Science.gov

Sample records for molecular based approach

  1. Structure-based molecular modeling approaches to GPCR oligomerization.

    PubMed

    Kaczor, Agnieszka A; Selent, Jana; Poso, Antti

    2013-01-01

    Classical structure-based drug design techniques using G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) as targets focus nearly exclusively on binding at the orthosteric site of a single receptor. Dimerization and oligomerization of GPCRs, proposed almost 30 years ago, have, however, crucial relevance for drug design. Targeting these complexes selectively or designing small molecules that affect receptor-receptor interactions might provide new opportunities for novel drug discovery. In order to study the mechanisms and dynamics that rule GPCRs oligomerization, it is essential to understand the dynamic process of receptor-receptor association and to identify regions that are suitable for selective drug binding, which may be determined with experimental methods such as Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) or Bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) and computational sequence- and structure-based approaches. The aim of this chapter is to provide a comprehensive description of the structure-based molecular modeling methods for studying GPCR dimerization, that is, protein-protein docking, molecular dynamics, normal mode analysis, and electrostatics studies.

  2. Cryosurgery--a putative approach to molecular-based optimization.

    PubMed

    Baust, John G; Gage, Andrew A; Clarke, Dominic; Baust, John M; Van Buskirk, Robert

    2004-04-01

    Cryosurgery must be performed in a manner that produces a predictable response in an appropriate volume of tissue. In present-day clinical practice, that goal is not always achieved. Concerns with cryosurgical techniques in cancer therapy focus in part on the incidence of recurrent disease in the treated site, which is commonly approximately 20-40% in metastatic liver tumors, and prostate cancers. Whether the cause of this failure is disease-based or technique related, cryosurgery for cancer commonly needs the support of adjunctive therapy in the form of anti-cancer drugs or radiotherapy to increase the rate of cell death in the peripheral zone of the therapeutic lesion where cell survival is in balance for several days post-treatment. Recent evidence has identified a third mechanism of cell death associated with cryosurgery. This mechanism, apoptosis or gene regulated cell death, is additive with both the direct ice-related cell damage that occurs during the operative freeze-thaw intervals and coagulative necrosis that occurs over days post-treatment. In this manuscript we discuss, through a combination of literature review and new data, the combined roles of these distinct modes of cell death in a prostate and colorectal cancer. Data are presented suggesting that sub-freezing temperatures, when sequentially applied with low dose chemotherapy, may provide improved cancer cell death in the freeze zone periphery. Since the mechanism of action of most common chemotherapeutic agents is to initiate apoptosis in cancer cells, the observation that sub-freezing exposures yields a similar effect provides a possible route toward molecular-based procedural optimization to improve therapeutic outcome.

  3. Vibrational Spectra of Molecular Crystals with the Generalized Energy-Based Fragmentation Approach.

    PubMed

    Fang, Tao; Jia, Junteng; Li, Shuhua

    2016-05-05

    The generalized energy-based fragmentation (GEBF) approach for molecular crystals with periodic boundary condition (PBC) (denoted as PBC-GEBF) is extended to allow vibrational spectra of molecular crystals to be easily computed at various theory levels. Within the PBC-GEBF approach, the vibrational frequencies of a molecular crystal can be directly evaluated from molecular quantum chemistry calculations on a series of nonperiodic molecular systems. With this approach, the vibrational spectra of molecular crystals can be calculated with much reduced computational costs at various theory levels, as compared to those required by the methods based on periodic electronic structure theory. By testing the performance of the PBC-GEBF method for two molecular crystals (CO2 and imidazole), we demonstrate that the PBC-GEBF approach can reproduce the results of the methods based on periodic electronic structure theory in predicting vibrational spectra of molecular crystals. We apply the PBC-GEBF method at second-order Møller-Plesset perturbation theory (PBC-GEBF-MP2 in short) to investigate the vibrational spectra of the urea and ammonia borane crystals. Our results show that the PBC-GEBF-MP2 method can provide quite accurate descriptions for the observed vibrational spectra of the two systems under study.

  4. A Molecular Imaging Approach to Mercury Sensing Based on Hyperpolarized (129)Xe Molecular Clamp Probe.

    PubMed

    Guo, Qianni; Zeng, Qingbin; Jiang, Weiping; Zhang, Xiaoxiao; Luo, Qing; Zhang, Xu; Bouchard, Louis-S; Liu, Maili; Zhou, Xin

    2016-03-14

    Mercury pollution, in the form of mercury ions (Hg(2+)), is a major health and environmental hazard. Commonly used sensors are invasive and limited to point measurements. Fluorescence-based sensors do not provide depth resolution needed to image spatial distributions. Herein we report a novel sensor capable of yielding spatial distributions by MRI using hyperpolarized (129)Xe. A molecular clamp probe was developed consisting of dipyrrolylquinoxaline (DPQ) derivatives and twocryptophane-A cages. The DPQ derivatives act as cation receptors whereas cryptophane-A acts as a suitable host molecule for xenon. When the DPQ moiety interacts with mercury ions, the molecular clamp closes on the ion. Due to overlap of the electron clouds of the two cryptophane-A cages, the shielding effect on the encapsulated Xe becomes important. This leads to an upfield change of the chemical shift of the encapsulated Xe. This sensor exhibits good selectivity and sensitivity toward the mercury ion. This mercury-activated hyperpolarized (129)Xe-based chemosensor is a new concept method for monitoring Hg(2+) ion distributions by MRI.

  5. Nonadiabatic molecular dynamics simulation: An approach based on quantum measurement picture

    SciTech Connect

    Feng, Wei; Xu, Luting; Li, Xin-Qi; Fang, Weihai; Yan, YiJing

    2014-07-15

    Mixed-quantum-classical molecular dynamics simulation implies an effective quantum measurement on the electronic states by the classical motion of atoms. Based on this insight, we propose a quantum trajectory mean-field approach for nonadiabatic molecular dynamics simulations. The new protocol provides a natural interface between the separate quantum and classical treatments, without invoking artificial surface hopping algorithm. Moreover, it also bridges two widely adopted nonadiabatic dynamics methods, the Ehrenfest mean-field theory and the trajectory surface-hopping method. Excellent agreement with the exact results is illustrated with representative model systems, including the challenging ones for traditional methods.

  6. Luminescence-based Imaging Approaches in the Field of Interventional Molecular Imaging.

    PubMed

    van Leeuwen, Fijs W B; Hardwick, James C H; van Erkel, Arian R

    2015-07-01

    Luminescence imaging-based guidance technologies are increasingly gaining interest within surgical and radiologic disciplines. Their promise to help visualize molecular features of disease in real time and with microscopic detail is considered desirable. Integrating luminescence imaging with three-dimensional radiologic- and/or nuclear medicine-based preinterventional imaging may overcome limitations such as the limited tissue penetration of luminescence signals. At the same time, the beneficial features of luminescence imaging may be used to complement the routinely used radiologic- and nuclear medicine-based modalities. To fully exploit this integrated concept, and to relate the largely experimental luminesce-based guidance approaches into perspective with routine imaging approaches, it is essential to understand the advantages and limitations of this relatively new modality. By providing an overview of the available luminescence technologies and the various clinically evaluated exogenous luminescent tracers (fluorescent, hybrid, and theranostic tracers), this review attempts to place luminescence-based interventional molecular imaging technologies into perspective to the available radiologic- and/or nuclear medicine-based imaging technologies. At the same time, the transition from anatomic to physiologic and even molecular interventional luminescence imaging is illustrated.

  7. Generalized energy-based fragmentation approach and its applications to macromolecules and molecular aggregates.

    PubMed

    Li, Shuhua; Li, Wei; Ma, Jing

    2014-09-16

    Conspectus The generalized energy-based fragmentation (GEBF) approach provides a very simple way of approximately evaluating the ground-state energy or properties of a large system in terms of ground-state energies of various small "electrostatically embedded" subsystems, which can be calculated with any traditional ab initio quantum chemistry (X) method (X = Hartree-Fock, density functional theory, and so on). Due to its excellent parallel efficiency, the GEBF approach at the X theory level (GEBF-X) allows full quantum mechanical (QM) calculations to be accessible for systems with hundreds and even thousands of atoms on ordinary workstations. The implementation of the GEBF approach at various theoretical levels can be easily done with existing quantum chemistry programs. This Account reviews the methodology, implementation, and applications of the GEBF-X approach. This method has been successfully applied to optimize the structures of various large systems including molecular clusters, polypeptides, proteins, and foldamers. Such investigations could allow us to elucidate the origin and nature of the cooperative interaction in secondary structures of long peptides or the driving force of the self-assembly processes of aromatic oligoamides. These GEBF-based QM calculations reveal that the structures and stability of various complex systems result from a subtle balance of many types of noncovalent interactions such as hydrogen bonding and van der Waals interactions. The GEBF-based ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) method also allows the investigation of dynamic behaviors of large systems on the order of tens of picoseconds. It was demonstrated that the conformational dynamics of two model peptides predicted by GEBF-based AIMD are noticeably different from those predicted by the classical force field MD method. With the target of extending QM calculations to molecular aggregates in the condensed phase, we have implemented the GEBF-based multilayer hybrid models

  8. Nanotubule and Tour Molecule Based Molecular Electronics: Suggestion for a Hybrid Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srivastava, Deepak; Saini, Subhash (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    Recent experimental and theoretical attempts and results indicate two distinct broad pathways towards future molecular electronic devices and architectures. The first is the approach via Tour type ladder molecules and their junctions which can be fabricated with solution phase chemical approaches. Second are fullerenes or nanotubules and their junctions which may have better conductance, switching and amplifying characteristics but can not be made through well controlled and defined chemical means. A hybrid approach combining the two pathways to take advantage of the characteristics of both is suggested. Dimension and scale of such devices would be somewhere in between isolated molecule and nanotubule based devices but it maybe possible to use self-assembly towards larger functional and logicalunits.

  9. XML-based approaches for the integration of heterogeneous bio-molecular data

    PubMed Central

    Mesiti, Marco; Jiménez-Ruiz, Ernesto; Sanz, Ismael; Berlanga-Llavori, Rafael; Perlasca, Paolo; Valentini, Giorgio; Manset, David

    2009-01-01

    Background The today's public database infrastructure spans a very large collection of heterogeneous biological data, opening new opportunities for molecular biology, bio-medical and bioinformatics research, but raising also new problems for their integration and computational processing. Results In this paper we survey the most interesting and novel approaches for the representation, integration and management of different kinds of biological data by exploiting XML and the related recommendations and approaches. Moreover, we present new and interesting cutting edge approaches for the appropriate management of heterogeneous biological data represented through XML. Conclusion XML has succeeded in the integration of heterogeneous biomolecular information, and has established itself as the syntactic glue for biological data sources. Nevertheless, a large variety of XML-based data formats have been proposed, thus resulting in a difficult effective integration of bioinformatics data schemes. The adoption of a few semantic-rich standard formats is urgent to achieve a seamless integration of the current biological resources. PMID:19828083

  10. In-silico Screening using Flexible Ligand Binding Pockets: A Molecular Dynamics-based Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sivanesan, Dakshanamurthy; Rajnarayanan, Rajendram V.; Doherty, Jason; Pattabiraman, Nagarajan

    2005-04-01

    In-silico screening of flexible ligands against flexible ligand binding pockets (LBP) is an emerging approach in structure-based drug discovery. Here, we describe a molecular dynamics (MD) based docking approach to investigate the influence on the high-throughput in-silico screening of small molecules against flexible ligand binding pockets. In our approach, an ensemble of 51 energetically favorable structures of the LBP of human estrogen receptor α (hERα) were collected from 3 ns MD simulations. In-silico screening of 3500 endocrine disrupting compounds against these flexible ligand binding pockets resulted in thousands of ER-ligand complexes of which 582 compounds were unique. Detailed analysis of MD generated structures showed that only 17 of the LBP residues significantly contribute to the overall binding pocket flexibility. Using the flexible LBP conformations generated, we have identified 32 compounds that bind better to the flexible ligand-binding pockets compared to the crystal structure. These compounds, though chemically divergent, are structurally similar to the natural hormone. Our MD-based approach in conjunction with grid-based distributed computing could be applied routinely for in-silico screening of large databases against any given target.

  11. A boosting approach for adapting the sparsity of risk prediction signatures based on different molecular levels.

    PubMed

    Sariyar, Murat; Schumacher, Martin; Binder, Harald

    2014-06-01

    Risk prediction models can link high-dimensional molecular measurements, such as DNA methylation, to clinical endpoints. For biological interpretation, often a sparse fit is desirable. Different molecular aggregation levels, such as considering DNA methylation at the CpG, gene, or chromosome level, might demand different degrees of sparsity. Hence, model building and estimation techniques should be able to adapt their sparsity according to the setting. Additionally, underestimation of coefficients, which is a typical problem of sparse techniques, should also be addressed. We propose a comprehensive approach, based on a boosting technique that allows a flexible adaptation of model sparsity and addresses these problems in an integrative way. The main motivation is to have an automatic sparsity adaptation. In a simulation study, we show that this approach reduces underestimation in sparse settings and selects more adequate model sizes than the corresponding non-adaptive boosting technique in non-sparse settings. Using different aggregation levels of DNA methylation data from a study in kidney carcinoma patients, we illustrate how automatically selected values of the sparsity tuning parameter can reflect the underlying structure of the data. In addition to that, prediction performance and variable selection stability is compared to the non-adaptive boosting approach.

  12. Mass Spectrometry-based Approaches to Understand the Molecular Basis of Memory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pontes, Arthur; de Sousa, Marcelo

    2016-10-01

    The central nervous system is responsible for an array of cognitive functions such as memory, learning, language and attention. These processes tend to take place in distinct brain regions; yet, they need to be integrated to give rise to adaptive or meaningful behavior. Since cognitive processes result from underlying cellular and molecular changes, genomics and transcriptomics assays have been applied to human and animal models to understand such events. Nevertheless, genes and RNAs are not the end products of most biological functions. In order to gain further insights toward the understanding of brain processes, the field of proteomics has been of increasing importance in the past years. Advancements in liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) have enable the identification and quantification of thousand of proteins with high accuracy and sensitivity, fostering a revolution in the neurosciences. Herein, we review the molecular bases of explicit memory in the hippocampus. We outline the principles of mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics, highlighting the use of this analytical tool to study memory formation. In addition, we discuss MS-based targeted approaches as the future of protein analysis.

  13. Mass Spectrometry-Based Approaches to Understand the Molecular Basis of Memory.

    PubMed

    Pontes, Arthur H; de Sousa, Marcelo V

    2016-01-01

    The central nervous system is responsible for an array of cognitive functions such as memory, learning, language, and attention. These processes tend to take place in distinct brain regions; yet, they need to be integrated to give rise to adaptive or meaningful behavior. Since cognitive processes result from underlying cellular and molecular changes, genomics and transcriptomics assays have been applied to human and animal models to understand such events. Nevertheless, genes and RNAs are not the end products of most biological functions. In order to gain further insights toward the understanding of brain processes, the field of proteomics has been of increasing importance in the past years. Advancements in liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) have enabled the identification and quantification of thousands of proteins with high accuracy and sensitivity, fostering a revolution in the neurosciences. Herein, we review the molecular bases of explicit memory in the hippocampus. We outline the principles of mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics, highlighting the use of this analytical tool to study memory formation. In addition, we discuss MS-based targeted approaches as the future of protein analysis.

  14. Mass Spectrometry-Based Approaches to Understand the Molecular Basis of Memory

    PubMed Central

    Pontes, Arthur H.; de Sousa, Marcelo V.

    2016-01-01

    The central nervous system is responsible for an array of cognitive functions such as memory, learning, language, and attention. These processes tend to take place in distinct brain regions; yet, they need to be integrated to give rise to adaptive or meaningful behavior. Since cognitive processes result from underlying cellular and molecular changes, genomics and transcriptomics assays have been applied to human and animal models to understand such events. Nevertheless, genes and RNAs are not the end products of most biological functions. In order to gain further insights toward the understanding of brain processes, the field of proteomics has been of increasing importance in the past years. Advancements in liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) have enabled the identification and quantification of thousands of proteins with high accuracy and sensitivity, fostering a revolution in the neurosciences. Herein, we review the molecular bases of explicit memory in the hippocampus. We outline the principles of mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics, highlighting the use of this analytical tool to study memory formation. In addition, we discuss MS-based targeted approaches as the future of protein analysis. PMID:27790611

  15. Web-Based Learning Support for Experimental Design in Molecular Biology: A Top-Down Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aegerter-Wilmsen, Tinri; Hartog, Rob; Bisseling, Ton

    2003-01-01

    An important learning goal of a molecular biology curriculum is the attainment of a certain competence level in experimental design. Currently, undergraduate students are confronted with experimental approaches in textbooks, lectures and laboratory courses. However, most students do not reach a satisfactory level of competence in the designing of…

  16. Web-Based Learning Support for Experimental Design in Molecular Biology: A Top-Down Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aegerter-Wilmsen, Tinri; Hartog, Rob; Bisseling, Ton

    2003-01-01

    An important learning goal of a molecular biology curriculum is the attainment of a certain competence level in experimental design. Currently, undergraduate students are confronted with experimental approaches in textbooks, lectures and laboratory courses. However, most students do not reach a satisfactory level of competence in the designing of…

  17. Perils of paediatric anaesthesia and novel molecular approaches: An evidence-based review.

    PubMed

    Bajwa, Sukhminder Jit Singh; Anand, Smriti; Gupta, Hemant

    2015-05-01

    Evolution of anaesthesia has been largely helped by progress of evidence-based medicine. In spite of many advancements in anaesthesia techniques and availability of newer and safer drugs, much more needs to be explored scientifically for the development of anaesthesia. Over the last few years, the notion that the actions of the anaesthesiologist have only immediate or short-term consequences has largely been challenged. Evidences accumulated in the recent years have shown that anaesthesia exposure may have long-term consequences particularly in the extremes of ages. However, most of the studies conducted so far are in vitro or animal studies, the results of which have been extrapolated to humans. There have been confounding evidences linking anaesthesia exposure in the developing brain with poor neurocognitive outcome. The results of animal studies and human retrospective studies have raised concern over the potential detrimental effects of general anaesthetics on the developing brain. The purpose of this review is to highlight the long-term perils of anaesthesia in the very young and the potential of improving anaesthesia delivery with the novel molecular approaches.

  18. PCR-based approach for qualitative molecular analysis of six neurotropic pathogens.

    PubMed

    Ferese, R; Scorzolini, L; Campopiano, R; Albano, V; Griguoli, A M; Giardina, E; Scala, S; Ryskalin, L; D'Alessio, C; Zampatti, S; Fantozzi, R; Storto, M; Fornai, F; Gambardella, S

    2017-01-01

    In the last few years, polymerase chain reaction analysis is frequently required to improve the detection of pathogen infections in central nervous system as a potential cause of neurological disorders and neuropsychiatric symptoms. The goal of this paper is to set up a fast, cheap and reliable molecular approach for qualitative detection of six neurotropic pathogens. A method based on PCR has been designed and implemented to guarantee the qualitative DNA detection of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSVI/II), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), rubella virus (RUBV) and Toxoplasma gondii in the cerebrospinal fluid, where otherwise they are barely detectable. Each PCR assay was tested using dilutions of positive controls, which demonstrated a sensitivity allowing to detect up to 102 copies/ml in PCR and 10 copies/ml in real-time PCR for each pathogen. Once been set up, the protocol was applied to evaluate the cerebrospinal fluid from 100 patients with suspected infectious diseases of the central nervous system and 50 patients without any infection. The method allowed to identify 17 positive cerebrospinal fluid with polymerase chain reaction and 22 with real-time PCR (RT-PCR), respectively. Therefore, application of RT PCR allows a fast and sensitive evaluation of neurotropic DNA pathogens in the course of diagnostic routine within neurological units.

  19. Pre-examination factors affecting molecular diagnostic test results and interpretation: A case-based approach.

    PubMed

    Payne, Deborah A; Baluchova, Katarina; Peoc'h, Katell H; van Schaik, Ron H N; Chan, K C Allen; Maekawa, Masato; Mamotte, Cyril; Russomando, Graciela; Rousseau, François; Ahmad-Nejad, Parviz

    2017-04-01

    Multiple organizations produce guidance documents that provide opportunities to harmonize quality practices for diagnostic testing. The International Organization for Standardization ISO 15189 standard addresses requirements for quality in management and technical aspects of the clinical laboratory. One technical aspect addresses the complexities of the pre-examination phase prior to diagnostic testing. The Committee for Molecular Diagnostics of the International Federation for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (also known as, IFCC C-MD) conducted a survey of international molecular laboratories and determined ISO 15189 to be the most referenced guidance document. In this review, the IFCC C-MD provides case-based examples illustrating the value of select pre-examination processes as these processes relate to molecular diagnostic testing. Case-based examples in infectious disease, oncology, inherited disease and pharmacogenomics address the utility of: 1) providing information to patients and users, 2) designing requisition forms, 3) obtaining informed consent and 4) maintaining sample integrity prior to testing. The pre-examination phase requires extensive and consistent communication between the laboratory, the healthcare provider and the end user. The clinical vignettes presented in this paper illustrate the value of applying select ISO 15189 recommendations for general laboratory to the more specialized area of Molecular Diagnostics. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Modeling the relationship between body weight and energy intake: A molecular diffusion-based approach

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Body weight is at least partly controlled by the choices made by a human in response to external stimuli. Changes in body weight are mainly caused by energy intake. By analyzing the mechanisms involved in food intake, we considered that molecular diffusion plays an important role in body weight changes. We propose a model based on Fick's second law of diffusion to simulate the relationship between energy intake and body weight. Results This model was applied to food intake and body weight data recorded in humans; the model showed a good fit to the experimental data. This model was also effective in predicting future body weight. Conclusions In conclusion, this model based on molecular diffusion provides a new insight into the body weight mechanisms. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Dr. Cabral Balreira (nominated by Dr. Peter Olofsson), Prof. Yang Kuang and Dr. Chao Chen. PMID:22742862

  1. Bioaerosol sampling and detection methods based on molecular approaches: No pain no gain.

    PubMed

    Mbareche, Hamza; Brisebois, Evelyne; Veillette, Marc; Duchaine, Caroline

    2017-12-01

    Bioaerosols are among the less studied particles in the environment. The lack of standardization in sampling procedures, difficulties related to the effect of sampling processes on the integrity of microorganisms, and challenges associated with the application of environmental microbiology analyses and molecular and culture methods frighten many young scientists. Every microorganism has its own particularities and acts differently when aerosolized in various conditions. Because the air is an extremely biologically diluted environment, it is necessary to concentrate its content before any analysis is performed. Challenges faced when applying molecular methods to air samples reveal the need for a better standardization of approaches for cell and nucleic acid recovery, the choice of genetic markers, and interpretation of data. This paper presents a few of the limits and difficulties tackled when molecular methods are applied to bioaerosols, suggests some improvements by specifying the critical stages that should be considered when studying the microbial ecology of bioaerosols, and provides thoughtful insights on how to overcome the challenges encountered. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Ion Pair in Extreme Aqueous Environments, Molecular-Based and Electric Conductance Approaches

    SciTech Connect

    Chialvo, Ariel A; Gruszkiewicz, Miroslaw {Mirek} S; Simonson, J Michael {Mike}; Palmer, Donald; Cole, David R

    2009-01-01

    We determine by molecular-based simulation the density profiles of the Na+!Cl! ion-pair association constant in steam environments along three supercritical isotherms to interrogate the behavior of ion speciation in dilute aqueous solutions at extreme conditions. Moreover, we describe a new ultra-sensitive flow-through electric conductance apparatus designed to bridge the gap between the currently lowest steam-density conditions at which we are experimentally able to attain electric conductance measurements and the theoretically-reachable zero-density limit. Finally, we highlight important modeling challenges encountered near the zero-density limit and discuss ways to overcome them.

  3. On the optimal design of molecular sensing interfaces with lipid bilayer assemblies - A knowledge based approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siontorou, Christina G.

    2012-12-01

    Biosensors are analytic devices that incorporate a biochemical recognition system (biological, biologicalderived or biomimic: enzyme, antibody, DNA, receptor, etc.) in close contact with a physicochemical transducer (electrochemical, optical, piezoelectric, conductimetric, etc.) that converts the biochemical information, produced by the specific biological recognition reaction (analyte-biomolecule binding), into a chemical or physical output signal, related to the concentration of the analyte in the measuring sample. The biosensing concept is based on natural chemoreception mechanisms, which are feasible over/within/by means of a biological membrane, i.e., a structured lipid bilayer, incorporating or attached to proteinaceous moieties that regulate molecular recognition events which trigger ion flux changes (facilitated or passive) through the bilayer. The creation of functional structures that are similar to natural signal transduction systems, correlating and interrelating compatibly and successfully the physicochemical transducer with the lipid film that is self-assembled on its surface while embedding the reconstituted biological recognition system, and at the same time manage to satisfy the basic conditions for measuring device development (simplicity, easy handling, ease of fabrication) is far from trivial. The aim of the present work is to present a methodological framework for designing such molecular sensing interfaces, functioning within a knowledge-based system built on an ontological platform for supplying sub-systems options, compatibilities, and optimization parameters.

  4. Important issues facing model-based approaches to tunneling transport in molecular junctions.

    PubMed

    Bâldea, Ioan

    2015-08-21

    Extensive studies on thin films indicated a generic cubic current-voltage I-V dependence as a salient feature of charge transport by tunneling. A quick glance at I-V data for molecular junctions suggests a qualitatively similar behavior. This would render model-based studies almost irrelevant, since, whatever the model, its parameters can always be adjusted to fit symmetric (asymmetric) I-V curves characterized by two (three) expansion coefficients. Here, we systematically examine popular models based on tunneling barriers or tight-binding pictures and demonstrate that, for a quantitative description at biases of interest (V slightly higher than the transition voltage Vt), cubic expansions do not suffice. A detailed collection of analytical formulae as well as their conditions of applicability is presented to facilitate experimentalist colleagues to process and interpret their experimental data obtained by measuring currents in molecular junctions. We discuss in detail the limits of applicability of the various models and emphasize that uncritically adjusting the model parameters to experiment may be unjustified because the values deduced in this way may fall in ranges rendering a specific model invalid or incompatible to ab initio estimates. We exemplify with the benchmark case of oligophenylene-based junctions, for which the results of ab initio quantum chemical calculations are also reported. As a specific issue, we address the impact of the spatial potential profile and show that it is not notable up to biases V ≳ Vt, unlike at higher biases, where it may be responsible for negative differential resistance effects.

  5. An integrated approach of network-based systems biology, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics approach to unravel the role of existing antiviral molecules against AIDS-associated cancer.

    PubMed

    Omer, Ankur; Singh, Poonam

    2017-05-01

    A serious challenge in cancer treatment is to reposition the activity of various already known drug candidates against cancer. There is a need to rewrite and systematically analyze the detailed mechanistic aspect of cellular networks to gain insight into the novel role played by various molecules. Most Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection-associated cancers are caused by oncogenic viruses like Human Papilloma Viruses and Epstein-Bar Virus. As the onset of AIDS-associated cancers marks the severity of AIDS, there might be possible interconnections between the targets and mechanism of both the diseases. We have explored the possibility of certain antiviral compounds to act against major AIDS-associated cancers: Kaposi's Sarcoma, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, and Cervical Cancer with the help of systems pharmacology approach that includes screening for targets and molecules through the construction of a series of drug-target and drug-target-diseases network. Two molecules (Calanolide A and Chaetochromin B) and the target "HRAS" were finally screened with the help of molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation. The results provide novel antiviral molecules against HRAS target to treat AIDS defining cancers and an insight for understanding the pharmacological, therapeutic aspects of similar unexplored molecules against various cancers.

  6. Molecular Corridor Based Approach for Description of Evolution of Secondary Organic Aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Y., Sr.; Poeschl, U.; Shiraiwa, M.

    2015-12-01

    Organic aerosol is ubiquitous in the atmosphere and its major component is secondary organic aerosol (SOA). Formation and evolution of SOA is a complex process involving coupled chemical reactions and mass transport in the gas and particle phases (Shiraiwa et al., 2014). Current air quality models do not embody the full spectrum of reaction and transport processes, nor do they identify the dominant rate-limiting steps in SOA formation, resulting in the significant underprediction of observed SOA concentrations, which precludes reliable quantitative predictions of aerosols and their environmental impacts. Recently, it has been suggested that the SOA chemical evolution can be represented well by "molecular corridor" with a tight inverse correlation between molar mass and volatility of SOA oxidation products (Shiraiwa et al., 2014). Here we further analyzed the structure, molar mass and volatility of 31,000 unique organic compounds. These compounds include oxygenated organic compounds as well as nitrogen- and sulfur-containing organics such as amines, organonitrates, and organosulfates. Results show that most of those compounds fall into this two-dimensional (2-D) space, which is constrained by two boundary lines corresponding to the volatility of n -alkanes CnH2n+2 and sugar alcohols CnH2n+2On. A method to predict the volatility of nitrogen- and sulfur- containing compounds is developed based on those 31,000 organic compounds. It is shown that the volatility can be well predicted as a function of chemical composition numbers, providing a way to apply this 2-D space to organic compounds observed in real atmosphere. A comprehensive set of observation data from laboratory experiments, field campaigns and indoor measurements is mapped to the molecular corridor. This 2-D space can successfully grasp the properties of organic compounds formed in different atmospheric conditions. The molecular corridor represents a new framework in which chemical and physical properties as

  7. A combined experimental and mathematical approach for molecular-based optimization of irinotecan circadian delivery.

    PubMed

    Ballesta, Annabelle; Dulong, Sandrine; Abbara, Chadi; Cohen, Boris; Okyar, Alper; Clairambault, Jean; Levi, Francis

    2011-09-01

    Circadian timing largely modifies efficacy and toxicity of many anticancer drugs. Recent findings suggest that optimal circadian delivery patterns depend on the patient genetic background. We present here a combined experimental and mathematical approach for the design of chronomodulated administration schedules tailored to the patient molecular profile. As a proof of concept we optimized exposure of Caco-2 colon cancer cells to irinotecan (CPT11), a cytotoxic drug approved for the treatment of colorectal cancer. CPT11 was bioactivated into SN38 and its efflux was mediated by ATP-Binding-Cassette (ABC) transporters in Caco-2 cells. After cell synchronization with a serum shock defining Circadian Time (CT) 0, circadian rhythms with a period of 26 h 50 (SD 63 min) were observed in the mRNA expression of clock genes REV-ERBα, PER2, BMAL1, the drug target topoisomerase 1 (TOP1), the activation enzyme carboxylesterase 2 (CES2), the deactivation enzyme UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1, polypeptide A1 (UGT1A1), and efflux transporters ABCB1, ABCC1, ABCC2 and ABCG2. DNA-bound TOP1 protein amount in presence of CPT11, a marker of the drug PD, also displayed circadian variations. A mathematical model of CPT11 molecular pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics (PK-PD) was designed and fitted to experimental data. It predicted that CPT11 bioactivation was the main determinant of CPT11 PD circadian rhythm. We then adopted the therapeutics strategy of maximizing efficacy in non-synchronized cells, considered as cancer cells, under a constraint of maximum toxicity in synchronized cells, representing healthy ones. We considered exposure schemes in the form of an initial concentration of CPT11 given at a particular CT, over a duration ranging from 1 to 27 h. For any dose of CPT11, optimal exposure durations varied from 3h40 to 7h10. Optimal schemes started between CT2h10 and CT2h30, a time interval corresponding to 1h30 to 1h50 before the nadir of CPT11 bioactivation rhythm in healthy cells.

  8. A Combined Experimental and Mathematical Approach for Molecular-based Optimization of Irinotecan Circadian Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Ballesta, Annabelle; Dulong, Sandrine; Abbara, Chadi; Cohen, Boris; Okyar, Alper; Clairambault, Jean; Levi, Francis

    2011-01-01

    Circadian timing largely modifies efficacy and toxicity of many anticancer drugs. Recent findings suggest that optimal circadian delivery patterns depend on the patient genetic background. We present here a combined experimental and mathematical approach for the design of chronomodulated administration schedules tailored to the patient molecular profile. As a proof of concept we optimized exposure of Caco-2 colon cancer cells to irinotecan (CPT11), a cytotoxic drug approved for the treatment of colorectal cancer. CPT11 was bioactivated into SN38 and its efflux was mediated by ATP-Binding-Cassette (ABC) transporters in Caco-2 cells. After cell synchronization with a serum shock defining Circadian Time (CT) 0, circadian rhythms with a period of 26 h 50 (SD 63 min) were observed in the mRNA expression of clock genes REV-ERBα, PER2, BMAL1, the drug target topoisomerase 1 (TOP1), the activation enzyme carboxylesterase 2 (CES2), the deactivation enzyme UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1, polypeptide A1 (UGT1A1), and efflux transporters ABCB1, ABCC1, ABCC2 and ABCG2. DNA-bound TOP1 protein amount in presence of CPT11, a marker of the drug PD, also displayed circadian variations. A mathematical model of CPT11 molecular pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics (PK-PD) was designed and fitted to experimental data. It predicted that CPT11 bioactivation was the main determinant of CPT11 PD circadian rhythm. We then adopted the therapeutics strategy of maximizing efficacy in non-synchronized cells, considered as cancer cells, under a constraint of maximum toxicity in synchronized cells, representing healthy ones. We considered exposure schemes in the form of an initial concentration of CPT11 given at a particular CT, over a duration ranging from 1 to 27 h. For any dose of CPT11, optimal exposure durations varied from 3h40 to 7h10. Optimal schemes started between CT2h10 and CT2h30, a time interval corresponding to 1h30 to 1h50 before the nadir of CPT11 bioactivation rhythm in healthy cells

  9. Dealing with the Challenges of Teaching Molecular Biophysics to Biochemistry Majors through an Heuristics-Based Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castanho, Miguel A. R. B.

    2002-01-01

    The main distinction between the overlapping fields of molecular biophysics and biochemistry resides in their different approaches to the same problems. Molecular biophysics makes more use of physical techniques and focuses on quantitative data. This difference encounters two difficult pedagogical challenges when teaching molecular biophysics to…

  10. Dealing with the Challenges of Teaching Molecular Biophysics to Biochemistry Majors through an Heuristics-Based Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castanho, Miguel A. R. B.

    2002-01-01

    The main distinction between the overlapping fields of molecular biophysics and biochemistry resides in their different approaches to the same problems. Molecular biophysics makes more use of physical techniques and focuses on quantitative data. This difference encounters two difficult pedagogical challenges when teaching molecular biophysics to…

  11. Investigation of mechanical strength of 2D nanoscale structures using a molecular dynamics based computational intelligence approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garg, A.; Vijayaraghavan, V.; Wong, C. H.; Tai, K.; Singru, Pravin M.; Mahapatra, S. S.; Sangwan, K. S.

    2015-09-01

    A molecular dynamics (MD) based computational intelligence (CI) approach is proposed to investigate the Young modulus of two graphene sheets: Armchair and Zigzag. In this approach, the effect of aspect ratio, the temperature, the number of atomic planes and the vacancy defects on the Young modulus of two graphene sheets are first analyzed using the MD simulation. The data obtained using the MD simulation is then fed into the paradigm of a CI cluster comprising of genetic programming, which was specifically designed to formulate the explicit relationship of Young modulus of two graphene structures. We find that the MD-based-CI model is able to model the Young modulus of two graphene structures very well, which compiles in good agreement with that of experimental results obtained from the literature. Additionally, we also conducted sensitivity and parametric analysis and found that the number of defects has the most dominating influence on the Young modulus of two graphene structures.

  12. Fast microbubble dwell-time based ultrasonic molecular imaging approach for quantification and monitoring of angiogenesis in cancer

    PubMed Central

    Pysz, Marybeth A.; Guracar, Ismayil; Tian, Lu

    2012-01-01

    Purpose To develop and test a fast ultrasonic molecular imaging technique for quantification and monitoring of angiogenesis in cancer. Materials and methods A new software algorithm measuring the dwell time of contrast microbubbles in near real-time (henceforth, fast method) was developed and integrated in a clinical ultrasound system. In vivo quantification and monitoring of tumor angiogenesis during anti-VEGF antibody therapy was performed in human colon cancer xenografts in mice (n=20) using the new fast method following administration of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2)-targeted contrast microbubbles. Imaging results were compared with a traditional destruction/replenishment approach (henceforth, traditional method) in an intra-animal comparison. Results There was excellent correlation (R2=0.93; P<0.001) between the fast method and the traditional method in terms of VEGFR2-targeted in vivo ultrasonic molecular imaging with significantly higher (P=0.002) imaging signal in colon cancer xenografts using VEGFR2-targeted compared to control non-targeted contrast microbubbles. The new fast method was highly reproducible (ICC=0.87). Following anti-angiogenic therapy, ultrasonic molecular imaging signal decreased by an average of 41±10%, whereas imaging signal increased by an average of 54±8% in non-treated tumors over a 72-hour period. Decreased VEGFR2 expression levels following anti-VEGF therapy were confirmed on ex vivo immunofluorescent staining. Conclusions Fast ultrasonic molecular imaging based on dwell time microbubble signal measurements correlates well with the traditional measurement method, and allows reliable in vivo monitoring of anti-angiogenic therapy in human colon cancer xenografts. The improved work-flow afforded by the new quantification approach may facilitate clinical translation of ultrasonic molecular imaging. PMID:22943043

  13. Applying molecular-based approaches to classical biological control of weeds

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Modern advances in molecular techniques are only recently being incorporated into programs for the classical biological control of weeds. Molecular analyses are able to elucidate information about target weeds that is critical to improving control success, such as taxonomic clarification, evidence o...

  14. Genetic and molecular bases of yield-associated traits: a translational biology approach between rice and wheat.

    PubMed

    Valluru, Ravi; Reynolds, Matthew P; Salse, Jerome

    2014-07-01

    Transferring the knowledge bases between related species may assist in enlarging the yield potential of crop plants. Being cereals, rice and wheat share a high level of gene conservation; however, they differ at metabolic levels as a part of the environmental adaptation resulting in different yield capacities. This review focuses on the current understanding of genetic and molecular regulation of yield-associated traits in both crop species, highlights the similarities and differences and presents the putative knowledge gaps. We focus on the traits associated with phenology, photosynthesis, and assimilate partitioning and lodging resistance; the most important drivers of yield potential. Currently, there are large knowledge gaps in the genetic and molecular control of such major biological processes that can be filled in a translational biology approach in transferring genomics and genetics informations between rice and wheat.

  15. Hydration of nucleic acid bases: a Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics approach.

    PubMed

    Furmanchuk, Al'ona; Isayev, Olexandr; Shishkin, Oleg V; Gorb, Leonid; Leszczynski, Jerzy

    2010-04-14

    Comprehensive study on interactions between nucleic acid bases (NABs) and bulk water environment has been performed with use of Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics. Detailed analysis of average number, lifetimes and mobility of water molecules, orientation and 3D organization of hydrogen bond network in the first hydration shell of adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine has been carried out. Effect of hydration by bulk water environment has been compared with the data from polyhydrated complexes of NABs. During bulk water hydration the presence of mixed Hw...N/Hw...pi type of bonding is detected for imino nitrogen atoms. The formation of three hydrogen bonds to carbonyl groups reflects the significance of polarizing effects of aqueous environments. Hydration of hydrophobic sites revealed the presence of extremely weak bonding. Hydration of C6-H6 site of thymine is standing significantly apart from the hydration of other hydrophobic sites. An average coordination numbers of adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine in bulk water environment are 6.87, 8.52, 6.12 and 6.42 water molecules, correspondingly. The lifetime of water molecules in the first hydration shell varies from 1 to 3 ps. Some differences in hydration studied by CPMD (bulk water) and quantum chemical (less than 20 water molecules) methods indicate a significant effect of the second hydration shell on structure and properties of the first hydration shell for the considered compounds.

  16. Contrasting morphology with molecular data: an approach to revision of species complexes based on the example of European Phoxinus (Cyprinidae).

    PubMed

    Palandačić, Anja; Naseka, Alexander; Ramler, David; Ahnelt, Harald

    2017-08-09

    Molecular taxonomy studies and barcoding projects can provide rapid means of detecting cryptic diversity. Nevertheless, the use of molecular data for species delimitation should be undertaken with caution. Especially the single-gene approaches are linked with certain pitfalls for taxonomical inference. In the present study, recent and historical species descriptions based upon morphology were used as primary species hypotheses, which were then evaluated with molecular data (including in type and historical museum material) to form secondary species hypotheses. As an example of cryptic diversity and taxonomic controversy, the European Phoxinus phoxinus species complex was used. The results of the revision showed that of the fourteen primary species hypotheses, three were rejected, namely P. ketmaieri, P. likai, and P. apollonicus. For three species (P. strandjae, P. strymonicus, P. morella), further investigation with increased data sampling was suggested, while two primary hypotheses, P. bigerri and P. colchicus, were supported as secondary species hypotheses. Finally, six of the primary species hypotheses (P. phoxinus, P. lumaireul, P. karsticus, P. septimanae, P. marsilii and P. csikii) were well supported by mitochondrial but only limitedly corroborated by nuclear data analysis. The approach has proven useful for revision of species complexes, and the study can serve as an overview of the Phoxinus genus in Europe, as well as a solid basis for further work.

  17. Molecular Approaches to Sarcoma Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Olsen, R. J.; Tarantolo, S. R.

    2002-01-01

    Soft tissue sarcomas comprise a heterogeneous group of aggressive tumors that have a relatively poor prognosis. Although conventional therapeutic regimens can effectively cytoreduce the overall tumor mass, they fail to consistently achieve a curative outcome. Alternative gene-based approaches that counteract the underlying neoplastic process by eliminating the clonal aberrations that potentiate malignant behavior have been proposed. As compared to the accumulation of gene alterations associated with epithelial carcinomas, sarcomas are frequently characterized by the unique presence of a single chromosomal translocation in each histological subtype. Similar to the Philadelphia chromosome associated with CML, these clonal abnormalities result in the fusion of two independent unrelated genes to generate a unique chimeric protein that displays aberrant activity believed to initiate cellular transformation. Secondary gene mutations may provide an additional growth advantage that further contributes to malignant progression. The recent clinical success of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor, STI571, suggests that therapeutic approaches specifically directed against essential survival factors in sarcoma cells may be effective. This review summarizes published approaches targeting a specific molecular mechanism associated with sarcomagenesis. The strategy and significance of published translational studies in six distinct areas are presented. These include: (1) the disruption of chimeric transcription factor activity; (2) inhibition of growth stimulatory post-translational modifications; (3) restoration of tumor suppressor function; (4) interference with angiogenesis; (5) induction of apoptotic pathways; and (6) introduction of toxic gene products. The potential for improving outcomes in sarcoma patients and the conceptual obstacles to be overcome are discussed. PMID:18521343

  18. Practicing Real Science in the Laboratory: A Project-Based Approach to Teaching Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wimmers, Larry E.

    2001-01-01

    Describes a molecular biology laboratory in which students study the role of the enzyme polygalacturonase in the softening of tomatoes during ripening by developing their own hypotheses and designing their own experiments. (MM)

  19. Cancer Cachexia: Traditional Therapies and Novel Molecular Mechanism-Based Approaches to Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Kazi, Aslam; Smith, Tiffany; Crocker, Theresa; Yu, Daohai; Reich, Richard R.; Reddy, Kiran; Hastings, Sally; Exterman, Martine; Balducci, Lodovico; Dalton, Kyle; Bepler, Gerold

    2010-01-01

    Opinion statement The complex syndrome of cancer cachexia (CC) that occurs in 50% to 80% cancer patients has been identified as an independent predictor of shorter survival and increased risk of treatment failure and toxicity, contributing to the mortality and morbidity in this population. CC is a pathological state including a symptom cluster of loss of muscle (skeletal and visceral) and fat, manifested in the cardinal feature of emaciation, weakness affecting functional status, impaired immune system, and metabolic dysfunction. The most prominent feature of CC is its non-responsiveness to traditional treatment approaches; randomized clinical trials with appetite stimulants, 5-HT3 antagonists, nutrient supplementation, and Cox-2 inhibitors all have failed to demonstrate success in reversing the metabolic abnormalities seen in CC. Interventions based on a clear understanding of the mechanism of CC, using validated markers relevant to the underlying metabolic abnormalities implicated in CC are much needed. Although the etiopathogenesis of CC is poorly understood, studies have proposed that NFkB is upregulated in CC, modulating immune and inflammatory responses induce the cellular breakdown of muscle, resulting in sarcopenia. Several recent laboratory studies have shown that n-3 fatty acid may attenuate protein degradation, potentially by preventing NFkB accumulation in the nucleus, preventing the degradation of muscle proteins. However, clinical trials to date have produced mixed results potentially attributed to timing of interventions (end stage) and utilizing outcome markers such as weight which is confounded by hydration, cytotoxic therapies, and serum cytokines. We propose that selective targeting of proteasome activity with a standardized dose of omega-3-acid ethyl esters, administered to cancer patients diagnosed with early stage CC, in addition to a standard intervention with nutritionally adequate diet and appetite stimulants, will alter metabolic

  20. Screening and ranking of POPs for global half-life: QSAR approaches for prioritization based on molecular structure.

    PubMed

    Gramatica, Paola; Papa, Ester

    2007-04-15

    Persistence in the environment is an important criterion in prioritizing hazardous chemicals and in identifying new persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Degradation half-life in various compartments is among the more commonly used criteria for studying environmental persistence, but the limited availability of experimental data or reliable estimates is a serious problem. Available half-life data for degradation in air, water, sediment, and soil, for a set of 250 organic POP-type chemicals, were combined in a multivariate approach by principal component analysis to obtain a ranking of the studied organic pollutants according to their relative overall half-life. A global half-life index (GHLI) applicable for POP screening purposes is proposed. The reliability of this index was verified in comparison with multimedia model results. This global index was then modeled as a cumulative end-point using a QSAR approach based on few theoretical molecular descriptors, and a simple and robust regression model externally validated for its predictive ability was derived. The application of this model could allow a fast preliminary identification and prioritization of not yet known POPs, just from the knowledge of their molecular structure. This model can be applied a priori also in the chemical design of safer and alternative non-POP compounds.

  1. Molecular Engineering of Vector-Based Oncolytic and Imaging Approaches for Advanced Prostate Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-02-01

    same vector, each downstream of expression of reporter genes-mutant HSV1 thymidine kinase identical but independent promoters (Ray et al., 2001; Sun et...therapeutic approaches. A highly potent and prostate-specific transcriptional regulatory system (TSTA) has been utilized to restrict the expression of...our adenoviral vector specifically to prostate or prostate cancer cells. In the diagnostic approach, this TSTA system will be applied to express imaging

  2. Bridged polysilsesquioxanes: A molecular based approach for the synthesis of functional hybrid materials

    SciTech Connect

    SHEA,KENNETH J.; LOY,DOUGLAS A.

    2000-05-09

    Bridged polysilsesquioxanes (BPS) are a family of hybrid organic-inorganic materials prepared by sol-gel polymerization of molecular building blocks that contain a variable organic component and at least two trifunctional silyl groups. The resulting xerogels and aerogels have physical and mechanical properties that are strongly influenced by the organic bridging group. This talk focuses on the synthesis of functional bridged polysilsesquioxanes. Incorporation of functional groups that respond to chemical, photochemical, or thermal stimuli can provide handles for modifying bulk morphology and/or provide function. These materials can find use as ion exchange media, chromatographic stationary phases, photoresists and high capacity selective chemical absorbents.

  3. Discovery of Novel Inhibitors for Nek6 Protein through Homology Model Assisted Structure Based Virtual Screening and Molecular Docking Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasan, P.; Chella Perumal, P.; Sudha, A.

    2014-01-01

    Nek6 is a member of the NIMA (never in mitosis, gene A)-related serine/threonine kinase family that plays an important role in the initiation of mitotic cell cycle progression. This work is an attempt to emphasize the structural and functional relationship of Nek6 protein based on homology modeling and binding pocket analysis. The three-dimensional structure of Nek6 was constructed by molecular modeling studies and the best model was further assessed by PROCHECK, ProSA, and ERRAT plot in order to analyze the quality and consistency of generated model. The overall quality of computed model showed 87.4% amino acid residues under the favored region. A 3 ns molecular dynamics simulation confirmed that the structure was reliable and stable. Two lead compounds (Binding database ID: 15666, 18602) were retrieved through structure-based virtual screening and induced fit docking approaches as novel Nek6 inhibitors. Hence, we concluded that the potential compounds may act as new leads for Nek6 inhibitors designing. PMID:24587765

  4. Computational approaches for protein function prediction: a combined strategy from multiple sequence alignment to molecular docking-based virtual screening.

    PubMed

    Pierri, Ciro Leonardo; Parisi, Giovanni; Porcelli, Vito

    2010-09-01

    The functional characterization of proteins represents a daily challenge for biochemical, medical and computational sciences. Although finally proved on the bench, the function of a protein can be successfully predicted by computational approaches that drive the further experimental assays. Current methods for comparative modeling allow the construction of accurate 3D models for proteins of unknown structure, provided that a crystal structure of a homologous protein is available. Binding regions can be proposed by using binding site predictors, data inferred from homologous crystal structures, and data provided from a careful interpretation of the multiple sequence alignment of the investigated protein and its homologs. Once the location of a binding site has been proposed, chemical ligands that have a high likelihood of binding can be identified by using ligand docking and structure-based virtual screening of chemical libraries. Most docking algorithms allow building a list sorted by energy of the lowest energy docking configuration for each ligand of the library. In this review the state-of-the-art of computational approaches in 3D protein comparative modeling and in the study of protein-ligand interactions is provided. Furthermore a possible combined/concerted multistep strategy for protein function prediction, based on multiple sequence alignment, comparative modeling, binding region prediction, and structure-based virtual screening of chemical libraries, is described by using suitable examples. As practical examples, Abl-kinase molecular modeling studies, HPV-E6 protein multiple sequence alignment analysis, and some other model docking-based characterization reports are briefly described to highlight the importance of computational approaches in protein function prediction.

  5. Molecular dynamics-based approaches for enhanced sampling of long-time, large-scale conformational changes in biomolecules

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    The rugged energy landscape of biomolecules together with shortcomings of traditional molecular dynamics (MD) simulations require specialized methods for capturing large-scale, long-time configurational changes along with chemical dynamics behavior. In this report, MD-based methods for biomolecules are surveyed, involving modification of the potential, simulation protocol, or algorithm as well as global reformulations. While many of these methods are successful at probing the thermally accessible configuration space at the expense of altered kinetics, more sophisticated approaches like transition path sampling or Markov chain models are required to obtain mechanistic information, reaction pathways, and/or reaction rates. Divide-and-conquer methods for sampling and for piecing together reaction rate information are especially suitable for readily available computer cluster networks. Successful applications to biomolecules remain a challenge. PMID:20948633

  6. A platinum-based hybrid drug design approach to circumvent acquired resistance to molecular targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Yuming; Poon, Daniel C.; Fei, Rong; Lam, Amy S. M.; Au-Yeung, Steve C. F.; To, Kenneth K. W.

    2016-01-01

    Three molecular targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) were conjugated to classical platinum-based drugs with an aim to circumvent TKI resistance, predominately mediated by the emergence of secondary mutations on oncogenic kinases. The hybrids were found to maintain specificity towards the same oncogenic kinases as the original TKI. Importantly, they are remarkably less affected by TKI resistance, presumably due to their unique structure and the observed dual mechanism of anticancer activity (kinase inhibition and DNA damage). The study is also the first to report the application of a hybrid drug approach to switch TKIs from being efflux transporter substrates into non-substrates. TKIs cannot penetrate into the brain for treating metastases because of efflux transporters at the blood brain barrier. The hybrids were found to escape drug efflux and they accumulate more than the original TKI in the brain in BALB/c mice. Further development of the hybrid compounds is warranted. PMID:27150583

  7. A platinum-based hybrid drug design approach to circumvent acquired resistance to molecular targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Yuming; Poon, Daniel C.; Fei, Rong; Lam, Amy S. M.; Au-Yeung, Steve C. F.; To, Kenneth K. W.

    2016-05-01

    Three molecular targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) were conjugated to classical platinum-based drugs with an aim to circumvent TKI resistance, predominately mediated by the emergence of secondary mutations on oncogenic kinases. The hybrids were found to maintain specificity towards the same oncogenic kinases as the original TKI. Importantly, they are remarkably less affected by TKI resistance, presumably due to their unique structure and the observed dual mechanism of anticancer activity (kinase inhibition and DNA damage). The study is also the first to report the application of a hybrid drug approach to switch TKIs from being efflux transporter substrates into non-substrates. TKIs cannot penetrate into the brain for treating metastases because of efflux transporters at the blood brain barrier. The hybrids were found to escape drug efflux and they accumulate more than the original TKI in the brain in BALB/c mice. Further development of the hybrid compounds is warranted.

  8. Variational Approach to Molecular Kinetics.

    PubMed

    Nüske, Feliks; Keller, Bettina G; Pérez-Hernández, Guillermo; Mey, Antonia S J S; Noé, Frank

    2014-04-08

    The eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the molecular dynamics propagator (or transfer operator) contain the essential information about the molecular thermodynamics and kinetics. This includes the stationary distribution, the metastable states, and state-to-state transition rates. Here, we present a variational approach for computing these dominant eigenvalues and eigenvectors. This approach is analogous to the variational approach used for computing stationary states in quantum mechanics. A corresponding method of linear variation is formulated. It is shown that the matrices needed for the linear variation method are correlation matrices that can be estimated from simple MD simulations for a given basis set. The method proposed here is thus to first define a basis set able to capture the relevant conformational transitions, then compute the respective correlation matrices, and then to compute their dominant eigenvalues and eigenvectors, thus obtaining the key ingredients of the slow kinetics.

  9. A molecular-properties-based approach to understanding PDZ domain proteins and PDZ ligands

    PubMed Central

    Giallourakis, Cosmas; Cao, Zhifang; Green, Todd; Wachtel, Heather; Xie, Xiaohui; Lopez-Illasaca, Marco; Daly, Mark; Rioux, John; Xavier, Ramnik

    2006-01-01

    PDZ domain-containing proteins and their interaction partners are mutated in numerous human diseases and function in complexes regulating epithelial polarity, ion channels, cochlear hair cell development, vesicular sorting, and neuronal synaptic communication. Among several properties of a collection of documented PDZ domain–ligand interactions, we discovered embedded in a large-scale expression data set the existence of a significant level of co-regulation between PDZ domain-encoding genes and these ligands. From this observation, we show how integration of expression data, a comparative genomics catalog of 899 mammalian genes with conserved PDZ-binding motifs, phylogenetic analysis, and literature mining can be utilized to infer PDZ complexes. Using molecular studies we map novel interaction partners for the PDZ proteins DLG1 and CARD11. These results provide insight into the diverse roles of PDZ–ligand complexes in cellular signaling and provide a computational framework for the genome-wide evaluation of PDZ complexes. PMID:16825666

  10. A molecular phylogenetics-based approach for identifying recent hepatitis C virus transmission events.

    PubMed

    Olmstead, Andrea D; Joy, Jeffrey B; Montoya, Vincent; Luo, Iris; Poon, Art F Y; Jacka, Brendan; Lamoury, François; Applegate, Tanya; Montaner, Julio; Khudyakov, Yury; Grebely, Jason; Cook, Darrel; Harrigan, P Richard; Krajden, Mel

    2015-07-01

    Improved surveillance methods are needed to better understand the current hepatitis C virus (HCV) disease burden and to monitor the impact of prevention and treatment interventions on HCV transmission dynamics. Sanger sequencing (HCV NS5B, HVR1 and Core-E1-HVR1) and phylogenetics were applied to samples from individuals diagnosed with HCV in British Columbia, Canada in 2011. This included individuals with two or three sequential samples collected <1 year apart. Patristic distances between sequential samples were used to set cutoffs to identify recent transmission clusters. Factors associated with transmission clustering were analyzed using logistic regression. From 618 individuals, 646 sequences were obtained. Depending on the cutoff used, 63 (10%) to 92 (15%) unique individuals were identified within transmission clusters of predicted recent origin. Clustered individuals were more likely to be <40 years old (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) 2.12, 95% CI 1.21-3.73), infected with genotype 1a (AOR 6.60, 95% CI 1.98-41.0), and to be seroconverters with estimated infection duration of <1 year (AOR 3.13, 95% CI 1.29-7.36) or >1 year (AOR 2.19, 95% CI 1.22-3.97). Systematic application of molecular phylogenetics may be used to enhance traditional surveillance methods through identification of recent transmission clusters. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Bacterial diversity in a contaminated Alpine glacier as determined by culture-based and molecular approaches.

    PubMed

    Cappa, Fabrizio; Suciu, Nicoleta; Trevisan, Marco; Ferrari, Susanna; Puglisi, Edoardo; Cocconcelli, Pier Sandro

    2014-11-01

    Glaciers are important ecosystems, hosting bacterial communities that are adapted to cold conditions and scarcity of available nutrients. Several works focused on the composition of bacterial communities in glaciers and on the long-range atmospheric deposition of pollutants in glaciers, but it is not clear yet if ski resorts can represent a source of point pollution in near-by glaciers, and if these pollutants can influence the residing bacterial communities. To test these hypotheses, 12 samples were analyzed in Madaccio Glacier, in a 3200 ma.s.l. from two areas, one undisturbed and one close to a summer ski resort that is active since the 1930s. Chemical analyses found concentrations up to 43 ng L(-1) for PCBs and up to 168 μg L(-1) for PAHs in the contaminated area: these values are significantly higher than the ones found in undisturbed glaciers because of long-range atmospheric deposition events, and can be explained as being related to the near-by ski resort activities. Isolation of strains on rich medium plates and PCR-DGGE analyses followed by sequencing of bands allowed the identification of a bacterial community with phylogenetic patterns close to other glacier environments, with Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria the mostly abundant phyla, with Acidobacteria, Firmicutes and Cyanobacteria also represented in the culture-independent analyses. A number of isolates were identified by molecular and biochemical methods as phylogenetic related to known xenobiotic-degrading strains: glaciers subjected to chemical contamination can be important reservoirs of bacterial strains with potential applications in bioremediation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Horizontal transfer of archaeal genes into the deinococcaceae: detection by molecular and computer-based approaches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olendzenski, L.; Liu, L.; Zhaxybayeva, O.; Murphey, R.; Shin, D. G.; Gogarten, J. P.

    2000-01-01

    Members of the Deinococcaceae (e.g., Thermus, Meiothermus, Deinococcus) contain A/V-ATPases typically found in Archaea or Eukaryotes which were probably acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Two methods were used to quantify the extent to which archaeal or eukaryotic genes have been acquired by this lineage. Screening of a Meiothermus ruber library with probes made against Thermoplasma acidophilum DNA yielded a number of clones which hybridized more strongly than background. One of these contained the prolyl tRNA synthetase (RS) gene. Phylogenetic analysis shows the M. ruber and D. radiodurans prolyl RS to be more closely related to archaeal and eukaryal forms of this gene than to the typical bacterial type. Using a bioinformatics approach, putative open reading frames (ORFs) from the prerelease version of the D. radiodurans genome were screened for genes more closely related to archaeal or eukaryotic genes. Putative ORFs were searched against representative genomes from each of the three domains using automated BLAST. ORFs showing the highest matches against archaeal and eukaryotic genes were collected and ranked. Among the top-ranked hits were the A/V-ATPase catalytic and noncatalytic subunits and the prolyl RS genes. Using phylogenetic methods, ORFs were analyzed and trees assessed for evidence of horizontal gene transfer. Of the 45 genes examined, 20 showed topologies in which D. radiodurans homologues clearly group with eukaryotic or archaeal homologues, and 17 additional trees were found to show probable evidence of horizontal gene transfer. Compared to the total number of ORFs in the genome, those that can be identified as having been acquired from Archaea or Eukaryotes are relatively few (approximately 1%), suggesting that interdomain transfer is rare.

  13. Horizontal transfer of archaeal genes into the deinococcaceae: detection by molecular and computer-based approaches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olendzenski, L.; Liu, L.; Zhaxybayeva, O.; Murphey, R.; Shin, D. G.; Gogarten, J. P.

    2000-01-01

    Members of the Deinococcaceae (e.g., Thermus, Meiothermus, Deinococcus) contain A/V-ATPases typically found in Archaea or Eukaryotes which were probably acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Two methods were used to quantify the extent to which archaeal or eukaryotic genes have been acquired by this lineage. Screening of a Meiothermus ruber library with probes made against Thermoplasma acidophilum DNA yielded a number of clones which hybridized more strongly than background. One of these contained the prolyl tRNA synthetase (RS) gene. Phylogenetic analysis shows the M. ruber and D. radiodurans prolyl RS to be more closely related to archaeal and eukaryal forms of this gene than to the typical bacterial type. Using a bioinformatics approach, putative open reading frames (ORFs) from the prerelease version of the D. radiodurans genome were screened for genes more closely related to archaeal or eukaryotic genes. Putative ORFs were searched against representative genomes from each of the three domains using automated BLAST. ORFs showing the highest matches against archaeal and eukaryotic genes were collected and ranked. Among the top-ranked hits were the A/V-ATPase catalytic and noncatalytic subunits and the prolyl RS genes. Using phylogenetic methods, ORFs were analyzed and trees assessed for evidence of horizontal gene transfer. Of the 45 genes examined, 20 showed topologies in which D. radiodurans homologues clearly group with eukaryotic or archaeal homologues, and 17 additional trees were found to show probable evidence of horizontal gene transfer. Compared to the total number of ORFs in the genome, those that can be identified as having been acquired from Archaea or Eukaryotes are relatively few (approximately 1%), suggesting that interdomain transfer is rare.

  14. Molecular-based approach to the differentiation of mealybug (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) species.

    PubMed

    Beuning, L L; Murphy, P; Wu, E; Batchelor, T A; Morris, B A

    1999-04-01

    The rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of 4 mealybug species, Pseudococcus viburni (Signoret), P. longispinus (Targiono-Tozzetti), P. calceolariae (Maskell), and P. similans (Lidgett), was isolated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification, cloned, and sequenced. In this region of the genome there were numerous differences, including nucleotide substitutions, insertions, or deletions between P. viburni, P. longispinus, and P. calceolariae, whereas P. calceolariae and P. similans were very similar. Based on sequence differences between the ITS regions, we designed PCR primers that were able to differentiate the 4 mealybug species and that correlated with morphological differences found between adult females of these species. The PCR amplification by using the species-specific primers enabled the differentiation of not only adult females but also eggs, juveniles, and adult males, which was not previously possible by using conventional identification methods.

  15. Reducing the Flexibility of Type II Dehydroquinase for Inhibition: A Fragment-Based Approach and Molecular Dynamics Study.

    PubMed

    Peón, Antonio; Robles, Adrián; Blanco, Beatriz; Convertino, Marino; Thompson, Paul; Hawkins, Alastair R; Caflisch, Amedeo; González-Bello, Concepción

    2017-09-21

    A multidisciplinary approach was used to identify and optimize a quinazolinedione-based ligand that would decrease the flexibility of the substrate-covering loop (catalytic loop) of the type II dehydroquinase from Helicobacter pylori. This enzyme, which is essential for the survival of this bacterium, is involved in the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids. A computer-aided fragment-based protocol (ALTA) was first used to identify the aromatic fragments able to block the interface pocket that separates two neighboring enzyme subunits and is located at the active site entrance. Chemical modification of its non-aromatic moiety through an olefin cross-metathesis and Seebach's self-reproduction of chirality synthetic principle allowed the development of a quinazolinedione derivative that disables the catalytic loop plasticity, which is essential for the enzyme's catalytic cycle. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed that the ligand would force the catalytic loop into an inappropriate arrangement for catalysis by strong interactions with the catalytic tyrosine and by expelling the essential arginine out of the active site. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. Small-molecule interferon inducers. Toward the comprehension of the molecular determinants through ligand-based approaches.

    PubMed

    Musmuca, Ira; Simeoni, Silvia; Caroli, Antonia; Ragno, Rino

    2009-07-01

    Hepatitis C is becoming an increasingly common cause of mortality especially in the HIV-coinfected group. Due to the efficacy of interferon (IFN) based therapy in the treatment of hepatitis C, various compounds possessing IFN-inducing activity have been hitherto reported. In the present study, we describe how steric, electrostatic, hydrophobic, and hydrogen-bonding interactions might influence the biological activity of a published set of IFN inducers, using a three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship (3-D QSAR) approach. Analyses were conducted evaluating different series of compounds structurally related to 8-hydroxyadenines and 1H-imidazo[4,5-c]quinolines. A ligand-based alignment protocol in combination with the GRID/GOLPE approach was applied: 62 3-D QSAR models were derived using different GRID probes and several training sets. Performed 3-D QSAR investigations proved to be of good statistical value displaying r2, q2CV-LOO, and cross-validated SDEP values of 0.73, 0.61, 0.61 and 0.89, 0.64, 0.58 using the OH or the DRY probe, respectively. Additionally, the predictive performance was evaluated using an external test set of 20 compounds. Analyses of the resulting models led to the definition of a pharmacophore model that can be of interest to explain the observed affinities of known compounds as well as to design novel low molecular weight IFN inducers (IFNIs). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first 3-D QSAR application on IFN-inducing agents.

  17. Molecular approaches to allergen standardization.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Martin D; Briza, Peter

    2012-10-01

    Molecular approaches to allergen standardization include the development of purified natural or recombinant allergen standards whose structural and allergenic properties have been validated, in tandem with certified immunoassays for allergen measurement. Purified allergens can be used individually or incorporated into multiple allergen standards. Multicenter international collaborative studies are required to validate candidate allergen standards and immunoassays, as a prelude to being approved by regulatory agencies. Mass spectrometry is a sophisticated and powerful proteomics tool that is being developed for allergen analysis. Recent results using pollen allergens show that mass spectrometry can identify and measure specific allergens in a complex mixture and can provide precise information of the variability of natural allergen extracts. In future, the combined use of immunoassays and mass spectrometry will provide complete standardization of allergenic products. Molecular standardization will form the basis of new allergy diagnostics and therapeutics, as well as assessment of environmental exposure, and will improve the quality of treatment options for allergic patients.

  18. Molecular-based approaches to characterize coastal microbial community and their potential relation to the trophic state of Red Sea

    PubMed Central

    Ansari, Mohd Ikram; Harb, Moustapha; Jones, Burton; Hong, Pei-Ying

    2015-01-01

    Molecular-based approaches were used to characterize the coastal microbiota and to elucidate the trophic state of Red Sea. Nutrient content and enterococci numbers were monitored, and used to correlate with the abundance of microbial markers. Microbial source tracking revealed the presence of >1 human-associated Bacteroides spp. at some of the near-shore sampling sites and at a heavily frequented beach. Water samples collected from the beaches had occasional exceedances in enterococci numbers, higher total organic carbon (TOC, 1.48–2.18 mg/L) and nitrogen (TN, 0.15–0.27 mg/L) than that detected in the near-shore waters. Enterococci abundances obtained from next-generation sequencing did not correlate well with the cultured enterococci numbers. The abundance of certain genera, for example Arcobacter, Pseudomonas and unclassified Campylobacterales, was observed to exhibit slight correlation with TOC and TN. Low abundance of functional genes accounting for up to 41 copies/L of each Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Campylobacter coli were detected. Arcobacter butzleri was also detected in abundance ranging from 111 to 238 copies/L. Operational taxonomic units (OTUs) associated with cyanobacteria, Prochlorococcus, Ostreococcus spp. and Gramella were more prevalent in waters that were likely impacted by urban runoffs and recreational activities. These OTUs could potentially serve as quantifiable markers indicative of the water quality. PMID:25758166

  19. Reactive Intermediates: Molecular and MS-Based Approaches to Assess the Functional Significance of Chemical:Protein Adducts1

    PubMed Central

    Monks, Terrence J.; Lau, Serrine S.

    2014-01-01

    Biologically reactive intermediates formed as endogenous products of various metabolic processes are considered important factors in a variety of human diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders, diabetes and complications thereof, and other inflammatory-associated diseases. Chemical-induced toxicities are also frequently mediated via the bioactivation of relatively stable organic molecules to reactive electrophilic metabolites. Indeed, chemical-induced toxicities have long been known to be associated with the ability of electrophilic metabolites to react with a variety of targets within the cell, including their covalent adduction to nucleophilic residues in proteins, and nucleotides within DNA. Although we possess considerable knowledge of the various biochemical mechanisms by which chemicals undergo metabolic bioactivation, we understand far less about the processes that couple bioactivation to toxicity. Identifying specific sites within a protein that are targets for adduction can provide the initial information necessary to determine whether such adventitious post-translational modifications significantly alter either protein structure and/or function. To address this problem we have developed MS-based approaches to identify specific amino acid targets of electrophile adduction (electrophile-binding motifs), coupled with molecular modeling of such adducts, to determine the potential structural and functional consequences. Where appropriate, functional assays are subsequently conducted to assess protein function. PMID:23222993

  20. Molecular-based approaches to characterize coastal microbial community and their potential relation to the trophic state of Red Sea.

    PubMed

    Ansari, Mohd Ikram; Harb, Moustapha; Jones, Burton; Hong, Pei-Ying

    2015-03-11

    Molecular-based approaches were used to characterize the coastal microbiota and to elucidate the trophic state of Red Sea. Nutrient content and enterococci numbers were monitored, and used to correlate with the abundance of microbial markers. Microbial source tracking revealed the presence of >1 human-associated Bacteroides spp. at some of the near-shore sampling sites and at a heavily frequented beach. Water samples collected from the beaches had occasional exceedances in enterococci numbers, higher total organic carbon (TOC, 1.48-2.18 mg/L) and nitrogen (TN, 0.15-0.27 mg/L) than that detected in the near-shore waters. Enterococci abundances obtained from next-generation sequencing did not correlate well with the cultured enterococci numbers. The abundance of certain genera, for example Arcobacter, Pseudomonas and unclassified Campylobacterales, was observed to exhibit slight correlation with TOC and TN. Low abundance of functional genes accounting for up to 41 copies/L of each Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Campylobacter coli were detected. Arcobacter butzleri was also detected in abundance ranging from 111 to 238 copies/L. Operational taxonomic units (OTUs) associated with cyanobacteria, Prochlorococcus, Ostreococcus spp. and Gramella were more prevalent in waters that were likely impacted by urban runoffs and recreational activities. These OTUs could potentially serve as quantifiable markers indicative of the water quality.

  1. Molecular approaches for safer and stronger vaccines.

    PubMed

    Del Giudice, G; Rappuoli, R

    1999-11-20

    Progress in molecular biology and biotechnology is making possible the development of new vaccines or the improvement of already existing ones. Recombinant DNA technology, genetic attenuation of bacterial and viral pathogens and their use as vectors for heterologous proteins, expression of microbial antigens in transgenic edible plants, and naked nucleic acid technology represent the most popular approaches hitherto adopted. A successful biotechnological approach to the development of new and improved vaccines has been based on genetic detoxification of bacterial toxins, such as the toxin of Bordetella pertussis, the heat-labile enterotoxin of Escherichia coli, and the toxin of Vibrio cholerae. Genetically detoxified Bordetella pertussis is now included in a commercially available acellular vaccine against pertussis. Genetically detoxified Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholerae have been shown to behave as very strong and safe mucosal adjuvants and are now entering the clinical stage. These results demonstrate that a rational molecular approach to the development of safer and stronger vaccines is feasible.

  2. New quantum mechanics-based three-dimensional molecular descriptors for use in QSSR approaches: application to asymmetric catalysis.

    PubMed

    Urbano-Cuadrado, Manuel; Carbó, Jorge J; Maldonado, Ana G; Bo, Carles

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents a new protocol based on 3D molecular descriptors using QM calculations for use in CoMFA-like 3D-QSSR. The new method was developed and then applied to predict catalytic selectivity in the asymmetric alkylation of aldehydes catalyzed by Zn-aminoalcohols. The molecular descriptors are obtained straightforwardly from the electronic charge density function, rho(r), and the molecular electrostatic potential (MEP) distributions. The chemically meaningful Molecular Shape Field (MSF) descriptor that accounts for the shape properties of the catalyst is defined from rho(r). Alignment independence was achieved by computing the product of the MSF and MEP values of pairs of points over a given distance range on a molecular isosurface and then selecting the product with the highest value. The new QSSR method demonstrated good predictive ability (q2 = 0.79) when full cross-validation procedures were carried out. Accurate predictions were made for a larger data set, although some deviations occurred in the predictions for catalytic systems with low enantiodiscrimination. Analysis of this QSSR model allows for the following: (1) evaluation of the contribution of each functional group to enantioselectivity and (2) the molecular descriptors to be related to previously proposed stereochemical models for the reaction under study.

  3. Molecular approaches to Taenia asiatica.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Hyeong-Kyu; Eom, Keeseon S

    2013-02-01

    Taenia solium, T. saginata, and T. asiatica are taeniid tapeworms that cause taeniasis in humans and cysticercosis in intermediate host animals. Taeniases remain an important public health concerns in the world. Molecular diagnostic methods using PCR assays have been developed for rapid and accurate detection of human infecting taeniid tapeworms, including the use of sequence-specific DNA probes, PCR-RFLP, and multiplex PCR. More recently, DNA diagnosis using PCR based on histopathological specimens such as 10% formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded and stained sections mounted on slides has been applied to cestode infections. The mitochondrial gene sequence is believed to be a very useful molecular marker for not only studying evolutionary relationships among distantly related taxa, but also for investigating the phylo-biogeography of closely related species. The complete sequence of the human Taenia tapeworms mitochondrial genomes were determined, and its organization and structure were compared to other human-tropic Taenia tapeworms for which complete mitochondrial sequence data were available. The multiplex PCR assay with the Ta4978F, Ts5058F, Tso7421F, and Rev7915 primers will be useful for differential diagnosis, molecular characterization, and epidemiological surveys of human Taenia tapeworms.

  4. Molecular Approaches to Taenia asiatica

    PubMed Central

    Jeon, Hyeong-Kyu

    2013-01-01

    Taenia solium, T. saginata, and T. asiatica are taeniid tapeworms that cause taeniasis in humans and cysticercosis in intermediate host animals. Taeniases remain an important public health concerns in the world. Molecular diagnostic methods using PCR assays have been developed for rapid and accurate detection of human infecting taeniid tapeworms, including the use of sequence-specific DNA probes, PCR-RFLP, and multiplex PCR. More recently, DNA diagnosis using PCR based on histopathological specimens such as 10% formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded and stained sections mounted on slides has been applied to cestode infections. The mitochondrial gene sequence is believed to be a very useful molecular marker for not only studying evolutionary relationships among distantly related taxa, but also for investigating the phylo-biogeography of closely related species. The complete sequence of the human Taenia tapeworms mitochondrial genomes were determined, and its organization and structure were compared to other human-tropic Taenia tapeworms for which complete mitochondrial sequence data were available. The multiplex PCR assay with the Ta4978F, Ts5058F, Tso7421F, and Rev7915 primers will be useful for differential diagnosis, molecular characterization, and epidemiological surveys of human Taenia tapeworms. PMID:23467738

  5. Quantitative and qualitative validations of a sonication-based DNA extraction approach for PCR-based molecular biological analyses.

    PubMed

    Dai, Xiaohu; Chen, Sisi; Li, Ning; Yan, Han

    2016-05-15

    The aim of this study was to comprehensively validate the sonication-based DNA extraction method, in hope of the replacement of the so-called 'standard DNA extraction method' - the commercial kit method. Microbial cells in the digested sludge sample, containing relatively high amount of PCR-inhibitory substances, such as humic acid and protein, were applied as the experimental alternatives. The procedure involving solid/liquid separation of sludge sample and dilution of both DNA templates and inhibitors, the minimum templates for PCR-based analyses, and the in-depth understanding from the bias analysis by pyrosequencing technology were obtained and confirmed the availability of the sonication-based DNA extraction method. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Characterization of molecular association of poly(2-oxazoline)s-based micelles with various epoxides and diols via the Flory-Huggins theory: a molecular dynamics simulation approach.

    PubMed

    Chun, Byeong Jae; Lu, Jie; Weck, Marcus; Jang, Seung Soon

    2015-11-21

    The hydrolytic kinetic resolution (HKR) of epoxides has been performed in a shell-crosslinked micellar (SCM) nanoreactor consisting of amphiphilic triblock copolymers based on poly(2-oxazline)s polymer derivatives with attached Co(iii)-salens to the micelle core. To investigate the effect of the molecular interaction of reactant/product molecules with the SCM nanoreactor on the rate of HKR, we calculated the Flory-Huggins interaction parameters (χ) using the molecular dynamics simulation method. For this, the blend systems were constructed with various compositions such as 15, 45, and 70 wt% of the reactant/product molecules with respect to the polymers such as poly(2-methyl-2-oxazoline) (PMOX), poly(2-(3-butinyl)2-oxazoline) (PBOX), and poly(methyl-3-oxazol-2-yl)pentanoate with Co(iii)-salen (PSCoX). From the χ parameters, we demonstrate that the miscibility of reactants/products with polymers has a strong correlation with the experimental reaction rate of the HKR: phenyl glycidyl ether (Reac-OPh) > epoxyhexane (Reac-C4) > styrene oxide (Reac-Ph) > epichlorohydrin (Reac-Cl). To validate this finding, we also conducted the potential of mean force analysis using steered molecular dynamics simulation for the molecular displacement of Reac-Cl and Reac-OPh through PMOX and PSCoX, revealing that the free energy reduction was greater when Reac-OPh molecule enters the polymer phase compared to Reac-Cl, which agrees with the findings from the χ parameters calculations.

  7. Molecular approaches to fish vaccines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winton, J.R.

    1998-01-01

    For more than 50 years, researchers have tested a variety of killed, attenuated, and subunit preparations for control offish diseases. The earliest fish vaccines used killed preparations containing whole bacteria, viruses, or parasites and today, several bacterins have become commercially successful with more expected as improved delivery systems and adjuvants are realized. Live, attenuated vaccines have been developed by serial passage of a pathogen in culture or by using naturally occurring mutants and cross-reacting strains. These generally offer excellent protection and are cost-effective, but concerns about residual virulence or their effects on other aquatic species make them difficult candidates for licensing. In recent years, the tools of molecular biology have been applied to construction of a variety of recombinant, engineered, or subunit vaccines for fish. Among the approaches to be discussed are: attenuated strains of viruses and bacteria created by deletion of specific genes associated with virulence, in vitro synthesis of protective antigens from genes cloned into E. coli or baculovirus expression systems, chemical synthesis of peptides that represent protective epitopes, and direct immunization with DNA coding for protective antigens. Preparations representing each of these approaches have been tested in laboratory or field trials with various results and such vaccines promise to be safe and relatively inexpensive if they are able to provide protection when delivered by immersion. A significant advantage of genetically engineered vaccines is the ability to construct multivalent preparations that can protect fish against several pathogens or different strains of the same pathogen. While many of these novel vaccine strategies have been effective at stimulating specific immunity in the laboratory, more work is needed to develop better delivery systems and to overcome potential regulatory concerns.

  8. A coupled molecular and field-based approach to study microbial controls on methane flux in upland soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Judd, C. R.; von Fischer, J. C.; Fierer, N.

    2007-12-01

    Predicting the responses of ecosystems to global change depends, in part, on understanding how soil microbial communities respond to external controls. To address this question, we are studying a relatively simple biogeochemical process: methane consumption in upland (i.e., well-drained, oxic) soils. In this process, methane molecules diffuse from the atmosphere into the soil, where they are consumed by methanotrophic bacteria. Because of the simplicity of this process, we have been able to develop a reaction-diffusion model that allows us to directly quantify methanotroph activity in situ from chamber-based measures of flux and diffusivity. Moreover, because the bacteria that oxidize methane come from a phylogenetically cohesive group, we can use molecular tools to quantify the size of methanotroph community and determine its species composition. Our application of these approaches on the Shortgrass Steppe Long-Term Ecological Research (SGS LTER) site in northeastern Colorado has revealed strong temporal and spatial patterns in methane uptake rates that are driven primarily by methanotroph activity, and very little by soil diffusivity. The temporal patterns in methanotroph activity follow seasonal changes in soil temperature and water content, with sharp reductions in activity associated with hot, dry conditions. Spatial patterns in activity follow differences in soil texture, with sandier soils expressing a greater range of methanotroph activity than clay soils. Although methanotroph abundances did not vary across soil types, the phylogenetic structure of the methanotroph communities differed significantly between clay and sand soil types. In addition, we found that the majority of methanotrophs were not the usual Type I or Type II, but instead were of the JR2 and JR3 types previously found only in a dry California grassland by Horz et al. AEM (2005). Together, these observations suggest that the species composition of methanotroph communities reflects changes in

  9. A genetic study of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) in south-western Ontario. II. A PCR based approach to molecular and prenatal diagnosis using linkage.

    PubMed Central

    Rodenhiser, D I; Ainsworth, P J; Coulter-Mackie, M B; Singh, S M; Jung, J H

    1993-01-01

    Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common, autosomal dominant genetic disorder with a variety of highly variable symptoms including cutaneous manifestations (such as café au lait spots), Lisch nodules, plexiform neurofibromas, skeletal abnormalities, an increased risk for malignancy, and the development of learning disabilities. The wide clinical variability of expression of the disease phenotype and high (spontaneous) mutation rate of the NF1 gene indicate that careful clinical examination of patients and family members is necessary to provide an accurate diagnosis of the disease. Since very few NF1 mutations have been identified, and with the apparent lack of a predominant mutation in this large, highly mutable gene, molecular diagnosis of NF1 will continue to be based on haplotypes using linkage analysis. Here we report our experiences while providing a molecular diagnostic service for NF1 in the ethnically diverse region of south-western Ontario. Molecular diagnoses with at least one informative probe/enzyme combination are reported for 19 families including two families requesting prenatal diagnosis for NF1. We have augmented the classical Southern based approach to linkage analysis with the use of PCR based assays for molecular linkage. Furthermore, criteria have been established in our laboratory for executing molecular linkage based on heterozygosity values, recombination fractions, and the use of intragenic probes/markers. Images PMID:8320697

  10. Molecular modeling studies on series of Btk inhibitors using docking, structure-based 3D-QSAR and molecular dynamics simulation: a combined approach.

    PubMed

    Balasubramanian, Pavithra K; Balupuri, Anand; Cho, Seung Joo

    2016-03-01

    Bruton tyrosine kinase (Btk) is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase. It is a crucial component in BCR pathway and expressed only in hematopoietic cells except T cells and Natural killer cells. BTK is a promising target because of its involvement in signaling pathways and B cell diseases such as autoimmune disorders and lymphoma. In this work, a combined molecular modeling study of molecular docking, 3D-QSAR and molecular dynamic (MD) simulation were performed on a series of 2,5-diaminopyrimidine compounds as inhibitors targeting Btk kinase to understand the interaction and key residues involved in the inhibition. A structure based CoMFA (q (2) = 0.675, NOC = 5, r (2) = 0.961) and COMSIA (q (2) = 0.704, NOC = 6, r (2) = 0.962) models were developed from the conformation obtained by docking. The developed models were subjected to various validation techniques such as leave-five-out, external test set, bootstrapping, progressive sampling and rm (2) metrics and found to have a good predictive ability in both internal and external validation. Our docking results showed the important residues that interacts in the active site residues in inhibition of Btk kinase. Furthermore, molecular dynamics simulation was employed to study the stability of the docked conformation and to investigate the binding interactions in detail. The MD simulation analyses identified several important hydrogen bonds with Btk, including the gatekeeper residue Thr474 and Met477 at the hinge region. Hydrogen bond with active site residues Leu408 and Arg525 were also recognized. A good correlation between the MD results, docking studies and the contour map analysis are observed. This indicates that the developed models are reliable. Our results from this study can provide insights in the designing and development of more potent Btk kinase inhibitors.

  11. DNA based molecular motors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michaelis, Jens; Muschielok, Adam; Andrecka, Joanna; Kügel, Wolfgang; Moffitt, Jeffrey R.

    2009-12-01

    Most of the essential cellular processes such as polymerisation reactions, gene expression and regulation are governed by mechanical processes. Controlled mechanical investigations of these processes are therefore required in order to take our understanding of molecular biology to the next level. Single-molecule manipulation and force spectroscopy have over the last 15 years been developed into extremely powerful techniques. Applying these techniques to the investigation of proteins and DNA molecules has led to a mechanistic understanding of protein function on the level of single molecules. As examples for DNA based molecular machines we will describe single-molecule experiments on RNA polymerases as well as on the packaging of DNA into a viral capsid-a process that is driven by one of the most powerful molecular motors.

  12. A Self-Instructional Approach To the Teaching of Enzymology Involving Computer-Based Sequence Analysis and Molecular Modelling.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Attwood, Paul V.

    1997-01-01

    Describes a self-instructional assignment approach to the teaching of advanced enzymology. Presents an assignment that offers a means of teaching enzymology to students that exposes them to modern computer-based techniques of analyzing protein structure and relates structure to enzyme function. (JRH)

  13. A subtractive approach to molecular engineering of dimethoxybenzene-based redox materials for non-aqueous flow batteries

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Jinhua; Su, Liang; Kowalski, Jeffrey A; Barton, John L.; Ferrandon, Magali; Burrell, Anthony K.; Brushett, Fikile R.; Zhang, Lu

    2015-01-01

    The development of new high capacity redox active materials is key to realizing the potential of non-aqueous redox flow batteries (RFBs). In this paper, a series of substituted 1,4- dimethoxybenzenes based redox active molecules, have been developed via a subtractive design approach. Five molecules have been proposed and developed by removing or reducing the bulky substituent groups of DBBB (2,5-di-tert-butyl-1,4- bis(2-methoxyethoxy)benzene), a successful overcharge protection material for lithium-ion batteries. Of these derivatives, 2,3-dimethyl-1,4-dimethoxybenzene (23DDB) and 2,5-dimethyl-1,4-dimethoxybenzene (25DDB) are particularly promising as they demonstrate favorable electrochemical characteristics at gravimetric capacities (161 mAh/g) that approach the stability limit of chemically reversible dimethoxybenzene based structures. Diffusivity, solubility, and galvanostatic cycling results indicate that both 23DDB and 25DDB molecules have promise for non-aqueous RFBs.

  14. Determining the molecular Aharonov{endash}Bohm phase angle: A rigorous approach employing a molecular properties based adiabatic to diabatic states transformation

    SciTech Connect

    Yarkony, D.R.

    1999-01-01

    Recently there has been considerable interest, not to mention controversy, concerning a key aspect of the molecular Aharonov{endash}Bohm (MAB) effect: the construction of the phase angle, induced by geometric phase effect, whose gradient is the vector potential characteristic of MAB theory. In the past this angle was constructed from explicit knowledge of the locus of the seam of conical intersection. Here it is shown how a phase angle that satisfies the requirements of MAB theory can be determined {ital without a priori} knowledge of the locus of points of conical intersection. This approach has important implications for direct dynamics. It is a corollary of a recent analysis that showed that diagonalizing the matrix of virtually any symmetric (real-valued Hermitian) electronic property operator in the subspace of states that intersect conically generates a transformation that removes all of the singularity of the derivative coupling at a conical intersection. Key aspects of this method are illustrated by considering the dipole moment operator near a point on the 1thinsp{sup 3}A{sup {double_prime}}{endash}2thinsp{sup 3}A{sup {double_prime}} seam of conical intersection in CH{sub 2}. {copyright} {ital 1999 American Institute of Physics.}

  15. Molecular genetic approaches to understanding disease.

    PubMed Central

    Savill, J.

    1997-01-01

    Molecular genetics has greatly increased the understanding of diseases in which there is a single gene defect such as cystic fibrosis. Discovering the gene responsible and its function not only helps determine the pathogenesis of the disease but also offers a possible treatment-gene therapy. Polygenic disorders such as diabetes may soon yield their secrets to the same approach. Animal models of genetic diseases are proving useful research tools, and transgenesis has made xenografting possible. Furthermore, antisense technology allows specific inhibition of undesirably overexpressed genes such as those driving unwanted vascular cell proliferation and restenosis after angioplasty. The completion of the human genome project should make the search for "disease" gene much quicker and will increase still further the importance of these gene based approaches toward diseases. PMID:9006475

  16. Development of a molecular recognition based approach for multi-residue extraction of estrogenic endocrine disruptors from biological fluids coupled to liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry measurement.

    PubMed

    Bousoumah, Radia; Antignac, Jean Philippe; Camel, Valérie; Grimaldi, Marina; Balaguer, Patrick; Courant, Frederique; Bichon, Emmanuelle; Morvan, Marie-Line; Le Bizec, Bruno

    2015-11-01

    Multi-residue methods permitting the high-throughput and affordable simultaneous determination of an extended range of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) with reduced time and cost of analysis is of prime interest in order to characterize a whole set of bioactive compounds. Such a method based on UHPLC-MS/MS measurement and dedicated to 13 estrogenic EDCs was developed and applied to biological matrices. Two molecular recognition-based strategies, either molecular imprinted polymer (MIP) with phenolic template or estrogen receptors (ERα) immobilized on a sorbent, were assessed in terms of recovery and purification efficiency. Both approaches demonstrated their suitability to measure ultra-trace levels of estrogenic EDCs in aqueous samples. Applicability of the MIP procedure to urine and serum samples has also been demonstrated.

  17. A molecular-based approach for examining responses of eukaryotes in microcosms to contaminant-spiked estuarine sediments.

    PubMed

    Chariton, Anthony A; Ho, Kay T; Proestou, Dina; Bik, Holly; Simpson, Stuart L; Portis, Lisa M; Cantwell, Mark G; Baguley, Jeffrey G; Burgess, Robert M; Pelletier, Marguerite M; Perron, Monique; Gunsch, Claudia; Matthews, Robin A

    2014-02-01

    Ecotoxicological information for most contaminants is limited to a small number of taxa, and these are generally restricted to comparatively hardy organisms that are readily extractable from test media and easily identifiable. Advances in DNA sequencing can now provide a comprehensive view of benthic invertebrate diversity. The authors applied 454 pyrosequencing to examine the responses of benthic communities in microcosms exposed to sediments with elevated concentrations of triclosan, the endpoint being eukaryl communities that have successfully vertically migrated through the manipulated sediments. The biological communities associated with the 3 treatments (control triclosan, low triclosan [14 mg/kg], and high triclosan [180 mg/kg]) clustered into 3 groups: control/low (n = 6 controls and 4 low), moderate (n = 2 low), and high (n = 5 high). One sample was discarded as an outlier. The most pronounced change as a response to triclosan was the loss of number of metazoan operational taxonomic units (OTUs), indicative of the control/low and moderate groups, with this being most evident in the range of taxa associated with the classes Chromadorea and Bivalvia and the phylum Kinorhyncha. The authors also describe a range of other taxa that aided discrimination between the groups; compare findings with traditionally obtained meio- and macrofaunal communities obtained from the same experiment; and illustrate some of the advantages and limitations associated with both the molecular and traditional approaches. The described approach illustrates the capacity for amplicon sequencing to provide ecologically relevant information that can be used to strengthen an understanding of how sedimentary communities respond to a range of environmental stressors. © 2014 SETAC.

  18. A New Approach for Investigating the Molecular Recognition of Protein: Toward Structure-Based Drug Design Based on the 3D-RISM Theory.

    PubMed

    Kiyota, Yasuomi; Yoshida, Norio; Hirata, Fumio

    2011-11-08

    A new approach to investigate a molecular recognition process of protein is presented based on the three-dimensional reference interaction site model (3D-RISM) theory, a statistical mechanics theory of molecular liquids. Numerical procedure for solving the conventional 3D-RISM equation consists of two steps. In step 1, we solve ordinary RISM (or 1D-RISM) equations for a solvent mixture including target ligands in order to obtain the density pair correlation functions (PCF) among molecules in the solution. Then, we solve the 3D-RISM equation for a solute-solvent system to find three-dimensional density distribution functions (3D-DDF) of solvent species around a protein, using PCF obtained in the first step. A key to the success of the method was to regard a target ligand as one of "solvent" species. However, the success is limited due to a difficulty of solving the 1D-RISM equation for a solvent mixture, including large ligand molecules. In the present paper, we propose a method which eases the limitation concerning solute size in the conventional method. In this approach, we solve a solute-solute 3D-RISM equations for a protein-ligand system in which both proteins and ligands are regarded as "solutes" at infinite dilution. The 3D- and 1D-RISM equations are solved for protein-solvent and ligand-solvent systems, respectively, in order to obtain the 3D- and 1D-DDF of solvent around the solutes, which are required for solving the solute-solute 3D-RISM equation. The method is applied to two practical and noteworthy examples concerning pharmaceutical design. One is an odorant binding protein in the Drosophila melanogaster , which binds an ethanol molecule. The other is phospholipase A2, which is known as a receptor of acetylsalicylic acid or aspirin. The result indicates that the method successfully reproduces the binding mode of the ligand molecules in the binding sites measured by the experiments.

  19. Ab initio molecular orbital-configuration interaction based quantum master equation (MOQME) approach to the dynamic first hyperpolarizabilities of asymmetric π-conjugated systems

    SciTech Connect

    Kishi, Ryohei; Fujii, Hiroaki; Minami, Takuya; Shigeta, Yasuteru; Nakano, Masayoshi

    2015-01-22

    In this study, we apply the ab initio molecular orbital - configuration interaction based quantum master equation (MOQME) approach to the calculation and analysis of the dynamic first hyperpolarizabilities (β) of asymmetric π-conjugated molecules. In this approach, we construct the excited state models by the ab initio configuration interaction singles method. Then, time evolutions of system reduced density matrix ρ(t) and system polarization p(t) are calculated by the QME approach. Dynamic β in the second harmonic generation is calculated based on the nonperturbative definition of nonlinear optical susceptibility, using the frequency domain system polarization p(ω). Spatial contributions of electrons to β are analyzed based on the dynamic hyperpolarizability density map, which visualizes the second-order response of charge density oscillating with a frequency of 2ω. We apply the present method to the calculation of the dynamic β of a series of donor/acceptor substituted polyene oligomers, and then discuss the applicability of the MOQME method to the calculation and analysis of dynamic NLO properties of molecular systems.

  20. Molecular Proxy Approaches for Paleohydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freeman, K. H.; Smith, F. A.; Polissar, P.; Turich, C. H.; Pedentchouk, N.

    2004-12-01

    There is a rich assembly of isotopic and mineral indicators for paleohydrologic properties of ancient environments. Commonly employed examples include mineral abundance ratios and the isotopic signatures of minerals and macromolecular organic phases such as cellulose. Preservation of these materials can be influenced strongly by natural processes in the environment, most notably resulting in the alteration or loss of carbonate mineral isotopic signatures. In order to expand our ability to document paleoclimatic conditions in continental environments, additional tools for both aquatic and terrestrial settings are in development based on the hydrogen isotopic signatures of individual lipids from microbes, algae and vascular plants. Plant leaf waxes (long-chain n-alkanes) preserve well in soils and aquatic sediments. Deuterium signatures in ancient leaf lipids potentially record isotopic properties of ancient plant water, reflecting isotopic signatures of rainfall and soil waters as well as the level of relative humidity. We have studied grasses, trees and other plant types from both greenhouse and field localities in order to understand the relative influences of plant physiology, physiognomy,and growth conditions (humidity) on lipids as recorders of plant water isotopic signatures. Submerged aquatic algae are not directly influenced by humidity, and recent work has shown their biomarkers to be promising paleolimnological proxies. We will discuss the potential for algal compounds as recorders of waters in modern high altitude sites and for ancient paleoaltimetry applications. Recent theoretical considerations in conjunction with analyses of lipids from ancient sediments point to the limitation of the preservation of paleohydrologic signatures set by thermal maturation approaching oil-generating conditions.

  1. Microbial community analysis of a coastal hot spring in Kagoshima, Japan, using molecular- and culture-based approaches.

    PubMed

    Nishiyama, Minako; Yamamoto, Shuichi; Kurosawa, Norio

    2013-08-01

    Ibusuki hot spring is located on the coastline of Kagoshima Bay, Japan. The hot spring water is characterized by high salinity, high temperature, and neutral pH. The hot spring is covered by the sea during high tide, which leads to severe fluctuations in several environmental variables. A combination of molecular- and culture-based techniques was used to determine the bacterial and archaeal diversity of the hot spring. A total of 48 thermophilic bacterial strains were isolated from two sites (Site 1: 55.6°C; Site 2: 83.1°C) and they were categorized into six groups based on their 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity. Two groups (including 32 isolates) demonstrated low sequence similarity with published species, suggesting that they might represent novel taxa. The 148 clones from the Site 1 bacterial library included 76 operational taxonomy units (OTUs; 97% threshold), while 132 clones from the Site 2 bacterial library included 31 OTUs. Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes were frequently detected in both clone libraries. The clones were related to thermophilic, mesophilic and psychrophilic bacteria. Approximately half of the sequences in bacterial clone libraries shared <92% sequence similarity with their closest sequences in a public database, suggesting that the Ibusuki hot spring may harbor a unique and novel bacterial community. By contrast, 77 clones from the Site 2 archaeal library contained only three OTUs, most of which were affiliated with Thaumarchaeota.

  2. Using Informatics-, Bioinformatics- and Genomics-Based Approaches for the Molecular Surveillance and Detection of Biothreat Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seto, Donald

    The convergence and wealth of informatics, bioinformatics and genomics methods and associated resources allow a comprehensive and rapid approach for the surveillance and detection of bacterial and viral organisms. Coupled with the continuing race for the fastest, most cost-efficient and highest-quality DNA sequencing technology, that is, "next generation sequencing", the detection of biological threat agents by `cheaper and faster' means is possible. With the application of improved bioinformatic tools for the understanding of these genomes and for parsing unique pathogen genome signatures, along with `state-of-the-art' informatics which include faster computational methods, equipment and databases, it is feasible to apply new algorithms to biothreat agent detection. Two such methods are high-throughput DNA sequencing-based and resequencing microarray-based identification. These are illustrated and validated by two examples involving human adenoviruses, both from real-world test beds.

  3. Molecular approach to echinoderm regeneration.

    PubMed

    Thorndyke, M C; Chen, W C; Beesley, P W; Patruno, M

    2001-12-15

    Until very recently echinoderm regeneration research and indeed echinoderm research in general has suffered because of the lack of critical mass. In terms of molecular studies of regeneration, echinoderms in particular have lagged behind other groups in this respect. This is in sharp contrast to the major advances achieved with molecular and genetic techniques in the study of embryonic development in echinoderms. The aim of our studies has been to identify genes involved in the process of regeneration and in particular neural regeneration in different echinoderm species. Our survey included the asteroid Asterias rubens and provided evidence for the expression of Hox gene homologues in regenerating radial nerve cords. Present evidence suggests: 1) ArHox1 expression is maintained in intact radial nerve cord and may be upregulated during regeneration. 2) ArHox1 expression may contribute to the dedifferentiation and/or cell proliferation process during epimorphic regeneration. From the crinoid Antedon bifida, we have been successful in cloning a fragment of a BMP2/4 homologue (AnBMP2/4) and analysing its expression during arm regeneration. Here, we discuss the importance of this family of growth factors in several regulatory spheres, including maintaining the identity of pluripotent blastemal cells or as a classic skeletal morphogenic regulator. There is clearly substantial scope for future echinoderm research in the area of molecular biology and certain aspects are discussed in this review.

  4. Dictyostelium discoideum: Molecular approaches to cell biology

    SciTech Connect

    Spudich, J.A.

    1987-01-01

    The central point of this book is to present Dictyostelium as a valuable eukaryotic organism for those interested in molecular studies that require a combined biochemical, structural, and genetic approach. The book is not meant to be a comprehensive compilation of all methods involving Dictyostelium, but instead is a selective set of chapters that demonstrates the utility of the organism for molecular approaches to interesting cell biological problems.

  5. Multi-Server Approach for High-Throughput Molecular Descriptors Calculation based on Multi-Linear Algebraic Maps.

    PubMed

    García-Jacas, César R; Aguilera-Mendoza, Longendri; González-Pérez, Reisel; Marrero-Ponce, Yovani; Acevedo-Martínez, Liesner; Barigye, Stephen J; Avdeenko, Tatiana

    2015-01-01

    The present report introduces a novel module of the QuBiLS-MIDAS software for the distributed computation of the 3D Multi-Linear algebraic molecular indices. The main motivation for developing this module is to deal with the computational complexity experienced during the calculation of the descriptors over large datasets. To accomplish this task, a multi-server computing platform named T-arenal was developed, which is suited for institutions with many workstations interconnected through a local network and without resources particularly destined for computation tasks. This new system was deployed in 337 workstations and it was perfectly integrated with the QuBiLS-MIDAS software. To illustrate the usability of the T-arenal platform, performance tests over a dataset comprised of 15 000 compounds are carried out, yielding a 52 and 60 fold reduction in the sequential processing time for the 2-Linear and 3-Linear indices, respectively. Therefore, it can be stated that the T-arenal based distribution of computation tasks constitutes a suitable strategy for performing high-throughput calculations of 3D Multi-Linear descriptors over thousands of chemical structures for posterior QSAR and/or ADME-Tox studies.

  6. Prepare, Do, Review: A skills-based approach for laboratory practical classes in biochemistry and molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Arthur, Peter; Ludwig, Martha; Castelli, Joane; Kirkwood, Paul; Attwood, Paul

    2016-05-06

    A new laboratory practical system is described which is comprised of a number of laboratory practical modules, each based around a particular technique or set of techniques, related to the theory part of the course but not designed to be dependent on it. Each module comprises an online recorded pre-lab lecture, the laboratory practical itself and a post-lab session in which students make oral presentations on different aspects of the practical. Each part of the module is assessed with the aim of providing rapid feedback to staff and students. Each laboratory practical is the responsibility of a single staff member and through this "ownership," continual review and updating is promoted. Examples of changes made by staff to modules as a result of student feedback are detailed. A survey of students who had experienced both the old-style laboratory course and the new one provided evidence of increased satisfaction with the new program. The assessment of acquired shills in the new program showed that it was much more effective than the old course. © 2016 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 44:276-287, 2016.

  7. Petri net-based approach to modeling and analysis of selected aspects of the molecular regulation of angiogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Formanowicz, Dorota; Radom, Marcin; Zawierucha, Piotr; Formanowicz, Piotr

    2017-01-01

    The functioning of both normal and pathological tissues depends on an adequate supply of oxygen through the blood vessels. A process called angiogenesis, in which new endothelial cells and smooth muscles interact with each other, forming new blood vessels either from the existing ones or from a primary vascular plexus, is particularly important and interesting, due to new therapeutic possibilities it offers. This is a multi-step and very complex process, so an accurate understanding of the underlying mechanisms is a significant task, especially in recent years, with the constantly increasing amount of new data that must be taken into account. A systems approach is necessary for these studies because it is not sufficient to analyze the properties of the building blocks separately and an analysis of the whole network of interactions is essential. This approach is based on building a mathematical model of the system, while the model is expressed in the formal language of a mathematical theory. Recently, the theory of Petri nets was shown to be especially promising for the modeling and analysis of biological phenomena. This analysis, based mainly on t-invariants, has led to a particularly important finding that a direct link (close connection) exist between transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), nitric oxide (NO), and hypoxia-inducible factor 1, the molecules that play a crucial roles during angiogenesis. We have shown that TGF-β1 may participate in the inhibition of angiogenesis through the upregulation of eNOS expression, which is responsible for catalyzing NO production. The results obtained in the previous studies, concerning the effects of NO on angiogenesis, have not been conclusive, and therefore, our study may contribute to a better understanding of this phenomenon. PMID:28253310

  8. Petri net-based approach to modeling and analysis of selected aspects of the molecular regulation of angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Formanowicz, Dorota; Radom, Marcin; Zawierucha, Piotr; Formanowicz, Piotr

    2017-01-01

    The functioning of both normal and pathological tissues depends on an adequate supply of oxygen through the blood vessels. A process called angiogenesis, in which new endothelial cells and smooth muscles interact with each other, forming new blood vessels either from the existing ones or from a primary vascular plexus, is particularly important and interesting, due to new therapeutic possibilities it offers. This is a multi-step and very complex process, so an accurate understanding of the underlying mechanisms is a significant task, especially in recent years, with the constantly increasing amount of new data that must be taken into account. A systems approach is necessary for these studies because it is not sufficient to analyze the properties of the building blocks separately and an analysis of the whole network of interactions is essential. This approach is based on building a mathematical model of the system, while the model is expressed in the formal language of a mathematical theory. Recently, the theory of Petri nets was shown to be especially promising for the modeling and analysis of biological phenomena. This analysis, based mainly on t-invariants, has led to a particularly important finding that a direct link (close connection) exist between transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), nitric oxide (NO), and hypoxia-inducible factor 1, the molecules that play a crucial roles during angiogenesis. We have shown that TGF-β1 may participate in the inhibition of angiogenesis through the upregulation of eNOS expression, which is responsible for catalyzing NO production. The results obtained in the previous studies, concerning the effects of NO on angiogenesis, have not been conclusive, and therefore, our study may contribute to a better understanding of this phenomenon.

  9. Huntington Disease: Molecular Diagnostics Approach.

    PubMed

    Bastepe, Murat; Xin, Winnie

    2015-10-06

    Huntington disease (HD) is caused by expansion of a CAG trinucleotide repeat in the first exon of the Huntingtin (HTT) gene. Molecular testing of Huntington disease for diagnostic confirmation and disease prediction requires detection of the CAG repeat expansion. There are three main types of HD genetic testing: (1) diagnostic testing to confirm or rule out disease, (2) presymptomatic testing to determine whether an at-risk individual inherited the expanded allele, and (3) prenatal testing to determine whether the fetus has inherited the expanded allele. This unit includes protocols that describe the complementary use of polymerase chain reactions (PCR) and Southern blot hybridization to accurately measure the CAG trinucleotide repeat size and interpret the test results. In addition, an indirect linkage analysis that does not reveal the unwanted parental HD status in a prenatal testing will also be discussed.

  10. Molecular approach of auditory neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Silva, Magali Aparecida Orate Menezes da; Piatto, Vânia Belintani; Maniglia, Jose Victor

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in the otoferlin gene are responsible for auditory neuropathy. To investigate the prevalence of mutations in the mutations in the otoferlin gene in patients with and without auditory neuropathy. This original cross-sectional case study evaluated 16 index cases with auditory neuropathy, 13 patients with sensorineural hearing loss, and 20 normal-hearing subjects. DNA was extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes, and the mutations in the otoferlin gene sites were amplified by polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism. The 16 index cases included nine (56%) females and seven (44%) males. The 13 deaf patients comprised seven (54%) males and six (46%) females. Among the 20 normal-hearing subjects, 13 (65%) were males and seven were (35%) females. Thirteen (81%) index cases had wild-type genotype (AA) and three (19%) had the heterozygous AG genotype for IVS8-2A-G (intron 8) mutation. The 5473C-G (exon 44) mutation was found in a heterozygous state (CG) in seven (44%) index cases and nine (56%) had the wild-type allele (CC). Of these mutants, two (25%) were compound heterozygotes for the mutations found in intron 8 and exon 44. All patients with sensorineural hearing loss and normal-hearing individuals did not have mutations (100%). There are differences at the molecular level in patients with and without auditory neuropathy. Copyright © 2015 Associação Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia e Cirurgia Cérvico-Facial. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  11. Solvent-based and solvent-free characterization of low solubility and low molecular weight polyamides by mass spectrometry: a complementary approach.

    PubMed

    Barrère, Caroline; Hubert-Roux, Marie; Lange, Catherine M; Rejaibi, Majed; Kebir, Nasreddine; Désilles, Nicolas; Lecamp, Laurence; Burel, Fabrice; Loutelier-Bourhis, Corinne

    2012-06-15

    Polyamides (PA) belong to the most used classes of polymers because of their attractive chemical and mechanical properties. In order to monitor original PA design, it is essential to develop analytical methods for the characterization of these compounds that are mostly insoluble in usual solvents. A low molecular weight polyamide (PA11), synthesized with a chain limiter, has been used as a model compound and characterized by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). In the solvent-based approach, specific solvents for PA, i.e. trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) and hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP), were tested. Solvent-based sample preparation methods, dried-droplet and thin layer, were optimized through the choice of matrix and salt. Solvent-based (thin layer) and solvent-free methods were then compared for this low solubility polymer. Ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization (UHPLC/ESI)-TOF-MS analyses were then used to confirm elemental compositions through accurate mass measurement. Sodium iodide (NaI) and 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (2,5-DHB) are, respectively, the best cationizing agent and matrix. The dried-droplet sample preparation method led to inhomogeneous deposits, but the thin-layer method could overcome this problem. Moreover, the solvent-free approach was the easiest and safest sample preparation method giving equivalent results to solvent-based methods. Linear as well as cyclic oligomers were observed. Although the PA molecular weights obtained by MALDI-TOF-MS were lower than those obtained by (1)H NMR and acido-basic titration, this technique allowed us to determine the presence of cyclic and linear species, not differentiated by the other techniques. TFA was shown to induce modification of linear oligomers that permitted cyclic and linear oligomers to be clearly highlighted in spectra. Optimal sample preparation conditions were determined for the MALDI-TOF-MS analysis of PA11, a

  12. Characterization of the low-molecular-weight glutenin subunit gene family members using a PCR-based marker approach

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Low-molecular-weight glutenin subunits (LMW-GS) are a class of seed storage proteins that play a major role in the determination of the processing quality of wheat flour. The LMW-GS are encoded by multi-gene families located on the short arms of the homoeologous group 1 chromosomes, at the Glu-A3, G...

  13. Using a Molecular-Genetic Approach to Investigate Bacterial Physiology in a Continuous, Research-Based, Semester-Long Laboratory for Undergraduates †

    PubMed Central

    Ault, Jeremiah Foster; Renfro, Betsey Marie; White, Andrea Kirsten

    2011-01-01

    Designing investigative laboratory exercises that encourage critical thinking, problem solving, and independent thought for upper-division biology courses is a difficult but worthwhile task. In an effort to do so, we developed a semester-long, continuous, research-based investigative laboratory that integrates numerous genetic and molecular biology methods into the investigation of a bacterial physiological process. In this lab, students use random Tn5 transposon mutagenesis to create prodigiosin pigment mutants in the bacterium, Serratia marcescens. This is followed by phenotypic characterization, cloning, and sequencing the Tn insertion site to identify genes involved in pigment biosynthesis. During this lab, students gain ample experience performing basic lab techniques while learning about — and applying — methods for elucidating gene function. The approach to the laboratory and the outcomes are intimately integrated into the teaching of many fundamental physiological processes underlying prodigiosin production in bacteria. The result is a cohesive course that integrates the theory and application of molecular genetic techniques with the study of bacterial physiology. Assessments of student learning objectives demonstrated that students greatly improved their understanding of both physiological processes and the genetic techniques used to investigate them. In addition, students felt that this semester-long exercise provided the necessary laboratory experience they needed and desired in preparation for careers in molecular biology, microbiology, and biochemistry. PMID:23653763

  14. Characterization of low molecular weight alkoxylated polymers using long column SFC/MS and an image analysis based quantitation approach.

    PubMed

    Pinkston, J David; Marapane, Suresh B; Jordan, Glenn T; Clair, B David

    2002-10-01

    The utility of low viscosity mobile phases and long chromatographic columns for complex polymer analysis is demonstrated. We use long column supercritical fluid chromatography/mass spectrometry (SFC/MS) with electrospray ionization (ESI) to characterize a variety of complex, low molecular weight polymers. When quantitative analysis is desired, the resulting three-dimensional (time, intensity, and mass-to-charge ratio [m/z]) data are converted to images. Custom image analysis software is used to detect and integrate peaks in arbitrarily defined regions of the time-m/z map. These integrated peak volumes can be used to quantitate distinct component classes of the polymer mixtures.

  15. Effect of water on the thermo-physical properties of Reline: An experimental and molecular simulation based approach.

    PubMed

    Shah, Dhawal; Mjalli, Farouq S

    2014-11-21

    Increasing applications of ionic liquids and their analogues, namely Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs), requires further investigation into the effect of moisture content on the physico-chemical characteristics of these fluids. Although it is common practice to synthesize these fluids in a moisture-controlled environment, as moisture is generally considered to have an impact on their properties, there are no systematic studies on this. We herein examine the effects of water on Reline, a Type-III DES composed of urea and choline chloride. Experiments were performed to obtain the physical properties of aqueous Reline solution. We observed moderate changes in density, speed of sound, refractive index, and pH with increasing water fraction; however, the change in viscosity and conductivity was strong and exponential. In addition, molecular dynamics simulations were performed to analyze the intermolecular interactions of Reline and aqueous Reline solutions. The simulations primarily present the significance of urea-anion interaction to explain the low melting point of the DES. In the presence of water, the anion is preferentially hydrated as compared to urea or the cation. More interestingly, simulations help to classify the effects of water into different regimes. At low water fractions (<5%) the urea-urea interactions are enhanced, as is revealed through the hydrogen bond analysis. Beyond 25% water fractions, the components of Reline are individually hydrated and have high diffusivity, which is further reflected in the change in transport properties. The results presented herein provide valuable information on aqueous Reline solutions both in terms of experimental data and molecular insights, which in turn, we believe, might assist in developing further applications of Reline and other related DESs.

  16. Integration of ligand and structure based approaches for identification of novel MbtI inhibitors in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and molecular dynamics simulation studies.

    PubMed

    Maganti, Lakshmi; Grandhi, Pradeep; Ghoshal, Nanda

    2016-11-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an obligate pathogen of mammals and is responsible for more than two million deaths annually. The ability to acquire iron from the extracellular environment is a key determinant of pathogenicity in mycobacteria. M. tuberculosis acquires iron exclusively through the siderophores. Several lines of evidence suggest that siderophores have a critical role in bacterial growth and virulence. Hence, in the present study, we have used a combined ligand and structure-based drug design approach for identification of novel inhibitors against salicylate synthase MbtI, a unique and essential enzyme for the biosynthesis of siderophores in M. tuberculosis. We have generated the ligand based and structure based pharmacophores and validated exhaustively. From the validation results it was found that GH (Goodness of Hit) scores for the selected ligand based and structure based pharmacophore models were 0.89 and 0.97, respectively, which indicate that the quality of the pharmacophore models are acceptable as GH value is >0.7. The validated pharmacophores were used for screening the ZINC database. A total of 73 hits, obtained through various insilico screening techniques, were further enriched to 17 hits using docking studies. Molecular dynamics simulations were carried out to compare the binding mode and stability of complexes of MbtI bound with substrate, known inhibitors, and three top ranked hits. The results obtained in this study gave assurance about the identified hits as prospective inhibitors of MbtI.

  17. Low energy isomers of (H2O)25 from a hierarchical method based on Monte Carlo temperature basin paving and molecular tailoring approaches benchmarked by MP2 calculations.

    PubMed

    Sahu, Nityananda; Gadre, Shridhar R; Rakshit, Avijit; Bandyopadhyay, Pradipta; Miliordos, Evangelos; Xantheas, Sotiris S

    2014-10-28

    We report new global minimum candidate structures for the (H2O)25 cluster that are lower in energy than the ones reported previously and correspond to hydrogen bonded networks with 42 hydrogen bonds and an interior, fully coordinated water molecule. These were obtained as a result of a hierarchical approach based on initial Monte Carlo Temperature Basin Paving sampling of the cluster's Potential Energy Surface with the Effective Fragment Potential, subsequent geometry optimization using the Molecular Tailoring Approach with the fragments treated at the second order Møller-Plesset (MP2) perturbation (MTA-MP2) and final refinement of the entire cluster at the MP2 level of theory. The MTA-MP2 optimized cluster geometries, constructed from the fragments, were found to be within <0.5 kcal/mol from the minimum geometries obtained from the MP2 optimization of the entire (H2O)25 cluster. In addition, the grafting of the MTA-MP2 energies yields electronic energies that are within <0.3 kcal/mol from the MP2 energies of the entire cluster while preserving their energy rank order. Finally, the MTA-MP2 approach was found to reproduce the MP2 harmonic vibrational frequencies, constructed from the fragments, quite accurately when compared to the MP2 ones of the entire cluster in both the HOH bending and the OH stretching regions of the spectra.

  18. Low energy isomers of (H2O)25 from a hierarchical method based on Monte Carlo temperature basin paving and molecular tailoring approaches benchmarked by MP2 calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahu, Nityananda; Gadre, Shridhar R.; Rakshit, Avijit; Bandyopadhyay, Pradipta; Miliordos, Evangelos; Xantheas, Sotiris S.

    2014-10-01

    We report new global minimum candidate structures for the (H2O)25 cluster that are lower in energy than the ones reported previously and correspond to hydrogen bonded networks with 42 hydrogen bonds and an interior, fully coordinated water molecule. These were obtained as a result of a hierarchical approach based on initial Monte Carlo Temperature Basin Paving sampling of the cluster's Potential Energy Surface with the Effective Fragment Potential, subsequent geometry optimization using the Molecular Tailoring Approach with the fragments treated at the second order Møller-Plesset (MP2) perturbation (MTA-MP2) and final refinement of the entire cluster at the MP2 level of theory. The MTA-MP2 optimized cluster geometries, constructed from the fragments, were found to be within <0.5 kcal/mol from the minimum geometries obtained from the MP2 optimization of the entire (H2O)25 cluster. In addition, the grafting of the MTA-MP2 energies yields electronic energies that are within <0.3 kcal/mol from the MP2 energies of the entire cluster while preserving their energy rank order. Finally, the MTA-MP2 approach was found to reproduce the MP2 harmonic vibrational frequencies, constructed from the fragments, quite accurately when compared to the MP2 ones of the entire cluster in both the HOH bending and the OH stretching regions of the spectra.

  19. Development of 3D-QSAR Model for Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors Using a Combination of Fingerprint, Molecular Docking, and Structure-Based Pharmacophore Approaches.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sehan; Barron, Mace G

    2015-11-01

    Acetylcholinesterase (AChE), a serine hydrolase vital for regulating the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in animals, has been used as a target for drugs and pesticides. With the increasing availability of AChE crystal structures, with or without ligands bound, structure-based approaches have been successfully applied to AChE inhibitors (AChEIs). The major limitation of these approaches has been the small applicability domain due to the lack of structural diversity in the training set. In this study, we developed a 3 dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship (3D-QSAR) for inhibitory activity of 89 reversible and irreversible AChEIs including drugs and insecticides. A 3D-fingerprint descriptor encoding protein-ligand interactions was developed using molecular docking and structure-based pharmacophore to rationalize the structural requirements responsible for the activity of these compounds. The obtained 3D-QSAR model exhibited high correlation value (R(2) = 0.93) and low mean absolute error (MAE = 0.32 log units) for the training set (n = 63). The model was predictive across a range of structures as shown by the leave-one-out cross-validated correlation coefficient (Q(2) = 0.89) and external validation results (n = 26, R(2) = 0.89, and MAE = 0.38 log units). The model revealed that the compounds with high inhibition potency had proper conformation in the active site gorge and interacted with key amino acid residues, in particular Trp84 and Phe330 at the catalytic anionic site, Trp279 at the peripheral anionic site, and Gly118, Gly119, and Ala201 at the oxyanion hole. The resulting universal 3D-QSAR model provides insight into the multiple molecular interactions determining AChEI potency that may guide future chemical design and regulation of toxic AChEIs.

  20. Polypeptides Based Molecular Electronics

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-10-06

    Molecular Electronics 4 Figure 3. Dehydration synthesis reaction CHAPTER 2 Review of Literature 2.1 Peptides 2.1.1 Introduction to peptides...Peptides are biomolecules formed from the 20 naturally occurring amino acids. Figure 3 shows dehydration synthesis reaction (known as condensation

  1. Is it a primary or metastatic melanocytic neoplasm of the central nervous system?: A molecular based approach.

    PubMed

    Cornejo, Kristine M; Hutchinson, Lloyd; Cosar, Ediz F; Smith, Thomas; Tomaszewicz, Keith; Dresser, Karen; Deng, April

    2013-11-01

    Primary melanocytic neoplasms of the central nervous system (CNS) are uncommon and must be distinguished from metastatic lesions as patients with metastatic disease carry a worse prognosis. Therefore, tools to aid in the diagnosis of a primary CNS melanocytic neoplasm would be of clinical utility. Primary CNS melanocytic neoplasms, including uveal melanomas have frequent mutations in GNAQ and GNA11, but are rare in cutaneous and mucosal melanomas. Additionally, primary uveal melanomas often exhibit monosomy 3 conferring an elevated risk of metastasis. We present a 63 year-old male with a melanocytic neoplasm in the thoracic spinal cord. Molecular studies revealed the tumor contained a GNAQ mutation and four-color fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) composed of chromosome enumeration probes for 3, 7, 17 and a locus specific probe for 9p21/CDKN2A yielded a normal result (i.e. two copies per cell), favoring a primary versus metastatic melanocytic neoplasm of the CNS. We report a case in which the combination of mutational analysis and FISH aided in identifying the origin of the neoplasm. © 2013 The Authors. Pathology International © 2013 Japanese Society of Pathology and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  2. Biodiversity and biogeography of Fusarium species from northeastern North American asparagus fields based on microbiological and molecular approaches.

    PubMed

    Vujanovic, Vladimir; Hamel, Chantal; Yergeau, Etienne; St-Arnaud, Marc

    2006-02-01

    Sixteen Fusarium species were recovered from 52 asparagus commercial fields, representing all major ecological (edaphic and climatic) area of asparagus production in the province of Québec, eastern Canada. This study extends our understanding of the geographic range of these species. It also provides climatological and edaphic properties linked to community changes and adaptations. Fusarium oxysporum and F. proliferatum were omnipresent and abundant in all five ecological area under study, whereas F. redolens was less frequently found. Species of Fusarium that produce carmine red pigmentation on potato dextrose agar, i.e., F. acuminatum, F. avenaceum, etc., were common at the northern limit of asparagus production. Abundance of red Fusarium species corresponded with a low isolation frequency of F. proliferatum. Nevertheless, F. proliferatum had a high recovery rate throughout Québec asparagus growing areas, under climatic conditions as cold as those of northern Europe where this species is uncommon in asparagus fields. In the light of these results, redefinition of the geographical distribution of F. proliferatum in asparagus fields is proposed. Intraspecific molecular differences in F. proliferatum and F. oxysporum were detected in the EF-1 alpha sequences and compared with well-characterized strains of North America.

  3. Polymer Fluid Dynamics: Continuum and Molecular Approaches.

    PubMed

    Bird, R B; Giacomin, A J

    2016-06-07

    To solve problems in polymer fluid dynamics, one needs the equations of continuity, motion, and energy. The last two equations contain the stress tensor and the heat-flux vector for the material. There are two ways to formulate the stress tensor: (a) One can write a continuum expression for the stress tensor in terms of kinematic tensors, or (b) one can select a molecular model that represents the polymer molecule and then develop an expression for the stress tensor from kinetic theory. The advantage of the kinetic theory approach is that one gets information about the relation between the molecular structure of the polymers and the rheological properties. We restrict the discussion primarily to the simplest stress tensor expressions or constitutive equations containing from two to four adjustable parameters, although we do indicate how these formulations may be extended to give more complicated expressions. We also explore how these simplest expressions are recovered as special cases of a more general framework, the Oldroyd 8-constant model. Studying the simplest models allows us to discover which types of empiricisms or molecular models seem to be worth investigating further. We also explore equivalences between continuum and molecular approaches. We restrict the discussion to several types of simple flows, such as shearing flows and extensional flows, which are of greatest importance in industrial operations. Furthermore, if these simple flows cannot be well described by continuum or molecular models, then it is not necessary to lavish time and energy to apply them to more complex flow problems.

  4. Combining Select Neuropsychological Assessment With Blood-Based Biomarkers to detect Mild Alzheimer’s disease: A Molecular Neuropsychology approach

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Melissa; Balldin, Valerie Hobson; Hall, James; O’Bryant, Sid

    2015-01-01

    Background The current project sought to create combined biomarker-cognitive profile to detect mild Alzheimer’s disease. Methods Data was analyzed from 266 participants (129 AD cases [Early AD n=93; Very Early AD n=36]; 137 controls) enrolled in the Texas Alzheimer’s Research and Care Consortium (TARCC). Non-fasting serum samples were collected from each participant and assayed via a multi-plex biomarker assay platform using electrochmiluminescence (ECL). Logistic Regression was utilized to detect early AD using two serum biomarkers (TNFα and IL7), demographic information (age) and one neuropsychological measure (Clock-4 point) as predictor variable. Disease severity was determined via Clinical Dementia Rating scale global scores. Results In the total sample (all levels of CDR scores), the combination of biomarkers, cognitive test score, and demographics yielded the obtained sensitivity (SN) of 0.94, specificity (SP) of 0.90 and an overall accuracy of 0.92. When examining early AD cases (i.e. CDR=0.5-1), the biomarker-cognitive profile yielded SN of 0.94, SP of 0.85 and an overall accuracy of 0.91. When restricted to very early AD cases (i.e CDR=0.5), the biomarker-cognitive profile yielded SN of 0.97, SP of 0.72 with an overall accuracy of 0.91. Conclusions The combination of demographics + 2 biomarkers + 1 cognitive test created a biomarker-cognitive profile that was highly accurate in detecting AD presence, even in the very early stages. This work demonstrates the complementary nature of each modality (blood biomarkers + neuropsychological assessment) and supports our previously proposed concept for Molecular Neuropsychology. PMID:24916542

  5. Prepare, Do, Review: A Skills-Based Approach for Laboratory Practical Classes in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arthur, Peter; Ludwig, Martha; Castelli, Joane; Kirkwood, Paul; Attwood, Paul

    2016-01-01

    A new laboratory practical system is described which is comprised of a number of laboratory practical modules, each based around a particular technique or set of techniques, related to the theory part of the course but not designed to be dependent on it. Each module comprises an online recorded pre-lab lecture, the laboratory practical itself and…

  6. Prepare, Do, Review: A Skills-Based Approach for Laboratory Practical Classes in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arthur, Peter; Ludwig, Martha; Castelli, Joane; Kirkwood, Paul; Attwood, Paul

    2016-01-01

    A new laboratory practical system is described which is comprised of a number of laboratory practical modules, each based around a particular technique or set of techniques, related to the theory part of the course but not designed to be dependent on it. Each module comprises an online recorded pre-lab lecture, the laboratory practical itself and…

  7. Binding assessment of two arachidonic-based synthetic derivatives of adrenalin with β-lactoglobulin: Molecular modeling and chemometrics approach.

    PubMed

    Gholami, S; Bordbar, A K; Akvan, N; Parastar, H; Fani, N; Gretskaya, N M; Bezuglov, V V; Haertlé, T

    2015-12-01

    A computational approach to predict the main binding modes of two adrenalin derivatives, arachidonoyl adrenalin (AA-AD) and arachidonoyl noradrenalin (AA-NOR) with the β-lactoglubuline (BLG) as a nano-milk protein carrier is presented and assessed by comparison to the UV-Vis absorption spectroscopic data using chemometric analysis. Analysis of the spectral data matrices by using the multivariate curve resolution-alternating least squares (MCR-ALS) algorithm led to the pure concentration calculation and spectral profiles resolution of the chemical constituents and the apparent equilibrium constants computation. The negative values of entropy and enthalpy changes for both compound indicated the essential role of hydrogen bonding and van der Waals interactions as main driving forces in stabilizing protein-ligand complex. Computational studies predicted that both derivatives are situated in the calyx pose and remained in that pose during the whole time of simulation with no any significant protein structural changes which pointed that the BLG could be considered as a suitable carrier for these catecholamine compounds. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. A Simple Approach for Molecular Controlled Release based on Atomic Layer Deposition Hybridized Organic-Inorganic Layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boehler, Christian; Güder, Firat; Kücükbayrak, Umut M.; Zacharias, Margit; Asplund, Maria

    2016-01-01

    On-demand release of bioactive substances with high spatial and temporal control offers ground-breaking possibilities in the field of life sciences. However, available strategies for developing such release systems lack the possibility of combining efficient control over release with adequate storage capability in a reasonably compact system. In this study we present a new approach to target this deficiency by the introduction of a hybrid material. This organic-inorganic material was fabricated by atomic layer deposition of ZnO into thin films of polyethylene glycol, forming the carrier matrix for the substance to be released. Sub-surface growth mechanisms during this process converted the liquid polymer into a solid, yet water-soluble, phase. This layer permits extended storage for various substances within a single film of only a few micrometers in thickness, and hence demands minimal space and complexity. Improved control over release of the model substance Fluorescein was achieved by coating the hybrid material with a conducting polymer film. Single dosage and repetitive dispensing from this system was demonstrated. Release was controlled by applying a bias potential of ±0.5 V to the polymer film enabling or respectively suppressing the expulsion of the model drug. In vitro tests showed excellent biocompatibility of the presented system.

  9. A Simple Approach for Molecular Controlled Release based on Atomic Layer Deposition Hybridized Organic-Inorganic Layers

    PubMed Central

    Boehler, Christian; Güder, Firat; Kücükbayrak, Umut M.; Zacharias, Margit; Asplund, Maria

    2016-01-01

    On-demand release of bioactive substances with high spatial and temporal control offers ground-breaking possibilities in the field of life sciences. However, available strategies for developing such release systems lack the possibility of combining efficient control over release with adequate storage capability in a reasonably compact system. In this study we present a new approach to target this deficiency by the introduction of a hybrid material. This organic-inorganic material was fabricated by atomic layer deposition of ZnO into thin films of polyethylene glycol, forming the carrier matrix for the substance to be released. Sub-surface growth mechanisms during this process converted the liquid polymer into a solid, yet water-soluble, phase. This layer permits extended storage for various substances within a single film of only a few micrometers in thickness, and hence demands minimal space and complexity. Improved control over release of the model substance Fluorescein was achieved by coating the hybrid material with a conducting polymer film. Single dosage and repetitive dispensing from this system was demonstrated. Release was controlled by applying a bias potential of ±0.5 V to the polymer film enabling or respectively suppressing the expulsion of the model drug. In vitro tests showed excellent biocompatibility of the presented system. PMID:26791399

  10. A Simple Approach for Molecular Controlled Release based on Atomic Layer Deposition Hybridized Organic-Inorganic Layers.

    PubMed

    Boehler, Christian; Güder, Firat; Kücükbayrak, Umut M; Zacharias, Margit; Asplund, Maria

    2016-01-21

    On-demand release of bioactive substances with high spatial and temporal control offers ground-breaking possibilities in the field of life sciences. However, available strategies for developing such release systems lack the possibility of combining efficient control over release with adequate storage capability in a reasonably compact system. In this study we present a new approach to target this deficiency by the introduction of a hybrid material. This organic-inorganic material was fabricated by atomic layer deposition of ZnO into thin films of polyethylene glycol, forming the carrier matrix for the substance to be released. Sub-surface growth mechanisms during this process converted the liquid polymer into a solid, yet water-soluble, phase. This layer permits extended storage for various substances within a single film of only a few micrometers in thickness, and hence demands minimal space and complexity. Improved control over release of the model substance Fluorescein was achieved by coating the hybrid material with a conducting polymer film. Single dosage and repetitive dispensing from this system was demonstrated. Release was controlled by applying a bias potential of ± 0.5 V to the polymer film enabling or respectively suppressing the expulsion of the model drug. In vitro tests showed excellent biocompatibility of the presented system.

  11. A novel sequence-based approach to localize translocation breakpoints identifies the molecular basis of a t(4;22).

    PubMed

    Nimmakayalu, Manjunath A; Gotter, Anthony L; Shaikh, Tamim H; Emanuel, Beverly S

    2003-11-01

    Low copy repeats (LCRs) located in 22q11.2, especially LCR-B, are susceptible to rearrangements associated with several relatively common constitutional disorders. These include DiGeorge syndrome, Velocardiofacial syndrome, Cat-eye syndrome and recurrent translocations of 22q11 including the constitutional t(11;22) and t(17;22). The presence of palindromic AT-rich repeats (PATRRs) within LCR-B of 22q11.2, as well as within the 11q23 and 17q11 regions, has suggested a palindrome-mediated, stem-loop mechanism for the generation of such recurring constitutional 22q11.2 translocations. The mechanism responsible for non-recurrent 22q11.2 rearrangements is presently unknown due to the extensive effort required for breakpoint cloning. Thus, we have developed a novel fluorescence in-situ hybridization and primed in-situ hybridization (PRINS) approach and rapidly localized the breakpoint of a non-recurrent 22q11.2 translocation, a t(4;22). Multiple primer pairs were designed from the sequence of a 200 kb, chromosome 4, breakpoint-spanning BAC to generate PRINS probes. Amplification of adjacent primer pairs, labeled in two colors, allowed us to narrow the 4q35.1 breakpoint to a 6.7 kb clonable region. Application of our improved PRINS protocol facilitated fine-mapping the translocation breakpoints within 4q35.1 and 22q11.2, and permitted rapid cloning and analysis of translocation junction fragments. To confirm the PRINS localization results, PCR mapping of t(4;22) somatic cell hybrid DNA was employed. Analysis of the breakpoints demonstrates the presence of a 554 bp palindromic sequence at the chromosome 4 breakpoint and a 22q11.2 location within the same PATRR as the recurrent t(11;22) and t(17;22). The sequence of this breakpoint further suggests that a stem-loop secondary structure mechanism is responsible for the formation of other, non-recurrent translocations involving LCR-B of 22q11.2.

  12. Molecular systematics of the Jacks (Perciformes: Carangidae) based on mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences using parsimony, likelihood, and Bayesian approaches.

    PubMed

    Reed, David L; Carpenter, Kent E; deGravelle, Martin J

    2002-06-01

    The Carangidae represent a diverse family of marine fishes that include both ecologically and economically important species. Currently, there are four recognized tribes within the family, but phylogenetic relationships among them based on morphology are not resolved. In addition, the tribe Carangini contains species with a variety of body forms and no study has tried to interpret the evolution of this diversity. We used DNA sequences from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene to reconstruct the phylogenetic history of 50 species from each of the four tribes of Carangidae and four carangoid outgroup taxa. We found support for the monophyly of three tribes within the Carangidae (Carangini, Naucratini, and Trachinotini); however, monophyly of the fourth tribe (Scomberoidini) remains questionable. A sister group relationship between the Carangini and the Naucratini is well supported. This clade is apparently sister to the Trachinotini plus Scomberoidini but there is uncertain support for this relationship. Additionally, we examined the evolution of body form within the tribe Carangini and determined that each of the predominant clades has a distinct evolutionary trend in body form. We tested three methods of phylogenetic inference, parsimony, maximum-likelihood, and Bayesian inference. Whereas the three analyses produced largely congruent hypotheses, they differed in several important relationships. Maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods produced hypotheses with higher support values for deep branches. The Bayesian analysis was computationally much faster and yet produced phylogenetic hypotheses that were very similar to those of the maximum-likelihood analysis. (c) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).

  13. A Systematic Approach to Solvent Selection Based on Cohesive Energy Densities in a Molecular Bulk Heterojunction System

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, Bright; Tamayo, Arnold; Duong, Duc T.; Dang, Xuan-Dung; Kim, Chunki; Granstrom, Jimmy; Nguyen, Thuc-Quyen

    2011-02-15

    The solubilities of 3,6-bis(5-(benzofuran-2-yl)thiophen-2-yl)-2,5-bis(2-ethylhexyl)pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrole-1,4-dione (DPP(TBFu)₂) and [6,6]-phenyl-C₇₁-butyric acid methyl ester (PC₇₁BM) in a series of solvents are measured, and this data is used to calculate the Hansen solubility parameters of the two materials. The dispersion, polar, and H-bonding parameters of DPP(TBFu)₂ and PC₇₁BM were found to be (19.3, 4.8, 6.3) and (20.2, 5.4, 4.5) MPa{sup 1/2}, respectively, with an error of ± 0.8 MPa{sup 1/2}. Based on the solubility properties of the two materials, three new solvents (thiophene, trichloroethylene and carbon disulfide) were utilized for the DPP(TBFu)₂:PC₇₁BM system which, after device optimization, led to power conversion efficiencies up to 4.3%.

  14. Computational molecular biology approaches to ligand-target interactions

    PubMed Central

    Lupieri, Paola; Nguyen, Chuong Ha Hung; Bafghi, Zhaleh Ghaemi; Giorgetti, Alejandro; Carloni, Paolo

    2009-01-01

    Binding of small molecules to their targets triggers complex pathways. Computational approaches are keys for predictions of the molecular events involved in such cascades. Here we review current efforts at characterizing the molecular determinants in the largest membrane-bound receptor family, the G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). We focus on odorant receptors, which constitute more than half GPCRs. The work presented in this review uncovers structural and energetic aspects of components of the cellular cascade. Finally, a computational approach in the context of radioactive boron-based antitumoral therapies is briefly described. PMID:20119480

  15. Molecular Individual-Based Approach on Triatoma brasiliensis: Inferences on Triatomine Foci, Trypanosoma cruzi Natural Infection Prevalence, Parasite Diversity and Feeding Sources.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Carlos Eduardo; Faucher, Leslie; Lavina, Morgane; Costa, Jane; Harry, Myriam

    2016-02-01

    We used an individual-based molecular multisource approach to assess the epidemiological importance of Triatoma brasiliensis collected in distinct sites and ecotopes in Rio Grande do Norte State, Brazil. In the semi-arid zones of Brazil, this blood sucking bug is the most important vector of Trypanosoma cruzi--the parasite that causes Chagas disease. First, cytochrome b (cytb) and microsatellite markers were used for inferences on the genetic structure of five populations (108 bugs). Second, we determined the natural T. cruzi infection prevalence and parasite diversity in 126 bugs by amplifying a mini-exon gene from triatomine gut contents. Third, we identified the natural feeding sources of 60 T. brasiliensis by using the blood meal content via vertebrate cytb analysis. Demographic inferences based on cytb variation indicated expansion events in some sylvatic and domiciliary populations. Microsatellite results indicated gene flow between sylvatic and anthropic (domiciliary and peridomiciliary) populations, which threatens vector control efforts because sylvatic population are uncontrollable. A high natural T. cruzi infection prevalence (52-71%) and two parasite lineages were found for the sylvatic foci, in which 68% of bugs had fed on Kerodon rupestris (Rodentia: Caviidae), highlighting it as a potential reservoir. For peridomiciliary bugs, Galea spixii (Rodentia: Caviidae) was the main mammal feeding source, which may reinforce previous concerns about the potential of this animal to link the sylvatic and domiciliary T. cruzi cycles.

  16. Molecular Individual-Based Approach on Triatoma brasiliensis: Inferences on Triatomine Foci, Trypanosoma cruzi Natural Infection Prevalence, Parasite Diversity and Feeding Sources

    PubMed Central

    Almeida, Carlos Eduardo; Faucher, Leslie; Lavina, Morgane; Costa, Jane; Harry, Myriam

    2016-01-01

    We used an individual-based molecular multisource approach to assess the epidemiological importance of Triatoma brasiliensis collected in distinct sites and ecotopes in Rio Grande do Norte State, Brazil. In the semi-arid zones of Brazil, this blood sucking bug is the most important vector of Trypanosoma cruzi—the parasite that causes Chagas disease. First, cytochrome b (cytb) and microsatellite markers were used for inferences on the genetic structure of five populations (108 bugs). Second, we determined the natural T. cruzi infection prevalence and parasite diversity in 126 bugs by amplifying a mini-exon gene from triatomine gut contents. Third, we identified the natural feeding sources of 60 T. brasiliensis by using the blood meal content via vertebrate cytb analysis. Demographic inferences based on cytb variation indicated expansion events in some sylvatic and domiciliary populations. Microsatellite results indicated gene flow between sylvatic and anthropic (domiciliary and peridomiciliary) populations, which threatens vector control efforts because sylvatic population are uncontrollable. A high natural T. cruzi infection prevalence (52–71%) and two parasite lineages were found for the sylvatic foci, in which 68% of bugs had fed on Kerodon rupestris (Rodentia: Caviidae), highlighting it as a potential reservoir. For peridomiciliary bugs, Galea spixii (Rodentia: Caviidae) was the main mammal feeding source, which may reinforce previous concerns about the potential of this animal to link the sylvatic and domiciliary T. cruzi cycles. PMID:26891047

  17. A combined spectroscopic, docking and molecular dynamics simulation approach to probing binding of a Schiff base complex to human serum albumin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fani, N.; Bordbar, A. K.; Ghayeb, Y.

    2013-02-01

    The molecular mechanism of a Schiff base complex ((E)-((E)-2-(3-((E)-((E)-3(mercapto (methylthio) methylene)cyclopentylidene) amino) propylimino) cyclopentylidene) (methylthio) methanethiol) binding to Human Serum Albumin (HSA) was investigated by fluorescence quenching, absorption spectroscopy, molecular docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation procedures. The fluorescence emission of HSA was quenched by this Schiff base complex that has been analyzed for estimation of binding parameters. The titration of Schiff base solution by various amount of HSA was also followed by UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy and the corresponding data were analyzed by suitable models. The results revealed that this Schiff base has an ability to bind strongly to HSA and formed 1:1 complex. Energy transfer mechanism of quenching was discussed and the value of 5.45 ± 0.06 nm was calculated as the mean distance between the bound complex and the Trp residue. This is implying the high possibility of energy transfer from HSA to this Schiff base complex. Molecular docking results indicated that the main active binding site for this Schiff base complex is site III in subdomain IB. Moreover, MD simulation results suggested that this Schiff base complex can interact with HSA, without affecting the secondary structure of HSA but probably with a slight modification of its tertiary structure. MD simulations, molecular docking and experimental data reciprocally supported each other.

  18. A combined spectroscopic, docking and molecular dynamics simulation approach to probing binding of a Schiff base complex to human serum albumin.

    PubMed

    Fani, N; Bordbar, A K; Ghayeb, Y

    2013-02-15

    The molecular mechanism of a Schiff base complex ((E)-((E)-2-(3-((E)-((E)-3(mercapto (methylthio) methylene)cyclopentylidene) amino) propylimino) cyclopentylidene) (methylthio) methanethiol) binding to Human Serum Albumin (HSA) was investigated by fluorescence quenching, absorption spectroscopy, molecular docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation procedures. The fluorescence emission of HSA was quenched by this Schiff base complex that has been analyzed for estimation of binding parameters. The titration of Schiff base solution by various amount of HSA was also followed by UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy and the corresponding data were analyzed by suitable models. The results revealed that this Schiff base has an ability to bind strongly to HSA and formed 1:1 complex. Energy transfer mechanism of quenching was discussed and the value of 5.45 ± 0.06 nm was calculated as the mean distance between the bound complex and the Trp residue. This is implying the high possibility of energy transfer from HSA to this Schiff base complex. Molecular docking results indicated that the main active binding site for this Schiff base complex is site III in subdomain IB. Moreover, MD simulation results suggested that this Schiff base complex can interact with HSA, without affecting the secondary structure of HSA but probably with a slight modification of its tertiary structure. MD simulations, molecular docking and experimental data reciprocally supported each other.

  19. Pseudospectral approach to relativistic molecular theory.

    PubMed

    Nakajima, Takahito; Hirao, Kimihiko

    2004-08-22

    The efficient relativistic Dirac-Hartree-Fock (DHF) and Dirac-Kohn-Sham (DKS) methods are proposed by an application of the pseudospectral (PS) approach. The present PS-DHF/DKS method is a relativistic extension of the PS-HF/KS method of Friesner, though we aim at higher numerical accuracy by elimination of superfluous arbitrariness. The relativistic PS-DHF/DKS method is implemented into our REL4D programs. Several PS applications to molecular systems show that the relativistic PS-DHF/DKS approach is more efficient than the traditional approach without a loss of accuracy. The present PS-DKS method successfully assigns and predicts the photoelectron spectra of hexacarbonyl complexes of tungsten and seaborgium theoretically.

  20. The Secondary Organic Aerosol Processor (SOAP v1.0) model: a unified model with different ranges of complexity based on the molecular surrogate approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Couvidat, F.; Sartelet, K.

    2014-01-01

    The Secondary Organic Aerosol Processor (SOAP v1.0) model is presented. This model is designed to be modular with different user options depending on the computing time and the complexity required by the user. This model is based on the molecular surrogate approach, in which each surrogate compound is associated with a molecular structure to estimate some properties and parameters (hygroscopicity, absorption on the aqueous phase of particles, activity coefficients, phase separation). Each surrogate can be hydrophilic (condenses only on the aqueous phase of particles), hydrophobic (condenses only on the organic phase of particles) or both (condenses on both the aqueous and the organic phases of particles). Activity coefficients are computed with the UNIFAC thermodynamic model for short-range interactions and with the AIOMFAC parameterization for medium and long-range interactions between electrolytes and organic compounds. Phase separation is determined by Gibbs energy minimization. The user can choose between an equilibrium and a dynamic representation of the organic aerosol. In the equilibrium representation, compounds in the particle phase are assumed to be at equilibrium with the gas phase. However, recent studies show that the organic aerosol (OA) is not at equilibrium with the gas phase because the organic phase could be semi-solid (very viscous liquid phase). The condensation or evaporation of organic compounds could then be limited by the diffusion in the organic phase due to the high viscosity. A dynamic representation of secondary organic aerosols (SOA) is used with OA divided into layers, the first layer at the center of the particle (slowly reaches equilibrium) and the final layer near the interface with the gas phase (quickly reaches equilibrium).

  1. The Secondary Organic Aerosol Processor (SOAP v1.0) model: a unified model with different ranges of complexity based on the molecular surrogate approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Couvidat, F.; Sartelet, K.

    2015-04-01

    In this paper the Secondary Organic Aerosol Processor (SOAP v1.0) model is presented. This model determines the partitioning of organic compounds between the gas and particle phases. It is designed to be modular with different user options depending on the computation time and the complexity required by the user. This model is based on the molecular surrogate approach, in which each surrogate compound is associated with a molecular structure to estimate some properties and parameters (hygroscopicity, absorption into the aqueous phase of particles, activity coefficients and phase separation). Each surrogate can be hydrophilic (condenses only into the aqueous phase of particles), hydrophobic (condenses only into the organic phases of particles) or both (condenses into both the aqueous and the organic phases of particles). Activity coefficients are computed with the UNIFAC (UNIversal Functional group Activity Coefficient; Fredenslund et al., 1975) thermodynamic model for short-range interactions and with the Aerosol Inorganic-Organic Mixtures Functional groups Activity Coefficients (AIOMFAC) parameterization for medium- and long-range interactions between electrolytes and organic compounds. Phase separation is determined by Gibbs energy minimization. The user can choose between an equilibrium representation and a dynamic representation of organic aerosols (OAs). In the equilibrium representation, compounds in the particle phase are assumed to be at equilibrium with the gas phase. However, recent studies show that the organic aerosol is not at equilibrium with the gas phase because the organic phases could be semi-solid (very viscous liquid phase). The condensation-evaporation of organic compounds could then be limited by the diffusion in the organic phases due to the high viscosity. An implicit dynamic representation of secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) is available in SOAP with OAs divided into layers, the first layer being at the center of the particle (slowly

  2. Receptor- and ligand-based study of fullerene analogues: comprehensive computational approach including quantum-chemical, QSAR and molecular docking simulations.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Lucky; Rasulev, Bakhtiyor; Turabekova, Malakhat; Leszczynska, Danuta; Leszczynski, Jerzy

    2013-09-21

    Fullerene and its derivatives have potential antiviral activity due to their specific binding interactions with biological molecules. In this study fullerene derivatives were investigated by the synergic combination of three approaches: quantum-mechanical calculations, protein-ligand docking and quantitative structure-activity relationship methods. The protein-ligand docking studies and improved structure-activity models have been able both to predict binding affinities for the set of fullerene-C60 derivatives and to help in finding mechanisms of fullerene derivative interactions with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 aspartic protease, HIV-1 PR. Protein-ligand docking revealed several important molecular fragments that are responsible for the interaction with HIV-1 PR. In addition, a density functional theory method has been utilized to identify the optimal geometries and predict physico-chemical parameters of the studied compounds. The 5-variable GA-MLRA based model showed the best predictive ability (r(2)training = 0.882 and r(2)test = 0.738), with high internal and external correlation coefficients.

  3. An antibiotic care bundle approach based on results of rapid molecular screening for nasal carriage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the intensive care unit.

    PubMed

    Stano, Paola; Avolio, Manuela; De Rosa, Rita; Modolo, Maria Luisa; Basso, Stefano M M; Lumachi, Franco; Camporese, Alessandro

    2012-01-01

    The potential role of active methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) surveillance in the intensive care unit (ICU), has been recently proposed as a guide for antibiotic treatment in patients suspected of being infected with MRSA by using an antibiotic care bundle (ACB) approach. A group of 376 consecutive ICU patients were prospectively screened for nasal carriage of MRSA using a real-time polymerase chain reaction test. The study group consisted of 244 (64.9%) males and (35.1%) females, with a median age of 64 (range 17-95 years). Overall, 26 (6.9%) patients were positive for MRSA, while 350 (93.1%) were MRSA-negative. No difference was observed in gender and age between groups. During ICU stay, 9 (2.4%) patients developed generalized MRSA infection, of whom 8 out of 26 (30.8%) were MRSA-carriers and one out of the 350 (0.3%) was MRSA-negative. Thus, a strong relationship between MRSA infection and MRSA carriage (relative risk=107.7, 95% confidence interval=14.0-828.5, p<0.0001) was found. Subsequently, in our ICU, we developed and introduced a new ACB approach based on rapid nasal screening results for improving the management of critically ill patients. The use of anti-MRSA agents should be re-evaluated daily on the basis of clinical and laboratory features, with positive cultures from sterile site or signs of active infection supporting prolongation of empirical treatment. On the contrary, MRSA-negative clinical cultures support a de-escalation strategy. In conclusion, the early identification of MRSA-carriers using a rapid molecular screening is safe and accurate, allowing MRSA-positive patients, who will more likely develop MRSA infections, to be detected.

  4. Density functional theory-based simulations of sum frequency generation spectra involving methyl stretching vibrations: effect of the molecular model on the deduced molecular orientation and comparison with an analytical approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cecchet, F.; Lis, D.; Caudano, Y.; Mani, A. A.; Peremans, A.; Champagne, B.; Guthmuller, J.

    2012-03-01

    The knowledge of the first hyperpolarizability tensor elements of molecular groups is crucial for a quantitative interpretation of the sum frequency generation (SFG) activity of thin organic films at interfaces. Here, the SFG response of the terminal methyl group of a dodecanethiol (DDT) monolayer has been interpreted on the basis of calculations performed at the density functional theory (DFT) level of approximation. In particular, DFT calculations have been carried out on three classes of models for the aliphatic chains. The first class of models consists of aliphatic chains, containing from 3 to 12 carbon atoms, in which only one methyl group can freely vibrate, while the rest of the chain is frozen by a strong overweight of its C and H atoms. This enables us to localize the probed vibrational modes on the methyl group. In the second class, only one methyl group is frozen, while the entire remaining chain is allowed to vibrate. This enables us to analyse the influence of the aliphatic chain on the methyl stretching vibrations. Finally, the dodecanethiol (DDT) molecule is considered, for which the effects of two dielectrics, i.e. n-hexane and n-dodecane, are investigated. Moreover, DDT calculations are also carried out by using different exchange-correlation (XC) functionals in order to assess the DFT approximations. Using the DFT IR vectors and Raman tensors, the SFG spectrum of DDT has been simulated and the orientation of the methyl group has then been deduced and compared with that obtained using an analytical approach based on a bond additivity model. This analysis shows that when using DFT molecular properties, the predicted orientation of the terminal methyl group tends to converge as a function of the alkyl chain length and that the effects of the chain as well as of the dielectric environment are small. Instead, a more significant difference is observed when comparing the DFT-based results with those obtained from the analytical approach, thus indicating

  5. Density functional theory-based simulations of sum frequency generation spectra involving methyl stretching vibrations: effect of the molecular model on the deduced molecular orientation and comparison with an analytical approach.

    PubMed

    Cecchet, F; Lis, D; Caudano, Y; Mani, A A; Peremans, A; Champagne, B; Guthmuller, J

    2012-03-28

    The knowledge of the first hyperpolarizability tensor elements of molecular groups is crucial for a quantitative interpretation of the sum frequency generation (SFG) activity of thin organic films at interfaces. Here, the SFG response of the terminal methyl group of a dodecanethiol (DDT) monolayer has been interpreted on the basis of calculations performed at the density functional theory (DFT) level of approximation. In particular, DFT calculations have been carried out on three classes of models for the aliphatic chains. The first class of models consists of aliphatic chains, containing from 3 to 12 carbon atoms, in which only one methyl group can freely vibrate, while the rest of the chain is frozen by a strong overweight of its C and H atoms. This enables us to localize the probed vibrational modes on the methyl group. In the second class, only one methyl group is frozen, while the entire remaining chain is allowed to vibrate. This enables us to analyse the influence of the aliphatic chain on the methyl stretching vibrations. Finally, the dodecanethiol (DDT) molecule is considered, for which the effects of two dielectrics, i.e. n-hexane and n-dodecane, are investigated. Moreover, DDT calculations are also carried out by using different exchange-correlation (XC) functionals in order to assess the DFT approximations. Using the DFT IR vectors and Raman tensors, the SFG spectrum of DDT has been simulated and the orientation of the methyl group has then been deduced and compared with that obtained using an analytical approach based on a bond additivity model. This analysis shows that when using DFT molecular properties, the predicted orientation of the terminal methyl group tends to converge as a function of the alkyl chain length and that the effects of the chain as well as of the dielectric environment are small. Instead, a more significant difference is observed when comparing the DFT-based results with those obtained from the analytical approach, thus indicating

  6. Molecular imaging. A new approach to nuclear cardiology.

    PubMed

    Dobrucki, L W; Sinusas, A J

    2005-03-01

    Nuclear cardiology has historically played an important role in detection of cardiovascular disease as well as risk stratification. With the growth of molecular biology have come new therapeutic interventions and the requirement for new diagnostic imaging approaches. Noninvasive targeted radiotracer based as well as transporter gene imaging strategies are evolving to meet these new needs, but require the development of an interdisciplinary approach which focuses on molecular processes, as well as the pathogenesis and progression of disease. This progress has been made possible with the availability of transgenic animal models along with many technological advances. Future adaptations of the developing experimental procedures and instrumentation will allow for the smooth translation and application to clinical practice. This review is intended as a brief overview on the subject molecular imaging. Basic concepts and historical perspective of molecular imaging will be reviewed first, followed by description of current technology, and concluding with current applications in cardiology. The emphasis will be on the use of both single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracers, although other imaging modalities will be also briefly discussed. The specific approaches presented here will include receptor-based and reporter gene imaging of natural and therapeutic angiogenesis.

  7. Molecular structure and elastic properties of thermotropic liquid crystals: integrated molecular dynamics--statistical mechanical theory vs molecular field approach.

    PubMed

    Ilk Capar, M; Nar, A; Ferrarini, A; Frezza, E; Greco, C; Zakharov, A V; Vakulenko, A A

    2013-03-21

    The connection between the molecular structure of liquid crystals and their elastic properties, which control the director deformations relevant for electro-optic applications, remains a challenging objective for theories and computations. Here, we compare two methods that have been proposed to this purpose, both characterized by a detailed molecular level description. One is an integrated molecular dynamics-statistical mechanical approach, where the bulk elastic constants of nematics are calculated from the direct correlation function (DCFs) and the single molecule orientational distribution function [D. A. McQuarrie, Statistical Mechanics (Harper & Row, New York, 1973)]. The latter is obtained from atomistic molecular dynamics trajectories, together with the radial distribution function, from which the DCF is then determined by solving the Ornstein-Zernike equation. The other approach is based on a molecular field theory, where the potential of mean torque experienced by a mesogen in the liquid crystal phase is parameterized according to its molecular surface. In this case, the calculation of elastic constants is combined with the Monte Carlo sampling of single molecule conformations. Using these different approaches, but the same description, at the level of molecular geometry and torsional potentials, we have investigated the elastic properties of the nematic phase of two typical mesogens, 4'-n-pentyloxy-4-cyanobiphenyl and 4'-n-heptyloxy-4-cyanobiphenyl. Both methods yield K3(bend) >K1 (splay) >K2 (twist), although there are some discrepancies in the average elastic constants and in their anisotropy. These are interpreted in terms of the different approximations and the different ways of accounting for the structural properties of molecules in the two approaches. In general, the results point to the role of the molecular shape, which is modulated by the conformational freedom and cannot be fully accounted for by a single descriptor such as the aspect ratio.

  8. Molecular structure and elastic properties of thermotropic liquid crystals: Integrated molecular dynamics—Statistical mechanical theory vs molecular field approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capar, M. Ilk; Nar, A.; Ferrarini, A.; Frezza, E.; Greco, C.; Zakharov, A. V.; Vakulenko, A. A.

    2013-03-01

    The connection between the molecular structure of liquid crystals and their elastic properties, which control the director deformations relevant for electro-optic applications, remains a challenging objective for theories and computations. Here, we compare two methods that have been proposed to this purpose, both characterized by a detailed molecular level description. One is an integrated molecular dynamics-statistical mechanical approach, where the bulk elastic constants of nematics are calculated from the direct correlation function (DCFs) and the single molecule orientational distribution function [D. A. McQuarrie, Statistical Mechanics (Harper & Row, New York, 1973)]. The latter is obtained from atomistic molecular dynamics trajectories, together with the radial distribution function, from which the DCF is then determined by solving the Ornstein-Zernike equation. The other approach is based on a molecular field theory, where the potential of mean torque experienced by a mesogen in the liquid crystal phase is parameterized according to its molecular surface. In this case, the calculation of elastic constants is combined with the Monte Carlo sampling of single molecule conformations. Using these different approaches, but the same description, at the level of molecular geometry and torsional potentials, we have investigated the elastic properties of the nematic phase of two typical mesogens, 4'-n-pentyloxy-4-cyanobiphenyl and 4'-n-heptyloxy-4-cyanobiphenyl. Both methods yield K3(bend) >K1 (splay) >K2 (twist), although there are some discrepancies in the average elastic constants and in their anisotropy. These are interpreted in terms of the different approximations and the different ways of accounting for the structural properties of molecules in the two approaches. In general, the results point to the role of the molecular shape, which is modulated by the conformational freedom and cannot be fully accounted for by a single descriptor such as the aspect ratio.

  9. Nucleic acid based molecular devices.

    PubMed

    Krishnan, Yamuna; Simmel, Friedrich C

    2011-03-28

    In biology, nucleic acids are carriers of molecular information: DNA's base sequence stores and imparts genetic instructions, while RNA's sequence plays the role of a messenger and a regulator of gene expression. As biopolymers, nucleic acids also have exciting physicochemical properties, which can be rationally influenced by the base sequence in myriad ways. Consequently, in recent years nucleic acids have also become important building blocks for bottom-up nanotechnology: as molecules for the self-assembly of molecular nanostructures and also as a material for building machinelike nanodevices. In this Review we will cover the most important developments in this growing field of nucleic acid nanodevices. We also provide an overview of the biochemical and biophysical background of this field and the major "historical" influences that shaped its development. Particular emphasis is laid on DNA molecular motors, molecular robotics, molecular information processing, and applications of nucleic acid nanodevices in biology. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Gene profiling approach to establish the molecular bases for partial versus full activation of naïve CD8 T lymphocytes.

    PubMed

    Verdeil, Gréory; Puthier, Denis; Nguyen, Catherine; Schmitt-Verhulst, Anne-Marie; Auphan-Anezin, Nathalie

    2002-12-01

    When initial antigen encounter involves optimal antigenic and costimulatory stimuli, naïve CD8 T cells undergo a developmental program that leads to their activation, expansion and acquisition of effector functions (including production of IL-2, IFNgamma and expression of cytolytic effector molecules). A subset of the activated CD8 T cells thrives as long-lived memory cells. Encounter of tissue-associated, and in particular tumor-associated antigen, may often be suboptimal in terms of antigenicity and costimulation, however. We previously developed a model of naïve CD8 T cells from transgenic mice expressing an alloreactive TCR for which a mutant alloantigen behaved as a partial agonist, inducing only some of the effector functions induced by the native alloantigen. To ascertain the molecular bases for the establishment of divergent fates within the same naïve CD8 T cells, we have used cDNA microarrays to monitor sequential gene expression patterns in conditions of full or partial response of these naïve CD8 T cells. Of the 5000 different genes monitored on the array, 18% showed changes in expression in activated versus naïve CD8 T cells, independent of whether stimulation was with full or partial agonist. These included antigen-induced upregulated as well as downregulated genes. Clusters of genes that were differentially expressed were also identified, being either (i) weakly versus strongly, or (ii) transiently versus stably expressed in response to partial and full agonist, respectively. They included (i) genes encoding costimulatory molecules and (ii) genes controlling cytolytic function, cytokine production, and chemokines. Therefore, the cDNA microarray approach was a sensitive tool to provide an exhaustive picture of T cell activation as it could discriminate quantitative, qualitative and dynamic differences in mRNA expression profiles between fully or partially activated T cells.

  11. Molecular profiling of neurons based on connectivity.

    PubMed

    Ekstrand, Mats I; Nectow, Alexander R; Knight, Zachary A; Latcha, Kaamashri N; Pomeranz, Lisa E; Friedman, Jeffrey M

    2014-05-22

    The complexity and cellular heterogeneity of neural circuitry presents a major challenge to understanding the role of discrete neural populations in controlling behavior. While neuroanatomical methods enable high-resolution mapping of neural circuitry, these approaches do not allow systematic molecular profiling of neurons based on their connectivity. Here, we report the development of an approach for molecularly profiling projective neurons. We show that ribosomes can be tagged with a camelid nanobody raised against GFP and that this system can be engineered to selectively capture translating mRNAs from neurons retrogradely labeled with GFP. Using this system, we profiled neurons projecting to the nucleus accumbens. We then used an AAV to selectively profile midbrain dopamine neurons projecting to the nucleus accumbens. By comparing the captured mRNAs from each experiment, we identified a number of markers specific to VTA dopaminergic projection neurons. The current method provides a means for profiling neurons based on their projections.

  12. Drug discovery in tuberculosis: a molecular approach.

    PubMed

    Mitra, Partha P

    2012-10-01

    Despite unquestionable success of the combination drug therapy, tuberculosis (TB) very recently has drawn major attention because of the global upsurge of MDR-TB, XDR -TB and HIV-TB co-infection cases. In the last four decades, only one compound is added to the treatment regimen leaving ample opportunities to find out a new generation of TB drugs. The modern concept of drug discovery utilizes the integrated knowledge of genomics, proteomics, molecular biology and systems biology to identify more specific targets. The purpose of this review is to revisit the field of tuberculosis drug discovery based on those new concepts to identify novel targets.

  13. Theory of molecular conductance using a modular approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Liang-Yan; Rabitz, Herschel

    2016-12-01

    This study probes the correlation between the conductance of a molecular wire (the property of a whole system) and its constituent backbone units (modules). By using a tight-binding Hamiltonian combined with single-particle Green's functions, we develop an approach that enables an estimate of a conductance decay constant in terms of the Hamiltonians of molecular backbone units and the couplings between two nearest-neighbor units in the off-resonant tunneling regime. For demonstration, we examine several representative molecular systems in a framework of the Hückel model (the simplest atomistic-level model). The Hückel model can be reduced to a single-orbital-per-site formulation [A. Nitzan, Annu. Rev. Phys. Chem. 52, 681 (2001)], and each energy level in the single-orbital-per-site picture can be expressed in an explicit form including the synergistic effect of all molecular orbitals of a molecular backbone unit. Based on the proposed approach, we show the correspondence between the complete destructive quantum interference and an infinite injection gap and derive the preconditions of the modified Simmons equation and the rule of intramolecular series circuits.

  14. Transaction based approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunka, Frantisek; Matula, Jiri

    2017-07-01

    Transaction based approach is utilized in some methodologies in business process modeling. Essential parts of these transactions are human beings. The notion of agent or actor role is usually used for them. The paper on a particular example describes possibilities of Design Engineering Methodology for Organizations (DEMO) and Resource-Event-Agent (REA) methodology. Whereas the DEMO methodology can be regarded as a generic methodology having its foundation in the theory of Enterprise Ontology the REA methodology is regarded as the domain specific methodology and has its origin in accountancy systems. The results of these approaches is that the DEMO methodology captures everything that happens in the reality with a good empirical evidence whereas the REA methodology captures only changes connected with economic events. Economic events represent either change of the property rights to economic resource or consumption or production of economic resources. This results from the essence of economic events and their connection to economic resources.

  15. Application of a molecular based approach for the early detection of short term 3-chloroaniline shock loads on activated sludge bacterial community and functionality.

    PubMed

    Marzorati, Massimo; Negroni, Andrea; Fava, Fabio; Verstraete, Willy; Boon, Nico

    2013-09-25

    Microbial processes are central elements in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to mineralize the organic matter, to degrade pollutants and to decrease the amount of suspended solids. This activity can be disrupted by organic and inorganic pollutants present in wastewater streams. Hence, it is of primary importance to investigate and monitor the structure and functionality of the sludge-resident microbial communities. We simulated a 3-chloroaniline (3-CA) shock load in 3-CA adapted and non-adapted semi-continuous activated-sludge (SCAS) reactors to selectively stress the Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB). Recently developed setting-independent theoretical interpretation of molecular DNA and RNA fingerprinting patterns were used to evaluate the responses of the microbial populations. Ammonium accumulation in treated reactors upon 3-CA addition confirmed the disruption of the functionality under stress conditions. Molecular analyses coupled to their interpretation highlighted that shock loaded reactors clustered separately from non-treated ones, especially when AOBs community was specifically targeted. Furthermore, the interpretation of RNA-based analyses, as compared to DNA-based ones, allowed to more promptly depicting shifts in a stressed community. We showed that the use of RNA-based molecular tools in combination with a new set of parameters is a powerful tool to link functional failures with microbial structure modifications in WWTPs, providing a potential tool for a rational optimization of the processes (Microbial Resource Management - MRM).

  16. Performance of plane-wave-based LDA+U and GGA+U approaches to describe magnetic coupling in molecular systems.

    PubMed

    Rivero, Pablo; Loschen, Christoph; Moreira, Ibério De P R; Illas, Francesc

    2009-11-15

    This work explores the performance of periodic plane wave density functional theory calculations with an on-site Coulomb correction to the standard LDA and GGA exchange-correlation potential--commonly used to describe strongly correlated solids--in describing the magnetic coupling constant of a series of molecular compounds representative of dinuclear Cu complexes and of organic diradicals. The resulting LDA+U or GGA+U formalisms, lead to results comparable to experiment and to those obtained by means of standard hybrid functionals provided that the value of the U parameter is adequately chosen. Hence, these methods offer an alternative efficient computational scheme to correct LDA and GGA approaches to adequately describe the electronic structure and magnetic coupling in large molecular magnetic systems, although at the expenses of introducing an empirical (U) parameter. For all investigated copper dinuclear systems, the LDA+U and GGA+U approaches lead to an improvement in the description of magnetic properties over the original LDA and GGA schemes with an accuracy similar to that arising from the hybrid B3LYP functional, by increasing the on-site Coulomb repulsion with a moderate U value. Nevertheless, the introduction of an arbitrary U value in the 0-10 eV range most often provides the correct ground-state spin distribution and the correct sign of the magnetic coupling constant.

  17. Rotaxane-based molecular muscles.

    PubMed

    Bruns, Carson J; Stoddart, J Fraser

    2014-07-15

    CONSPECTUS: More than two decades of investigating the chemistry of bistable mechanically interlocked molecules (MIMs), such as rotaxanes and catenanes, has led to the advent of numerous molecular switches that express controlled translational or circumrotational movement on the nanoscale. Directed motion at this scale is an essential feature of many biomolecular assemblies known as molecular machines, which carry out essential life-sustaining functions of the cell. It follows that the use of bistable MIMs as artificial molecular machines (AMMs) has been long anticipated. This objective is rarely achieved, however, because of challenges associated with coupling the directed motions of mechanical switches with other systems on which they can perform work. A natural source of inspiration for designing AMMs is muscle tissue, since it is a material that relies on the hierarchical organization of molecular machines (myosin) and filaments (actin) to produce the force and motion that underpin locomotion, circulation, digestion, and many other essential life processes in humans and other animals. Muscle is characterized at both microscopic and macroscopic length scales by its ability to generate forces that vary the distance between two points at the expense of chemical energy. Artificial muscles that mimic this ability are highly sought for applications involving the transduction of mechanical energy. Rotaxane-based molecular switches are excellent candidates for artificial muscles because their architectures intrinsically possess movable filamentous molecular components. In this Account, we describe (i) the different types of rotaxane "molecular muscle" architectures that express contractile and extensile motion, (ii) the molecular recognition motifs and corresponding stimuli that have been used to actuate them, and (iii) the progress made on integrating and scaling up these motions for potential applications. We identify three types of rotaxane muscles, namely, "daisy

  18. Investigation of PDE5/PDE6 and PDE5/PDE11 selective potent tadalafil-like PDE5 inhibitors using combination of molecular modeling approaches, molecular fingerprint-based virtual screening protocols and structure-based pharmacophore development.

    PubMed

    Kayık, Gülru; Tüzün, Nurcan Ş; Durdagi, Serdar

    2017-12-01

    The essential biological function of phosphodiesterase (PDE) type enzymes is to regulate the cytoplasmic levels of intracellular second messengers, 3',5'-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and/or 3',5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). PDE targets have 11 isoenzymes. Of these enzymes, PDE5 has attracted a special attention over the years after its recognition as being the target enzyme in treating erectile dysfunction. Due to the amino acid sequence and the secondary structural similarity of PDE6 and PDE11 with the catalytic domain of PDE5, first-generation PDE5 inhibitors (i.e. sildenafil and vardenafil) are also competitive inhibitors of PDE6 and PDE11. Since the major challenge of designing novel PDE5 inhibitors is to decrease their cross-reactivity with PDE6 and PDE11, in this study, we attempt to identify potent tadalafil-like PDE5 inhibitors that have PDE5/PDE6 and PDE5/PDE11 selectivity. For this aim, the similarity-based virtual screening protocol is applied for the "clean drug-like subset of ZINC database" that contains more than 20 million small compounds. Moreover, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of selected hits complexed with PDE5 and off-targets were performed in order to get insights for structural and dynamical behaviors of the selected molecules as selective PDE5 inhibitors. Since tadalafil blocks hERG1 K channels in concentration dependent manner, the cardiotoxicity prediction of the hit molecules was also tested. Results of this study can be useful for designing of novel, safe and selective PDE5 inhibitors.

  19. Potential molecular wires by an iterative divergent/convergent approach. Doubling of molecular length at each iteration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearson, Darren L.; Schumm, Jeffry S.; Jones, Leroy, II; Tour, James M.

    1994-06-01

    We have devised an iterative convergent/divergent approach to conjugated oligomers that might serve as molecular wires. The molecular length doubles with each iteration. The systems prepared are completely monodispersed and based upon oligo(thiophene-ethynylene)s (1) and oligo(phenylene-ethynylene)s at 100 A and 128 A long, respectively. The optical and size exclusion chromatography (SEC) properties are discussed. Methods are outlined to attach end groups that might serve as molecular alligator clips.

  20. UK Iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: investigating human prion transmission across genotypic barriers using human tissue-based and molecular approaches.

    PubMed

    Ritchie, Diane L; Barria, Marcelo A; Peden, Alexander H; Yull, Helen M; Kirkpatrick, James; Adlard, Peter; Ironside, James W; Head, Mark W

    2017-04-01

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is the prototypic human prion disease that occurs most commonly in sporadic and genetic forms, but it is also transmissible and can be acquired through medical procedures, resulting in iatrogenic CJD (iCJD). The largest numbers of iCJD cases that have occurred worldwide have resulted from contaminated cadaveric pituitary-derived human growth hormone (hGH) and its use to treat primary and secondary growth hormone deficiency. We report a comprehensive, tissue-based and molecular genetic analysis of the largest series of UK hGH-iCJD cases reported to date, including in vitro kinetic molecular modelling of genotypic factors influencing prion transmission. The results show the interplay of prion strain and host genotype in governing the molecular, pathological and temporal characteristics of the UK hGH-iCJD epidemic and provide insights into the adaptive mechanisms involved when prions cross genotypic barriers. We conclude that all of the available evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that the UK hGH-iCJD epidemic resulted from transmission of the V2 human prion strain, which is associated with the second most common form of sporadic CJD.

  1. Understanding the Molecular Mechanism of Interventions in Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients with Corresponding Traditional Chinese Medicine Patterns Based on Bioinformatics Approach

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Miao; Lu, Cheng; Chen, Gao; Xiao, Cheng; Zha, Qinglin; Niu, Xuyan; Chen, Shilin; Lu, Aiping

    2012-01-01

    Better effectiveness would be achieved when interventions are used in treating patients with a specific traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) pattern. In this paper, the effectiveness in treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in a randomized clinical trial as reanalyzed after the patients were classified into different TCM patterns and the underlying mechanism of how the TCM pattern influences the clinical effectiveness of interventions (TCM and biomedicine therapy) was explored. The pharmacological networks of interventions were builtup with protein and protein interaction analyses based on all the related targeted proteins obtained from PubChem. The underlying mechanism was explored by merging the pharmacological networks with the molecular networks of TCM cold and hot patterns in RA. The results show that the TCM therapy is better in treating the RA patients with TCM hot pattern, and the biomedical therapy is better in the RA patients with cold pattern. The pharmacological network of TCM intervention is merged well with the molecular network of TCM hot pattern, and the pharmacological network of biomedical therapy is merged well with the network of cold pattern. The finding indicates that molecular network analysis could give insight into the full understanding of the underlying mechanism of how TCM pattern impacts the efficacy. PMID:23118783

  2. A phylogenomic and molecular signature based approach for characterization of the phylum Spirochaetes and its major clades: proposal for a taxonomic revision of the phylum.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Radhey S; Mahmood, Sharmeen; Adeolu, Mobolaji

    2013-01-01

    The Spirochaetes species cause many important diseases including syphilis and Lyme disease. Except for their containing a distinctive endoflagella, no other molecular or biochemical characteristics are presently known that are specific for either all Spirochaetes or its different families. We report detailed comparative and phylogenomic analyses of protein sequences from Spirochaetes genomes to understand their evolutionary relationships and to identify molecular signatures for this group. These studies have identified 38 conserved signature indels (CSIs) that are specific for either all members of the phylum Spirochaetes or its different main clades. Of these CSIs, a 3 aa insert in the FlgC protein is uniquely shared by all sequenced Spirochaetes providing a molecular marker for this phylum. Seven, six, and five CSIs in different proteins are specific for members of the families Spirochaetaceae, Brachyspiraceae, and Leptospiraceae, respectively. Of the 19 other identified CSIs, 3 are uniquely shared by members of the genera Sphaerochaeta, Spirochaeta, and Treponema, whereas 16 others are specific for the genus Borrelia. A monophyletic grouping of the genera Sphaerochaeta, Spirochaeta, and Treponema distinct from the genus Borrelia is also strongly supported by phylogenetic trees based upon concatenated sequences of 22 conserved proteins. The molecular markers described here provide novel and more definitive means for identification and demarcation of different main groups of Spirochaetes. To accommodate the extensive genetic diversity of the Spirochaetes as revealed by different CSIs and phylogenetic analyses, it is proposed that the four families of this phylum should be elevated to the order level taxonomic ranks (viz. Spirochaetales, Brevinematales ord. nov., Brachyspiriales ord. nov., and Leptospiriales ord. nov.). It is further proposed that the genera Borrelia and Cristispira be transferred to a new family Borreliaceae fam. nov. within the order

  3. Database fingerprint (DFP): an approach to represent molecular databases.

    PubMed

    Fernández-de Gortari, Eli; García-Jacas, César R; Martinez-Mayorga, Karina; Medina-Franco, José L

    2017-01-01

    Molecular fingerprints are widely used in several areas of chemoinformatics including diversity analysis and similarity searching. The fingerprint-based analysis of chemical libraries, in particular of large collections, usually requires the molecular representation of each compound in the library that may lead to issues of storage space and redundant calculations. In fact, information redundancy is inherent to the data, resulting on binary digit positions in the fingerprint without significant information. Herein is proposed a general approach to represent an entire compound library with a single binary fingerprint. The development of the database fingerprint (DFP) is illustrated first using a short fingerprint (MACCS keys) for 10 data sets of general interest in chemistry. The application of the DFP is further shown with PubChem fingerprints for the data sets used in the primary example but with a larger number of compounds, up to 25,000 molecules. The performance of DFP were studied through differential Shannon entropy, k-mean clustering, and DFP/Tanimoto similarity. The DFP is designed to capture key information of the compound collection and can be used to compare and assess the diversity of molecular libraries. This Preliminary Communication shows the potential of the novel fingerprint to conduct inter-library relationships. A major future goal is to apply the DFP for virtual screening and developing DFP for other data sets based on several different type of fingerprints.Graphical AbstractDatabase fingerprint captures the key information of molecular databases to perform chemical space characterization and virtual screening.

  4. Cellular and molecular approaches to memory storage.

    PubMed

    Laroche, S

    2000-01-01

    There has been nearly a century of interest in the idea that information is stored in the brain as changes in the efficacy of synaptic connections on neurons that are activated during learning. The discovery and detailed report of the phenomenon generally known as long-term potentiation opened a new chapter in the study of synaptic plasticity in the vertebrate brain, and this form of synaptic plasticity has now become the dominant model in the search for the cellular bases of learning and memory. To date, considerable progress has been made in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity and in identifying the neural systems which express it. In parallel, the hypothesis that the mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity are activated during learning and serve learning and memory has gained much empirical support. Accumulating evidence suggests that the rapid activation of the genetic machinery is a key mechanism underlying the enduring modification of neural networks required for the laying down of memory. These advances are reviewed below.

  5. A molecular dynamics approach to barrodiffusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooley, James; Marciante, Mathieu; Murillo, Michael

    2016-10-01

    Unexpected phenomena in the reaction rates for Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) capsules have led to a renewed interest in the thermo-dynamically driven diffusion process for the past 10 years, often described collectively as barodiffusion. In the current context, barodiffusion would manifest as a process that separates ions of differing mass and charge ratios due to pressure and temperature gradients set-up through shock structures in the capsule core. Barrodiffusion includes additional mass transfer terms that account for the irreversible transport of species due to gradients in the system, both thermodynamic and electric e.g, i = - ρD [ ∇c +kp ∇ln(pi) +kT(i) ∇ln(Ti) +kt(e) ∇ln(Te) +eke/Ti ∇ϕ ] . Several groups have attacked this phenomena using continuum scale models and supplemented with kinetic theory to derive coefficients for the different diffusion terms based on assumptions about the collisional processes. In contrast, we have applied a molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to this system to gain a first-principle understanding of the rate kinetics and to assess the accuracy of the differin

  6. Molecular basis of glyphosate resistance: Different approaches through protein engineering

    PubMed Central

    Pollegioni, Loredano; Schonbrunn, Ernst; Siehl, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    Glyphosate (N-phosphonomethyl-glycine) is the most-used herbicide in the world: glyphosate-based formulations exhibit broad-spectrum herbicidal activity with minimal human and environmental toxicity. The extraordinary success of this simple small molecule is mainly due to the high specificity of glyphosate towards the plant enzyme enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase in the shikimate pathway leading to biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids. Starting in 1996, transgenic glyphosate-resistant plants were introduced thus allowing the application of the herbicide to the crop (post-emergence) to remove emerged weeds without crop damage. This review focuses on the evolution of mechanisms of resistance to glyphosate as obtained through natural diversity, the gene shuffling approach to molecular evolution, and a rational, structure-based approach to protein engineering. In addition, we offer rationale for the means by which the modifications made have had their intended effect. PMID:21668647

  7. Molecular forensics in avian conservation: a DNA-based approach for identifying mammalian predators of ground-nesting birds and eggs.

    PubMed

    Hopken, Matthew W; Orning, Elizabeth K; Young, Julie K; Piaggio, Antoinette J

    2016-01-07

    The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a ground-nesting bird from the Northern Rocky Mountains and a species at risk of extinction in in multiple U.S. states and Canada. Herein we report results from a proof of concept that mitochondrial and nuclear DNAs from mammalian predator saliva could be non-invasively collected from depredated greater sage-grouse eggshells and carcasses and used for predator species identification. Molecular forensic approaches have been applied to identify predators from depredated remains as one strategy to better understand predator-prey dynamics and guide management strategies. This can aid conservation efforts by correctly identifying predators most likely to impact threatened and endangered species. DNA isolated from non-invasive samples around nesting sites (e.g. fecal or hair samples) is one method that can increase the success and accuracy of predator species identification when compared to relying on nest remains alone. Predator saliva DNA was collected from depredated eggshells and carcasses using swabs. We sequenced two partial fragments of two mitochondrial genes and obtained microsatellite genotypes using canid specific primers for species and individual identification, respectively. Using this multilocus approach we were able to identify predators, at least down to family, from 11 out of 14 nests (79%) and three out of seven carcasses (47%). Predators detected most frequently were canids (86%), while other taxa included rodents, a striped skunk, and cattle. We attempted to match the genotypes of individual coyotes obtained from eggshells and carcasses with those obtained from fecal samples and coyotes collected in the areas, but no genotype matches were found. Predation is a main cause of nest failure in ground-nesting birds and can impact reproduction and recruitment. To inform predator management for ground-nesting bird conservation, accurate identification of predator species is necessary. Considering

  8. Traditional Approaches to Molecular Genetic Analysis.

    PubMed

    Walker, Christopher J; Goodfellow, Paul J

    2017-01-01

    Molecular studies of endometrial cancer have evolved with the tools available to researchers: the methods for measuring nucleic acids, protein expression, and combinations thereof. Today "molecular genetic analysis" implies a broad range of indirect and direct tests that yield molecular phenotypes or genotypes, immunotypes, or signatures that were not conceived of when the histologic and biologic heterogeneity was first fully acknowledged.We will provide a historical perspective on molecular genetic studies of endometrial cancers focusing on candidate genes and how early foundational research shaped both our understanding of the disease and current research directions. Examples of direct tests (mutation, DNA methylation, and/or protein expression) will be provided along with examples of indirect tests that have been and continue to be central to endometrial cancer molecular biology, such as DNA content or microsatellite instability analysis. We will highlight clinically relevant examples of molecular phenotyping and direct evaluation of candidate genes that integrate direct and indirect testing as part of routine patient care. This is not intended to be an exhaustive review but rather an overview of the progress that has been made and how early work is shaping current molecular, clinical, and biologic studies of endometrial cancer.

  9. Discovery of novel Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitors using a hybrid protocol of virtual screening approaches based on SVM model, pharmacophore and molecular docking.

    PubMed

    Wan, Hua-Lin; Wang, Ze-Rong; Li, Lin-Li; Cheng, Chuan; Ji, Pan; Liu, Jing-Jing; Zhang, Hui; Zou, Jun; Yang, Sheng-Yong

    2012-09-01

    Bruton's tyrosine kinase has emerged as a potential target for the treatment for B-cell malignancies and autoimmune diseases. Discovery of Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitors has thus attracted much attention recently. In this investigation, we introduced a hybrid protocol of virtual screening methods including support vector machine model-based virtual screening, pharmacophore model-based virtual screening and docking-based virtual screening for retrieving new Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitors from commercially available chemical databases. Performances of the hybrid virtual screening approach were evaluated against a test set, which results showed that the hybrid virtual screening approach significantly shortened the overall screening time, and considerably increased the hit rate and enrichment factor compared with the individual method (SB-VS, PB-VS and DB-VS) or their combinations by twos. This hybrid virtual screening approach was then applied to screen several chemical databases including Specs (202,408 compounds) and Enamine (980,000 compounds) databases. Thirty-nine compounds were selected from the final hits and have been shifted to experimental studies. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  10. Molecular approaches to differentiate three species of Nematodirus in sheep and goats from China based on internal transcribed spacer rDNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Zhao, G H; Jia, Y Q; Bian, Q Q; Nisbet, A J; Cheng, W Y; Liu, Y; Fang, Y Q; Ma, X T; Yu, S K

    2015-05-01

    Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rDNA sequences of three Nematodirus species from naturally infected goats or sheep in two endemic provinces of China were analysed to establish an effective molecular approach to differentiate Nematodirus species in small ruminants. The respective intra-specific genetic variations in ITS1 and ITS2 rDNA regions were 0.3-1.8% and 0-0.4% in N. spathiger, 0-6.5% and 0-5.4% in N. helvetianus, and 0-4.4% and 0-6.1% in N. oiratianus from China. The respective intra-specific variations of ITS1 and ITS2 were 1.8-4.4% and 1.6-6.1% between N. oiratianus isolates from China and Iran, 5.7-7.1% and 6.3-8.3% between N. helvetianus samples from China and America. For N. spathiger, compared with samples from China, sequence differences in ITS1 rDNA were 0.3-2.4% in isolates from America, 0.3-2.9% in New Zealand and 2.1-2.4% in Australia. Genetic variations in ITS2 rDNA of N. spathiger were 0-0.4% between samples from China and America, and 0-0.8% between samples from China and New Zealand. Using mutation sites, polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and specific PCR techniques were developed to differentiate these three Nematodirus species. The specific PCR assay allowed the accurate identification of N. oiratianus from other common nematodes with a sensitivity of 0.69 pg and further examination of Nematodirus samples demonstrated the reliability of these two molecular methods.

  11. Appraisal of molecular tailoring approach for large clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahu, Nityananda; Yeole, Sachin D.; Gadre, Shridhar R.

    2013-03-01

    High level ab initio investigations on molecular clusters are generally restricted to those of small size essentially due to the nonlinear scaling of corresponding computational cost. Molecular tailoring approach (MTA) is a fragmentation-based method, which offers an economical and efficient route for studying larger clusters. However, due to its approximate nature, the MTA-energies carry some errors vis-à-vis their full calculation counterparts. These errors in the MTA-energies are reduced by grafting the correction at a lower basis set (e.g., 6-31+G(d)) onto a higher basis set (e.g., aug-cc-pvdz or aug-cc-pvtz) calculation at MP2 level of theory. Further, better estimates of energies are obtained by making use of many-body interaction analysis. For this purpose, R-goodness (Rg) parameters for the three- and four-body interactions in a fragmentation scheme are proposed. The procedure employing grafting and many-body analysis has been tested out on molecular clusters of water, benzene, acetylene and carbon dioxide. It is found that for the fragmentation scheme having higher three- and four-body Rg-values, the errors in MTA-grafted energies are reduced typically to ˜0.2 mH at MP2 level calculation. Coupled with the advantage in terms of computational resources and CPU time, the present method opens a possibility of accurate treatment of large molecular clusters.

  12. Molecular approaches to measuring microbial marine pollution.

    PubMed

    Pommepuy, M; Le Guyader, F

    1998-06-01

    Developments in the rapid detection of pathogens (PCR and its variations) and molecular typing of strains isolated from the ecosystem illustrate the stimulation of research due to the recent foodborne and waterborne disease outbreaks.

  13. Carbon Nanotube Based Molecular Electronics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srivastava, Deepak; Saini, Subhash; Menon, Madhu

    1998-01-01

    Carbon nanotubes and the nanotube heterojunctions have recently emerged as excellent candidates for nanoscale molecular electronic device components. Experimental measurements on the conductivity, rectifying behavior and conductivity-chirality correlation have also been made. While quasi-one dimensional simple heterojunctions between nanotubes with different electronic behavior can be generated by introduction of a pair of heptagon-pentagon defects in an otherwise all hexagon graphene sheet. Other complex 3- and 4-point junctions may require other mechanisms. Structural stability as well as local electronic density of states of various nanotube junctions are investigated using a generalized tight-binding molecular dynamics (GDBMD) scheme that incorporates non-orthogonality of the orbitals. The junctions investigated include straight and small angle heterojunctions of various chiralities and diameters; as well as more complex 'T' and 'Y' junctions which do not always obey the usual pentagon-heptagon pair rule. The study of local density of states (LDOS) reveal many interesting features, most prominent among them being the defect-induced states in the gap. The proposed three and four pointjunctions are one of the smallest possible tunnel junctions made entirely of carbon atoms. Furthermore the electronic behavior of the nanotube based device components can be taylored by doping with group III-V elements such as B and N, and BN nanotubes as a wide band gap semiconductor has also been realized in experiments. Structural properties of heteroatomic nanotubes comprising C, B and N will be discussed.

  14. Carbon Nanotube Based Molecular Electronics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srivastava, Deepak; Saini, Subhash; Menon, Madhu

    1998-01-01

    Carbon nanotubes and the nanotube heterojunctions have recently emerged as excellent candidates for nanoscale molecular electronic device components. Experimental measurements on the conductivity, rectifying behavior and conductivity-chirality correlation have also been made. While quasi-one dimensional simple heterojunctions between nanotubes with different electronic behavior can be generated by introduction of a pair of heptagon-pentagon defects in an otherwise all hexagon graphene sheet. Other complex 3- and 4-point junctions may require other mechanisms. Structural stability as well as local electronic density of states of various nanotube junctions are investigated using a generalized tight-binding molecular dynamics (GDBMD) scheme that incorporates non-orthogonality of the orbitals. The junctions investigated include straight and small angle heterojunctions of various chiralities and diameters; as well as more complex 'T' and 'Y' junctions which do not always obey the usual pentagon-heptagon pair rule. The study of local density of states (LDOS) reveal many interesting features, most prominent among them being the defect-induced states in the gap. The proposed three and four pointjunctions are one of the smallest possible tunnel junctions made entirely of carbon atoms. Furthermore the electronic behavior of the nanotube based device components can be taylored by doping with group III-V elements such as B and N, and BN nanotubes as a wide band gap semiconductor has also been realized in experiments. Structural properties of heteroatomic nanotubes comprising C, B and N will be discussed.

  15. Identification of dual Acetyl-CoA carboxylases 1 and 2 inhibitors by pharmacophore based virtual screening and molecular docking approach.

    PubMed

    Bhadauriya, Anuseema; Dhoke, Gaurao V; Gangwal, Rahul P; Damre, Mangesh V; Sangamwar, Abhay T

    2013-02-01

    Acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) is a crucial metabolic enzyme that plays a vital role in obesity-induced type 2 diabetes and fatty acid metabolism. To identify dual inhibitors of Acetyl-CoA carboxylase1 and Acetyl-CoA carboxylase2, a pharmacophore modelling approach has been employed. The best HypoGen pharmacophore model for ACC2 inhibitors (Hypo1_ACC2) consists of one hydrogen bond acceptor, one hydrophobic aliphatic and one hydrophobic aromatic feature, whereas the best pharmacophore (Hypo1_ACC1) for ACC1 consists of one additional hydrogen-bond donor (HBD) features. The best pharmacophore hypotheses were validated by various methods such as test set, decoy set and Cat-Scramble methodology. The validated pharmacophore models were used to screen several small-molecule databases, including Specs, NCI, ChemDiv and Natural product databases to identify the potential dual ACC inhibitors. The virtual hits were then subjected to several filters such as estimated [Formula: see text] value, quantitative estimation of drug-likeness and molecular docking analysis. Finally, three novel compounds with diverse scaffolds were selected as potential starting points for the design of novel dual ACC inhibitors.

  16. Emerging molecular approaches in stem cell biology.

    PubMed

    Jaishankar, Amritha; Vrana, Kent

    2009-04-01

    Stem cells are characterized by their ability to self-renew and differentiate into multiple adult cell types. Although substantial progress has been made over the last decade in understanding stem cell biology, recent technological advances in molecular and systems biology may hold the key to unraveling the mystery behind stem cell self-renewal and plasticity. The most notable of these advances is the ability to generate induced pluripotent cells from somatic cells. In this review, we discuss our current understanding of molecular similarities and differences among various stem cell types. Moreover, we survey the current state of systems biology and forecast future needs and direction in the stem cell field.

  17. [Stewart's acid-base approach].

    PubMed

    Funk, Georg-Christian

    2007-01-01

    In addition to paCO(2), Stewart's acid base model takes into account the influence of albumin, inorganic phosphate, electrolytes and lactate on acid-base equilibrium. It allows a comprehensive and quantitative analysis of acid-base disorders. Particularly simultaneous and mixed metabolic acid-base disorders, which are common in critically ill patients, can be assessed. Stewart's approach is therefore a valuable tool in addition to the customary acid-base approach based on bicarbonate or base excess. However, some chemical aspects of Stewart's approach remain controversial.

  18. New approaches to sepsis: molecular diagnostics and biomarkers.

    PubMed

    Reinhart, Konrad; Bauer, Michael; Riedemann, Niels C; Hartog, Christiane S

    2012-10-01

    Sepsis is among the most common causes of death in hospitals. It arises from the host response to infection. Currently, diagnosis relies on nonspecific physiological criteria and culture-based pathogen detection. This results in diagnostic uncertainty, therapeutic delays, the mis- and overuse of antibiotics, and the failure to identify patients who might benefit from immunomodulatory therapies. There is a need for new sepsis biomarkers that can aid in therapeutic decision making and add information about screening, diagnosis, risk stratification, and monitoring of the response to therapy. The host response involves hundreds of mediators and single molecules, many of which have been proposed as biomarkers. It is, however, unlikely that one single biomarker is able to satisfy all the needs and expectations for sepsis research and management. Among biomarkers that are measurable by assays approved for clinical use, procalcitonin (PCT) has shown some usefulness as an infection marker and for antibiotic stewardship. Other possible new approaches consist of molecular strategies to improve pathogen detection and molecular diagnostics and prognostics based on transcriptomic, proteomic, or metabolic profiling. Novel approaches to sepsis promise to transform sepsis from a physiologic syndrome into a group of distinct biochemical disorders and help in the development of better diagnostic tools and effective adjunctive sepsis therapies.

  19. New Approaches to Sepsis: Molecular Diagnostics and Biomarkers

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Michael; Riedemann, Niels C.; Hartog, Christiane S.

    2012-01-01

    Summary: Sepsis is among the most common causes of death in hospitals. It arises from the host response to infection. Currently, diagnosis relies on nonspecific physiological criteria and culture-based pathogen detection. This results in diagnostic uncertainty, therapeutic delays, the mis- and overuse of antibiotics, and the failure to identify patients who might benefit from immunomodulatory therapies. There is a need for new sepsis biomarkers that can aid in therapeutic decision making and add information about screening, diagnosis, risk stratification, and monitoring of the response to therapy. The host response involves hundreds of mediators and single molecules, many of which have been proposed as biomarkers. It is, however, unlikely that one single biomarker is able to satisfy all the needs and expectations for sepsis research and management. Among biomarkers that are measurable by assays approved for clinical use, procalcitonin (PCT) has shown some usefulness as an infection marker and for antibiotic stewardship. Other possible new approaches consist of molecular strategies to improve pathogen detection and molecular diagnostics and prognostics based on transcriptomic, proteomic, or metabolic profiling. Novel approaches to sepsis promise to transform sepsis from a physiologic syndrome into a group of distinct biochemical disorders and help in the development of better diagnostic tools and effective adjunctive sepsis therapies. PMID:23034322

  20. Insect pathogens: molecular approaches and techniques

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This book serves as a primer for molecular techniques in insect pathology and is tailored for a wide scientific audience. Contributing authors are internationally recognized experts. The book comprises four sections: 1) pathogen identification and diagnostics, 2) pathogen population genetics and p...

  1. An iTRAQ-Based Proteomics Approach to Clarify the Molecular Physiology of Somatic Embryo Development in Prince Rupprecht's Larch (Larix principis-rupprechtii Mayr)

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jian; Li, Hui; Fu, Shuangbin; Chen, Bo; Sun, Wenting; Zhang, Junqi; Zhang, Jinfeng

    2015-01-01

    Prince Rupprecht's larch (Larix principis-rupprechtii Mayr) is a native high-value forest tree species in North China whose clonal propagation through somatic embryogenesis (SE) has the potential to rapidly capture the benefits of breeding or genetic engineering programs and to improve raw material uniformity and quality. To date, research has focused on clarifying the molecular mechanism of SE, but proteomic studies are still in the early stages. In this study, isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) analysis was performed on three developmental stages of SE in L. principis-rupprechtii in an attempt to identify a wide range of proteins that are regulated differentially during this process. Proteins were extracted and analyzed from the pro-embryogenic mass (PEM), globular embryo (GE), and cotyledon embryo (CE) stages of embryo development. We detected 503 proteins in total and identified 96 proteins expressed differentially during different developmental stages. The identified proteins were analyzed further to provide information about their expression patterns and functions during SE. Four clusters of proteins based on shared expression profiles were generated. Functional analysis showed that proteins involved in primary metabolism, phosphorylation, and oxidation reduction were upregulated during somatic embryo development. This work provides novel insights into the process of larch embryo development in vitro and a basis for further study of the biological process and opportunities for practical application of this knowledge. PMID:25781987

  2. Combined computational-experimental approach to predict blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeation based on "green" salting-out thin layer chromatography supported by simple molecular descriptors.

    PubMed

    Ciura, Krzesimir; Belka, Mariusz; Kawczak, Piotr; Bączek, Tomasz; Markuszewski, Michał J; Nowakowska, Joanna

    2017-09-05

    The objective of this paper is to build QSRR/QSAR model for predicting the blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability. The obtained models are based on salting-out thin layer chromatography (SOTLC) constants and calculated molecular descriptors. Among chromatographic methods SOTLC was chosen, since the mobile phases are free of organic solvent. As consequences, there are less toxic, and have lower environmental impact compared to classical reserved phases liquid chromatography (RPLC). During the study three stationary phase silica gel, cellulose plates and neutral aluminum oxide were examined. The model set of solutes presents a wide range of log BB values, containing compounds which cross the BBB readily and molecules poorly distributed to the brain including drugs acting on the nervous system as well as peripheral acting drugs. Additionally, the comparison of three regression models: multiple linear regression (MLR), partial least-squares (PLS) and orthogonal partial least squares (OPLS) were performed. The designed QSRR/QSAR models could be useful to predict BBB of systematically synthesized newly compounds in the drug development pipeline and are attractive alternatives of time-consuming and demanding directed methods for log BB measurement. The study also shown that among several regression techniques, significant differences can be obtained in models performance, measured by R(2) and Q(2), hence it is strongly suggested to evaluate all available options as MLR, PLS and OPLS. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Comparative study of an osazone based ligand and its palladium(II) complex with human serum albumin: A spectroscopic, thermodynamic and molecular docking approach.

    PubMed

    Bandyopadhyay, Nirmalya; Pradhan, Ankur Bikash; Das, Suman; Naskar, Jnan Prakash

    2017-08-01

    An osazone based ligand, hexane-3,4-dione-bis(2'-phenylhydrazone) (LH2), was synthesized by 1:2M Schiff base condensation of 3,4-hexanedione and phenylhydrazine in dehydrated methanol. Its palladium(II) complex (1) has also been synthesized. LH2 and 1 have thoroughly been characterized by several spectroscopic and analytical means. DFT optimized structure of 1 shows that it is a monomeric Pd(II) complex having 'N2Cl2' coordination chromophore. Our BVS analysis also satisfactorily reproduces the oxidation number of the palladium center. 1 shows irreversible Pd(II)/Pd(I) reduction in its CV in methanol. 1 is three-fold more emissive than LH2. This enhanced emission has also been supported by time correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) measurements at room temperature. Human serum albumin (HSA) binding aspects of both LH2 and 1 have been investigated through various biophysical techniques. The binding constants as determined from Benesi-Hilderbrand plot using the absorbance spectral analyses were found respectively to be 1.18×10(5) and 4.38×10(4)M(-1) for LH2 and 1. The experimental findings confirm that both are good HSA binders. The thermodynamic parameters (∆G°, ∆H° and ∆S°) have also been evaluated by isothermal titration calorimetric (ITC) experiments. These parameters indicate that the binding processes are spontaneous both for LH2 and 1. Molecular docking analyses reveal that both LH2 and 1 reside in domain-I of HSA. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Advanced Lung Cancer Screening: An Individualized Molecular Nanotechnology Approach

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-03-01

    Award Number: W81XWH-12-1-0323 TITLE: Advanced Lung Cancer Screening: An Individualized Molecular Nanotechnology Approach PRINCIPAL... control number. PLEASE DO NOT RETURN YOUR FORM TO THE ABOVE ADDRESS. 1. REPORT DATE March 2016 2. REPORT TYPE Final 3. DATES COVERED 4. TITLE AND...SUBTITLE Advanced Lung Cancer Screening: An Individualized Molecular Nanotechnology Approach 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT

  5. Skull base approaches in neurosurgery

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    The skull base surgery is one of the most demanding surgeries. There are different structures that can be injured easily, by operating in the skull base. It is very important for the neurosurgeon to choose the right approach in order to reach the lesion without harming the other intact structures. Due to the pioneering work of Cushing, Hirsch, Yasargil, Krause, Dandy and other dedicated neurosurgeons, it is possible to address the tumor and other lesions in the anterior, the mid-line and the posterior cranial base. With the transsphenoidal, the frontolateral, the pterional and the lateral suboccipital approach nearly every region of the skull base is exposable. In the current state many different skull base approaches are described for various neurosurgical diseases during the last 20 years. The selection of an approach may differ from country to country, e.g., in the United States orbitozygomaticotomy for special lesions of the anterior skull base or petrosectomy for clivus meningiomas, are found more frequently than in Europe. The reason for writing the review was the question: Are there keyhole approaches with which someone can deal with a vast variety of lesions in the neurosurgical field? In my opinion the different surgical approaches mentioned above cover almost 95% of all skull base tumors and lesions. In the following text these approaches will be described. These approaches are: 1) pterional approach 2) frontolateral approach 3) transsphenoidal approach 4) suboccipital lateral approach These approaches can be extended and combined with each other. In the following we want to enhance this philosophy. PMID:20602753

  6. Interference-based molecular transistors

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ying; Mol, Jan A.; Benjamin, Simon C.; Briggs, G. Andrew D.

    2016-01-01

    Molecular transistors have the potential for switching with lower gate voltages than conventional field-effect transistors. We have calculated the performance of a single-molecule device in which there is interference between electron transport through the highest occupied molecular orbital and the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital of a single molecule. Quantum interference results in a subthreshold slope that is independent of temperature. For realistic parameters the change in gate potential required for a change in source-drain current of two decades is 20 mV, which is a factor of six smaller than the theoretical limit for a metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor. PMID:27646692

  7. A rapid molecular approach for chromosomal phasing.

    PubMed

    Regan, John F; Kamitaki, Nolan; Legler, Tina; Cooper, Samantha; Klitgord, Niels; Karlin-Neumann, George; Wong, Catherine; Hodges, Shawn; Koehler, Ryan; Tzonev, Svilen; McCarroll, Steven A

    2015-01-01

    Determining the chromosomal phase of pairs of sequence variants - the arrangement of specific alleles as haplotypes - is a routine challenge in molecular genetics. Here we describe Drop-Phase, a molecular method for quickly ascertaining the phase of pairs of DNA sequence variants (separated by 1-200 kb) without cloning or manual single-molecule dilution. In each Drop-Phase reaction, genomic DNA segments are isolated in tens of thousands of nanoliter-sized droplets together with allele-specific fluorescence probes, in a single reaction well. Physically linked alleles partition into the same droplets, revealing their chromosomal phase in the co-distribution of fluorophores across droplets. We demonstrated the accuracy of this method by phasing members of trios (revealing 100% concordance with inheritance information), and demonstrate a common clinical application by phasing CFTR alleles at genomic distances of 11-116 kb in the genomes of cystic fibrosis patients. Drop-Phase is rapid (requiring less than 4 hours), scalable (to hundreds of samples), and effective at long genomic distances (200 kb).

  8. Molecular phylogeny and a modified approach of character-based barcoding refining the taxonomy of New Caledonian freshwater gastropods (Caenogastropoda, Truncatelloidea, Tateidae).

    PubMed

    Zielske, Susan; Haase, Martin

    2015-08-01

    The islands of New Caledonia represent one of the world's biodiversity hotspots with many endemic species including freshwater gastropods of the family Tateidae. A phylogenetic analysis based on the mitochondrial COI and 16S rRNA and the nuclear ITS2 genes revealed two cryptic genera, Crosseana gen. n. and Novacaledonia gen. n. In order to provide character-based diagnoses we modified a DNA barcoding approach identifying strings of pairwise diagnostic characters, i.e. alignment positions, at which two genera are alternatively fixed for different nucleotides. The combination or string of all pairwise diagnostic characters was unique for each genus. Inconsistent mitochondrial and nuclear topologies suggest that Hemistomia cockerelli Haase and Bouchet, 1998 and H. fabrorum Haase and Bouchet, 1998, two morphologically well-defined species, hybridize. The age of the most recent common ancestor of the New Caledonian radiation of Tateidae was estimated at 24.6±9.5 MY. These findings are in line with the notion that New Caledonia is rather a Darwinian island that was colonized after an extended phase of submergence - in case of the tateids probably from Australia - despite being a fragment of Gondwanaland.

  9. Ab initio investigation of benzene clusters: Molecular tailoring approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahadevi, A. Subha; Rahalkar, Anuja P.; Gadre, Shridhar R.; Sastry, G. Narahari

    2010-10-01

    An exhaustive study on the clusters of benzene (Bz)n, n =2-8, at MP2/6-31++G∗∗ level of theory is reported. The relative strengths of CH-π and π-π interactions in these aggregates are examined, which eventually govern the pattern of cluster formation. A linear scaling method, viz., molecular tailoring approach (MTA), is efficiently employed for studying the energetics and growth patterns of benzene clusters consisting up to eight benzene (Bz) units. Accuracy of MTA-based calculations is appraised by performing the corresponding standard calculations wherever possible, i.e., up to tetramers. For benzene tetramers, the error introduced in energy is of the order of 0.1 mH (˜0.06 kcal/mol). Although for higher clusters the error may build up, further corrections based on many-body interaction energy analysis substantially reduce the error in the MTA-estimate. This is demonstrated for a prototypical case of benzene hexamer. A systematic way of building up a cluster of n monomers (n-mer) which employs molecular electrostatic potential of an (n -1)-mer is illustrated. The trends obtained using MTA method are essentially identical to those of the standard methods in terms of structure and energy. In summary, this study clearly brings out the possibility of effecting such large calculations, which are not possible conventionally, by the use of MTA without a significant loss of accuracy.

  10. Novel Molecular Imaging Approaches to Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Risk Stratification

    PubMed Central

    Toczek, Jakub; Meadows, Judith L.; Sadeghi, Mehran M.

    2015-01-01

    Selection of patients for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair is currently based on aneurysm size, growth rate and symptoms. Molecular imaging of biological processes associated with aneurysm growth and rupture, e.g., inflammation and matrix remodeling, could improve patient risk stratification and lead to a reduction in AAA morbidity and mortality. 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) and ultrasmall superparamagnetic particles of iron oxide (USPIO) magnetic resonance imaging are two novel approaches to AAA imaging evaluated in clinical trials. A variety of other tracers, including those that target inflammatory cells and proteolytic enzymes (e.g., integrin αvβ3 and matrix metalloproteinases), have proven effective in preclinical models of AAA and show great potential for clinical translation. PMID:26763279

  11. Novel Molecular Imaging Approaches to Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Risk Stratification.

    PubMed

    Toczek, Jakub; Meadows, Judith L; Sadeghi, Mehran M

    2016-01-01

    Selection of patients for abdominal aortic aneurysm repair is currently based on aneurysm size, growth rate, and symptoms. Molecular imaging of biological processes associated with aneurysm growth and rupture, for example, inflammation and matrix remodeling, could improve patient risk stratification and lead to a reduction in abdominal aortic aneurysm morbidity and mortality. (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography and ultrasmall superparamagnetic particles of iron oxide magnetic resonance imaging are 2 novel approaches to abdominal aortic aneurysm imaging evaluated in clinical trials. A variety of other tracers, including those that target inflammatory cells and proteolytic enzymes (eg, integrin αvβ3 and matrix metalloproteinases), have proven effective in preclinical models of abdominal aortic aneurysm and show great potential for clinical translation.

  12. Molecular diagnostic profiling of lung cancer specimens with a semiconductor-based massive parallel sequencing approach: feasibility, costs, and performance compared with conventional sequencing.

    PubMed

    Endris, Volker; Penzel, Roland; Warth, Arne; Muckenhuber, Alexander; Schirmacher, Peter; Stenzinger, Albrecht; Weichert, Wilko

    2013-11-01

    In the context of personalized oncology, screening for somatic tumor mutations is crucial for prediction of an individual patient's response to therapy. Massive parallel sequencing (MPS) has been suggested for routine diagnostics, but this technology has not been sufficiently evaluated with respect to feasibility, reliability, and cost effectiveness with routine diagnostic formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded material. We performed ultradeep targeted semiconductor-based MPS (190 amplicons covering hotspot mutations in 46 genes) in a variety of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded diagnostic samples of lung adenocarcinoma tissue with known EGFR mutations (n = 28). The samples reflected the typical spectrum of tissue material for diagnostics, including small biopsies and samples with low tumor-cell content. Using MPS, we successfully sequenced all samples, with a mean read depth of 2947 reads per amplicon. High-quality sequence reads were obtained from samples containing ≥10% tumor material. In all but one sample, variant calling identified the same EGFR mutations as were detected by conventional Sanger sequencing. Moreover, we identified 43 additional mutations in 17 genes and detected amplifications in the EGFR and ERBB2 genes. MPS performance was reliable and independent of the type of material, as well as of the fixation and extraction methods, but was influenced by tumor-cell content and the degree of DNA degradation. Using sample multiplexing, focused MPS approached diagnostically acceptable cost rates.

  13. Semiclassical approach to atomic and molecular interactions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kunc, Joseph A.

    1989-01-01

    A general approach, combining quantum and classical mechanics, is used to determine the electron position and velocity distributions in atoms and atomic ions (positive and negative). The Hartree-Fock electronic wave functions and the classical central field approximation are used for evaluation of the dynamic properties of the localized electrons. The distributions, which are of fundamental importance in applications of the binary encounter approximation to description of atomic and ionic collissions, are obtained in the form of simple analytical expressions. The quantum-classical distributions of this work are compared with several other distributions in Ne, Ar, and Al atoms in the ground state.

  14. Fusarium diversity in soil using a specific molecular approach and a cultural approach.

    PubMed

    Edel-Hermann, Véronique; Gautheron, Nadine; Mounier, Arnaud; Steinberg, Christian

    2015-04-01

    Fusarium species are ubiquitous in soil. They cause plant and human diseases and can produce mycotoxins. Surveys of Fusarium species diversity in environmental samples usually rely on laborious culture-based methods. In the present study, we have developed a molecular method to analyze Fusarium diversity directly from soil DNA. We designed primers targeting the translation elongation factor 1-alpha (EF-1α) gene and demonstrated their specificity toward Fusarium using a large collection of fungi. We used the specific primers to construct a clone library from three contrasting soils. Sequence analysis confirmed the specificity of the assay, with 750 clones identified as Fusarium and distributed among eight species or species complexes. The Fusarium oxysporum species complex (FOSC) was the most abundant one in the three soils, followed by the Fusarium solani species complex (FSSC). We then compared our molecular approach results with those obtained by isolating Fusarium colonies on two culture media and identifying species by sequencing part of the EF-1α gene. The 750 isolates were distributed into eight species or species complexes, with the same dominant species as with the cloning method. Sequence diversity was much higher in the clone library than in the isolate collection. The molecular approach proved to be a valuable tool to assess Fusarium diversity in environmental samples. Combined with high throughput sequencing, it will allow for in-depth analysis of large numbers of samples. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  15. Molecular Approach to Allergy Diagnosis and Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Martin; Wallner, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Presently, allergy diagnosis and therapy procedures are undergoing a transition phase in which allergen extracts are being step-by-step replaced by molecule-based products. The new developments will allow clinicians to obtain detailed information on sensitization patterns, more accurate interpretation of allergic symptoms, and thus improved patients' management. In this respect, recombinant technology has been applied to develop this new generation of molecule-based allergy products. The use of recombinant allergens allows full validation of identity, quantity, homogeneity, structure, aggregation, solubility, stability, IgE-binding and the biologic potency of the products. In contrast, such parameters are extremely difficult to assay and standardize for extract-based products. In addition to the possibility of bulk production of wild type molecules for diagnostic purposes, recombinant technology opened the possibility of developing safer and more efficacious products for allergy therapy. A number of molecule-based hypoallergenic preparations have already been successfully evaluated in clinical trials, bringing forward the next generation of allergy vaccines. In this contribution, we review the latest developments in allergen characterization, molecule-based allergy diagnosis, and the application of recombinant allergens in therapeutic setups. A comprehensive overview of clinical trials using recombinant allergens as well as synthetic peptides is presented. PMID:24954310

  16. Quest: A New Approach to Molecular Staging of Tumors

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-08-01

    200 Words) Towards the goal of molecular diagnosis and staging of NFl-related tumors, we proposed to develop and validate a novel PCR-based method...definitive system for the diagnosis and staging of NFl1-related tumors is a major obstacle to investigating the molecular basis of tumorigenesis, to...develop in individuals with NF1 (4-13). Gains or losses at a particular locus are (reviewed in(4)potential biomarkers for the molecular diagnosis and

  17. Generation of Well-Relaxed All-Atom Models of Large Molecular Weight Polymer Melts: A Hybrid Particle-Continuum Approach Based on Particle-Field Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    De Nicola, Antonio; Kawakatsu, Toshihiro; Milano, Giuseppe

    2014-12-09

    A procedure based on Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations employing soft potentials derived from self-consistent field (SCF) theory (named MD-SCF) able to generate well-relaxed all-atom structures of polymer melts is proposed. All-atom structures having structural correlations indistinguishable from ones obtained by long MD relaxations have been obtained for poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) melts. The proposed procedure leads to computational costs mainly related on system size rather than to the chain length. Several advantages of the proposed procedure over current coarse-graining/reverse mapping strategies are apparent. No parametrization is needed to generate relaxed structures of different polymers at different scales or resolutions. There is no need for special algorithms or back-mapping schemes to change the resolution of the models. This characteristic makes the procedure general and its extension to other polymer architectures straightforward. A similar procedure can be easily extended to the generation of all-atom structures of block copolymer melts and polymer nanocomposites.

  18. Antibody-controlled actuation of DNA-based molecular circuits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engelen, Wouter; Meijer, Lenny H. H.; Somers, Bram; de Greef, Tom F. A.; Merkx, Maarten

    2017-02-01

    DNA-based molecular circuits allow autonomous signal processing, but their actuation has relied mostly on RNA/DNA-based inputs, limiting their application in synthetic biology, biomedicine and molecular diagnostics. Here we introduce a generic method to translate the presence of an antibody into a unique DNA strand, enabling the use of antibodies as specific inputs for DNA-based molecular computing. Our approach, antibody-templated strand exchange (ATSE), uses the characteristic bivalent architecture of antibodies to promote DNA-strand exchange reactions both thermodynamically and kinetically. Detailed characterization of the ATSE reaction allowed the establishment of a comprehensive model that describes the kinetics and thermodynamics of ATSE as a function of toehold length, antibody-epitope affinity and concentration. ATSE enables the introduction of complex signal processing in antibody-based diagnostics, as demonstrated here by constructing molecular circuits for multiplex antibody detection, integration of multiple antibody inputs using logic gates and actuation of enzymes and DNAzymes for signal amplification.

  19. Ab initio Path Integral Molecular Dynamics Based on Fragment Molecular Orbital Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujita, Takatoshi; Watanabe, Hirofumi; Tanaka, Shigenori

    2009-10-01

    We have developed an ab initio path integral molecular dynamics method based on the fragment molecular orbital method. This “FMO-PIMD” method can treat both nuclei and electrons quantum mechanically, and is useful to simulate large hydrogen-bonded systems with high accuracy. After a benchmark calculation for water monomer, water trimer and glycine pentamer have been studied using the FMO-PIMD method to investigate nuclear quantum effects on structure and molecular interactions. The applicability of the present approach is demonstrated through a number of test calculations.

  20. Niobate-based octahedral molecular sieves

    DOEpatents

    Nenoff, Tina M.; Nyman, May D.

    2006-10-17

    Niobate-based octahedral molecular sieves having significant activity for multivalent cations and a method for synthesizing such sieves are disclosed. The sieves have a net negatively charged octahedral framework, comprising niobium, oxygen, and octahedrally coordinated lower valence transition metals. The framework can be charge balanced by the occluded alkali cation from the synthesis method. The alkali cation can be exchanged for other contaminant metal ions. The ion-exchanged niobate-based octahedral molecular sieve can be backexchanged in acidic solutions to yield a solution concentrated in the contaminant metal. Alternatively, the ion-exchanged niobate-based octahedral molecular sieve can be thermally converted to a durable perovskite phase waste form.

  1. Niobate-based octahedral molecular sieves

    DOEpatents

    Nenoff, Tina M.; Nyman, May D.

    2003-07-22

    Niobate-based octahedral molecular sieves having significant activity for multivalent cations and a method for synthesizing such sieves are disclosed. The sieves have a net negatively charged octahedral framework, comprising niobium, oxygen, and octahedrally coordinated lower valence transition metals. The framework can be charge balanced by the occluded alkali cation from the synthesis method. The alkali cation can be exchanged for other contaminant metal ions. The ion-exchanged niobate-based octahedral molecular sieve can be backexchanged in acidic solutions to yield a solution concentrated in the contaminant metal. Alternatively, the ion-exchanged niobate-based octahedral molecular sieve can be thermally converted to a durable perovskite phase waste form.

  2. Molecular Approaches for Optimizing Vitamin D Supplementation.

    PubMed

    Carlberg, Carsten

    2016-01-01

    Vitamin D can be synthesized endogenously within UV-B exposed human skin. However, avoidance of sufficient sun exposure via predominant indoor activities, textile coverage, dark skin at higher latitude, and seasonal variations makes the intake of vitamin D fortified food or direct vitamin D supplementation necessary. Vitamin D has via its biologically most active metabolite 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and the transcription factor vitamin D receptor a direct effect on the epigenome and transcriptome of many human tissues and cell types. Different interpretation of results from observational studies with vitamin D led to some dispute in the field on the desired optimal vitamin D level and the recommended daily supplementation. This chapter will provide background on the epigenome- and transcriptome-wide functions of vitamin D and will outline how this insight may be used for determining of the optimal vitamin D status of human individuals. These reflections will lead to the concept of a personal vitamin D index that may be a better guideline for an optimized vitamin D supplementation than population-based recommendations. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Preparation of a pipette tip-based molecularly imprinted solid-phase microextraction monolith by epitope approach and its application for determination of enkephalins in human cerebrospinal fluid.

    PubMed

    Li, Hua; Li, Dan

    2015-11-10

    In this study, a novel molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) monolith for highly selective extraction of enkephalins was synthesized and prepared in a micropipette tip using epitope imprinting technique. The synthesized MIPs were characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and infrared spectroscopy. A molecularly imprinted solid-phase microextraction (MISPME) method was developed for extraction of enkephalins in aqueous solutions. The parameters affecting MISPME were optimized. The results indicated that this MIP monolith exhibited specific recognition capability, high enrichment efficiency and excellent reusability for enkephalins. MALDI-TOF MS analysis demonstrated that this MIP monolith can act as a useful tool for highly selective purification and enrichment of enkephalin, a kind of low abundance protein, from high-abundance proteins in human cerebrospinal fluids (CSF). Employed this MIP monolith as solid-phase microextraction column, quantitative assay of enkephalins in human CSF was developed by HPLC-ultraviolet (UV) detection in this work. The detection limits were 0.05-0.08nM. This MISPME/HPLC-UV method was used to quantify Met-enkephalin and Leu-enkephalin levels in the CSF of patients with cancer pain.

  4. Molecular bulk heterojunctions: an emerging approach to organic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Roncali, Jean

    2009-11-17

    The predicted exhaustion of fossil energy resources and the pressure of environmental constraints are stimulating an intensification of research on renewable energy sources, in particular, on the photovoltaic conversion of solar energy. In this context, organic solar cells are attracting increasing interest that is motivated by the possibility of fabricating large-area, lightweight, and flexible devices using simple techniques with low environmental impact. Organic solar cells are based on a heterojunction resulting from the contact of a donor (D) and an acceptor (A) material. Absorption of solar photons creates excitons, Coulombically bound electron-hole pairs, which diffuse to the D/A interface, where they are dissociated into free holes and electrons by the electric field. D/A heterojunctions can be created with two types of architectures, namely, bilayer heterojunction and bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells. BHJ cells combine the advantages of easier fabrication and higher conversion efficiency due to the considerably extended D/A interface. Until now, the development of BHJ solar cells has been essentially based on the use of soluble pi-conjugated polymers as donor material. Intensive interdisciplinary research carried out in the past 10 years has led to an increase in the conversion efficiency of BHJ cells from 0.10 to more than 5.0%. These investigations have progressively established regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) as the standard donor material for BHJ solar cells, owing to a useful combination of optical and charge-transport properties. However, besides the limit imposed to the maximum conversion efficiency by its intrinsic electronic properties, P3HT and more generally polymers pose several problems related to the control of their structure, molecular weight, polydispersity, and purification. In this context, recent years have seen the emergence of an alternative approach based on the replacement of polydisperse polymers by soluble

  5. COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THREE FUNDAMENTAL ORGANIC COMPOUNDS OF CHAIN STRUCTURE OF THREE RINGS An approach based in the molecular descriptors of the DFT (Density Functional Theory)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leon, Neira B. Oscar; Fabio, Mejía Elio; Elizabeth, y. Rincón B.

    2008-04-01

    The organic molecules of a chain structure containing phenyl, oxazole and oxadiazole rings are used in different combinations as active media for tunable lasers. From this viewpoint, we focused in the theoretical study of organic compounds of three rings, which have similar optical properties (fluorescence and laser properties). The main goal of this study is to compare the electronic structure through the analysis of molecular global descriptors defined in the DFT framework of2-[2-X-phenyl]-5-phenyl-1,3-Oxazole, 2-[2-X-phenyl]-5-phenyl-1,3,4-Oxadiazole, and 2-[2-X-phenyl]-5-phenyl-furane with X = H, F and Cl. The basis set used was 6-31G+(d).

  6. [A new conceptual approach for searching for molecular causes of diabetes mellitus, based on the study of functioning of hormonal signaling systems].

    PubMed

    Pertseva, M N; Kuznetsova, L A; Shpakov, A O

    2013-01-01

    The review deals with analysis and generalization of the data obtained by authors on abnormalities in hormonal signal systems in diabetes mellitus (DM)--in rats with experimental models of DM of the types 1 and 2, in patients with DM, and in invertebrates (mollucs) with experimental diabetes-like state. Changes of functional state of hormonal signal systems regulated by different hormones, including biogenic amines and peptides of the insulin group, in a wide spectrum of tissues are discussed. The conclusion is made that disturbances in hormonal signal systems are the key molecular causes of physiological and metabolic abnormalities occurring in the types 1 and 2 DM. A concept on polyhormonal genesis of DM and the systemic nature of disturbances in the hormone-regulated signaling cascades under conditions of DM is formulated.

  7. Adaptive molecular resolution approach in Hamiltonian form: An asymptotic analysis.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jinglong; Klein, Rupert; Delle Site, Luigi

    2016-10-01

    Adaptive molecular resolution approaches in molecular dynamics are becoming relevant tools for the analysis of molecular liquids characterized by the interplay of different physical scales. The essential difference among these methods is in the way the change of molecular resolution is made in a buffer (transition) region. In particular a central question concerns the possibility of the existence of a global Hamiltonian which, by describing the change of resolution, is at the same time physically consistent, mathematically well defined, and numerically accurate. In this paper we present an asymptotic analysis of the adaptive process complemented by numerical results and show that under certain mathematical conditions a Hamiltonian, which is physically consistent and numerically accurate, may exist. Such conditions show that molecular simulations in the current computational implementation require systems of large size, and thus a Hamiltonian approach such as the one proposed, at this stage, would not be practical from the numerical point of view. However, the Hamiltonian proposed provides the basis for a simplification and generalization of the numerical implementation of adaptive resolution algorithms to other molecular dynamics codes.

  8. A systematic approach to prioritize drug targets using machine learning, a molecular descriptor-based classification model, and high-throughput screening of plant derived molecules: a case study in oral cancer.

    PubMed

    Randhawa, Vinay; Kumar Singh, Anil; Acharya, Vishal

    2015-12-01

    Systems-biology inspired identification of drug targets and machine learning-based screening of small molecules which modulate their activity have the potential to revolutionize modern drug discovery by complementing conventional methods. To utilize the effectiveness of such pipelines, we first analyzed the dysregulated gene pairs between control and tumor samples and then implemented an ensemble-based feature selection approach to prioritize targets in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) for therapeutic exploration. Based on the structural information of known inhibitors of CXCR4-one of the best targets identified in this study-a feature selection was implemented for the identification of optimal structural features (molecular descriptor) based on which a classification model was generated. Furthermore, the CXCR4-centered descriptor-based classification model was finally utilized to screen a repository of plant derived small-molecules to obtain potential inhibitors. The application of our methodology may assist effective selection of the best targets which may have previously been overlooked, that in turn will lead to the development of new oral cancer medications. The small molecules identified in this study can be ideal candidates for trials as potential novel anti-oral cancer agents. Importantly, distinct steps of this whole study may provide reference for the analysis of other complex human diseases.

  9. Synthesis of High Molecular Weight Cyclic Poly(ε-caprolactone)s of Variable Ring Size Based on a Light-Induced Ring-Closure Approach.

    PubMed

    Wang, Haodi; Zhang, Li; Liu, Binyuan; Han, Bing; Duan, Zhongyu; Qi, Cuiyun; Park, Dae-Won; Kim, Il

    2015-09-01

    High molecular weight cyclic poly(ε-caprolactone)s (cPCLs) with variable ring size are synthesized via light-induced ring closure of α,ω-anthracene-terminated PCL (An-PCL-An). The ring size of cPCL is tunable simply by adjusting the polymer concentration from 10 to 100 mg mL(-1) in THF. The cyclo-addition via the bimolecular cyclization of An-PC-An is well characterized by a variety of analyses such as (1) H NMR and UV-vis spectroscopies, gel-permeation chromatography, and differential scanning calorimetry. The reversible dimerization of An induced by heating enables the cyclic PCL to have a switchable "on-off" capability. This novel light-induced ring-closure technique can be one of the most powerful candidates for producing various well-defined cyclic polymers in highly concentrated polymer solution. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Histidine adsorption on TiO2 nanoparticles: an integrated spectroscopic, thermodynamic, and molecular-based approach toward understanding nano-bio interactions.

    PubMed

    Mudunkotuwa, Imali A; Grassian, Vicki H

    2014-07-29

    Nanoparticles in biological media form dynamic entities as a result of competitive adsorption of proteins on nanoparticle surfaces called protein coronas. The protein affinity toward nanoparticle surfaces potentially depends on the constituent amino acid side chains which are on the protein exterior and thus exposed to the solution and available for interaction. Therefore, studying the adsorption of individual amino acids on nanoparticle surfaces can provide valuable insights into the overall evolution of nanoparticles in solution and the protein corona that forms. In the current study, the surface adsorption of l-histidine on TiO2 nanoparticles with a diameter of 5 nm at pH 7.4 (physiological pH) is studied from both macroscopic and molecular perspectives. Quantitative adsorption measurements of l-histidine on 5 nm TiO2 particles yield maximum adsorption coverage of 6.2 ± 0.3 × 10(13) molecules cm(-2) at 293 K and pH 7.4. These quantitative adsorption measurements also yield values for the equilibrium constant and free energy of adsorption of K = 4.3 ± 0.5 × 10(2) L mol(-1) and ΔG = -14.8 ± 0.3 kJ mol(-1), respectively. Detailed analysis of the adsorption between histidine and 5 nm TiO2 nanoparticle surfaces with attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy indicates both the imidazole side chain and the amine group interacting with the nanoparticle surface and the adsorption to be reversible. The adsorption results in no change in surface charge and therefore does not change nanoparticle-nanoparticle interactions and thus aggregation behavior of these 5 nm TiO2 nanoparticles in aqueous solution.

  11. Development of 3D-QSAR model for acetylcholinesterase inhibitors using a combination of fingerprint, molecular docking, and structure-based pharmacophore approaches

    EPA Science Inventory

    Acetylcholinesterase (AChE), a serine hydrolase vital for regulating the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in animals, has been used as a target for drugs and pesticides. With the increasing availability of AChE crystal structures, with or without ligands bound, structure-based appr...

  12. Development of 3D-QSAR model for acetylcholinesterase inhibitors using a combination of fingerprint, molecular docking, and structure-based pharmacophore approaches

    EPA Science Inventory

    Acetylcholinesterase (AChE), a serine hydrolase vital for regulating the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in animals, has been used as a target for drugs and pesticides. With the increasing availability of AChE crystal structures, with or without ligands bound, structure-based appr...

  13. Carbon-based ion and molecular channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sint, Kyaw; Wang, Boyang; Kral, Petr

    2008-03-01

    We design ion and molecular channels based on layered carboneous materials, with chemically-functionalized pore entrances. Our molecular dynamics simulations demonstrate that these ultra-narrow pores, with diameters around 1 nm, are highly selective to the charges and sizes of the passing (Na^+ and Cl^-) ions and short alkanes. We demonstrate that the molecular flows through these pores can be easily controlled by electrical and mechanical means. These artificial pores could be integrated in fluidic nanodevices and lab-on-a-chip techniques with numerous potential applications. [1] Kyaw Sint, Boyang Wang and Petr Kral, submitted. [2] Boyang Wang and Petr Kral, JACS 128, 15984 (2006).

  14. Carbogenic molecular sieves for reaction and separation by design: A novel approach to shape selective super base, super acid and catalytic membranes. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Foley, Henry C.

    2002-03-18

    This report details the findings of three years of research plus one year of a no-cost extension. Primary results are the work with supported nanoporous carbon membranes for separation and reaction as well as with cesium-nanoporous carbon catalysts. The work resulted in 17 plus 2 papers (2 are in progress) and partial or full support for five Ph.D. students. Two patents were filed based on this research.

  15. Molecular toxicity identification evaluation (mTIE) approach predicts chemical exposure in Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Antczak, Philipp; Jo, Hun Je; Woo, Seonock; Scanlan, Leona; Poynton, Helen; Loguinov, Alex; Chan, Sarah; Falciani, Francesco; Vulpe, Chris

    2013-10-15

    Daphnia magna is a bioindicator organism accepted by several international water quality regulatory agencies. Current approaches for assessment of water quality rely on acute and chronic toxicity that provide no insight into the cause of toxicity. Recently, molecular approaches, such as genome wide gene expression responses, are enabling an alternative mechanism based approach to toxicity assessment. While these genomic methods are providing important mechanistic insight into toxicity, statistically robust prediction systems that allow the identification of chemical contaminants from the molecular response to exposure are needed. Here we apply advanced machine learning approaches to develop predictive models of contaminant exposure using a D. magna gene expression data set for 36 chemical exposures. We demonstrate here that we can discriminate between chemicals belonging to different chemical classes including endocrine disruptors and inorganic and organic chemicals based on gene expression. We also show that predictive models based on indices of whole pathway transcriptional activity can achieve comparable results while facilitating biological interpretability.

  16. Fractal Globules: A New Approach to Artificial Molecular Machines

    PubMed Central

    Avetisov, Vladik A.; Ivanov, Viktor A.; Meshkov, Dmitry A.; Nechaev, Sergei K.

    2014-01-01

    The over-damped relaxation of elastic networks constructed by contact maps of hierarchically folded fractal (crumpled) polymer globules was investigated in detail. It was found that the relaxation dynamics of an anisotropic fractal globule is very similar to the behavior of biological molecular machines like motor proteins. When it is perturbed, the system quickly relaxes to a low-dimensional manifold, M, with a large basin of attraction and then slowly approaches equilibrium, not escaping M. Taking these properties into account, it is suggested that fractal globules, even those made by synthetic polymers, are artificial molecular machines that can transform perturbations into directed quasimechanical motion along a defined path. PMID:25418305

  17. Ultrathin inorganic molecular nanowire based on polyoxometalates

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhenxin; Murayama, Toru; Sadakane, Masahiro; Ariga, Hiroko; Yasuda, Nobuhiro; Sakaguchi, Norihito; Asakura, Kiyotaka; Ueda, Wataru

    2015-01-01

    The development of metal oxide-based molecular wires is important for fundamental research and potential practical applications. However, examples of these materials are rare. Here we report an all-inorganic transition metal oxide molecular wire prepared by disassembly of larger crystals. The wires are comprised of molybdenum(VI) with either tellurium(IV) or selenium(IV): {(NH4)2[XMo6O21]}n (X=tellurium(IV) or selenium(IV)). The ultrathin molecular nanowires with widths of 1.2 nm grow to micrometre-scale crystals and are characterized by single-crystal X-ray analysis, Rietveld analysis, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy, thermal analysis and elemental analysis. The crystals can be disassembled into individual molecular wires through cation exchange and subsequent ultrasound treatment, as visualized by atomic force microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The ultrathin molecular wire-based material exhibits high activity as an acid catalyst, and the band gap of the molecular wire-based crystal is tunable by heat treatment. PMID:26139011

  18. The use of an integrated molecular-, chemical- and biological-based approach for promoting the better use and conservation of medicinal species: a case study of Brazilian quinas.

    PubMed

    Palhares, Rafael M; Drummond, Marcela G; Brasil, Bruno S A F; Krettli, Antoniana U; Oliveira, Guilherme C; Brandão, Maria G L

    2014-08-08

    Quina is a popular name originally attributed to Cinchona pubescens Vahl (=Cinchona succirubra) and Cinchona. calisaya Wedd., species native from Peru that have the antimalarial alkaloid quinine. In Brazil, bitter barks substitutes for the Peruvian species began to be used centuries ago, and they still are sold in popular markets. To assess the authenticity and the conditions on which samples of quinas have been commercialized, using the DNA barcode, chemical and biological assays. Starting with 28 samples of barks acquired on a popular market, 23 had their DNA extracted successfully. The regions matK and rbcL were amplified and sequenced for 15 and 23 samples, respectively. Phytochemical analyses were performed by chromatographic methods, and biological essays were done by antimalarial tests in vitro. The identified species belonged to six different families, many of them endangered or with no correlation with use in traditional medicine as a Brazilian quina. The absence of typical bitter chemical substances indicated that barks have been collected from other species or from very young trees. The results of biological essays confirm the lack of standardization of the sold materials. The integrated approaches proved to be efficient to evaluate medicinal plants sold in popular markets and can be useful for promoting their better use and conservation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Molecular genetic approaches to understanding the comorbidity of psychiatric disorders

    PubMed Central

    Gizer, Ian R.

    2016-01-01

    Epidemiologic studies demonstrating high rates of co-occurrence among psychiatric disorders at the population level have contributed to large literatures focused on identifying the causal mechanisms underlying the patterns of co-occurrence among these disorders. Such efforts have long represented a core focus of developmental psychopathologists and have more recently been supported by the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative developed by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), which provides a further framework for how the hypothesized mechanisms can be studied at different levels of analysis. The present overview focuses on molecular genetic approaches that are being used currently to study the etiology of psychiatric disorders, and how these approaches have been applied in efforts to understand the biological mechanisms that give rise to comorbid conditions. The present report begins with a review of molecular genetic approaches used to identify individual variants that confer risk for multiple disorders and the intervening biological mechanisms that contribute to their comorbidity. This is followed by a review of molecular genetic approaches that use genetic data in aggregate to examine these questions, and concludes with a discussion of how developmental psychopathologists are uniquely positioned to apply these methods in a way that will further our understanding of the causal factors that contribute to the development of comorbid conditions. PMID:27739393

  20. Low energy isomers of (H2O)25 from a hierarchical method based on Monte Carlo Temperature Basin Paving and Molecular Tailoring Approaches benchmarked by full MP2 calculations

    SciTech Connect

    Sahu, Nityananda; Gadre, Shridhar R.; Bandyopadhyay, Pradipta; Miliordos, Evangelos; Xantheas, Sotiris S.

    2014-10-28

    We report new global minimum candidate structures for the (H2O)25 cluster that are lower in energy than the ones reported previously and correspond to hydrogen bonded networks with 42 hydrogen bonds and an interior, fully coordinated water molecule. These were obtained as a result of a hierarchical approach based on initial Monte Carlo Temperature Basin Paving (MCTBP) sampling of the cluster’s Potential Energy Surface (PES) with the Effective Fragment Potential (EFP), subsequent geometry optimization using the Molecular Tailoring fragmentation Approach (MTA) and final refinement at the second order Møller Plesset perturbation (MP2) level of theory. The MTA geometry optimizations used between 14 and 18 main fragments with maximum sizes between 11 and 14 water molecules and average size of 10 water molecules, whose energies and gradients were computed at the MP2 level. The MTA-MP2 optimized geometries were found to be quite close (within < 0.5 kcal/mol) to the ones obtained from the MP2 optimization of the whole cluster. The grafting of the MTA-MP2 energies yields electronic energies that are within < 5×10-4 a.u. from the MP2 results for the whole cluster while preserving their energy order. The MTA-MP2 method was also found to reproduce the MP2 harmonic vibrational frequencies in both the HOH bending and the OH stretching regions.

  1. Bioassays Based on Molecular Nanomechanics

    DOE PAGES

    Majumdar, Arun

    2002-01-01

    Recent experiments have shown that when specific biomolecular interactions are confined to one surface of a microcantilever beam, changes in intermolecular nanomechanical forces provide sufficient differential torque to bend the cantilever beam. This has been used to detect single base pair mismatches during DNA hybridization, as well as prostate specific antigen (PSA) at concentrations and conditions that are clinically relevant for prostate cancer diagnosis. Since cantilever motion originates from free energy change induced by specific biomolecular binding, this technique is now offering a common platform for label-free quantitative analysis of protein-protein binding, DNA hybridization DNA-protein interactions, and in general receptor-ligandmore » interactions. Current work is focused on developing “universal microarrays” of microcantilever beams for high-throughput multiplexed bioassays.« less

  2. HEPATOCELLULAR CARCINOMA: NOVEL MOLECULAR APPROACHES FOR DIAGNOSIS, PROGNOSIS AND THERAPY

    PubMed Central

    Villanueva, Augusto; Minguez, Beatriz; Forner, Alejandro; Reig, Maria; Llovet, Josep M.

    2013-01-01

    The genomic era is changing the understanding of cancer, although translation of the vast amount of data available into decision-making algorithms is far from reality. Molecular profiling of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the first cause of death among cirrhotic patients and a fast growing malignancy in Western countries, is enabling to propose novel approaches to disease diagnosis and management. Most HCC arise on a cirrhotic liver, and predictably, an accurate genomic characterization will allow the identification of pro-carcinogenic signals amenable for selective target within chemopreventive strategies. Molecular diagnosis is currently feasible for small tumors, but it has not yet been adopted by scientific guidelines. Molecular treatment is a reality after the unprecedented survival benefits obtained by sorafenib in patients at advanced stages. Genomic information from tumor and non-tumoral tissue will aid prognosis prediction, and facilitate the identification of oncogene addiction loops, providing the opportunity to a more personalized medicine. PMID:20059340

  3. Species identification in the taxonomically neglected, highly diverse, neotropical parasitoid wasp genus Notiospathius (Braconidae: Doryctinae) based on an integrative molecular and morphological approach.

    PubMed

    Ceccarelli, Fadia Sara; Sharkey, Michael J; Zaldívar-Riverón, Alejandro

    2012-01-01

    Various DNA sequence-based methods for species delineation have recently been developed to assess the species-richness of highly diverse, neglected invertebrate taxa. These methods, however, need to be tested under a variety of conditions, including the use of different markers and parameters. Here, we explored the species diversity of a species-rich group of braconid parasitoid wasps, the Neotropical genus Notiospathius, including 233 specimens from 10 different countries. We examined sequences of two mitochondrial (mt) (COI, cyt b) and one nuclear (wg) gene fragments. We analysed them separately as well as concatenating the mt data with the general mixed Yule-coalescent (GMYC) model for species delineation using different tree-building methods and parameters for reconstructing ultrametric trees. We evaluated the performance of GMYC analyses by comparing their species delineations with our morphospecies identifications. Reconstructing ultrametric trees with a relaxed lognormal clock rate using the program BEAST gave the most congruent results with morphology for the two mt markers. A tree obtained with wg using the programs MrBayes+Pathd8 had the fewest cases of incongruence with morphology, though the performance of this nuclear marker was considerably lower than that of COI and cyt b. Species delimitation using the coalescent prior to obtain ultrametric trees was morphologically more congruent with COI, whereas the Yule prior was more congruent with cyt b. The analyses concatenating the mt datasets failed to recover some species supported both by morphology and the separate analyses of the mt markers. The highest morphological congruence was obtained with the GMYC analysis on an ultrametric tree reconstructed with cyt b using the relaxed lognormal clock rate and the Yule prior, thus supporting the importance of using alternative markers when the information of the barcoding locus (COI) is not concordant with morphological evidence. Seventy-one species were

  4. Evaluation of the taxonomic status of populations assigned to Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis (Anura, Hylidae, Phyllomedusinae) based on molecular, chromosomal, and morphological approach

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The taxonomic and phylogenetic relationships of the genus Phyllomedusa have been amply discussed. The marked morphological similarities among some species hamper the reliable identification of specimens and may often lead to their incorrect taxonomic classification on the sole basis of morphological traits. Phenotypic variation was observed among populations assigned to either P. azurea or P. hypochondrialis. In order to evaluate whether the variation observed in populations assigned to P. hypochondrialis is related to that in genotypes, a cytogenetic analysis was combined with phylogenetic inferences based on mitochondrial and nuclear sequences. Results The inter- and intra-population variation in the external morphology observed among the specimens analyzed in the present study do not reflect the phylogenetic relationships among populations. A monophyletic clade was recovered, grouping all the specimens identified as P. hypochondrialis and specimens assigned P. azurea from Minas Gerais state. This clade is characterized by conserved chromosomal morphology and a common C-banding pattern. Extensive variation in the nucleolar organizing region (NOR) was observed among populations, with four distinct NOR positions being recognized in the karyotypes. Intra-population polymorphism of the additional rDNA clusters observed in specimens from Barreiras, Bahia state, also highlights the marked genomic instability of the rDNA in the genome of this group. Based on the topology obtained in the phylogenetic analyses, the re-evaluation of the taxonomic status of the specimens from the southernmost population known in Brazil is recommended. Conclusions The results of this study support the need for a thorough revision of the phenotypic features used to discriminate P. azurea and P. hypochondrialis. The phylogenetic data presented here also contribute to an extension of the geographic range of P. hypochondrialis, which is known to occur in the Amazon basin and

  5. Assessment of the Molecular Expression and Structure of Gangliosides in Brain Metastasis of Lung Adenocarcinoma by an Advanced Approach Based on Fully Automated Chip-Nanoelectrospray Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zamfir, Alina D.; Serb, Alina; Vukeli, Željka; Flangea, Corina; Schiopu, Catalin; Fabris, Dragana; Kalanj-Bognar, Svjetlana; Capitan, Florina; Sisu, Eugen

    2011-12-01

    Gangliosides (GGs), sialic acid-containing glycosphingolipids, are known to be involved in the invasive/metastatic behavior of brain tumor cells. Development of modern methods for determination of the variations in GG expression and structure during neoplastic cell transformation is a priority in the field of biomedical analysis. In this context, we report here on the first optimization and application of chip-based nanoelectrospray (NanoMate robot) mass spectrometry (MS) for the investigation of gangliosides in a secondary brain tumor. In our work a native GG mixture extracted and purified from brain metastasis of lung adenocarcinoma was screened by NanoMate robot coupled to a quadrupole time-of-flight MS. A native GG mixture from an age-matched healthy brain tissue, sampled and analyzed under identical conditions, served as a control. Comparative MS analysis demonstrated an evident dissimilarity in GG expression in the two tissue types. Brain metastasis is characterized by many species having a reduced N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) content, however, modified by fucosylation or O-acetylation such as Fuc-GM4, Fuc-GM3, di- O-Ac-GM1, O-Ac-GM3. In contrast, healthy brain tissue is dominated by longer structures exhibiting from mono- to hexasialylated sugar chains. Also, significant differences in ceramide composition were discovered. By tandem MS using collision-induced dissociation at low energies, brain metastasis-associated GD3 (d18:1/18:0) species as well as an uncommon Fuc-GM1 (d18:1/18:0) detected in the normal brain tissue could be structurally characterized. The novel protocol was able to provide a reliable compositional and structural characterization with high analysis pace and at a sensitivity situated in the fmol range.

  6. Molecular approaches to epidemiology and clinical aspects of malaria.

    PubMed

    Brown, G V; Beck, H P; Molyneux, M; Marsh, K

    2000-10-01

    Malaria is a problem of global importance, responsible for 1-2 million deaths per year, mainly in African children, as well as considerable morbidity manifested as severe anaemia and encephalopathy in young children. Fundamental to the development of new tools for malaria control in humans is an increased understanding of key features of malaria infection, such as the diversity of outcome in different individuals, the understanding of different manifestations of the disease and of the mechanisms of immunity that allow clinical protection in the face of ongoing low-grade infection (concomitant immunity or premunition). Here, Graham Brown and colleagues review some of the ways in which molecular approaches might be used to increase our understanding of the epidemiology and clinical manifestations of malaria, as discussed at the Molecular Approaches to Malaria conference (MAM2000), Lorne, Australia, 2-5 February 2000.

  7. Molecular Approaches to Screen Bioactive Compounds from Endophytic Fungi

    PubMed Central

    Vasundhara, M.; Kumar, Anil; Reddy, M. Sudhakara

    2016-01-01

    Endophytic fungi are capable of producing plant associated metabolites and their analogs with therapeutic value. In order to identify the potential endophytic isolates producing bioactive compounds, one need to screen all isolated endophytes, which may run into hundreds. Isolation of endophytic fungi is relatively a simple process; but screening of the isolated fungi for required metabolite production is a cumbersome process. Endophytic fungi producing plant associated metabolites may contain genes involved in the entire biosynthetic pathway(s). Therefore, ascertaining the presence of key enzymes of a particular biosynthetic pathway could serve as a molecular marker for screening of these endophytes to produce that metabolite. In absence of entire biosynthetic pathways in endophytic fungi, plant genes associated with that metabolic pathway could serve as markers. This review focuses on the impact of molecular approaches to screen the endophytic fungi for the production of bioactive compounds. An attempt has been made on screening of anticancer compounds like taxol (paclitaxel), podophyllotoxin, and camptothecin using molecular markers. The advantages of molecular approaches over conventional methods to screen endophytic fungi and also identification of endophytic fungi are discussed. PMID:27895623

  8. Molecular Approaches to Screen Bioactive Compounds from Endophytic Fungi.

    PubMed

    Vasundhara, M; Kumar, Anil; Reddy, M Sudhakara

    2016-01-01

    Endophytic fungi are capable of producing plant associated metabolites and their analogs with therapeutic value. In order to identify the potential endophytic isolates producing bioactive compounds, one need to screen all isolated endophytes, which may run into hundreds. Isolation of endophytic fungi is relatively a simple process; but screening of the isolated fungi for required metabolite production is a cumbersome process. Endophytic fungi producing plant associated metabolites may contain genes involved in the entire biosynthetic pathway(s). Therefore, ascertaining the presence of key enzymes of a particular biosynthetic pathway could serve as a molecular marker for screening of these endophytes to produce that metabolite. In absence of entire biosynthetic pathways in endophytic fungi, plant genes associated with that metabolic pathway could serve as markers. This review focuses on the impact of molecular approaches to screen the endophytic fungi for the production of bioactive compounds. An attempt has been made on screening of anticancer compounds like taxol (paclitaxel), podophyllotoxin, and camptothecin using molecular markers. The advantages of molecular approaches over conventional methods to screen endophytic fungi and also identification of endophytic fungi are discussed.

  9. Modern Physical Chemistry: A Molecular Approach by George H. Duffey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranck, John P.

    2001-08-01

    The text has been carefully edited; I found no mathematical or typographical errors.

    Literature Cited

    1. Duffey, G. H. Physical Chemistry; McGraw-Hill: New York, 1962.
    2. Barrow, G. M. Physical Chemistry; McGraw-Hill: New York, 1961.
    3. McQuarrie, D. A.; Simon, J. D. Physical Chemistry: A Molecular Approach; University Science Books: Sausalito, CA, 1997.

  10. Virtual Screening and Molecular Design Based on Hierarchical Qsar Technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuz'min, Victor E.; Artemenko, A. G.; Muratov, Eugene N.; Polischuk, P. G.; Ognichenko, L. N.; Liahovsky, A. V.; Hromov, A. I.; Varlamova, E. V.

    This chapter is devoted to the hierarchical QSAR technology (HiT QSAR) based on simplex representation of molecular structure (SiRMS) and its application to different QSAR/QSPR tasks. The essence of this technology is a sequential solution (with the use of the information obtained on the previous steps) of the QSAR paradigm by a series of enhanced models based on molecular structure description (in a specific order from 1D to 4D). Actually, it's a system of permanently improved solutions. Different approaches for domain applicability estimation are implemented in HiT QSAR. In the SiRMS approach every molecule is represented as a system of different simplexes (tetratomic fragments with fixed composition, structure, chirality, and symmetry). The level of simplex descriptors detailed increases consecutively from the 1D to 4D representation of the molecular structure. The advantages of the approach presented are an ability to solve QSAR/QSPR tasks for mixtures of compounds, the absence of the "molecular alignment" problem, consideration of different physical-chemical properties of atoms (e.g., charge, lipophilicity), and the high adequacy and good interpretability of obtained models and clear ways for molecular design. The efficiency of HiT QSAR was demonstrated by its comparison with the most popular modern QSAR approaches on two representative examination sets. The examples of successful application of the HiT QSAR for various QSAR/QSPR investigations on the different levels (1D-4D) of the molecular structure description are also highlighted. The reliability of developed QSAR models as the predictive virtual screening tools and their ability to serve as the basis of directed drug design was validated by subsequent synthetic, biological, etc. experiments. The HiT QSAR is realized as the suite of computer programs termed the "HiT QSAR" software that so includes powerful statistical capabilities and a number of useful utilities.

  11. A systems biology-based approach to uncovering the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of dragon's blood tablet in colitis, involving the integration of chemical analysis, ADME prediction, and network pharmacology.

    PubMed

    Xu, Haiyu; Zhang, Yanqiong; Lei, Yun; Gao, Xiumei; Zhai, Huaqiang; Lin, Na; Tang, Shihuan; Liang, Rixin; Ma, Yan; Li, Defeng; Zhang, Yi; Zhu, Guangrong; Yang, Hongjun; Huang, Luqi

    2014-01-01

    Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the oldest East Asian medical systems. The present study adopted a systems biology-based approach to provide new insights relating to the active constituents and molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of dragon's blood (DB) tablets for the treatment of colitis. This study integrated chemical analysis, prediction of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME), and network pharmacology. Firstly, a rapid, reliable, and accurate ultra-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry method was employed to identify 48 components of DB tablets. In silico prediction of the passive absorption of these compounds, based on Caco-2 cell permeability, and their P450 metabolism enabled the identification of 22 potentially absorbed components and 8 metabolites. Finally, networks were constructed to analyze interactions between these DB components/metabolites absorbed and their putative targets, and between the putative DB targets and known therapeutic targets for colitis. This study provided a great opportunity to deepen the understanding of the complex pharmacological mechanisms underlying the effects of DB in colitis treatment.

  12. A Systems Biology-Based Approach to Uncovering the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Effects of Dragon's Blood Tablet in Colitis, Involving the Integration of Chemical Analysis, ADME Prediction, and Network Pharmacology

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Xiumei; Zhai, Huaqiang; Lin, Na; Tang, Shihuan; Liang, Rixin; Ma, Yan; Li, Defeng; Zhang, Yi; Zhu, Guangrong; Yang, Hongjun; Huang, Luqi

    2014-01-01

    Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the oldest East Asian medical systems. The present study adopted a systems biology-based approach to provide new insights relating to the active constituents and molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of dragon's blood (DB) tablets for the treatment of colitis. This study integrated chemical analysis, prediction of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME), and network pharmacology. Firstly, a rapid, reliable, and accurate ultra-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry method was employed to identify 48 components of DB tablets. In silico prediction of the passive absorption of these compounds, based on Caco-2 cell permeability, and their P450 metabolism enabled the identification of 22 potentially absorbed components and 8 metabolites. Finally, networks were constructed to analyze interactions between these DB components/metabolites absorbed and their putative targets, and between the putative DB targets and known therapeutic targets for colitis. This study provided a great opportunity to deepen the understanding of the complex pharmacological mechanisms underlying the effects of DB in colitis treatment. PMID:25068885

  13. Modeling and simulation of molecular biology systems using petri nets: modeling goals of various approaches.

    PubMed

    Hardy, Simon; Robillard, Pierre N

    2004-12-01

    Petri nets are a discrete event simulation approach developed for system representation, in particular for their concurrency and synchronization properties. Various extensions to the original theory of Petri nets have been used for modeling molecular biology systems and metabolic networks. These extensions are stochastic, colored, hybrid and functional. This paper carries out an initial review of the various modeling approaches based on Petri net found in the literature, and of the biological systems that have been successfully modeled with these approaches. Moreover, the modeling goals and possibilities of qualitative analysis and system simulation of each approach are discussed.

  14. Coordination-Cluster-Based Molecular Magnetic Refrigerants.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shaowei; Cheng, Peng

    2016-08-01

    Coordination polymers serving as molecular magnetic refrigerants have been attracting great interest. In particular, coordination cluster compounds that demonstrate their apparent advantages on cryogenic magnetic refrigerants have attracted more attention in the last five years. Herein, we mainly focus on depicting aspects of syntheses, structures, and magnetothermal properties of coordination clusters that serve as magnetic refrigerants on account of the magnetocaloric effect. The documented molecular magnetic refrigerants are classified into two primary categories according to the types of metal centers, namely, homo- and heterometallic clusters. Every section is further divided into several subgroups based on the metal nuclearity and their dimensionalities, including discrete molecular clusters and those with extended structures constructed from molecular clusters. The objective is to present a rough overview of recent progress in coordination-cluster-based molecular magnetic refrigerants and provide a tutorial for researchers who are interested in the field. © 2016 The Chemical Society of Japan & Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. Plasmonic-Based Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy: Application to Molecular Binding

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Jin; Wang, Wei; Wang, Shaopeng; Shan, Xiaonan; Li, Jinghong; Tao, Nongjian

    2012-01-01

    Plasmonic-based electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (P-EIS) is developed to investigate molecular binding on surfaces. Its basic principle relies on the sensitive dependence of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) signal on surface charge density, which is modulated by applying an AC potential to a SPR chip surface. The AC component of the SPR response gives the electrochemical impedance, and the DC component provides the conventional SPR detection. The plasmonic-based impedance measured over a range of frequency is in quantitative agreement with the conventional electrochemical impedance. Compared to the conventional SPR detection, P-EIS is sensitive to molecular binding taking place on the chip surface, and less sensitive to bulk refractive index changes or non-specific binding. Moreover, this new approach allows for simultaneous SPR and surface impedance analysis of molecular binding processes. PMID:22122514

  16. Graphene-based nanoprobes for molecular diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shixing; Li, Fuwu; Fan, Chunhai; Song, Shiping

    2015-10-07

    In recent years, graphene has received widespread attention owing to its extraordinary electrical, chemical, optical, mechanical and structural properties. Lately, considerable interest has been focused on exploring the potential applications of graphene in life sciences, particularly in disease-related molecular diagnostics. In particular, the coupling of functional molecules with graphene as a nanoprobe offers an excellent platform to realize the detection of biomarkers, such as nucleic acids, proteins and other bioactive molecules, with high performance. This article reviews emerging graphene-based nanoprobes in electrical, optical and other assay methods and their application in various strategies of molecular diagnostics. In particular, this review focuses on the construction of graphene-based nanoprobes and their special advantages for the detection of various bioactive molecules. Properties of graphene-based materials and their functionalization are also comprehensively discussed in view of the development of nanoprobes. Finally, future challenges and perspectives of graphene-based nanoprobes are discussed.

  17. Comparative molecular approaches in Prader-Willi syndrome diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Botezatu, Anca; Puiu, Maria; Cucu, Natalia; Diaconu, Carmen C; Badiu, C; Arsene, C; Iancu, Iulia V; Plesa, Adriana; Anton, Gabriela

    2016-01-10

    Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes are two distinct neurogenetic disorders caused by chromosomal deletions, uniparental disomy or loss of the imprinted gene expression in the 15q11-q13 region. PWS results from the lack of the paternally expressed gene contribution in the region. The aim of our study was to compare a new molecular approach based on the quantification of the expression of non-imprinted bi-allelic gene (NIPA1 and OCA2) with in house MS-PCR and the MS-MLPA test. Blood samples were collected from 12 patients, clinical criteria positives for Prader-Willi syndrome. DNA and RNA samples were isolated from white blood cells. Epigenetic changes at SNRPN gene locus were evaluated by MS-PCR technique. The expression levels of two non-imprinted genes (NIPA1 and OCA2) were evaluated in qReal-Time PCR, in order to identify type 1 and type 2 deletions. SALSA MS-MLPA kit ME028 was used to detect copy number changes and to analyze CpG islands methylation of the 15q11 region. MS-MLPA test confirmed that 8/12 patients presented different types of deletion at the SNRPN gene level (promoter, introns, and exons) and 4/8 displayed type 1 or type 2 deletion. In children with 15q11-13 deletions, the decreased level of NIPA1and OCA2 gene expression is related to chromosomal abnormality in the investigated area. The deletions were confirmed by MS-MLPA analysis, thus recommending NIPA1 and OCA2 gene expression as an alternate method to investigate deletions.

  18. Molecular profiles to biology and pathways: a systems biology approach.

    PubMed

    Van Laere, Steven; Dirix, Luc; Vermeulen, Peter

    2016-06-16

    Interpreting molecular profiles in a biological context requires specialized analysis strategies. Initially, lists of relevant genes were screened to identify enriched concepts associated with pathways or specific molecular processes. However, the shortcoming of interpreting gene lists by using predefined sets of genes has resulted in the development of novel methods that heavily rely on network-based concepts. These algorithms have the advantage that they allow a more holistic view of the signaling properties of the condition under study as well as that they are suitable for integrating different data types like gene expression, gene mutation, and even histological parameters.

  19. Molecular biomimetics: GEPI-based biological routes to technology.

    PubMed

    Tamerler, Candan; Khatayevich, Dmitriy; Gungormus, Mustafa; Kacar, Turgay; Oren, E Emre; Hnilova, Marketa; Sarikaya, Mehmet

    2010-01-01

    In nature, the viability of biological systems is sustained via specific interactions among the tens of thousands of proteins, the major building blocks of organisms from the simplest single-celled to the most complex multicellular species. Biomolecule-material interaction is accomplished with molecular specificity and efficiency leading to the formation of controlled structures and functions at all scales of dimensional hierarchy. Through evolution, Mother Nature developed molecular recognition by successive cycles of mutation and selection. Molecular specificity of probe-target interactions, e.g., ligand-receptor, antigen-antibody, is always based on specific peptide molecular recognition. Using biology as a guide, we can now understand, engineer, and control peptide-material interactions and exploit them as a new design tool for novel materials and systems. We adapted the protocols of combinatorially designed peptide libraries, via both cell surface or phage display methods; using these we select short peptides with specificity to a variety of practical materials. These genetically engineered peptides for inorganics (GEPI) are then studied experimentally to establish their binding kinetics and surface stability. The bound peptide structure and conformations are interrogated both experimentally and via modeling, and self-assembly characteristics are tested via atomic force microscopy. We further engineer the peptide binding and assembly characteristics using a computational biomimetics approach where bioinformatics based peptide-sequence similarity analysis is developed to design higher generation function-specific peptides. The molecular biomimetic approach opens up new avenues for the design and utilization of multifunctional molecular systems in a wide-range of applications from tissue engineering, disease diagnostics, and therapeutics to various areas of nanotechnology where integration is required among inorganic, organic and biological materials. Here, we

  20. Molecular Characterization of Transgenic Events Using Next Generation Sequencing Approach

    PubMed Central

    Mammadov, Jafar; Ye, Liang; Soe, Khaing; Richey, Kimberly; Cruse, James; Zhuang, Meibao; Gao, Zhifang; Evans, Clive; Rounsley, Steve; Kumpatla, Siva P.

    2016-01-01

    Demand for the commercial use of genetically modified (GM) crops has been increasing in light of the projected growth of world population to nine billion by 2050. A prerequisite of paramount importance for regulatory submissions is the rigorous safety assessment of GM crops. One of the components of safety assessment is molecular characterization at DNA level which helps to determine the copy number, integrity and stability of a transgene; characterize the integration site within a host genome; and confirm the absence of vector DNA. Historically, molecular characterization has been carried out using Southern blot analysis coupled with Sanger sequencing. While this is a robust approach to characterize the transgenic crops, it is both time- and resource-consuming. The emergence of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has provided highly sensitive and cost- and labor-effective alternative for molecular characterization compared to traditional Southern blot analysis. Herein, we have demonstrated the successful application of both whole genome sequencing and target capture sequencing approaches for the characterization of single and stacked transgenic events and compared the results and inferences with traditional method with respect to key criteria required for regulatory submissions. PMID:26908260

  1. A molecular topology approach to predicting pesticide pollution of groundwater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Worrall , Fred

    2001-01-01

    Various models have proposed methods for the discrimination of polluting and nonpolluting compounds on the basis of simple parameters, typically adsorption and degradation constants. However, such attempts are prone to site variability and measurement error to the extent that compounds cannot be reliably classified nor the chemistry of pollution extrapolated from them. Using observations of pesticide occurrence in U.S. groundwater it is possible to show that polluting from nonpolluting compounds can be distinguished purely on the basis of molecular topology. Topological parameters can be derived without measurement error or site-specific variability. A logistic regression model has been developed which explains 97% of the variation in the data, with 86% of the variation being explained by the rule that a compound will be found in groundwater if 6 < 0.55. Where 6χp is the sixth-order molecular path connectivity. One group of compounds cannot be classified by this rule and prediction requires reference to higher order connectivity parameters. The use of molecular approaches for understanding pollution at the molecular level and their application to agrochemical development and risk assessment is discussed.

  2. QNA-based 'Star Track' QSAR approach.

    PubMed

    Filimonov, D A; Zakharov, A V; Lagunin, A A; Poroikov, V V

    2009-10-01

    In the existing quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) methods any molecule is represented as a single point in a many-dimensional space of molecular descriptors. We propose a new QSAR approach based on Quantitative Neighbourhoods of Atoms (QNA) descriptors, which characterize each atom of a molecule and depend on the whole molecule structure. In the 'Star Track' methodology any molecule is represented as a set of points in a two-dimensional space of QNA descriptors. With our new method the estimate of the target property of a chemical compound is calculated as the average value of the function of QNA descriptors in the points of the atoms of a molecule in QNA descriptor space. Substantially, we propose the use of only two descriptors rather than more than 3000 molecular descriptors that apply in the QSAR method. On the basis of this approach we have developed the computer program GUSAR and compared it with several widely used QSAR methods including CoMFA, CoMSIA, Golpe/GRID, HQSAR and others, using ten data sets representing various chemical series and diverse types of biological activity. We show that in the majority of cases the accuracy and predictivity of GUSAR models appears to be better than those for the reference QSAR methods. High predictive ability and robustness of GUSAR are also shown in the leave-20%-out cross-validation procedure.

  3. Context-based preprocessing of molecular docking data

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Data preprocessing is a major step in data mining. In data preprocessing, several known techniques can be applied, or new ones developed, to improve data quality such that the mining results become more accurate and intelligible. Bioinformatics is one area with a high demand for generation of comprehensive models from large datasets. In this article, we propose a context-based data preprocessing approach to mine data from molecular docking simulation results. The test cases used a fully-flexible receptor (FFR) model of Mycobacterium tuberculosis InhA enzyme (FFR_InhA) and four different ligands. Results We generated an initial set of attributes as well as their respective instances. To improve this initial set, we applied two selection strategies. The first was based on our context-based approach while the second used the CFS (Correlation-based Feature Selection) machine learning algorithm. Additionally, we produced an extra dataset containing features selected by combining our context strategy and the CFS algorithm. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method, we evaluated its performance based on various predictive (RMSE, MAE, Correlation, and Nodes) and context (Precision, Recall and FScore) measures. Conclusions Statistical analysis of the results shows that the proposed context-based data preprocessing approach significantly improves predictive and context measures and outperforms the CFS algorithm. Context-based data preprocessing improves mining results by producing superior interpretable models, which makes it well-suited for practical applications in molecular docking simulations using FFR models. PMID:24564276

  4. Anti-Inflammatory Drug Design Using a Molecular Hybridization Approach

    PubMed Central

    Bosquesi, Priscila Longhin; Melo, Thais Regina Ferreira; Vizioli, Ednir Oliveira; dos Santos, Jean Leandro; Chung, Man Chin

    2011-01-01

    The design of new drugs with better physiochemical properties, adequate absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion, effective pharmacologic potency and lacking toxicity remains is a challenge. Inflammation is the initial trigger of several different diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, asthma, atherosclerosis, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, cancer; and disorders such as obesity and sexual dysfunction. Although inflammation is not the direct cause of these disorders, inflammatory processes often increase related pain and suffering. New anti-inflammatory drugs developed using molecular hybridization techniques to obtain multiple-ligand drugs can act at one or multiple targets, allowing for synergic action and minimizing toxicity. This work is a review of new anti-inflammatory drugs developed using the molecular modification approach. PMID:27721332

  5. Effects of Maternal Obesity on Fetal Programming: Molecular Approaches.

    PubMed

    Neri, Caterina; Edlow, Andrea G

    2015-09-03

    Maternal obesity has become a worldwide epidemic. Obesity and a high-fat diet have been shown to have deleterious effects on fetal programming, predisposing offspring to adverse cardiometabolic and neurodevelopmental outcomes. Although large epidemiological studies have shown an association between maternal obesity and adverse outcomes for offspring, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Molecular approaches have played a key role in elucidating the mechanistic underpinnings of fetal malprogramming in the setting of maternal obesity. These approaches include, among others, characterization of epigenetic modifications, microRNA expression, the gut microbiome, the transcriptome, and evaluation of specific mRNA expression via quantitative reverse transcription polmerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) in fetuses and offspring of obese females. This work will review the data from animal models and human fluids/cells regarding the effects of maternal obesity on fetal and offspring neurodevelopment and cardiometabolic outcomes, with a particular focus on molecular approaches. Copyright © 2016 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  6. Molecular modelling approaches for cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator studies.

    PubMed

    Odolczyk, Norbert; Zielenkiewicz, Piotr

    2014-07-01

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is one of the most common genetic disorders, caused by loss of function mutations in the gene encoding the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein. CFTR is a member of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters superfamily and functions as an ATP-gated anion channel. This review summarises the vast majority of the efforts which utilised molecular modelling approaches to gain insight into the various aspects of CFTR protein, related to its structure, dynamic properties, function and interactions with other protein partners, or drug-like compounds, with emphasis to its relation to CF disease.

  7. Graph-based interpretation of the molecular interstellar medium segmentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colombo, D.; Rosolowsky, E.; Ginsburg, A.; Duarte-Cabral, A.; Hughes, A.

    2015-12-01

    We present a generalization of the giant molecular cloud identification problem based on cluster analysis. The method we designed, SCIMES (Spectral Clustering for Interstellar Molecular Emission Segmentation) considers the dendrogram of emission in the broader framework of graph theory and utilizes spectral clustering to find discrete regions with similar emission properties. For Galactic molecular cloud structures, we show that the characteristic volume and/or integrated CO luminosity are useful criteria to define the clustering, yielding emission structures that closely reproduce `by-eye' identification results. SCIMES performs best on well-resolved, high-resolution data, making it complementary to other available algorithms. Using 12CO(1-0) data for the Orion-Monoceros complex, we demonstrate that SCIMES provides robust results against changes of the dendrogram-construction parameters, noise realizations and degraded resolution. By comparing SCIMES with other cloud decomposition approaches, we show that our method is able to identify all canonical clouds of the Orion-Monoceros region, avoiding the overdivision within high-resolution survey data that represents a common limitation of several decomposition algorithms. The Orion-Monoceros objects exhibit hierarchies and size-line width relationships typical to the turbulent gas in molecular clouds, although `the Scissors' region deviates from this common description. SCIMES represents a significant step forward in moving away from pixel-based cloud segmentation towards a more physical-oriented approach, where virtually all properties of the ISM can be used for the segmentation of discrete objects.

  8. Graph theoretical similarity approach to compare molecular electrostatic potentials.

    PubMed

    Marín, Ray M; Aguirre, Nestor F; Daza, Edgar E

    2008-01-01

    In this work we introduce a graph theoretical method to compare MEPs, which is independent of molecular alignment. It is based on the edit distance of weighted rooted trees, which encode the geometrical and topological information of Negative Molecular Isopotential Surfaces. A meaningful chemical classification of a set of 46 molecules with different functional groups was achieved. Structure--activity relationships for the corticosteroid binding affinity (CBG) of 31 steroids by means of hierarchical clustering resulted in a clear partitioning in high, intermediate, and low activity groups, whereas the results from quantitative structure--activity relationships, obtained from a partial least-squares analysis, showed comparable or better cross-validated correlation coefficients than the ones reported for previous methods based solely in the MEP.

  9. Multiple virtual screening approaches for finding new Hepatitis c virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitors: Structure-based screens and molecular dynamics for the pursue of new poly pharmacological inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The RNA polymerase NS5B of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a well-characterised drug target with an active site and four allosteric binding sites. This work presents a workflow for virtual screening and its application to Drug Bank screening targeting the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) RNA polymerase non-nucleoside binding sites. Potential polypharmacological drugs are sought with predicted active inhibition on viral replication, and with proven positive pharmaco-clinical profiles. The approach adopted was receptor-based. Docking screens, guided with contact pharmacophores and neural-network activity prediction models on all allosteric binding sites and MD simulations, constituted our analysis workflow for identification of potential hits. Steps included: 1) using a two-phase docking screen with Surflex and Glide Xp. 2) Ranking based on scores, and important H interactions. 3) a machine-learning target-trained artificial neural network PIC prediction model used for ranking. This provided a better correlation of IC50 values of the training sets for each site with different docking scores and sub-scores. 4) interaction pharmacophores-through retrospective analysis of protein-inhibitor complex X-ray structures for the interaction pharmacophore (common interaction modes) of inhibitors for the five non-nucleoside binding sites were constructed. These were used for filtering the hits according to the critical binding feature of formerly reported inhibitors. This filtration process resulted in identification of potential new inhibitors as well as formerly reported ones for the thumb II and Palm I sites (HCV-81) NS5B binding sites. Eventually molecular dynamics simulations were carried out, confirming the binding hypothesis and resulting in 4 hits. PMID:23282180

  10. Molecular docking and structure-based drug design strategies.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Leonardo G; Dos Santos, Ricardo N; Oliva, Glaucius; Andricopulo, Adriano D

    2015-07-22

    Pharmaceutical research has successfully incorporated a wealth of molecular modeling methods, within a variety of drug discovery programs, to study complex biological and chemical systems. The integration of computational and experimental strategies has been of great value in the identification and development of novel promising compounds. Broadly used in modern drug design, molecular docking methods explore the ligand conformations adopted within the binding sites of macromolecular targets. This approach also estimates the ligand-receptor binding free energy by evaluating critical phenomena involved in the intermolecular recognition process. Today, as a variety of docking algorithms are available, an understanding of the advantages and limitations of each method is of fundamental importance in the development of effective strategies and the generation of relevant results. The purpose of this review is to examine current molecular docking strategies used in drug discovery and medicinal chemistry, exploring the advances in the field and the role played by the integration of structure- and ligand-based methods.

  11. Coherent states/density functional theory approach to molecular dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsereteli, Kakha; Yan, Yun-an; Morales, Jorge A.

    2006-03-01

    We present a combined coherent states (CS)/density functional theory approach to molecular dynamics within the electron nuclear dynamics framework. Nuclei are described by a product of narrow, frozen Gaussian wave packets that is approximately separable into translational, rotational, and vibrational CS parts. Electrons are described by a single-determinantal Thouless CS in a time-dependent Kohn-Sham fashion. This novel approach improves several features of the Car-Parrinello method by providing an ab initio CS Lagrangian, a quasi-classical CS description for the nuclei, and a non-redundant representation of a general electronic single-determinantal state. Preliminary simulations of the H + + H 2 reaction at ELab = 30 eV are also presented.

  12. Challenges and novel approaches for investigating molecular mediation

    PubMed Central

    Richmond, R.C.; Hemani, G.; Tilling, K.; Davey Smith, G.; Relton, C.L.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding mediation is useful for identifying intermediates lying between an exposure and an outcome which, when intervened upon, will block (some or all of) the causal pathway between the exposure and outcome. Mediation approaches used in conventional epidemiology have been adapted to understanding the role of molecular intermediates in situations of high-dimensional omics data with varying degrees of success. In particular, the limitations of observational epidemiological study including confounding, reverse causation and measurement error can afflict conventional mediation approaches and may lead to incorrect conclusions regarding causal effects. Solutions to analysing mediation which overcome these problems include the use of instrumental variable methods such as Mendelian randomization, which may be applied to evaluate causality in increasingly complex networks of omics data. PMID:27439390

  13. Antibody-controlled actuation of DNA-based molecular circuits

    PubMed Central

    Engelen, Wouter; Meijer, Lenny H. H.; Somers, Bram; de Greef, Tom F. A.; Merkx, Maarten

    2017-01-01

    DNA-based molecular circuits allow autonomous signal processing, but their actuation has relied mostly on RNA/DNA-based inputs, limiting their application in synthetic biology, biomedicine and molecular diagnostics. Here we introduce a generic method to translate the presence of an antibody into a unique DNA strand, enabling the use of antibodies as specific inputs for DNA-based molecular computing. Our approach, antibody-templated strand exchange (ATSE), uses the characteristic bivalent architecture of antibodies to promote DNA-strand exchange reactions both thermodynamically and kinetically. Detailed characterization of the ATSE reaction allowed the establishment of a comprehensive model that describes the kinetics and thermodynamics of ATSE as a function of toehold length, antibody–epitope affinity and concentration. ATSE enables the introduction of complex signal processing in antibody-based diagnostics, as demonstrated here by constructing molecular circuits for multiplex antibody detection, integration of multiple antibody inputs using logic gates and actuation of enzymes and DNAzymes for signal amplification. PMID:28211541

  14. Molecular Targeted Approaches to Cancer Therapy and Prevention Using Chalcones

    PubMed Central

    Jandial, Danielle D.; Blair, Christopher A.; Zhang, Saiyang; Krill, Lauren S.; Zhang, Yan-Bing; Zi, Xiaolin

    2014-01-01

    There is an emerging paradigm shift in oncology that seeks to emphasize molecularly targeted approaches for cancer prevention and therapy. Chalcones (1,3-diphenyl-2-propen-1-ones), naturally-occurring compounds with widespread distribution in spices, tea, beer, fruits and vegetables, consist of open-chain flavonoids in which the two aromatic rings are joined by a three-carbon α, β-unsaturated carbonyl system. Due to their structural diversity, relative ease of chemical manipulation and reaction of α, β-unsaturated carbonyl moiety with cysteine residues in proteins, some lead chalcones from both natural products and synthesis have been identified in a variety of screening assays for modulating important pathways or molecular targets in cancers. These pathways and targets that are affected by chalcones include MDM2/p53, tubulin, proteasome, NF-kappa B, TRIAL/death receptors and mitochondria mediated apoptotic pathways, cell cycle, STAT3, AP-1, NRF2, AR, ER, PPAR-γ and β-catenin/Wnt. Compared to current cancer targeted therapeutic drugs, chalcones have the advantages of being inexpensive, easily available and less toxic; the ease of synthesis of chalcones from substituted benzaldehydes and acetophenones also makes them an attractive drug scaffold. Therefore, this review is focused on molecular targets of chalcones and their potential implications in cancer prevention and therapy. PMID:24467530

  15. Molecular Therapeutic Approaches for Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Tasian, Sarah K.; Pollard, Jessica A.; Aplenc, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Approximately two-thirds of children with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are cured with intensive multi-agent chemotherapy. However, refractory and relapsed AML remains a significant source of childhood cancer mortality, highlighting the need for new therapies. Further therapy intensification with traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy in pediatric AML is not feasible given the risks of both short-term and long-term organ dysfunction. Substantial emphasis has been placed upon the development of molecularly targeted therapeutic approaches for adults and children with high-risk subtypes of AML with the goal of improving remission induction and minimizing relapse. Several promising agents are currently in clinical testing or late preclinical development for AML, including monoclonal antibodies against leukemia cell surface proteins, kinase inhibitors, proteasome inhibitors, epigenetic agents, and chimeric antigen receptor engineered T cell immunotherapies. Many of these therapies have been specifically tested in children with relapsed/refractory AML in Phase 1 and 2 trials with a smaller number of new agents under Phase 3 evaluation for children with de novo AML. Although successful identification and implementation of new drugs for children with AML remain a formidable challenge, enthusiasm for novel molecular therapeutic approaches is great given the potential for significant clinical benefit for children who do not have other curative options. PMID:24672775

  16. Trace element partitioning between silicate melts - A molecular dynamics approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Johannes; Haigis, Volker; Künzel, Daniela; Jahn, Sandro

    2017-05-01

    Knowledge of trace element partition coefficients is crucial for our understanding of global element cycles. While a great number of experimental studies on mineral-melt partitioning have been performed in the past, the influence of melt structure on partitioning has mostly been considered empirically. This is mainly due to the lack of reliable structure models for typical melts at the relevant pressure and temperature conditions. Molecular dynamics simulations on the other hand may open a new window into this problem as they provide a unique approach to both structural and thermodynamic properties of minerals and melts. In this contribution, we employ first-principles and classical molecular dynamics simulations to (1) explore further a new approach to predict trace element partitioning between several silicate melts and (2) simultaneously investigate the structural controls of the observed partitioning. Specifically, we use a thermodynamic integration scheme to investigate the partitioning behavior of various trace elements (Y, La, As) in a granitic and gabbroic as well as two Ti-bearing melts and compare our data to experimental findings. Our results indicate that, similar to the lattice strain model, partitioning in melts as well seems to depend on an ideal coordination environment for each trace element and on how well this environment can be accommodated in a specific melt.

  17. A comparison between parallelization approaches in molecular dynamics simulations on GPUs.

    PubMed

    Rovigatti, Lorenzo; Sulc, Petr; Reguly, István Z; Romano, Flavio

    2015-01-05

    We test the relative performances of two different approaches to the computation of forces for molecular dynamics simulations on graphics processing units. A "vertex-based" approach, where a computing thread is started per particle, is compared to an "edge-based" approach, where a thread is started per each potentially non-zero interaction. We find that the former is more efficient for systems with many simple interactions per particle while the latter is more efficient if the system has more complicated interactions or fewer of them. By comparing computation times on more and less recent graphics processing unit technology, we predict that, if the current trend of increasing the number of processing cores--as opposed to their computing power--remains, the "edge-based" approach will gradually become the most efficient choice in an increasing number of cases.

  18. Molecular bases of methamphetamine-induced neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Cadet, Jean Lud; Krasnova, Irina N

    2009-01-01

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a highly addictive psychostimulant drug, whose abuse has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. The addiction to METH is a major public concern because its chronic abuse is associated with serious health complications including deficits in attention, memory, and executive functions in humans. These neuropsychiatric complications might, in part, be related to drug-induced neurotoxic effects, which include damage to dopaminergic and serotonergic terminals, neuronal apoptosis, as well as activated astroglial and microglial cells in the brain. Thus, the purpose of the present paper is to review cellular and molecular mechanisms that might be responsible for METH neurotoxicity. These include oxidative stress, activation of transcription factors, DNA damage, excitotoxicity, blood-brain barrier breakdown, microglial activation, and various apoptotic pathways. Several approaches that allow protection against METH-induced neurotoxic effects are also discussed. Better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in METH toxicity should help to generate modern therapeutic approaches to prevent or attenuate the long-term consequences of psychostimulant use disorders in humans.

  19. Molecular pathology - the value of an integrative approach.

    PubMed

    Salto-Tellez, Manuel; James, Jacqueline A; Hamilton, Peter W

    2014-10-01

    Molecular Pathology (MP) is at the heart of modern diagnostics and translational research, but the controversy on how MP is best developed has not abated. The lack of a proper model or trained pathologists to support the diagnostic and research missions makes MP a rare commodity overall. Here we analyse the scientific and technology areas, in research and diagnostics, which are encompassed by MP of solid tumours; we highlight the broad overlap of technologies and analytical capabilities in tissue research and diagnostics; and we describe an integrated model that rationalizes technical know-how and pathology talent for both. The model is based on a single, accredited laboratory providing a single standard of high-quality for biomarker discovery, biomarker validation and molecular diagnostics.

  20. Molecular allergology approach to allergic diseases in the paediatric age

    PubMed Central

    Alessandri, Claudia; Zennaro, Danila; Zaffiro, Alessandra; Mari, Adriano

    2009-01-01

    Identification, characterization, and purification of allergens are essential for the structural and immunologic studies needed to understand how these molecules induce specific IgE antibody production by the human immune system. Advances in molecular biology techniques have led to the production of recombinant allergens having constant properties, allowing detection of specific IgE directed against different molecular components of an allergenic source. Presence of homologous allergens in different sources is the reason for cross-reaction. Molecule-based diagnostic tools can lead to better interpretation of poly-sensitizations, observed by ST and in vitro tests using allergenic extracts as they were made before. Some examples IgE sensitization to major genuine allergens and panallergens will be presented. PMID:19804642

  1. Clarifying Prehistoric Parasitism from a Complementary Morphological and Molecular Approach.

    PubMed

    Cleeland, Lauren M; Reichard, Mason V; Tito, Raul Y; Reinhard, Karl J; Lewis, Cecil M

    2013-07-01

    This paper reports an approach to the identification of prehistoric parasitic infection, which integrates traditional morphological methods with molecular methods. The approach includes the strengths of each method while mitigating the limitations. Demonstrating the efficacy of this approach, we provide a case study from a 1,400 year old desiccated fecal sample from La Cueva de los Muertos Chiquitos, archaeological site, near Rio Zape, Durango, Mexico. Traditionally prepared microscope slides were processed via microscopy and tentative ascarids were identified. Information regarding the parasites' developmental stage was recorded. DNA was then extracted directly from the slide material. From this DNA extract, a small segment of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene variant that is specific to Ascaris, and its phylogenetically close relatives, was targeted for PCR amplification and sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of the DNA sequence best matched a member of physalopterids, rather than ascarids, with a single exception of a match to Contracaecum spiculigerum. Subsequent extractions, amplifications and sequencing of the original rehydrated coprolite material confirmed these results. The C. spiculigerum sequence represented a phylogenetic anomaly and subsequent analysis determined the sequence was an error in the BLAST database, likely attributable to misidentification of juvenile specimens prior to sequencing and submission. Physaloptera are a difficult genus to identify morphologically and can carry major health burdens. They may be underreported in humans, in part, because of morphological similarities to the more common human parasites belonging to ascarids. We conclude that integrating traditional morphological methods with molecular methods can help resolve this issue, in both contemporary and prehistoric populations.

  2. Clarifying Prehistoric Parasitism from a Complementary Morphological and Molecular Approach

    PubMed Central

    Cleeland, Lauren M.; Reichard, Mason V.; Tito, Raul Y.; Reinhard, Karl J.; Lewis, Cecil M.

    2013-01-01

    This paper reports an approach to the identification of prehistoric parasitic infection, which integrates traditional morphological methods with molecular methods. The approach includes the strengths of each method while mitigating the limitations. Demonstrating the efficacy of this approach, we provide a case study from a 1,400 year old desiccated fecal sample from La Cueva de los Muertos Chiquitos, archaeological site, near Rio Zape, Durango, Mexico. Traditionally prepared microscope slides were processed via microscopy and tentative ascarids were identified. Information regarding the parasites’ developmental stage was recorded. DNA was then extracted directly from the slide material. From this DNA extract, a small segment of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene variant that is specific to Ascaris, and its phylogenetically close relatives, was targeted for PCR amplification and sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of the DNA sequence best matched a member of physalopterids, rather than ascarids, with a single exception of a match to Contracaecum spiculigerum. Subsequent extractions, amplifications and sequencing of the original rehydrated coprolite material confirmed these results. The C. spiculigerum sequence represented a phylogenetic anomaly and subsequent analysis determined the sequence was an error in the BLAST database, likely attributable to misidentification of juvenile specimens prior to sequencing and submission. Physaloptera are a difficult genus to identify morphologically and can carry major health burdens. They may be underreported in humans, in part, because of morphological similarities to the more common human parasites belonging to ascarids. We conclude that integrating traditional morphological methods with molecular methods can help resolve this issue, in both contemporary and prehistoric populations. PMID:23645967

  3. Photoswitchable gel assembly based on molecular recognition

    PubMed Central

    Yamaguchi, Hiroyasu; Kobayashi, Yuichiro; Kobayashi, Ryosuke; Takashima, Yoshinori; Hashidzume, Akihito; Harada, Akira

    2012-01-01

    The formation of effective and precise linkages in bottom-up or top-down processes is important for the development of self-assembled materials. Self-assembly through molecular recognition events is a powerful tool for producing functionalized materials. Photoresponsive molecular recognition systems can permit the creation of photoregulated self-assembled macroscopic objects. Here we demonstrate that macroscopic gel assembly can be highly regulated through photoisomerization of an azobenzene moiety that interacts differently with two host molecules. A photoregulated gel assembly system is developed using polyacrylamide-based hydrogels functionalized with azobenzene (guest) or cyclodextrin (host) moieties. Reversible adhesion and dissociation of the host gel from the guest gel may be controlled by photoirradiation. The differential affinities of α-cyclodextrin or β-cyclodextrin for the trans-azobenzene and cis-azobenzene are employed in the construction of a photoswitchable gel assembly system. PMID:22215078

  4. Materiality in a Practice-Based Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Svabo, Connie

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: The paper aims to provide an overview of the vocabulary for materiality which is used by practice-based approaches to organizational knowing. Design/methodology/approach: The overview is theoretically generated and is based on the anthology Knowing in Organizations: A Practice-based Approach edited by Nicolini, Gherardi and Yanow. The…

  5. [Modern evolutional developmental biology: mechanical and molecular genetic or phenotypic approaches?].

    PubMed

    Vorob'eva, É I

    2010-01-01

    Heightened interest in the evolutionary problems of developmental biology in the 1980s was due to the success of molecular genetics and disappointment in the synthetic theory of evolution, where the chapters of embryology and developmental biology seem to have been left out. Modern evo-devo, which turned out to be antipodean to the methodology of the synthetic theory of evolution, propagandized in the development of evolutionary problems only the mechanical and molecular genetic approach to the evolution of ontogenesis, based on cellular and intercellular interactions. The phonotypical approach to the evaluation of evolutionary occurrences in ontogenesis, which aids in the joining of the genetic and epigenetic levels of research, the theory of natural selection, the nomogenetic conception, and the problem of the wholeness of the organism in onto- and phylogenesis may be against this. The phenotypic approach to ontogenesis is methodologically the most perspective for evolutionary developmental biology.

  6. Advancing our understanding of infant bronchiolitis through phenotyping and endotyping: Clinical and molecular approaches

    PubMed Central

    Hasegawa, Kohei; Dumas, Orianne; Hartert, Tina V.; Camargo, Carlos A.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Bronchiolitis is a major public health problem worldwide. However, no effective treatment strategies are available, other than supportive care. Areas Covered Although bronchiolitis has been considered a single disease diagnosed based on clinical characteristics, emerging evidence supports both clinical and pathobiological heterogeneity. The characterization of this heterogeneity supports the concept that bronchiolitis consists of multiple phenotypes or consistent grouping of characteristics. Expert Commentary Using unbiased statistical approaches, multidimentional clinical characteristics will derive bronchiolitis phenotypes. Furthermore, molecular and systems biology approaches will, by linking pathobiology to phenotype, identify endotypes. Large cohort studies of bronchiolitis with comprehensive clinical characterization and system-wide profiling of the “-omics” data (e.g., host genome, transcriptome, epigenome, viral genome, microbiome, metabolome) should enhance our ability to molecularly understand these phenotypes and lead to more targeted and personalized approaches to bronchiolitis treatment. PMID:27192374

  7. Advancing our understanding of infant bronchiolitis through phenotyping and endotyping: clinical and molecular approaches.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Kohei; Dumas, Orianne; Hartert, Tina V; Camargo, Carlos A

    2016-08-01

    Bronchiolitis is a major public health problem worldwide. However, no effective treatment strategies are available, other than supportive care. Although bronchiolitis has been considered a single disease diagnosed based on clinical characteristics, emerging evidence supports both clinical and pathobiological heterogeneity. The characterization of this heterogeneity supports the concept that bronchiolitis consists of multiple phenotypes or consistent grouping of characteristics. Expert commentary: Using unbiased statistical approaches, multidimentional clinical characteristics will derive bronchiolitis phenotypes. Furthermore, molecular and systems biology approaches will, by linking pathobiology to phenotype, identify endotypes. Large cohort studies of bronchiolitis with comprehensive clinical characterization and system-wide profiling of the '-omics' data (e.g., host genome, transcriptome, epigenome, viral genome, microbiome, metabolome) should enhance our ability to molecularly understand these phenotypes and lead to more targeted and personalized approaches to bronchiolitis treatment.

  8. Molecular crowding-based imprinted monolithic column for capillary electrochromatography.

    PubMed

    Zong, Hai-Yan; Liu, Xiao; Liu, Zhao-Sheng; Huang, Yan-Ping

    2015-03-01

    Molecular crowding is a new approach to stabilizing binding sites and improving molecular recognition. In this work, the concept was applied to the preparation of imprinted monolithic columns for CEC. The imprinted monolithic column was synthesized using a mixture of d-zopiclone (d-ZOP)(template), methacrylic acid, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate, and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) (molecular crowding agent). The resulting PMMA-based imprinted capillary was able to separate ZOP enantiomers in CEC mode. The resolution of enantiomer separation achieved on the d-ZOP-imprinted monolithic column was up to 2.09. Some polymerization factors, such as template-monomer molar ratio, functional monomer-cross-linker molar ratio and the composition of the porogen, on the imprinting effect of resulting molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) monolithic column were systematically investigated. Chromatographic parameters, including pH values, the content of acetonitrile and the salt concentration on chiral separation were also studied. The results indicated the addition of PMMA resulted in MIPs with superior retention properties and excellent selectivity for d-ZOP, as compared to the MIPs prepared without addition of the crowding-inducing agent. The results revealed that molecular crowding is an effective method for the preparation of a highly efficient MIP stationary phase for chiral separation in CEC.

  9. Genetic approaches to the molecular/neuronal mechanisms underlying learning and memory in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Nakajima, Akira; Tang, Ya-Ping

    2005-09-01

    Learning and memory is an essential component of human intelligence. To understand its underlying molecular and neuronal mechanisms is currently an extensive focus in the field of cognitive neuroscience. We have employed advanced mouse genetic approaches to analyze the molecular and neuronal bases for learning and memory, and our results showed that brain region-specific genetic manipulations (including transgenic and knockout), inducible/reversible knockout, genetic/chemical kinase inactivation, and neuronal-based genetic approach are very powerful tools for studying the involvements of various molecules or neuronal substrates in the processes of learning and memory. Studies using these techniques may eventually lead to the understanding of how new information is acquired and how learned information is memorized in the brain.

  10. Molecular MRI approaches to the detection of CNS inflammation.

    PubMed

    Sibson, Nicola R; Anthony, Daniel C; van Kasteren, Sander; Dickens, Alex; Perez-Balderas, Francisco; McAteer, Martina A; Choudhury, Robin P; Davis, Benjamin G

    2011-01-01

    Inflammation is a key component of many neurological diseases, yet our understanding of the contribution of these processes to tissue damage remains poor. For many such diseases, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become the method of choice for clinical diagnosis. However, many of the MRI parameters that enable disease detection, such as passive contrast enhancement across a compromised blood-brain barrier, are weighted towards late-stage disease. Moreover, whilst these methods may report on disease severity, they are not able to provide information on either disease activity or the underlying molecular processes. There is a need, therefore, to develop methods that enable earlier disease detection, potentially long before clinical symptoms become apparent, together with identification of specific molecular processes that may guide specific therapy. This chapter describes the methodology for the synthesis and validation of two novel, functional MRI-detectable probes, based on microparticles of iron oxide (MPIO), which target endothelial adhesion molecules. These contrast agents enable the detection of acute brain inflammation in vivo, at a time when pathology is undetectable by conventional MRI. Such molecular MRI methods are opening new vistas for the acute diagnosis of CNS disease, together with the possibility for individually tailored therapy and earlier, more sensitive assessment of the efficacy of novel therapies.

  11. Molecular tailoring approach: a route for ab initio treatment of large clusters.

    PubMed

    Sahu, Nityananda; Gadre, Shridhar R

    2014-09-16

    Conspectus Chemistry on the scale of molecular clusters may be dramatically different from that in the macroscopic bulk. Greater understanding of chemistry in this size regime could greatly influence fields such as materials science and atmospheric and environmental chemistry. Recent advances in experimental techniques and computational resources have led to accurate investigations of the energies and spectral properties of weakly bonded molecular clusters. These have enabled researchers to learn how the physicochemical properties evolve from individual molecules to bulk materials and to understand the growth patterns of clusters. Experimental techniques such as infrared, microwave, and photoelectron spectroscopy are the most popular and powerful tools for probing molecular clusters. In general, these experimental techniques do not directly reveal the atomistic details of the clusters but provide data from which the structural details need to be unearthed. Furthermore, the resolution of the spectral properties of energetically close cluster conformers can be prohibitively difficult. Thus, these investigations of molecular aggregates require a combination of experiments and theory. On the theoretical front, researchers have been actively engaged in quantum chemical ab initio calculations as well as simulation-based studies for the last few decades. To obtain reliable results, there is a need to use correlated methods such as Møller-Plesset second order method, coupled cluster theory, or dispersion corrected density functional theory. However, due to nonlinear scaling of these methods, optimizing the geometry of large clusters still remains a formidable quantum chemistry challenge. Fragment-based methods, such as divide-and-conquer, molecular tailoring approach (MTA), fragment molecular orbitals, and generalized energy-based fragmentation approach, provide alternatives for overcoming the scaling problem for spatially extended molecular systems. Within MTA, a large

  12. Molecular and genetic ecotoxicologic approaches to aquatic environmental bioreporting.

    PubMed Central

    Beaty, B J; Black, W C; Carlson, J O; Clements, W H; DuTeau, N; Harrahy, E; Nuckols, J; Kenneth, E; Olson, K E; Rayms-Keller, A

    1998-01-01

    Molecular and population genetic ecotoxicologic approaches are being developed for the utilization of arthropods as bioreporters of heavy metal mixtures in the environment. The explosion of knowledge in molecular biology, molecular genetics, and biotechnology provides an unparalleled opportunity to use arthropods as bioreporter organisms. Interspecific differences in aquatic arthropod populations have been previously demonstrated in response to heavy metal insult in the Arkansas River (AR) California Gulch Superfund site (CGSS). Population genetic analyses were conducted on the mayfly Baetis tricaudatus. Genetic polymorphisms were detected in polymerase chain reaction amplified 16S mitochondrial rDNA (a selectively neutral gene) of B tricaudatus using single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis. Genetic differences may have resulted from impediments to gene flow in the population caused by mortality arising from exposure to heavy metal mixture pollution. In laboratory studies a candidate metal-responsive mucinlike gene, which is metal and dose specific, has been identified in Chironomus tentans and other potential AR-CGSS bioreporter species. Population genetic analyses using the mucinlike gene may provide insight into the role of this selectable gene in determining the breeding structure of B. tricaudatus in the AR-CGSS and may provide mechanistic insight into determinants of aquatic arthropod response to heavy metal insult. Metal-responsive (MR) genes and regulatory sequences are being isolated, characterized, and assayed for differential gene expression in response to heavy metal mixture pollution in the AR-CGSS. Identified promoter sequences can then be engineered into previously developed MR constructs to provide sensitive in vitro assays for environmental bioreporting of heavy metal mixtures. The results of the population genetic studies are being entered into an AR geographic information system that contains substantial biological, chemical, and

  13. Study of molecular vibration by coupled cluster method: Bosonic approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banik, Subrata; Pal, Sourav; Prasad, M. Durga

    2015-01-01

    The vibrational coupled cluster method in bosonic representation is formulated to describe the molecular anharmonic vibrational spectra. The vibrational coupled cluster formalism is based on Watson Hamiltonian in normal coordinates. The vibrational excited states are described using coupled cluster linear response theory (CCLRT). The quality of the coupled cluster wave function is analyzed. Specifically, the mean displacement values of the normal coordinates and expectation values of the square of the normal coordinates of different vibrational states are calculated. A good agreement between the converged full CI results and coupled cluster results is found for the lower lying vibrational states.

  14. Molecular Modeling Approaches to Study the Binding Mode on Tubulin of Microtubule Destabilizing and Stabilizing Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Botta, Maurizio; Forli, Stefano; Magnani, Matteo; Manetti, Fabrizio

    Tubulin targeting agents constitute an important class of anticancer drugs. By acting either as microtubule stabilizers or destabilizers, they disrupt microtubule dynamics, thus inducing mitotic arrest and, ultimately, cell death by apoptosis. Three different binding sites, whose exact location on tubulin has been experimentally detected, have been identified so far for antimitotic compound targeting microtubules, namely the taxoid, the colchicine and the vinka alkaloid binding site. A number of ligand- and structure-based molecular modeling studies in this field has been reported over the years, aimed at elucidating the binding modes of both stabilizing and destabilizing agent, as well as the molecular features responsible for their efficacious interaction with tubulin. Such studies are described in this review, focusing on information provided by different modeling approaches on the structural determinants of antitubulin agents and the interactions with the binding pockets on tubulin emerged as fundamental for antitumor activity.To describe molecular modeling approaches applied to date to molecules known to bind microtubules, this paper has been divided into two main parts: microtubule destabilizing (Part 1) and stabilizing (Part 2) agents. The first part includes structure-based and ligand-based approaches to study molecules targeting colchicine (1.1) and vinca alkaloid (1.2) binding sites, respectively. In the second part, the studies performed on microtubule-stabilizing antimitotic agents (MSAA) are described. Starting from the first representative compound of this class, paclitaxel, molecular modeling studies (quantitative structure-activity relationships - QSAR - and structure-based approaches), performed on natural compounds acting with the same mechanism of action and temptative common pharmacophoric hypotheses for all of these compounds, are reported.

  15. Discovery of Novel Antischistosomal Agents by Molecular Modeling Approaches.

    PubMed

    Mafud, Ana C; Ferreira, Leonardo G; Mascarenhas, Yvonne P; Andricopulo, Adriano D; de Moraes, Josué

    2016-11-01

    Schistosomiasis, a chronic neglected tropical disease caused by Schistosoma worms, is reported in nearly 80 countries. Although the disease affects approximately 260 million people, the treatment relies exclusively on praziquantel, a drug discovered in the mid-1970s that lacks efficacy against the larval stages of the parasite. In addition, the dependence on a single treatment has raised concerns about drug resistance, and reduced susceptibility has already been found in laboratory and field isolates. Therefore, novel therapies for schistosomiasis are needed, and several approaches have been used to that end. One of these strategies, molecular modeling, has been increasingly integrated with experimental techniques, resulting in the discovery of novel antischistosomal agents. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Molecular-Based Devices and Circuits

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-09-23

    nano-cavities (50nm x 50nm) etched into the Si3N4 layer at the center of the electrode. Subsequently, molecules are self - assembled onto the bottom...various types of self assembled monolayers (SAMs) arranged in vertical configuration (Fig 2) . Each floor consists of different type of molecular layer...modified ferrocene film (Figure 2 compound 1) , and a the protein Azurin (Az). The Fc-based SAM can be used as a candidate for the bottom layer as we have

  17. Rapid molecular identification of human taeniid cestodes by pyrosequencing approach.

    PubMed

    Thanchomnang, Tongjit; Tantrawatpan, Chairat; Intapan, Pewpan M; Sanpool, Oranuch; Janwan, Penchom; Lulitanond, Viraphong; Tourtip, Somjintana; Yamasaki, Hiroshi; Maleewong, Wanchai

    2014-01-01

    Taenia saginata, T. solium, and T. asiatica are causative agents of taeniasis in humans. The difficulty of morphological identification of human taeniids can lead to misdiagnosis or confusion. To overcome this problem, several molecular methods have been developed, but use of these tends to be time-consuming. Here, a rapid and high-throughput pyrosequencing approach was developed for the identification of three human taeniids originating from various countries. Primers targeting the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene of the three Taenia species were designed. Variations in a 26-nucleotide target region were used for identification. The reproducibility and accuracy of the pyrosequencing technology was confirmed by Sanger sequencing. This technique will be a valuable tool to distinguish between sympatric human taeniids that occur in Thailand, Asia and Pacific countries. This method could potentially be used for the molecular identification of the taeniid species that might be associated with suspicious cysts and lesions, or cyst residues in humans or livestock at the slaughterhouse.

  18. Molecular Dynamics Approach in Designing Thermostable Aspergillus niger Xylanase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malau, N. D.; Sianturi, M.

    2017-03-01

    Molecular dynamics methods we have applied as a tool in designing thermostable Aspergillus niger Xylanase, by examining Root Mean Square Deviation (RMSD) and The Stability of the Secondary Structure of enzymes structure at its optimum temperature and compare with its high temperature behavior. As RMSD represents structural fluctuation at a particular temperature, a better understanding of this factor will suggest approaches to bioengineer these enzymes to enhance their thermostability. In this work molecular dynamic simulations of Aspergillus niger xylanase (ANX) have been carried at 400K (optimum catalytic temperature) for 2.5 ns and 500K (ANX reported inactive temperature) for 2.5 ns. Analysis have shown that the Root Mean Square Deviation (RMSD) significant increase at higher temperatures compared at optimum temperature and some of the secondary structures of ANX that have been damaged at high temperature. Structural analysis revealed that the fluctuations of the α-helix and β-sheet regions are larger at higher temperatures compared to the fluctuations at optimum temperature.

  19. Rapid Molecular Identification of Human Taeniid Cestodes by Pyrosequencing Approach

    PubMed Central

    Thanchomnang, Tongjit; Tantrawatpan, Chairat; Intapan, Pewpan M.; Sanpool, Oranuch; Janwan, Penchom; Lulitanond, Viraphong; Tourtip, Somjintana; Yamasaki, Hiroshi; Maleewong, Wanchai

    2014-01-01

    Taenia saginata, T. solium, and T. asiatica are causative agents of taeniasis in humans. The difficulty of morphological identification of human taeniids can lead to misdiagnosis or confusion. To overcome this problem, several molecular methods have been developed, but use of these tends to be time-consuming. Here, a rapid and high-throughput pyrosequencing approach was developed for the identification of three human taeniids originating from various countries. Primers targeting the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene of the three Taenia species were designed. Variations in a 26-nucleotide target region were used for identification. The reproducibility and accuracy of the pyrosequencing technology was confirmed by Sanger sequencing. This technique will be a valuable tool to distinguish between sympatric human taeniids that occur in Thailand, Asia and Pacific countries. This method could potentially be used for the molecular identification of the taeniid species that might be associated with suspicious cysts and lesions, or cyst residues in humans or livestock at the slaughterhouse. PMID:24945530

  20. Molecular devices: Caroviologens as an approach to molecular wires—synthesis and incorporation into vesicle membranes

    PubMed Central

    Arrhenius, Thomas S.; Blanchard-Desce, Mireille; Dvolaitzky, Maya; Lehn, Jean-Marie; Malthete, Jacques

    1986-01-01

    Molecular wires, which would allow electron flow to take place between different components, are important elements in the design of molecular devices. An approach to such species would be molecules possessing an electron-conducting conjugated chain, terminal electroactive polar groups, and a length sufficient to span a lipid membrane. To this end, bispyridinium polyenes of different lengths have been synthesized and their incorporation into the bilayer membrane of sodium dihexadecyl phosphate vesicles has been studied. Since they combine the features of carotenoids and of viologens, they may be termed caroviologens. Vesicles containing the caroviologen whose length approximately corresponds to the thickness of the sodium dihexadecyl phosphate bilayer display temperature-dependent changes of its absorption spectrum reflecting the gel → liquid-crystal phase transition of the membrane. The data agree with a structural model in which the caroviologens of sufficient length span the bilayer membrane, the pyridinium sites being close to the negatively charged outer and inner surfaces of the sodium dihexadecyl phosphate vesicles and the polyene chain crossing the lipidic interior of the membrane. These membranes may now be tested in processes in which the caroviologen would function as a continuous, transmembrane electron channel—i.e., as a molecular wire. Various further developments may be envisaged along these lines. PMID:16593731

  1. Structural fluctuations and quantum transport through DNA molecular wires: a combined molecular dynamics and model Hamiltonian approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutiérrez, R.; Caetano, R.; Woiczikowski, P. B.; Kubar, T.; Elstner, M.; Cuniberti, G.

    2010-02-01

    Charge transport through a short DNA oligomer (Dickerson dodecamer (DD)) in the presence of structural fluctuations is investigated using a hybrid computational methodology based on a combination of quantum mechanical electronic structure calculations and classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with a model Hamiltonian approach. Based on a fragment orbital description, the DNA electronic structure can be coarse-grained in a very efficient way. The influence of dynamical fluctuations, arising either from the solvent fluctuations or from base-pair vibrational modes, can be taken into account in a straightforward way through the time series of the effective DNA electronic parameters, evaluated at snapshots along the MD trajectory. We show that charge transport can be promoted through the coupling to solvent fluctuations, which gate the on-site energies along the DNA wire.

  2. "Bite-and-Switch" approach using computationally designed molecularly imprinted polymers for sensing of creatinine.

    PubMed

    Subrahmanyam, S; Piletsky, S A; Piletska, E V; Chen, B; Karim, K; Turner, A P

    2001-12-01

    A method for the selective detection of creatinine is reported, which is based on the reaction between polymerised hemithioacetal, formed by allyl mercaptan, o-phthalic aldehyde, and primary amine leading to the formation of fluorescent isoindole complex. This method has been demonstrated previously for the detection of creatine using creatine-imprinted molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) Since MIPs created using traditional methods were unable to differentiate between creatine and creatinine, a new approach to the rational design of a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) selective for creatinine was developed using computer simulation. A virtual library of functional monomers was assigned and screened against the target molecule, creatinine, using molecular modelling software. The monomers giving the highest binding score were further tested using simulated annealing in order to mimic the complexation of the functional monomers with template in the monomer mixture. The result of this simulation gave an optimised MIP composition. The computationally designed polymer demonstrated superior selectivity in comparison to the polymer prepared using traditional approach, a detection limit of 25 microM and good stability. The "Bite-and-Switch" approach combined with molecular imprinting can be used for the design of assays and sensors, selective for amino containing substances.

  3. Organic-based molecular switches for molecular electronics.

    PubMed

    Fuentes, Noelia; Martín-Lasanta, Ana; Alvarez de Cienfuegos, Luis; Ribagorda, Maria; Parra, Andres; Cuerva, Juan M

    2011-10-05

    In a general sense, molecular electronics (ME) is the branch of nanotechnology which studies the application of molecular building blocks for the fabrication of electronic components. Among the different types of molecules, organic compounds have been revealed as promising candidates for ME, due to the easy access, great structural diversity and suitable electronic and mechanical properties. Thanks to these useful capabilities, organic molecules have been used to emulate electronic devices at the nanoscopic scale. In this feature article, we present the diverse strategies used to develop organic switches towards ME with special attention to non-volatile systems.

  4. Molecular approaches to diversity of populations of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Beck, Hans-Peter; Blake, Damer; Dardé, Marie-Laure; Felger, Ingrid; Pedraza-Díaz, Susana; Regidor-Cerrillo, Javier; Gómez-Bautista, Mercedes; Ortega-Mora, Luis Miguel; Putignani, Lorenza; Shiels, Brian; Tait, Andrew; Weir, Willie

    2009-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites include many parasites of importance either for livestock or as causative agents of human diseases. The importance of these parasites has been recognised by the European Commission and resulted in support of the COST (Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action 857 'Apicomplexan Biology in the Post-Genomic Era'. In this review we discuss the current understanding in 'Biodiversity and Population Genetics' of the major apicomplexan parasites, namely the Eimeria spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, Theileria spp. and Plasmodium spp. During the past decade molecular tools for characterizing and monitoring parasite populations have been firmly established as an integral part of field studies and intervention trials. Analyses have been conducted for most apicomplexan pathogens to describe the extent of genetic diversity, infection dynamics or population structure. The underlying key question for all parasites is to understand how genetic diversity influences epidemiology and pathogenicity and its implication in therapeutic and vaccination strategies as well as disease control. Similarities in the basic biology and disease or transmission patterns among this order of parasites promote multifaceted discussions and comparison of epidemiological approaches and methodological tools. This fosters mutual learning and has the potential for cross-fertilisation of ideas and technical approaches.

  5. Genomics, Physiology, and Molecular Breeding Approaches for Improving Salt Tolerance.

    PubMed

    Ismail, Abdelbagi M; Horie, Tomoaki

    2017-02-22

    Salt stress reduces land and water productivity and contributes to poverty and food insecurity. Increased salinization caused by human practices and climate change is progressively reducing agriculture productivity despite escalating calls for more food. Plant responses to salt stress are fairly well understood, involving numerous critical processes that are each controlled by multiple genes. Knowledge of the critical mechanisms controlling salt uptake and exclusion from functioning tissues, signaling of salt stress, and the arsenal of protective metabolites is advancing. However, little progress has been made in developing salt-tolerant varieties of crop species using standard (but slow) breeding approaches. The genetic diversity available within cultivated crops and their wild relatives provides rich sources for trait and gene discovery that has yet to be sufficiently utilized. Transforming this knowledge into modern approaches using genomics and molecular tools for precision breeding will accelerate the development of tolerant cultivars and help sustain food production. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Plant Biology Volume 68 is April 29, 2017. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  6. Aptamers generated from cell-SELEX for molecular medicine: a chemical biology approach.

    PubMed

    Fang, Xiaohong; Tan, Weihong

    2010-01-19

    Molecular medicine is an emerging field focused on understanding the molecular basis of diseases and translating this information into strategies for diagnosis and therapy. This approach could lead to personalized medical treatments. Currently, our ability to understand human diseases at the molecular level is limited by the lack of molecular tools to identify and characterize the distinct molecular features of the disease state, especially for diseases such as cancer. Among the new tools being developed by researchers including chemists, engineers, and other scientists is a new class of nucleic acid probes called aptamers, which are ssDNA/RNA molecules selected to target a wide range of molecules and even cells. In this Account, we will focus on the use of aptamers, generated from cell-based selections, as a novel molecular tool for cancer research. Cancers originate from mutations of human genes. These genetic alterations result in molecular changes to diseased cells, which, in turn, lead to changes in cell morphology and physiology. For decades, clinicians have diagnosed cancers primarily based on the morphology of tumor cells or tissues. However, this method does not always give an accurate diagnosis and does not allow clinicians to effectively assess the complex molecular alterations that are predictive of cancer progression. As genomics and proteomics do not yet allow a full access to this molecular knowledge, aptamer probes represent one effective and practical avenue toward this goal. One special feature of aptamers is that we can isolate them by selection against cancer cells without prior knowledge of the number and arrangement of proteins on the cellular surface. These probes can identify molecular differences between normal and tumor cells and can discriminate among tumor cells of different classifications, at different disease stages, or from different patients. This Account summarizes our recent efforts to develop aptamers through cell-SELEX for the

  7. Transforming benzophenoxazine laser dyes into chromophores for dye-sensitized solar cells: a molecular engineering approach

    SciTech Connect

    Schroder, Florian A. Y. N.; Cole, Jacqueline M.; Waddell, Paul G.; McKechnie, Scott

    2015-05-06

    The re-functionalization of a series of four well-known industrial laser dyes, based on benzophenoxazine, is explored with the prospect of molecularly engineering new chromophores for dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC) applications. Such engineering is important since a lack of suitable dyes is stifling the progress of DSC technology. The conceptual idea involves making laser dyes DSC-active by chemical modification, while maintaining their key property attributes that are attractive to DSC applications. This molecular engineering follows a step-wise approach. Firstly, molecular structures and optical absorption properties are determined for the parent laser dyes: Cresyl Violet (1); Oxazine 170 (2); Nile Blue A (3), Oxazine 750 (4). These reveal structure-property relationships which define the prerequisites for computational molecular design of DSC dyes; the nature of their molecular architecture (D-π-A) and intramolecular charge transfer. Secondly, new DSC dyes are computationally designed by the in silico addition of a carboxylic acid anchor at various chemical substitution points in the parent laser dyes. A comparison of the resulting frontier molecular orbital energy levels with the conduction band edge of a TiO2 DSC photoanode and the redox potential of two electrolyte options I-/I3- and Co(II/III)tris(bipyridyl) suggests promise for these computationally designed dyes as co-sensitizers for DSC applications.

  8. Genetic engineered molecular imaging probes for applications in cell therapy: emphasis on MRI approach.

    PubMed

    Cho, In K; Wang, Silun; Mao, Hui; Chan, Anthony Ws

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in stem cell-based regenerative medicine, cell replacement therapy, and genome editing technologies (i.e. CRISPR-Cas 9) have sparked great interest in in vivo cell monitoring. Molecular imaging promises a unique approach to noninvasively monitor cellular and molecular phenomena, including cell survival, migration, proliferation, and even differentiation at the whole organismal level. Several imaging modalities and strategies have been explored for monitoring cell grafts in vivo. We begin this review with an introduction describing the progress in stem cell technology, with a perspective toward cell replacement therapy. The importance of molecular imaging in reporting and assessing the status of cell grafts and their relation to the local microenvironment is highlighted since the current knowledge gap is one of the major obstacles in clinical translation of stem cell therapy. Based on currently available imaging techniques, we provide a brief discussion on the pros and cons of each imaging modality used for monitoring cell grafts with particular emphasis on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the reporter gene approach. Finally, we conclude with a comprehensive discussion of future directions of applying molecular imaging in regenerative medicine to emphasize further the importance of correlating cell graft conditions and clinical outcomes to advance regenerative medicine.

  9. Genetic engineered molecular imaging probes for applications in cell therapy: emphasis on MRI approach

    PubMed Central

    Cho, In K; Wang, Silun; Mao, Hui; Chan, Anthony WS

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in stem cell-based regenerative medicine, cell replacement therapy, and genome editing technologies (i.e. CRISPR-Cas 9) have sparked great interest in in vivo cell monitoring. Molecular imaging promises a unique approach to noninvasively monitor cellular and molecular phenomena, including cell survival, migration, proliferation, and even differentiation at the whole organismal level. Several imaging modalities and strategies have been explored for monitoring cell grafts in vivo. We begin this review with an introduction describing the progress in stem cell technology, with a perspective toward cell replacement therapy. The importance of molecular imaging in reporting and assessing the status of cell grafts and their relation to the local microenvironment is highlighted since the current knowledge gap is one of the major obstacles in clinical translation of stem cell therapy. Based on currently available imaging techniques, we provide a brief discussion on the pros and cons of each imaging modality used for monitoring cell grafts with particular emphasis on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the reporter gene approach. Finally, we conclude with a comprehensive discussion of future directions of applying molecular imaging in regenerative medicine to emphasize further the importance of correlating cell graft conditions and clinical outcomes to advance regenerative medicine. PMID:27766183

  10. Improving structure-based function prediction using molecular dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Glazer, Dariya S.; Radmer, Randall J.; Altman, Russ B.

    2009-01-01

    Summary The number of molecules with solved three-dimensional structure but unknown function is increasing rapidly. Particularly problematic are novel folds with little detectable similarity to molecules of known function. Experimental assays can determine the functions of such molecules, but are time-consuming and expensive. Computational approaches can identify potential functional sites; however, these approaches generally rely on single static structures and do not use information about dynamics. In fact, structural dynamics can enhance function prediction: we coupled molecular dynamics simulations with structure-based function prediction algorithms that identify Ca2+ binding sites. When applied to 11 challenging proteins, both methods showed substantial improvement in performance, revealing 22 more sites in one case and 12 more in the other, with a modest increase in apparent false positives. Thus, we show that treating molecules as dynamic entities improves the performance of structure-based function prediction methods. PMID:19604472

  11. Mesoporous Silica Molecular Sieve based Nanocarriers: Transpiring Drug Dissolution Research.

    PubMed

    Pattnaik, Satyanarayan; Pathak, Kamla

    2017-01-01

    Improvement of oral bioavailability through enhancement of dissolution for poorly soluble drugs has been a very promising approach. Recently, mesoporous silica based molecular sieves have demonstrated excellent properties to enhance the dissolution velocity of poorly water-soluble drugs. Current research in this area is focused on investigating the factors influencing the drug release from these carriers, the kinetics of drug release and manufacturing approaches to scale-up production for commercial manufacture. This comprehensive review provides an overview of different methods adopted for synthesis of mesoporous materials, influence of processing factors on properties of these materials and drug loading methods. The drug release kinetics from mesoporous silica systems, the manufacturability and stability of these formulations are reviewed. Finally, the safety and biocompatibility issues related to these silica based materials are discussed. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  12. [Study of regeneration in amphibians in age of molecular-genetic approaches and methods].

    PubMed

    Grigoryan, E N; Markitantova, Yu V; Avdonin, P P; Radugina, E A

    2013-01-01

    The results of molecular-genetic mechanisms of regeneration in amphibians are reviewed. Based on the examples of traditional and well-studied models of the restoration of the retinas and lenses of eyes, as well as limbs and tails in amphibians, we analyze the current state of regeneration problems and questions linked to cell reprogramming, growth, and generate morphogenesis. The development of the Kol'tsov school of thought in the age of molecular-genetic approaches and methods are monitored. The contemporary interpretation of organ regeneration in terms of molecular-genetic regulation and a new look at the definition of regeneration as repeated development is proposed. We also emphasize the current problems that exist in that field of developmental biology and are caused by the many difficulties of genome sequencing and the introduction oftransgenesis in Urodela, the animal species with the highest regeneration abilities.

  13. Affinity sensor based on immobilized molecular imprinted synthetic recognition elements.

    PubMed

    Lenain, Pieterjan; De Saeger, Sarah; Mattiasson, Bo; Hedström, Martin

    2015-07-15

    An affinity sensor based on capacitive transduction was developed to detect a model compound, metergoline, in a continuous flow system. This system simulates the monitoring of low-molecular weight organic compounds in natural flowing waters, i.e. rivers and streams. During operation in such scenarios, control of the experimental parameters is not possible, which poses a true analytical challenge. A two-step approach was used to produce a sensor for metergoline. Submicron spherical molecularly imprinted polymers, used as recognition elements, were obtained through emulsion polymerization and subsequently coupled to the sensor surface by electropolymerization. This way, a robust and reusable sensor was obtained that regenerated spontaneously under the natural conditions in a river. Small organic compounds could be analyzed in water without manipulating the binding or regeneration conditions, thereby offering a viable tool for on-site application.

  14. Restriction endonuclease SsoII with photoregulated activity--a "molecular gate" approach.

    PubMed

    Hien, Le Thi; Zatsepin, Timofei S; Schierling, Benno; Volkov, Eugene M; Wende, Wolfgang; Pingoud, Alfred; Kubareva, Elena A; Oretskaya, Tatiana S

    2011-07-20

    A novel method for regulating the activity of homodimeric proteins--"molecular gate" approach--was proposed and its usefulness illustrated for the type II restriction endonuclease SsoII (R.SsoII) as a model. The "molecular gate" approach is based on the modification of R.SsoII with azobenzene derivatives, which allows regulating DNA binding and cleavage via illumination with light. R.SsoII variants with single cysteine residues introduced at selected positions were obtained and modified with maleimidoazobenzene derivatives. A twofold change in the enzymatic activity after illumination with light of wavelengths of 365 and 470 nm, respectively, was demonstrated when one or two molecules of azobenzene derivatives were attached to the R.SsoII at the entrance of or within the DNA-binding site.

  15. Detection of selection utilizing molecular phylogenetics: a possible approach.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ming; Wyckoff, Gerald J

    2011-05-01

    The neutral theory of molecular evolution (Kimura 1985) is the basis for most current statistical tests for detecting selection, mainly using polymorphism data within species, divergence data between species, and/or genomic structures like linkage disequilibrium (Wang et al. 2006). In most cases informative tests can only be constructed with ample variations within these parameters and many common tests are difficult to formulate when identity-by-descent is not clear, for example in gene families or repetitive elements. With the current progress being made toward whole-genome sequencing and re-sequencing efforts, as well as protein sequencing via tandem mass spectrometry where genomic sequencing is lacking, we felt it was necessary to re-visit possible methods for rapid screening and detection of evolutionary outliers. These outliers might be of interest for other research, such as candidate gene association studies or genome annotations, drug- and disease-target searches, and functional studies. We focused on methods that would work on both protein and nucleotide data, could be used on large gene or protein domain families, and could be generated quickly in order for "first pass" annotation of large scale data. For these reasons, we chose properties of trees generated routinely in molecular phylogenetic studies; genetic distance, tree shape and balance, and internal node statistics (Heard 1992). Our current research looking at protein domain family data and phylogenetic trees from PFAM (Finn et al. 2008) suggests this approach towards detecting evolutionary outliers is feasible, but additional work will be necessary to determine the parameters that suggest either positive or negative selection is occurring in specific gene families. This is particularly true when other factors such as rapid duplication and deletion of genes containing these domains is taking place, and we suggest phylogenetic statistics may be useful in combination with existing methodologies for

  16. [Aging and neurodegeneration: molecular and cellular bases].

    PubMed

    Peinado, M A; del Moral, M L; Esteban, F J; Martínez-Lara, E; Siles, E; Jiménez, A; Hernández-Cobo, R; Blanco, S; Rodrigo, J; Pedrosa, J A

    A review about the possible cellular and molecular mechanisms of aging and related neurodegenerative diseases. The mechanisms involved in neuronal decrease, connectivity losses and glial reactivity, detected both in neurodegenerative (Alzheimer's disease) and physiological aging, are analyzed from the morphological and histological point of view to provide the morphofunctional base of the cognitive and intellectual alterations characterizing the senescence process. Taken together, these data are correlated to the possible genetical aspects implied in this process, reviewing the most relevant results on senescence and cellular death obtained from yeast, fruit fly and nematodes; besides this, a brief review of the molecular biology of gerontogenes was carried out, and the possible mechanisms inducing aging and neurodegenerative processes are analyzed according to the state-of-the-art related theories. Finally, cellular, biochemical and genetical data are correlated in the signal transduction way implied in the increase of the intracellular calcium level as the starting point of cell death. The main process implied in the neuronal cell death responsible for aging and the related neurodegenerative diseases are started by different agents such as the lacking of neurotrophic factors, hypoxia, hypoglycemia, excitotoxicity, and oxygen and nitrogen free radicals.

  17. Protein-based tumor molecular imaging probes

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Xin; Xie, Jin

    2013-01-01

    Molecular imaging is an emerging discipline which plays critical roles in diagnosis and therapeutics. It visualizes and quantifies markers that are aberrantly expressed during the disease origin and development. Protein molecules remain to be one major class of imaging probes, and the option has been widely diversified due to the recent advances in protein engineering techniques. Antibodies are part of the immunosystem which interact with target antigens with high specificity and affinity. They have long been investigated as imaging probes and were coupled with imaging motifs such as radioisotopes for that purpose. However, the relatively large size of antibodies leads to a half-life that is too long for common imaging purposes. Besides, it may also cause a poor tissue penetration rate and thus compromise some medical applications. It is under this context that various engineered protein probes, essentially antibody fragments, protein scaffolds, and natural ligands have been developed. Compared to intact antibodies, they possess more compact size, shorter clearance time, and better tumor penetration. One major challenge of using protein probes in molecular imaging is the affected biological activity resulted from random labeling. Site-specific modification, however, allows conjugation happening in a stoichiometric fashion with little perturbation of protein activity. The present review will discuss protein-based probes with focus on their application and related site-specific conjugation strategies in tumor imaging. PMID:20232092

  18. Multicolor Electrochromic Devices Based on Molecular Plasmonics.

    PubMed

    Stec, Grant J; Lauchner, Adam; Cui, Yao; Nordlander, Peter; Halas, Naomi J

    2017-03-28

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules, the hydrogen-terminated, sub-nanometer-scale version of graphene, support plasmon resonances with the addition or removal of a single electron. Typically colorless when neutral, they are transformed into vivid optical absorbers in either their positively or negatively charged states. Here, we demonstrate a low-voltage, multistate electrochromic device based on PAH plasmon resonances that can be reversibly switched between nearly colorless (0 V), olive (+4 V), and royal blue (-3.5 V). The device exhibits highly efficient color change compared to electrochromic polymers and metal oxides, lower power consumption than liquid crystals, and is shown to reversibly switch for at least 100 cycles. We also demonstrate the additive property of molecular plasmon resonances in a single-layer device to display a reversible, transmissive-to-black device. This work illuminates the potential of PAH molecular plasmonics for the development of color displays and large-area color-changing applications due to their processability and ultralow power consumption.

  19. Clinical features and molecular bases of neuroacanthocytosis.

    PubMed

    Rampoldi, Luca; Danek, Adrian; Monaco, Anthony P

    2002-08-01

    The term acanthocytosis is derived from the Greek for "thorn" and is used to describe a peculiar spiky appearance of erythrocytes. Acanthocytosis is found to be associated with at least three hereditary neurological disorders that are generally referred to as neuroacanthocytosis. Abetalipoproteinaemia is an autosomal recessive condition, characterised by absence of serum apolipoprotein B containing lipoproteins leading to fat intolerance and fat-soluble vitamin deficiency. This results in a progressive spinocerebellar ataxia with peripheral neuropathy and retinitis pigmentosa. Chorea-acanthocytosis is also an autosomal recessive condition and is characterised by chorea, orofaciolingual dyskinesia, dysphagia, dysarthria, areflexia, seizures and dementia. Some of its features, including choreic movements, peripheral neuropathy with areflexia, elevated serum creatine kinase levels and myopathy are shared by another form of neuroacanthocytosis, McLeod syndrome. Patients affected by this X-linked disorder also show abnormal expression of Kell blood group antigens and a permanent haemolytic state. In addition to these cases, acanthocytosis is occasionally associated with other neurological disorders, such as Hallervorden-Spatz disease. For each of the neuroacanthocytosis syndromes we review the main clinical features and their molecular bases. The recent molecular genetics findings are the first step towards the understanding of the pathogenetic mechanisms and eventually the search for effective treatments.

  20. Ab initio molecular dynamics with noisy forces: validating the quantum Monte Carlo approach with benchmark calculations of molecular vibrational properties.

    PubMed

    Luo, Ye; Zen, Andrea; Sorella, Sandro

    2014-11-21

    We present a systematic study of a recently developed ab initio simulation scheme based on molecular dynamics and quantum Monte Carlo. In this approach, a damped Langevin molecular dynamics is employed by using a statistical evaluation of the forces acting on each atom by means of quantum Monte Carlo. This allows the use of an highly correlated wave function parametrized by several variational parameters and describing quite accurately the Born-Oppenheimer energy surface, as long as these parameters are determined at the minimum energy condition. However, in a statistical method both the minimization method and the evaluation of the atomic forces are affected by the statistical noise. In this work, we study systematically the accuracy and reliability of this scheme by targeting the vibrational frequencies of simple molecules such as the water monomer, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, and phosphine. We show that all sources of systematic errors can be controlled and reliable frequencies can be obtained with a reasonable computational effort. This work provides convincing evidence that this molecular dynamics scheme can be safely applied also to realistic systems containing several atoms.

  1. Ab initio molecular dynamics with noisy forces: Validating the quantum Monte Carlo approach with benchmark calculations of molecular vibrational properties

    SciTech Connect

    Luo, Ye Sorella, Sandro; Zen, Andrea

    2014-11-21

    We present a systematic study of a recently developed ab initio simulation scheme based on molecular dynamics and quantum Monte Carlo. In this approach, a damped Langevin molecular dynamics is employed by using a statistical evaluation of the forces acting on each atom by means of quantum Monte Carlo. This allows the use of an highly correlated wave function parametrized by several variational parameters and describing quite accurately the Born-Oppenheimer energy surface, as long as these parameters are determined at the minimum energy condition. However, in a statistical method both the minimization method and the evaluation of the atomic forces are affected by the statistical noise. In this work, we study systematically the accuracy and reliability of this scheme by targeting the vibrational frequencies of simple molecules such as the water monomer, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, and phosphine. We show that all sources of systematic errors can be controlled and reliable frequencies can be obtained with a reasonable computational effort. This work provides convincing evidence that this molecular dynamics scheme can be safely applied also to realistic systems containing several atoms.

  2. Molecular solution approach to synthesize electronic quality Cu2ZnSnS4 thin films.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wenbing; Duan, Hsin-Sheng; Cha, Kitty C; Hsu, Chia-Jung; Hsu, Wan-Ching; Zhou, Huanping; Bob, Brion; Yang, Yang

    2013-05-08

    Successful implementation of molecular solution processing from a homogeneous and stable precursor would provide an alternative, robust approach to process multinary compounds compared with physical vapor deposition. Targeting deposition of chemically clear, high quality crystalline films requires specific molecular structure design and solvent selection. Hydrazine (N2H4) serves as a unique and powerful medium, particularly to incorporate selected metallic elements and chalcogens into a stable solution as metal chalcogenide complexes (MCC). However, not all the elements and compounds can be easily dissolved. In this manuscript, we demonstrate a paradigm to incorporate previously insoluble transitional-metal elements into molecular solution as metal-atom hydrazine/hydrazine derivative complexes (MHHD), as exemplified by dissolving of the zinc constituent as Zn(NH2NHCOO)2(N2H4)2. Investigation into the evolution of molecular structure reveals the hidden roadmap to significantly enrich the variety of building blocks for soluble molecule design. The new category of molecular structures not only set up a prototype to incorporate other elements of interest but also points the direction for other compatible solvent selection. As demonstrated from the molecular precursor combining Sn-/Cu-MCC and Zn-MHHD, an ultrathin film of copper zinc tin sulfide (CZTS) was deposited. Characterization of a transistor based on the CZTS channel layer shows electronic properties comparable to CuInSe2, confirming the robustness of this molecular solution processing and the prospect of earth abundant CZTS for next generation photovoltaic materials. This paradigm potentially outlines a universal pathway, from individual molecular design using selected chelated ligands and combination of building blocks in a simple and stable solution to fundamentally change the way multinary compounds are processed.

  3. A computational kinematics and evolutionary approach to model molecular flexibility for bionanotechnology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brintaki, Athina N.

    Modeling molecular structures is critical for understanding the principles that govern the behavior of molecules and for facilitating the exploration of potential pharmaceutical drugs and nanoscale designs. Biological molecules are flexible bodies that can adopt many different shapes (or conformations) until they reach a stable molecular state that is usually described by the minimum internal energy. A major challenge in modeling flexible molecules is the exponential explosion in computational complexity as the molecular size increases and many degrees of freedom are considered to represent the molecules' flexibility. This research work proposes a novel generic computational geometric approach called enhanced BioGeoFilter (g.eBGF) that geometrically interprets inter-atomic interactions to impose geometric constraints during molecular conformational search to reduce the time for identifying chemically-feasible conformations. Two new methods called Kinematics-Based Differential Evolution ( kDE) and Biological Differential Evolution ( BioDE) are also introduced to direct the molecular conformational search towards low energy (stable) conformations. The proposed kDE method kinematically describes a molecule's deformation mechanism while it uses differential evolution to minimize the intra-molecular energy. On the other hand, the proposed BioDE utilizes our developed g.eBGF data structure as a surrogate approximation model to reduce the number of exact evaluations and to speed the molecular conformational search. This research work will be extremely useful in enabling the modeling of flexible molecules and in facilitating the exploration of nanoscale designs through the virtual assembly of molecules. Our research work can also be used in areas such as molecular docking, protein folding, and nanoscale computer-aided design where rapid collision detection scheme for highly deformable objects is essential.

  4. Complement involvement in periodontitis: molecular mechanisms and rational therapeutic approaches

    PubMed Central

    Hajishengallis, George; Maekawa, Tomoki; Abe, Toshiharu; Hajishengallis, Evlambia; Lambris, John D.

    2015-01-01

    The complement system is a network of interacting fluid-phase and cell surface-associated molecules that trigger, amplify, and regulate immune and inflammatory signaling pathways. Dysregulation of this finely balanced network can destabilize host-microbe homeostasis and cause inflammatory tissue damage. Evidence from clinical and animal model-based studies suggests that complement is implicated in the pathogenesis of periodontitis, a polymicrobial community-induced chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the tooth-supporting tissues. This review discusses molecular mechanisms of complement involvement in the dysbiotic transformation of the periodontal microbiome and the resulting destructive inflammation, culminating in loss of periodontal bone support. These mechanistic studies have additionally identified potential therapeutic targets. In this regard, interventional studies in preclinical models have provided proof-of-concept for using complement inhibitors for the treatment of human periodontitis. PMID:26306443

  5. The measurement of molecular diversity: A three-dimensional approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, David

    1996-12-01

    This paper describes a method for selecting a small, highly diverse subset from a large pool of molecules. The method has been employed in the design of combinatorial synthetic libraries for use in high-throughput screening for pharmaceutical lead generation. It computes diversity in terms of the main factors relevant to ligand-protein binding, namely the three-dimensional arrangement of steric bulk and of polar functionalities and molecular entropy. The method was used to select a set of 20 carboxylates suitable for use as side-chain precursors in a polyamine-based library. The method depends on estimates of various physical-chemical parameters involved in ligand-protein binding; experiments examined the sensitivity of the method to these parameters. This paper compares the diversity of randomly and rationally selected side-chain sets; the results suggest that careful design of synthetic combinatorial libraries may increase their effectiveness several-fold.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Willis, Christopher J.

    1988-01-01

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

  7. Novel molecular approaches to cystic fibrosis gene therapy

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Tim W. R.; Matthews, David A.; Blair, G. Eric

    2005-01-01

    Gene therapy holds promise for the treatment of a range of inherited diseases, such as cystic fibrosis. However, efficient delivery and expression of the therapeutic transgene at levels sufficient to result in phenotypic correction of cystic fibrosis pulmonary disease has proved elusive. There are many reasons for this lack of progress, both macroscopically in terms of airway defence mechanisms and at the molecular level with regard to effective cDNA delivery. This review of approaches to cystic fibrosis gene therapy covers these areas in detail and highlights recent progress in the field. For gene therapy to be effective in patients with cystic fibrosis, the cDNA encoding the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator protein must be delivered effectively to the nucleus of the epithelial cells lining the bronchial tree within the lungs. Expression of the transgene must be maintained at adequate levels for the lifetime of the patient, either by repeat dosage of the vector or by targeting airway stem cells. Clinical trials of gene therapy for cystic fibrosis have demonstrated proof of principle, but gene expression has been limited to 30 days at best. Results suggest that viral vectors such as adenovirus and adeno-associated virus are unsuited to repeat dosing, as the immune response reduces the effectiveness of each subsequent dose. Nonviral approaches, such as cationic liposomes, appear more suited to repeat dosing, but have been less effective. Current work regarding non-viral gene delivery is now focused on understanding the mechanisms involved in cell entry, endosomal escape and nuclear import of the transgene. There is now increasing evidence to suggest that additional ligands that facilitate endosomal escape or contain a nuclear localization signal may enhance liposome-mediated gene delivery. Much progress in this area has been informed by advances in our understanding of the mechanisms by which viruses deliver their genomes to the nuclei of host

  8. On the phase and interface behavior along the three-phase line of ternary Lennard-Jones mixtures: a collaborative approach based on square gradient theory and molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Garrido, José Matías; Quinteros-Lama, Héctor; Piñeiro, Manuel M; Mejía, Andrés; Segura, Hugo

    2014-07-07

    This work focuses on the application of a two-way approach, where Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations and the Square Gradient Theory (SGT) have been used for describing the phase and interface behavior of binary and ternary Lennard-Jones (LJ) mixtures, along a condition of three-phase equilibrium. The unequivocal correspondence between MD and SGT has been achieved by using the global phase diagram of binary mixtures composed by equally sized Lennard-Jones molecules, from which representative molecular parameters for Type-I, Type-II, and Type-III systems have been determined. The so selected binaries have been used then to scale the behavior of a ternary mixture characterized by complex phase equilibrium patterns. For the case of the theoretical SGT approach applied to the Lennard-Jones equation of state was used for predicting phase equilibrium and interfacial properties. In addition the corresponding MD simulations of these macroscopic properties have been conducted for the LJ potential by using equivalent molecular parameters and conditions than in the theoretical approach. Excellent agreement has been observed between the predictions obtained from theory and simulations. Particularly, our results concerning the characterization of the three phase line of a binary Type-III mixture indicate that the bulk liquid (α) and the bulk gas (G) regions are sharply separated by a bulk liquid region (β) for all the explored temperature, pressure, and concentration conditions. The structural analysis of these bulk phases reveals that a secondary liquid phase (β) perfectly wets the liquid-gas interface (α-G), as previously found for Type-II mixture [A. Mejía and L. F. Vega, J. Chem. Phys. 124, 244505 (2006)]. The exploration along the three-phase line for the ternary mixture shows good agreement between SGT and MD. Particularly, we observed the specific influence of a third component in the phase and interface behavior. From all the previous results, we conclude that the

  9. A mixed molecular modeling-robotics approach to investigate lipase large molecular motions.

    PubMed

    Barbe, Sophie; Cortés, Juan; Siméon, Thierry; Monsan, Pierre; Remaud-Siméon, Magali; André, Isabelle

    2011-08-01

    Large-scale conformational rearrangement of a lid subdomain is a key event in the interfacial activation of many lipases. We present herein a study in which the large-scale "open-to-closed" movement of Burkholderia cepacia lipase lid has been simulated at the atomic level using a hybrid computational method. The two-stage approach combines path-planning algorithms originating from robotics and molecular mechanics methods. In the first stage, a path-planning approach is used to compute continuous and geometrically feasible pathways between two protein conformational states. Then, an energy minimization procedure using classical molecular mechanics is applied to intermediate conformations in the path. The main advantage of such a combination of methods is that only geometrically feasible solutions are prompted for energy calculation in explicit solvent, which allows the atomic-scale description of the transition pathway between two extreme conformations of B. cepacia lipase (BCL; open and closed states) within very short computing times (a few hours on a desktop computer). Of interest, computed pathways enable the description of intermediate conformations along the "open-to-closed" conformational transition of BCL lid and the identification of bottlenecks during the lid closing. Furthermore, consideration of the solvent effect when computing the transition energy profiles provides valuable information regarding the feasibility and the spontaneity of the movement under the influence of the solvent environment. This new hybrid computational method turned out to be well-suited for investigating at an atomistic level large-scale conformational motion and at a qualitative level, the solvent effect on the energy profiles associated with the global motion. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. Boolean logic tree of graphene-based chemical system for molecular computation and intelligent molecular search query.

    PubMed

    Huang, Wei Tao; Luo, Hong Qun; Li, Nian Bing

    2014-05-06

    The most serious, and yet unsolved, problem of constructing molecular computing devices consists in connecting all of these molecular events into a usable device. This report demonstrates the use of Boolean logic tree for analyzing the chemical event network based on graphene, organic dye, thrombin aptamer, and Fenton reaction, organizing and connecting these basic chemical events. And this chemical event network can be utilized to implement fluorescent combinatorial logic (including basic logic gates and complex integrated logic circuits) and fuzzy logic computing. On the basis of the Boolean logic tree analysis and logic computing, these basic chemical events can be considered as programmable "words" and chemical interactions as "syntax" logic rules to construct molecular search engine for performing intelligent molecular search query. Our approach is helpful in developing the advanced logic program based on molecules for application in biosensing, nanotechnology, and drug delivery.

  11. Single-cell approaches for molecular classification of endocrine tumors

    PubMed Central

    Koh, James; Allbritton, Nancy L.; Sosa, Julie A.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose of review In this review, we summarize recent developments in single-cell technologies that can be employed for the functional and molecular classification of endocrine cells in normal and neoplastic tissue. Recent findings The emergence of new platforms for the isolation, analysis, and dynamic assessment of individual cell identity and reactive behavior enables experimental deconstruction of intratumoral heterogeneity and other contexts, where variability in cell signaling and biochemical responsiveness inform biological function and clinical presentation. These tools are particularly appropriate for examining and classifying endocrine neoplasias, as the clinical sequelae of these tumors are often driven by disrupted hormonal responsiveness secondary to compromised cell signaling. Single-cell methods allow for multidimensional experimental designs incorporating both spatial and temporal parameters with the capacity to probe dynamic cell signaling behaviors and kinetic response patterns dependent upon sequential agonist challenge. Summary Intratumoral heterogeneity in the provenance, composition, and biological activity of different forms of endocrine neoplasia presents a significant challenge for prognostic assessment. Single-cell technologies provide an array of powerful new approaches uniquely well suited for dissecting complex endocrine tumors. Studies examining the relationship between clinical behavior and tumor compositional variations in cellular activity are now possible, providing new opportunities to deconstruct the underlying mechanisms of endocrine neoplasia. PMID:26632769

  12. Molecular Approaches to Understand Nutritional Potential of Coarse Cereals.

    PubMed

    Singh, Amit Kumar; Singh, Rakesh; Subramani, Rajkumar; Kumar, Rajesh; Wankhede, Dhammaprakash P

    2016-06-01

    Coarse grains are important group of crops that constitutes staple food for large population residing primarily in the arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Coarse grains are designated as nutri-cereals as they are rich in essential amino acids, minerals and vitamins. In spite of having several nutritional virtues in coarse grain as mentioned above, there is still scope for improvement in quality parameters such as cooking qualities, modulation of nutritional constituents and reduction or elimination of anti-nutritional factors. Besides its use in traditional cooking, coarse grains have been used mainly in the weaning food preparation and other malted food production. Improvement in quality parameters will certainly increase consumer's preference for coarse grains and increase their demand. The overall genetic gain in quality traits of economic importance in the cultivated varieties will enhance their industrial value and simultaneously increase income of farmers growing these varieties. The urgent step for improvement of quality traits in coarse grains requires a detailed understanding of molecular mechanisms responsible for varied level of different nutritional contents in different genotypes of these crops. In this review we have discussed the progresses made in understanding of coarse grain biology with various omics tool coupled with modern breeding approaches and the current status with regard to our effort towards dissecting traits related to improvement of quality and nutritional constituents of grains.

  13. Molecular Approaches to Understand Nutritional Potential of Coarse Cereals

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Amit Kumar; Singh, Rakesh; Subramani, Rajkumar; Kumar, Rajesh; Wankhede, Dhammaprakash P.

    2016-01-01

    Coarse grains are important group of crops that constitutes staple food for large population residing primarily in the arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Coarse grains are designated as nutri-cereals as they are rich in essential amino acids, minerals and vitamins. In spite of having several nutritional virtues in coarse grain as mentioned above, there is still scope for improvement in quality parameters such as cooking qualities, modulation of nutritional constituents and reduction or elimination of anti-nutritional factors. Besides its use in traditional cooking, coarse grains have been used mainly in the weaning food preparation and other malted food production. Improvement in quality parameters will certainly increase consumer’s preference for coarse grains and increase their demand. The overall genetic gain in quality traits of economic importance in the cultivated varieties will enhance their industrial value and simultaneously increase income of farmers growing these varieties. The urgent step for improvement of quality traits in coarse grains requires a detailed understanding of molecular mechanisms responsible for varied level of different nutritional contents in different genotypes of these crops. In this review we have discussed the progresses made in understanding of coarse grain biology with various omics tool coupled with modern breeding approaches and the current status with regard to our effort towards dissecting traits related to improvement of quality and nutritional constituents of grains. PMID:27252585

  14. Substrate Channel in Nitrogenase Revealed by a Molecular Dynamics Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Dayle; Danyal, Karamatullah; Raugei, Simone; Seefeldt, Lance C.

    2014-03-22

    Mo-dependent nitrogenase catalyzes the biological reduction of N2 to 2NH3 at the FeMo-cofactor buried deep inside the MoFe protein. Access of substrates, such as N2, to the active site is likely restricted by the surrounding protein, requiring substrate channels that lead from the surface to the active site. Earlier studies on crystallographic structures of the MoFe protein have suggested three putative substrate channels. Here, we have utilized sub-microsecond atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to allow the nitrogenase MoFe protein to explore its conformational space in an aqueous solution at physiological ionic strength, revealing a putative substrate channel not previously reported. The viability of the proposed channel was tested by examining the free energy of passage of N2 from the surface through the channel to FeMo-cofactor, with discovery of a very low energy barrier. These studies point to a viable substrate channel in nitrogenase that appears during thermal motions of the protein in an aqueous environment that approaches a face of FeMo-cofactor earlier implicated in substrate binding.

  15. Comparative approaches in evolutionary psychology: molecular neuroscience meets the mind.

    PubMed

    Panksepp, Jaak; Moskal, Joseph R; Panksepp, Jules B; Kroes, Roger A

    2002-12-01

    Evolutionary psychologists often overlook a wealth of information existing between the proximate genotypic level and the ultimate phenotypic level. This commonly ignored level of biological organization is the ongoing activity of neurobiological systems. In this paper, we extend our previous arguments concerning strategic weaknesses of evolutionary psychology by advocating a foundational view that focuses on similarities in brain, behavior, and various basic psychological features across mammalian species. Such an approach offers the potential to link the emerging discipline of evolutionary psychology to its parent scientific disciplines such as biochemistry, physiology, molecular genetics, developmental biology and the neuroscientific analysis of animal behavior. We detail an example of this through our impending work using gene microarray technology to characterize gene expression patterns in rats during aggressive and playful social interactions. Through a focus on functional homologies and the experimental analysis of conserved, subcortical emotional and motivational brain systems, neuroevolutionary psychobiology can reveal ancient features of the human mind that are still shared with other animals. Claims regarding evolved, uniquely human, psychological constructs should be constrained by the rigorous evidentiary standards that are routine in other sciences.

  16. Cluster and Shell Structures in the Fermionic Molecular Dynamics Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neff, Thomas; Feldmeier, Hans

    Nuclei in the p- and sd-shell are studied within the Fermionic Molecular Dynamics (FMD) model that uses Gaussian wave packets as single-particle states. Intrinsic many-body basis states are given by Slater determinants which have to be projected on parity, angular momentum and total linear momentum to restore the symmetries of the Hamiltonian. The flexibility of the Gaussian basis allows to economically describe states with shell structures as well as states featuring clustering or halos. The same effective interaction derived from the realistic Argonne V18 interaction in the Unitary Correlation Operator Method (UCOM) framework is used for all nuclei. We discuss the spectrum of 12C with a special emphasis on the structure of the first excited 0+ state, the famous Hoyle state. In the FMD approach the Hoyle state is found to be dominated by dilute α-cluster configurations. Recent measurements of the charge radii of Neon isotopes show an intriguing behaviour. This can be explained in FMD calculations by a structure change from 17Ne and 18Ne which can be essentially considered as an 15O or 16O core plus two protons in s2 or d2 configurations, respectively. For the heavier isotopes we find that the admixture of 3He and 4He cluster configurations in the ground states leads to much larger charge radii than obtained in a mean-field calculation.

  17. Vibrational infrared and Raman spectra of polypeptides: Fragments-in-fragments within molecular tailoring approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahu, Nityananda; Gadre, Shridhar R.

    2016-03-01

    The present work reports the calculation of vibrational infrared (IR) and Raman spectra of large molecular systems employing molecular tailoring approach (MTA). Further, it extends the grafting procedure for the accurate evaluation of IR and Raman spectra of large molecular systems, employing a new methodology termed as Fragments-in-Fragments (FIF), within MTA. Unlike the previous MTA-based studies, the accurate estimation of the requisite molecular properties is achieved without performing any full calculations (FC). The basic idea of the grafting procedure is implemented by invoking the nearly basis-set-independent nature of the MTA-based error vis-à-vis the respective FCs. FIF has been tested out for the estimation of the above molecular properties for three isomers, viz., β-strand, 310- and α-helix of acetyl(alanine)nNH2 (n = 10, 15) polypeptides, three conformers of doubly protonated gramicidin S decapeptide and trpzip2 protein (PDB id: 1LE1), respectively, employing BP86/TZVP, M06/6-311G**, and M05-2X/6-31G** levels of theory. For most of the cases, a maximum difference of 3 cm-1 is achieved between the grafted-MTA frequencies and the corresponding FC values. Further, a comparison of the BP86/TZVP level IR and Raman spectra of α-helical (alanine)20 and its N-deuterated derivative shows an excellent agreement with the existing experimental spectra. In view of the requirement of only MTA-based calculations and the ability of FIF to work at any level of theory, the current methodology provides a cost-effective solution for obtaining accurate spectra of large molecular systems.

  18. Vibrational infrared and Raman spectra of polypeptides: Fragments-in-fragments within molecular tailoring approach.

    PubMed

    Sahu, Nityananda; Gadre, Shridhar R

    2016-03-21

    The present work reports the calculation of vibrational infrared (IR) and Raman spectra of large molecular systems employing molecular tailoring approach (MTA). Further, it extends the grafting procedure for the accurate evaluation of IR and Raman spectra of large molecular systems, employing a new methodology termed as Fragments-in-Fragments (FIF), within MTA. Unlike the previous MTA-based studies, the accurate estimation of the requisite molecular properties is achieved without performing any full calculations (FC). The basic idea of the grafting procedure is implemented by invoking the nearly basis-set-independent nature of the MTA-based error vis-à-vis the respective FCs. FIF has been tested out for the estimation of the above molecular properties for three isomers, viz., β-strand, 310- and α-helix of acetyl(alanine)nNH2 (n = 10, 15) polypeptides, three conformers of doubly protonated gramicidin S decapeptide and trpzip2 protein (PDB id: 1LE1), respectively, employing BP86/TZVP, M06/6-311G**, and M05-2X/6-31G** levels of theory. For most of the cases, a maximum difference of 3 cm(-1) is achieved between the grafted-MTA frequencies and the corresponding FC values. Further, a comparison of the BP86/TZVP level IR and Raman spectra of α-helical (alanine)20 and its N-deuterated derivative shows an excellent agreement with the existing experimental spectra. In view of the requirement of only MTA-based calculations and the ability of FIF to work at any level of theory, the current methodology provides a cost-effective solution for obtaining accurate spectra of large molecular systems.

  19. Theoretical study of molecular vibrations in electron momentum spectroscopy experiments on furan: An analytical versus a molecular dynamical approach

    SciTech Connect

    Morini, Filippo; Deleuze, Michael S.; Watanabe, Noboru; Takahashi, Masahiko

    2015-03-07

    The influence of thermally induced nuclear dynamics (molecular vibrations) in the initial electronic ground state on the valence orbital momentum profiles of furan has been theoretically investigated using two different approaches. The first of these approaches employs the principles of Born-Oppenheimer molecular dynamics, whereas the so-called harmonic analytical quantum mechanical approach resorts to an analytical decomposition of contributions arising from quantized harmonic vibrational eigenstates. In spite of their intrinsic differences, the two approaches enable consistent insights into the electron momentum distributions inferred from new measurements employing electron momentum spectroscopy and an electron impact energy of 1.2 keV. Both approaches point out in particular an appreciable influence of a few specific molecular vibrations of A{sub 1} symmetry on the 9a{sub 1} momentum profile, which can be unravelled from considerations on the symmetry characteristics of orbitals and their energy spacing.

  20. Theoretical study of molecular vibrations in electron momentum spectroscopy experiments on furan: an analytical versus a molecular dynamical approach.

    PubMed

    Morini, Filippo; Deleuze, Michael S; Watanabe, Noboru; Takahashi, Masahiko

    2015-03-07

    The influence of thermally induced nuclear dynamics (molecular vibrations) in the initial electronic ground state on the valence orbital momentum profiles of furan has been theoretically investigated using two different approaches. The first of these approaches employs the principles of Born-Oppenheimer molecular dynamics, whereas the so-called harmonic analytical quantum mechanical approach resorts to an analytical decomposition of contributions arising from quantized harmonic vibrational eigenstates. In spite of their intrinsic differences, the two approaches enable consistent insights into the electron momentum distributions inferred from new measurements employing electron momentum spectroscopy and an electron impact energy of 1.2 keV. Both approaches point out in particular an appreciable influence of a few specific molecular vibrations of A1 symmetry on the 9a1 momentum profile, which can be unravelled from considerations on the symmetry characteristics of orbitals and their energy spacing.

  1. An innovative approach to molecularly imprinted capillaries for polar templates by grafting polymerization.

    PubMed

    Giovannoli, Cristina; Passini, Cinzia; Baravalle, Patrizia; Anfossi, Laura; Giraudi, Gianfranco; Baggiani, Claudio

    2012-06-01

    Molecularly imprinted polymers have been successfully used as selective stationary phases in capillary electrophoresis. Notwithstanding, this technique suffers from several drawbacks as the loss of molecular recognition properties in aqueous media and the lack of feasibility for imprinted systems directed towards highly polar templates soluble in aqueous environments only. Thus, the preparation of imprinted polymers for highly polar, water-soluble analytes, represents a challenge. In this work, we present an innovative approach to overcome these drawbacks. It is based on a surface molecular imprinting technique that uses preformed macromonomers as both functional recognition elements and cross-linking agents. A poly-2-hydroxyethyl-co-methacrylic acid linear polymer was grafted from the surface of silica capillaries. The grafted polymer was exhaustively esterified with methacrylic anhydride to obtain polyethylendimethacrylate-co-methacrylic acid linear chains. Then, as a proof of concept, an adequate amount of a very polar template like penicillin V was added in a hydro-organic mixture, and a thin layer of imprinted polymer was obtained by cross-linking the polymer linear chains. The binding behaviour of the imprinted and non-imprinted capillaries was evaluated in different separation conditions in order to assess the presence of template selectivity and molecular recognition effects. The experimental results clearly show that this innovative kind of imprinted material can be easily obtained in very polar polymerization environments and that it is characterized by enhanced molecular recognition properties in aqueous buffers and good selectivity towards the template and strictly related molecules.

  2. [Orbitozygomatic approaches to the skull base].

    PubMed

    Cherekaev, V A; Gol'bin, D A; Belov, A I; Radchenkov, N S; Lasunin, N V; Vinokurov, A G

    2015-01-01

    The paper is written in the lecture format and dedicated to one of the main basal approaches, the orbitozygomatic approach, that has been widely used by neurosurgeons for several decades. The authors describe the historical background of the approach development and the surgical technique features and also analyze the published data about application of the orbitozygomatic approach in surgery for skull base tumors and cerebral aneurysms.

  3. Understanding polycaroboxylate interactions with counterions: A molecular modeling approach

    SciTech Connect

    Fitzwater, S.; Freeman, M.B.

    1993-12-31

    Low molecular weight polycarboyxlates, such as poly(acrylic acid), have utility as dispersants in a variety of commercial applications including home laundry detergents, mineral processing and water treatment. In general, counterions (Ca, Mg, Fe, etc.) are unavoidable in these applications and often dictate the polymer composition and molecular weight necessary for successful performance. The authors have been investigating the interaction of polycarboxylates with counterions in order to better understand how that interaction impacts on the dispersant properties of a polymer. Using computer modeling, it can be seen how molecular geometry, molecular dynamics, and the shape/polarity of the molecular surface are affected by counterion binding and polymer composition. The authors can then combine information from the modeling with experimental information and literature concepts to provide a direction toward the synthesis of improved low molecular weight polycarboxylate dispersants.

  4. Light-powered, artificial molecular pumps: a minimalistic approach

    PubMed Central

    Ragazzon, Giulio; Baroncini, Massimo; Silvi, Serena; Venturi, Margherita

    2015-01-01

    Summary The realization of artificial molecular motors capable of converting energy into mechanical work is a fascinating challenge of nanotechnology and requires reactive systems that can operate away from chemical equilibrium. This article describes the design and construction of a simple, supramolecular ensemble in which light irradiation causes the directional transit of a macrocycle along a nonsymmetric molecular axle, thus forming the basis for the development of artificial molecular pumps. PMID:26665081

  5. Light-powered, artificial molecular pumps: a minimalistic approach.

    PubMed

    Ragazzon, Giulio; Baroncini, Massimo; Silvi, Serena; Venturi, Margherita; Credi, Alberto

    2015-01-01

    The realization of artificial molecular motors capable of converting energy into mechanical work is a fascinating challenge of nanotechnology and requires reactive systems that can operate away from chemical equilibrium. This article describes the design and construction of a simple, supramolecular ensemble in which light irradiation causes the directional transit of a macrocycle along a nonsymmetric molecular axle, thus forming the basis for the development of artificial molecular pumps.

  6. A Hybrid approach to molecular continuum processes combiningGaussian basis functions and the discrete variable representation

    SciTech Connect

    Rescigno, Thomas N.; Horner, Daniel A.; Yip, Frank L.; McCurdy,C. William

    2005-08-29

    Gaussian basis functions, routinely employed in molecular electronic structure calculations, can be combined with numerical grid-based functions in a discrete variable representation to provide an efficient method for computing molecular continuum wave functions. This approach, combined with exterior complex scaling, obviates the need for slowly convergent single-center expansions, and allows one to study a variety of electron-molecule collision problems. The method is illustrated by computation of various bound and continuum properties of H2+.

  7. Chemistry of silicon-containing compounds and molecular approaches to materials for silicon-based microelectronics. Preparation of metal silyl complexes, studies of reactions between alkylidenes and silanes, and deposition of titanium oxide thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanton, Jaime Renee

    This dissertation describes studies of the chemistry of silicon-containing compounds and molecular approaches to silicon-based microelectronic materials. The preparation of new silyl dianions and transition metal silyl complexes, studies of the mechanism of reactions between alkylidenes and silanes, and fabrication of TiO2 thin films on Si as microelectronic gate materials are presented. Chapter 1 provides a brief overview of the field of early transition metal silyl chemistry, experimental techniques used in the research, and a summary of research conducted in each subsequent chapter. Chapter 2 describes the synthesis and characterization of new silyl dianions of the type [K(18-crown-6)] 2[(Me3Si)2Si-(CH2)n-Si(SiMe 3)2] (n = 1, 4; 2, 5; 3, 6). These represent some of the few known disilyl dianions. Crystal structures of the starting materials to 5 and 6, (Me3Si)3Si-(CH2)n-Si(SiMe 3)3, (n = 2, 2; 3, 3) were determined by X-ray diffraction studies. The preparation and characterization of novel Zr and Zn silyl complexes from the reactions of 5 with (Me 2N)3ZrCl and ZnCl2, respectively, are presented in Chapter 3. Both complexes are anionic with K(18-crown-6)+ counterions. {(Me2N)3Zr[eta2-(Me 3Si)2Si(CH2)2Si(SiMe3) 2]}- (7) consists of a five-coordinate Zr center. [K(18-crown-6)]2{[eta2-(Me3Si) 2Si(CH2)2Si(SiMe3)2]Zn 2[mu-(Me3Si)2Si(CH2)2-Si(SiMe 3)2]} (8) is the first trisilyl Zn complex. 8 is a dimer with each Zn metal center coordinated by a chelating and a bridging disilyl ligand. Chapter 4 presents new mechanistic insights into the reactions of a Ta alkylidene complex (Me3SiCH2) 3Ta(PMe3)[=CHSiMe3] (9) with H 2SiMePh. Such reactions yielded new silyl-substituted alkylidene complexes. Experiments conducted in the presence of 20-fold PMe3 were 19 times slower than those conducted with no added phosphine. Mass spectral analysis of the gaseous products from the reaction conducted in the presence of H 2 suggested hydrogen scrambling. Finally, Chapter 5 discusses the

  8. [Molecular pathogenesis and therapeutic approach of GM2 gangliosidosis].

    PubMed

    Tsuji, Daisuke

    2013-01-01

    Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff diseases (GM2 gangliosidoses) are autosomal recessive lysosomal storage diseases caused by gene mutations in HEXA and HEXB, each encoding human lysosomal β-hexosaminidase α-subunits and β-subunits, respectively. In Tay-Sachs disease, excessive accumulation of GM2 ganglioside (GM2), mainly in the central nervous system, is caused by a deficiency of the HexA isozyme (αβ heterodimer), resulting in progressive neurologic disorders. In Sandhoff disease, combined deficiencies of HexA and HexB (ββ homodimer) cause not only the accumulation of GM2 but also of oligosaccharides carrying terminal N-acetylhexosamine residues (GlcNAc-oligosaccharides), resulting in systemic manifestations including hepatosplenomegaly as well as neurologic symptoms. Hence there is little clinically effective treatment for these GM2 gangliosidoses. Recent studies on the molecular pathogenesis in Sandhoff disease patients and disease model mice have shown the involvement of microglial activation and chemokine induction in neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration in this disease. Experimental and therapeutic approaches, including recombinant enzyme replacement, have been performed using Sandhoff disease model mice, suggesting the future application of novel techniques to treat GM2 gangliosidoses (Hex deficiencies), including Sandhoff disease as well as Tay-Sachs disease. In this study, we isolated astrocytes and microglia from the neonatal brain of Sandhoff disease model mice and demonstrated abnormalities of glial cells. Moreover, we demonstrated the therapeutic effect of an intracerebroventricular administration of novel recombinant human HexA carrying a high content of M6P residue in Sandhoff disease model mice.

  9. Fundamental Approaches in Molecular Biology for Communication Sciences and Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartlett, Rebecca S.; Jette, Marie E.; King, Suzanne N.; Schaser, Allison; Thibeault, Susan L.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: This contemporary tutorial will introduce general principles of molecular biology, common deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA), and protein assays and their relevance in the field of communication sciences and disorders. Method: Over the past 2 decades, knowledge of the molecular pathophysiology of human disease has…

  10. Fundamental Approaches in Molecular Biology for Communication Sciences and Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartlett, Rebecca S.; Jette, Marie E.; King, Suzanne N.; Schaser, Allison; Thibeault, Susan L.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: This contemporary tutorial will introduce general principles of molecular biology, common deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA), and protein assays and their relevance in the field of communication sciences and disorders. Method: Over the past 2 decades, knowledge of the molecular pathophysiology of human disease has…

  11. A metadata approach to query interoperation between molecular biology databases.

    PubMed

    Cheung, K H; Nadkarni, P M; Shin, D G

    1998-01-01

    Molecular biology databases have been proliferating rapidly. Their heterogeneity and complexity pose a great challenge to efforts in database interoperation. To minimize the efforts of interoperating heterogeneous databases, it is useful to develop a system that lets a user of a particular genomic database access another related database as if the latter is structurally similar to the former. We extend a structurally simple model-the entity-attribute-value (EAV) model-to describe uniformly metadata relating to individual databases. Such metadata, which are necessary for performing database comparisons, include descriptions of primitive database objects (including entities, attributes, domain values and entity relationships) and specification of correspondences among the database objects. We show how to decompose SQL queries and map them from one database to another based on the EAV representation of the basic database objects. A prototype system is implemented to demonstrate query interoperation between two chromosome map databases. Freely available (Cold Fusion source code and an Access database containing the mapping knowledge) upon request from the author. kei.cheung@yale.edu

  12. Biomimetic polymers of plant cutin: an approach from molecular modeling.

    PubMed

    San-Miguel, Miguel A; Oviedo, Jaime; Heredia-Guerrero, Jose Alejandro; Heredia, Antonio; Benitez, Jose Jesus

    2014-07-01

    Biomimetics of materials is based on adopting and reproducing a model in nature with a well-defined functionality optimized through evolution. An example is barrier polymers that protect living tissues from the environment. The protecting layer of fruits, leaves, and non-lignified stems is the plant cuticle. The cuticle is a complex system in which the cutin is the main component. Cutin is a biopolyester made of polyhydroxylated carboxylic acids of 16 and 18 carbon atoms. The biosynthesis of cutin in plants is not well understood yet, but a direct chemical route involving the self-assembly of either molecules or molecular aggregates has been proposed. In this work, we present a combined study using experimental and simulation techniques on self-assembled layers of monomers selectively functionalized with hydroxyl groups. Our results demonstrate that the number and position of the hydroxyl groups are critical for the interaction between single molecules and the further rearrangement. Also, the presence of lateral hydroxyl groups reinforces lateral interactions and favors the bi-dimensional growth (2D), while terminal hydroxyl groups facilitate the formation of a second layer caused by head-tail interactions. The balance of 2D/3D growth is fundamental for the plant to create a protecting layer both large enough in 2D and thick enough in 3D.

  13. PET-based molecular imaging in neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, A H; Li, H; Winkeler, A; Hilker, R; Knoess, C; Rüger, A; Galldiks, N; Schaller, B; Sobesky, J; Kracht, L; Monfared, P; Klein, M; Vollmar, S; Bauer, B; Wagner, R; Graf, R; Wienhard, K; Herholz, K; Heiss, W D

    2003-07-01

    Positron emission tomography (PET) allows non-invasive assessment of physiological, metabolic and molecular processes in humans and animals in vivo. Advances in detector technology have led to a considerable improvement in the spatial resolution of PET (1-2 mm), enabling for the first time investigations in small experimental animals such as mice. With the developments in radiochemistry and tracer technology, a variety of endogenously expressed and exogenously introduced genes can be analysed by PET. This opens up the exciting and rapidly evolving field of molecular imaging, aiming at the non-invasive localisation of a biological process of interest in normal and diseased cells in animal models and humans in vivo. The main and most intriguing advantage of molecular imaging is the kinetic analysis of a given molecular event in the same experimental subject over time. This will allow non-invasive characterisation and "phenotyping" of animal models of human disease at various disease stages, under certain pathophysiological stimuli and after therapeutic intervention. The potential broad applications of imaging molecular events in vivo lie in the study of cell biology, biochemistry, gene/protein function and regulation, signal transduction, transcriptional regulation and characterisation of transgenic animals. Most importantly, molecular imaging will have great implications for the identification of potential molecular therapeutic targets, in the development of new treatment strategies, and in their successful implementation into clinical application. Here, the potential impact of molecular imaging by PET in applications in neuroscience research with a special focus on neurodegeneration and neuro-oncology is reviewed.

  14. Fundamental approaches in molecular biology for communication sciences and disorders.

    PubMed

    Bartlett, Rebecca S; Jetté, Marie E; King, Suzanne N; Schaser, Allison; Thibeault, Susan L

    2012-08-01

    This contemporary tutorial will introduce general principles of molecular biology, common deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA), and protein assays and their relevance in the field of communication sciences and disorders. Over the past 2 decades, knowledge of the molecular pathophysiology of human disease has increased at a remarkable pace. Most of this progress can be attributed to concomitant advances in basic molecular biology and, specifically, the development of an ever-expanding armamentarium of technologies for analysis of DNA, RNA, and protein structure and function. Details of these methodologies, their limitations, and examples from the communication sciences and disorders literature are presented. Results/Conclusions The use of molecular biology techniques in the fields of speech, language, and hearing sciences is increasing, facilitating the need for an understanding of molecular biology fundamentals and common experimental assays.

  15. VAMMPIRE: a matched molecular pairs database for structure-based drug design and optimization.

    PubMed

    Weber, Julia; Achenbach, Janosch; Moser, Daniel; Proschak, Ewgenij

    2013-06-27

    Structure-based optimization to improve the affinity of a lead compound is an established approach in drug discovery. Knowledge-based databases holding molecular replacements can be supportive in the optimization process. We introduce a strategy to relate the substitution effect within matched molecular pairs (MMPs) to the atom environment within the cocrystallized protein-ligand complex. Virtually Aligned Matched Molecular Pairs Including Receptor Environment (VAMMPIRE) database and the supplementary web interface ( http://vammpire.pharmchem.uni-frankfurt.de ) provide valuable information for structure-based lead optimization.

  16. Optical molecular imaging approach for rapid assessment of response of individual cancer cells to chemotherapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Zhen; Tikekar, Rohan Vijay; Samadzadeh, Kiana Michelle; Nitin, Nitin

    2012-10-01

    Predicting the response of individual patients to cytotoxic chemotherapy drugs is critical for developing individualized therapies. With this motivation, an optical molecular imaging approach was developed to detect cisplatin induced changes in the uptake and intracellular retention of choline. Intracellular uptake of choline was characterized using a click chemistry reaction between propargyl choline and Alexa-488 azide. Cisplatin induced changes in the uptake of propargyl choline in cells and tumor spheroids were compared with similar measurements using a fluorescent analogue of deoxyglucose and conventional cell viability assays. Uptake and intracellular retention of propargyl choline decreased with an increase in concentration of cisplatin. Intracellular uptake of propargyl choline was significantly reduced within 3 h of incubation with a sub-lethal dose of cisplatin. Results demonstrate that the imaging approach based on propargyl choline was more sensitive in detecting the early response of cancer cells to cisplatin as compared to the imaging based on fluorescent analogue of deoxyglucose and cell viability assays. Imaging measurements in tumor spheroids show a significant decrease in the uptake of propargyl choline following treatment with cisplatin. Overall, the results demonstrate a novel optical molecular imaging approach for rapid measurement of the response of individual cancer cells to cisplatin treatment.

  17. A Structural and Molecular Approach for the Study Biomarkers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas-Keprta, Kathie; Vali, Hojatollah; Sears, S. Kelly; Roh, Yul

    2001-01-01

    Investigation of the nucleation and growth of crystals in both abiotic and biotic systems is critical to seemingly diverse disciplines of geology, biology, environmental science, and astrobiology. While there are abundant studies devoted to the determination of the structure and composition of inorganic crystals, as well as to the development of thermodynamic and kinetic models, it is only recently that research efforts have been directed towards understanding mineralization in biological systems (i.e., biomineralization). Biomineralization refers to the processes by which living organisms form inorganic solids. Studies of the processes of biomineralization under low temperature aqueous conditions have focused primarily on magnetite forming bacteria and shell forming marine organisms. Many of the biological building materials consist of inorganic minerals (calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, silica or iron oxide) intricately combined with organic polymers (like proteins). More recently, efforts have been undertaken to explore the nature of biological activities in ancient rocks. In the absence of well-preserved microorganisms or genetic material required for the polmerase chain reaction (PCR) method in molecular phylogenetic studies, using biominerals as biomarkers offers an alternative approach for the recognition of biogenic activity in both terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments. The primary driving force in biomineralization is the interaction between organic and inorganic phases. Thus, the investigation of the ultrastructure and the nature of reactions at the molecular level occurring at the interface between inorganic and organic phases is essential to understanding the processes leading to the nucleation and growth of crystals. It is recognized that crystal surfaces can serve as the substrate for the organization of organic molecules that lead to the formation of polymers and other complex organic molecules, and in discussions of the origins of life

  18. A Structural and Molecular Approach for the Study Biomarkers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas-Keprta, Kathie; Vali, Hojatollah; Sears, S. Kelly; Roh, Yul

    2001-01-01

    Investigation of the nucleation and growth of crystals in both abiotic and biotic systems is critical to seemingly diverse disciplines of geology, biology, environmental science, and astrobiology. While there are abundant studies devoted to the determination of the structure and composition of inorganic crystals, as well as to the development of thermodynamic and kinetic models, it is only recently that research efforts have been directed towards understanding mineralization in biological systems (i.e., biomineralization). Biomineralization refers to the processes by which living organisms form inorganic solids. Studies of the processes of biomineralization under low temperature aqueous conditions have focused primarily on magnetite forming bacteria and shell forming marine organisms. Many of the biological building materials consist of inorganic minerals (calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, silica or iron oxide) intricately combined with organic polymers (like proteins). More recently, efforts have been undertaken to explore the nature of biological activities in ancient rocks. In the absence of well-preserved microorganisms or genetic material required for the polmerase chain reaction (PCR) method in molecular phylogenetic studies, using biominerals as biomarkers offers an alternative approach for the recognition of biogenic activity in both terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments. The primary driving force in biomineralization is the interaction between organic and inorganic phases. Thus, the investigation of the ultrastructure and the nature of reactions at the molecular level occurring at the interface between inorganic and organic phases is essential to understanding the processes leading to the nucleation and growth of crystals. It is recognized that crystal surfaces can serve as the substrate for the organization of organic molecules that lead to the formation of polymers and other complex organic molecules, and in discussions of the origins of life

  19. Constrained molecular dynamics II: An N-body approach to nuclear systems

    SciTech Connect

    Papa, M. . E-mail: massimo.papa@ct.infn.it; Giuliani, G.; Bonasera, A.

    2005-09-20

    In this work, we illustrate the basic development of the constrained molecular dynamics applied to the N-body problem in nuclear physics. The heavy computational tasks related to quantum effects, to the Fermionic nature of the system have been resolved out by defining a set of transformations based on the concept of impulsive forces. In particular, in the implemented version II of the constrained molecular dynamics model the problem related to the non-conservation of the total angular momentum has been solved. This problem affects other semi-classical microscopic approaches due to the 'hard core' repulsive interaction and, more generally, to the usage of random forces. The effect of the restored conservation law on the fusion cross-section for the {sup 40}Ca + {sup 40}Ca system is also briefly discussed.

  20. Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Shapira, Assaf; Benhar, Itai

    2010-01-01

    Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmaceutical potential of such toxins when they are used to efficiently impair essential cellular processes and/or damage the integrity of their target cells. The following review summarizes major advances in the field of toxin based therapeutics and offers a comprehensive description of the mode of action of each applied toxin. PMID:22069564

  1. A Structural and Molecular Approach for the Study Biomarkers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas-Keprta, Kathie; Vali, Hojatollah; Sears, S. Kelly; Roh, Yul

    2001-01-01

    Investigation of the nucleation and growth of crystals in both abiotic and biotic systems is critical to seemingly diverse disciplines of geology, biology, environmental science, and astrobiology. While there are abundant studies devoted to the determination of the structure and composition of inorganic crystals, as well as to the development of thermodynamic and kinetic models, it is only recently that research efforts have been directed towards understanding mineralization in biological systems (i.e., biomineralization). Biomineralization refers to the processes by which living organisms form inorganic solids. Studies of the processes of biomineralization under low temperature aqueous conditions have focused primarily on magnetite forming bacteria and shell forming marine organisms. Many of the biological building materials consist of inorganic minerals (calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, silica or iron oxide) intricately combined with organic polymers (like proteins). More recently, efforts have been undertaken to explore the nature of biological activities in ancient rocks. In the absence of well-preserved microorganisms or genetic material required for the polmerase chain reaction (PCR) method in molecular phylogenetic studies, using biominerals as biomarkers offers an alternative approach for the recognition of biogenic activity in both terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments. The primary driving force in biomineralization is the interaction between organic and inorganic phases. Thus, the investigation of the ultrastructure and the nature of reactions at the molecular level occurring at the interface between inorganic and organic phases is essential to understanding the processes leading to the nucleation and growth of crystals. It is recognized that crystal surfaces can serve as the substrate for the organization of organic molecules that lead to the formation of polymers and other complex organic molecules, and in discussions of the origins of life

  2. Molecular paleoparasitological hybridization approach as effective tool for diagnosing human intestinal parasites from scarce archaeological remains.

    PubMed

    Jaeger, Lauren Hubert; Iñiguez, Alena Mayo

    2014-01-01

    Paleoparasitology is the science that uses parasitological techniques for diagnosing parasitic diseases in the past. Advances in molecular biology brought new insights into this field allowing the study of archaeological material. However, due to technical limitations a proper diagnosis and confirmation of the presence of parasites is not always possible, especially in scarce and degraded archaeological remains. In this study, we developed a Molecular Paleoparasitological Hybridization (MPH) approach using ancient DNA (aDNA) hybridization to confirm and complement paleoparasitological diagnosis. Eight molecular targets from four helminth parasites were included: Ascaris sp., Trichuris trichiura, Enterobius vermicularis, and Strongyloides stercoralis. The MPH analysis using 18th century human remains from Praça XV cemetery (CPXV), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, revealed for the first time the presence E. vermicularis aDNA (50%) in archaeological sites of Brazil. Besides, the results confirmed T. trichiura and Ascaris sp. infections. The prevalence of infection by Ascaris sp. and E. vermicularis increased considerably when MPH was applied. However, a lower aDNA detection of T. trichiura (40%) was observed when compared to the diagnosis by paleoparasitological analysis (70%). Therefore, based on these data, we suggest a combination of Paleoparasitological and MPH approaches to verify the real panorama of intestinal parasite infection in human archeological samples.

  3. Molecular Paleoparasitological Hybridization Approach as Effective Tool for Diagnosing Human Intestinal Parasites from Scarce Archaeological Remains

    PubMed Central

    Jaeger, Lauren Hubert; Iñiguez, Alena Mayo

    2014-01-01

    Paleoparasitology is the science that uses parasitological techniques for diagnosing parasitic diseases in the past. Advances in molecular biology brought new insights into this field allowing the study of archaeological material. However, due to technical limitations a proper diagnosis and confirmation of the presence of parasites is not always possible, especially in scarce and degraded archaeological remains. In this study, we developed a Molecular Paleoparasitological Hybridization (MPH) approach using ancient DNA (aDNA) hybridization to confirm and complement paleoparasitological diagnosis. Eight molecular targets from four helminth parasites were included: Ascaris sp., Trichuris trichiura, Enterobius vermicularis, and Strongyloides stercoralis. The MPH analysis using 18th century human remains from Praça XV cemetery (CPXV), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, revealed for the first time the presence E. vermicularis aDNA (50%) in archaeological sites of Brazil. Besides, the results confirmed T. trichiura and Ascaris sp. infections. The prevalence of infection by Ascaris sp. and E. vermicularis increased considerably when MPH was applied. However, a lower aDNA detection of T. trichiura (40%) was observed when compared to the diagnosis by paleoparasitological analysis (70%). Therefore, based on these data, we suggest a combination of Paleoparasitological and MPH approaches to verify the real panorama of intestinal parasite infection in human archeological samples. PMID:25162694

  4. Exploring Protein-Peptide Recognition Pathways Using a Supervised Molecular Dynamics Approach.

    PubMed

    Salmaso, Veronica; Sturlese, Mattia; Cuzzolin, Alberto; Moro, Stefano

    2017-04-04

    Peptides have gained increased interest as therapeutic agents during recent years. The high specificity and relatively low toxicity of peptide drugs derive from their extremely tight binding to their targets. Indeed, understanding the molecular mechanism of protein-peptide recognition has important implications in the fields of biology, medicine, and pharmaceutical sciences. Even if crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance are offering valuable atomic insights into the assembling of the protein-peptide complexes, the mechanism of their recognition and binding events remains largely unclear. In this work we report, for the first time, the use of a supervised molecular dynamics approach to explore the possible protein-peptide binding pathways within a timescale reduced up to three orders of magnitude compared with classical molecular dynamics. The better and faster understating of the protein-peptide recognition pathways could be very beneficial in enlarging the applicability of peptide-based drug design approaches in several biotechnological and pharmaceutical fields. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Diagnosis of Hepatitis A Virus Infection: a Molecular Approach

    PubMed Central

    Nainan, Omana V.; Xia, Guoliang; Vaughan, Gilberto; Margolis, Harold S.

    2006-01-01

    Current serologic tests provide the foundation for diagnosis of hepatitis A and hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection. Recent advances in methods to identify and characterize nucleic acid markers of viral infections have provided the foundation for the field of molecular epidemiology and increased our knowledge of the molecular biology and epidemiology of HAV. Although HAV is primarily shed in feces, there is a strong viremic phase during infection which has allowed easy access to virus isolates and the use of molecular markers to determine their genetic relatedness. Molecular epidemiologic studies have provided new information on the types and extent of HAV infection and transmission in the United States. In addition, these new diagnostic methods have provided tools for the rapid detection of food-borne HAV transmission and identification of the potential source of the food contamination. PMID:16418523

  6. New cellular and molecular approaches to ageing brain.

    PubMed

    Tripathi, Anurag

    2012-10-01

    The last decade has witnessed a mammoth progress in the area of brain ageing. Recent gene profiling and brain imaging techniques have made it possible to explore the dark areas of ageing neurons in a new molecular perspective. Many conserved pathways and cellular and molecular mechanisms particularly nuclear mitochondrial molecular interactions are known now. Disruptions in mitochondrial function and reduction in cellular antioxidative and immunoproteins contribute to generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which leads to deteriorated adult neurogenesis, reduced white matter and compromised neural plasticity. The overall deteriorated structure and function of neurons is manifested in form of cognitive decline and prolonged neurodegenerative disorders. Dietary restrictions (DR), physical and mental activities however have been shown to counter these ailments. However more precise molecular dynamics at protein levels is still debatable which is the future task for neuroscientists.

  7. Systems diagnostics: the systems approach to molecular imaging.

    PubMed

    Lee, Daniel Y; Li, King C P

    2009-08-01

    Molecular imaging has emerged as a powerful technology that has already changed the practice of modern medicine. During this same period, the monumental genome project has sequenced man's entire genetic content. Now the postgenomic aim is to understand the dynamic interactions of the encoded components and their regulatory mechanisms. Molecular imaging is well positioned to play a major role in this massive effort as we move toward a comprehensive paradigm for assessing health and disease.

  8. Computer-Based Training: An Institutional Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barker, Philip; Manji, Karim

    1992-01-01

    Discussion of issues related to computer-assisted learning (CAL) and computer-based training (CBT) describes approaches to electronic learning; principles underlying courseware development to support these approaches; and a plan for creation of a CAL/CBT development center, including its functional role, campus services, staffing, and equipment…

  9. The Tutor's Approach in Base Groups (PBL)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silen, Charlotte

    2006-01-01

    In this article, the concept of approach related to tutor functioning in problem-based learning (PBL) is explored and the significance of a phenomenological perspective of the body in relation to learning and tutoring is investigated. The aim has been to understand the concept of approach in a context where the individual, thoughts, emotions and…

  10. The Tutor's Approach in Base Groups (PBL)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silen, Charlotte

    2006-01-01

    In this article, the concept of approach related to tutor functioning in problem-based learning (PBL) is explored and the significance of a phenomenological perspective of the body in relation to learning and tutoring is investigated. The aim has been to understand the concept of approach in a context where the individual, thoughts, emotions and…

  11. A rational approach to elucidate human monoamine oxidase molecular selectivity.

    PubMed

    Mangiatordi, Giuseppe Felice; Alberga, Domenico; Pisani, Leonardo; Gadaleta, Domenico; Trisciuzzi, Daniela; Farina, Roberta; Carotti, Andrea; Lattanzi, Gianluca; Catto, Marco; Nicolotti, Orazio

    2017-04-01

    Designing highly selective human monoamine oxidase (hMAO) inhibitors is a challenging goal on the road to a more effective treatment of depression and anxiety (inhibition of hMAO-A isoform) as well as neurodegenerative diseases (inhibition of hMAO-B isoform). To uncover the molecular rationale of hMAOs selectivity, two recently prepared 2H-chromene-2-ones, namely compounds 1 and 2, were herein chosen as molecular probes being highly selective toward hMAO-A and hMAO-B, respectively. We performed molecular dynamics (MD) studies on four different complexes, cross-simulating one at a time the two hMAO-isoforms (dimer embedded in a lipid bilayer) with the two considered probes. Our comparative analysis on the obtained 100ns trajectories discloses a stable H-bond interaction between 1 and Gln215 as crucial for ligand selectivity toward hMAO-A whereas a water-mediated interaction might explain the observed hMAO-B selectivity of compound 2. Such hypotheses are further supported by binding free energy calculations carried out applying the molecular mechanics generalized Born surface area (MM-GBSA) method and allowing us to evaluate the contribution of each residue to the observed isoform selectivity. Taken as whole, this study represents the first attempt to explain at molecular level hMAO isoform selectivity and a valuable yardstick for better addressing the design of new and highly selective MAO inhibitors.

  12. Web Based Learning Support for Experimental Design in Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilmsen, Tinri; Bisseling, Ton; Hartog, Rob

    An important learning goal of a molecular biology curriculum is a certain proficiency level in experimental design. Currently students are confronted with experimental approaches in textbooks, in lectures and in the laboratory. However, most students do not reach a satisfactory level of competence in the design of experimental approaches. This…

  13. Partial unfolding and refolding for structure refinement: A unified approach of geometric simulations and molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Avishek; Campitelli, Paul; Thorpe, M F; Ozkan, S Banu

    2015-12-01

    The most successful protein structure prediction methods to date have been template-based modeling (TBM) or homology modeling, which predicts protein structure based on experimental structures. These high accuracy predictions sometimes retain structural errors due to incorrect templates or a lack of accurate templates in the case of low sequence similarity, making these structures inadequate in drug-design studies or molecular dynamics simulations. We have developed a new physics based approach to the protein refinement problem by mimicking the mechanism of chaperons that rehabilitate misfolded proteins. The template structure is unfolded by selectively (targeted) pulling on different portions of the protein using the geometric based technique FRODA, and then refolded using hierarchically restrained replica exchange molecular dynamics simulations (hr-REMD). FRODA unfolding is used to create a diverse set of topologies for surveying near native-like structures from a template and to provide a set of persistent contacts to be employed during re-folding. We have tested our approach on 13 previous CASP targets and observed that this method of folding an ensemble of partially unfolded structures, through the hierarchical addition of contact restraints (that is, first local and then nonlocal interactions), leads to a refolding of the structure along with refinement in most cases (12/13). Although this approach yields refined models through advancement in sampling, the task of blind selection of the best refined models still needs to be solved. Overall, the method can be useful for improved sampling for low resolution models where certain of the portions of the structure are incorrectly modeled. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Genomic and epigenetic insights into the molecular bases of heterosis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Z Jeffrey

    2013-07-01

    Heterosis, also known as hybrid vigour, is widespread in plants and animals, but the molecular bases for this phenomenon remain elusive. Recent studies in hybrids and allopolyploids using transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic, epigenomic and systems biology approaches have provided new insights. Emerging genomic and epigenetic perspectives suggest that heterosis arises from allelic interactions between parental genomes, leading to altered programming of genes that promote the growth, stress tolerance and fitness of hybrids. For example, epigenetic modifications of key regulatory genes in hybrids and allopolyploids can alter complex regulatory networks of physiology and metabolism, thus modulating biomass and leading to heterosis. The conceptual advances could help to improve plant and animal productivity through the manipulation of heterosis.

  15. Molecular pincers – new antibody-based homogenous protein sensors

    PubMed Central

    Heyduk, Ewa; Dummit, Benjamin; Chang, Yie-Hwa; Heyduk, Tomasz

    2008-01-01

    We describe here a new homogenous antibody-based protein sensor design (molecular pincers) that allows rapid and sensitive detection of a specific protein in solution. In the presence of the target protein these sensors produce fluorescence signal derived from target-dependent annealing of short complementary fluorochrome-labeled oligonucleotides attached to a pair of target-specific antibodies via nanometer-scale flexible linkers. The sensors allow near-instantaneous detection of the target with sensitivity and specificity approaching ELISA but requiring no sample manipulation other then the addition of the sample to the sensor mix. We used cardiac troponin I and C-reactive protein as the targets to validate these desirable properties of the sensors. Due to the availability of antibodies to thousands of interesting targets and the straightforward design blueprint of the sensors we expect their wide-ranging applications in research and medical diagnosis, especially when simplicity, high throughput, and short detection time are essential. PMID:18491925

  16. Molecular approaches to the diagnosis of male infertility.

    PubMed

    Jeremias, J; Witkin, S S

    1996-03-01

    The introduction of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as a technique to selectively amplify and identify specific DNA and RNA sequences has revolutionized the field of molecular medicine. Application of these newly developed molecular techniques to the field of male infertility has made the delineation of subtle causes of infertility-an inapparent genital tract infection, immune system activation within the genital tract, mutations in sperm mitochondrial or chromosomal DNA, alterations in sperm components involved in receptor-ligand interactions, and production of sperm autoantibodies-all increasingly amenable to clinical analysis. Continued investigations at the molecular level of the causes of male infertility will also lead to novel treatment regimens as well as development of new methods of fertility regulation.

  17. Cellular and Molecular Biological Approaches to Interpreting Ancient Biomarkers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, Dianne K.; Neubauer, Cajetan; Ricci, Jessica N.; Wu, Chia-Hung; Pearson, Ann

    2016-06-01

    Our ability to read the molecular fossil record has advanced significantly in the past decade. Improvements in biomarker sampling and quantification methods, expansion of molecular sequence databases, and the application of genetic and cellular biological tools to problems in biomarker research have enabled much of this progress. By way of example, we review how attempts to understand the biological function of 2-methylhopanoids in modern bacteria have changed our interpretation of what their molecular fossils tell us about the early history of life. They were once thought to be biomarkers of cyanobacteria and hence the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis, but we now believe that 2-methylhopanoid biosynthetic capacity originated in the Alphaproteobacteria, that 2-methylhopanoids are regulated in response to stress, and that hopanoid 2-methylation enhances membrane rigidity. We present a new interpretation of 2-methylhopanes that bridges the gap between studies of the functions of 2-methylhopanoids and their patterns of occurrence in the rock record.

  18. Optical materials based on molecular nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Patra, A; Chandaluri, Ch G; Radhakrishnan, T P

    2012-01-21

    A major part of contemporary nanomaterials research is focused on metal and semiconductor nanoparticles, constituted of extended lattices of atoms or ions. Molecular nanoparticles assembled from small molecules through non-covalent interactions are relatively less explored but equally fascinating materials. Their unique and versatile characteristics have attracted considerable attention in recent years, establishing their identity and status as a novel class of nanomaterials. Optical characteristics of molecular nanoparticles capture the essence of their nanoscale features and form the basis of a variety of applications. This review describes the advances made in the field of fabrication of molecular nanoparticles, the wide spectrum of their optical and nonlinear optical characteristics and explorations of the potential applications that exploit their unique optical attributes.

  19. Logic circuits based on molecular spider systems.

    PubMed

    Mo, Dandan; Lakin, Matthew R; Stefanovic, Darko

    2016-08-01

    Spatial locality brings the advantages of computation speed-up and sequence reuse to molecular computing. In particular, molecular walkers that undergo localized reactions are of interest for implementing logic computations at the nanoscale. We use molecular spider walkers to implement logic circuits. We develop an extended multi-spider model with a dynamic environment wherein signal transmission is triggered via localized reactions, and use this model to implement three basic gates (AND, OR, NOT) and a cascading mechanism. We develop an algorithm to automatically generate the layout of the circuit. We use a kinetic Monte Carlo algorithm to simulate circuit computations, and we analyze circuit complexity: our design scales linearly with formula size and has a logarithmic time complexity.

  20. Charge dynamics in molecular junctions: Nonequilibrium Green's function approach made fast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latini, S.; Perfetto, E.; Uimonen, A.-M.; van Leeuwen, R.; Stefanucci, G.

    2014-02-01

    Real-time Green's function simulations of molecular junctions (open quantum systems) are typically performed by solving the Kadanoff-Baym equations (KBE). The KBE, however, impose a serious limitation on the maximum propagation time due to the large memory storage needed. In this work we propose a simplified Green's function approach based on the generalized Kadanoff-Baym ansatz (GKBA) to overcome the KBE limitation on time, significantly speed up the calculations, and yet stay close to the KBE results. This is achieved through a twofold advance: First, we show how to make the GKBA work in open systems and then construct a suitable quasiparticle propagator that includes correlation effects in a diagrammatic fashion. We also provide evidence that our GKBA scheme, although already in good agreement with the KBE approach, can be further improved without increasing the computational cost.

  1. Determinants of molecular reactivity as criteria for predicting toxicity: problems and approaches.

    PubMed Central

    Weinstein, H; Rabinowitz, J; Liebman, M N; Osman, R

    1985-01-01

    We discuss the physicochemical basis for mechanisms of action of toxic chemicals and theoretical methods that can be used to understand the relation to the structure of these chemicals. Molecular properties that determine the chemical reactivity of the compounds are proposed as parameters in the analysis of such structure-activity relationships and as criteria for predicting potential toxicity. The theoretical approaches include quantitative methods for structural superposition of molecules and for superposition of their reactivity characteristics. Applications to polychlorinated hydrocarbons are used to illustrate both rigid superposition methods, and methods that take advantage of structural flexibility. These approaches and their results are discussed and compared with methods that afford quantitative structural comparisons without direct superposition, with special emphasis on the need for efficient automated methods suitable for rapid scans of large structural data bases. Quantum mechanical methods for the calculation of molecular properties that can serve as reactivity criteria are presented and illustrated. Special attention is given to the electrostatic properties of the molecules such as the molecular electrostatic potential, the electric fields, and the polarizability terms calculated from perturbation expansions. The practical considerations related to the rapid calculation of these properties on relevant molecular surfaces (e.g., solvent- or reagent-accessible surfaces) are discussed and exemplified, stressing the special problems posed by the structural variety of toxic substances and the paucity of information on their mechanisms of action. The discussion leads to a rationale for the use of the combination of theoretical methods to reveal discriminant criteria for toxicity and to analyze the initial steps in the metabolic processes that could yield toxic products. PMID:3905371

  2. Maintenance therapy in ovarian cancer: Molecular basis and therapeutic approach

    PubMed Central

    BINASCHI, MONICA; SIMONELLI, CECILIA; GOSO, CRISTINA; BIGIONI, MARIO; MAGGI, CARLO ALBERTO

    2011-01-01

    Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate among gynaecological tumours despite the fact that the majority of patients with advanced disease achieve complete remission after first-line surgery and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, disease recurrence occurs in the majority of patients and second-line treatments are not curative. Clearly, the persistence of dormant and drug-resistant cells after front-line treatments results in the inability to cure the disease. The identification of cancer-initiating cells or cancer stem cells as key players in the development of recurrence has opened up a novel field of research aimed at identifying additional innovative therapeutic approaches. Strategies of maintenance therapy to extend the survival of patients have been studied, but to date no overall survival benefit has been detected. Currently, numerous clinical trials have just been completed or are ongoing involving patients achieving a complete clinical response after first-line chemotherapy in order to evaluate the efficacy of different therapeutic approaches in terms of disease-free survival and overall survival. At the 2010 ASCO meeting, the first positive results of a phase III clinical trial in this setting were presented: bevacizumab (15 mg/kg i.v. every 21 days) added to first-line chemotherapy and continued for an additional 15 cycles was found to prolong progression-free survival of 3.8 months in comparison to 6 cycles of chemotherapy alone or only 6 cycles of chemotherapy plus bevacizumab. In addition, positive results were announced for a second phase III trial testing bevacizumab in the same setting, but at half dose. The final assessment of the overall clinical benefit and the approval of bevacizumab in maintenance therapy by regulatory agencies is expected to be positive, as are the final results of abagovomab phase III trial MIMOSA, another antibody-based therapy tested as a maintenance treatment for advanced ovarian cancer patients. Encouraging preliminary

  3. Teaching Introductory Cell & Molecular Biology: A Historical and Empirical Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Posner, Herbert B.

    1996-01-01

    Describes the reorganized introductory cell and molecular biology lecture course at the State University of New York at Binghamton that was designed to address the issues of lack of active student participation and the stress put on memorization rather than analytical skills. Emphasizes teaching the subject historically and empirically…

  4. Proteogenomic approaches for the molecular characterization of natural microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Banfield, Jillian F; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Hettich, Robert L; Thelen, Michael P

    2005-01-01

    At the present time we know little about how microbial communities function in their natural habitats. For example, how do microorganisms interact with each other and their physical and chemical surroundings and respond to environmental perturbations? We might begin to answer these questions if we could monitor the ways in which metabolic roles are partitioned amongst members as microbial communities assemble, determine how resources such as carbon, nitrogen, and energy are allocated into metabolic pathways, and understand the mechanisms by which organisms and communities respond to changes in their surroundings. Because many organisms cannot be cultivated, and given that the metabolisms of those growing in monoculture are likely to differ from those of organisms growing as part of consortia, it is vital to develop methods to study microbial communities in situ. Chemoautotrophic biofilms growing in mine tunnels hundreds of meters underground drive pyrite (FeS(2)) dissolution and acid and metal release, creating habitats that select for a small number of organism types. The geochemical and microbial simplicity of these systems, the significant biomass, and clearly defined biological-inorganic feedbacks make these ecosystem microcosms ideal for development of methods for the study of uncultivated microbial consortia. Our approach begins with the acquisition of genomic data from biofilms that are sampled over time and in different growth conditions. We have demonstrated that it is possible to assemble shotgun sequence data to reveal the gene complement of the dominant community members and to use these data to confidently identify a significant fraction of proteins from the dominant organisms by mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics. However, there are technical obstacles currently restricting this type of "proteogenomic" analysis. Composite genomic sequences assembled from environmental data from natural microbial communities do not capture the full range of

  5. Integrating Survey and Molecular Approaches to Better Understand Wildlife Disease Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Cowled, Brendan D.; Ward, Michael P.; Laffan, Shawn W.; Galea, Francesca; Garner, M. Graeme; MacDonald, Anna J.; Marsh, Ian; Muellner, Petra; Negus, Katherine; Quasim, Sumaiya; Woolnough, Andrew P.; Sarre, Stephen D.

    2012-01-01

    Infectious wildlife diseases have enormous global impacts, leading to human pandemics, global biodiversity declines and socio-economic hardship. Understanding how infection persists and is transmitted in wildlife is critical for managing diseases, but our understanding is limited. Our study aim was to better understand how infectious disease persists in wildlife populations by integrating genetics, ecology and epidemiology approaches. Specifically, we aimed to determine whether environmental or host factors were stronger drivers of Salmonella persistence or transmission within a remote and isolated wild pig (Sus scrofa) population. We determined the Salmonella infection status of wild pigs. Salmonella isolates were genotyped and a range of data was collected on putative risk factors for Salmonella transmission. We a priori identified several plausible biological hypotheses for Salmonella prevalence (cross sectional study design) versus transmission (molecular case series study design) and fit the data to these models. There were 543 wild pig Salmonella observations, sampled at 93 unique locations. Salmonella prevalence was 41% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 37–45%). The median Salmonella DICE coefficient (or Salmonella genetic similarity) was 52% (interquartile range [IQR]: 42–62%). Using the traditional cross sectional prevalence study design, the only supported model was based on the hypothesis that abundance of available ecological resources determines Salmonella prevalence in wild pigs. In the molecular study design, spatial proximity and herd membership as well as some individual risk factors (sex, condition score and relative density) determined transmission between pigs. Traditional cross sectional surveys and molecular epidemiological approaches are complementary and together can enhance understanding of disease ecology: abundance of ecological resources critical for wildlife influences Salmonella prevalence, whereas Salmonella transmission is driven by

  6. Integrating survey and molecular approaches to better understand wildlife disease ecology.

    PubMed

    Cowled, Brendan D; Ward, Michael P; Laffan, Shawn W; Galea, Francesca; Garner, M Graeme; MacDonald, Anna J; Marsh, Ian; Muellner, Petra; Negus, Katherine; Quasim, Sumaiya; Woolnough, Andrew P; Sarre, Stephen D

    2012-01-01

    Infectious wildlife diseases have enormous global impacts, leading to human pandemics, global biodiversity declines and socio-economic hardship. Understanding how infection persists and is transmitted in wildlife is critical for managing diseases, but our understanding is limited. Our study aim was to better understand how infectious disease persists in wildlife populations by integrating genetics, ecology and epidemiology approaches. Specifically, we aimed to determine whether environmental or host factors were stronger drivers of Salmonella persistence or transmission within a remote and isolated wild pig (Sus scrofa) population. We determined the Salmonella infection status of wild pigs. Salmonella isolates were genotyped and a range of data was collected on putative risk factors for Salmonella transmission. We a priori identified several plausible biological hypotheses for Salmonella prevalence (cross sectional study design) versus transmission (molecular case series study design) and fit the data to these models. There were 543 wild pig Salmonella observations, sampled at 93 unique locations. Salmonella prevalence was 41% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 37-45%). The median Salmonella DICE coefficient (or Salmonella genetic similarity) was 52% (interquartile range [IQR]: 42-62%). Using the traditional cross sectional prevalence study design, the only supported model was based on the hypothesis that abundance of available ecological resources determines Salmonella prevalence in wild pigs. In the molecular study design, spatial proximity and herd membership as well as some individual risk factors (sex, condition score and relative density) determined transmission between pigs. Traditional cross sectional surveys and molecular epidemiological approaches are complementary and together can enhance understanding of disease ecology: abundance of ecological resources critical for wildlife influences Salmonella prevalence, whereas Salmonella transmission is driven by

  7. A Systems Biology Approach Reveals Converging Molecular Mechanisms that Link Different POPs to Common Metabolic Diseases.

    PubMed

    Ruiz, Patricia; Perlina, Ally; Mumtaz, Moiz; Fowler, Bruce A

    2016-07-01

    A number of epidemiological studies have identified statistical associations between persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metabolic diseases, but testable hypotheses regarding underlying molecular mechanisms to explain these linkages have not been published. We assessed the underlying mechanisms of POPs that have been associated with metabolic diseases; three well-known POPs [2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD), 2,2´,4,4´,5,5´-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB 153), and 4,4´-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p´-DDE)] were studied. We used advanced database search tools to delineate testable hypotheses and to guide laboratory-based research studies into underlying mechanisms by which this POP mixture could produce or exacerbate metabolic diseases. For our searches, we used proprietary systems biology software (MetaCore™/MetaDrug™) to conduct advanced search queries for the underlying interactions database, followed by directional network construction to identify common mechanisms for these POPs within two or fewer interaction steps downstream of their primary targets. These common downstream pathways belong to various cytokine and chemokine families with experimentally well-documented causal associations with type 2 diabetes. Our systems biology approach allowed identification of converging pathways leading to activation of common downstream targets. To our knowledge, this is the first study to propose an integrated global set of step-by-step molecular mechanisms for a combination of three common POPs using a systems biology approach, which may link POP exposure to diseases. Experimental evaluation of the proposed pathways may lead to development of predictive biomarkers of the effects of POPs, which could translate into disease prevention and effective clinical treatment strategies. Ruiz P, Perlina A, Mumtaz M, Fowler BA. 2016. A systems biology approach reveals converging molecular mechanisms that link different POPs to common metabolic diseases. Environ

  8. Pathological Bases for a Robust Application of Cancer Molecular Classification

    PubMed Central

    Diaz-Cano, Salvador J.

    2015-01-01

    Any robust classification system depends on its purpose and must refer to accepted standards, its strength relying on predictive values and a careful consideration of known factors that can affect its reliability. In this context, a molecular classification of human cancer must refer to the current gold standard (histological classification) and try to improve it with key prognosticators for metastatic potential, staging and grading. Although organ-specific examples have been published based on proteomics, transcriptomics and genomics evaluations, the most popular approach uses gene expression analysis as a direct correlate of cellular differentiation, which represents the key feature of the histological classification. RNA is a labile molecule that varies significantly according with the preservation protocol, its transcription reflect the adaptation of the tumor cells to the microenvironment, it can be passed through mechanisms of intercellular transference of genetic information (exosomes), and it is exposed to epigenetic modifications. More robust classifications should be based on stable molecules, at the genetic level represented by DNA to improve reliability, and its analysis must deal with the concept of intratumoral heterogeneity, which is at the origin of tumor progression and is the byproduct of the selection process during the clonal expansion and progression of neoplasms. The simultaneous analysis of multiple DNA targets and next generation sequencing offer the best practical approach for an analytical genomic classification of tumors. PMID:25898411

  9. Foraging on the potential energy surface: A swarm intelligence-based optimizer for molecular geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wehmeyer, Christoph; Falk von Rudorff, Guido; Wolf, Sebastian; Kabbe, Gabriel; Schärf, Daniel; Kühne, Thomas D.; Sebastiani, Daniel

    2012-11-01

    We present a stochastic, swarm intelligence-based optimization algorithm for the prediction of global minima on potential energy surfaces of molecular cluster structures. Our optimization approach is a modification of the artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm which is inspired by the foraging behavior of honey bees. We apply our modified ABC algorithm to the problem of global geometry optimization of molecular cluster structures and show its performance for clusters with 2-57 particles and different interatomic interaction potentials.

  10. How do control-based approaches enter into biology?

    PubMed

    LeDuc, Philip R; Messner, William C; Wikswo, John P

    2011-08-15

    Control is intrinsic to biological organisms, whose cells are in a constant state of sensing and response to numerous external and self-generated stimuli. Diverse means are used to study the complexity through control-based approaches in these cellular systems, including through chemical and genetic manipulations, input-output methodologies, feedback approaches, and feed-forward approaches. We first discuss what happens in control-based approaches when we are not actively examining or manipulating cells. We then present potential methods to determine what the cell is doing during these times and to reverse-engineer the cellular system. Finally, we discuss how we can control the cell's extracellular and intracellular environments, both to probe the response of the cells using defined experimental engineering-based technologies and to anticipate what might be achieved by applying control-based approaches to affect cellular processes. Much work remains to apply simplified control models and develop new technologies to aid researchers in studying and utilizing cellular and molecular processes.

  11. Engineering nanomaterials with a combined electrochemical and molecular biomimetic approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dai, Haixia

    Biocomposite materials, such as bones, teeth, and shells, are created using mild aqueous solution-based processes near room temperature. Proteins add flexibility to these processes by facilitating the nucleation, growth, and ordering of specific inorganic materials into hierarchical structures. We aim to develop a biomimetic strategy for engineering technologically relevant inorganic materials with controlled compositions and structures, as Nature does, using proteins to orchestrate material formation and assembly. This approach involves three basic steps: (i) preparation of inorganic substrates compatible with combinatorial polypeptide screening; (ii) identification of inorganic-binding polypeptides and their engineering into inorganic-binding proteins; and (iii) protein-mediated inorganic nucleation and organization. Cuprous oxide (Cu2O), a p-type semiconductor, has been used to demonstrate all three steps. Zinc oxide (ZnO), an n-type semiconductor, has been used to show the generality of selected steps. Step (i), preparation of high quality inorganic substrates to select inorganic-binding polypeptides, was accomplished using electrochemical microfabrication to grow and pattern Cu2O and ZnO. Raman spectroscopy and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were used to verify phase purity and compositional stability of these surfaces during polypeptide screening. Step (ii), accomplished in collaboration with personnel in Prof Baneyx' lab at the University of Washington, involved incubating the inorganic substrates with the FliTrx(TM) random peptide library to identify cysteine-constrained dodecapeptides that bind the targeted inorganic. Insertion of a Cu2O-binding dodecapeptide into the DNA-binding protein TraI endowed the engineered TraI with strong affinity for Cu2O (Kd ≈ 10 -8 M). Finally, step (iii) involved nonequilibrium synthesis and organization of Cu2O nanoparticles, taking advantage of the inorganic and DNA recognition properties of the engineered TraI. The

  12. Approaches to lunar base life support

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, M. F.; Edeen, M. A.

    1990-01-01

    Various approaches to reliable, low maintenance, low resupply regenerative long-term life support for lunar base application are discussed. The first approach utilizes Space Station Freedom physiochemical systems technology which has closed air and water loops with approximately 99 and 90 percent closure respectively, with minor subsystem changes to the SSF baseline improving the level of water resupply for the water loop. A second approach would be a physiochemical system, including a solid waste processing system and improved air and water loop closure, which would require only food and nitrogen for resupply. A hybrid biological/physiochemical life support system constitutes the third alternative, incorporating some level of food production via plant growth into the life support system. The approaches are described in terms of mass, power, and resupply requirements; and the potential evolution of a small, initial outpost to a large, self-sustaining base is discussed.

  13. Artificial hydrogenase: biomimetic approaches controlling active molecular catalysts.

    PubMed

    Onoda, Akira; Hayashi, Takashi

    2015-04-01

    Hydrogenase catalyses reversible transformation of H2 to H(+) using an active site which includes an iron or nickel atom. Synthetic model complexes and molecular catalysts inspired by nature have unveiled the structural and functional basis of the active site with remarkable accuracy and this has led to the discovery of active synthetic catalysts. To further improve the activity of such molecular catalysts, both the first and outer coordination spheres should be well-organized and harmonized for an efficient shuttling of H(+), electrons, and H2. This article reviews recent advances in the design and catalytic properties of artificial enzymes that mimic the hydrogenase active site and the outer coordination sphere in combination with a peptide or protein scaffold.

  14. An Electronic Structure Approach to Charge Transfer and Transport in Molecular Building Blocks for Organic Optoelectronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hendrickson, Heidi Phillips

    technological design and development. Time dependent perturbation theory, employed by non-equilibrium Green's function formalism, is utilized to study the effect of quantum coherences on electron transport and the effect of symmetry breaking on the electronic spectra of model molecular junctions. The fourth part of this thesis presents the design of a physical chemistry course based on a pedagogical approach called Writing-to-Teach. The nature of inaccuracies expressed in student-generated explanations of quantum chemistry topics, and the ability of a peer review process to engage these inaccuracies, is explored within this context.

  15. Description of ionization in the molecular approach to atomic collisions

    SciTech Connect

    Harel, C.; Jouin, H.; Pons, B.; Errea, L.F.; Mendez, L.; Riera, A.

    1997-01-01

    Molecular treatments of atomic collisions have traditionally been restricted to low nuclear velocities because of their failure to reproduce the fall of the capture cross sections at higher velocities. The limitation has recently been seen to be due to their description of ionizing processes. This feature is shown here to be a general one for multicharged ion-atom collisions. Its origin and characteristics are described and illustrated for the prototypical Li{sup 3+}+H(1s) reaction. Ionization appears as a result of the inertia of the electron cloud to adiabatically follow the nuclear motion. This gives rise to nonadiabatic transitions, which represent an ionizing flux whenever the nuclear velocity is high enough that the energy of the traveling molecular orbitals involved is positive in both moving atomic reference frames. Two strongly connected mechanisms appear, corresponding to the relative translational and rotational nuclear motions. Because of the finiteness of the basis, these mechanisms terminate with unphysical trapping effects. While interesting {ital per se}, knowledge of these features is also useful with respect to improving molecular treatments of atomic collisions with the addition of pseudostates. {copyright} {ital 1996} {ital The American Physical Society}

  16. Molecular approach to the interpretation of the dielectric relaxation spectrum of a molecular glass former

    PubMed

    Gonzalez; Enciso; Bermejo; Jimenez-Ruiz; Bee

    2000-04-01

    The frequency-dependent dielectric function of ethanol at temperatures within the normal liquid range is evaluated by means of computer molecular dynamics simulations and compared with recent experimental data. The calculated spectra show a similar structure to those reported from experimental measurements and the temperature dependence of its most prominent bands also follows the experimental estimates. An attempt is also made to assign the most intense bands to specific molecular reorientations.

  17. Molecular and Clinical Based Cardiovascular Care Program

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-01-01

    pathogenesis of coronary artery, peripheral vascular , and cerebrovascular disease . Impairment of endothelial function has been demonstrated after high...cardio’Va~ ct•b.r disease , Subsequently, ultrnlow-fat diets (:;;1.0% of totlll caloric intake as fat), emphasi?.in,g the amount ra.thcr th<•.o the...cardiovascular disease at the molecular disease stage and identify biomarkers predictive of sub- clinical CVD; and 3) Relate genomic/proteomic changes to the

  18. Quantitative molecular thermochemistry based on path integrals.

    PubMed

    Glaesemann, Kurt R; Fried, Laurence E

    2005-07-15

    The calculation of thermochemical data requires accurate molecular energies and heat capacities. Traditional methods rely upon the standard harmonic normal-mode analysis to calculate the vibrational and rotational contributions. We utilize path-integral Monte Carlo for going beyond the harmonic analysis and to calculate the vibrational and rotational contributions to ab initio energies. This is an application and an extension of a method previously developed in our group [J. Chem. Phys. 118, 1596 (2003)].

  19. Quantitative Molecular Thermochemistry Based on Path Integrals

    SciTech Connect

    Glaesemann, K R; Fried, L E

    2005-03-14

    The calculation of thermochemical data requires accurate molecular energies and heat capacities. Traditional methods rely upon the standard harmonic normal mode analysis to calculate the vibrational and rotational contributions. We utilize path integral Monte Carlo (PIMC) for going beyond the harmonic analysis, to calculate the vibrational and rotational contributions to ab initio energies. This is an application and extension of a method previously developed in our group.

  20. Molecular Imaging: A Useful Tool for the Development of Natural Killer Cell-Based Immunotherapies.

    PubMed

    Gangadaran, Prakash; Ahn, Byeong-Cheol

    2017-01-01

    Molecular imaging is a relatively new discipline that allows visualization, characterization, and measurement of the biological processes in living subjects, including humans, at a cellular and molecular level. The interaction between cancer cells and natural killer (NK) cells is complex and incompletely understood. Despite our limited knowledge, progress in the search for immune cell therapies against cancer could be significantly improved by dynamic and non-invasive visualization and tracking of immune cells and by visualization of the response of cancer cells to therapies in preclinical and clinical studies. Molecular imaging is an essential tool for these studies, and a multimodal molecular imaging approach can be applied to monitor immune cells in vivo, for instance, to visualize therapeutic effects. In this review, we discuss the usefulness of NK cells in cancer therapies and the preclinical and clinical usefulness of molecular imaging in NK cell-based therapies. Furthermore, we discuss different molecular imaging modalities for use with NK cell-based therapies, and their preclinical and clinical applications in animal and human subjects. Molecular imaging has contributed to the development of NK cell-based therapies against cancers in animal models and to the refinement of current cell-based cancer immunotherapies. Developing sensitive and reproducible non-invasive molecular imaging technologies for in vivo NK cell monitoring and for real-time assessment of therapeutic effects will accelerate the development of NK cell therapies.

  1. Revealing praziquantel molecular targets using mass spectrometry imaging: an expeditious approach applied to Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Mônica Siqueira; de Oliveira, Rosimeire Nunes; de Oliveira, Diogo Noin; Esteves, Cibele Zanardi; Allegretti, Silmara Marques; Catharino, Rodrigo Ramos

    2015-05-01

    Finding specific molecular targets and the mechanism of action of praziquantel in the treatment of schistosomiasis remains a challenging task. Our efforts were focused on obtaining further information on worm composition before and after exposure to praziquantel in the treatment of schistosomiasis to elucidate the potential sites of action of this drug. Evidence indicates that the lipid bilayer is changed by treatment with praziquantel. Following this rationale, we employed a mass spectrometry imaging-based approach that helped to characterise lipids in specific locations, which are directly involved in the biochemical pathways of the BH strain of Schistosoma mansoni, as well as differentiating the molecular response that each worm sex presents in vivo. Our findings demonstrated significant differences between the chemical markers found in adult worms before and after praziquantel exposure, especially in phospholipids, which were predominantly identified as chemical markers in all samples. Results also indicate that distinct molecular pathways in both male and female worms could be differentially affected by praziquantel treatment. These data shine new light on the mechanism of action of praziquantel, taking a further step towards its full understanding.

  2. Computing the blood brain barrier (BBB) diffusion coefficient: A molecular dynamics approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shamloo, Amir; Pedram, Maysam Z.; Heidari, Hossein; Alasty, Aria

    2016-07-01

    Various physical and biological aspects of the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) structure still remain unfolded. Therefore, among the several mechanisms of drug delivery, only a few have succeeded in breaching this barrier, one of which is the use of Magnetic Nanoparticles (MNPs). However, a quantitative characterization of the BBB permeability is desirable to find an optimal magnetic force-field. In the present study, a molecular model of the BBB is introduced that precisely represents the interactions between MNPs and the membranes of Endothelial Cells (ECs) that form the BBB. Steered Molecular Dynamics (SMD) simulations of the BBB crossing phenomenon have been carried out. Mathematical modeling of the BBB as an input-output system has been considered from a system dynamics modeling viewpoint, enabling us to analyze the BBB behavior based on a robust model. From this model, the force profile required to overcome the barrier has been extracted for a single NP from the SMD simulations at a range of velocities. Using this data a transfer function model has been obtained and the diffusion coefficient is evaluated. This study is a novel approach to bridge the gap between nanoscale models and microscale models of the BBB. The characteristic diffusion coefficient has the nano-scale molecular effects inherent, furthermore reducing the computational costs of a nano-scale simulation model and enabling much more complex studies to be conducted.

  3. Molecular Bases of Cutaneous and Uveal Melanomas

    PubMed Central

    Gaudi, Sudeep; Messina, Jane L.

    2011-01-01

    Intensive research in recent years has begun to unlock the mysteries surrounding the molecular pathogenesis of melanoma, the deadliest of skin cancers. The high-penetrance, low-frequency susceptibility gene CDKN2A produces tumor suppressor proteins that function in concert with p53 and retinoblastoma protein to thwart melanomagenesis. Aberrant CDKN2A gene products have been implicated in a great many cases of familial cutaneous melanoma. Sporadic cases, on the other hand, often involve constitutive signal transduction along the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, with particular focus falling upon mutated RAS and RAF protooncogenes. The proliferative effects of the MAPK pathway may be complemented by the antiapoptotic signals of the PI3K/AKT pathway. After skin, melanoma most commonly affects the eye. Data for the constitutive activation of the MAPK pathway in uveal melanoma exists as well, however, not through mutations of RAS and RAF. Rather, evidence implicates the proto-oncogene GNAQ. In the following discussion, we review the major molecular pathways implicated in both familial and sporadic cutaneous melanomagenesis, the former accounting for approximately 10% of cases. Additionally, we discuss the molecular pathways for which preliminary evidence suggests a role in uveal melanomagenesis. PMID:21876842

  4. Unidirectional light-driven molecular motors based on overcrowded alkenes.

    PubMed

    Cnossen, Arjen; Browne, Wesley R; Feringa, Ben L

    2014-01-01

    Over the last two decades, interest in nanotechnology has led to the design and synthesis of a toolbox of nanoscale versions of macroscopic devices and components. In molecular nanotechnology, linear motors based on rotaxanes and rotary motors based on overcrowded alkenes are particularly promising for performing work at the nanoscale. In this chapter, progress on light-driven molecular motors based on overcrowded alkenes is reviewed. Both the so-called first and second generation molecular motors are discussed, as well as their potential applications.

  5. A molecular-genetic approach to studying source-sink interactions in Arabidopsis thalian. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Gibson, S. I.

    2000-06-01

    This is a final report describing the results of the research funded by the DOE Energy Biosciences Program grant entitled ''A Molecular-Genetic Approach to Studying Source-Sink Interactions in Arabidiopsis thaliana''.

  6. A Known-to-Unknown Approach To Teach about Empirical and Molecular Formulas.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thamburaj, P. K.

    2001-01-01

    Points out student struggles with the determination of empirical and molecular formulas and introduces a teaching approach to increase student understanding. Uses scenarios to present the experimental data before presenting the problem. (YDS)

  7. Molecular based equation of state for shocked liquid nitromethane.

    PubMed

    Desbiens, Nicolas; Bourasseau, Emeric; Maillet, Jean-Bernard; Soulard, Laurent

    2009-07-30

    An approach is proposed to obtain the equation of state of unreactive shocked liquid nitromethane. Unlike previous major works, this equation of state is not based on extended integration schemes [P.C. Lysne, D.R. Hardesty, Fundamental equation of state of liquid nitromethane to 100 kbar, J. Chem. Phys. 59 (1973) 6512]. It does not follow the way proposed by Winey et al. [J.M. Winey, G.E. Duvall, M.D. Knudson, Y.M. Gupta, Equation of state and temperature measurements for shocked nitromethane, J. Chem. Phys. 113 (2000) 7492] where the specific heat C(v), the isothermal bulk modulus B(T) and the coefficient of thermal pressure (deltaP/deltaT)(v) are modeled as functions of temperature and volume using experimental data. In this work, we compute the complete equation of state by microscopic calculations. Indeed, by means of Monte Carlo molecular simulations, we have proposed a new force field for nitromethane that lead to a good description of shock properties [N. Desbiens, E. Bourasseau, J.-B. Maillet, Potential optimization for the calculation of shocked liquid nitromethane properties, Mol. Sim. 33 (2007) 1061; A. Hervouët, N. Desbiens, E. Bourasseau, J.-B. Maillet, Microscopic approaches to liquid nitromethane detonation properties, J. Phys. Chem. B 112 (2008) 5070]. Particularly, it has been shown that shock temperatures and second shock temperatures are accurately reproduced which is significative of the quality of the potential. Here, thermodynamic derivative properties are computed: specific heats, Grüneisen parameter, sound velocity among others, along the Hugoniot curve. This work constitutes to our knowledge the first determination of the equation of state of an unreactive shocked explosive by molecular simulations.

  8. A tetraphenylethylene core-based 3D structure small molecular acceptor enabling efficient non-fullerene organic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yuhang; Mu, Cheng; Jiang, Kui; Zhao, Jingbo; Li, Yunke; Zhang, Lu; Li, Zhengke; Lai, Joshua Yuk Lin; Hu, Huawei; Ma, Tingxuan; Hu, Rongrong; Yu, Demei; Huang, Xuhui; Tang, Ben Zhong; Yan, He

    2015-02-01

    A tetraphenylethylene core-based small molecular acceptor with a unique 3D molecular structure is developed. Bulk-heterojunction blend films with a small feature size (≈20 nm) are obtained, which lead to non-fullerene organic solar cells (OSCs) with 5.5% power conversion efficiency. The work provides a new molecular design approach to efficient non-fullerene OSCs based on 3D-structured small-molecule acceptors.

  9. Integrating molecular and morphological approaches for characterizing parasite cryptic species: implications for parasitology.

    PubMed

    Nadler, Steven A; DE León, Gerardo Pérez-Ponce

    2011-11-01

    Herein we review theoretical and methodological considerations important for finding and delimiting cryptic species of parasites (species that are difficult to recognize using traditional systematic methods). Applications of molecular data in empirical investigations of cryptic species are discussed from an historical perspective, and we evaluate advantages and disadvantages of approaches that have been used to date. Developments concerning the theory and practice of species delimitation are emphasized because theory is critical to interpretation of data. The advantages and disadvantages of different molecular methodologies, including the number and kind of loci, are discussed relative to tree-based approaches for detecting and delimiting cryptic species. We conclude by discussing some implications that cryptic species have for research programmes in parasitology, emphasizing that careful attention to the theory and operational practices involved in finding, delimiting, and describing new species (including cryptic species) is essential, not only for fully characterizing parasite biodiversity and broader aspects of comparative biology such as systematics, evolution, ecology and biogeography, but to applied research efforts that strive to improve development and understanding of epidemiology, diagnostics, control and potential eradication of parasitic diseases.

  10. Ab initio quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical simulation of electron transfer process: fractional electron approach.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xiancheng; Hu, Hao; Hu, Xiangqian; Cohen, Aron J; Yang, Weitao

    2008-03-28

    Electron transfer (ET) reactions are one of the most important processes in chemistry and biology. Because of the quantum nature of the processes and the complicated roles of the solvent, theoretical study of ET processes is challenging. To simulate ET processes at the electronic level, we have developed an efficient density functional theory (DFT) quantum mechanical (QM)/molecular mechanical (MM) approach that uses the fractional number of electrons as the order parameter to calculate the redox free energy of ET reactions in solution. We applied this method to study the ET reactions of the aqueous metal complexes Fe(H(2)O)(6)(2+/3+) and Ru(H(2)O)(6)(2+/3+). The calculated oxidation potentials, 5.82 eV for Fe(II/III) and 5.14 eV for Ru(II/III), agree well with the experimental data, 5.50 and 4.96 eV, for iron and ruthenium, respectively. Furthermore, we have constructed the diabatic free energy surfaces from histogram analysis based on the molecular dynamics trajectories. The resulting reorganization energy and the diabatic activation energy also show good agreement with experimental data. Our calculations show that using the fractional number of electrons (FNE) as the order parameter in the thermodynamic integration process leads to efficient sampling and validate the ab initio QM/MM approach in the calculation of redox free energies.

  11. A Network Biology Approach to Discover the Molecular Biomarker Associated with Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Zhuang, Liwei; Wu, Yun; Han, Jiwu; Ling, Xiaohua; Wang, Liguo; Zhu, Chengyan; Fu, Yili

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, high throughput technologies such as microarray platform have provided a new avenue for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) investigation. Traditionally, gene sets enrichment analysis of survival related genes is commonly used to reveal the underlying functional mechanisms. However, this approach usually produces too many candidate genes and cannot discover detailed signaling transduction cascades, which greatly limits their clinical application such as biomarker development. In this study, we have proposed a network biology approach to discover novel biomarkers from multidimensional omics data. This approach effectively combines clinical survival data with topological characteristics of human protein interaction networks and patients expression profiling data. It can produce novel network based biomarkers together with biological understanding of molecular mechanism. We have analyzed eighty HCC expression profiling arrays and identified that extracellular matrix and programmed cell death are the main themes related to HCC progression. Compared with traditional enrichment analysis, this approach can provide concrete and testable hypothesis on functional mechanism. Furthermore, the identified subnetworks can potentially be used as suitable targets for therapeutic intervention in HCC. PMID:24949431

  12. PRO_LIGAND: An approach to de novo molecular design. 1. Application to the design of organic molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, David E.; Frenkel, David; Levy, Stephen A.; Li, Jin; Murray, Christopher W.; Robson, Barry; Waszkowycz, Bohdan; Westhead, David R.

    1995-02-01

    An approach to de novo molecular design, PRO_LIGAND, has been developed that, in the environment of a large, integrated molecular design and simulation system, provides a unified framework for the generation of novel molecules which are either similar or complementary to a specified target. The approach is based on a methodology that has proved to be effective in other studies-placing molecular fragments upon target interaction sites-but incorporates many novel features such as the use of a rapid graph-theoretical algorithm for fragment placing, a generalised driver for structure generation which offers a large variety of fragment assembly strategies to the user and the pre-screening of library fragments. After a detailed description of the relevant modules of the package, PRO_LIGAND's efficacy in aiding rational drug design is demonstrated by its ability to design mimics of methotrexate and potential inhibitors for dihydrofolate reductase and HIV-1 protease.

  13. Concise NMR approach for molecular dynamics characterizations in organic solids.

    PubMed

    Aliev, Abil E; Courtier-Murias, Denis

    2013-08-22

    Molecular dynamics characterisations in solids can be carried out selectively using dipolar-dephasing experiments. Here we show that the introduction of a sum of Lorentzian and Gaussian functions greatly improve fittings of the "intensity versus time" data for protonated carbons in dipolar-dephasing experiments. The Lorentzian term accounts for remote intra- and intermolecular (1)H-(13)C dipole-dipole interactions, which vary from one molecule to another or for different carbons within the same molecule. Thus, by separating contributions from weak remote interactions, more accurate Gaussian decay constants, T(dd), can be extracted for directly bonded (1)H-(13)C dipole-dipole interactions. Reorientations of the (1)H-(13)C bonds lead to the increase of T(dd), and by measuring dipolar-dephasing constants, insight can be gained into dynamics in solids. We have demonstrated advantages of the method using comparative dynamics studies in the α and γ polymorphs of glycine, cyclic amino acids L-proline, DL-proline and trans-4-hydroxy-L-proline, the Ala residue in different dipeptides, as well as adamantane and hexamethylenetetramine. It was possible to distinguish subtle differences in dynamics of different carbon sites within a molecule in polymorphs and in L- and DL-forms. The presence of overall molecular motions is shown to lead to particularly large differences in dipolar-dephasing experiments. The differences in dynamics can be attributed to differences in noncovalent interactions. In the case of hexamethylenetetramine, for example, the presence of C-H···N interactions leads to nearly rigid molecules. Overall, the method allows one to gain insight into the role of noncovalent interactions in solids and their influence on the molecular dynamics.

  14. Slow approach to steady motion of a concave body in a free-molecular gas.

    PubMed

    Tsuji, Tetsuro; Arai, Junichi; Kawano, Satoyuki

    2015-07-01

    A body in a free-molecular gas accelerated by a constant external force is considered on the basis of kinetic theory. The body is an infinitely long rectangular hollow column with one face removed, and thus it has a squarish U-shaped cross section. The concave part of the body points toward the direction of motion, and thus the gas molecules may be trapped in the concavity. Gas molecules undergo diffuse reflection on a base part, whereas specular reflection on two lateral parts. It is numerically shown that the velocity of the body approaches a terminal velocity, for which a drag force exerted by the gas counterbalances the external force, in such a way that their difference decreases in proportion to the inverse square of time for a large time. This rate of approach is slower than the known rate proportional to the inverse cube of time in the case of a body without concavity [Aoki et al., Phys. Rev. E 80, 016309 (2009)]. Based on the detailed investigation on the velocity distribution function of gas molecules impinging on the body, it is clarified that the concavity prevents some molecules from escaping to infinity. This trapping enhances the effect of recollision between the body and the gas molecules, which is the cause of the inverse power laws, and thus leads to the slower approach.

  15. Laboratory detection of sepsis: biomarkers and molecular approaches.

    PubMed

    Riedel, Stefan; Carroll, Karen C

    2013-09-01

    Sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Rapid diagnosis and therapeutic interventions are desirable to improve the overall mortality in patients with sepsis. However, gold standard laboratory diagnostic methods for sepsis, pose a significant challenge to rapid diagnosis of sepsis by physicians and laboratories. This article discusses the usefulness and potential of biomarkers and molecular test methods for a more rapid clinical and laboratory diagnosis of sepsis. Because new technologies are quickly emerging, physicians and laboratories must appreciate the key factors and characteristics that affect the clinical usefulness and diagnostic accuracy of these test methodologies.

  16. A complex systems approach to computational molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Lapedes, A. |

    1993-09-01

    We report on the containing research program at Santa Fe Institute that applies complex systems methodology to computational molecular biology. Two aspects are stressed here are the use of co-evolving adaptive neutral networks for determining predictable protein structure classifications, and the use of information theory to elucidate protein structure and function. A ``snapshot`` of the current state of research in these two topics is presented, representing the present state of two major research thrusts in the program of Genetic Data and Sequence Analysis at the Santa Fe Institute.

  17. Molecular and nanotechnologic approaches to etiologic diagnosis of infectious syndromes.

    PubMed

    Sankar, Sathish; Ramamurthy, Mageshbabu; Nandagopal, Balaji; Srikanth, Padma; Venkatraman, Ganesh; Sridharan, Gopalan

    2011-06-01

    Infectious diseases are a major global public health problem. Multiple agents are now recognized to cause indistinguishable illnesses. The term 'syndrome' applies to such situations, for which early and rapid diagnosis of the infecting agent would enable prompt and appropriate therapy. Public health physicians would also get timely information on the specific etiology of the infectious syndrome, facilitating intervention at the community level in the face of outbreaks or epidemics. A variety of molecular techniques have been evaluated for rapid diagnosis of infectious syndromes. These techniques include real-time multiplex PCR, DNA microarray, loop-mediated isothermal amplification, and other similar assays. This review surveys such state-of-the-art technologies.

  18. Molecular approaches to human polygenic disease - Symposium 130

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1987-01-01

    This volume deals with the application of recombinant DNA techniques to the identification of diseases that have more than one inherited component. Focus is on the polygenic factors responsible for coronary atherosclerosis. Several other disorders having a polygenic orgin are also discussed, including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, psychiatric diseases, and autoimmune (HLA-related) disorders. Problems raised by the study of different families or different populations are covered, as well as the possibility of applying molecular techniques to disease prevention-for example, through gene therapy. Also explored are some of the ethical issues that relate to human gene mapping.

  19. Ab initio study on (CO2)n clusters via electrostatics- and molecular tailoring-based algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jovan Jose, K. V.; Gadre, Shridhar R.

    An algorithm based on molecular electrostatic potential (MESP) and molecular tailoring approach (MTA) for building energetically favorable molecular clusters is presented. This algorithm is tested on prototype (CO2)n clusters with n = 13, 20, and 25 to explore their structure, energetics, and properties. The most stable clusters in this series are seen to show more number of triangular motifs. Many-body energy decomposition analysis performed on the most stable clusters reveals that the 2-body is the major contributor (>96%) to the total interaction energy. Vibrational frequencies and molecular electrostatic potentials are also evaluated for these large clusters through MTA. The MTA-based MESPs of these clusters show a remarkably good agreement with the corresponding actual ones. The most intense MTA-based normal mode frequencies are in fair agreement with the actual ones for smaller clusters. These calculated asymmetric stretching frequencies are blue-shifted with reference to the CO2 monomer.

  20. Vibrational spectrum at a water surface: a hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics molecular dynamics approach.

    PubMed

    Ishiyama, Tatsuya; Takahashi, Hideaki; Morita, Akihiro

    2012-03-28

    A hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) molecular dynamics (MD) simulation is applied to the calculation of surface orientational structure and vibrational spectrum (second-order nonlinear susceptibility) at the vapor/water interface for the first time. The surface orientational structure of the QM water molecules is consistent with the previous MD studies, and the calculated susceptibility reproduces the experimentally reported one, supporting the previous results using the classical force field MD simulation. The present QM/MM MD simulation also demonstrates that the positive sign of the imaginary part of the second-order nonlinear susceptibility at the lower hydrogen bonding OH frequency region originates not from individual molecular orientational structure, but from cooperative electronic structure through the hydrogen bonding network.

  1. Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Overview of Molecular Diagnostic Approaches.

    PubMed

    Prior, Thomas W; Nagan, Narasimhan

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease and the most common genetic cause of infant mortality, affecting ∼1 in 10,000 live births. The disease is characterized by progressive symmetrical muscle weakness resulting from the degeneration and loss of anterior horn cells in the spinal cord and brain stem nuclei. The disease is classified on the basis of age of onset and clinical course. SMA is caused by mutations in the telomeric copy of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, but all patients retain a centromeric copy of the gene, SMN2. The homozygous absence of the SMN1 exon 7 has been observed in the majority of patients and is being utilized as a reliable and sensitive SMA diagnostic test. In the majority of cases, the disease severity correlates inversely with an increased SMN2 gene copy number. Carrier detection, in the deletion cases, relies on the accurate determination of the SMN1 gene copies. Since SMA is one of the most common lethal genetic disorders, with a carrier frequency of 1 in 40 to 1 in 60, direct carrier dosage testing has been beneficial to many families. This unit attempts to highlight the molecular genetics of SMA with a focus on the advantages and limitations of the current molecular technologies. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  2. Molecular bases of plant resistance to arthropods.

    PubMed

    Smith, C Michael; Clement, Stephen L

    2012-01-01

    Arthropod-resistant crops provide significant ecological and economic benefits to global agriculture. Incompatible interactions involving resistant plants and avirulent pest arthropods are mediated by constitutively produced and arthropod-induced plant proteins and defense allelochemicals synthesized by resistance gene products. Cloning and molecular mapping have identified the Mi-1.2 and Vat arthropod resistance genes as CC-NBS-LRR (coiled coil-nucleotide binding site-leucine rich repeat) subfamily NBS-LRR resistance proteins, as well as several resistance gene analogs. Genetic linkage mapping has identified more than 100 plant resistance gene loci and linked molecular markers used in cultivar development. Rice and sorghum arthropod-resistant cultivars and, to a lesser extent, raspberry and wheat cultivars are components of integrated pest management (IPM) programs in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. Nevertheless, arthropod resistance in most food and fiber crops has not been integrated due primarily to the application of synthetic insecticides. Plant and arthropod genomics provide many opportunities to more efficiently develop arthropod-resistant plants, but integration of resistant cultivars into IPM programs will succeed only through interdisciplinary collaboration. Copyright © 2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

  3. Molecular Location Sensing Approach by Anisotropic Magnetism of an Endohedral Metallofullerene.

    PubMed

    Takano, Yuta; Tashita, Ryo; Suzuki, Mitsuaki; Nagase, Shigeru; Imahori, Hiroshi; Akasaka, Takeshi

    2016-06-29

    Location recognition at the molecular scale provides valuable information about the nature of functional molecular materials. This study presents a novel location sensing approach based on an endohedral metallofullerene, Ce@C82, using its anisotropic magnetic properties, which lead to temperature-dependent paramagnetic shifts in (1)H NMR spectra. Five site-isomers of Ce@C82CH2-3,5-C6H3Me2 were synthesized to demonstrate the spatial sensing ability of Ce@C82. Single-crystal structures, absorption spectra, and density functional theory calculations were used to select the plausible addition positions in the radical coupling reaction, which preferentially happens on the carbon atoms with high electron density of the singly occupied molecular orbital (SOMO) and positive charge. Temperature-dependent NMR measurements demonstrated unique paramagnetic shifts of the (1)H peaks, which were derived from the anisotropic magnetism of the f-electron in the Ce atom of the isomers. It was found that the magnetic anisotropy axes can be easily predicted by theoretical calculations using the Gaussian 09 package. Further analysis revealed that the temperature-dependent trend in the shifts is clearly predictable from the distance and relative position of the proton from the Ce atom. Hence, the Ce-encapsulated metallofullerene Ce@C82 can provide spatial location information about nearby atoms through the temperature-dependent paramagnetic shifts of its NMR signals. It can act as a molecular probe for location sensing by utilizing the anisotropic magnetism of the encapsulated Ce atom. The potentially low toxicity and stability of the endohedral fullerene would make Ce@C82 suitable for applications in biology and material science.

  4. Systems biological approach on neurological disorders: a novel molecular connectivity to aging and psychiatric diseases

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Systems biological approach of molecular connectivity map has reached to a great interest to understand the gene functional similarities between the diseases. In this study, we developed a computational framework to build molecular connectivity maps by integrating mutated and differentially expressed genes of neurological and psychiatric diseases to determine its relationship with aging. Results The systematic large-scale analyses of 124 human diseases create three classes of molecular connectivity maps. First, molecular interaction of disease protein network generates 3632 proteins with 6172 interactions, which determines the common genes/proteins between diseases. Second, Disease-disease network includes 4845 positively scored disease-disease relationships. The comparison of these disease-disease pairs with Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) classification tree suggests 25% of the disease-disease pairs were in same disease area. The remaining can be a novel disease-disease relationship based on gene/protein similarity. Inclusion of aging genes set showed 79 neurological and 20 psychiatric diseases have the strong association with aging. Third and lastly, a curated disease biomarker network was created by relating the proteins/genes in specific disease contexts, such analysis showed 73 markers for 24 diseases. Further, the overall quality of the results was achieved by a series of statistical methods, to avoid insignificant data in biological networks. Conclusions This study improves the understanding of the complex interactions that occur between neurological and psychiatric diseases with aging, which lead to determine the diagnostic markers. Also, the disease-disease association results could be helpful to determine the symptom relationships between neurological and psychiatric diseases. Together, our study presents many research opportunities in post-genomic biomarkers development. PMID:21226925

  5. An Integrated, Statistical Molecular Approach to the Physical Chemistry Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cartier, Stephen F.

    2009-01-01

    As an alternative to the "thermodynamics first" or "quantum first" approaches to the physical chemistry curriculum, the statistical definition of entropy and the Boltzmann distribution are introduced in the first days of the course and the entire two-semester curriculum is then developed from these concepts. Once the tools of statistical mechanics…

  6. Molecular Genetic Approaches to Human Diseases Involving Mental Retardation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Latt, Samuel A.; And Others

    1984-01-01

    Recombinant DNA techniques provide new approaches to the diagnosis and analysis of inherited human diseases associated with mental retardation, such as Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, phenylketonauria, the Fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, and those associated with deletions or duplications of subchromosomal regions. (Author/CL)

  7. Molecular Genetic Approaches to Human Diseases Involving Mental Retardation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Latt, Samuel A.; And Others

    1984-01-01

    Recombinant DNA techniques provide new approaches to the diagnosis and analysis of inherited human diseases associated with mental retardation, such as Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, phenylketonauria, the Fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, and those associated with deletions or duplications of subchromosomal regions. (Author/CL)

  8. An Integrated, Statistical Molecular Approach to the Physical Chemistry Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cartier, Stephen F.

    2009-01-01

    As an alternative to the "thermodynamics first" or "quantum first" approaches to the physical chemistry curriculum, the statistical definition of entropy and the Boltzmann distribution are introduced in the first days of the course and the entire two-semester curriculum is then developed from these concepts. Once the tools of statistical mechanics…

  9. Ridge-based bias potentials to accelerate molecular dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Penghao; Duncan, Juliana; Zhang, Liang; Henkelman, Graeme

    2015-12-01

    An effective way to accelerate rare events in molecular dynamics simulations is to apply a bias potential which destabilizes minima without biasing the transitions between stable states. This approach, called hyperdynamics, is limited by our ability to construct general bias potentials without having to understand the reaction mechanisms available to the system, a priori. Current bias potentials are typically constructed in terms of a metric which quantifies the distance that a trajectory deviates from the reactant state minimum. Such metrics include detection of negative curvatures of the potential, an energy increase, or deviations in bond lengths from the minimum. When one of these properties exceeds a critical value, the bias potentials are constructed to approach zero. A problem common to each of these schemes is that their effectiveness decreases rapidly with system size. We attribute this problem to a diminishing volume defined by the metrics around a reactant minimum as compared to the total volume of the reactant state basin. In this work, we mitigate the dimensionality scaling problem by constructing bias potentials that are based upon the distance to the boundary of the reactant basin. This distance is quantified in two ways: (i) by following the minimum mode direction to the reactant boundary and (ii) by training a machine learning algorithm to give an analytic expression for the boundary to which the distance can be calculated. Both of these ridge-based bias potentials are demonstrated to scale qualitatively better with dimensionality than the existing methods. We attribute this improvement to a greater filling fraction of the reactant state using the ridge-based bias potentials as compared to the standard potentials.

  10. Physics-based approach to haptic display

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, J. Michael; Colgate, J. Edward

    1994-01-01

    This paper addresses the implementation of complex multiple degree of freedom virtual environments for haptic display. We suggest that a physics based approach to rigid body simulation is appropriate for hand tool simulation, but that currently available simulation techniques are not sufficient to guarantee successful implementation. We discuss the desirable features of a virtual environment simulation, specifically highlighting the importance of stability guarantees.

  11. Development of molecular resists based on Phenyl[4]calixarene derivatives.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Echigo, Masatoshi; Hayashi, Hiromi; Oizumi, Hiroaki; Matsumaro, Kazuyuki; Itani, Toshiro

    2010-04-01

    We have developed negative-tone molecular resist based on C-4-cyclohexylphenylcalix[4]resorcinarene(MGR108) and positive-tone molecular resist based on protected C-4-isopropylphenylcalix[4]resorcinarene (MGR104P). Both MGR108 and MGR104P showed high solubility in both conventional resist solvents such as propylene glycol monomethyl ether and conventional alkaline developer of 0.26N TMAHaq. In this paper, we show current performance of resists by EB lithography (EBL) and EUV lithography (EUVL).

  12. Dynamic covalent chemistry approaches toward macrocycles, molecular cages, and polymers.

    PubMed

    Jin, Yinghua; Wang, Qi; Taynton, Philip; Zhang, Wei

    2014-05-20

    The current research in the field of dynamic covalent chemistry includes the study of dynamic covalent reactions, catalysts, and their applications. Unlike noncovalent interactions utilized in supramolecular chemistry, the formation/breakage of covalent bonding has slower kinetics and usually requires the aid of a catalyst. Catalytic systems that enable efficient thermodynamic equilibrium are thus essential. In this Account, we describe the development of efficient catalysts for alkyne metathesis, and discuss the application of dynamic covalent reactions (mainly imine, olefin, and alkyne metathesis) in the development of organic functional materials. Alkyne metathesis is an emerging dynamic covalent reaction that offers robust and linear acetylene linkages. By introducing a podand motif into the catalyst ligand design, we have developed a series of highly active and robust alkyne metathesis catalysts, which, for the first time, enabled the one-step covalent assembly of ethynylene-linked functional molecular cages. Imine chemistry and olefin metathesis are among the most well-established reversible reactions, and have also been our main synthetic tools. Various shape-persistent macrocycles and covalent organic polyhedrons have been efficiently constructed in one-step through dynamic imine chemistry and olefin metathesis. The geometrical features and solubilizing groups of the building blocks as well as the reaction kinetics have significant effect on the outcome of a covalent assembly process. More recently, we explored the orthogonality of imine and olefin metatheses, and successfully synthesized heterosequenced macrocycles and molecular cages through one-pot orthogonal dynamic covalent chemistry. In addition to discrete molecular architectures, functional polymeric materials can also be accessed through dynamic covalent reactions. Defect-free solution-processable conjugated polyaryleneethynylenes and polydiacetylenes have been prepared through alkyne metathesis

  13. Controlling charge current through a DNA based molecular transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behnia, S.; Fathizadeh, S.; Ziaei, J.

    2017-01-01

    Molecular electronics is complementary to silicon-based electronics and may induce electronic functions which are difficult to obtain with conventional technology. We have considered a DNA based molecular transistor and study its transport properties. The appropriate DNA sequence as a central chain in molecular transistor and the functional interval for applied voltages is obtained. I-V characteristic diagram shows the rectifier behavior as well as the negative differential resistance phenomenon of DNA transistor. We have observed the nearly periodic behavior in the current flowing through DNA. It is reported that there is a critical gate voltage for each applied bias which above it, the electrical current is always positive.

  14. Molecular clocks, molecular profiles, and optimum diets: three approaches to the problem of aging.

    PubMed

    Robinson, A B

    1979-02-01

    It has been hypothesized that the deamidation of glutaminyl and asparaginyl residues serves as a molecular clock for many biological processes including protein turnover, development, and aging. At present, this hypothesis has passed some experimental tests which are necessary but not sufficient for its acceptance. The current state of evidence about deamidation as a molecular clock is discussed. In addition, since the molecular biology of aging, especially in humans, is only partly understood, it is of value to develop quantitative, empirical measures of physiological human age and to use these measures to evaluate alternative human living conditions, especially easily adopted alternatives like variations in diet. This may allow some decrease in the suffering and loss from human aging until such time as molecular biology provides superior and more intellectually satisfying answers. An empirical system which consists of quantitative measurement of several hundred human chemical constituents followed by computerized pattern recognition is described. It is hoped that this system will eventually become an aid in the minimization of the rate of human aging through changes in diet and other factors.

  15. Molecular imaging of prostate cancer: translating molecular biology approaches into the clinical realm.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Hebert Alberto; Grimm, Jan; F Donati, Olivio; Sala, Evis; Hricak, Hedvig

    2015-05-01

    The epidemiology of prostate cancer has dramatically changed since the introduction of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening in the 1980's. Most prostate cancers today are detected at early stages of the disease and are considered 'indolent'; however, some patients' prostate cancers demonstrate a more aggressive behaviour which leads to rapid progression and death. Increasing understanding of the biology underlying the heterogeneity that characterises this disease has led to a continuously evolving role of imaging in the management of prostate cancer. Functional and metabolic imaging techniques are gaining importance as the impact on the therapeutic paradigm has shifted from structural tumour detection alone to distinguishing patients with indolent tumours that can be managed conservatively (e.g., by active surveillance) from patients with more aggressive tumours that may require definitive treatment with surgery or radiation. In this review, we discuss advanced imaging techniques that allow direct visualisation of molecular interactions relevant to prostate cancer and their potential for translation to the clinical setting in the near future. The potential use of imaging to follow molecular events during drug therapy as well as the use of imaging agents for therapeutic purposes will also be discussed. • Advanced imaging techniques allow direct visualisation of molecular interactions in prostate cancer. • MRI/PET, optical and Cerenkov imaging facilitate the translation of molecular biology. • Multiple compounds targeting PSMA expression are currently undergoing clinical translation. • Other targets (e.g., PSA, prostate-stem cell antigen, GRPR) are in development.

  16. Genetic variants in Alzheimer disease - molecular and brain network approaches.

    PubMed

    Gaiteri, Chris; Mostafavi, Sara; Honey, Christopher J; De Jager, Philip L; Bennett, David A

    2016-07-01

    Genetic studies in late-onset Alzheimer disease (LOAD) are aimed at identifying core disease mechanisms and providing potential biomarkers and drug candidates to improve clinical care of AD. However, owing to the complexity of LOAD, including pathological heterogeneity and disease polygenicity, extraction of actionable guidance from LOAD genetics has been challenging. Past attempts to summarize the effects of LOAD-associated genetic variants have used pathway analysis and collections of small-scale experiments to hypothesize functional convergence across several variants. In this Review, we discuss how the study of molecular, cellular and brain networks provides additional information on the effects of LOAD-associated genetic variants. We then discuss emerging combinations of these omic data sets into multiscale models, which provide a more comprehensive representation of the effects of LOAD-associated genetic variants at multiple biophysical scales. Furthermore, we highlight the clinical potential of mechanistically coupling genetic variants and disease phenotypes with multiscale brain models.

  17. Molecular Dynamics Approach to Relaxation and Aggregationof Polymer Chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, C.; Ma, W.

    We have used molecular dynamics to simulate various systems ofpolymer chains and Lennard-Jones molecules; the neighboring monomers along a polymer chain are connected by rigid bonds or spring of strength k_{spring}. We find that the velocity distributions of monomers in a wide range of simulation time can be well described by Tsallis q-statistics [C. Tsallis, J. Stat. Phys. 52 (1988), 479] (q ≥ 1) and a single scaling function; the value of q is related to the conformation constraining potential, the interactions with background fluid, the destruction of chain homogeneity or the value of k_{spring}; when q -> 1, the velocity distribution of monomers becomes Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution. We also find that the polymer chains tend to aggregate as neighboring monomers of a polymer chain have small or zero bending-angle and torsion-angle dependent potentials. The implication of our results for the aggregation of proteins is discussed.

  18. Molecular properties of Cinchona alkaloids: a theoretical approach.

    PubMed

    Oleksyn, B J; Suszko-Purzycka, A; Dive, G; Lamotte-Brasseur, J

    1992-02-01

    In the present work, the conformation analysis, electrostatic potential calculations, and proton affinity evaluation are carried out for Cinchona alkaloids using theoretical molecular mechanics and quantum mechanical methods. The most probable conformation of the active erythro isomers at the receptor site seems to be that which enables the molecule to form intermolecular hydrogen bonds. In epiquinidine, the mutual orientation of O(12) and N(1) atoms favors intra- rather than intermolecular bonding, and this might be responsible for its inactivity. Comparison of the shape and size of the negative electrostatic potential areas provides a tentative explanation for the interaction of different erythro diastereoisomers with the same putative receptor, as well as for lack of such interaction in epiquinidine. The protonation energies calculated for cinchonidine and cinchonine confirm the higher basicity of the aliphatic N(1) as compared with that of the aromatic N(13) atom.

  19. Molecular approaches to validate disinfectants against human hepatitis B virus.

    PubMed

    Jursch, C A; Gerlich, W H; Glebe, D; Schaefer, S; Marie, O; Thraenhart, O

    2002-03-01

    Disinfection is an important measure to prevent hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission by instruments. However, virucidal testing of disinfectants against HBV is difficult, because no simple quantitative infectivity assay exists. Since molecular changes of viral epitopes and the genome may indicate virus inactivation, we measured the alteration of these constituents with 0.065% peracetic acid (PAA) for exposure times up to 1 h. Plasma of a chronic HBV carrier with 10(9) HBV genomes/ml served as viral source in the form of a 10% dilution or of a purified HB-antigen preparation. Alterations of HBV epitopes were analyzed with four monoclonal antibodies in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Changes of the HBV genomes were determined by the inability to amplify the target sequence with a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, either of a short fragment (189 bp) or of the full-length (3,200 bp). The determination of the epitope and genome alteration was quantified as log10 reduction factor (RF) with the parallel line bioassay. Under a high protein load of 10% human plasma, PAA induced a HBV genome alteration of RF = 1.5 after an exposure time of 60 min. Similar RFs were seen with the four HB epitopes. Without protein load, the alteration of these epitopes amounted to a RF of more than 3.5 within 30 min. Such inhibition of PAA activity by protein load was also seen in the virucidal tests with parvovirus. Although the RF were higher in the virucidal tests, the time-dependent dose-response curves for the epitope and genome alteration and for the infectivity inactivation followed the same inactivation kinetics. The molecular alteration and disintegration epitope and genome test may therefore be suitable to measure antiviral activity of disinfectants against HBV.

  20. The molecular bases of the suicidal brain

    PubMed Central

    Turecki, Gustavo

    2017-01-01

    Suicide ranks among the leading causes of death around the world, and takes a heavy emotional and public health toll on most societies. Both distal and proximal factors contribute to suicidal behaviour. Distal factors — such as familial and genetic predisposition, as well as early-life adversity — increase the lifetime risk of suicide. They alter responses to stress and other processes through epigenetic modification of genes and associated changes in gene expression, and through the regulation of emotional and behavioural traits. Proximal factors associate with the precipitation of a suicidal event and include alterations in key neurotransmitter systems, inflammatory changes and glial dysfunction in the brain. This Review explores the key molecular changes associated with suicidality, and presents some promising avenues for future research. PMID:25354482

  1. High performance computing for three-dimensional agent-based molecular models.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Rodríguez, G; Pérez-Pérez, M; Fdez-Riverola, F; Lourenço, A

    2016-07-01

    Agent-based simulations are increasingly popular in exploring and understanding cellular systems, but the natural complexity of these systems and the desire to grasp different modelling levels demand cost-effective simulation strategies and tools. In this context, the present paper introduces novel sequential and distributed approaches for the three-dimensional agent-based simulation of individual molecules in cellular events. These approaches are able to describe the dimensions and position of the molecules with high accuracy and thus, study the critical effect of spatial distribution on cellular events. Moreover, two of the approaches allow multi-thread high performance simulations, distributing the three-dimensional model in a platform independent and computationally efficient way. Evaluation addressed the reproduction of molecular scenarios and different scalability aspects of agent creation and agent interaction. The three approaches simulate common biophysical and biochemical laws faithfully. The distributed approaches show improved performance when dealing with large agent populations while the sequential approach is better suited for small to medium size agent populations. Overall, the main new contribution of the approaches is the ability to simulate three-dimensional agent-based models at the molecular level with reduced implementation effort and moderate-level computational capacity. Since these approaches have a generic design, they have the major potential of being used in any event-driven agent-based tool. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Advanced Approach of Multiagent Based Buoy Communication

    PubMed Central

    Gricius, Gediminas; Drungilas, Darius; Andziulis, Arunas; Dzemydiene, Dale; Voznak, Miroslav; Kurmis, Mindaugas; Jakovlev, Sergej

    2015-01-01

    Usually, a hydrometeorological information system is faced with great data flows, but the data levels are often excessive, depending on the observed region of the water. The paper presents advanced buoy communication technologies based on multiagent interaction and data exchange between several monitoring system nodes. The proposed management of buoy communication is based on a clustering algorithm, which enables the performance of the hydrometeorological information system to be enhanced. The experiment is based on the design and analysis of the inexpensive but reliable Baltic Sea autonomous monitoring network (buoys), which would be able to continuously monitor and collect temperature, waviness, and other required data. The proposed approach of multiagent based buoy communication enables all the data from the costal-based station to be monitored with limited transition speed by setting different tasks for the agent-based buoy system according to the clustering information. PMID:26345197

  3. [Aphasia: evidence-based therapy approaches].

    PubMed

    Darkow, R; Flöel, A

    2016-10-01

    Speech and language therapy is essential in the rehabilitation of aphasic disorders following a stroke. Due to the predicted increase of aphasia and limited resources within the healthcare system, the development of efficient and sustainable treatment methods is of exceptional importance. The effectiveness of both traditional and innovative approaches needs to be evaluated against the standards of evidence-based medicine. Class I evidence has been established for high-intensity speech and language therapy in subacute and chronic stages of aphasia. Innovative training-based approaches have so far only been evaluated in small studies but promising results have been shown for computer-based naming, video-based exercises for verbalization of complex contents and approaches modeled according to "forced-use" principles with standardized contents. Adjuvant training therapies are being developed to increase and prolong the impact of training alone, most notably non-invasive brain stimulation and pharmacological modulation. Transcranial direct current stimulation has been shown to effectively enhance training in several small randomized controlled trials but several questions still remain to be answered, including the location of electrode placement as well as the length and intensity of stimulation. Mixed evidence has been collected for the effectiveness of pharmacotherapy on speech learning and further randomized controlled trials are also needed to allow more firmly based recommendations.

  4. Facial Translocation Approach to the Cranial Base

    PubMed Central

    Arriaga, Moises A.; Janecka, Ivo P.

    1991-01-01

    Surgical exposure of the nasopharyngeal region of the cranial base is difficult because of its proximity to key anatomic structures. Our laboratory study outlines the anatomic basis for a new approach to this complex topography. Dissections were performed on eight cadaver halves and two fresh specimens injected with intravascular silicone rubber compound. By utilizing facial soft tissue translocation combined with craniofacial osteotomies; a wide surgical field can be obtained at the skull base. The accessible surgical field extends from the contralateral custachian tube to the ipsilateral geniculate ganglion, including the nasopharyax; clivus, sphonoid, and cavernous sinuses, the entire infratemporal fossa, and superior orbital fissure. The facial translocation approach offers previously unavailable wide and direct exposure, with a potential for immediate reconstruction, of this complex region of the cranial base. ImagesFigure 4Figure 5Figure 7Figure 8Figure 9 PMID:17170817

  5. Network-based Approaches in Pharmacology.

    PubMed

    Boezio, Baptiste; Audouze, Karine; Ducrot, Pierre; Taboureau, Olivier

    2017-10-01

    In drug discovery, network-based approaches are expected to spotlight our understanding of drug action across multiple layers of information. On one hand, network pharmacology considers the drug response in the context of a cellular or phenotypic network. On the other hand, a chemical-based network is a promising alternative for characterizing the chemical space. Both can provide complementary support for the development of rational drug design and better knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the multiple actions of drugs. Recent progress in both concepts is discussed here. In addition, a network-based approach using drug-target-therapy data is introduced as an example. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Kinetics and thermodynamics of protein adsorption: a generalized molecular theoretical approach.

    PubMed Central

    Fang, F; Szleifer, I

    2001-01-01

    The thermodynamics and kinetics of protein adsorption are studied using a molecular theoretical approach. The cases studied include competitive adsorption from mixtures and the effect of conformational changes upon adsorption. The kinetic theory is based on a generalized diffusion equation in which the driving force for motion is the gradient of chemical potentials of the proteins. The time-dependent chemical potentials, as well as the equilibrium behavior of the system, are obtained using a molecular mean-field theory. The theory provides, within the same theoretical formulation, the diffusion and the kinetic (activated) controlled regimes. By separation of ideal and nonideal contributions to the chemical potential, the equation of motion shows a purely diffusive part and the motion of the particles in the potential of mean force resulting from the intermolecular interactions. The theory enables the calculation of the time-dependent surface coverage of proteins, the dynamic surface tension, and the structure of the adsorbed layer in contact with the approaching proteins. For the case of competitive adsorption from a solution containing a mixture of large and small proteins, a variety of different adsorption patterns are observed depending upon the bulk composition, the strength of the interaction between the particles, and the surface and size of the proteins. It is found that the experimentally observed Vroman sequence is predicted in the case that the bulk solution is at a composition with an excess of the small protein, and that the interaction between the large protein and the surface is much larger than that of the smaller protein. The effect of surface conformational changes of the adsorbed proteins in the time-dependent adsorption is studied in detail. The theory predicts regimes of constant density and dynamic surface tension that are long lived but are only intermediates before the final approach to equilibrium. The implications of the findings to the

  7. Molecular fingerprinting of principal neurons in the rodent hippocampus: A neuroinformatics approach.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, D J; White, C M; Rees, C L; Wheeler, D W; Ascoli, G A

    2017-09-10

    Neurons are often classified by their morphological and molecular properties. The online knowledge base Hippocampome.org primarily defines neuron types from the rodent hippocampal formation based on their main neurotransmitter (glutamate or GABA) and the spatial distributions of their axons and dendrites. For each neuron type, this open-access resource reports any and all published information regarding the presence or absence of known molecular markers, including calcium-binding proteins, neuropeptides, receptors, channels, transcription factors, and other molecules of biomedical relevance. The resulting chemical profile is relatively sparse: even for the best studied neuron types, the expression or lack thereof of fewer than 70 molecules has been firmly established to date. The mouse genome-wide in situ hybridization mapping of the Allen Brain Atlas provides a wealth of data that, when appropriately analyzed, can substantially augment the molecular marker knowledge in Hippocampome.org. Here we focus on the principal cell layers of dentate gyrus (DG), CA3, CA2, and CA1, which together contain approximately 90% of hippocampal neurons. These four anatomical parcels are densely packed with somata of mostly excitatory projection neurons. Thus, gene expression data for those layers can be justifiably linked to the respective principal neuron types: granule cells in DG and pyramidal cells in CA3, CA2, and CA1. In order to enable consistent interpretation across genes and regions, we screened the whole-genome dataset against known molecular markers of those neuron types. The resulting threshold values allow over 6000 very-high confidence (>99.5%) expressed/not-expressed assignments, expanding the biochemical information content of Hippocampome.org more than five-fold. Many of these newly identified molecular markers are potential pharmacological targets for major neurological and psychiatric conditions. Furthermore, our approach yields reasonable expression

  8. AN EFFICIENT HIGHER-ORDER FAST MULTIPOLE BOUNDARY ELEMENT SOLUTION FOR POISSON-BOLTZMANN BASED MOLECULAR ELECTROSTATICS

    PubMed Central

    Bajaj, Chandrajit; Chen, Shun-Chuan; Rand, Alexander

    2011-01-01

    In order to compute polarization energy of biomolecules, we describe a boundary element approach to solving the linearized Poisson-Boltzmann equation. Our approach combines several important features including the derivative boundary formulation of the problem and a smooth approximation of the molecular surface based on the algebraic spline molecular surface. State of the art software for numerical linear algebra and the kernel independent fast multipole method is used for both simplicity and efficiency of our implementation. We perform a variety of computational experiments, testing our method on a number of actual proteins involved in molecular docking and demonstrating the effectiveness of our solver for computing molecular polarization energy. PMID:21660123

  9. Introduction of Entropy via the Boltzmann Distribution in Undergraduate Physical Chemistry: A Molecular Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kozliak, Evguenii I.

    2004-01-01

    A molecular approach for introducing entropy in undergraduate physical chemistry course and incorporating the features of Davies' treatment that meets the needs of the students but ignores the complexities of statistics and upgrades the qualitative, intuitive approach of Lambert for general chemistry to a semiquantitative treatment using Boltzmann…

  10. Inquiry-Based Learning of Molecular Phylogenetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campo, Daniel; Garcia-Vazquez, Eva

    2008-01-01

    Reconstructing phylogenies from nucleotide sequences is a challenge for students because it strongly depends on evolutionary models and computer tools that are frequently updated. We present here an inquiry-based course aimed at learning how to trace a phylogeny based on sequences existing in public databases. Computer tools are freely available…

  11. Inquiry-Based Learning of Molecular Phylogenetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campo, Daniel; Garcia-Vazquez, Eva

    2008-01-01

    Reconstructing phylogenies from nucleotide sequences is a challenge for students because it strongly depends on evolutionary models and computer tools that are frequently updated. We present here an inquiry-based course aimed at learning how to trace a phylogeny based on sequences existing in public databases. Computer tools are freely available…

  12. A polarizable QM/MM approach to the molecular dynamics of amide groups solvated in water.

    PubMed

    Schwörer, Magnus; Wichmann, Christoph; Tavan, Paul

    2016-03-21

    The infrared (IR) spectra of polypeptides are dominated by the so-called amide bands. Because they originate from the strongly polar and polarizable amide groups (AGs) making up the backbone, their spectral positions sensitively depend on the local electric fields. Aiming at accurate computations of these IR spectra by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, which derive atomic forces from a hybrid quantum and molecular mechanics (QM/MM) Hamiltonian, here we consider the effects of solvation in bulk liquid water on the amide bands of the AG model compound N-methyl-acetamide (NMA). As QM approach to NMA we choose grid-based density functional theory (DFT). For the surrounding MM water, we develop, largely based on computations, a polarizable molecular mechanics (PMM) model potential called GP6P, which features six Gaussian electrostatic sources (one induced dipole, five static partial charge distributions) and, therefore, avoids spurious distortions of the DFT electron density in hybrid DFT/PMM simulations. Bulk liquid GP6P is shown to have favorable properties at the thermodynamic conditions of the parameterization and beyond. Lennard-Jones (LJ) parameters of the DFT fragment NMA are optimized by comparing radial distribution functions in the surrounding GP6P liquid with reference data obtained from a "first-principles" DFT-MD simulation. Finally, IR spectra of NMA in GP6P water are calculated from extended DFT/PMM-MD trajectories, in which the NMA is treated by three different DFT functionals (BP, BLYP, B3LYP). Method-specific frequency scaling factors are derived from DFT-MD simulations of isolated NMA. The DFT/PMM-MD simulations with GP6P and with the optimized LJ parameters then excellently predict the effects of aqueous solvation and deuteration observed in the IR spectra of NMA. As a result, the methods required to accurately compute such spectra by DFT/PMM-MD also for larger peptides in aqueous solution are now at hand.

  13. Modern classification of neoplasms: reconciling differences between morphologic and molecular approaches

    PubMed Central

    Berman, Jules

    2005-01-01

    Background For over 150 years, pathologists have relied on histomorphology to classify and diagnose neoplasms. Their success has been stunning, permitting the accurate diagnosis of thousands of different types of neoplasms using only a microscope and a trained eye. In the past two decades, cancer genomics has challenged the supremacy of histomorphology by identifying genetic alterations shared by morphologically diverse tumors and by finding genetic features that distinguish subgroups of morphologically homogeneous tumors. Discussion The Developmental Lineage Classification and Taxonomy of Neoplasms groups neoplasms by their embryologic origin. The putative value of this classification is based on the expectation that tumors of a common developmental lineage will share common metabolic pathways and common responses to drugs that target these pathways. The purpose of this manuscript is to show that grouping tumors according to their developmental lineage can reconcile certain fundamental discrepancies resulting from morphologic and molecular approaches to neoplasm classification. In this study, six issues in tumor classification are described that exemplify the growing rift between morphologic and molecular approaches to tumor classification: 1) the morphologic separation between epithelial and non-epithelial tumors; 2) the grouping of tumors based on shared cellular functions; 3) the distinction between germ cell tumors and pluripotent tumors of non-germ cell origin; 4) the distinction between tumors that have lost their differentiation and tumors that arise from uncommitted stem cells; 5) the molecular properties shared by morphologically disparate tumors that have a common developmental lineage, and 6) the problem of re-classifying morphologically identical but clinically distinct subsets of tumors. The discussion of these issues in the context of describing different methods of tumor classification is intended to underscore the clinical value of a robust tumor

  14. A network approach based on cliques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fadigas, I. S.; Pereira, H. B. B.

    2013-05-01

    The characterization of complex networks is a procedure that is currently found in several research studies. Nevertheless, few studies present a discussion on networks in which the basic element is a clique. In this paper, we propose an approach based on a network of cliques. This approach consists not only of a set of new indices to capture the properties of a network of cliques but also of a method to characterize complex networks of cliques (i.e., some of the parameters are proposed to characterize the small-world phenomenon in networks of cliques). The results obtained are consistent with results from classical methods used to characterize complex networks.

  15. An Inquiry-based Introduction to Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levy, Foster

    2000-01-01

    Presents investigative approaches to teaching molecular biology. Emphasizes a deductive determination of the nature of nucleic acids visualized in a gel, and a comparison of different genomes. Asks why students should take it on faith that what they view on a gel is DNA. (SAH)

  16. An Inquiry-based Introduction to Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levy, Foster

    2000-01-01

    Presents investigative approaches to teaching molecular biology. Emphasizes a deductive determination of the nature of nucleic acids visualized in a gel, and a comparison of different genomes. Asks why students should take it on faith that what they view on a gel is DNA. (SAH)

  17. Spectral densities for Frenkel exciton dynamics in molecular crystals: A TD-DFTB approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plötz, Per-Arno; Megow, Jörg; Niehaus, Thomas; Kühn, Oliver

    2017-02-01

    Effects of thermal fluctuations on the electronic excitation energies and intermonomeric Coulomb couplings are investigated for a perylene-tetracarboxylic-diimide crystal. To this end, time dependent density functional theory based tight binding (TD-DFTB) in the linear response formulation is used in combination with electronic ground state classical molecular dynamics. As a result, a parametrized Frenkel exciton Hamiltonian is obtained, with the effect of exciton-vibrational coupling being described by spectral densities. Employing dynamically defined normal modes, these spectral densities are analyzed in great detail, thus providing insight into the effect of specific intramolecular motions on excitation energies and Coulomb couplings. This distinguishes the present method from approaches using fixed transition densities. The efficiency by which intramolecular contributions to the spectral density can be calculated is a clear advantage of this method as compared with standard TD-DFT.

  18. Development of a BACarray translational profiling approach for the molecular characterization of CNS cell types

    PubMed Central

    Heiman, Myriam; Schaefer, Anne; Gong, Shiaoching; Peterson, Jayms; Day, Michelle; Ramsey, Keri E.; Suárez-Fariñas, Mayte; Schwarz, Cordelia; Stephan, Dietrich A.; Surmeier, D. James; Greengard, Paul; Heintz, Nathaniel

    2009-01-01

    Summary The cellular heterogeneity of the brain confounds efforts to elucidate the biological properties of distinct neuronal populations. We have now developed a new ‘BACarray’ methodology, based on affinity purification of polysomal mRNAs from genetically defined cell populations. The utility of this approach is illustrated by the comparative analysis of four types of neurons, revealing hundreds of genes that distinguish these four cell populations. Even two morphologically indistinguishable subclasses of MSNs display vastly different translational profiles. Striatopallidal neurons are characterized by a strong and cell-specific release of intracellular Ca2+ in response to sphingosine 1-phosphate, consistent with their selective expression of Gpr6. In contrast, striatonigral neurons demonstrate a selective cell-specific increase in GABAA receptor subunits in response to chronic cocaine treatment. BACarray translational profiling is a generalizable method useful for the identification of molecular changes in any genetically defined cell type in response to genetic alterations, disease, or pharmacological perturbations. PMID:19013281

  19. Spectral densities for Frenkel exciton dynamics in molecular crystals: A TD-DFTB approach.

    PubMed

    Plötz, Per-Arno; Megow, Jörg; Niehaus, Thomas; Kühn, Oliver

    2017-02-28

    Effects of thermal fluctuations on the electronic excitation energies and intermonomeric Coulomb couplings are investigated for a perylene-tetracarboxylic-diimide crystal. To this end, time dependent density functional theory based tight binding (TD-DFTB) in the linear response formulation is used in combination with electronic ground state classical molecular dynamics. As a result, a parametrized Frenkel exciton Hamiltonian is obtained, with the effect of exciton-vibrational coupling being described by spectral densities. Employing dynamically defined normal modes, these spectral densities are analyzed in great detail, thus providing insight into the effect of specific intramolecular motions on excitation energies and Coulomb couplings. This distinguishes the present method from approaches using fixed transition densities. The efficiency by which intramolecular contributions to the spectral density can be calculated is a clear advantage of this method as compared with standard TD-DFT.

  20. Expanding GPCR homology model binding sites via a balloon potential: A molecular dynamics refinement approach.

    PubMed

    Kimura, S Roy; Tebben, Andrew J; Langley, David R

    2008-06-01

    Homology modeling of G protein-coupled receptors is becoming a widely used tool in drug discovery. However, unrefined models built using the bovine rhodopsin crystal structure as the template, often have binding sites that are too small to accommodate known ligands. Here, we present a novel systematic method to refine model active sites based on a pressure-guided molecular dynamics simulation. A distinct advantage of this approach is the ability to introduce systematic perturbations in model backbone atoms in addition to side chain adjustments. The method is validated on two test cases: (1) docking of retinal into an MD-relaxed structure of opsin and (2) docking of known ligands into a homology model of the CCR2 receptor. In both cases, we show that the MD expansion algorithm makes it possible to dock the ligands in poses that agree with the crystal structure or mutagenesis data.

  1. Modelling and enhanced molecular dynamics to steer structure-based drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Kalyaanamoorthy, Subha; Chen, Yi-Ping Phoebe

    2014-05-01

    The ever-increasing gap between the availabilities of the genome sequences and the crystal structures of proteins remains one of the significant challenges to the modern drug discovery efforts. The knowledge of structure-dynamics-functionalities of proteins is important in order to understand several key aspects of structure-based drug discovery, such as drug-protein interactions, drug binding and unbinding mechanisms and protein-protein interactions. This review presents a brief overview on the different state of the art computational approaches that are applied for protein structure modelling and molecular dynamics simulations of biological systems. We give an essence of how different enhanced sampling molecular dynamics approaches, together with regular molecular dynamics methods, assist in steering the structure based drug discovery processes. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. A Statistical Approach for the Concurrent Coupling of Molecular Dynamics and Finite Element Methods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saether, E.; Yamakov, V.; Glaessgen, E.

    2007-01-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) methods are opening new opportunities for simulating the fundamental processes of material behavior at the atomistic level. However, increasing the size of the MD domain quickly presents intractable computational demands. A robust approach to surmount this computational limitation has been to unite continuum modeling procedures such as the finite element method (FEM) with MD analyses thereby reducing the region of atomic scale refinement. The challenging problem is to seamlessly connect the two inherently different simulation techniques at their interface. In the present work, a new approach to MD-FEM coupling is developed based on a restatement of the typical boundary value problem used to define a coupled domain. The method uses statistical averaging of the atomistic MD domain to provide displacement interface boundary conditions to the surrounding continuum FEM region, which, in return, generates interface reaction forces applied as piecewise constant traction boundary conditions to the MD domain. The two systems are computationally disconnected and communicate only through a continuous update of their boundary conditions. With the use of statistical averages of the atomistic quantities to couple the two computational schemes, the developed approach is referred to as an embedded statistical coupling method (ESCM) as opposed to a direct coupling method where interface atoms and FEM nodes are individually related. The methodology is inherently applicable to three-dimensional domains, avoids discretization of the continuum model down to atomic scales, and permits arbitrary temperatures to be applied.

  3. Species and hybrid identification of sturgeon caviar: a new molecular approach to detect illegal trade.

    PubMed

    Boscari, E; Barmintseva, A; Pujolar, J M; Doukakis, P; Mugue, N; Congiu, L

    2014-05-01

    Overexploitation of wild populations due to the high economic value of caviar has driven sturgeons to near extinction. The high prices commanded by caviar on world markets have made it a magnet for illegal and fraudulent caviar trade, often involving low-value farmed caviar being sold as top-quality caviar. We present a new molecular approach for the identification of pure sturgeon species and hybrids that are among the most commercialized species in Europe and North America. Our test is based on the discovery of species-specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the ribosomal protein S7, supplemented with the Vimentin gene and the mitochondrial D-loop. Test validations performed in 702 specimens of target and nontarget sturgeon species demonstrated a 100% identification success for Acipenser naccarii, A. fulvescens, A. stellatus, A. sinensis and A. transmontanus. In addition to species identification, our approach allows the identification of Bester and AL hybrids, two of the most economically important hybrids in the world, with 80% and 100% success, respectively. Moreover, the approach has the potential to identify many other existing sturgeon hybrids. The development of a standardized sturgeon identification tool will directly benefit trade law enforcement, providing the tools to monitor and regulate the legal trade of caviar and protect sturgeon stocks from illicit producers and traders, hence contributing to safeguarding this group of heavily threatened species. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Molecular engineering: An approach to the development of general capabilities for molecular manipulation

    PubMed Central

    Drexler, K. Eric

    1981-01-01

    Development of the ability to design protein molecules will open a path to the fabrication of devices to complex atomic specifications, thus sidestepping obstacles facing conventional microtechnology. This path will involve construction of molecular machinery able to position reactive groups to atomic precision. It could lead to great advances in computational devices and in the ability to manipulate biological materials. The existence of this path has implications for the present. PMID:16593078

  5. MOLECULAR DIVERSITY OF DRINKING WATER MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES: A PHYLOGENETIC APPROACH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Culture-based methods are traditionally used to determine microbiological quality of drinking water even though these methods are highly selective and tend to underestimate the densities and diversity bacterial populations inhabiting distribution systems. In order to better under...

  6. MOLECULAR DIVERSITY OF DRINKING WATER MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES: A PHYLOGENETIC APPROACH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Culture-based methods are traditionally used to determine microbiological quality of drinking water even though these methods are highly selective and tend to underestimate the densities and diversity bacterial populations inhabiting distribution systems. In order to better under...

  7. Molecular dynamics approach to dissipative relativistic hydrodynamics: Propagation of fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shahsavar, Leila; Ghodrat, Malihe; Montakhab, Afshin

    2016-12-01

    Relativistic generalization of hydrodynamic theory has attracted much attention from a theoretical point of view. However, it has many important practical applications in high energy as well as astrophysical contexts. Despite various attempts to formulate relativistic hydrodynamics, no definitive consensus has been achieved. In this work, we propose to test the predictions of four types of first-order hydrodynamic theories for nonperfect fluids in the light of numerically exact molecular dynamics simulations of a fully relativistic particle system in the low density regime. In this regard, we study the propagation of density, velocity, and heat fluctuations in a wide range of temperatures using extensive simulations and compare them to the corresponding analytic expressions we obtain for each of the proposed theories. As expected, in the low temperature classical regime all theories give the same results, consistent with the numerics. In the high temperature extremely relativistic regime, not all considered theories are distinguishable from one another. However, in the intermediate regime, a meaningful distinction exists in the predictions of various theories considered here. We find that the predictions of the recent formulation due to Tsumura, Kunihiro, and Ohnishi are more consistent with our numerical results than the traditional theories: the Meixner, modified Eckart, and modified Marle-Stewart theories.

  8. Cleaning graphene: A first quantum/classical molecular dynamics approach

    SciTech Connect

    Delfour, L.; Magaud, L. E-mail: laurence.magaud@grenoble.cnrs.fr

    2016-03-28

    Graphene outstanding properties created a huge interest in the condensed matter community and unprecedented fundings at the international scale in the hope of application developments. Recently, there have been several reports of incomplete removal of the polymer resists used to transfer as-grown graphene from one substrate to another, resulting in altered graphene transport properties. Finding a large-scale solution to clean graphene from adsorbed residues is highly desirable and one promising possibility would be to use hydrogen plasmas. In this spirit, we couple here quantum and classical molecular dynamics simulations to explore the kinetic energy ranges required by atomic hydrogen to selectively etch a simple residue—a CH{sub 3} group—without irreversibly damaging the graphene. For incident energies in the 2–15 eV range, the CH{sub 3} radical can be etched by forming a volatile CH{sub 4} compound which leaves the surface, either in the CH{sub 4} form or breaking into CH{sub 3} + H fragments, without further defect formation. At this energy, adsorption of H atoms on graphene is possible and further annealing will be required to recover pristine graphene.

  9. Molecular adjuvants and immunomodulators: new approaches to immunization.

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, A G

    1994-01-01

    Epitopes on microbial antigens responsible for protective immunity have begun to be identified and isolated, and their chemical structures have been determined. Ensuing knowledge of their weak immunizing capacity per se has led to an appreciation of the need for adjuvants to increase the immunogenicity of these low-molecular-weight synthetic structures. As such, a recent surge in adjuvant research has emerged. Accordingly, this review will highlight a number of those adjuvant substances whose activity in animals indicates a potential use in human vaccines. In addition, the potential of several well-defined substances, termed immunomodulators, which nonspecifically stimulate resistance of animals to multiple 50% lethal doses of microbial challenge is described. Among the most extensively characterized adjuvants of microbial origin discussed in detail are (i) the lipopolysaccharides isolated from gram-negative bacteria and their nontoxic analogs, (ii) the synthetic muramyl dipeptides and their multiple analogs, and (iii) the synthetic polyribonucleotide complexes, mimicking the interferon-inducing capacity of viruses. Discussed also are the heat-labile enterotoxin of Escherichia coli, the nonionic block copolymers, the saponins, a quinolamine derivative, and the hormone dihydroepiandrosterone. PMID:7923049

  10. Functional hypothesis on miraculin' sweetness by a molecular dynamics approach.

    PubMed

    Paladino, Antonella; Colonna, Giovanni; Facchiano, Angelo M; Costantini, Susan

    2010-06-04

    Miraculin differs from other sweet-tasting proteins because it is a taste-modifier having the unusual property of modifying sourness into sweetness. Its dimer is covalently linked by an inter-chain disulphide bond, and shows its taste-modifying activity at acidic pH, with maximum at pH 3.0, while it is flat at neutral pH. Previous studies suggested the importance of two histidine residues for the taste-modifying activity of miraculin. In this work, we have conducted molecular dynamics simulations on wild type miraculin and on three mutated dimers (H29A, H59A and H29A/H59A) both at neutral and acidic pH to investigate the structural and functional role of these two His residues. Our results suggested that at acidic pH the presence of two charged His at the interface induced a structural rearrangement of the two monomers, thus leading to their relative opening and the following adaptation of their conformation to the receptor surface. On the other hand the simulations on three mutants showed that the mutated dimers had a closed form, and highlighted the important role of H29 in stabilizing/destabilizing the dimer arrangement and also a cooperative effect of the two histidines. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Cleaning graphene: A first quantum/classical molecular dynamics approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delfour, L.; Davydova, A.; Despiau-Pujo, E.; Cunge, G.; Graves, D. B.; Magaud, L.

    2016-03-01

    Graphene outstanding properties created a huge interest in the condensed matter community and unprecedented fundings at the international scale in the hope of application developments. Recently, there have been several reports of incomplete removal of the polymer resists used to transfer as-grown graphene from one substrate to another, resulting in altered graphene transport properties. Finding a large-scale solution to clean graphene from adsorbed residues is highly desirable and one promising possibility would be to use hydrogen plasmas. In this spirit, we couple here quantum and classical molecular dynamics simulations to explore the kinetic energy ranges required by atomic hydrogen to selectively etch a simple residue—a CH3 group—without irreversibly damaging the graphene. For incident energies in the 2-15 eV range, the CH3 radical can be etched by forming a volatile CH4 compound which leaves the surface, either in the CH4 form or breaking into CH3 + H fragments, without further defect formation. At this energy, adsorption of H atoms on graphene is possible and further annealing will be required to recover pristine graphene.

  12. Avian schistosomes in French aquatic birds: a molecular approach.

    PubMed

    Jouet, D; Ferté, H; Hologne, C; Kaltenbach, M L; Depaquit, J

    2009-06-01

    The prevalence of human cercarial dermatitis (HCD) caused by bird schistosomes appears to be increasing in France, in light of the impact of tourism combined with high densities of wild aquatic hosts in freshwater areas. The present work expands our knowledge of schistosome systematics by including samples of bird schistosomes collected from their natural hosts in France. Heads (318) and viscera (81) of aquatic birds belonging to 16 species from five orders, collecting during the hunting seasons or found dead, were autopsied for nasal and visceral schistosomes. Eggs and/or adults were analysed by molecular methods using the D2 domain and the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS-2) region of rDNA to determine species. Even if nasal eggs were polymorphic according to the host, all haplotypes were similar to that of Trichobilharzia regenti. Marked diversity of visceral species was observed. Final hosts under natural conditions were reported. For the first time, Trichobilharzia franki is reported in its natural bird hosts, Anas platyrhynchos, Anas crecca, Aythya fuligula and Cygnus olor. We also identified T. szidati in A. crecca and Anas clypeata. Bilharziella polonica was found in six species of aquatic birds, including Grus grus. This finding is the first record of bird schistosomes in this aquatic bird. Three new taxa of visceral schistosomes in Anser anser are strongly suspected according to their haplotypes. Futhermore, a new haplotype of visceral schistosomes isolated in Cygnus olor and similar to Allobilharzia visceralis was identified.

  13. Nuclear structure and reactions in the fermionic molecular dynamics approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neff, T.; Feldmeier, H.

    2008-05-01

    The Fermionic Molecular Dynamics (FMD) model uses Gaussian wave packets as single-particle states. Intrinsic many-body basis states are constructed as Slater determinants which have to be projected on parity, angular momentum and total linear momentum to restore the symmetries of the Hamiltonian. The flexibility of the Gaussian basis allows to economically describe states with shell structures as well as states featuring clustering or halos. We use an effective interaction that is derived from the realistic Argonne V18 interaction by means of the Unitary Correlation Operator Method (UCOM). A phenomenological momentum-dependent two-body correction simulates contributions from missing three-body forces and three-body correlations. We discuss 12C with a special emphasis on the structure of the excited 0+ and 2+ states. We analyze the degree of α-clustering and confirm, taking inelastic electron scattering data into account, the conjecture that the Hoyle state has to be understood as a loosely bound system of alpha particles. We will also present first results on the application of FMD for the calculation of scattering phase shifts in 3He — 4He.

  14. Characterization of Sensory Properties of Flavanols - A Molecular Dynamic Approach.

    PubMed

    Ferrer-Gallego, Raúl; Quijada-Morín, Natalia; Brás, Natércia F; Gomes, Paula; de Freitas, Victor; Rivas-Gonzalo, Julián C; Escribano-Bailón, M Teresa

    2015-07-01

    In this work, sensations elicited by catechin and procyanidins in comparison with those elicited by gallocatechin and prodelphinidins were evaluated by means of a sensory panel. To obtain further insights into the mechanisms of action, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and saturation transfer difference nuclear magnetic resonance (STD NMR) experiments have been performed. Results showed clear differences between the 2 types of flavanols. Dihydroxylated B-ring flavanols were more astringent, bitter, dry, rough, unripe, and persistent than trihydroxylated B-ring ones. Besides, these last compounds were smoother, more velvety, and viscous. MD simulations and STD NMR experiments support results obtained from tasting panel. MD results suggested that catechin binds to a human salivary proline-rich peptide IB714 faster than gallocatechin and this interaction is maintained longer. IB714 can interact with 2 catechin molecules concurrently while only interacts with 1 gallocatechin molecule. Accordingly, STD NMR experiments showed a greater affinity of catechin than gallocatechin for the peptide (K D = 2.7 and 25.7, respectively). Results indicate that the number of hydroxyl substituents present in B-ring of the flavanic nucleus is decisive for the interaction with salivary proteins and the development of astringency perception.

  15. Generalized Molecular Descriptors Derived From Event-Based Discrete Derivative.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Santiago, Oscar; Cabrera, Reisel Millán; Marrero-Ponce, Yovani; Barigye, Stephen J; Le-Thi-Thu, Huong; Torres, F Javier; Zambrano, Cesar H; Yaber-Goenaga, Ivan; Cruz-Monteagudo, Maykel; López, Yoan Martínez; Giménez, Facundo Pérez; Torrens, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    In the present study, a generalized approach for molecular structure characterization is introduced, based on the relation frequency matrix (F) representation of the molecular graph and the subsequent calculation of the corresponding discrete derivative (finite difference) over a pair of elements (atoms). In earlier publications (22- 24), an unique event, named connected subgraphs, (based on the Kier-Hall's subgraphs) was systematically employed for the computation of the matrix F. The present report is a generalization of this notion, in which eleven additional events are introduced, classified in three categories, namely, topological (terminal paths, vertex path incidence, quantum subgraphs, walks of length k, Sach's subgraphs), fingerprints (MACCs, E-state and substructure fingerprints) and atomic contributions (Ghose and Crippen atom-types for hydrophobicity and refractivity) for F generation. The events are intended to capture diverse information by the generation or search of different kinds of substructures from the graph representation of a molecule. The discrete derivative over duplex atom relations are calculated for each event, and the resulting derivatives, local vertex invariants (LOVIs) are finally obtained. These LOVIs are subsequently employed as the basis for the calculation of global and local indices over groups of atoms (heteroatoms, halogens, methyl carbons, etc.), by using norms, means, statistics and classical algorithms as aggregator (fusion) operators. These indices were implemented in our house software DIVATI (Derivative Type Indices, a new module of TOMOCOMDCARDD system). DIVATI provides a friendly and cross-platform graphical user interface, developed in the Java programming language and is freely available at: http: //www.tomocomd.com. Factor analysis shows that the presented events are rather orthogonal and collect diverse information about the chemical structure. Finally, QSPR models were built to describe the logP and logK of 34

  16. Optimal separable bases and molecular collisions

    SciTech Connect

    Poirier, Lionel W.

    1997-12-01

    A new methodology is proposed for the efficient determination of Green`s functions and eigenstates for quantum systems of two or more dimensions. For a given Hamiltonian, the best possible separable approximation is obtained from the set of all Hilbert space operators. It is shown that this determination itself, as well as the solution of the resultant approximation, are problems of reduced dimensionality for most systems of physical interest. Moreover, the approximate eigenstates constitute the optimal separable basis, in the sense of self-consistent field theory. These distorted waves give rise to a Born series with optimized convergence properties. Analytical results are presented for an application of the method to the two-dimensional shifted harmonic oscillator system. The primary interest however, is quantum reactive scattering in molecular systems. For numerical calculations, the use of distorted waves corresponds to numerical preconditioning. The new methodology therefore gives rise to an optimized preconditioning scheme for the efficient calculation of reactive and inelastic scattering amplitudes, especially at intermediate energies. This scheme is particularly suited to discrete variable representations (DVR`s) and iterative sparse matrix methods commonly employed in such calculations. State to state and cumulative reactive scattering results obtained via the optimized preconditioner are presented for the two-dimensional collinear H + H2 → H2 + H system. Computational time and memory requirements for this system are drastically reduced in comparison with other methods, and results are obtained for previously prohibitive energy regimes.

  17. A Raman-based endoscopic strategy for multiplexed molecular imaging.

    PubMed

    Zavaleta, Cristina L; Garai, Ellis; Liu, Jonathan T C; Sensarn, Steven; Mandella, Michael J; Van de Sompel, Dominique; Friedland, Shai; Van Dam, Jacques; Contag, Christopher H; Gambhir, Sanjiv S

    2013-06-18

    Endoscopic imaging is an invaluable diagnostic tool allowing minimally invasive access to tissues deep within the body. It has played a key role in screening colon cancer and is credited with preventing deaths through the detection and removal of precancerous polyps. However, conventional white-light endoscopy offers physicians structural information without the biochemical information that would be advantageous for early detection and is essential for molecular typing. To address this unmet need, we have developed a unique accessory, noncontact, fiber optic-based Raman spectroscopy device that has the potential to provide real-time, multiplexed functional information during routine endoscopy. This device is ideally suited for detection of functionalized surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanoparticles as molecular imaging contrast agents. This device was designed for insertion through a clinical endoscope and has the potential to detect and quantify the presence of a multiplexed panel of tumor-targeting SERS nanoparticles. Characterization of the Raman instrument was performed with SERS particles on excised human tissue samples, and it has shown unsurpassed sensitivity and multiplexing capabilities, detecting 326-fM concentrations of SERS nanoparticles and unmixing 10 variations of colocalized SERS nanoparticles. Another unique feature of our noncontact Raman endoscope is that it has been designed for efficient use over a wide range of working distances from 1 to 10 mm. This is necessary to accommodate for imperfect centering during endoscopy and the nonuniform surface topology of human tissue. Using this endoscope as a key part of a multiplexed detection approach could allow endoscopists to distinguish between normal and precancerous tissues rapidly and to identify flat lesions that are otherwise missed.

  18. Identification of promising DNA GyrB inhibitors for Tuberculosis using pharmacophore-based virtual screening, molecular docking and molecular dynamics studies.

    PubMed

    Islam, Md Ataul; Pillay, Tahir S

    2017-01-21

    In this study, we searched for potential DNA GyrB inhibitors using pharmacophore-based virtual screening followed by molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation approaches. For this purpose, a set of 248 DNA GyrB inhibitors was collected from the literature and a well-validated pharmacophore model was generated. The best pharmacophore model explained that two each of hydrogen bond acceptors and hydrophobicity regions were critical for inhibition of DNA GyrB. Good statistical results of the pharmacophore model indicated that the model was robust in nature. Virtual screening of molecular databases revealed three molecules as potential antimycobacterial agents. The final screened promising compounds were evaluated in molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation studies. In the molecular dynamics studies, RMSD and RMSF values undoubtedly explained that the screened compounds formed stable complexes with DNA GyrB. Therefore, it can be concluded that the compounds identified may have potential for the treatment of TB.

  19. A modular hierarchy-based theory of the chemical origins of life based on molecular complementarity.

    PubMed

    Root-Bernstein, Robert

    2012-12-18

    Albert Szent-Gyorgyi once defined discovery as seeing what everyone else sees and thinking what no one else thinks. I often find that phenomena that are obvious to other people are not obvious to me. Molecular complementarity is one of these phenomena: while rare among any random set of compounds, it is ubiquitous in living systems. Because every molecule in a living system binds more or less specifically to several others, we now speak of "interactomes". What explains the ubiquity of molecular complementarity in living systems? What might such an explanation reveal about the chemical origins of life and the principles that have governed its evolution? Beyond this, what might complementarity tell us about the optimization of integrated systems in general? My research combines theoretical and experimental approaches to molecular complementarity relating to evolution from prebiotic chemical systems to superorganismal interactions. Experimentally, I have characterized complementarity involving specific binding between small molecules and explored how these small-molecule modules have been incorporated into macromolecular systems such as receptors and transporters. Several general principles have emerged from this research. Molecules that bind to each other almost always alter each other's physiological effects; and conversely, molecules that have antagonistic or synergistic physiological effects almost always bind to each other. This principle suggests a chemical link between biological structure and function. Secondly, modern biological systems contain an embedded molecular paleontology based on complementarity that can reveal their chemical origins. This molecular paleontology is often manifested through modules involving small, molecularly complementary subunits that are built into modern macromolecular structures such as receptors and transporters. A third principle is that complementary modules are conserved and repurposed at every stage of evolution. Molecular

  20. Molecular approach to identify antidiabetic potential of Azadirachta indica

    PubMed Central

    Satyanarayana, K.; Sravanthi, K.; Shaker, I. Anand; Ponnulakshmi, R.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Azadirachta indica (Neem) is a medicinal plant, used in Ayurveda for treating various diseases, one of which is diabetes mellitus. It is known to possess antiinflammatory, antipyretic, antimicrobial, antidiabetic and diverse pharmacological properties. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the effect of A. indica on insulin signal transduction and glucose homeostasis is obscure. Objective: The aim was to study the effects of A. indica aqueous leaf extract on the expression of insulin signaling molecules and glucose oxidation in target tissue of high-fat and fructose-induced type-2 diabetic male rat. Materials and Methods: The oral effective dose of A. indica leaf extract (400 mg/kg body weight [b.wt]) was given once daily for 30 days to high-fat diet-induced diabetic rats. At the end of the experimental period, fasting blood glucose, oral glucose tolerance, serum lipid profile, and the levels of insulin signaling molecules, glycogen, glucose oxidation in gastrocnemius muscle were assessed. Results: Diabetic rats showed impaired glucose tolerance and impairment in insulin signaling molecules (insulin receptor, insulin receptor substrate-1, phospho-IRS-1Tyr632, phospho-IRS-1Ser636, phospho-AktSer473, and glucose transporter 4 [GLUT4] proteins), glycogen concentration and glucose oxidation. The treatment with A. indica leaf extract normalized the altered levels of blood glucose, serum insulin, lipid profile and insulin signaling molecules as well as GLUT4 proteins at 400 mg/kg b.wt dose. Conclusion: It is concluded from the present study that A. indica may play a significant role in the management of type-2 diabetes mellitus, by improving the insulin signaling molecules and glucose utilization in the skeletal muscle. PMID:26604551

  1. Mechanical properties of particle systems using a molecular dynamics approach inspired by continuum homogenization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andia, Pedro C.

    The topic of this dissertation is the study of the mechanical properties of solid material systems at the nanoscale. At such length scales, materials can be viewed as particle systems, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations help one understand their behavior as well as quantify their properties. However, mechanical concepts such as strain, stress and moduli were originally developed in continuum models, which are typically applied in space scales that range from the microscopic to the macroscopic. For this reason, a careful translation of ideas from continuum scales to the nanoscale is necessary. In essence, this thesis reviews and refines the continuum notions of average mechanical properties, such as stress and strain, and the meaning of such notions when MD is used to compute them. A Lagrangian-based approach is utilized for the purpose of determining the stress-deformation behavior of continua as well as of particle systems. At the continuum level, the mentioned Lagrangian-based approach is applied within homogenization theory for developing a nonlinear continuum homogenization model, which includes a novel constitutive relation for the stress. At the nanoscale, an MD method is presented as the extension of the continuum homogenization model. This MD method is able to simulate the behavior of particle systems under a given type of deformation as well as to generate stress-strain curves. In the process of developing the MD method, some concepts and techniques commonly used in MD, such as the virial stress and the Parrinello-Rahman method, are clarified.

  2. Molecular genetic approaches to developing quality protein maize.

    PubMed

    Gibbon, Bryan C; Larkins, Brian A

    2005-04-01

    Since its development more than two decades ago, Quality Protein Maize (QPM) has been adopted for cultivation in many regions of the developing world. Given the potential benefits of widespread use of QPM, research to better understand the genetic and biochemical mechanisms responsible for its altered kernel texture and protein quality is important. Recent investigations into the improved protein quality of the opaque2 mutant and the genetic mechanisms that can suppress its starchy kernel phenotype provide new insights to support the continued improvement of QPM. Chief among these developments are the use of transgenic approaches to improve nutritional quality and the discovery that an important component of modified endosperm texture in QPM is related to altered starch granule structure.

  3. New approaches to addiction treatment based on learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Kiefer, Falk; Dinter, Christina

    2013-01-01

    Preclinical studies suggest that physiological learning processes are similar to changes observed in addicts at the molecular, neuronal, and structural levels. Based on the importance of classical and instrumental conditioning in the development and maintenance of addictive disorders, many have suggested cue-exposure-based extinction training of conditioned, drug-related responses as a potential new treatment of addiction. It may also be possible to facilitate this extinction training with pharmacological compounds that strengthen memory consolidation during cue exposure. Another potential therapeutic intervention would be based on the so-called reconsolidation theory. According to this hypothesis, already-consolidated memories return to a labile state when reactivated, allowing them to undergo another phase of consolidation-reconsolidation, which can be pharmacologically manipulated. These approaches suggest that the extinction of drug-related memories may represent a viable treatment strategy in the future treatment of addiction.

  4. MOLECULAR DIVERSITY OF DRINKING WATER MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES: A PHYLOGENETIC APPROACH

    EPA Science Inventory

    The microbiological quality of drinking water is assessed using culture-based methods that are highly selective and that tend to underestimate the densities and diversity of microbial populations inhabiting distribution systems. In order to better understand the effect of differe...

  5. MOLECULAR DIVERSITY OF DRINKING WATER MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES: A PHYLOGENETIC APPROACH

    EPA Science Inventory

    The microbiological quality of drinking water is assessed using culture-based methods that are highly selective and that tend to underestimate the densities and diversity of microbial populations inhabiting distribution systems. In order to better understand the effect of differe...

  6. Prospecting Environmental Mycobacteria: combined molecular approaches reveal unprecedented diversity

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Environmental mycobacteria (EM) include species commonly found in a variety of terrestrial and aquatic environments and encompass animal and human pathogens in addition to saprophytes. Approximately 150 EM species can be separated into fast and slow growers based on sequence and copy number differen...

  7. Systems Engineering Interfaces: A Model Based Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fosse, Elyse; Delp, Christopher

    2013-01-01

    Currently: Ops Rev developed and maintains a framework that includes interface-specific language, patterns, and Viewpoints. Ops Rev implements the framework to design MOS 2.0 and its 5 Mission Services. Implementation de-couples interfaces and instances of interaction Future: A Mission MOSE implements the approach and uses the model based artifacts for reviews. The framework extends further into the ground data layers and provides a unified methodology.

  8. Systems Engineering Interfaces: A Model Based Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fosse, Elyse; Delp, Christopher

    2013-01-01

    Currently: Ops Rev developed and maintains a framework that includes interface-specific language, patterns, and Viewpoints. Ops Rev implements the framework to design MOS 2.0 and its 5 Mission Services. Implementation de-couples interfaces and instances of interaction Future: A Mission MOSE implements the approach and uses the model based artifacts for reviews. The framework extends further into the ground data layers and provides a unified methodology.

  9. Possibility of gas sensor based on C20 molecular devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Wenkai; Yang, Chuanlu; Zou, Dongqing; Sun, Zhaopeng; Ji, Guomin

    2017-06-01

    We theoretically investigate the possibility of diatomic gas detection (NO, CO, O2) by making use of the transport properties of the C20 molecular junctions. The calculations are performed by using nonequilibrium Green's function (NEGF) formalism in combination with density functional theory (DFT). In this work, we systematically study the most stable adsorption structural configurations, adsorption energy, and the transport properties on C20 molecular junctions with these diatomic gas molecules. It is found that NO and O2 gas molecule can be detected selectively. We suggest its possibility of nanosensors for highly sensitive and selective based on C20 molecular junction systems.

  10. Field theoretic approach to dynamical orbital localization in ab initio molecular dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Jordan W.; Iftimie, Radu; Tuckerman, Mark E.

    2004-03-01

    Techniques from gauge-field theory are employed to derive an alternative formulation of the Car-Parrinello ab initio molecular-dynamics method that allows maximally localized Wannier orbitals to be generated dynamically as the calculation proceeds. In particular, the Car-Parrinello Lagrangian is mapped onto an SU(n) non-Abelian gauge-field theory and the fictitious kinetic energy in the Car-Parrinello Lagrangian is modified to yield a fully gauge-invariant form. The Dirac gauge-fixing method is then employed to derive a set of equations of motion that automatically maintain orbital locality by restricting the orbitals to remain in the “Wannier gauge.” An approximate algorithm for integrating the equations of motion that is stable and maintains orbital locality is then developed based on the exact equations of motion. It is shown in a realistic application (64 water molecules plus one hydrogen-chloride molecule in a periodic box) that orbital locality can be maintained with only a modest increase in CPU time. The ability to keep orbitals localized in an ab initio molecular-dynamics calculation is a crucial ingredient in the development of emerging linear scaling approaches.

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

    PubMed

    Durrant, James R

    2013-08-13

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

  12. Molecular complexity from polyunsaturated substrates: the gold catalysis approach.

    PubMed

    Fensterbank, Louis; Malacria, Max

    2014-03-18

    Over the last two decades, electrophilic catalysis relying on platinum(II), gold(I), and gold(III) salts has emerged as a remarkable synthetic methodology. Chemists have discovered a large variety of organic transformations that convert a great assortment of highly functionalized precursors into valuable final products. In many cases, these methodologies offer unique features, allowing access to unprecedented molecular architectures. Due to the mild reaction conditions and high function compatibility, scientists have successfully developed applications in total synthesis of natural products, as well as in asymmetric catalysis. In addition, all these developments have been accompanied by the invention of well-tailored catalysts, so that a palette of different electrophilic agents is now commercially available or readily synthesized at the bench. In some respects, researchers' interests in developing homogeneous gold catalysis can be compared with the Californian gold rush of the 19th century. It has attracted into its fervor thousands of scientists, providing a huge number of versatile and important reports. More notably, it is clear that the contribution to the art of organic synthesis is very valuable, though the quest is not over yet. Because they rely on the intervention of previously unknown types of intermediates, new retrosynthetic disconnections are now possible. In this Account, we discuss our efforts on the use of readily available polyunsaturated precursors, such as enynes, dienynes, allenynes, and allenenes to give access to highly original polycyclic structures in a single operation. These transformations transit via previously undescribed intermediates A, B, D, F, and H that will be encountered later on. All these intermediates have been determined by both ourselves and others by DFT calculations and in some cases have been confirmed on the basis of experimental data. In addition, dual gold activation can be at work in some of these transformations

  13. Molecular Approaches to Understanding C & N Dynamics in MArine Sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Arturo Massol; James Tiedje; Jizhong Zhou; Allan Devol

    2007-05-16

    Continental margin sediments constitute only about 10% of the total sediment surface area in the world’s oceans, nevertheless they are the dominant sites of nitrogen (N) cycling. Recent studies suggest that the oceanic nitrogen budget is unbalanced, primarily due to a higher nitrogen removal rate in contrast to the fixation rate, and it has been suggested that denitrification activity contributes significantly to this imbalance. Although denitrification in marine environments has been studied intensively at the process level, little is known about the species abundance, composition, distribution, and functional differences of the denitrifying population. Understanding the diversity of microbial populations in marine environments, their responses to various environmental factors such as NO3-, and how this impact the rate of denitrification is critical to predict global N dynamics. Environmental Microbiology has the prompt to study the influence of each microbial population on a biogeochemical process within a given ecosystem. Culture-dependent and –independent techniques using nucleic acid probes can access the identity and activity of cultured and uncultured microorganisms. Nucleic acid probes can target distintict genes which set phylogenetic relationships, such as rDNA 16S, DNA gyrase (gyrB) and RNA polymerase sigma 70 factor (rpoD). In the other hand, the genetic capabilities and their expression could be tracked using probes that target several functional genes, such as nirS, nirK, nosZ, and nifH, which are genes involved in denitrification. Selective detection of cells actively expressing functional genes within a community using In Situ Reverse Transcription-PCR (ISRT-PCR) could become a powerful culture-independent technique in microbial ecology. Here we describe an approach to study the expression of nirS genes in denitrifying bacteria. Pure cultures of Pseudomonas stutzeri and Paracoccus denitrificans, as well as co-cultures with non

  14. A molecular biological approach to reducing dietary amino acid needs.

    PubMed

    Rees, W D; Flint, H J; Fuller, M F

    1990-07-01

    Rapid developments in transgenic animal technology make it possible to consider introducing new metabolic capabilities into animals, using genes from other species. Lysine and threonine are both essential amino acids in mammals, and are commonly the first and second limiting amino acids, respectively, for protein accretion in pigs and poultry fed cereal based diets. Here we consider the potential for transgenic animals with microbial biosynthetic pathways for these amino acids.

  15. Steady shear flow thermodynamics based on a canonical distribution approach.

    PubMed

    Taniguchi, Tooru; Morriss, Gary P

    2004-11-01

    A nonequilibrium steady-state thermodynamics to describe shear flow is developed using a canonical distribution approach. We construct a canonical distribution for shear flow based on the energy in the moving frame using the Lagrangian formalism of the classical mechanics. From this distribution, we derive the Evans-Hanley shear flow thermodynamics, which is characterized by the first law of thermodynamics dE=TdS-Qdgamma relating infinitesimal changes in energy E, entropy S, and shear rate gamma with kinetic temperature T. Our central result is that the coefficient Q is given by Helfand's moment for viscosity. This approach leads to thermodynamic stability conditions for shear flow, one of which is equivalent to the positivity of the correlation function for Q. We show the consistency of this approach with the Kawasaki distribution function for shear flow, from which a response formula for viscosity is derived in the form of a correlation function for the time-derivative of Q. We emphasize the role of the external work required to sustain the steady shear flow in this approach, and show theoretically that the ensemble average of its power W must be non-negative. A nonequilibrium entropy, increasing in time, is introduced, so that the amount of heat based on this entropy is equal to the average of W. Numerical results from nonequilibrium molecular-dynamics simulation of two-dimensional many-particle systems with soft-core interactions are presented which support our interpretation.

  16. Sphingolipids: A Potential Molecular Approach to Treat Allergic Inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Wai Y.; Bonder, Claudine S.

    2012-01-01

    Allergic inflammation is an immune response to foreign antigens, which begins within minutes of exposure to the allergen followed by a late phase leading to chronic inflammation. Prolonged allergic inflammation manifests in diseases such as urticaria and rhino-conjunctivitis, as well as chronic asthma and life-threatening anaphylaxis. The prevalence of allergic diseases is profound with 25% of the worldwide population affected and a rising trend across all ages, gender, and racial groups. The identification and avoidance of allergens can manage this disease, but this is not always possible with triggers being common foods, prevalent air-borne particles and only extremely low levels of allergen exposure required for sensitization. Patients who are sensitive to multiple allergens require prophylactic and symptomatic treatments. Current treatments are often suboptimal and associated with adverse effects, such as the interruption of cognition, sleep cycles, and endocrine homeostasis, all of which affect quality of life and are a financial burden to society. Clearly, a better therapeutic approach for allergic diseases is required. Herein, we review the current knowledge of allergic inflammation and discuss the role of sphingolipids as potential targets to regulate inflammatory development in vivo and in humans. We also discuss the benefits and risks of using sphingolipid inhibitors. PMID:23316248

  17. A microfabrication-based approach to quantitative isothermal titration calorimetry.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bin; Jia, Yuan; Lin, Qiao

    2016-04-15

    Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) directly measures heat evolved in a chemical reaction to determine equilibrium binding properties of biomolecular systems. Conventional ITC instruments are expensive, use complicated design and construction, and require long analysis times. Microfabricated calorimetric devices are promising, although they have yet to allow accurate, quantitative ITC measurements of biochemical reactions. This paper presents a microfabrication-based approach to integrated, quantitative ITC characterization of biomolecular interactions. The approach integrates microfabricated differential calorimetric sensors with microfluidic titration. Biomolecules and reagents are introduced at each of a series of molar ratios, mixed, and allowed to react. The reaction thermal power is differentially measured, and used to determine the thermodynamic profile of the biomolecular interactions. Implemented in a microdevice featuring thermally isolated, well-defined reaction volumes with minimized fluid evaporation as well as highly sensitive thermoelectric sensing, the approach enables accurate and quantitative ITC measurements of protein-ligand interactions under different isothermal conditions. Using the approach, we demonstrate ITC characterization of the binding of 18-Crown-6 with barium chloride, and the binding of ribonuclease A with cytidine 2'-monophosphate within reaction volumes of approximately 0.7 µL and at concentrations down to 2mM. For each binding system, the ITC measurements were completed with considerably reduced analysis times and material consumption, and yielded a complete thermodynamic profile of the molecular interaction in agreement with published data. This demonstrates the potential usefulness of our approach for biomolecular characterization in biomedical applications.

  18. Molecular imaging biomarkers for cell-based immunotherapies.

    PubMed

    Haris, Mohammad; Bagga, Puneet; Hariharan, Hari; McGettigan-Croce, Bevin; Johnson, Laura A; Reddy, Ravinder

    2017-06-19

    While many decades of scientific research studies have gone into harnessing the power of the immune system to fight cancer, only recently have cancer immunotherapeutic approaches begun to show robust clinical responses in patients with a variety of cancers. These treatments are adding to the current arsenal of cancer treatments; surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, and increasing the therapeutic options for cancer patients. Despite these advances, issues associated with these therapies include that not all patients respond to these therapies, and some patients who respond experience varying degrees of toxicities. One of the major issues affecting immunotherapy is the inability to evaluate trafficking of activated T-cells into sites of tumor. The current diagnostic imaging based on conventional anatomic imaging, which is the mainstay to monitor response to cytotoxic chemotherapy or radiation, is not adequate to assess initial response to immunotherapy or disease evolution. Patients' prognosis by histological analysis has limited use in regards to immunotherapy. Thus, there is a crucial need for noninvasive biomarkers for screening patients that show long term response to therapy. Here, we provide a brief account of emerging molecular magnetic resonance imaging biomarkers that have potential to exploit the metabolism and metabolic products of activated T cells.

  19. Interfacial activation-based molecular bioimprinting of lipolytic enzymes.

    PubMed Central

    Mingarro, I; Abad, C; Braco, L

    1995-01-01

    Interfacial activation-based molecular (bio)-imprinting (IAMI) has been developed to rationally improve the performance of lipolytic enzymes in nonaqueous environments. The strategy combinedly exploits (i) the known dramatic enhancement of the protein conformational rigidity in a water-restricted milieu and (ii) the reported conformational changes associated with the activation of these enzymes at lipid-water interfaces, which basically involves an increased substrate accessibility to the active site and/or an induction of a more competent catalytic machinery. Six model enzymes have been assayed in several model reactions in nonaqueous media. The results, rationalized in light of the present biochemical and structural knowledge, show that the IAMI approach represents a straightforward, versatile method to generate manageable, activated (kinetically trapped) forms of lipolytic enzymes, providing under optimal conditions nonaqueous rate enhancements of up to two orders of magnitude. It is also shown that imprintability of lipolytic enzymes depends not only on the nature of the enzyme but also on the "quality" of the interface used as the template. PMID:7724558

  20. Interfacial activation-based molecular bioimprinting of lipolytic enzymes.

    PubMed

    Mingarro, I; Abad, C; Braco, L

    1995-04-11

    Interfacial activation-based molecular (bio)-imprinting (IAMI) has been developed to rationally improve the performance of lipolytic enzymes in nonaqueous environments. The strategy combinedly exploits (i) the known dramatic enhancement of the protein conformational rigidity in a water-restricted milieu and (ii) the reported conformational changes associated with the activation of these enzymes at lipid-water interfaces, which basically involves an increased substrate accessibility to the active site and/or an induction of a more competent catalytic machinery. Six model enzymes have been assayed in several model reactions in nonaqueous media. The results, rationalized in light of the present biochemical and structural knowledge, show that the IAMI approach represents a straightforward, versatile method to generate manageable, activated (kinetically trapped) forms of lipolytic enzymes, providing under optimal conditions nonaqueous rate enhancements of up to two orders of magnitude. It is also shown that imprintability of lipolytic enzymes depends not only on the nature of the enzyme but also on the "quality" of the interface used as the template.

  1. Molecular pincers: antibody-based homogeneous protein sensors.

    PubMed

    Heyduk, Ewa; Dummit, Benjamin; Chang, Yie-Hwa; Heyduk, Tomasz

    2008-07-01

    We describe here a new homogeneous antibody-based protein sensor design (molecular pincers) that allows rapid and sensitive detection of a specific protein in solution. In the presence of the target protein these sensors produce fluorescence signal derived from target-dependent annealing of short complementary fluorochrome-labeled oligonucleotides attached to a pair of target-specific antibodies via nanometer-scale flexible linkers. The sensors allow near-instantaneous detection of the target with sensitivity and specificity approaching that of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) but requiring no sample manipulation other then the addition of the sample to the sensor mix. We used cardiac troponin I and C-reactive protein as the targets to validate these desirable properties of the sensors. Due to the availability of antibodies to thousands of interesting targets and the straightforward design blueprint of the sensors we expect their wide-ranging applications in research and medical diagnosis, especially when simplicity, high throughput, and short detection time are essential.

  2. Alcoholism: a systems approach from molecular physiology to addictive behavior.

    PubMed

    Spanagel, Rainer

    2009-04-01

    Alcohol consumption is an integral part of daily life in many societies. The benefits associated with the production, sale, and use of alcoholic beverages come at an enormous cost to these societies. The World Health Organization ranks alcohol as one of the primary causes of the global burden of disease in industrialized countries. Alcohol-related diseases, especially alcoholism, are the result of cumulative responses to alcohol exposure, the genetic make-up of an individual, and the environmental perturbations over time. This complex gene x environment interaction, which has to be seen in a life-span perspective, leads to a large heterogeneity among alcohol-dependent patients, in terms of both the symptom dimensions and the severity of this disorder. Therefore, a reductionistic approach is not very practical if a better understanding of the pathological processes leading to an addictive behavior is to be achieved. Instead, a systems-oriented perspective in which the interactions and dynamics of all endogenous and environmental factors involved are centrally integrated, will lead to further progress in alcohol research. This review adheres to a systems biology perspective such that the interaction of alcohol with primary and secondary targets within the brain is described in relation to the behavioral consequences. As a result of the interaction of alcohol with these targets, alterations in gene expression and synaptic plasticity take place that lead to long-lasting alteration in neuronal network activity. As a subsequent consequence, alcohol-seeking responses ensue that can finally lead via complex environmental interactions to an addictive behavior.

  3. Thumbs down: a molecular-morphogenetic approach to avian digit homology.

    PubMed

    Capek, Daniel; Metscher, Brian D; Müller, Gerd B

    2014-01-01

    Avian forelimb digit homology remains one of the standard themes in comparative biology and EvoDevo research. In order to resolve the apparent contradictions between embryological and paleontological evidence a variety of hypotheses have been presented in recent years. The proposals range from excluding birds from the dinosaur clade, to assignments of homology by different criteria, or even assuming a hexadactyl tetrapod limb ground state. At present two approaches prevail: the frame shift hypothesis and the pyramid reduction hypothesis. While the former postulates a homeotic shift of digit identities, the latter argues for a gradual bilateral reduction of phalanges and digits. Here we present a new model that integrates elements from both hypotheses with the existing experimental and fossil evidence. We start from the main feature common to both earlier concepts, the initiating ontogenetic event: reduction and loss of the anterior-most digit. It is proposed that a concerted mechanism of molecular regulation and developmental mechanics is capable of shifting the boundaries of hoxD expression in embryonic forelimb buds as well as changing the digit phenotypes. Based on a distinction between positional (topological) and compositional (phenotypic) homology criteria, we argue that the identity of the avian digits is II, III, IV, despite a partially altered phenotype. Finally, we introduce an alternative digit reduction scheme that reconciles the current fossil evidence with the presented molecular-morphogenetic model. Our approach identifies specific experiments that allow to test whether gene expression can be shifted and digit phenotypes can be altered by induced digit loss or digit gain. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. An integrated approach to fast and informative morphological vouchering of nematodes for applications in molecular barcoding.

    PubMed

    De Ley, Paul; De Ley, Irma Tandingan; Morris, Krystalynne; Abebe, Eyualem; Mundo-Ocampo, Manuel; Yoder, Melissa; Heras, Joseph; Waumann, Dora; Rocha-Olivares, Axayácatl; Jay Burr, A H; Baldwin, James G; Thomas, W Kelley

    2005-10-29

    Molecular surveys of meiofaunal diversity face some interesting methodological challenges when it comes to interstitial nematodes from soils and sediments. Morphology-based surveys are greatly limited in processing speed, while barcoding approaches for nematodes are hampered by difficulties of matching sequence data with traditional taxonomy. Intermediate technology is needed to bridge the gap between both approaches. An example of such technology is video capture and editing microscopy, which consists of the recording of taxonomically informative multifocal series of microscopy images as digital video clips. The integration of multifocal imaging with sequence analysis of the D2D3 region of large subunit (LSU) rDNA is illustrated here in the context of a combined morphological and barcode sequencing survey of marine nematodes from Baja California and California. The resulting video clips and sequence data are made available online in the database NemATOL (http://nematol.unh.edu/). Analyses of 37 barcoded nematodes suggest that these represent at least 32 species, none of which matches available D2D3 sequences in public databases. The recorded multifocal vouchers allowed us to identify most specimens to genus, and will be used to match specimens with subsequent species identifications and descriptions of preserved specimens. Like molecular barcodes, multifocal voucher archives are part of a wider effort at structuring and changing the process of biodiversity discovery. We argue that data-rich surveys and phylogenetic tools for analysis of barcode sequences are an essential component of the exploration of phyla with a high fraction of undiscovered species. Our methods are also directly applicable to other meiofauna such as for example gastrotrichs and tardigrades.

  5. An integrated approach to fast and informative morphological vouchering of nematodes for applications in molecular barcoding

    PubMed Central

    De Ley, Paul; De Ley, Irma Tandingan; Morris, Krystalynne; Abebe, Eyualem; Mundo-Ocampo, Manuel; Yoder, Melissa; Heras, Joseph; Waumann, Dora; Rocha-Olivares, Axayácatl; Jay Burr, A.H; Baldwin, James G; Thomas, W. Kelley

    2005-01-01

    Molecular surveys of meiofaunal diversity face some interesting methodological challenges when it comes to interstitial nematodes from soils and sediments. Morphology-based surveys are greatly limited in processing speed, while barcoding approaches for nematodes are hampered by difficulties of matching sequence data with traditional taxonomy. Intermediate technology is needed to bridge the gap between both approaches. An example of such technology is video capture and editing microscopy, which consists of the recording of taxonomically informative multifocal series of microscopy images as digital video clips. The integration of multifocal imaging with sequence analysis of the D2D3 region of large subunit (LSU) rDNA is illustrated here in the context of a combined morphological and barcode sequencing survey of marine nematodes from Baja California and California. The resulting video clips and sequence data are made available online in the database NemATOL (http://nematol.unh.edu/). Analyses of 37 barcoded nematodes suggest that these represent at least 32 species, none of which matches available D2D3 sequences in public databases. The recorded multifocal vouchers allowed us to identify most specimens to genus, and will be used to match specimens with subsequent species identifications and descriptions of preserved specimens. Like molecular barcodes, multifocal voucher archives are part of a wider effort at structuring and changing the process of biodiversity discovery. We argue that data-rich surveys and phylogenetic tools for analysis of barcode sequences are an essential component of the exploration of phyla with a high fraction of undiscovered species. Our methods are also directly applicable to other meiofauna such as for example gastrotrichs and tardigrades. PMID:16214752

  6. A quantitative comparison between the flow factor approach model and the molecular dynamics simulation results for the flow of a confined molecularly thin fluid film

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yongbin

    2015-06-01

    Quantitative comparisons were made between the flow factor approach model and the molecular dynamics simulation (MDS) results both of which describe the flow of a molecularly thin fluid film confined between two solid walls. Although these two approaches, respectively, calculate the flow of a confined molecularly thin fluid film by different ways, very good agreements were found between them when the Couette and Poiseuille flows, respectively, calculated from them were compared. It strongly indicates the validity of the flow factor approach model in modeling the flow of a confined molecularly thin fluid film.

  7. Practical Approaches for Mining Frequent Patterns in Molecular Datasets

    PubMed Central

    Naulaerts, Stefan; Moens, Sandy; Engelen, Kristof; Berghe, Wim Vanden; Goethals, Bart; Laukens, Kris; Meysman, Pieter

    2016-01-01

    Pattern detection is an inherent task in the analysis and interpretation of complex and continuously accumulating biological data. Numerous itemset mining algorithms have been developed in the last decade to efficiently detect specific pattern classes in data. Although many of these have proven their value for addressing bioinformatics problems, several factors still slow down promising algorithms from gaining popularity in the life science community. Many of these issues stem from the low user-friendliness of these tools and the complexity of their output, which is often large, static, and consequently hard to interpret. Here, we apply three software implementations on common bioinformatics problems and illustrate some of the advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as inherent pitfalls of biological data mining. Frequent itemset mining exists in many different flavors, and users should decide their software choice based on their research question, programming proficiency, and added value of extra features. PMID:27168722

  8. Practical Approaches for Mining Frequent Patterns in Molecular Datasets.

    PubMed

    Naulaerts, Stefan; Moens, Sandy; Engelen, Kristof; Berghe, Wim Vanden; Goethals, Bart; Laukens, Kris; Meysman, Pieter

    2016-01-01

    Pattern detection is an inherent task in the analysis and interpretation of complex and continuously accumulating biological data. Numerous itemset mining algorithms have been developed in the last decade to efficiently detect specific pattern classes in data. Although many of these have proven their value for addressing bioinformatics problems, several factors still slow down promising algorithms from gaining popularity in the life science community. Many of these issues stem from the low user-friendliness of these tools and the complexity of their output, which is often large, static, and consequently hard to interpret. Here, we apply three software implementations on common bioinformatics problems and illustrate some of the advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as inherent pitfalls of biological data mining. Frequent itemset mining exists in many different flavors, and users should decide their software choice based on their research question, programming proficiency, and added value of extra features.

  9. Matched filter based iterative adaptive approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nepal, Ramesh; Zhang, Yan Rockee; Li, Zhengzheng; Blake, William

    2016-05-01

    Matched Filter sidelobes from diversified LPI waveform design and sensor resolution are two important considerations in radars and active sensors in general. Matched Filter sidelobes can potentially mask weaker targets, and low sensor resolution not only causes a high margin of error but also limits sensing in target-rich environment/ sector. The improvement in those factors, in part, concern with the transmitted waveform and consequently pulse compression techniques. An adaptive pulse compression algorithm is hence desired that can mitigate the aforementioned limitations. A new Matched Filter based Iterative Adaptive Approach, MF-IAA, as an extension to traditional Iterative Adaptive Approach, IAA, has been developed. MF-IAA takes its input as the Matched Filter output. The motivation here is to facilitate implementation of Iterative Adaptive Approach without disrupting the processing chain of traditional Matched Filter. Similar to IAA, MF-IAA is a user parameter free, iterative, weighted least square based spectral identification algorithm. This work focuses on the implementation of MF-IAA. The feasibility of MF-IAA is studied using a realistic airborne radar simulator as well as actual measured airborne radar data. The performance of MF-IAA is measured with different test waveforms, and different Signal-to-Noise (SNR) levels. In addition, Range-Doppler super-resolution using MF-IAA is investigated. Sidelobe reduction as well as super-resolution enhancement is validated. The robustness of MF-IAA with respect to different LPI waveforms and SNR levels is also demonstrated.

  10. MicroRNA Detection Using a Double Molecular Beacon Approach: Distinguishing Between miRNA and Pre-miRNA.

    PubMed

    James, Amanda Marie; Baker, Meredith B; Bao, Gang; Searles, Charles D

    2017-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, noncoding RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression and are recognized for their roles both as modulators of disease progression and as biomarkers of disease activity, including neurological diseases, cancer, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Commonly, miRNA abundance is assessed using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), however, qRT-PCR for miRNA can be labor intensive, time consuming, and may lack specificity for detection of mature versus precursor forms of miRNA. Here, we describe a novel double molecular beacon approach to miRNA assessment that can distinguish and quantify mature versus precursor forms of miRNA in a single assay, an essential feature for use of miRNAs as biomarkers for disease. Using this approach, we found that molecular beacons with DNA or combined locked nucleic acid (LNA)-DNA backbones can detect mature and precursor miRNAs (pre-miRNAs) of low (< 1 nM) abundance in vitro. The double molecular beacon assay was accurate in assessing miRNA abundance in a sample containing a mixed population of mature and precursor miRNAs. In contrast, qRT-PCR and the single molecular beacon assay overestimated miRNA abundance. Additionally, the double molecular beacon assay was less labor intensive than traditional qRT-PCR and had 10-25% increased specificity. Our data suggest that the double molecular beacon-based approach is more precise and specific than previous methods, and has the promise of being the standard for assessing miRNA levels in biological samples.

  11. MicroRNA Detection Using a Double Molecular Beacon Approach: Distinguishing Between miRNA and Pre-miRNA

    PubMed Central

    James, Amanda Marie; Baker, Meredith B.; Bao, Gang; Searles, Charles D.

    2017-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, noncoding RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression and are recognized for their roles both as modulators of disease progression and as biomarkers of disease activity, including neurological diseases, cancer, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Commonly, miRNA abundance is assessed using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), however, qRT-PCR for miRNA can be labor intensive, time consuming, and may lack specificity for detection of mature versus precursor forms of miRNA. Here, we describe a novel double molecular beacon approach to miRNA assessment that can distinguish and quantify mature versus precursor forms of miRNA in a single assay, an essential feature for use of miRNAs as biomarkers for disease. Using this approach, we found that molecular beacons with DNA or combined locked nucleic acid (LNA)-DNA backbones can detect mature and precursor miRNAs (pre-miRNAs) of low (< 1 nM) abundance in vitro. The double molecular beacon assay was accurate in assessing miRNA abundance in a sample containing a mixed population of mature and precursor miRNAs. In contrast, qRT-PCR and the single molecular beacon assay overestimated miRNA abundance. Additionally, the double molecular beacon assay was less labor intensive than traditional qRT-PCR and had 10-25% increased specificity. Our data suggest that the double molecular beacon-based approach is more precise and specific than previous methods, and has the promise of being the standard for assessing miRNA levels in biological samples. PMID:28255356

  12. Electronic transport properties of a quinone-based molecular switch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Ya-Peng; Bian, Bao-An; Yuan, Pei-Pei

    2016-09-01

    In this paper, we carried out first-principles calculations based on density functional theory and non-equilibrium Green's function to investigate the electronic transport properties of a quinone-based molecule sandwiched between two Au electrodes. The molecular switch can be reversibly switched between the reduced hydroquinone (HQ) and oxidized quinone (Q) states via redox reactions. The switching behavior of two forms is analyzed through their I- V curves, transmission spectra and molecular projected self-consistent Hamiltonian at zero bias. Then we discuss the transmission spectra of the HQ and Q forms at different bias, and explain the oscillation of current according to the transmission eigenstates of LUMO energy level for Q form. The results suggest that this kind of a quinone-based molecule is usable as one of the good candidates for redox-controlled molecular switches.

  13. Object recognition approach based on feature fusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Runsheng

    2001-09-01

    Multi-sensor information fusion plays an important pole in object recognition and many other application fields. Fusion performance is tightly depended on the fusion level selected and the approach used. Feature level fusion is a potential and difficult fusion level though there might be mainly three fusion levels. Two schemes are developed for key issues of feature level fusion in this paper. In feature selecting, a normal method developed is to analyze the mutual relationship among the features that can be used, and to be applied to order features. In object recognition, a multi-level recognition scheme is developed, whose procedure can be controlled and updated by analyzing the decision result obtained in order to achieve a final reliable result. The new approach is applied to recognize work-piece objects with twelve classes in optical images and open-country objects with four classes based on infrared image sequence and MMW radar. Experimental results are satisfied.

  14. Molecular tailoring approach for geometry optimization of large molecules: energy evaluation and parallelization strategies.

    PubMed

    Ganesh, V; Dongare, Rameshwar K; Balanarayan, P; Gadre, Shridhar R

    2006-09-14

    A linear-scaling scheme for estimating the electronic energy, gradients, and Hessian of a large molecule at ab initio level of theory based on fragment set cardinality is presented. With this proposition, a general, cardinality-guided molecular tailoring approach (CG-MTA) for ab initio geometry optimization of large molecules is implemented. The method employs energy gradients extracted from fragment wave functions, enabling computations otherwise impractical on PC hardware. Further, the method is readily amenable to large scale coarse-grain parallelization with minimal communication among nodes, resulting in a near-linear speedup. CG-MTA is applied for density-functional-theory-based geometry optimization of a variety of molecules including alpha-tocopherol, taxol, gamma-cyclodextrin, and two conformations of polyglycine. In the tests performed, energy and gradient estimates obtained from CG-MTA during optimization runs show an excellent agreement with those obtained from actual computation. Accuracy of the Hessian obtained employing CG-MTA provides good hope for the application of Hessian-based geometry optimization to large molecules.

  15. Molecular tailoring approach for geometry optimization of large molecules: Energy evaluation and parallelization strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ganesh, V.; Dongare, Rameshwar K.; Balanarayan, P.; Gadre, Shridhar R.

    2006-09-01

    A linear-scaling scheme for estimating the electronic energy, gradients, and Hessian of a large molecule at ab initio level of theory based on fragment set cardinality is presented. With this proposition, a general, cardinality-guided molecular tailoring approach (CG-MTA) for ab initio geometry optimization of large molecules is implemented. The method employs energy gradients extracted from fragment wave functions, enabling computations otherwise impractical on PC hardware. Further, the method is readily amenable to large scale coarse-grain parallelization with minimal communication among nodes, resulting in a near-linear speedup. CG-MTA is applied for density-functional-theory-based geometry optimization of a variety of molecules including α-tocopherol, taxol, γ-cyclodextrin, and two conformations of polyglycine. In the tests performed, energy and gradient estimates obtained from CG-MTA during optimization runs show an excellent agreement with those obtained from actual computation. Accuracy of the Hessian obtained employing CG-MTA provides good hope for the application of Hessian-based geometry optimization to large molecules.

  16. Molecular and systems approaches towards drought-tolerant canola crops.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Mengmeng; Monroe, J Grey; Suhail, Yasir; Villiers, Florent; Mullen, Jack; Pater, Dianne; Hauser, Felix; Jeon, Byeong Wook; Bader, Joel S; Kwak, June M; Schroeder, Julian I; McKay, John K; Assmann, Sarah M

    2016-06-01

    1169 I. 1170 II. 1170 III. 1172 IV. 1176 V. 1181 VI. 1182 1183 References 1183 SUMMARY: Modern agriculture is facing multiple challenges including the necessity for a substantial increase in production to meet the needs of a burgeoning human population. Water shortage is a deleterious consequence of both population growth and climate change and is one of the most severe factors limiting global crop productivity. Brassica species, particularly canola varieties, are cultivated worldwide for edible oil, animal feed, and biodiesel, and suffer dramatic yield loss upon drought stress. The recent release of the Brassica napus genome supplies essential genetic information to facilitate identification of drought-related genes and provides new information for agricultural improvement in this species. Here we summarize current knowledge regarding drought responses of canola, including physiological and -omics effects of drought. We further discuss knowledge gained through translational biology based on discoveries in the closely related reference species Arabidopsis thaliana and through genetic strategies such as genome-wide association studies and analysis of natural variation. Knowledge of drought tolerance/resistance responses in canola together with research outcomes arising from new technologies and methodologies will inform novel strategies for improvement of drought tolerance and yield in this and other important crop species.

  17. Progress in molecular-based management of differentiated thyroid cancer

    PubMed Central

    Xing, Mingzhao; Haugen, Bryan R; Schlumberger, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Substantial developments have occurred in the past 5–10 years in clinical translational research of thyroid cancer. Diagnostic molecular markers, such as RET-PTC, RAS, and BRAFV600E mutations; galectin 3; and a new gene expression classifier, are outstanding examples that have improved diagnosis of thyroid nodules. BRAF mutation is a prognostic genetic marker that has improved risk stratification and hence tailored management of patients with thyroid cancer, including those with conventionally low risks. Novel molecular-targeted treatments hold great promise for radioiodine-refractory and surgically inoperable thyroid cancers as shown in clinical trials; such treatments are likely to become a component of the standard treatment regimen for patients with thyroid cancer in the near future. These novel molecular-based management strategies for thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer are the most exciting developments in this unprecedented era of molecular thyroid-cancer medicine. PMID:23668556

  18. Mass Spectrometry Based Molecular 3D-Cartography of Plant Metabolites.

    PubMed

    Floros, Dimitrios J; Petras, Daniel; Kapono, Clifford A; Melnik, Alexey V; Ling, Tie-Jun; Knight, Rob; Dorrestein, Pieter C

    2017-01-01

    Plants play an essential part in global carbon fixing through photosynthesis and are the primary food and energy source for humans. Understanding them thoroughly is therefore of highest interest for humanity. Advances in DNA and RNA sequencing and in protein and metabolite analysis allow the systematic description of plant composition at the molecular level. With imaging mass spectrometry, we can now add a spatial level, typically in the micrometer-to-centimeter range, to their compositions, essential for a detailed molecular understanding. Here we present an LC-MS based approach for 3D plant imaging, which is scalable and allows the analysis of entire plants. We applied this approach in a case study to pepper and tomato plants. Together with MS/MS spectra library matching and spectral networking, this non-targeted workflow provides the highest sensitivity and selectivity for the molecular annotations and imaging of plants, laying the foundation for studies of plant metabolism and plant-environment interactions.

  19. Charge and energy migration in molecular clusters: A stochastic Schrödinger equation approach.

    PubMed

    Plehn, Thomas; May, Volkhard

    2017-01-21

    The performance of stochastic Schrödinger equations for simulating dynamic phenomena in large scale open quantum systems is studied. Going beyond small system sizes, commonly used master equation approaches become inadequate. In this regime, wave function based methods profit from their inherent scaling benefit and present a promising tool to study, for example, exciton and charge carrier dynamics in huge and complex molecular structures. In the first part of this work, a strict analytic derivation is presented. It starts with the finite temperature reduced density operator expanded in coherent reservoir states and ends up with two linear stochastic Schrödinger equations. Both equations are valid in the weak and intermediate coupling limit and can be properly related to two existing approaches in literature. In the second part, we focus on the numerical solution of these equations. The main issue is the missing norm conservation of the wave function propagation which may lead to numerical discrepancies. To illustrate this, we simulate the exciton dynamics in the Fenna-Matthews-Olson complex in direct comparison with the data from literature. Subsequently a strategy for the proper computational handling of the linear stochastic Schrödinger equation is exposed particularly with regard to large systems. Here, we study charge carrier transfer kinetics in realistic hybrid organic/inorganic para-sexiphenyl/ZnO systems of different extension.

  20. Charge and energy migration in molecular clusters: A stochastic Schrödinger equation approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plehn, Thomas; May, Volkhard

    2017-01-01

    The performance of stochastic Schrödinger equations for simulating dynamic phenomena in large scale open quantum systems is studied. Going beyond small system sizes, commonly used master equation approaches become inadequate. In this regime, wave function based methods profit from their inherent scaling benefit and present a promising tool to study, for example, exciton and charge carrier dynamics in huge and complex molecular structures. In the first part of this work, a strict analytic derivation is presented. It starts with the finite temperature reduced density operator expanded in coherent reservoir states and ends up with two linear stochastic Schrödinger equations. Both equations are valid in the weak and intermediate coupling limit and can be properly related to two existing approaches in literature. In the second part, we focus on the numerical solution of these equations. The main issue is the missing norm conservation of the wave function propagation which may lead to numerical discrepancies. To illustrate this, we simulate the exciton dynamics in the Fenna-Matthews-Olson complex in direct comparison with the data from literature. Subsequently a strategy for the proper computational handling of the linear stochastic Schrödinger equation is exposed particularly with regard to large systems. Here, we study charge carrier transfer kinetics in realistic hybrid organic/inorganic para-sexiphenyl/ZnO systems of different extension.

  1. Biomedicinals from the phytosymbionts of marine invertebrates: a molecular approach.

    PubMed

    Dunlap, Walter C; Battershill, Christopher N; Liptrot, Catherine H; Cobb, Rosemary E; Bourne, David G; Jaspars, Marcel; Long, Paul F; Newman, David J

    2007-08-01

    Marine invertebrate animals such as sponges, gorgonians, tunicates and bryozoans are sources of biomedicinally relevant natural products, a small but growing number of which are advancing through clinical trials. Most metazoan and anthozoan species harbour commensal microorganisms that include prokaryotic bacteria, cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), eukaryotic microalgae, and fungi within host tissues where they reside as extra- and intra-cellular symbionts. In some sponges these associated microbes may constitute as much as 40% of the holobiont volume. There is now abundant evidence to suggest that a significant portion of the bioactive metabolites thought originally to be products of the source animal are often synthesized by their symbiotic microbiota. Several anti-cancer metabolites from marine sponges that have progressed to pre-clinical or clinical-trial phases, such as discodermolide, halichondrin B and bryostatin 1, are thought to be products derived from their microbiotic consortia. Freshwater and marine cyanobacteria are well recognised for producing numerous and structurally diverse bioactive and cytotoxic secondary metabolites suited to drug discovery. Sea sponges often contain dominant taxa-specific populations of cyanobacteria, and it is these phytosymbionts (= photosymbionts) that are considered to be the true biogenic source of a number of pharmacologically active polyketides and nonribosomally synthesized peptides produced within the sponge. Accordingly, new collections can be pre-screened in the field for the presence of phytobionts and, together with metagenomic screening using degenerate PCR primers to identify key polyketide synthase (PKS) and nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) genes, afford a biodiscovery rationale based on the therapeutic prospects of phytochemical selection. Additionally, new cloning and biosynthetic expression strategies may provide a sustainable method for the supply of new pharmaceuticals derived from the uncultured

  2. A clinically applicable molecular-based classification for endometrial cancers.

    PubMed

    Talhouk, A; McConechy, M K; Leung, S; Li-Chang, H H; Kwon, J S; Melnyk, N; Yang, W; Senz, J; Boyd, N; Karnezis, A N; Huntsman, D G; Gilks, C B; McAlpine, J N

    2015-07-14

    Classification of endometrial carcinomas (ECs) by morphologic features is inconsistent, and yields limited prognostic and predictive information. A new system for classification based on the molecular categories identified in The Cancer Genome Atlas is proposed. Genomic data from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) support classification of endometrial carcinomas into four prognostically significant subgroups; we used the TCGA data set to develop surrogate assays that could replicate the TCGA classification, but without the need for the labor-intensive and cost-prohibitive genomic methodology. Combinations of the most relevant assays were carried forward and tested on a new independent cohort of 152 endometrial carcinoma cases, and molecular vs clinical risk group stratification was compared. Replication of TCGA survival curves was achieved with statistical significance using multiple different molecular classification models (16 total tested). Internal validation supported carrying forward a classifier based on the following components: mismatch repair protein immunohistochemistry, POLE mutational analysis and p53 immunohistochemistry as a surrogate for 'copy-number' status. The proposed molecular classifier was associated with clinical outcomes, as was stage, grade, lymph-vascular space invasion, nodal involvement and adjuvant treatment. In multivariable analysis both molecular classification and clinical risk groups were associated with outcomes, but differed greatly in composition of cases within each category, with half of POLE and mismatch repair loss subgroups residing within the clinically defined 'high-risk' group. Combining the molecular classifier with clinicopathologic features or risk groups provided the highest C-index for discrimination of outcome survival curves. Molecular classification of ECs can be achieved using clinically applicable methods on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples, and provides independent prognostic information beyond

  3. MrGrid: A Portable Grid Based Molecular Replacement Pipeline

    PubMed Central

    Reboul, Cyril F.; Androulakis, Steve G.; Phan, Jennifer M. N.; Whisstock, James C.; Goscinski, Wojtek J.; Abramson, David; Buckle, Ashley M.

    2010-01-01

    Background The crystallographic determination of protein structures can be computationally demanding and for difficult cases can benefit from user-friendly interfaces to high-performance computing resources. Molecular replacement (MR) is a popular protein crystallographic technique that exploits the structural similarity between proteins that share some sequence similarity. But the need to trial permutations of search models, space group symmetries and other parameters makes MR time- and labour-intensive. However, MR calculations are embarrassingly parallel and thus ideally suited to distributed computing. In order to address this problem we have developed MrGrid, web-based software that allows multiple MR calculations to be executed across a grid of networked computers, allowing high-throughput MR. Methodology/Principal Findings MrGrid is a portable web based application written in Java/JSP and Ruby, and taking advantage of Apple Xgrid technology. Designed to interface with a user defined Xgrid resource the package manages the distribution of multiple MR runs to the available nodes on the Xgrid. We evaluated MrGrid using 10 different protein test cases on a network of 13 computers, and achieved an average speed up factor of 5.69. Conclusions MrGrid enables the user to retrieve and manage the results of tens to hundreds of MR calculations quickly and via a single web interface, as well as broadening the range of strategies that can be attempted. This high-throughput approach allows parameter sweeps to be performed in parallel, improving the chances of MR success. PMID:20386612

  4. Hierarchical QSAR technology based on the Simplex representation of molecular structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuz'min, V. E.; Artemenko, A. G.; Muratov, E. N.

    2008-06-01

    This article is about the hierarchical quantitative structure-activity relationship technology (HiT QSAR) based on the Simplex representation of molecular structure (SiRMS) and its application for different QSAR/QSP(property)R tasks. The essence of this technology is a sequential solution (with the use of the information obtained on the previous steps) to the QSAR problem by the series of enhanced models of molecular structure description [from one dimensional (1D) to four dimensional (4D)]. It is a system of permanently improved solutions. In the SiRMS approach, every molecule is represented as a system of different simplexes (tetratomic fragments with fixed composition, structure, chirality and symmetry). The level of simplex descriptors detailing increases consecutively from the 1D to 4D representation of the molecular structure. The advantages of the approach reported here are the absence of "molecular alignment" problems, consideration of different physical-chemical properties of atoms (e.g. charge, lipophilicity, etc.), the high adequacy and good interpretability of obtained models and clear ways for molecular design. The efficiency of the HiT QSAR approach is demonstrated by comparing it with the most popular modern QSAR approaches on two representative examination sets. The examples of successful application of the HiT QSAR for various QSAR/QSPR investigations on the different levels (1D-4D) of the molecular structure description are also highlighted. The reliability of developed QSAR models as predictive virtual screening tools and their ability to serve as the base of directed drug design was validated by subsequent synthetic and biological experiments, among others. The HiT QSAR is realized as a complex of computer programs known as HiT QSAR software that also includes a powerful statistical block and a number of useful utilities.

  5. Is liquid-based cytology the magic bullet for performing molecular techniques?

    PubMed

    Abedi-Ardekani, Behnoush; Vielh, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    The role of pathology has evolved from the first microscopic definitions of diseases by Virchow to the new concept of molecular cytopathology. The management of diseases is now a multidisciplinary approach with the translation of morphological, imagery and molecular findings to therapeutic protocols. Obtaining the most reliable diagnostic material is the essential part of the medical management of patients. Here, we try to gain a concise insight into the available data regarding the role of cytology in the application of molecular techniques, focusing on cancer cytopathology. Obtaining cytological material is now feasible by different methods, and in some cases it is the only possible approach to a lesion which is not easily accessible for tissue sampling. The methods of obtaining cytological material have evolved in recent years in parallel with rapid advances in high-throughput molecular techniques, opening new windows for the diagnosis and management of diseases. Different kinds of cytological material are reliable for the application of molecular techniques. Cytological material obtained in a liquid base has advantages such as the better preservation of cytomorphological features and the use of the remaining liquid for nucleic acid extraction even after long storage and the application of molecular methods.

  6. [New strategies in the clinical evaluation of patients with colon cancer based on molecular studies].

    PubMed

    Panduro, A; Morales, L; Santos, A; Valdés, L; Lima, G; Meléndez, J; Cabrera, G; Maldonado, V; Villalobos, J J

    1993-01-01

    During the last five years molecular studies allowed important advances in the knowledge of cancer colon with important clinical implications. The main finding was the identification and sequence analysis of the APC gen. Structural alterations of this gene have been detected in patients with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis and Gardner syndrome, which suggest a common disease. Furthermore, alterations of the APC gen appears to be also altered in cases of cancer of colon sporadic. Indicating that structural alteration of the APC gen can be inherited and/or acquired. Restriction fragment-length polymorphisms in the chromosome 5q21-22 can now be used clinically for premorbid diagnosis and counseling in familial adenomatous polyposis. The molecular studies allow the clinician to have a new approach in the management and screening of families with familial adenomatous polyposis. The sequence analysis and specific identification of the structural alteration of the APC gene is a more expensive and sophisticated study, although represent a more direct approach. In the Department of Gastroenterology of the INNSZ we are performing such molecular studies. The main purpose of our group is to proportionate integral clinical-molecular studies for families with hereditary colon cancer, create a national register of these diseases and investigate the molecular bases in order to generate new molecular diagnosis tools.

  7. Atomic Spectral Methods for Ab Initio Molecular Electronic Energy Surfaces: Transitioning From Small-Molecule to Biomolecular-Suitable Approaches.

    PubMed

    Mills, Jeffrey D; Ben-Nun, Michal; Rollin, Kyle; Bromley, Michael W J; Li, Jiabo; Hinde, Robert J; Winstead, Carl L; Sheehy, Jeffrey A; Boatz, Jerry A; Langhoff, Peter W

    2016-08-25

    Continuing attention has addressed incorportation of the electronically dynamical attributes of biomolecules in the largely static first-generation molecular-mechanical force fields commonly employed in molecular-dynamics simulations. We describe here a universal quantum-mechanical approach to calculations of the electronic energy surfaces of both small molecules and large aggregates on a common basis which can include such electronic attributes, and which also seems well-suited to adaptation in ab initio molecular-dynamics applications. In contrast to the more familiar orbital-product-based methodologies employed in traditional small-molecule computational quantum chemistry, the present approach is based on an "ex-post-facto" method in which Hamiltonian matrices are evaluated prior to wave function antisymmetrization, implemented here in the support of a Hilbert space of orthonormal products of many-electron atomic spectral eigenstates familiar from the van der Waals theory of long-range interactions. The general theory in its various forms incorpor