase diagrams also demonstrated that the unfolding process of ALP induced by GdnHCl was three-state mechanism. Moreover, the results of fluorescence spectra demonstrated that with the increase of GdnHCl concentration, the structure of protein had changed, but existence of crowding agents can make protein structure more stable. Our results can provide valuable information for understanding the protein folding in vivo.

  17. Robust, high-throughput solution structural analyses by small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS)

    SciTech Connect

    Hura, Greg L.; Menon, Angeli L.; Hammel, Michal; Rambo, Robert P.; Poole II, Farris L.; Tsutakawa, Susan E.; Jenney Jr, Francis E.; Classen, Scott; Frankel, Kenneth A.; Hopkins, Robert C.; Yang, Sungjae; Scott, Joseph W.; Dillard, Bret D.; Adams, Michael W. W.; Tainer, John A.

    2009-07-20

    We present an efficient pipeline enabling high-throughput analysis of protein structure in solution with small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Our SAXS pipeline combines automated sample handling of microliter volumes, temperature and anaerobic control, rapid data collection and data analysis, and couples structural analysis with automated archiving. We subjected 50 representative proteins, mostly from Pyrococcus furiosus, to this pipeline and found that 30 were multimeric structures in solution. SAXS analysis allowed us to distinguish aggregated and unfolded proteins, define global structural parameters and oligomeric states for most samples, identify shapes and similar structures for 25 unknown structures, and determine envelopes for 41 proteins. We believe that high-throughput SAXS is an enabling technology that may change the way that structural genomics research is done.

  18. Apparatus for the study of macromolecular adsorption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayo, C. S.; Hallock, R. B.

    1989-04-01

    A surface plasmon adsorbate monitor (SPAM) is described which allows the adsorption of macromolecules or other adsorbates to a metal surface to be monitored. Surface plasmons are employed and the apparatus has no moving parts. The kinetics of adsorption may be studied on a time scale of seconds rather than the more common time scale of minutes; a simple improvement in computer memory access should allow temporal studies in the millisecond range. As an illustration, the adsorption of carboxyl-terminated polystyrene from a solution with acetone onto a silver surface is measured.

  19. Use of Plastic Capillaries for Macromolecular Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Potter, Rachel R.; Hong, Young-Soo; Ciszak, Ewa M.

    2003-01-01

    Methods of crystallization of biomolecules in plastic capillaries (Nalgene 870 PFA tubing) are presented. These crystallization methods used batch, free-interface liquid- liquid diffusion alone, or a combination with vapor diffusion. Results demonstrated growth of crystals of test proteins such as thaumatin and glucose isomerase, as well as protein studied in our laboratory such dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase. Once the solutions were loaded in capillaries, they were stored in the tubes in frozen state at cryogenic temperatures until the desired time of activation of crystallization experiments.

  20. Angular correlations of photons from solution diffraction at a free-electron laser encode molecular structure

    PubMed Central

    Mendez, Derek; Watkins, Herschel; Qiao, Shenglan; Raines, Kevin S.; Lane, Thomas J.; Schenk, Gundolf; Nelson, Garrett; Subramanian, Ganesh; Tono, Kensuke; Joti, Yasumasa; Yabashi, Makina; Ratner, Daniel; Doniach, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    During X-ray exposure of a molecular solution, photons scattered from the same molecule are correlated. If molecular motion is insignificant during exposure, then differences in momentum transfer between correlated photons are direct measurements of the molecular structure. In conventional small- and wide-angle solution scattering, photon correlations are ignored. This report presents advances in a new biomolecular structural analysis technique, correlated X-ray scattering (CXS), which uses angular intensity correlations to recover hidden structural details from molecules in solution. Due to its intense rapid pulses, an X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) is an excellent tool for CXS experiments. A protocol is outlined for analysis of a CXS data set comprising a total of half a million X-ray exposures of solutions of small gold nanoparticles recorded at the Spring-8 Ångström Compact XFEL facility (SACLA). From the scattered intensities and their correlations, two populations of nanoparticle domains within the solution are distinguished: small twinned, and large probably non-twinned domains. It is shown analytically how, in a solution measurement, twinning information is only accessible via intensity correlations, demonstrating how CXS reveals atomic-level information from a disordered solution of like molecules. PMID:27840681

  1. Angular correlations of photons from solution diffraction at a free-electron laser encode molecular structure

    DOE PAGES

    Mendez, Derek; Watkins, Herschel; Qiao, Shenglan; ...

    2016-09-26

    During X-ray exposure of a molecular solution, photons scattered from the same molecule are correlated. If molecular motion is insignificant during exposure, then differences in momentum transfer between correlated photons are direct measurements of the molecular structure. In conventional small- and wide-angle solution scattering, photon correlations are ignored. This report presents advances in a new biomolecular structural analysis technique, correlated X-ray scattering (CXS), which uses angular intensity correlations to recover hidden structural details from molecules in solution. Due to its intense rapid pulses, an X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) is an excellent tool for CXS experiments. A protocol is outlinedmore » for analysis of a CXS data set comprising a total of half a million X-ray exposures of solutions of small gold nanoparticles recorded at the Spring-8 Ångström Compact XFEL facility (SACLA). From the scattered intensities and their correlations, two populations of nanoparticle domains within the solution are distinguished: small twinned, and large probably non-twinned domains. Finally, it is shown analytically how, in a solution measurement, twinning information is only accessible via intensity correlations, demonstrating how CXS reveals atomic-level information from a disordered solution of like molecules.« less

  2. Angular correlations of photons from solution diffraction at a free-electron laser encode molecular structure

    SciTech Connect

    Mendez, Derek; Watkins, Herschel; Qiao, Shenglan; Raines, Kevin S.; Lane, Thomas J.; Schenk, Gundolf; Nelson, Garrett; Subramanian, Ganesh; Tono, Kensuke; Joti, Yasumasa; Yabashi, Makina; Ratner, Daniel; Doniach, Sebastian

    2016-09-26

    During X-ray exposure of a molecular solution, photons scattered from the same molecule are correlated. If molecular motion is insignificant during exposure, then differences in momentum transfer between correlated photons are direct measurements of the molecular structure. In conventional small- and wide-angle solution scattering, photon correlations are ignored. This report presents advances in a new biomolecular structural analysis technique, correlated X-ray scattering (CXS), which uses angular intensity correlations to recover hidden structural details from molecules in solution. Due to its intense rapid pulses, an X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) is an excellent tool for CXS experiments. A protocol is outlined for analysis of a CXS data set comprising a total of half a million X-ray exposures of solutions of small gold nanoparticles recorded at the Spring-8 Ångström Compact XFEL facility (SACLA). From the scattered intensities and their correlations, two populations of nanoparticle domains within the solution are distinguished: small twinned, and large probably non-twinned domains. Finally, it is shown analytically how, in a solution measurement, twinning information is only accessible via intensity correlations, demonstrating how CXS reveals atomic-level information from a disordered solution of like molecules.

  3. An Analytical Solution for Transient Thermal Response of an Insulated Structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blosser, Max L.

    2012-01-01

    An analytical solution was derived for the transient response of an insulated aerospace vehicle structure subjected to a simplified heat pulse. This simplified problem approximates the thermal response of a thermal protection system of an atmospheric entry vehicle. The exact analytical solution is solely a function of two non-dimensional parameters. A simpler function of these two parameters was developed to approximate the maximum structural temperature over a wide range of parameter values. Techniques were developed to choose constant, effective properties to represent the relevant temperature and pressure-dependent properties for the insulator and structure. A technique was also developed to map a time-varying surface temperature history to an equivalent square heat pulse. Using these techniques, the maximum structural temperature rise was calculated using the analytical solutions and shown to typically agree with finite element simulations within 10 to 20 percent over the relevant range of parameters studied.

  4. Charge distribution and local structure of americium-bearing thorium oxide solid solutions.

    PubMed

    Carvajal-Nunez, U; Prieur, D; Vitova, T; Somers, J

    2012-11-05

    The electronical and structural properties of Th(0.80)Am(0.20)O(2-x) materials have been studied by the coupling of X-ray diffraction and X-ray absorption spectroscopy techniques. A substoichiometric fluorite Th(IV)(0.80)Am(III)(0.20)O(1.90) solid solution is found following sintering in moisturized Ar-H(2). In contrast, heating of this sample in air leads to a nondefective fluorite Th(IV)(0.80)Am(IV)(0.20)O(2.00) solid solution. The structures of these solid solution compounds were fully characterized by assessing the interatomic distances, the coordination numbers, and the structural disorder. The effect of the sintering atmosphere on these crystallographical parameters and on the cation valences has been determined and the capability of ThO(2) to accommodate tri- and tetravalent actinides in the fluorite structure assessed.

  5. The NMR structure of cyclosporin A bound to cyclophilin in aqueous solution

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, C.; Wilder, G.; von Freyberg, B.; Braun, W.; Wuethrich, K. ); Traber, R.; Widmer, H. )

    1991-07-02

    Cyclosporin A bound to the presumed receptor protein cyclophilin was studied in aqueous solution at pH 6.0 by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy using uniform {sup 15}N- or {sup 13}C-labeling of cyclosporin A and heteronuclear spectral editing techniques. With an input of 108 intramolecular NOEs and four vicinal {sup 3}J{sub HN{alpha}} coupling constants, the three-dimensional structure of cyclosporin A bound to cyclophilin was calculated with the distance geometry program DISMAN, and the structures resulting from 181 converged calculations were energy refined with the program FANTOM. A group of 120 conformers was selected on the basis of the residual constraint violations and energy criteria to represent the solution structure. The average of the pairwise root-mean-square distances calculated for the backbone atoms of the 120 structures was 0.58 {angstrom}. The structure represents a novel conformation of cyclosporin A, for which the backbone conformation is significantly different from the previously reported structures in single crystals and in chloroform solution. The structure has all peptide bonds in the trans form, contains no elements of regular secondary structure and no intramolecular hydrogen bonds, and exposes nearly all polar groups to its environment. The root-mean-square distance between the backbone atoms of the crystal structure of cyclosporin A and the mean of the 120 conformers representing the NMR structure of cyclosporin A bound to cyclophilin is 2.5 {angstrom}.

  6. Exact solution to the problem of N bodies forming a multi-layer rotating structure.

    PubMed

    Smulsky, Joseph J

    2015-01-01

    Exact solutions to the problem of the Newtonian gravitational interaction of N material points moving around N 2 concentric circular orbits are considered. Each circular orbit contains N 3 axisymmetrically located bodies having identical masses. The structure as a whole rotates around its symmetry axis. Such structures are identical to the homographic-dynamics configurations, or planar central configurations, known from literature. Conceptually, those structures can be considered as structures formed by mutually embedded polygons with point bodies placed at polygon vortices. For structures involving less than 20 bodies, solutions were obtained using Hamiltonian-mechanics methods. In the study, the forces acting on each body in the rotating structure from the side of all other bodies were found. The differential motion equations of the bodies were reduced to a system of linear algebraic equations for the body masses. Solutions in various forms were obtained. For specifying the initial parameters and for calculating all other characteristics of the structures, a computer program RtCrcSt2.for has been developed. Structures comprising up to one million bodies have been calculated. Graphical images of obtained structures are presented, and their properties are described. Stability problems for examined structures are considered, and possible application of obtained results to celestial- and space-mechanics problems is discussed.

  7. Branched Macromolecular Architectures for Degradable, Multifunctional Phosphorus-Based Polymers.

    PubMed

    Henke, Helena; Brüggemann, Oliver; Teasdale, Ian

    2017-02-01

    This feature article briefly highlights some of the recent advances in polymers in which phosphorus is an integral part of the backbone, with a focus on the preparation of functional, highly branched, soluble polymers. A comparison is made between the related families of materials polyphosphazenes, phosphazene/phosphorus-based dendrimers and polyphosphoesters. The work described herein shows this to be a rich and burgeoning field, rapidly catching up with organic chemistry in terms of the macromolecular synthetic control and variety of available macromolecular architectures, whilst offering unique property combinations not available with carbon backbones, such as tunable degradation rates, high multi-valency and facile post-polymerization functionalization. As an example of their use in advanced applications, we highlight some investigations into their use as water-soluble drug carriers, whereby in particular the degradability in combination with multivalent nature has made them useful materials, as underlined by some of the recent studies in this area.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Ultrashort Laser Pulse Induced Electromagnetic Stress on Biological Macromolecular Systems.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1979-11-01

    ULTRASHORT LASER PULSE INDUCED ~~~~~ ELECTROMAGNET IC STRESS ON BIOLOGICAL MACROMOLECULAR SYSTEMS Adam P. Bruckner , Ph.D. ( i~iiCJ. Michael ...AFSC, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas. Dr. John Taboada (RZL) was the Laboratory Project Scientjst..in...Charge When U.S. Goverrijie~t drawings...available to the general public , including foreignnations. Thi s technical report has been reviewed and is approved for publ i-cation. OHN TABOADA , Ph.D

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Macromolecular amplification of binding response in superaptamer hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Bai, Wei; Gariano, Nicholas A; Spivak, David A

    2013-05-08

    It is becoming more important to detect ultralow concentrations of analytes for biomedical, environmental, and national security applications. Equally important is that new methods should be easy to use, inexpensive, portable, and if possible allow detection by the naked eye. By and large, detection of low concentrations of analytes cannot be achieved directly but requires signal amplification by catalysts, macromolecules, metal surfaces, or supramolecular aggregates. The rapidly progressing field of macromolecular signal amplification has been advanced using conjugated polymers, chirality in polymers, solvating polymers, and polymerization/depolymerization strategies. A new type of aptamer-based hydrogel with specific response to target proteins presented in this report demonstrates an additional category of macromolecular signal amplification. This superaptamer assembly provides the first example of using protein-specific aptamers to create volume-changing hydrogels with amplified response to the target protein. A remarkable aspect of these superaptamer hydrogels is that volume shrinking is visible to the naked eye down to femtomolar concentrations of protein. This extraordinary macromolecular amplification is attributed to a complex interplay between protein-aptamer supramolecular cross-links and the consequential reduction of excluded volume in the hydrogel. Specific recognition is even maintained in biological matrices such as urine and tears. Furthermore, the gels can be dried for long-term storage and regenerated for use without loss of activity. In practice, the ease of this biomarker detection method offers an alternative to traditional analytical techniques that require sophisticated instrumentation and highly trained personnel.

  14. 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

  15. Atomic detail brownian dynamics simulations of concentrated protein solutions with a mean field treatment of hydrodynamic interactions.

    SciTech Connect

    Mereghetti, Paolo; Wade, Rebecca C.

    2012-07-26

    High macromolecular concentrations are a distinguishing feature of living organisms. Understanding how the high concentration of solutes affects the dynamic properties of biological macromolecules is fundamental for the comprehension of biological processes in living systems. In this paper, we describe the implementation of mean field models of translational and rotational hydrodynamic interactions into an atomically detailed many-protein brownian dynamics simulation method. Concentrated solutions (30-40% volume fraction) of myoglobin, hemoglobin A, and sickle cell hemoglobin S were simulated, and static structure factors, oligomer formation, and translational and rotational self-diffusion coefficients were computed. Good agreement of computed properties with available experimental data was obtained. The results show the importance of both solvent mediated interactions and weak protein-protein interactions for accurately describing the dynamics and the association properties of concentrated protein solutions. Specifically, they show a qualitative difference in the translational and rotational dynamics of the systems studied. Although the translational diffusion coefficient is controlled by macromolecular shape and hydrodynamic interactions, the rotational diffusion coefficient is affected by macromolecular shape, direct intermolecular interactions, and both translational and rotational hydrodynamic interactions.

  16. Structure solution of DNA-binding proteins and complexes with ARCIMBOLDO libraries

    SciTech Connect

    Pröpper, Kevin; Meindl, Kathrin; Sammito, Massimo; Dittrich, Birger; Sheldrick, George M.; Pohl, Ehmke; Usón, Isabel

    2014-06-01

    The structure solution of DNA-binding protein structures and complexes based on the combination of location of DNA-binding protein motif fragments with density modification in a multi-solution frame is described. Protein–DNA interactions play a major role in all aspects of genetic activity within an organism, such as transcription, packaging, rearrangement, replication and repair. The molecular detail of protein–DNA interactions can be best visualized through crystallography, and structures emphasizing insight into the principles of binding and base-sequence recognition are essential to understanding the subtleties of the underlying mechanisms. An increasing number of high-quality DNA-binding protein structure determinations have been witnessed despite the fact that the crystallographic particularities of nucleic acids tend to pose specific challenges to methods primarily developed for proteins. Crystallographic structure solution of protein–DNA complexes therefore remains a challenging area that is in need of optimized experimental and computational methods. The potential of the structure-solution program ARCIMBOLDO for the solution of protein–DNA complexes has therefore been assessed. The method is based on the combination of locating small, very accurate fragments using the program Phaser and density modification with the program SHELXE. Whereas for typical proteins main-chain α-helices provide the ideal, almost ubiquitous, small fragments to start searches, in the case of DNA complexes the binding motifs and DNA double helix constitute suitable search fragments. The aim of this work is to provide an effective library of search fragments as well as to determine the optimal ARCIMBOLDO strategy for the solution of this class of structures.

  17. Stability of the grain structure in 2219-O aluminum alloy friction stir welds during solution treatment

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Y.C. . E-mail: armstrong@hit.edu.cn; Feng, J.C.; Liu, H.J.

    2007-02-15

    The stability of the grain structure in 2219-O aluminum alloy friction stir welds during solution treatment has been investigated. Experimental results show that the solution treatment causes drastic grain growth, Grain growth initiates at the surface and the bottom of the weld and then extends to the weld centre within several minutes. The solution treatment temperature and the welding heat input have a significant effect on grain growth. The higher the solution temperature, or the higher the welding heat input, the greater the grain growth. The instability of the grains is attributed to an imbalance between thermodynamic driving forces for grain growth and the pinning forces impeding grain boundary migration during solution treatment.

  18. Evidence for water structuring forces between surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Stanley, Christopher B; Rau, Dr. Donald

    2011-01-01

    Structured water on apposing surfaces can generate significant energies due to reorganization and displacement as the surfaces encounter each other. Force measurements on a multitude of biological structures using the osmotic stress technique have elucidated commonalities that point toward an underlying hydration force. In this review, the forces of two contrasting systems are considered in detail: highly charged DNA and nonpolar, uncharged hydroxypropyl cellulose. Conditions for both net repulsion and attraction, along with the measured exclusion of chemically different solutes from these macromolecular surfaces, are explored and demonstrate features consistent with a hydration force origin. Specifically, the observed interaction forces can be reduced to the effects of perturbing structured surface water.

  19. Assessing physio-macromolecular effects of lactic acid on Zygosaccharomyces bailii cells during microaerobic fermentation.

    PubMed

    Kuanyshev, Nurzhan; Ami, Diletta; Signori, Lorenzo; Porro, Danilo; Morrissey, John P; Branduardi, Paola

    2016-08-01

    The ability of Zygosaccharomyces bailii to grow at low pH and in the presence of considerable amounts of weak organic acids, at lethal condition for Saccharomyces cerevisiae, increased the interest in the biotechnological potential of the yeast. To understand the mechanism of tolerance and growth effect of weak acids on Z. bailii, we evaluated the physiological and macromolecular changes of the yeast exposed to sub lethal concentrations of lactic acid. Lactic acid represents one of the important commodity chemical which can be produced by microbial fermentation. We assessed physiological effect of lactic acid by bioreactor fermentation using synthetic media at low pH in the presence of lactic acid. Samples collected from bioreactors were stained with propidium iodide (PI) which revealed that, despite lactic acid negatively influence the growth rate, the number of PI positive cells is similar to that of the control. Moreover, we have performed Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) microspectroscopy analysis on intact cells of the same samples. This technique has been never applied before to study Z. bailii under this condition. The analyses revealed lactic acid induced macromolecular changes in the overall cellular protein secondary structures, and alterations of cell wall and membrane physico-chemical properties.

  20. Nonlinear Localized Dissipative Structures for Long-Time Solution of Wave Equation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-07-01

    Fatemi, E., Engquist, B., and Osher, S., " Numerical Solution of the High Frequency Asymptotic Expansion for the Scalar Wave Equation ", Journal of...FINAL REPORT Grant Title: Nonlinear Localized Dissipative Structures for Long-Time Solution of Wave Equation By Dr. John Steinhoff Grant number... numerical method, "Wave Confinement" (WC), is developed to efficiently solve the linear wave equation . This is similar to the originally developed

  1. Macromolecular coal structure as revealed by novel diffusion tests

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-01-01

    Experimental studies are reported of diffusion in thin sections of various samples. Data are presented of the transport of methylene chloride, chloroform, pyridine, methyl ethyl ketone, toluene, benzene, methanol, acetone and cyclohexane in coals PSOC 418, 853, and 384. The results are analyzed in terms of solubility parameters and the polar contribution to the solubility. These results are compared to swelling of some of crosslinked poly(methyl methacrylate) by some of these solvents. We have proceeded with a more detailed investigation of the influence of various amines on the transport behavior. Finally, we examine various implications of the mathematical analysis using the diffusion/relaxation model. 2 refs., 34 figs., 4 tabs.

  2. [Structure of crambin in solution, crystal and in the trajectories of molecular dynamics simulations].

    PubMed

    Abaturov, L V; Nosova, N G

    2013-01-01

    The mechanisms of the three-dimensional crambin structure alterations in the crystalline environments and in the trajectories of the molecular dynamics simulations in the vacuum and crystal surroundings have been analyzed. In the crystalline state and in the solution the partial regrouping of remote intramolecular packing contacts, involved in the formation and stabilization of the tertiary structure of the crambin molecule, occurs in NMR structures. In the crystalline state it is initiated by the formation of the intermolecular contacts, the conformational influence of its appearance is distributed over the structure. The changes of the conformations and positions of the residues of the loop segments, where the intermolecular contacts of the crystal surroundings are preferably concentrated, are most observable. Under the influence of these contacts the principal change of the regular secondary structure of crambin is taking place: extension of the two-strand beta structure to the three-strand structure with the participation of the single last residue N46 of the C-terminal loop. In comparison with the C-terminal loop the more profound changes are observed in the conformation and the atomic positions of the backbone atoms and in the solvent accessibility of the residues of the interhelical loop. In the solution of the ensemble of the 8 NMR structures relative accessibility to the solvent differs more noticeably also in the region of the loop segments and rather markedly in the interhelical loop. In the crambin cryogenic crystal structures the positions of the atoms of the backbone and/or side chain of 14-18 of 46 residues are discretely disordered. The disorganizations of at least 8 of 14 residues occur directly in the regions of the intermolecular contacts and another 5 residues are disordered indirectly through the intramolecular contacts with the residues of the intermolecular contacts. Upon the molecular dynamics simulation in the vacuum surrounding as in the

  3. The cluster structure of dilute aqueous-alcoholic solutions and molecular light scattering in them

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malomuzh, N. P.; Slinchak, E. L.

    2007-11-01

    The structures, equations of state, and character of fluctuations of dilute water-glycerol solutions are discussed. Two or three glycerol and about ten water molecules were found to form a fairly stable molecular complex. We call this complex elementary cluster (pseudoparticle). In a certain region of state parameters, the system could be considered a solution of pseudoparticles (clusters). Its properties were modeled by the van der Waals equation. The character of interactions between clusters was analyzed. An anomalous increase in concentration and molecular light scattering fluctuations was caused by the approach to the solution “pseudospinodal.” The experimental data were found to be in quite satisfactory agreement with theoretical estimates.

  4. Micro-scale NMR Experiments for Monitoring the Optimization of Membrane Protein Solutions for Structural Biology.

    PubMed

    Horst, Reto; Wüthrich, Kurt

    2015-07-20

    Reconstitution of integral membrane proteins (IMP) in aqueous solutions of detergent micelles has been extensively used in structural biology, using either X-ray crystallography or NMR in solution. Further progress could be achieved by establishing a rational basis for the selection of detergent and buffer conditions, since the stringent bottleneck that slows down the structural biology of IMPs is the preparation of diffracting crystals or concentrated solutions of stable isotope labeled IMPs. Here, we describe procedures to monitor the quality of aqueous solutions of [(2)H, (15)N]-labeled IMPs reconstituted in detergent micelles. This approach has been developed for studies of β-barrel IMPs, where it was successfully applied for numerous NMR structure determinations, and it has also been adapted for use with α-helical IMPs, in particular GPCRs, in guiding crystallization trials and optimizing samples for NMR studies (Horst et al., 2013). 2D [(15)N, (1)H]-correlation maps are used as "fingerprints" to assess the foldedness of the IMP in solution. For promising samples, these "inexpensive" data are then supplemented with measurements of the translational and rotational diffusion coefficients, which give information on the shape and size of the IMP/detergent mixed micelles. Using microcoil equipment for these NMR experiments enables data collection with only micrograms of protein and detergent. This makes serial screens of variable solution conditions viable, enabling the optimization of parameters such as the detergent concentration, sample temperature, pH and the composition of the buffer.

  5. Micro-scale NMR Experiments for Monitoring the Optimization of Membrane Protein Solutions for Structural Biology

    PubMed Central

    Horst, Reto; Wüthrich, Kurt

    2016-01-01

    Reconstitution of integral membrane proteins (IMP) in aqueous solutions of detergent micelles has been extensively used in structural biology, using either X-ray crystallography or NMR in solution. Further progress could be achieved by establishing a rational basis for the selection of detergent and buffer conditions, since the stringent bottleneck that slows down the structural biology of IMPs is the preparation of diffracting crystals or concentrated solutions of stable isotope labeled IMPs. Here, we describe procedures to monitor the quality of aqueous solutions of [2H, 15N]-labeled IMPs reconstituted in detergent micelles. This approach has been developed for studies of β-barrel IMPs, where it was successfully applied for numerous NMR structure determinations, and it has also been adapted for use with α-helical IMPs, in particular GPCRs, in guiding crystallization trials and optimizing samples for NMR studies (Horst et al., 2013). 2D [15N, 1H]-correlation maps are used as “fingerprints” to assess the foldedness of the IMP in solution. For promising samples, these “inexpensive” data are then supplemented with measurements of the translational and rotational diffusion coefficients, which give information on the shape and size of the IMP/detergent mixed micelles. Using microcoil equipment for these NMR experiments enables data collection with only micrograms of protein and detergent. This makes serial screens of variable solution conditions viable, enabling the optimization of parameters such as the detergent concentration, sample temperature, pH and the composition of the buffer. PMID:27077076

  6. Linear structural evolution induced tunable photoluminescence in clinopyroxene solid-solution phosphors.

    PubMed

    Xia, Zhiguo; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Molokeev, Maxim S; Atuchin, Victor V; Luo, Yi

    2013-11-22

    Clinopyroxenes along the Jervisite (NaScSi2O6)-Diopside (CaMgSi2O6) join have been studied, and a solid-solution of the type (Na(1-x)Ca(x))(Sc(1-x)Mg(x))Si2O6 has been identified in the full range of 0 ≤ x ≤ 1. The powder X-ray patterns of all the phases indicate a structural similarity to the end compounds and show smooth variation of structural parameters with composition. The linear structural evolution of iso-structural (Na(1-x)Ca(x))(Sc(1-x)Mg(x))Si2O6 solid-solutions obeying Vegard's rule has also been examined and verified by high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). The continuous solid-solutions show the same structural type, therefore the photoluminescence spectra of Eu(2+) doped samples possess the superposition of spectral features from blue-emitting component (CaMgSi2O6:Eu(2+)) and yellow-emitting one (NaScSi2O6:Eu(2+)). This indicates that the spectroscopic properties of (Na(1-x)Ca(x))(Sc(1-x)Mg(x))Si2O6 clinopyroxene solid-solutions are in direct relations with structural parameters, and it is helpful for designing color-tunable photoluminescence with predetermined parameters.

  7. Ice crystallization in ultrafine water-salt aerosols: nucleation, ice-solution equilibrium, and internal structure.

    PubMed

    Hudait, Arpa; Molinero, Valeria

    2014-06-04

    Atmospheric aerosols have a strong influence on Earth's climate. Elucidating the physical state and internal structure of atmospheric aqueous aerosols is essential to predict their gas and water uptake, and the locus and rate of atmospherically important heterogeneous reactions. Ultrafine aerosols with sizes between 3 and 15 nm have been detected in large numbers in the troposphere and tropopause. Nanoscopic aerosols arising from bubble bursting of natural and artificial seawater have been identified in laboratory and field experiments. The internal structure and phase state of these aerosols, however, cannot yet be determined in experiments. Here we use molecular simulations to investigate the phase behavior and internal structure of liquid, vitrified, and crystallized water-salt ultrafine aerosols with radii from 2.5 to 9.5 nm and with up to 10% moles of ions. We find that both ice crystallization and vitrification of the nanodroplets lead to demixing of pure water from the solutions. Vitrification of aqueous nanodroplets yields nanodomains of pure low-density amorphous ice in coexistence with vitrified solute rich aqueous glass. The melting temperature of ice in the aerosols decreases monotonically with an increase of solute fraction and decrease of radius. The simulations reveal that nucleation of ice occurs homogeneously at the subsurface of the water-salt nanoparticles. Subsequent ice growth yields phase-segregated, internally mixed, aerosols with two phases in equilibrium: a concentrated water-salt amorphous mixture and a spherical cap-like ice nanophase. The surface of the crystallized aerosols is heterogeneous, with ice and solution exposed to the vapor. Free energy calculations indicate that as the concentration of salt in the particles, the advance of the crystallization, or the size of the particles increase, the stability of the spherical cap structure increases with respect to the alternative structure in which a core of ice is fully surrounded by

  8. Mathieu function solutions for photoacoustic waves in sinusoidal one-dimensional structures.

    PubMed

    Wu, Binbin; Diebold, Gerald J

    2012-07-01

    The photoacoustic effect for a one-dimensional structure, the sound speed of which varies sinusoidally in space, is shown to be governed by an inhomogeneous Mathieu equation with the forcing term dependent on the spatial and temporal properties of the exciting optical radiation. New orthogonality relations, traveling wave Mathieu functions, and solutions to the inhomogeneous Mathieu equation are found, which are used to determine the character of photoacoustic waves in infinite and finite length phononic structures. Floquet solutions to the Mathieu equation give the positions of the band gaps, the damping of the acoustic waves within the band gaps, and the dispersion relation for photoacoustic waves. The solutions to the Mathieu equation give the photoacoustic response of the structure, show the space equivalent of subharmonic generation and acoustic confinement when waves are excited within band gaps.

  9. Small-angle x-ray scattering investigation of the solution structure of troponin C

    SciTech Connect

    Hubbard, S.R.; Hodgson, K.O.; Doniach, S.

    1988-03-25

    X-ray crystallographic studies of troponin C have revealed a novel protein structure consisting of two globular domains, each containing two Ca/sup 2 +/-binding sites, connected via a nine-turn alpha-helix, three turns of which are fully exposed to solvent. Since the crystals were grown at pH approximately 5, it is of interest to determine whether this structure is applicable to the protein in solution under physiological conditions. We have used small-angle x-ray scattering to examine the solution structure of troponin C at pH 6.8 and the effect of Ca/sup 2 +/ on the structure. The scattering data are consistent with an elongated structure in solution with a radius of gyration of approximately 23.0 A, which is quite comparable to that computed for the crystal structure. The experimental scattering profile and the scattering profile computed from the crystal structure coordinates do, however, exhibit differences at the 40-A level. A weak Ca/sup 2 +/-facilitated dimerization of troponin C was observed. The data rule out large Ca/sup 2 +/-induced structural changes, indicating rather that the molecule with Ca/sup 2 +/ bound is only slightly more compact than the Ca/sup 2 +/-free molecule.

  10. New insights into structural alteration of enamel apatite induced by citric acid and sodium fluoride solutions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaojie; Klocke, Arndt; Mihailova, Boriana; Tosheva, Lubomira; Bismayer, Ulrich

    2008-07-24

    Attenuated total reflectance infrared spectroscopy and complementary scanning electron microscopy were applied to analyze the surface structure of enamel apatite exposed to citric acid and to investigate the protective potential of fluorine-containing reagents against citric acid-induced erosion. Enamel and, for comparison, geological hydroxylapatite samples were treated with aqueous solutions of citric acid and sodium fluoride of different concentrations, ranging from 0.01 to 0.5 mol/L for citric acid solutions and from 0.5 to 2.0% for fluoride solutions. The two solutions were applied either simultaneously or consecutively. The citric acid-induced structural modification of apatite increases with the increase in the citric acid concentration and the number of treatments. The application of sodium fluoride alone does not suppress the atomic level changes in apatite exposed to acidic agents. The addition of sodium fluoride to citric acid solutions leads to formation of surface CaF2 and considerably reduces the changes in the apatite P-O-Ca framework. However, the CaF2 globules deposited on the enamel surface seem to be insufficient to prevent the alteration of the apatite structure upon further exposure to acidic agents. No evidence for fluorine-induced recovery of the apatite structure was found.

  11. On the origin of mesoscale structures in aqueous solutions of tertiary butyl alcohol: the mystery resolved.

    PubMed

    Sedlák, Marián; Rak, Dmytro

    2014-03-13

    We have performed a detailed experimental study on aqueous solutions of tertiary butyl alcohol which were a subject of long-standing controversies regarding the puzzling presence of virtually infinitely stable large-scale structures in such solutions occurring at length scales exceeding appreciably dimensions of individual molecules, referred to also as mesoscale structures. A combination of static and dynamic light scattering yielding information on solution structure and dynamics and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry yielding information on chemical composition was used. We show that tertiary butyl alcohol clearly exhibiting such structures upon mixing with water does not contain any propylene oxide, which was previously considered as a source of these structures (an impurity expected to be present in all commercial samples of TBA). More importantly, we show that no mesoscale structures are generated upon addition of propylene oxide to aqueous solutions of TBA. The ternary system TBA/water/propylene oxide exhibits homogeneous mixing of the components on mesoscales. We show that the source of the mesoscale structures is a mesophase separation of appreciably more hydrophobic compounds than propylene oxide. These substances are explicitly analytically identified as well as their disappearance upon filtering out the mesoscale structures by nanopore filtration. We clearly show which substances are disappearing upon filtration and which are not. This enables us to estimate with rather high probability the chemical composition of the mesoscale structures. Visualization of large-scale structures via nanoparticle tracking analysis is also presented. Video capturing the mesoscale particles as well as their Brownian motion can be found in the Supporting Information .

  12. Effects of solvent on the solution properties, structural characteristics and properties of silk sericin.

    PubMed

    Jo, Yoon Nam; Um, In Chul

    2015-07-01

    Sericin films have attracted much attention from researchers in biomedical and cosmetic fields because of its unique properties, including good cytocompatibility and its promotion of wound healing. However, poor mechanical properties of sericin films have restricted its application in these fields. In this study, a new solvent, formic acid, was used to fabricate sericin solutions and films. The effects of formic acid on the structural characteristics and mechanical properties of the sericin solutions and films were examined and compared with water. The sericin/formic acid solution showed fewer aggregated sericin molecules, resulting in a lower turbidity than that of the sericin/water solution. In addition, the gelation of the sericin solution was retarded in formic acid compared to that of water. Sericin films cast from the formic acid solution exhibited a much higher crystallinity index than that produced from water. The tensile strength and elongation of the sericin films cast from the formic acid solution were more than double that of the sericin films cast from water. It is expected that the more stable sericin solution and high-crystallinity sericin films, which have significantly improved mechanical properties, produced by using formic acid as the solvent could be utilized in biomedical and cosmetic applications.

  13. Structural and magnetic properties of mechanically alloyed Co 20Cu 80 solid solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoo, Y. G.; Yang, D. S.; Yu, S. C.; Kim, W. T.; M. Lee, J.

    1999-08-01

    Microstructural change during the mechanical alloying of Co 20Cu 80 has been studied by X-ray diffractometry (XRD) and extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) techniques. EXAFS analysis shows clearly the formation of supersaturated Co 20Cu 80 solid solution with FCC crystal structure during mechanical alloying, which is in good agreement with XRD analysis. Magnetic properties also have been studied by SQUID magnetometer from 4 to 290 K. The supersaturated Co 20Cu 80 solid solution shows wide distribution in Co cluster size due to the continuous blocking of Co cluster as a function of temperature.

  14. The solvent component of macromolecular crystals

    PubMed Central

    Weichenberger, Christian X.; Afonine, Pavel V.; Kantardjieff, Katherine; Rupp, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25945568

  15. 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

  16. A decade of user operation on the macromolecular crystallography MAD beamline ID14-4 at the ESRF

    PubMed Central

    McCarthy, Andrew A.; Brockhauser, Sandor; Nurizzo, Didier; Theveneau, Pascal; Mairs, Trevor; Spruce, Darren; Guijarro, Matias; Lesourd, Marc; Ravelli, Raimond B. G.; McSweeney, Sean

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19844017

  17. Structure solution of DNA-binding proteins and complexes with ARCIMBOLDO libraries.

    PubMed

    Pröpper, Kevin; Meindl, Kathrin; Sammito, Massimo; Dittrich, Birger; Sheldrick, George M; Pohl, Ehmke; Usón, Isabel

    2014-06-01

    Protein-DNA interactions play a major role in all aspects of genetic activity within an organism, such as transcription, packaging, rearrangement, replication and repair. The molecular detail of protein-DNA interactions can be best visualized through crystallography, and structures emphasizing insight into the principles of binding and base-sequence recognition are essential to understanding the subtleties of the underlying mechanisms. An increasing number of high-quality DNA-binding protein structure determinations have been witnessed despite the fact that the crystallographic particularities of nucleic acids tend to pose specific challenges to methods primarily developed for proteins. Crystallographic structure solution of protein-DNA complexes therefore remains a challenging area that is in need of optimized experimental and computational methods. The potential of the structure-solution program ARCIMBOLDO for the solution of protein-DNA complexes has therefore been assessed. The method is based on the combination of locating small, very accurate fragments using the program Phaser and density modification with the program SHELXE. Whereas for typical proteins main-chain α-helices provide the ideal, almost ubiquitous, small fragments to start searches, in the case of DNA complexes the binding motifs and DNA double helix constitute suitable search fragments. The aim of this work is to provide an effective library of search fragments as well as to determine the optimal ARCIMBOLDO strategy for the solution of this class of structures.

  18. Triple click reaction strategy for macromolecular diversity.

    PubMed

    Tunca, Umit

    2013-01-11

    This Feature Article focuses on the rapidly emerging concept of the "triple click reactions" towards the design and synthesis of macromolecules with well-defined topology and chemical composition, and also precise molecular weight and narrow molecular weight distribution. The term "triple click reaction" used in this feature article is based on the utilization of three chemically and mechanistically different click reactions for polymer-polymer conjugation and post-modification of the polymers. Three sequential click reactions of which two are identical should not be considered to be triple click reactions. The triple click reaction strategy for polymer conjugation and post-modification of polymers is classified in this article based on the resultant architectures: linear and non-linear structures.

  19. CheckMyMetal: a macromolecular metal-binding validation tool

    PubMed Central

    Porebski, Przemyslaw J.

    2017-01-01

    Metals are essential in many biological processes, and metal ions are modeled in roughly 40% of the macromolecular structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB). However, a significant fraction of these structures contain poorly modeled metal-binding sites. CheckMyMetal (CMM) is an easy-to-use metal-binding site validation server for macromolecules that is freely available at http://csgid.org/csgid/metal_sites. The CMM server can detect incorrect metal assignments as well as geometrical and other irregularities in the metal-binding sites. Guidelines for metal-site modeling and validation in macromolecules are illustrated by several practical examples grouped by the type of metal. These examples show CMM users (and crystallographers in general) problems they may encounter during the modeling of a specific metal ion. PMID:28291757

  20. CheckMyMetal: a macromolecular metal-binding validation tool.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Heping; Cooper, David R; Porebski, Przemyslaw J; Shabalin, Ivan G; Handing, Katarzyna B; Minor, Wladek

    2017-03-01

    Metals are essential in many biological processes, and metal ions are modeled in roughly 40% of the macromolecular structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB). However, a significant fraction of these structures contain poorly modeled metal-binding sites. CheckMyMetal (CMM) is an easy-to-use metal-binding site validation server for macromolecules that is freely available at http://csgid.org/csgid/metal_sites. The CMM server can detect incorrect metal assignments as well as geometrical and other irregularities in the metal-binding sites. Guidelines for metal-site modeling and validation in macromolecules are illustrated by several practical examples grouped by the type of metal. These examples show CMM users (and crystallographers in general) problems they may encounter during the modeling of a specific metal ion.

  1. Destruction of Tissue, Cells and Organelles in Type 1 Diabetic Rats Presented at Macromolecular Resolution

    PubMed Central

    Ravelli, Raimond B. G.; Kalicharan, Ruby D.; Avramut, M. Cristina; Sjollema, Klaas A.; Pronk, Joachim W.; Dijk, Freark; Koster, Abraham J.; Visser, Jeroen T. J.; Faas, Frank G. A.; Giepmans, Ben N. G.

    2013-01-01

    Finding alternatives for insulin therapy and making advances in etiology of type 1 diabetes benefits from a full structural and functional insight into Islets of Langerhans. Electron microscopy (EM) can visualize Islet morphology at the highest possible resolution, however, conventional EM only provides biased snapshots and lacks context. We developed and employed large scale EM and compiled a resource of complete cross sections of rat Islets during immuno-destruction to provide unbiased structural insight of thousands of cells at macromolecular resolution. The resource includes six datasets, totalling 25.000 micrographs, annotated for cellular and ultrastructural changes during autoimmune diabetes. Granulocytes are attracted to the endocrine tissue, followed by extravasation of a pleiotrophy of leukocytes. Subcellullar changes in beta cells include endoplasmic reticulum stress, insulin degranulation and glycogen accumulation. Rare findings include erythrocyte extravasation and nuclear actin-like fibers. While we focus on a rat model of autoimmune diabetes, our approach is general applicable. PMID:23652855

  2. Implementation of Lamarckian concepts in a Genetic Algorithm for structure solution from powder diffraction data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, Giles W.; Tedesco, Emilio; Harris, Kenneth D. M.; Johnston, Roy L.; Kariuki, Benson M.

    2000-04-01

    Previous implementations of Genetic Algorithms in direct-space strategies for structure solution from powder diffraction data have employed the operations of mating, mutation and natural selection, with the fitness of each structure based on comparison between calculated and experimental powder diffraction patterns (we define fitness as a function of weighted-profile R-factor Rwp). We report an extension to this method, in which each structure generated in the Genetic Algorithm is subjected to local minimization of Rwp with respect to structural variables. This approach represents an implementation of Lamarckian concepts of evolution, and is found to give significant improvements in efficiency and reliability.

  3. Solution structures of calcium regulating proteins: A small-angle scattering study

    SciTech Connect

    Trewhella, J.; Heidorn, D.B.; Seeger, P.A.

    1987-11-01

    Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) experiments have shown that the solution structures of two calcium-binding regulatory proteins, calmodulin and troponin C, are significantly different from their crystal structure forms. The structural differences occur in a region of calmodulin that is thought to bind to target enzymes;the calmodulin-enzyme complex is an initiator for many important biochemical processes. Calcium binding to calmodulin induces a conformational change that is a prerequisite for calmodulin binding to a target enzyme. SAXS data can characterize this conformational change and give insight into the mechanism of enzyme binding. Neutron resonance scattering promises to determine accurately the distances between calcium binding sites, thus providing important constraints on the structure of calmodulin in solution. 24 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  4. Comparison of shock structure solutions using independent continuum and kinetic theory approaches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fiscko, Kurt A.; Chapman, Dean R.

    1988-01-01

    A vehicle traversing the atmosphere will experience flight regimes at high altitudes in which the thickness of a hypersonic shock wave is not small compared to the shock standoff distance from the hard body. When this occurs, it is essential to compute accurate flow field solutions within the shock structure. In this paper, one-dimensional shock structure is investigated for various monatomic gases from Mach 1.4 to Mach 35. Kinetic theory solutions are computed using the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo method. Steady-state solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations and of a slightly truncated form of the Burnett equations are determined by relaxation to a steady state of the time-dependent continuum equations. Monte Carlo results are in excellent agreement with published experimental data and are used as bases of comparison for continuum solutions. For a Maxwellian gas, the truncated Burnett equations are shown to produce far more accurate solutions of shock structure than the Navier-Stokes equations.

  5. An efficient solution procedure for the thermoelastic analysis of truss space structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Givoli, D.; Rand, O.

    1992-01-01

    A solution procedure is proposed for the thermal and thermoelastic analysis of truss space structures in periodic motion. In this method, the spatial domain is first descretized using a consistent finite element formulation. Then the resulting semi-discrete equations in time are solved analytically by using Fourier decomposition. Geometrical symmetry is taken advantage of completely. An algorithm is presented for the calculation of heat flux distribution. The method is demonstrated via a numerical example of a cylindrically shaped space structure.

  6. Structural aspects of glucans formed in solution and on the surface of hydroxyapatite.

    PubMed

    Kopec, L K; Vacca-Smith, A M; Bowen, W H

    1997-10-01

    Streptococcus mutans glucosyltransferases (GtfB, -C, and -D) and their products formed from sucrose, glucans, play an essential role in the pathogenesis of dental caries. Enzymatically active Gtf is found in whole human saliva (solution), and incorporated into the salivary pellicle that is formed on teeth in vivo (surface). GtfB glucans are predominantly 1,3-linked; however, surface-formed glucans from GtfB contain greater amounts of 3-linked glucose than glucans formed in solution. In contrast, the major linkage of glucans formed on the surface by GtfB in the presence of sucrose and starch hydrolysates in 4-linked glucose. GtfC-derived glucans in solution have a major linkage of 6-linked glucose, while surface-formed glucans from the same enzyme have 3-linked glucose as the major linkage. GtfD glucans formed either in solution or on the surface are predominantly 1,6-linked; however, surface-formed glucans contain more 6-linked glucose than solution-formed glucans. Digestion with the glucanohydrolases mutanase and dextranase shows differences in susceptibility among glucans formed either in solution or on the surface by each of the Gtf enzymes, and differences are also seen in the soluble end products from these digestions. Our results show that the same Gtf enzyme can form structurally distinct glucans in solution and on a surface. These observations are important in the study of naturally occurring microbial films.

  7. Structure and properties of regenerated Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin in aqueous solution.

    PubMed

    Tao, Wei; Li, Mingzhong; Zhao, Chunxia

    2007-04-10

    Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin fibers were dissolved by aqueous lithium thiocyanate to obtain regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin solution. By means of circular dichroism, (13)C NMR and Raman spectroscopy, the molecular conformation of regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin in aqueous solution was investigated. The relationship of environmental factors and sol-gel transformation behavior of regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin was also studied. The molecular conformations of regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin mainly were alpha-helix and random coil in solution. There also existed a little beta-sheet conformation. It was obviously different with Bombyx mori silk fibroin, whose molecular conformation in solution was only random coil but no alpha-helix existence. With the increase of temperature and solution concentration and with the decrease of solution pH value, the gelation velocity of regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin solution increased. Especially, it showed that A. pernyi silk fibroin was more sensitive to temperature than B. mori silk fibroin during the sol-gel transformation. The velocity increased obviously when the temperature was above 30 degrees C. During the sol-gel transformation, the molecular conformation of regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin changed from random coil to beta-sheet structure. The results of these studies provided important insight into the preparation of new biomaterials by silk fibroin protein.

  8. Local structure in the disordered solid solution of cis- and trans-perinones.

    PubMed

    Teteruk, Jaroslav L; Glinnemann, Jürgen; Heyse, Winfried; Johansson, Kristoffer E; van de Streek, Jacco; Schmidt, Martin U

    2016-06-01

    The cis- and trans-isomers of the polycyclic aromatic compound perinone, C26H12N4O2, form a solid solution (Vat Red 14). This solid solution is isotypic to the crystal structures of cis-perinone (Pigment Red 194) and trans-perinone (Pigment Orange 34) and exhibits a combined positional and orientational disorder: In the crystal, each molecular position is occupied by either a cis- or trans-perinone molecule, both of which have two possible molecular orientations. The structure of cis-perinone exhibits a twofold orientational disorder, whereas the structure of trans-perinone is ordered. The crystal structure of the solid solution was determined by single-crystal X-ray analysis. Extensive lattice-energy minimizations with force-field and DFT-D methods were carried out on combinatorially complete sets of ordered models. For the disordered systems, local structures were calculated, including preferred local arrangements, ordering lengths, and probabilities for the arrangement of neighbouring molecules. The superposition of the atomic positions of all energetically favourable calculated models corresponds well with the experimentally determined crystal structures, explaining not only the atomic positions, but also the site occupancies and anisotropic displacement parameters.

  9. Decision-making in structure solution using Bayesian estimates of map quality: the PHENIX autosol wizard

    SciTech Connect

    Terwilliger, Thomas C; Adams, Paul D; Read, Randy J; Mccoy, Airlie J

    2008-01-01

    Ten measures of experimental electron-density-map quality are examined and the skewness of electron density is found to be the best indicator of actual map quality. A Bayesian approach to estimating map quality is developed and used in the PHENIX AutoSol wizard to make decisions during automated structure solution.

  10. Structure and interactions of fish type III antifreeze protein in solution.

    PubMed

    Salvay, Andrés G; Gabel, Frank; Pucci, Bernard; Santos, Javier; Howard, Eduardo I; Ebel, Christine

    2010-07-21

    It has been suggested that above a critical protein concentration, fish Type III antifreeze protein (AFP III) self-assembles to form micelle-like structures that may play a key role in antifreeze activity. To understand the complex activity of AFP III, a comprehensive description of its association state and structural organization in solution is necessary. We used analytical ultracentrifugation, analytical size-exclusion chromatography, and dynamic light scattering to characterize the interactions and homogeneity of AFP III in solution. Small-angle neutron scattering was used to determine the low-resolution structure in solution. Our results clearly show that at concentrations up to 20 mg mL(-1) and at temperatures of 20 degrees C, 6 degrees C, and 4 degrees C, AFP III is monomeric in solution and adopts a structure compatible with that determined by crystallography. Surface tension measurements show a propensity of AFP III to localize at the air/water interface, but this surface activity is not correlated with any aggregation in the bulk. These results support the hypothesis that each AFP III molecule acts independently of the others, and that specific intermolecular interactions between monomers are not required for binding to ice. The lack of attractive interactions between monomers may be functionally important, allowing for more efficient binding and covering of the ice surface.

  11. Comparing Multiple Solutions in the Structured Problem Solving: Deconstructing Japanese Lessons from Learner's Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hino, Keiko

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to enhance our understanding of how students listen and attend to multiple solutions proposed by their classmates during the activity of comparison. This study examines ten consecutive lessons in each of the two eighth-grade classrooms in Tokyo that are organized in the style of "structured problem solving".…

  12. Structure and rheology studies of poly(oxyethylene-oxypropylene-oxyethylene) aqueous solution

    SciTech Connect

    Prud`homme, R.K.; Wu, G.; Schneider, D.K.

    1996-10-02

    Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and rheometry were used to investigate the supramolecular structure formed by a ploy(oxyethylene-oxypropylene-oxyethylene)(PEO{sub 100}PPO{sub 65 }PEO{sub 100}, Pluronic F127) copolymer in aqueous solution over a temperature range of 10-75 {degree}C and a concentration range of 10-20 wt%. At copolymer concentrations of less than 12.5% the solutions are Newtonian fluids. Gels with an ordered structure (cubic packing of spherical micelles) are observed over a well-defined temperature window when the copolymer concentrations are greater than 17 wt%. The SANS results show that the aggregation number of the micelles is independent of temperature and concentrations. Low-yield stresses, very high zero shear viscosities (nearly 10{sup 6} P), and shear thinning are the major rheological characteristics of the gels. Near, but outside, the gel phase boundary the solutions are non-Newtonian (shear thinning). However, SANS shows these solutions contain domains having the same structure as that in the gel phase. The temperature window for ordered structures and non-Newtonian behavior becomes wider with increasing copolymer concentration. The degree of overlap of the micellar shells increases with increasing copolymer concentration at a given temperature and reaches a maximum at nearly 40 {degree}C at a fixed polymer concentration. The yield stress is due to repulsive interactions of PEO chains in the overlapped micellar shell. 36 refs., 16 figs., 2 tabs.

  13. Structure and Interactions of Fish Type III Antifreeze Protein in Solution

    PubMed Central

    Salvay, Andrés G.; Gabel, Frank; Pucci, Bernard; Santos, Javier; Howard, Eduardo I.; Ebel, Christine

    2010-01-01

    Abstract It has been suggested that above a critical protein concentration, fish Type III antifreeze protein (AFP III) self-assembles to form micelle-like structures that may play a key role in antifreeze activity. To understand the complex activity of AFP III, a comprehensive description of its association state and structural organization in solution is necessary. We used analytical ultracentrifugation, analytical size-exclusion chromatography, and dynamic light scattering to characterize the interactions and homogeneity of AFP III in solution. Small-angle neutron scattering was used to determine the low-resolution structure in solution. Our results clearly show that at concentrations up to 20 mg mL−1 and at temperatures of 20°C, 6°C, and 4°C, AFP III is monomeric in solution and adopts a structure compatible with that determined by crystallography. Surface tension measurements show a propensity of AFP III to localize at the air/water interface, but this surface activity is not correlated with any aggregation in the bulk. These results support the hypothesis that each AFP III molecule acts independently of the others, and that specific intermolecular interactions between monomers are not required for binding to ice. The lack of attractive interactions between monomers may be functionally important, allowing for more efficient binding and covering of the ice surface. PMID:20643081

  14. Protein folding, protein structure and the origin of life: Theoretical methods and solutions of dynamical problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weaver, D. L.

    1982-01-01

    Theoretical methods and solutions of the dynamics of protein folding, protein aggregation, protein structure, and the origin of life are discussed. The elements of a dynamic model representing the initial stages of protein folding are presented. The calculation and experimental determination of the model parameters are discussed. The use of computer simulation for modeling protein folding is considered.

  15. Reformulation of Maxwell's equations to incorporate near-solute solvent structure.

    PubMed

    Yang, Pei-Kun; Lim, Carmay

    2008-09-04

    Maxwell's equations, which treat electromagnetic interactions between macroscopic charged objects in materials, have explained many phenomena and contributed to many applications in our lives. Derived in 1861 when no methods were available to determine the atomic structure of macromolecules, Maxwell's equations assume the solvent to be a structureless continuum. However, near-solute solvent molecules are highly structured, unlike far-solute bulk solvent molecules. Current methods cannot treat both the near-solute solvent structure and time-dependent electromagnetic interactions in a macroscopic system. Here, we derive "microscopic" electrodynamics equations that can treat macroscopic time-dependent electromagnetic field problems like Maxwell's equations and reproduce the solvent molecular and dipole density distributions observed in molecular dynamics simulations. These equations greatly reduce computational expense by not having to include explicit solvent molecules, yet they treat the solvent electrostatic and van der Waals effects more accurately than continuum models. They provide a foundation to study electromagnetic interactions between molecules in a macroscopic system that are ubiquitous in biology, bioelectromagnetism, and nanotechnology. The general strategy presented herein to incorporate the near-solute solvent structure would enable studies on how complex cellular protein-ligand interactions are affected by electromagnetic radiation, which could help to prevent harmful electromagnetic spectra or find potential therapeutic applications.

  16. Implementation and performance of SIBYLS: a dual endstation small-angle X-ray scattering and macromolecular crystallography beamline at the Advanced Light Source

    PubMed Central

    Classen, Scott; Hura, Greg L.; Holton, James M.; Rambo, Robert P.; Rodic, Ivan; McGuire, Patrick J.; Dyer, Kevin; Hammel, Michal; Meigs, George; Frankel, Kenneth A.; Tainer, John A.

    2013-01-01

    The SIBYLS beamline (12.3.1) of the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, supported by the US Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health, is optimized for both small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and macromolecular crystallography (MX), making it unique among the world’s mostly SAXS or MX dedicated beamlines. Since SIBYLS was commissioned, assessments of the limitations and advantages of a combined SAXS and MX beamline have suggested new strategies for integration and optimal data collection methods and have led to additional hardware and software enhancements. Features described include a dual mode monochromator [containing both Si(111) crystals and Mo/B4C multilayer elements], rapid beamline optics conversion between SAXS and MX modes, active beam stabilization, sample-loading robotics, and mail-in and remote data collection. These features allow users to gain valuable insights from both dynamic solution scattering and high-resolution atomic diffraction experiments performed at a single synchrotron beamline. Key practical issues considered for data collection and analysis include radiation damage, structural ensembles, alternative conformers and flexibility. SIBYLS develops and applies efficient combined MX and SAXS methods that deliver high-impact results by providing robust cost-effective routes to connect structures to biology and by performing experiments that aid beamline designs for next generation light sources. PMID:23396808

  17. Structural Analysis of Protein-RNA Complexes in Solution Using NMR Paramagnetic Relaxation Enhancements.

    PubMed

    Hennig, Janosch; Warner, Lisa R; Simon, Bernd; Geerlof, Arie; Mackereth, Cameron D; Sattler, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Biological activity in the cell is predominantly mediated by large multiprotein and protein-nucleic acid complexes that act together to ensure functional fidelity. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is the only method that can provide information for high-resolution three-dimensional structures and the conformational dynamics of these complexes in solution. Mapping of binding interfaces and molecular interactions along with the characterization of conformational dynamics is possible for very large protein complexes. In contrast, de novo structure determination by NMR becomes very time consuming and difficult for protein complexes larger than 30 kDa as data are noisy and sparse. Fortunately, high-resolution structures are often available for individual domains or subunits of a protein complex and thus sparse data can be used to define their arrangement and dynamics within the assembled complex. In these cases, NMR can therefore be efficiently combined with complementary solution techniques, such as small-angle X-ray or neutron scattering, to provide a comprehensive description of the structure and dynamics of protein complexes in solution. Particularly useful are NMR-derived paramagnetic relaxation enhancements (PREs), which provide long-range distance restraints (ca. 20Å) for structural analysis of large complexes and also report on conformational dynamics in solution. Here, we describe the use of PREs from sample production to structure calculation, focusing on protein-RNA complexes. On the basis of recent examples from our own research, we demonstrate the utility, present protocols, and discuss potential pitfalls when using PREs for studying the structure and dynamic features of protein-RNA complexes.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. X-ray absorption spectroscopic investigation of the electronic structure differences in solution and crystalline oxyhemoglobin

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Samuel A.; Green, Evan; Mathews, Irimpan I.; Benfatto, Maurizio; Hodgson, Keith O.; Hedman, Britt; Sarangi, Ritimukta

    2013-01-01

    Hemoglobin (Hb) is the heme-containing O2 transport protein essential for life in all vertebrates. The resting high-spin (S = 2) ferrous form, deoxy-Hb, combines with triplet O2, forming diamagnetic (S = 0) oxy-Hb. Understanding this electronic structure is the key first step in understanding transition metal–O2 interaction. However, despite intense spectroscopic and theoretical studies, the electronic structure description of oxy-Hb remains elusive, with at least three different descriptions proposed by Pauling, Weiss, and McClure-Goddard, based on theory, spectroscopy, and crystallography. Here, a combination of X-ray absorption spectroscopy and extended X-ray absorption fine structure, supported by density functional theory calculations, help resolve this debate. X-ray absorption spectroscopy data on solution and crystalline oxy-Hb indicate both geometric and electronic structure differences suggesting that two of the previous descriptions are correct for the Fe–O2 center in oxy-Hb. These results support the multiconfigurational nature of the ground state developed by theoretical results. Additionally, it is shown here that small differences in hydrogen bonding and solvation effects can tune the ground state, tipping it into one of the two probable configurations. These data underscore the importance of solution spectroscopy and show that the electronic structure in the crystalline form may not always reflect the true ground-state description in solution. PMID:24062465

  1. Solution structure of CEH-37 homeodomain of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Moon, Sunjin; Lee, Yong Woo; Kim, Woo Taek; Lee, Weontae

    2014-01-10

    Highlights: •We have determined solution structures of CEH-37 homedomain. •CEH-37 HD has a compact α-helical structure with HTH DNA binding motif. •Solution structure of CEH-37 HD shares its molecular topology with that of the homeodomain proteins. •Residues in the N-terminal region and HTH motif are important in binding to Caenorhabditis elegans telomeric DNA. •CEH-37 could play an important role in telomere function via DNA binding. -- Abstract: The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans protein CEH-37 belongs to the paired OTD/OTX family of homeobox-containing homeodomain proteins. CEH-37 shares sequence similarity with homeodomain proteins, although it specifically binds to double-stranded C. elegans telomeric DNA, which is unusual to homeodomain proteins. Here, we report the solution structure of CEH-37 homeodomain and molecular interaction with double-stranded C. elegans telomeric DNA using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. NMR structure shows that CEH-37 homeodomain is composed of a flexible N-terminal region and three α-helices with a helix-turn-helix (HTH) DNA binding motif. Data from size-exclusion chromatography and fluorescence spectroscopy reveal that CEH-37 homeodomain interacts strongly with double-stranded C. elegans telomeric DNA. NMR titration experiments identified residues responsible for specific binding to nematode double-stranded telomeric DNA. These results suggest that C. elegans homeodomain protein, CEH-37 could play an important role in telomere function via DNA binding.

  2. Fabrication of three-dimensional micro-nanofiber structures by a novel solution blow spinning device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Feng; Fang, Feiyu; Zeng, Jun; Wang, Zhifeng; Ou, Weijun; Chen, Xindu; Wu, Peixuan; Wang, Han; Zhang, Lin

    2017-02-01

    The fabrication of three-dimensional scaffolds has attracted more attention in tissue engineering. The purpose of this study is to explore a new method for the fabrication of three-dimensional micro-nanofiber structures by combining solution blow spinning and rotating collector. In this study, we successfully fabricated fibers with a minimum diameter of 200 nm and a three-dimensional structure with a maximum porosity of 89.9%. At the same time, the influence of various parameters such as the solvent volatility, the shape of the collector, the feed rate of the solution and the applied gas pressure were studied. It is found that solvent volatility has large effect on the formation of the three-dimensional shape of the structure. The shape of the collector affects the porosity and fiber distribution of the three-dimensional structure. The fiber diameter and fiber uniformity can be controlled by adjusting the solution feed rate and the applied gas pressure. It is feasible to fabricate high-quality three-dimensional micro-nanofiber structure by this new method, which has great potential in tissue engineering.

  3. Grain boundary structure and solute segregation in titanium-doped sapphire bicrystals

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, Seth Thomas

    2002-01-01

    Solute segregation to ceramic grain boundaries governs material processing and microstructure evolution, and can strongly influence material properties critical to engineering performance. Understanding the evolution and implications of grain boundary chemistry is a vital component in the greater effort to engineer ceramics with controlled microstructures. This study examines solute segregation to engineered grain boundaries in titanium-doped sapphire (Al2O3) bicrystals, and explores relationships between grain boundary structure and chemistry at the nanometer scale using spectroscopic and imaging techniques in the transmission electron microscope (TEM). Results demonstrate dramatic changes in solute segregation stemming from small fluctuations in grain boundary plane and structure. Titanium and silicon solute species exhibit strong tendencies to segregate to non-basal and basal grain boundary planes, respectively. Evidence suggests that grain boundary faceting occurs in low-angle twis t boundaries to accommodate nonequilibrium solute segregation related to slow specimen cooling rates, while faceting of tilt grain boundaries often occurs to expose special planes of the coincidence site lattice (CSL). Moreover, quantitative analysis of grain boundary chemistry indicates preferential segregation of charged defects to grain boundary dislocations. These results offer direct proof that static dislocations in ionic materials can assume a net charge, and emphasize the importance of interactions between charged point, line, and planar defects in ionic materials. Efforts to understand grain boundary chemistry in terms of space charge theory, elastic misfit and nonequilibrium segregation are discussed for the Al2O3 system.

  4. Physical and structural stability of the monoclonal antibody, trastuzumab (Herceptin®), intravenous solutions.

    PubMed

    Pabari, Ritesh M; Ryan, Benedict; Ahmad, Wazir; Ramtoola, Zebunnissa

    2013-01-01

    A major limitation of biological therapeutics is their propensity for degradation particularly in aqueous solutions hence resulting in their short shelf-life. In this study, the stability of trastuzumab (Herceptin®) intravenous (i.v.) solutions, an IgG1 monoclonal antibody (mAb), indicated for the treatment of HER2 positive breast cancer, stored under refrigerated conditions, was evaluated over 28 days. No change in visual appearance or average particle size was observed. The pH values of the trastuzumab i.v. solutions remained stable over time. Interestingly, no change in trastuzumab monomer concentration was observed throughout the 28-day study, as determined by SEC-HPLC. SDSPAGE showed only a monomer band corresponding to the molecular weight of trastuzumab. Circular dichroism spectra obtained following 28-day storage demonstrated integrity of the secondary structural conformation of trastuzumab. Results from this study show that trastuzumab i.v. solutions remain physically and structurally stable on storage at 2-8°C for 28 days. These findings suggest that trastuzumab in solution may not be as sensitive to degradation as expected for a mAb and therefore may have important implications in extending trastuzumab shelf life for clinical use and reducing associated healthcare cost.

  5. Thermodynamic behavior and structural properties of an aqueous sodium chloride solution upon supercooling.

    PubMed

    Corradini, D; Gallo, P; Rovere, M

    2008-06-28

    We present the results of a molecular dynamics simulation study of thermodynamic and structural properties upon supercooling of a low concentration sodium chloride solution in TIP4P water and the comparison with the corresponding bulk quantities. We study the isotherms and the isochores for both the aqueous solution and bulk water. The comparison of the phase diagrams shows that thermodynamic properties of the solution are not merely shifted with respect to the bulk. Moreover, from the analysis of the thermodynamic curves, both the spinodal line and the temperatures of maximum density curve can be calculated. The spinodal line appears not to be influenced by the presence of ions at the chosen concentration, while the temperatures of maximum density curve displays both a mild shift in temperature and a shape modification with respect to bulk. Signatures of the presence of a liquid-liquid critical point are found in the aqueous solution. By analyzing the water-ion radial distribution functions of the aqueous solution, we observe that upon changing density, structural modifications appear close to the spinodal. For low temperatures, additional modifications appear also for densities close to that corresponding to a low density configurational energy minimum.

  6. Structural Analysis of the Flagellar Component Proteins in Solution by Small Angle X-Ray Scattering.

    PubMed

    Lee, Lawrence K

    2017-01-01

    Small angle X-ray scattering is an increasingly utilized method for characterizing the shape and structural properties of proteins in solution. The technique is amenable to very large protein complexes and to dynamic particles with different conformational states. It is therefore ideally suited to the analysis of some flagellar motor components. Indeed, we recently used the method to analyze the solution structure of the flagellar motor protein FliG, which when combined with high-resolution snapshots of conformational states from crystal structures, led to insights into conformational transitions that are important in mediating the self-assembly of the bacterial flagellar motor. Here, we describe procedures for X-ray scattering data collection of flagellar motor components, data analysis, and interpretation.

  7. Structural Properties and Phase Behavior of Crosslinked Networks in Polymer Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Benmouna, Farida; Zemmour, Samira; Benmouna, Mustapha

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Structural properties and phase behavior of crosslinked networks embedded in polymer solutions are theoretically investigated. The partial structure factor of the network is calculated using a matrix formulation of the random phase approximation and the forward scattering limit is correlated with the phase behavior. Swelling and deswelling processes are analyzed in terms of the polymer concentration, the mismatch of solvent quality with respect to polymer and network, the polymers incompatibility and their characteristic sizes. Most studies reported so far in the literature have focussed on the swelling of crosslinked networks and gels in pure solvents but the correlation of the structural properties with the phase behavior in the presence of high molecular weight polymers in solution has not been given sufficient attention. The present work is intended to fill this gap in view of the current efforts to develop novel drug encapsulating and targeted delivery devices. PMID:27134310

  8. Structural Properties and Phase Behavior of Crosslinked Networks in Polymer Solutions.

    PubMed

    Benmouna, Farida; Zemmour, Samira; Benmouna, Mustapha

    2016-03-03

    Structural properties and phase behavior of crosslinked networks embedded in polymer solutions are theoretically investigated. The partial structure factor of the network is calculated using a matrix formulation of the random phase approximation and the forward scattering limit is correlated with the phase behavior. Swelling and deswelling processes are analyzed in terms of the polymer concentration, the mismatch of solvent quality with respect to polymer and network, the polymers incompatibility and their characteristic sizes. Most studies reported so far in the literature have focussed on the swelling of crosslinked networks and gels in pure solvents but the correlation of the structural properties with the phase behavior in the presence of high molecular weight polymers in solution has not been given sufficient attention. The present work is intended to fill this gap in view of the current efforts to develop novel drug encapsulating and targeted delivery devices.

  9. Dynamic structure factor of a stiff polymer in a glassy solution.

    PubMed

    Glaser, J; Hallatschek, O; Kroy, K

    2008-01-01

    We provide a comprehensive overview of the current theoretical understanding of the dynamic structure factor of stiff polymers in semidilute solution based on the wormlike chain (WLC) model. We extend previous work by computing exact numerical coefficients and an expression for the dynamic mean square displacement (MSD) of a free polymer and compare various common approximations for the hydrodynamic interactions, which need to be treated accurately if one wants to extract quantitative estimates for model parameters from experimental data. A recent controversy about the initial slope of the dynamic structure factor is thereby resolved. To account for the interactions of the polymer with a surrounding (sticky) polymer solution, we analyze an extension of the WLC model, the glassy wormlike chain (GWLC), which predicts near power law and logarithmic long-time tails in the dynamic structure factor.

  10. Solution of quadratic matrix equations for free vibration analysis of structures.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gupta, K. K.

    1973-01-01

    An efficient digital computer procedure and the related numerical algorithm are presented herein for the solution of quadratic matrix equations associated with free vibration analysis of structures. Such a procedure enables accurate and economical analysis of natural frequencies and associated modes of discretized structures. The numerically stable algorithm is based on the Sturm sequence method, which fully exploits the banded form of associated stiffness and mass matrices. The related computer program written in FORTRAN V for the JPL UNIVAC 1108 computer proves to be substantially more accurate and economical than other existing procedures of such analysis. Numerical examples are presented for two structures - a cantilever beam and a semicircular arch.

  11. Automating crystallographic structure solution and refinement of protein–ligand complexes

    PubMed Central

    Echols, Nathaniel; Moriarty, Nigel W.; Klei, Herbert E.; Afonine, Pavel V.; Bunkóczi, Gábor; Headd, Jeffrey J.; McCoy, Airlie J.; Oeffner, Robert D.; Read, Randy J.; Terwilliger, Thomas C.; Adams, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    High-throughput drug-discovery and mechanistic studies often require the determination of multiple related crystal structures that only differ in the bound ligands, point mutations in the protein sequence and minor conformational changes. If performed manually, solution and refinement requires extensive repetition of the same tasks for each structure. To accelerate this process and minimize manual effort, a pipeline encompassing all stages of ligand building and refinement, starting from integrated and scaled diffraction intensities, has been implemented in Phenix. The resulting system is able to successfully solve and refine large collections of structures in parallel without extensive user intervention prior to the final stages of model completion and validation. PMID:24419387

  12. [Conformation of trypsin molecules in aqueous solutions containing 2-chloroethanol].

    PubMed

    Kushner, V P

    1980-01-01

    Changes in the macromolecular parameters of trypsin in the presence of 2-chloroethanol in aqueous solutions have been studied by means of optical and hydrodynamic methods. At temperature--dependent volume fraction of 2-chloroethanol in solution upsilon t < 0.30 the globular structure of trypsin is destroyed but the regularity of polypeptide chains within the limits of secondary structure is maintained. At 0.30 < upsilon < 0.80 the solvation envelope of macromolecules is kept constant mainly owing to hydration, but the solubilization takes place only at upsilon < 0.30. At upsilon < 0.80 spiralization sharply increases and reaches in pure 2-chloroethanol its maximum value (50%). The intrinsic viscosity moreover reaches only half the whole value [eta]coil--[eta]glob.

  13. Structure and intermolecular interactions in selected binary solutions studied by X-ray methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drozdowski, Henryk; Romaniuk, Anna; Błaszczak, Zdzisław

    2013-12-01

    The results of X-ray structural studies of liquid chloroanisole C6H4OCH3Cl and 10% solutions of chloroanisole in 1,4-dimethylbenzene C8H10 are presented. It is the first paper on an X-ray diffraction study of the liquid solutions of chloroanisole. The X-ray measurements were made at 293 K for the scattering angle range 2Θ varying from 6° to 120°. Averaged scattered X-ray angular distributions I¯(S) were determined. The angular distributions of the intensity of X-ray scattered by 10% solutions of chloroanisole in 1,4-dimethylbenzene were compared to the angular distributions obtained for liquid ortho-, meta- and para-chloroanisole. The differential radial distribution functions of electron density 4πr∑j,knK[ρk(r)-ρ0] were numerically found using the Fourier analysis from a modified Warren, Krutter and Morningstar equation. To the maxima of DRDFs, interatomic and intermolecular distances were assigned. The use of short-wave radiation from an X-ray tube with a molybdenum anode permitted determination of the spheres of intermolecular ordering in the studied liquids and their solutions. The experimental results were used to plot models of the most highly probable mutual disposition of the molecules in liquid chloroanisole and their solutions. The benzene rings of two molecules are situated in parallel plane what results in antiparallel setting of the dipole moments of the chloroanisole molecules. X-ray structural analysis was applied to determine the packing coefficients of chloroanisole molecules. The results obtained in this paper confirm the specific structural properties of the solutions studied.

  14. Structural properties and adsorption capacity of holocellulose aerogels synthesized from an alkali hydroxide-urea solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwon, Gu-Joong; Kim, Dae-Young; Hwang, Jae-Hyun; Kang, Joo-Hyon

    2014-05-01

    A tulip tree was used to synthesize a holocellulose aerogel from an aqueous alkali hydroxide-urea solution with the substitution of an organic solvent followed by freeze-drying. For comparison, the synthesized holocellulose aerogels were divided into two groups according to the source of the hydrogel, an upper suspended layer and a bottom concentrated layer of the centrifuged solution of cellulose and NaOH/urea solvents. We investigated the effects of the temperature of the pre-cooled NaOH/urea solution ( i.e., dissolution temperature) on the pore structure and the adsorption capacity of the holocellulose aerogel. A nano-fibrillar network structure of the holocellulose aerogel was observed, with little morphological difference in pore structure for different dissolution temperatures. Both micropores and mesopores were observed in the holocellulose aerogel. The specific surface area of the holocellulose aerogel was generally greater at lower dissolution temperatures. In a series of adsorption tests using methylene blue, the holocellulose aerogel showed the greatest adsorption capacity at the lowest dissolution temperature tested (-2°C). However, the dissolution temperature generally had little effect on the adsorption capacity. The holocellulose aerogel produced from the upper suspended layer of the centrifuged hydrogel solution showed a greater porosity and adsorption capacity than the one produced from the bottom concentrated layer. Overall, the aerogel made by utilizing a delignified tulip tree display a high surface area and a high adsorption property, indicating its possible application in eco-friendly adsorption materials.

  15. Effect of different alkaline solutions on crystalline structure of cellulose at different temperatures.

    PubMed

    Keshk, Sherif M A S

    2015-01-22

    Effect of alkaline solutions such as 10% NaOH, NaOH/urea and NaOH/ethylene glycol solutions on crystalline structure of different cellulosic fibers (cotton linter and filter paper) was investigated at room temperature and -4°C. The highest dissolution of cotton linter and filter paper was observed in NaOH/ethylene glycol at both temperatures. X-ray patterns of treated cotton linter with different alkaline solutions at low temperature showed only two diffractions at 2θ=12.5° and 21.0°, which belonged to the crystalline structure of cellulose II. CP/MAS (13)C NMR spectra showed the doublet peaks at 89.2 ppm and 88.3 ppm representing C4 resonance for cellulose I at room temperature, Whereas, at low temperature the doublet peaks were observed at 89.2 ppm and 87.8 ppm representing C4 resonance for cellulose II. Degree of polymerization of cellulose plays an important role in cellulose dissolution in different alkaline solutions and temperatures, where, a low temperature gives high dissolutions percentage with change in crystalline structure from cellulose I to cellulose II forms.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Macromolecular semi-rigid nanocavities for cooperative recognition of specific large molecular shapes.

    PubMed

    Imaoka, Takane; Kawana, Yuki; Kurokawa, Takuto; Yamamoto, Kimihisa

    2013-01-01

    Molecular shape recognition for larger guest molecules (typically over 1 nm) is a difficult task because it requires cooperativity within a wide three-dimensional nanospace coincidentally probing every molecular aspect (size, outline shape, flexibility and specific groups). Although the intelligent functions of proteins have fascinated many researchers, the reproduction by artificial molecules remains a significant challenge. Here we report the construction of large, well-defined cavities in macromolecular hosts. Through the use of semi-rigid dendritic phenylazomethine backbones, even subtle differences in the shapes of large guest molecules (up to ~2 nm) may be discriminated by the cooperative mechanism. A conformationally fixed complex with the best-fitting guest is supported by a three-dimensional model based on a molecular simulation. Interestingly, the simulated cavity structure also predicts catalytic selectivity by a ruthenium porphyrin centre, demonstrating the high shape persistence and wide applicability of the cavity.

  20. 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.

  1. Families of solutions to the generalized Ginzburg-Landau equation and structural transitions between them

    SciTech Connect

    Ovchinnikov, Yu. N.

    2013-09-15

    Solutions to the generalized Ginzburg-Landau equations for superconductors are obtained for a Ginzburg-Landau parameter {kappa} close to unity. The families of solutions with arbitrary number n of flux quanta in a unit cell are analyzed. It is shown that under certain conditions, a cascade of phase transitions between different structures in a magnetic field appears near T{sub c}. Algebraic equations are derived for determining the boundaries of coexistence of different phases on the (T, H{sub 0}) plane.

  2. Solution structure of peptide AG4 used to form silver nanoparticles

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Eunjung; Kim, Dae-Hee; Woo, Yoonkyung; Hur, Ho-Gil; Lim, Yoongho

    2008-11-21

    The preparation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) is of great interest due to their various biological activities, such as observed in their antimicrobial and wound healing actions. Moreover, the formation of AgNPs using silver-binding peptide has certain advantages because they can be made in aqueous solution at ambient temperature. The solution structure of the silver-binding peptide AG4 was determined using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and the site of the AG4 interaction with AgNPs was elucidated.

  3. Electrostatic Effect on the Solution Structure and Dynamics of PEDOT:PSS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leaf, Michael; Muthukumar, Murugappan

    Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonic acid) (PEDOT:PSS) is a popular material used in organic electronic devices as a conductor. It consists of PEDOT polycations complexed with PSS polyanions which are initially suspended in aqueous solution and eventually cast into a film. Various annealing and doping methods dramatically enhance PEDOT:PSS film conductivity. To understand the physical interactions at play, we explore structural and dynamic aspects of PEDOT:PSS solutions through scattering and rheology techniques. We highlight several aspects of the phase behavior of PEDOT:PSS, and the significance of electrostatic interactions.

  4. Plasticity of CYP2B Enzymes: Structural and Solution Biophysical Methods

    PubMed Central

    Wilderman, P. Ross; Halpert, James R.

    2013-01-01

    In the past three years, major advances in understanding cytochrome P450 2B (CYP2B) structure-function relationships have been made through determination of multiple ligand-bound and one ligand-free X-ray crystal structure of CYP2B4 and one ligand-bound X-ray crystal structure of CYP2B6. These structures have provided insight into the features that provide the high degree of plasticity of the enzymes. A combination of a phenylalanine cluster that allows for concerted movement of helices F through G and a conserved set of electrostatic interactions involving Arg262 facilitates movement of this region to accommodate binding of ligands of various sizes without perturbing most of the P450 fold. Integrating solution based techniques such as NMR or deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (DXMS) with computational methods including molecular docking has provided further insight into enzyme behavior upon ligand binding. In addition, extended molecular dynamics simulations have provided a link between an open and a closed conformation of ligand-free CYP2B4 found in crystal structures. Other studies revealed the utility of rational engineering in improving stability of P450s to facilitate structural studies. The solution and computational results combined with the X-ray crystal structures yield a comprehensive picture of how these enzymes adopt different conformations to bind various ligands. PMID:22208531

  5. Towards solution and refinement of organic crystal structures by fitting to the atomic pair distribution function.

    PubMed

    Prill, Dragica; Juhás, Pavol; Billinge, Simon J L; Schmidt, Martin U

    2016-01-01

    A method towards the solution and refinement of organic crystal structures by fitting to the atomic pair distribution function (PDF) is developed. Approximate lattice parameters and molecular geometry must be given as input. The molecule is generally treated as a rigid body. The positions and orientations of the molecules inside the unit cell are optimized starting from random values. The PDF is obtained from carefully measured X-ray powder diffraction data. The method resembles `real-space' methods for structure solution from powder data, but works with PDF data instead of the diffraction pattern itself. As such it may be used in situations where the organic compounds are not long-range-ordered, are poorly crystalline, or nanocrystalline. The procedure was applied to solve and refine the crystal structures of quinacridone (β phase), naphthalene and allopurinol. In the case of allopurinol it was even possible to successfully solve and refine the structure in P1 with four independent molecules. As an example of a flexible molecule, the crystal structure of paracetamol was refined using restraints for bond lengths, bond angles and selected torsion angles. In all cases, the resulting structures are in excellent agreement with structures from single-crystal data.

  6. Towards solution and refinement of organic crystal structures by fitting to the atomic pair distribution function

    DOE PAGES

    Prill, Dragica; Juhas, Pavol; Billinge, Simon J. L.; ...

    2016-01-01

    In this study, a method towards the solution and refinement of organic crystal structures by fitting to the atomic pair distribution function (PDF) is developed. Approximate lattice parameters and molecular geometry must be given as input. The molecule is generally treated as a rigid body. The positions and orientations of the molecules inside the unit cell are optimized starting from random values. The PDF is obtained from carefully measured X-ray powder diffraction data. The method resembles `real-space' methods for structure solution from powder data, but works with PDF data instead of the diffraction pattern itself. As such it may bemore » used in situations where the organic compounds are not long-range-ordered, are poorly crystalline, or nanocrystalline. The procedure was applied to solve and refine the crystal structures of quinacridone (β phase), naphthalene and allopurinol. In the case of allopurinol it was even possible to successfully solve and refine the structure in P1 with four independent molecules. As an example of a flexible molecule, the crystal structure of paracetamol was refined using restraints for bond lengths, bond angles and selected torsion angles. In all cases, the resulting structures are in excellent agreement with structures from single-crystal data.« less

  7. Towards solution and refinement of organic crystal structures by fitting to the atomic pair distribution function

    SciTech Connect

    Prill, Dragica; Juhas, Pavol; Billinge, Simon J. L.; Schmidt, Martin U.

    2016-01-01

    In this study, a method towards the solution and refinement of organic crystal structures by fitting to the atomic pair distribution function (PDF) is developed. Approximate lattice parameters and molecular geometry must be given as input. The molecule is generally treated as a rigid body. The positions and orientations of the molecules inside the unit cell are optimized starting from random values. The PDF is obtained from carefully measured X-ray powder diffraction data. The method resembles `real-space' methods for structure solution from powder data, but works with PDF data instead of the diffraction pattern itself. As such it may be used in situations where the organic compounds are not long-range-ordered, are poorly crystalline, or nanocrystalline. The procedure was applied to solve and refine the crystal structures of quinacridone (β phase), naphthalene and allopurinol. In the case of allopurinol it was even possible to successfully solve and refine the structure in P1 with four independent molecules. As an example of a flexible molecule, the crystal structure of paracetamol was refined using restraints for bond lengths, bond angles and selected torsion angles. In all cases, the resulting structures are in excellent agreement with structures from single-crystal data.

  8. Characterization of Physical Structure from Measurements of Sound Velocity in Aqueous Solutions of Various Saccharides and Alditols.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, David Eugene

    Little basic research has been reported on the physical structure of aqueous solutions of saccharides. Sound velocimeters can be used to study physical structure of solutions, non-destructively. The La Place relationship was used to calculate adiabatic compressibility values for solutions from experimentally determined values for sound velocity and density. Using a sound velocimeter, aqueous solutions of twelve alditols and saccharides were studied at various concentrations and temperatures. Data indicated that over most of the temperature range employed (20 to 70 C) adiabatic compressibility of the solutions was the dominant factor in defining sound velocity through and structural rigidity of solution. As concentration of solute increased, more rigid structures were formed in solution, which caused sound velocity values to increase with increasing concentrations of solute; maximum sound velocity values were obtained at progressively lower temperatures. Analysis of data for sound velocity, density and adiabatic compressibility of various solutions provided partial insight into effects of each solute molecule on structure of solutions. A furanose form in a monosaccharide contributed to a more rigid structure than did a pyranose ring when below 30C. At higher temperatures the pyranose ring provided more rigidity than did the furanose ring. Hydroxyl groups in the equatorial position generally contributed more to rigidity of structure than did OH groups in axial positions. Disaccharides contributed differences from the inherent monosaccharides. A (beta) glycosidic linkage provided more structural rigidity of solution than did a linkage. Among the alditols, mannitol and sorbitol contributed very similar characteristics to solutions. Xylitol, in solution provided less rigidity, density and sound velocity than did mannitol-sorbitol in proportion to the lower molecular weight or xylitol. From the data for velocity of sound through single sugar solutions values for

  9. Viscoelasticity of Concentrated Proteoglycan Solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meechai, Nispa; Jamieson, Alex; Blackwell, John; Carrino, David

    2001-03-01

    Proteoglycan Aggregate (PGA) is the principal macromolecular component of the energy-absorbing matrix of cartilage and tendon. Its brush-like supramolecular structure consists of highly-ionic subunits, non-covalently bound to a hyaluronate chain. We report viscoelastic behavior of concentrated solutions of PGA, purified by column fractionation to remove free subunits. At physiological ionic strength, these preparations exhibit a sol-to-gel transition when the concentration is increased above molecular overlap. The strain dependence of concentrated solutions shows a pronounced non-linearity above a critical strain, at which the storage modulus decreases suddenly, and the loss modulus exhibits a maximum. This response is similar to that observed for close-packed dispersions of soft spheres, when the applied strain is sufficient to move a sphere past its neighbors. At low and high ionic strength, the elasticity of solutions near the overlap concentration decreases. The former is interpreted as due to a decrease in intramolecular and intermolecular electrostatic repulsions, because of strong trapping of counterions within the PGA brush, the latter to salt-induced brush collapse.

  10. Structure of 2 molar NaOH in aqueous solution from neutron diffraction and empirical potential structure refinement

    SciTech Connect

    McLain, Sylvia E.; Imberti, Silvia; Soper, Alan K.; Botti, Alberto; Bruni, Fabio; Ricci, Maria Antonietta

    2006-09-01

    Neutron diffraction with isotopic substitution has been used to investigate aqueous solutions of 2M NaOH in the liquid state. The data were modeled using empirical potential structure refinement which allows for the extraction of the ion-water and water-water correlations. The data show that the ion-water radial distribution functions are in accordance with those found by previous studies on NaOH solutions and follow a trend which is dependent on the concentration of the solute. In particular, the shape of the hydroxide hydration shell is found to be concentration independent, but the number of water molecules occupying this shell increases with dilution. Additionally, the water-water correlations show that there is still a measurable effect on water structure with the addition of ions at this concentration, as the second shell in the water oxygen radial distribution function is compressed relative to the first shell. The data are also used to discuss the recent claims that the published radial distribution functions of water are unreliable, showing that data taken at different neutron sources, with different diffraction geometry and systematic errors lead to the same structural information when analyzed via a realistic modeling regime.

  11. Do Macromolecular Crowding Agents Exert Only an Excluded Volume Effect? A Protein Solvation Study.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Sanjib K; Gautam, Saurabh; Biswas, Saikat; Kundu, Jayanta; Chowdhury, Pramit K

    2015-11-05

    The effect of macromolecular crowding on protein structure and dynamics has mostly been explained on the basis of the excluded volume effect, its origin being entropic. In recent times a progressive shift in this view has been taking place with increasing emphasis on soft interactions that are enthalpic by nature. Using very low concentrations (1-10 g/L) of both synthetic (dextran- and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based) and protein (α-synuclein and myoglobin)-based crowders, we have shown that the solvation of probe molecule ANS (1-anilinonapthalene-8-sulfonate) bound to serum proteins bovine serum albumin (BSA) and human serum albumin (HSA) is significantly modulated in both a protein- and crowder-dependent fashion. Since under such conditions the effect of excluded volume is appreciably low, we propose that our observations are direct evidence of soft interactions between the macromolecular crowding agents used and the serum proteins. Moreover, our data reveal, that since at these low crowder concentrations major perturbations to the protein structure are unlikely to take place while minor perturbations might not be readily visible, protein solvation provides a unique spectral signature for capturing such local dynamics, thereby allowing one to decouple hard-sphere interactions from soft sphere ones. Furthermore, since fast fluctuations are known to play a major role in determining the functional characteristics of proteins and enzymes, our results suggest that such motions are prone to be modulated even when the cellular crowding conditions are quite relaxed. In other words, by the time the excluded volume effects come into the picture in the physiological milieu, modulations of functionally important protein motions that need a relatively lower activation energy have already taken place as a result of the aforementioned enthalpic (soft) interactions.

  12. Effects of Hydrophobic Macromolecular Crowders on Amyloid β (16–22) Aggregation

    PubMed Central

    Latshaw, David C.; Hall, Carol K.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26153709

  13. A novel class of cysteine protease inhibitors: solution structure of staphostatin A from Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Dubin, Grzegorz; Krajewski, Marcin; Popowicz, Grzegorz; Stec-Niemczyk, Justyna; Bochtler, Matthias; Potempa, Jan; Dubin, Adam; Holak, Tad A

    2003-11-25

    A series of secreted proteases are included among the virulence factors documented for Staphylococcus aureus. In light of increasing antibiotic resistance of this dangerous human pathogen, these proteases are considered as suitable targets for the development of novel therapeutic strategies. The recent discovery of staphostatins, endogenous, highly specific, staphylococcal cysteine protease inhibitors, opened a possibility for structure-based design of low molecular weight analogues. Moreover, the crystal structure of staphostatin B revealed a distinct folding pattern and an unexpected, substrate-like binding mode. The solution structure of staphostatin A reported here confirms that staphostatins constitute a novel, distinct class of cysteine protease inhibitors. In addition, the structure knowledge-based mutagenesis studies shed light on individual structural features of staphostatin A, the inhibition mechanism, and the determinants of distinct specificity of staphostatins toward their target proteases.

  14. Production of macromolecular chloramines by chlorine-transfer reactions.

    PubMed

    Bedner, Mary; MacCrehan, William A; Helz, George R

    2004-03-15

    Chlorination of treated wastewaters is undertaken to prevent dispersal of human pathogens into the environment. Except in well-nitrified effluents, the primary agents in chlorination, Cl2(g) or NaOCl(aq), are short-lived and quickly transfer oxidative chlorine to secondary agents (N-chloramines), which then participate in the disinfection process. Maturation of residual chlorine resulting from chlorine-transfer reactions is still poorly characterized. Using gel permeation and reversed-phase liquid chromatography combined with a novel, oxidant-specific detector, unanticipated trends during the maturation of residual chlorine in wastewater are identified. Within 2 min after addition of NaOCl, and continuing for several hours at least, significant amounts of oxidative chlorine are transferred to secondary agents that are moderately to strongly hydrophobic and to agents that have high relative molecular masses (Mr 1300-25000). It is hypothesized that hydrophobic stabilization of organic chloramines (RNHCl(o)) thermodynamically drives these transfers, making macromolecular chloramines the ultimate oxidative chlorine carriers. Macromolecular chloramines are expected to be sluggish oxidants, as observed in their reduction by sulfite, and are expected to be poor disinfectants. If transfer of oxidative chlorine to high Mr components occurs widely at treatment plants, then this phenomenon offers a new, physicochemical explanation for the well-known impotency of organic chloramines in wastewater disinfection.

  15. 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

  16. 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

    2016-09-08

    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 endoc